…said no woman, ever.
It was my off-the-cuff comment to a neighbor’s son who commented on how he thought my earrings looked like clocks (they were vintage inspired rectangular shaped with a navy stone). Although I knew what he meant, my sleep deprivation and subsequent day spent at a high school pep rally left me without the proper words to explain “vintage inspired”, “antique” and “nouveau chic” to an eight year old boy. So out came “old lady” look.
He smiled like he totally understood, admired them for a second longer, said “cool” and ran off to play with his kid brother. I chuckled with his mom as she had added the “said no woman ever” part to my description.
But I had to admit that I did, in fact, like the “old lady” look. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t want to embrace an elderly appearance. I pay good money to have these grays hidden on the top of my head and spend an equal amount of time trying to keep away the aches and pains that have started to set in over the years. I don’t want my house covered in doilies or faded lace, coated in a layer of floral motif, with tea cups and chintz scattered on every available surface.
Yet there’s something retro and chic when just a piece of your attire, as in my vintage inspired earrings, or a few items throughout the home have aged more than your own physical birthday years.
History and stories lay heavy in the items I have collected over the years, whether it be a painted couple I have hanging in the bedroom hallway, whom we’ve met but who’s likeness we purchased from an estate sale, or the silver pitcher shining on my dining room table, a belonging of my husband’s grandmother.
I’m almost unaware any longer of the chiming clock in our dining room, another possession of my husband’s grandparents, or the wooden sewing kit that belonged to my great grandmother on my night stand. But they’re still there and add presence and history to my home. These may just be items but they mean something to me.
Whether I know the story or the person behind the items or image, or I’ve had to make one up to accompany the treasured items I’ve chosen to lug home with me, sometimes to a begrudging husband, each piece still holds a story. I choose to celebrate and honor that story, person or time frame each time I look at those items.
In light of this,our decor is more a culmination of found items than they are of any deliberate choice. Sometimes the items found their way to us by means of necessity, as in, we need a place to eat on, please! Other times, they were someone’s castoffs but still had a life to live on in our home (or in someone else’s if we chose to eBay it). Often, they are the bits and pieces we have come across or someone has seen and “thought of us” – usually along the side of a road – to which I don’t know whether to be flattered or insulted, yet I’ll choose the former. Altogether, they make up this place we call home.
It may not scream “designer!” or be magazine worthy but to everyone who has spent any time in this home, it has felt homey.
And for that, we feel we’ve done that job well. Creating a little piece of home that is our haven…even if so many of the possessions once belonged to “some old lady.” Although I can’t say it in person, thank you to all who have made our house a home with your heirlooms, cast offs and trinkets.
It has become, after all, my happy place.