AAW: Favorite Furnishings!

by Mary Jo

Image003This Ask A Wench blog was inspired when we started talking about furniture in our private Word Wenches email loop, and we found out that we all had stories about favorite things!

Here is the question I asked: "Do you have a particular piece of furniture that you cherish? Tell us its story!"

And here are the replies:

From Pat Rice:

I HAD wonderful pieces that I cherished—the Victorian sofa my stepfather reupholstered in lovely wine and cream to match my Tudor-style dark oak living room; the dark oak dining table that was our very first piece of “bought” furniture, the one with scars in it from little hands pressing too hard with writing instruments while doing homework; the beautiful Bentwood rocker from my mother that I rocked my babies in… and the magnificent handmade mahogany Queen Anne bedroom suite I bought with my first big royalty check. ( the pic shows the table and the antique sideboard I picked up at a yard sale!)

They’re all gone now, left behind when we moved across the country to a modern cottage on the Pacific coast. These days, we live with NICOLA.Seaborn's chair thrift store bargains—because new, they probably cost more than all the above furniture did when we bought them. I no longer feel guilt at dumping a designer leather couch when we move to a house where it doesn’t fit. I can buy an even better one in a design that matches. Throw away furniture—it’s a Thing.

Nicola contributes a "Slightly macabre piece!"

 When I was a child my grandparents, who lived with us, bought an 18th century grandfather clock that stood in the hall, its loud tick filling the air and somehow giving a sense of reassurance and permanence. I loved that clock! I loved its painted face and the fact that it was much taller than I was, and that it had been made in the North of England and was so old.

Fast forward fifty years, and when we were clearing my parents’ house I really wanted to take that clock home to live with me. But there was a problem. It was too tall. Or our ceilings were too low. Whichever way you looked at it, it didn’t fit. We thought about taking several inches off the bottom of it, which wasn’t really feasible. We even thought about lowering a small part of the floor but that was even less practical. In the end I had to accept that it just wasn’t going to happen. My step-brother has it now and as he loves it too, that’s good enough for me.

 

One piece of special furniture we do have is a chair made in the reign of Queen Anne which has been in my husband’s family for generations. It’s called “Seaborn’s Chair” because Seaborn Cornick was the first owner of it; he was a shepherd on a grand estate in Dorset in the Victorian era and when the lord of the manor was throwing out his old furniture, Seaborn was offered this ancient battered armchair for his cottage.

Unfortunately, poor Seaborn slid out of the chair into the fire one day and died. The family story was that he was drunk but I think they were maligning him and it was a heart attack. Anyway, the chair has been reupholstered several times since then but you can still see the burn marks on one of its legs. It’s funny the things that people cherish, isn’t it!

Christina here.

My parents were always very generous and often bought me surprise gifts. Many years ago now, when I was in the process of decorating a room with red walls and Oriental flavour, they called me up one weekend and said ’We’re at an antique fair in Stockholm ChristinaChinaCabinetand there’s a beautiful Chinese wedding cabinet here that would probably be perfect for your red room. Do you want it?’

I said yes please, of course, and waited for my little cabinet to arrive from Sweden. I thought they’d meant a small cupboard type thing to put on top of a table so imagine my surprise and shock when THIS arrived! It’s at least 6ft tall and both wide and deep. In terms of decor it fit perfectly and I love it, but it took up most of the room! Luckily our present house has a bigger red room and now it doesn’t look so out of place. And I was very grateful – it was a lovely gift which I treasure!

I have to mention one other item of furniture that I own – this little drinks cabinet which is probably from the 1930s. Not really my style (I like ornate older antiques), but it is very special to me because it belonged to my Swedish grandfather. I spent a lot of time with him and my grandmother as they lived in the apartment below ours all through my childhood, so I was often there when he came from work. He had a routine and every day he’d make himself what he called a “grog” (I suspect it was a gin and tonic). This cabinet is where he stored his bottles and there are special Drinks sections in the doors to hold the glasses.

When he had his drink, he would sit down in his favourite chair to relax for the evening. Then he’d talk to me or play games or cards, and generally give me his full attention. He was the best grandpa ever and to this day I can still recall the particular smell from this cabinet – a mixture of alcohol and furniture polish I think – and it takes me back to fond memories. Now I keep the glasses I inherited from him and my grandma in it and a collection of empty bottles on top. (And no, I didn’t drink all that vodka, I swear – I just love the shape of those bottles.)

Susan here:

Susana.marie's trunkGrowing up in a small town in Upstate New York, we lived near my great-grandmother Marie’s house, which she shared with Eleanor, my dad’s stepmother, once both were widows. They were delightful ladies, and I spent a lot of time there. Eleanor played piano and taught me to bake, and Marie taught me to knit and speak some French. Eleanor was French Canadian, and Marie, an adorable little old lady, had immigrated from France as a teenager, which led to entertaining exchanges about who spoke proper French! As a kid, I picked up French, baked pies and cookies, knitted wonky little scarves, and felt very loved, especially when it was my turn to spend the night there. Their combined home was warm and lovely, and full of treasures—a baby grand piano (my son has it now), oriental rugs, velvet sofas, crystal lamps—and they told wonderful stories about their lives. 

