Spooky gothic Halloween tablescape

Although I don’t really decorate for Halloween in the same sense that I decorate for Fall or Christmas, I did decide that I would put together a tablescape this year. My challenge with this “holiday” is that I don’t necessarily like much of the decor that’s out there. So I took the opportunity more as a challenge to create a mood that’s spooky, bordering on gothic… but not horror/gory. Like a slow, apprehensive creep through an old abandoned house that just might be haunted.

Spooky Gothic Halloween 2019 Tablescape | Vintage Floral Cottage

It was very hard photograph this table… my point-and-shoot camera is on the fritz so I had to use my phone, and it likes to overcompensate when faced with dark colors. So the table was actually much “moodier” in person, with less differentiation between the black and red plates, for example.

Spooky Gothic Halloween 2019 Tablescape | Vintage Floral Cottage

The centerpiece is made up of items I crafted over the past couple of years, mostly from Dollar Tree elements, including the skull-in-a-cage, perching crows (see my perching crows tutorial here!), black feathers, and silk roses. I made the velvet pumpkins out of thrift-store childrens’ clothing pieces and live stems saved and dried from previous years’ “baby-boo” pumpkins.

Spooky Gothic Halloween 2019 Tablescape | Vintage Floral Cottage

Spooky Gothic Halloween 2019 Tablescape | Vintage Floral Cottage

Spooky Gothic Halloween 2019 Tablescape | Vintage Floral Cottage

Spooky Gothic Halloween 2019 Tablescape | Vintage Floral Cottage

The tablecloth is actually a plastic wall mural from the Dollar Tree Halloween collection. I really liked this brick wall pattern; they had another one that depicted a graveyard with skeletons walking around in it. That one was certainly “moody” enough, but the tableware covered up most of the design so I thought the brick wall would set the stage but not compete for attention. Flatware is my heirloom Oneida “Chandelier,” which is easily the most “gothic” of all my sets.

Spooky Gothic Halloween 2019 Tablescape | Vintage Floral Cottage

Spooky Gothic Halloween 2019 Tablescape | Vintage Floral Cottage

The plate stack was perfect for the mood of this table… blood red salad plates in classic Ruby glass, deep black dinner plates from Dollar Tree, and burnished-gold chargers also from Dollar Tree. For me these definitely evoked a “haunted mansion” vibe!

Spooky Gothic Halloween 2019 Tablescape | Vintage Floral Cottage

Spooky Gothic Halloween 2019 Tablescape | Vintage Floral CottageSpooky Gothic Halloween 2019 Tablescape | Vintage Floral Cottage

Spooky Gothic Halloween 2019 Tablescape | Vintage Floral Cottage

Smoke-colored glassware is also from Dollar Tree –

Spooky Gothic Halloween 2019 Tablescape | Vintage Floral Cottage

Here are a few more views around the table.

Spooky Gothic Halloween 2019 Tablescape | Vintage Floral Cottage

Spooky Gothic Halloween 2019 Tablescape | Vintage Floral Cottage

Spooky Gothic Halloween 2019 Tablescape | Vintage Floral Cottage

Spooky Gothic Halloween 2019 Tablescape | Vintage Floral Cottage

Spooky Gothic Halloween 2019 Tablescape | Vintage Floral Cottage

Spooky Gothic Halloween 2019 Tablescape | Vintage Floral Cottage

Here’s the put-away shot, with everything gathered up and ready to be put away. I love these shots because they always feel like sort of an after-the-fact “mood board.”

Spooky Gothic Halloween 2019 Tablescape | Vintage Floral Cottage

And here’s an image suitable for Pinterest in case you’d like to save my Spooky Gothic Halloween Tablescape for future ideas:

Spooky Gothic Halloween 2019 Tablescape | Vintage Floral Cottage

 

For more pretty tables  on a budget, be sure to check out the Facebook group that I host – it’s called Thrifty Tablescapers! You’ll also find me on Instagram posting dishes, decor, my sweet cat Lily, and more!

I’m sharing my Spooky Gothic Halloween Tablescape for Susan’s weekly link-up party, Tablescape Thursday, on her lovely blog Between Naps on the Porch

 

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Posted in Crafts & Sewing, Tablescapes | Leave a comment

Does your favorite thrift store stink? (Probably) Should you still shop there? (Yes)

Thrift store clothes odor | Vintage Floral CottageHave you ever noticed how brand new clothes have that “new-shirt smell”? My mother always said that was “sizing” – apparently a chemical added to the completed garment to help it hold its shape and size until it gets washed.

Thrifted clothing has an odor too.  And because of it, thrift stores often have a distinctive smell. The big question is, should that odor deter you from buying secondhand clothes?

