Fall vignette with upcycled pumpkin

Despite the fact that it’s not quite Fall, and still very much “Faded Summer” here in the trailerhood, I have set a few pumpkins out and around giving the place a touch of Autumn. This little spot in my kitchen is where, eventually, I’ll have a microwave oven (but in all honesty I’ve been living without one now for about two months and I don’t really miss it that much!)… but for now, to keep it from becoming a drop station for paperwork I’ve set out some Fall things.

Fall vignette | Vintage Floral Cottage

That cool wooden pumpkin is actually the bun foot off a piece of chunky furniture – I just think it is SO clever! It was made by a vendor at the antique mall where I have my booth, and it was one of those moments where I just thought, you know, I could copy the idea but why wait to scavenge just the right bun foot when the perfect piece is sitting right in front of me? So I bought it, and so glad I did!

Fall vignette | Vintage Floral Cottage

Fall vignette | Vintage Floral Cottage

Other elements here include my rusty letter J from the Rusted Roots online shop and a little red clock that was part of my recent home purchase…

Fall vignette | Vintage Floral Cottage

a second-hand bowl in a pretty autumn color filled with treasures from last year’s woods walk as well as a tiny framed floral painting…

Fall vignette | Vintage Floral Cottage

and my ivy plant that has grown leaps and bounds since I got it in a three-inch starter pot.

Fall vignette | Vintage Floral Cottage

Just a perfect touch for Fall!

 

 

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Mobile home living room decorating

In addition to starting a new job this year, I decided to embrace the crazy by packing up and moving house. I had an opportunity in June to purchase a single-wide mobile home in a very nice little 55+ community in the same neighborhood as the dollhouse. The mobile had already had some major updates done, including new flooring, sub-flooring, and other improvements inside. When I walked in and saw the white-painted paneling, bright white kitchen, and first-floor (only-floor) laundry, I was sold. I’m buying it on contract so it was  perfect for me financially because a). it’s cheaper per month and b). I didn’t have the resources to buy it outright.

So over the July 4 weekend, it was good-bye “dollhouse” and hello… hmmm… well it still needs a name I guess… but I love it!

Today I’m sharing a few photos of my new living room. The beautiful primitive-style step-back cabinet that Greg built for me is the first thing you see when you walk in the front door.

Trailer living room | Vintage Floral Cottage

Here’s the overall view from just inside the front door (actually a couple steps to the right, from the kitchen). In this shot the front door is to the left.

Trailer living room | Vintage Floral Cottage

My cottage-upholstered chair and sofa fit well in this space, along with Grandma’s table, the curved curio, and my sawhorse coffee table.

Trailer living room | Vintage Floral Cottage

Mobile home living room | Vintage Floral Cottage

Mobile home living room | Vintage Floral Cottage

Trailer living room | Vintage Floral Cottage

I also decided to use my custom dish storage cabinet as a TV stand – it’s still filled with dishes of course! (Oh the dishes… I can’t even tell you how many dishes I moved!)

Mobile home living room | Vintage Floral Cottage

Mobile home living room | Vintage Floral Cottage

 

And here’s the view from the opposite end of the room. There’s an enclosed front porch through those windows on the right. In July it was like walking into an oven… but over the past couple of weeks the weather has cooled off significantly and now it’s heavenly out there – I’m able to leave the front door open when I’m home, so it feels like a much bigger space because it becomes sort of a bonus room. One of the changes I’d like to make is to get a new interior front door, which still has that “I was built in the 70’s” vibe.

Trailer living room | Vintage Floral Cottage

Because of the window and door placement in the room, I wasn’t able to put my barrister bookcase in this room but instead it’s now in the office/dressing room.

Hope you enjoyed the living room tour of the new vintage floral cottage – mobile home edition! I will show you the other rooms soon!

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Elegant table for two

In the past few months I have started a new job that involves some very lengthy, intensive, and detail-oriented training (mentally exhausting), I’ve moved from my sweet little “dollhouse” rental home into a new-to-me mobile home that I’ve purchased (physically exhausting), and I went on a short but much-needed vacation to Branson, Missouri (rejuvenating)! With all of that going on, I haven’t done much tablescaping. But I’m glad to say I’ve finally got ALL THE DISHES moved in and put away – so it’s time to play again!

So you know how in clothing and decor there’s always rules about “don’t mix plaids” or “don’t mix patterns”? Well, I assume that somewhere there’s a busybody neighbor who would tsk-tsk-tsk at the idea of mixing detailed floral borders  on dinnerware. And to her I would say this: pppfffttt!!!  I think these pretty plates make a lovely combination, especially for a sweet and simple table for two.

Elegant floral table for two | Vintage Floral Cottage

 

Elegant floral table for two | Vintage Floral Cottage

I love how the casual basket of flowers complements the elegant details of the place settings and other elements on this table.

Elegant floral table for two | Vintage Floral Cottage

Everything on this table was purchased second-hand, except for the napkins which were clearance at Pier 1. I had all these elements already in my tablescaping stash, so I didn’t have to go out and buy anything additional to complete this setting. Here’s a closer look at the items used:

The tablecloth is actually a shower curtain, also used in my “Ice Princess table” last year.  I simply folded it to this size, to define the table-for-two area.

Elegant table for two | Vintage Floral Cottage

The place setting consists of three different patterns. Top and third plates are by Homer Laughlin, the second plate is by Seltmann Weiden (Western Germany), and the bottom plate with the gold filigree border is by Crown Potteries.