When they were gone and the household was being dispersed, I only wanted one thing—my great-grandmother’s humpback trunk, which she brought with her from France in the 1880s. She brought that trunk from Alsace-Lorraine to Ellis Island when she traveled with her parents and siblings; decades later she still used it for storage.  Today it sits at the foot of our bed, holding our tartan blankets and scarves.

Later I also ended up with my Canadian grandmother’s treasured “Persian” rug, which my grandfather bought in the 1920s. She paired it with plump pink velvet sofas—I’ll pass on the pink velvet, but the rug is still gorgeous! 

The memories associated with the trunk and the rug are still warm and loving, and I hope they add that feeling to our home as well. Someday I hope my grandchildren will love these things too. 

IMG_1321Mary Jo musing:

I'm really enjoying all these furniture stories!  I have lots of things I'm very fond of, but I don't have any splendid heirloom pieces, so instead I'm choosing this table that evokes wonderful memories.

A long time ago, I lived in Oxford, England for a couple of years and for much of that time I was the art editor for a magazine start-up in Wallingford, a beautiful market town on the Thames River about fifteen miles south of Oxford.  I worked with a group of bright, idealistic young people and learned a great deal about living in England and international development.

There was a good used furniture store around the corner from the magazine offices, and I found some very nice items there.  One class of table that turned up regularly was probably a kitchen table, three feet square and made of oak, with 18" leaves that pulled out of two sides so the table extended to seven feet.  They had different finishes and the legs had different designs, but here is the one I fell in love with because of the extravagant legs.  I brought it home and it's now my kitchen table, and very handsome and useful it is.  (Snow Bear enjoyed modeling my travel scarves so much that she insisted on posing for this photo.)

It just occurred to me to Google traditional English kitchen tables, and I came up with a sales site that had several tables of this type. Here's a link to what is listed as an English draw leaf tiger oak table.  (It actually looks quite like my table, though I like the design of mine better.)

The one on the sales site costs rather more than I paid then. <G>  The Wallingford shop owner charged 4 pounds for all tables of this type–about $10 US at the time.  This was by far the nicest one that came in, but it still only cost me ten bucks.  And it reminds of a marvelous couple of years when I was exploring a new country that I came to love, meeting wonderful people and seeing grand sites–and incidentally gathering lots of material for my unexpected future career as a writer of British set historical romances. <G>

Anne Gracie here:

Like some other wenches, I have several pieces of furniture I cherish, and some that I've more or less lost, but I don't want to dwell AnneJacobeanon them.

The current furniture that is making me happy is my old Jacobean lounge suite. I don't know why it's called 'Jacobean' because mine is certainly not as old as that — I believe the style arose in the 1930's, possibly inspired by actual Jacobean designs. I first saw this style of lounge suite when I was a student and was babysitting on a regular basis for a stylish Lebanese hairdressing couple. Their house was decorated with French artwork and all kinds of interesting things, including furniture with woven rattan panels, including a Jacobean lounge suite, which I fell in love with.

I bought mine several years later, and it was second-hand then. I saw it sitting in front of an antique shop, and I pulled in, went inside the shop, and bought it on impulse. The fact of earning a real wage, after so long being a student, had no doubt gone to my head, but I've never regretted buying it. It was big and squashy and very comfortable, and I love the wide wooden armrests which are perfect for resting a cup of coffee on.

But as the years passed it faded and grew squashier and less comfortable, and a few months ago I bit the bullet and booked it in for a complete overhaul and re-upholstery. I asked the upholsterer not to polish away the flaws — the foot with puppy chew marks on it and other tiny bits of personal history. And now, here it is, all bright and spiffy and smart. I'm thrilled to bits with it. I tossed a parrot throw over the couch, partly because I felt there was a bit much red, but also because I love that throw.

Andrea's typecaseAndrea's Antique Type Cabinet:

I don’t have any heirloom antiques. My mother grew up surrounded by them and much preferred kicky modern stuff. She had a great eye and a wonderful sense of style, and put together bright colors and funky things in very clever ways. But of course, the pendulum swings. I love weathered old wood and muted hues and wish some of my Swiss grandparents’ furnishings had made the trip from Europe. That said, I do have some very meaningful pieces. One of them is a wonderful old type cabinet, still filled with vintage engraving and ornaments. I got my mother interested in letterpress printing and we had such fun collecting type and printing books on the 211 Vandercook proof press that I found at an auction just a few years after graduating from art school.

The press and most of the type got given away to the New England private press group when my mother moved to a condo for her last years. (Alas, I had no room to house it. My mother had a huge studio for the stuff—the press alone was 8 ft. long and weighed over 2 tons!) However, I kept the small type case and it sits in my living room, topped by an antique scale I found in London and some lovely old wood type. It’s a wonderful link to my mother and the artistic fun we shared. I often smile when I walk by it.

These are some Wenchly treasures. What special things would you like to tell us about?

Mary Jo

 

100 thoughts on “AAW: Favorite Furnishings!”

  1. Lovely post, Mary Jo! There are some pieces of furniture I treasure. One is a little cabinet made of ornate,carved dark wood. It’s all that’s left of the bedroom furniture from my grandmother’s house. And I’m still using the very substantial card table and chairs that were the first pieces of furniture my parents bought when they were married. I do covet Andrea’s antique type stand. Can furniture envy be a “thing?”

