Thank you so much for all the compliments and comparisons to Vivien Leigh on my last post.
I've been told that all my life, and although I don't really see it, aside from the dark hair and light complexion, I take it as a huge compliment, because she's my favorite actress.
My daughter's middle name is Leigh, after her :)
Last time we covered the clothes, so this time, how about the decor?
As a child, my mother had antiques throughout our home that were passed onto her from my great grandmother Annie Belle (Annie's other namesake), which in turn were passed onto me, when my mom downsized.
You've seen them here and there.
One of the two sets of silver and some china that you can see a glimpse of...
The cedar trunk (more on that on a later post)...
The bedroom set...
The Welsh hutch..
The record player....
All of those things and many more were in the homes that I grew up in (all three built between the 1920s and 1950s).
So, I can see my love of antiques coming from there.
The beauty of average objects during that time have always fascinated me, because no one puts that much work into them anymore.
Take for instance the record player above, compared to something that looks like this:
More convenient? Yes, but certainly not pretty.
But it's not just that.
For some reason, I've always been more comfortable in an old home filled with old things and I've never liked anything modern.
Do I find them pretty to look at?
For example, I could never live in a place that looks like this:
No offence to anyone that likes this look, but what does it say about the people that live there?
Nothing that I can tell.
It basically says "hotel" to me, which is fine if that's what the owners like, but I don't want to live in a hotel. I want to live in a cozy, colorful place filled with memories. Somewhere that says "this is who I am".
Which brings us to why I not only love antiques, but vintage interiors as a whole.
I attribute that to my grandparents, Bonnie and Ox.
Not at first though. I was all about Victorian decor for years, much to my mother's chagrin.
Then one day, I realized that wasn't where my heart was and I went with it.
My grandparents lived in a little 1940s ranch house that was never redone (even in the 1970s and 1980s), but kept up, with a victory garden, a red front door, original bathrooms, and the original kitchen that looked something like this:
The fridge was on the left just like the picture and it had a window like that, but the tile was different.
I want to say it was more like this, but not exactly:
Which would probably explain my love of yellow and green ;)
Bonnie also had a stool kind of like the one in my kitchen on the right, which is what I would stand on to help with the poundcake:
They also had a table kind of like mine in their kitchen, except it was white and the glass top was clear:
The story is that I was so little when I learned to walk, at the age of 9 months, that I could go right under it without hitting my head.
It was where I spent my childhood when I wasn't at home, looking at all of Bonnie's bric-a-brac, making creations out of felt on her sewing machine, helping bake her famous poundcake (I was the official sifter), where Ox taught me to use an aloe vera plant for burns, about vegetables and fruit in his garden and how to hold a baby chick.
It was where I had my first crush on a neighbor kid, named Hudson Elliot, around the age of 5 or 6, where I saw a tinsel tree that spun with a color wheel every Christmas, watched old family movies on a projecter without sound, learned how to use an old crank style ice-cream maker, where I looked at a hunting scene wall mural in the dining room with fascination, and it was where I heard them sing "If I knew you were coming, I'd have baked a cake" or "Open the door Richard" every time we showed up on their front door step.
It was also, for the most part, where I learned how women and men were supposed to act... like ladies and gentlemen and most importantly, husband and wife, about good music, how to bake, to fix what you have, instead of buying new and to appreciate the old ways of doing things.
It was my home away from home.
I didn't always appreciate it or them them until later in life though.
Silly teenager that I was.
I wish I could thank them now.
I can still hear Ox's voice the last time I talked to him on the phone, after Bonnie had died and just before he followed her, about 11 years ago...
"Is this ol' Heath?"
Rue is a nickname a friend gave me years ago.
My real name is Heather, but he never said my whole name, only the first syllable.
Anyway, that's where my fascination came from and why it's such a mix of antiques, vintage and memories :)
To be continued....