Elegant table for two | Vintage Floral Cottage

Elegant table for two | Vintage Floral Cottage

Elegant table for two | Vintage Floral Cottage

I like the texture and tiny beading on the napkins; the silverware is vintage mis-matched silver from last year’s Antique Jamboree held here in my neighborhood.

Elegant table for two | Vintage Floral Cottage

Elegant table for two | Vintage Floral Cottage

In addition to the basket of flowers, the centerpiece includes a really interesting candleholder. The crystal drops add sparkle, and upon close inspection you notice that the figure is actually a mermaid (merman? Mer-cherub?) with an octopus-like tail! I have two of these – they are so unusual!

Elegant table for two | Vintage Floral Cottage

Elegant table for two | Vintage Floral Cottage

Elegant table for two | Vintage Floral Cottage

Here is everything gathered up for the “put-away shot” –

Elegant table for two | Vintage Floral Cottage

If you’d like to save this tablescape for future ideas, here’s an image you can use for Pinterest:

I’m sharing my elegant table for two for Tablescape Thursday over at Susan’s amazing blog, Between Naps on the Porch.

Don’t forget to visit my Facebook group, Thrifty Tablescapers, to connect with folks who love setting pretty tables on a budget!

 

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What’s in the Downton attic?

I don’t watch a lot of television, but one of my favorite programs is Downton Abbey. I seriously cannot get enough of it, and have watched the entire six-season run in its entirety from start to finish, several times over.  (I’m SO excited for the film to be released in September – the King and Queen are coming for a visit!)

Highclere Castle Downton Abbey | Vintage Floral Cottage

Of course most of the homes in the series are far too grand to be mimicked in my little vintage floral cottage, but there was a line in one episode that caught my attention regarding the furnishing of houses: the newly-widowed chauffer Tom Branson decides to remain at Downton while his daughter is young. He’s talking with the family about living in one of the cottages on the estate, and someone mentions that it will have no furniture once the current tenant leaves. Tom’s sister-in-law, the very grand and wealthy Lady Mary, says to him, “I’m sure we’ve got lots of things in the attics here.”

Tom and Sybbie, Downton Abbey | Vintage Floral Cottage

Well this remark got me wondering about just what “things” might be in the Downton attics: ornately carved furniture, large paintings of past Earls and their family members, giant tapestries, statuary, ancient Chinese vases and the like…? Apart from the fact that these would absolutely NOT be the furnishings that the Irish Socialist chauffer would choose for himself, the remark does give a clue about how a small cottage could realistically come to have some very grand furnishings: they could be hand-me-downs from the main house!

Now I’m not really one for ancient Chinese vases or (ug) giant tapestries. But I did think that perhaps statuary could be an element I might bring in to my little cottage. This piece from Downton, for example, appears in almost every episode because of its prime location on the grand staircase:

Downton staircase statue | Vintage Floral Cottage

Here’s a peek at my own statuesque acquisitions! This auction purchase featured in a recent blog post…

Auction statue | Vintage Floral Cottage

Then this smaller piece acquired at a thrift store:

Flower girl statue | Vintage Floral Cottage

Another auction score, this bust of someone I originally called Martha but am now calling Emma…

Emma bust | Vintage Floral Cottage

And finally, this heavy resin garden statue (about 18 inches tall) that I spray-painted shiny metallic gold before bringing it in to sit atop the barrister bookcase along with some English-themed memorabilia:

Gold statue | Vintage Floral Cottage

I also have a small room in my new home that might appear to be somewhat Downton-inspired, but in reality it’s a direction I was gravitating before I became so enthralled with aristocratic English interiors so I’m not quite inclined to give them all the credit. Now if I could just get the Queen to pay me a visit – oh the lovely chat we would have!

 

 

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Five things I always buy from a thrift store

I always buy these from a thrift store | Vintage Floral Cottage

Over my years of thrift and secondhand shopping, I’ve come to seek out certain things that I always look for and will almost always buy to enhance the cottage style I love to create! It might surprise you to know that clothing isn’t one of them… I do normally make a quick pass through the plus-size tops and pants, but since those items seem to be either in short supply or poor repair at the shops I visit, I hardly ever buy anything in that department.

My go-to categories revolve primarily around my home rather than myself. Here are the things I’ll almost certainly buy to achieve my “vintage floral cottage” style, if they are in good condition and the price is right:

Vintage china, especially Limoges and English transferware. This is my favorite category. I’ve found complete sets as well as stray pieces of some very beautiful vintage and antique patterns. Since very few people collect dinnerware that you can’t put into a microwave oven, it’s almost always really cheap.

Silk florals. I use a lot of silk flowers in my decorating, and I have found many, many wreaths, swags, and “stems” in beautiful condition that fit my style for very little money.

Silk flowers | Vintage Floral Cottage

Flat sheets and draperies. I often find stray flat sheets in very pretty floral patterns. I don’t worry about what size bed or window they’ll fit – they are a great way to get a large chunk of pretty fabric that can easily be repurposed.

Flat sheets | Vintage Floral Cottage

Folk art. Amateur paintings, pottery, needle work, and even hand-made wood items carry with them a story about a person trying to exhibit their creativity. I love furnishing my home with “other people’s art” (OPA).

Other People's Art (OPA) | Vintage Floral Cottage

A great bargain on something vintage, antique, or collectible. Having been in the antiques and collectibles trade for some time, I’ve developed a pretty good eye for items that I can potentially re-sell and how much I can likely get for them. If I see something that I think is an amazing bargain and I’m confident I can re-sell, I’ll buy it.

Now it’s your turn! What are your favorite things to look for when secondhand shopping?

 

 

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Posted in Thrift Store Maven | Leave a comment