    Reply
  2. Lovely post, Mary Jo! There are some pieces of furniture I treasure. One is a little cabinet made of ornate,carved dark wood. It’s all that’s left of the bedroom furniture from my grandmother’s house. And I’m still using the very substantial card table and chairs that were the first pieces of furniture my parents bought when they were married. I do covet Andrea’s antique type stand. Can furniture envy be a “thing?”

    Reply
  3. Lovely post, Mary Jo! There are some pieces of furniture I treasure. One is a little cabinet made of ornate,carved dark wood. It’s all that’s left of the bedroom furniture from my grandmother’s house. And I’m still using the very substantial card table and chairs that were the first pieces of furniture my parents bought when they were married. I do covet Andrea’s antique type stand. Can furniture envy be a “thing?”

    Reply
  4. Lovely post, Mary Jo! There are some pieces of furniture I treasure. One is a little cabinet made of ornate,carved dark wood. It’s all that’s left of the bedroom furniture from my grandmother’s house. And I’m still using the very substantial card table and chairs that were the first pieces of furniture my parents bought when they were married. I do covet Andrea’s antique type stand. Can furniture envy be a “thing?”

    Reply
  5. Lovely post, Mary Jo! There are some pieces of furniture I treasure. One is a little cabinet made of ornate,carved dark wood. It’s all that’s left of the bedroom furniture from my grandmother’s house. And I’m still using the very substantial card table and chairs that were the first pieces of furniture my parents bought when they were married. I do covet Andrea’s antique type stand. Can furniture envy be a “thing?”

    Reply
  6. Oh my word, for better or worse, this subject matter is so close to my heart at the moment! For the past two years, we have been living in my mother-in-law’s house. She owned some beautiful furniture but far too much of it, as she couldn’t bear to let anything go (that applied to a lot of stuff definitely not worth keeping as well!). Most of our furniture is in store. We have just bought a house half the size of this one. And now we will have to make all sorts of decisions about what we keep and what gets sold. One decision is already made as there is no dining room in the new house – we were all set to argue over which family dining set was coming with us! One piece that will be kept and have pride of place is a wooden arm chair that my grandmother left to me. And so down sizing will help us to focus on the pieces we really treasure and that is undoubtedly a good thing. Maybe I need to answer this question once we have moved

    Reply
  7. Oh my word, for better or worse, this subject matter is so close to my heart at the moment! For the past two years, we have been living in my mother-in-law’s house. She owned some beautiful furniture but far too much of it, as she couldn’t bear to let anything go (that applied to a lot of stuff definitely not worth keeping as well!). Most of our furniture is in store. We have just bought a house half the size of this one. And now we will have to make all sorts of decisions about what we keep and what gets sold. One decision is already made as there is no dining room in the new house – we were all set to argue over which family dining set was coming with us! One piece that will be kept and have pride of place is a wooden arm chair that my grandmother left to me. And so down sizing will help us to focus on the pieces we really treasure and that is undoubtedly a good thing. Maybe I need to answer this question once we have moved

    Reply
  8. Oh my word, for better or worse, this subject matter is so close to my heart at the moment! For the past two years, we have been living in my mother-in-law’s house. She owned some beautiful furniture but far too much of it, as she couldn’t bear to let anything go (that applied to a lot of stuff definitely not worth keeping as well!). Most of our furniture is in store. We have just bought a house half the size of this one. And now we will have to make all sorts of decisions about what we keep and what gets sold. One decision is already made as there is no dining room in the new house – we were all set to argue over which family dining set was coming with us! One piece that will be kept and have pride of place is a wooden arm chair that my grandmother left to me. And so down sizing will help us to focus on the pieces we really treasure and that is undoubtedly a good thing. Maybe I need to answer this question once we have moved

    Reply
  9. Oh my word, for better or worse, this subject matter is so close to my heart at the moment! For the past two years, we have been living in my mother-in-law’s house. She owned some beautiful furniture but far too much of it, as she couldn’t bear to let anything go (that applied to a lot of stuff definitely not worth keeping as well!). Most of our furniture is in store. We have just bought a house half the size of this one. And now we will have to make all sorts of decisions about what we keep and what gets sold. One decision is already made as there is no dining room in the new house – we were all set to argue over which family dining set was coming with us! One piece that will be kept and have pride of place is a wooden arm chair that my grandmother left to me. And so down sizing will help us to focus on the pieces we really treasure and that is undoubtedly a good thing. Maybe I need to answer this question once we have moved

    Reply
  10. Oh my word, for better or worse, this subject matter is so close to my heart at the moment! For the past two years, we have been living in my mother-in-law’s house. She owned some beautiful furniture but far too much of it, as she couldn’t bear to let anything go (that applied to a lot of stuff definitely not worth keeping as well!). Most of our furniture is in store. We have just bought a house half the size of this one. And now we will have to make all sorts of decisions about what we keep and what gets sold. One decision is already made as there is no dining room in the new house – we were all set to argue over which family dining set was coming with us! One piece that will be kept and have pride of place is a wooden arm chair that my grandmother left to me. And so down sizing will help us to focus on the pieces we really treasure and that is undoubtedly a good thing. Maybe I need to answer this question once we have moved