I think the answer is no. The key is (as I said in an earlier post) common sense. If the odor you’re smelling is musty/mildewy, then it would be a concern. But if the shop is generally clean, then chances are the odor is just coming from a whole bunch of used clothes all gathered into an enclosed space. And the good news is, it can be removed.

I don’t have the means to send clothing off to labs to be tested, but thankfully someone does: cleaning expert and podcast host Jolie Kerr conducted an experiment and reported her findings in a fun and funky New York Times article in June, 2018:

“… 12 of 18 of the key malodor molecules that contributed to the bouquet of that vintage smell were derived from body soils, which is a gentle way of saying your skin, your sweat, your oils…

The source of the remaining compounds that made up that vintage smell were environmental contaminants like car exhaust, gasoline, dry cleaning solvents, food and perfume or, as the team at P & G put it, “the odor molecule peaks form a record of the odors” that the garments were exposed to over its life.”

Here is the full article – it’s a very interesting read, and offers up some tips to eliminate the odors as well. (Hint: Kitty litter!)

My conclusion is this: thrift shops smell the way they do generally because they’re loaded with used fabric – not because they’re loaded with mildew. Chances are, after you wash and wear an item at home, it will smell like you instead of them.

 

 

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Posted in Secondhand Lifestyle, Thrift Store Maven | Leave a comment

Faded summer tablescape: formal meets casual meets fine

I’ve tried for a few years now to capture the color palette of my self-proclaimed fifth season, Faded Summer, in a tablescape… with mostly good, but not just right, results. Well this year I think I got closer than ever, thanks to a pair of small pre-made silk posies from Michael’s and a set of sweet gingham salad plates in softest pink and gray-green.

Faded Summer Table 2019 | Vintage Floral Cottage

Faded Summer for me is about a stroll through a late-season garden, appreciating (and maybe harvesting) the flowers going to seed as their colors fade and foliage begins to yellow at the edges. I love this table for capturing the colors and the mood perfectly!

Faded Summer Table 2019 | Vintage Floral Cottage

Faded Summer Table 2019 | Vintage Floral Cottage

The tablecloth is a brown suede curtain panel, and the centerpiece is grounded by a beautiful sleeveless dress that I simply bunched around down the center of the table. I love incorporating fabric from items other than table linens into my tablescapes. The curtain panel adds a wonderful “feel” to the table, and the dress adds a more flowing element. It normally hangs on a hook, as a prop, in my dressing room – it’s much too small for me, but since it was a Goodwill find, I shelled out the $2.99 just to have that lovely fabric!

Faded Summer Table 2019 | Vintage Floral Cottage

Silk florals in perfect Faded Summer hues create the “garden” of the centerpiece. The straw hat of course protects our head during our stroll, and the silver candleabra adds some sparkle.

Faded Summer Table 2019 | Vintage Floral Cottage

Dinnerware consists of “Formalities” by Baum Brothers in a pattern called Bernadotte; the aforementioned salad plates in pink and green check are Nautica Pink Sands Tableware; and the dessert plates are “Trellis” Limoges by Haviland… all nestled on rattan chargers for almost-Fall texture.

Faded Summer Table 2019 | Vintage Floral Cottage

Faded Summer Table 2019 | Vintage Floral Cottage

Faded Summer Tablescape 2019 | Vintage Floral Cottage

Faded Summer Tablescape 2019 | Vintage Floral Cottage

Just love this collection of edges!

Faded Summer Tablescape 2019 | Vintage Floral Cottage

Here are a few more views around the table —

Faded Summer Tablescape 2019 | Vintage Floral Cottage

Faded Summer Tablescape 2019 | Vintage Floral Cottage

Faded Summer Tablescape 2019 | Vintage Floral Cottage

And the put-away shot! I love to see everything all gathered up before it gets put away – it always makes a pretty picture!

https://www.instagram.com/vintagefloralcottage/

What season are you in where you live? Full-on Fall? Hanging on to Summer? Skipped Fall and went straight to Winter? I’d love to know in the comments!

I’m sharing my Faded Summer table for Tablescape Thursday over at Between Naps on the Porch! For more pretty tables  on a budget, be sure to check out the Facebook group that I host – it’s called Thrifty Tablescapers! You’ll also find me on Instagram posting dishes, decor, my sweet cat Lily, and more!

Here’s an image to Pin if you’d like to save my Faded Summer Tablescape to Pinterest for future ideas!

 

 

 

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Posted in Dishes, Tablescapes | 2 Comments

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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Posted in Adding Cottage Charm, Decorating | Leave a comment

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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Posted in Decorating, Mobile Home Decorating, Small House Living | Leave a comment