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An interview about ‘stuff’ with a special stuff person!

I am pleased to have a conversation with my friend and antiquing partner, Kathy.  Yes, ‘stuff person’ Kathy!  Kathy, thank you for taking some time to sit down with me, to talk about antiques, and having beautiful things as part of our lives.

At a recent antiquing and lunch excursion, we explored a really large antique store, with a tremendous amount of items, extending into multiple outdoor spaces.  Sleuthing through one of these buildings, Kathy ran across the most amazing head- and foot-board from an old bed.  Neither one of us really had any need for a twin sized bed, but eventually agreed that it was too amazing to not purchase.  We ended up splitting the pieces (Kathy took the foot-board and I took the head-board).

Q: Kathy, how have you used the foot-board?

Kathy: My long-term plan for the foot-board is still evolving. As you know the foot-board is a mix of rustic and glamorous; a dark brown metal frame adorned with exotic golden figures. It’s a unique piece and I’m so glad you participated and encouraged that purchase (side note from Danielle: encouraging people to purchase things seems to be my superpower). My current ruminations are incorporating it into a glam master bath or a master closet with a sitting area. Final plans will firm up as renovations unfold.

In the meantime, it is adorning our outdoor covered sitting area. The weather has changed and we are all facing the challenge of staying connected to others in a safe way. So, we created a funky outdoor seating area in our carport. The foot-board is the focal point; inherited vintage dwarfs and an old trunk are keeping it company.  

If you look closely, you can see the amazing detail that Kathy mentions. The set is painted to have a wood-grain look, with mother-of-pearl inlay.

As for me, I added the head-board to our home-office, which has an equestrian theme.  While the head-board isn’t really equestrian, it just seemed to fit the feel of the room – I think its that rustic-glam combination that you mentioned Kathy. It is quite literally the first thing that people notice when they walk in to the room.  Kathy, I also appreciate that you brought up the unique characteristics of the head and foot board.  They are a great example of how rustic and glamorous may seem like odd bedfellows, but when combined has such an amazing effect.

Q: I know that you and your husband are going through a home renovation, so this first question might not have quite the relevance today as it would at another point in time, but do you have dinner in the dining room?  Yes or no, if yes how often, and why or why not?

Kathy: You are right Danielle, we have recently downsized into a small home that does not have a dining area so dinnertime is a challenge. I loved your last blog that encouraged us to take time to make dinner a time of elegant respite in our day. This Thanksgiving we pulled out the Royal Albert China and placed it on our outdoor dining table in my husband’s garage/creative space. There we sat with candles lit, fine china and real silver utensils on a metal picnic table. I loved it!  

Old Country Roses: a classic pattern and favorite among many.

If you look closely, you can see the foot-board in the background.

I love the combination! Again, a great example of how old and new, rustic and glamorous, shabby and chic can work in such harmony to create beauty if a whole new way. Old Country Roses is certainly a classic pattern, all those colors means that it can be used in a variety of settings and colors.

Q: What is your advice to readers who may be new to antiquing or having vintage items as part of their home décor, or using vintage items in their day-to-day life?

Kathy:  If you enjoy an item and it brings you joy use it as much as you can. Especially if it reminds you of a special time in your life or someone you love.

Q: Is there a piece that “got away”?  A piece big or small that you wish in hindsight you had purchased in the moment?

Kathy:  What a great question! There was a beautiful oak table that was very substantial and solid. It had a secret poker table built into it. I’ve never seen anything like it since. My heart’s still a bit broken over that one.

Q: I know that your specific love is vintage and antique mirrors.   Can you share some insights with our readers about how you have incorporated them into your decor?

Kathy: I will admit here that I have a bit of a mirror addiction. In fact, one of my very happy “finds” was on an antiquing adventure with you last year, (again, my superpower at play!). I haven’t found a home for it yet, but it’s safely tucked away. It will most likely end up in the dressing room with the foot-board. Mirrors are a great way to add light and create symmetry to a space.

I currently have an antique mirror my mom gave me that currently hangs over a sideboard and is merrily decorated with a whimsical garland that I bought when our granddaughter lived with us. The combination conjures special people and memories every time I look at it.

Beautiful detail not seen in many modern pieces.

So many great references to the intrinsic value that beautiful pieces bring to us: memories of someone special, a time, place, or event, making a space your own, or simply bringing enjoyment to your daily life.

The other lesson here is that if you find a piece, don’t be afraid to purchase it.  You may not have a spot immediately picked out, but I can guarantee you, that an amazing piece will find the right spot in your house! And most importantly, with antiques there is a very small chance you’ll find it again once its gone.

Kathy, thank you for taking the time to chat with me. I know your love of antiques is as passionate as mine, so i know that we’ll be out antiquing again very soon!

Enjoy something beautiful today, until next time, ~d

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