    Reply
  11. I have a few older family pieces–sitting at the desk that my Dad’s folks gave him when he turned 13. Not great for current living with computers, etc, but hey, it works otherwise! I have a 3 shelf piece that my Grandfather created, including cutting the side patterns with a jigsaw decades ago, a dining room table that came from my brother’s in-laws, and a hall bench that originally came from Great-Aunt Ada’s place–altho’ she wasn’t really related to us–but that’s what the cousins called her & so did we. And the bedroom set bought in the early 50’s by my folks. Not a great set as Dad paid $25.00 for the 4 pieces. The veneer has been knocked off a few places, but the really great thing? It’s a bookcase headboard! Yep, I have books always within reach!
    You say that about not always keeping everything; the family had a full mahogany dining room set: table, buffet, cabinet, 2 captain’s chairs & 6 regular chairs. Many years ago, we also moved to a house with no dining room & nowhere to put them. So Dad listed them in the paper, & we had people waiting in the living room while another couple looked at it, deciding whether to buy it. I know Mom hated losing that set but so life went, as we all know!

    Reply
  12. I have a few older family pieces–sitting at the desk that my Dad’s folks gave him when he turned 13. Not great for current living with computers, etc, but hey, it works otherwise! I have a 3 shelf piece that my Grandfather created, including cutting the side patterns with a jigsaw decades ago, a dining room table that came from my brother’s in-laws, and a hall bench that originally came from Great-Aunt Ada’s place–altho’ she wasn’t really related to us–but that’s what the cousins called her & so did we. And the bedroom set bought in the early 50’s by my folks. Not a great set as Dad paid $25.00 for the 4 pieces. The veneer has been knocked off a few places, but the really great thing? It’s a bookcase headboard! Yep, I have books always within reach!
    You say that about not always keeping everything; the family had a full mahogany dining room set: table, buffet, cabinet, 2 captain’s chairs & 6 regular chairs. Many years ago, we also moved to a house with no dining room & nowhere to put them. So Dad listed them in the paper, & we had people waiting in the living room while another couple looked at it, deciding whether to buy it. I know Mom hated losing that set but so life went, as we all know!

    Reply
  13. I have a few older family pieces–sitting at the desk that my Dad’s folks gave him when he turned 13. Not great for current living with computers, etc, but hey, it works otherwise! I have a 3 shelf piece that my Grandfather created, including cutting the side patterns with a jigsaw decades ago, a dining room table that came from my brother’s in-laws, and a hall bench that originally came from Great-Aunt Ada’s place–altho’ she wasn’t really related to us–but that’s what the cousins called her & so did we. And the bedroom set bought in the early 50’s by my folks. Not a great set as Dad paid $25.00 for the 4 pieces. The veneer has been knocked off a few places, but the really great thing? It’s a bookcase headboard! Yep, I have books always within reach!
    You say that about not always keeping everything; the family had a full mahogany dining room set: table, buffet, cabinet, 2 captain’s chairs & 6 regular chairs. Many years ago, we also moved to a house with no dining room & nowhere to put them. So Dad listed them in the paper, & we had people waiting in the living room while another couple looked at it, deciding whether to buy it. I know Mom hated losing that set but so life went, as we all know!

    Reply
  14. I have a few older family pieces–sitting at the desk that my Dad’s folks gave him when he turned 13. Not great for current living with computers, etc, but hey, it works otherwise! I have a 3 shelf piece that my Grandfather created, including cutting the side patterns with a jigsaw decades ago, a dining room table that came from my brother’s in-laws, and a hall bench that originally came from Great-Aunt Ada’s place–altho’ she wasn’t really related to us–but that’s what the cousins called her & so did we. And the bedroom set bought in the early 50’s by my folks. Not a great set as Dad paid $25.00 for the 4 pieces. The veneer has been knocked off a few places, but the really great thing? It’s a bookcase headboard! Yep, I have books always within reach!
    You say that about not always keeping everything; the family had a full mahogany dining room set: table, buffet, cabinet, 2 captain’s chairs & 6 regular chairs. Many years ago, we also moved to a house with no dining room & nowhere to put them. So Dad listed them in the paper, & we had people waiting in the living room while another couple looked at it, deciding whether to buy it. I know Mom hated losing that set but so life went, as we all know!

    Reply
  15. I have a few older family pieces–sitting at the desk that my Dad’s folks gave him when he turned 13. Not great for current living with computers, etc, but hey, it works otherwise! I have a 3 shelf piece that my Grandfather created, including cutting the side patterns with a jigsaw decades ago, a dining room table that came from my brother’s in-laws, and a hall bench that originally came from Great-Aunt Ada’s place–altho’ she wasn’t really related to us–but that’s what the cousins called her & so did we. And the bedroom set bought in the early 50’s by my folks. Not a great set as Dad paid $25.00 for the 4 pieces. The veneer has been knocked off a few places, but the really great thing? It’s a bookcase headboard! Yep, I have books always within reach!
    You say that about not always keeping everything; the family had a full mahogany dining room set: table, buffet, cabinet, 2 captain’s chairs & 6 regular chairs. Many years ago, we also moved to a house with no dining room & nowhere to put them. So Dad listed them in the paper, & we had people waiting in the living room while another couple looked at it, deciding whether to buy it. I know Mom hated losing that set but so life went, as we all know!

