Friday, May 31, 2024

Making a Home one Mismatched Piece at a Time

 We bought a second home without any resources to furnish it. It was a leap of faith in the best of all worlds. In the worst of all worlds, it was a big mistake.

The only thing we had on our side was that we were not too proud to use other people's leftovers. We moved into a small park model that did have minimal things and even some booze and dry goods. So we just used what was there and had fun in our new location. I didn't mind and my husband didn't even notice the lack of things. We were good.

If the cornmeal didn't have weevils, I used it. The neighbors were horrified! Why, I told them is what I wonder today. I guess they asked.

That was many years ago. But, even today, I am using the mismatched thing from the first park model. Now they are "quirky" and interesting. Mugs from a now-defunct restaurant hold pencils and the original set of 4 dishes sit in my cabinet. Discarded bedside table lamps were painted orange and one sits on the mantel and another beside a guest bed. The original dining table from the house is now on the porch and I eat on it regularly. It was painted black and looks pretty darn good.

An Indian rug hangs on the living room wall and another is beside a bed. They were both abandoned in the park model. Bedside tables are in another guest room. 

The rest we bought at consignment or antique stores (fancy junk shops). It really is true that one man's junk is another man's treasure. A bakers rack, chest of drawers at one shop($80 for both), two bedside stands and a bedroom set (end table and dresser) at another. The cost is minimal and all of the pieces are beautifully worn.  A brass bar cart came from an estate sale.

All personal items like art are curated...we travel and buy some things along the way. But art from a thrift store or antique store works for me. As long as it hangs together nicely. 

We started this journey toward owning a stand-alone house after we retired. That was over 25 years ago. Many things were left and I am okay with what is gone...well there is that one little table and two chairs I miss. It is not perfect but the willingness to live within your means does not mean you have to live small. A retirement with a lot of style is possible even if you are not rich.

If you have any thoughts, I would love to hear them.


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