    Reply
  16. I love the story about Seaborn’s chair, and Christina’s drinks cabinet. The early 20th century is my style. I have a couple of stools and a bench, which are a very simple modern style. The reason I treasure them is that they were made by a German cabinet maker who lived in our neighborhood and was a good friend of our family. He made a whole set of benches and stools for my parents’ dining room. When the house was sold I didn’t have room for all of them, but I kept a couple for sentimental reasons.

    Reply
  17. I love the story about Seaborn’s chair, and Christina’s drinks cabinet. The early 20th century is my style. I have a couple of stools and a bench, which are a very simple modern style. The reason I treasure them is that they were made by a German cabinet maker who lived in our neighborhood and was a good friend of our family. He made a whole set of benches and stools for my parents’ dining room. When the house was sold I didn’t have room for all of them, but I kept a couple for sentimental reasons.

    Reply
  18. I love the story about Seaborn’s chair, and Christina’s drinks cabinet. The early 20th century is my style. I have a couple of stools and a bench, which are a very simple modern style. The reason I treasure them is that they were made by a German cabinet maker who lived in our neighborhood and was a good friend of our family. He made a whole set of benches and stools for my parents’ dining room. When the house was sold I didn’t have room for all of them, but I kept a couple for sentimental reasons.

    Reply
  19. I love the story about Seaborn’s chair, and Christina’s drinks cabinet. The early 20th century is my style. I have a couple of stools and a bench, which are a very simple modern style. The reason I treasure them is that they were made by a German cabinet maker who lived in our neighborhood and was a good friend of our family. He made a whole set of benches and stools for my parents’ dining room. When the house was sold I didn’t have room for all of them, but I kept a couple for sentimental reasons.

    Reply
  20. I love the story about Seaborn’s chair, and Christina’s drinks cabinet. The early 20th century is my style. I have a couple of stools and a bench, which are a very simple modern style. The reason I treasure them is that they were made by a German cabinet maker who lived in our neighborhood and was a good friend of our family. He made a whole set of benches and stools for my parents’ dining room. When the house was sold I didn’t have room for all of them, but I kept a couple for sentimental reasons.

    Reply
  21. I don’t have any old pieces of furniture from my past. We never even had a sofa growing up.
    For Mother’s Day this year, which we celebrate in March, my family clubbed together and bought me an Edwardian Rolltop Desk!! To say I was flabbergasted was an understatement!!! I have wanted one for many years but could never afford one. It’s a beautiful piece and I will treasure it!!
    Lovely post and some lovely pieces pictured here.

    Reply
  22. I don’t have any old pieces of furniture from my past. We never even had a sofa growing up.
    For Mother’s Day this year, which we celebrate in March, my family clubbed together and bought me an Edwardian Rolltop Desk!! To say I was flabbergasted was an understatement!!! I have wanted one for many years but could never afford one. It’s a beautiful piece and I will treasure it!!
    Lovely post and some lovely pieces pictured here.

    Reply
  23. I don’t have any old pieces of furniture from my past. We never even had a sofa growing up.
    For Mother’s Day this year, which we celebrate in March, my family clubbed together and bought me an Edwardian Rolltop Desk!! To say I was flabbergasted was an understatement!!! I have wanted one for many years but could never afford one. It’s a beautiful piece and I will treasure it!!
    Lovely post and some lovely pieces pictured here.

    Reply
  24. I don’t have any old pieces of furniture from my past. We never even had a sofa growing up.
    For Mother’s Day this year, which we celebrate in March, my family clubbed together and bought me an Edwardian Rolltop Desk!! To say I was flabbergasted was an understatement!!! I have wanted one for many years but could never afford one. It’s a beautiful piece and I will treasure it!!
    Lovely post and some lovely pieces pictured here.

    Reply
  25. I don’t have any old pieces of furniture from my past. We never even had a sofa growing up.
    For Mother’s Day this year, which we celebrate in March, my family clubbed together and bought me an Edwardian Rolltop Desk!! To say I was flabbergasted was an understatement!!! I have wanted one for many years but could never afford one. It’s a beautiful piece and I will treasure it!!
    Lovely post and some lovely pieces pictured here.

    Reply
  26. My family had nothing in the way of interesting or expensive pieces. Most of our stuff was cheaply made, battered and beaten up by the rigors of low budget and several moves. Very little matched or even harmonized with anything else. From time to time ineffective attempts were made to freshen up worn pieces with a new coat of paint or varnish. My bedroom furniture growing up was pressed wood with faux grain painted on it; my study area was an old card table with a wonky leg.
    Somehow I wound up with the old chest of drawers that had been in my younger two brothers’ bedroom. It was part of a set of fairly useless headboards and desk, now long gone. But it was at least real wood and it was functional. Mexican motifs were the fashion when my parents furnished that bedroom; at first the chest had yellowy brown paint and cactus decals on it, then a coat of flat brown paint later. It had black wrought iron pulls.
    When I moved into my first apartment Sears was selling kits to “antique” furniture; first a coat of acrylic paint, then a clear glaze with a little black texture to it. So I antiqued the chest, thinking that maybe the paint would hold it together a while longer. To my surprise, I liked the effect. I painted the whole thing, inside and out, with the blue paint and then did the glaze on the parts that showed. The black iron drawer pulls suddenly seemed to fit in. Voila, it didn’t look like a cheap piece of junk anymore 🙂
    That was many years ago. I still have and use that chest of drawers, and I still really like it. It’s a little chipped and worn over the years but it’s still functional and there’s a sort of peace about it which I appreciate.

    Reply
  27. My family had nothing in the way of interesting or expensive pieces. Most of our stuff was cheaply made, battered and beaten up by the rigors of low budget and several moves. Very little matched or even harmonized with anything else. From time to time ineffective attempts were made to freshen up worn pieces with a new coat of paint or varnish. My bedroom furniture growing up was pressed wood with faux grain painted on it; my study area was an old card table with a wonky leg.
    Somehow I wound up with the old chest of drawers that had been in my younger two brothers’ bedroom. It was part of a set of fairly useless headboards and desk, now long gone. But it was at least real wood and it was functional. Mexican motifs were the fashion when my parents furnished that bedroom; at first the chest had yellowy brown paint and cactus decals on it, then a coat of flat brown paint later. It had black wrought iron pulls.
    When I moved into my first apartment Sears was selling kits to “antique” furniture; first a coat of acrylic paint, then a clear glaze with a little black texture to it. So I antiqued the chest, thinking that maybe the paint would hold it together a while longer. To my surprise, I liked the effect. I painted the whole thing, inside and out, with the blue paint and then did the glaze on the parts that showed. The black iron drawer pulls suddenly seemed to fit in. Voila, it didn’t look like a cheap piece of junk anymore 🙂
    That was many years ago. I still have and use that chest of drawers, and I still really like it. It’s a little chipped and worn over the years but it’s still functional and there’s a sort of peace about it which I appreciate.

    Reply
  28. My family had nothing in the way of interesting or expensive pieces. Most of our stuff was cheaply made, battered and beaten up by the rigors of low budget and several moves. Very little matched or even harmonized with anything else. From time to time ineffective attempts were made to freshen up worn pieces with a new coat of paint or varnish. My bedroom furniture growing up was pressed wood with faux grain painted on it; my study area was an old card table with a wonky leg.
    Somehow I wound up with the old chest of drawers that had been in my younger two brothers’ bedroom. It was part of a set of fairly useless headboards and desk, now long gone. But it was at least real wood and it was functional. Mexican motifs were the fashion when my parents furnished that bedroom; at first the chest had yellowy brown paint and cactus decals on it, then a coat of flat brown paint later. It had black wrought iron pulls.
    When I moved into my first apartment Sears was selling kits to “antique” furniture; first a coat of acrylic paint, then a clear glaze with a little black texture to it. So I antiqued the chest, thinking that maybe the paint would hold it together a while longer. To my surprise, I liked the effect. I painted the whole thing, inside and out, with the blue paint and then did the glaze on the parts that showed. The black iron drawer pulls suddenly seemed to fit in. Voila, it didn’t look like a cheap piece of junk anymore 🙂
    That was many years ago. I still have and use that chest of drawers, and I still really like it. It’s a little chipped and worn over the years but it’s still functional and there’s a sort of peace about it which I appreciate.

    Reply
  29. My family had nothing in the way of interesting or expensive pieces. Most of our stuff was cheaply made, battered and beaten up by the rigors of low budget and several moves. Very little matched or even harmonized with anything else. From time to time ineffective attempts were made to freshen up worn pieces with a new coat of paint or varnish. My bedroom furniture growing up was pressed wood with faux grain painted on it; my study area was an old card table with a wonky leg.
    Somehow I wound up with the old chest of drawers that had been in my younger two brothers’ bedroom. It was part of a set of fairly useless headboards and desk, now long gone. But it was at least real wood and it was functional. Mexican motifs were the fashion when my parents furnished that bedroom; at first the chest had yellowy brown paint and cactus decals on it, then a coat of flat brown paint later. It had black wrought iron pulls.
    When I moved into my first apartment Sears was selling kits to “antique” furniture; first a coat of acrylic paint, then a clear glaze with a little black texture to it. So I antiqued the chest, thinking that maybe the paint would hold it together a while longer. To my surprise, I liked the effect. I painted the whole thing, inside and out, with the blue paint and then did the glaze on the parts that showed. The black iron drawer pulls suddenly seemed to fit in. Voila, it didn’t look like a cheap piece of junk anymore 🙂
    That was many years ago. I still have and use that chest of drawers, and I still really like it. It’s a little chipped and worn over the years but it’s still functional and there’s a sort of peace about it which I appreciate.

    Reply
  30. My family had nothing in the way of interesting or expensive pieces. Most of our stuff was cheaply made, battered and beaten up by the rigors of low budget and several moves. Very little matched or even harmonized with anything else. From time to time ineffective attempts were made to freshen up worn pieces with a new coat of paint or varnish. My bedroom furniture growing up was pressed wood with faux grain painted on it; my study area was an old card table with a wonky leg.
    Somehow I wound up with the old chest of drawers that had been in my younger two brothers’ bedroom. It was part of a set of fairly useless headboards and desk, now long gone. But it was at least real wood and it was functional. Mexican motifs were the fashion when my parents furnished that bedroom; at first the chest had yellowy brown paint and cactus decals on it, then a coat of flat brown paint later. It had black wrought iron pulls.
    When I moved into my first apartment Sears was selling kits to “antique” furniture; first a coat of acrylic paint, then a clear glaze with a little black texture to it. So I antiqued the chest, thinking that maybe the paint would hold it together a while longer. To my surprise, I liked the effect. I painted the whole thing, inside and out, with the blue paint and then did the glaze on the parts that showed. The black iron drawer pulls suddenly seemed to fit in. Voila, it didn’t look like a cheap piece of junk anymore 🙂
    That was many years ago. I still have and use that chest of drawers, and I still really like it. It’s a little chipped and worn over the years but it’s still functional and there’s a sort of peace about it which I appreciate.

    Reply
  31. Downsizing is so hard, Alice! Though having no dining room certainly simplifies that decision. When you’re though the process, you’ll probably feel lighter and freer–but getting there will NOT be easy!

    Reply
  32. Downsizing is so hard, Alice! Though having no dining room certainly simplifies that decision. When you’re though the process, you’ll probably feel lighter and freer–but getting there will NOT be easy!

    Reply
  33. Downsizing is so hard, Alice! Though having no dining room certainly simplifies that decision. When you’re though the process, you’ll probably feel lighter and freer–but getting there will NOT be easy!

    Reply
  34. Downsizing is so hard, Alice! Though having no dining room certainly simplifies that decision. When you’re though the process, you’ll probably feel lighter and freer–but getting there will NOT be easy!

    Reply
  35. Downsizing is so hard, Alice! Though having no dining room certainly simplifies that decision. When you’re though the process, you’ll probably feel lighter and freer–but getting there will NOT be easy!

    Reply
  36. Another interesting & thought provoking blog. My Aunt & Uncle retired from Wisconsin to Florida many years ago (they’re both gone many years now too) and of course downsized into a side by side or duplex with another Aunt. In the process they bought this wonderful, small, yellow colored roll top desk. I absolutely loved it & in the process of life my parents ended up buying their place & inheriting the little yellow desk. They ended up becoming Florida residents & built a bigger place. Yes! I got the yellow desk because they knew how much I loved it. I still have it & it has moved everywhere in the United States with me. Now that I’m retired, it even acts as an actual desk!

    Reply
  37. Another interesting & thought provoking blog. My Aunt & Uncle retired from Wisconsin to Florida many years ago (they’re both gone many years now too) and of course downsized into a side by side or duplex with another Aunt. In the process they bought this wonderful, small, yellow colored roll top desk. I absolutely loved it & in the process of life my parents ended up buying their place & inheriting the little yellow desk. They ended up becoming Florida residents & built a bigger place. Yes! I got the yellow desk because they knew how much I loved it. I still have it & it has moved everywhere in the United States with me. Now that I’m retired, it even acts as an actual desk!

    Reply
  38. Another interesting & thought provoking blog. My Aunt & Uncle retired from Wisconsin to Florida many years ago (they’re both gone many years now too) and of course downsized into a side by side or duplex with another Aunt. In the process they bought this wonderful, small, yellow colored roll top desk. I absolutely loved it & in the process of life my parents ended up buying their place & inheriting the little yellow desk. They ended up becoming Florida residents & built a bigger place. Yes! I got the yellow desk because they knew how much I loved it. I still have it & it has moved everywhere in the United States with me. Now that I’m retired, it even acts as an actual desk!

    Reply
  39. Another interesting & thought provoking blog. My Aunt & Uncle retired from Wisconsin to Florida many years ago (they’re both gone many years now too) and of course downsized into a side by side or duplex with another Aunt. In the process they bought this wonderful, small, yellow colored roll top desk. I absolutely loved it & in the process of life my parents ended up buying their place & inheriting the little yellow desk. They ended up becoming Florida residents & built a bigger place. Yes! I got the yellow desk because they knew how much I loved it. I still have it & it has moved everywhere in the United States with me. Now that I’m retired, it even acts as an actual desk!

    Reply
  40. Another interesting & thought provoking blog. My Aunt & Uncle retired from Wisconsin to Florida many years ago (they’re both gone many years now too) and of course downsized into a side by side or duplex with another Aunt. In the process they bought this wonderful, small, yellow colored roll top desk. I absolutely loved it & in the process of life my parents ended up buying their place & inheriting the little yellow desk. They ended up becoming Florida residents & built a bigger place. Yes! I got the yellow desk because they knew how much I loved it. I still have it & it has moved everywhere in the United States with me. Now that I’m retired, it even acts as an actual desk!

    Reply
  41. I’m so glad you got to keep some of them. I was trying to limit the size of my post, but I have a couple of German-made pieces from my stepfather’s family. He had no one to leave them to, so we treasure them for him.

    Reply
  42. I’m so glad you got to keep some of them. I was trying to limit the size of my post, but I have a couple of German-made pieces from my stepfather’s family. He had no one to leave them to, so we treasure them for him.

    Reply
  43. I’m so glad you got to keep some of them. I was trying to limit the size of my post, but I have a couple of German-made pieces from my stepfather’s family. He had no one to leave them to, so we treasure them for him.

    Reply
  44. I’m so glad you got to keep some of them. I was trying to limit the size of my post, but I have a couple of German-made pieces from my stepfather’s family. He had no one to leave them to, so we treasure them for him.

    Reply
  45. I’m so glad you got to keep some of them. I was trying to limit the size of my post, but I have a couple of German-made pieces from my stepfather’s family. He had no one to leave them to, so we treasure them for him.

    Reply
  46. Oh my, that is absolutely fabulous! Rolltop desks are so beautiful and useful and to have your family buy it for you makes it particularly special. You have a wonderful family!

    Reply
  47. Oh my, that is absolutely fabulous! Rolltop desks are so beautiful and useful and to have your family buy it for you makes it particularly special. You have a wonderful family!

    Reply
  48. Oh my, that is absolutely fabulous! Rolltop desks are so beautiful and useful and to have your family buy it for you makes it particularly special. You have a wonderful family!

    Reply
  49. Oh my, that is absolutely fabulous! Rolltop desks are so beautiful and useful and to have your family buy it for you makes it particularly special. You have a wonderful family!

    Reply
  50. Oh my, that is absolutely fabulous! Rolltop desks are so beautiful and useful and to have your family buy it for you makes it particularly special. You have a wonderful family!

    Reply
  51. My family moved a great deal when I was growing up (and my parents continued to do so for most of their lives), so they did not accumulate much furniture. Nonetheless, my mother always managed to make every place home with an ornate wooden chest with dragons, an assortment of Persian rugs, and some odds and ends. My sister has the wooden chest while I have two Persian rugs, and we both have some of the odds and ends.
    Thanks for a wonderful piece, Ladies!

    Reply
  52. My family moved a great deal when I was growing up (and my parents continued to do so for most of their lives), so they did not accumulate much furniture. Nonetheless, my mother always managed to make every place home with an ornate wooden chest with dragons, an assortment of Persian rugs, and some odds and ends. My sister has the wooden chest while I have two Persian rugs, and we both have some of the odds and ends.
    Thanks for a wonderful piece, Ladies!

    Reply
  53. My family moved a great deal when I was growing up (and my parents continued to do so for most of their lives), so they did not accumulate much furniture. Nonetheless, my mother always managed to make every place home with an ornate wooden chest with dragons, an assortment of Persian rugs, and some odds and ends. My sister has the wooden chest while I have two Persian rugs, and we both have some of the odds and ends.
    Thanks for a wonderful piece, Ladies!

    Reply
  54. My family moved a great deal when I was growing up (and my parents continued to do so for most of their lives), so they did not accumulate much furniture. Nonetheless, my mother always managed to make every place home with an ornate wooden chest with dragons, an assortment of Persian rugs, and some odds and ends. My sister has the wooden chest while I have two Persian rugs, and we both have some of the odds and ends.
    Thanks for a wonderful piece, Ladies!

    Reply
  55. My family moved a great deal when I was growing up (and my parents continued to do so for most of their lives), so they did not accumulate much furniture. Nonetheless, my mother always managed to make every place home with an ornate wooden chest with dragons, an assortment of Persian rugs, and some odds and ends. My sister has the wooden chest while I have two Persian rugs, and we both have some of the odds and ends.
    Thanks for a wonderful piece, Ladies!

    Reply
  56. JaniceJ, you reminded me of a set of twin beds my mom antiqued–they were in my sister’s & I’s bedroom. Mom painted them white with gold antiquing. After a few years, they tarnished! Not real gold but something in there! Ah well, they looked really pretty for a while! Then they were white with green overlay!

    Reply
  57. JaniceJ, you reminded me of a set of twin beds my mom antiqued–they were in my sister’s & I’s bedroom. Mom painted them white with gold antiquing. After a few years, they tarnished! Not real gold but something in there! Ah well, they looked really pretty for a while! Then they were white with green overlay!

    Reply
  58. JaniceJ, you reminded me of a set of twin beds my mom antiqued–they were in my sister’s & I’s bedroom. Mom painted them white with gold antiquing. After a few years, they tarnished! Not real gold but something in there! Ah well, they looked really pretty for a while! Then they were white with green overlay!

    Reply
  59. JaniceJ, you reminded me of a set of twin beds my mom antiqued–they were in my sister’s & I’s bedroom. Mom painted them white with gold antiquing. After a few years, they tarnished! Not real gold but something in there! Ah well, they looked really pretty for a while! Then they were white with green overlay!

    Reply
  60. JaniceJ, you reminded me of a set of twin beds my mom antiqued–they were in my sister’s & I’s bedroom. Mom painted them white with gold antiquing. After a few years, they tarnished! Not real gold but something in there! Ah well, they looked really pretty for a while! Then they were white with green overlay!

    Reply

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