Sunday, July 26, 2009


This is a long-overdue post. In it, I shall demonstrate why I am the reigning queen of the second "R": Reuse. Eat your heart out, my friend. (It's a friendly competition, doncha know.)

To begin with, we have the shelf above my computer. On it sits the top of an old beer crate (the pretty lady) that I found in my friend's garage many years ago. I guess guys don't care about antique-looking ladies on the tops of beer crates. The jars at the base are all mason-types that have been turned into candle-holders. They're full of shells and smooth stones and of course, candles.

Next we have the chess board bulletin board that is nailed directly next to my computer. That one's kind of self-explanatory.

Also in the entryway, right next to the whole computer area, we have a "bench" that is actually three chairs pressed tightly together. They came with our first piddly little dining set, you know, the kind you buy at K-mart? Or that your aunt buys for you at K-mart and tries to pass off as real furniture? And that you accept because you're young and don't have any other real furniture to speak of, much less real dining furniture.

Ah, the piece de resistance of my kitchen. This dresser is now in service as a sideboard/counter. It was an antique when my grandmother bought it for my newlywed parents back in 1980. It was passed around that side of the family for nearly thirty years and right before it was tossed in a dumpster (can you imagine?!) my brother rescued it and later bequeathed it to us, as he didn't want to put in the necessary work to salvage it. The drawers needed fixing, it's true, but my handy husband only spent about an hour with some wood glue and string to put everything back together. It really warms up our kitchen and makes us so happy. And of course, the storage is an added bonus.

Still in the kitchen, we move on to the top of the dresser. Most of these items are a combination of practical & decorative, a personal favorite of mine. We have 1) the mason jar full of cookie cutters, 2) the mason jar full of rolled fabric scraps, the tea "urn" that holds some of my cooking utensils, the milk jug which has a crack in the bottom and therefore does not hold the flowers I had hoped it would, the teapot I bought at my first auction, 3) the food grinder that I also acquired at my first auction and didn't know what to do with until a couple of months ago when I decided to attach it to the edge of the dresser. No, I do not actually grind food in it. Yet, anyway. 4) The glass decanter I used to use as a flower vase and is now gainfully employed as a dishsoap holder, much cuter than the plastic bottle. (In case you're curious as to what kind of dishsoap is such a lovely shade, I'll tell you. It's Dawn Plus, Hand Renewal Pomegrante Splash with Vitamin E. It smells as good as it looks, maybe even better.) 5) A shelf that I bought at a garage sale years ago for...ready?...25 cents. I know. I used it in my bathroom until a couple of months ago, and then transferred it to the kitchen for use as a spice rack. I love it. 6) Also on top of the dresser, the old-timey fan that would suck in and kill a small child if it was actually turned on. So we don't. But it looks cool. So there it sits. 7) Matthew made a pot rack when he found out he was getting nice stainless steel pots and pans a couple of Christmases ago. I recently hung the lantern up there to see if he would notice and because, like the fan, it looks cool.

Now we're in the master bedroom. A glass and wooden tray I got somewhere (no, I don't know where. Underneath and on top are some linens I found in the bottom of a big box of vintage aprons I bought (can you guess?) at my first auction. (Are you sensing a trend? Is it painfully obvious I've only been to one so far?) Also in my room, a make-shift nightstand constructed a la Country Living out of two trumpet cases and a breakfast-in-bed serving tray. Yes, I play trumpet. No, I won't play a little something for background music.

And finally in my bathroom, we have a huge mirror which I believe used to be a headboard in my neighbor's house. She put it on the side of the road (what? tell me you've never picked something off the side of the road?!) and after scouting it out, I convinced my husband to run over and pick it up before anyone else could. It fits the space perfectly and makes our small bathroom seem much grander. I love the little shelves on the sides.

There you have it, my friends. There are probably other examples, but they're not as cute as these. I hope you've all enjoyed this little tour through my house. For all of you who don't care a pile of beans about reusing or (gasp!) decorating, please come back and try reading on a different day. I'm not always this domestic in my ramblings.


Edie said...

Folks, Chris' house looks even better in person than it does in pictures. The whole effect is just stunning. I would be hard-pressed to pick a favorite spot because everywhere you turn there is another cool thing, another cheery arrangement, another aesthetic treat. I don't know how she does it. I'm just thrilled that she does 'cause sometimes she comes to my house and does it here to, and, darlin', if there ever was a place that needed her artistic touch, it'd be this place. Let's give it up for the girl!

Anonymous said...

Okay, I couldn't sleep. Loved your pictures, Chris, even though, I too, have seen everything in person. Ooh, except for the trumpet case nightstand... very cute. Wish I could say you got your decorating skills from me, but well.... :^) The reusing thing is probably from Grandma Inman. (BTW, she didn't buy the dresser for us, not that it really matters, but she did take us to see the antique guy who sold it to us.) Too bad she doesn't come to Kokomo for a visit; I think she'd love your house! love, Mom

Anonymous said...

Chris - we were meant to meet each other. I too collect antique treasures but alas, I do not have the decorating gene. Would you be interested in coming over and helping me decorate. Bring the family and we will have one of my big kids babysit and we could even have dinner together!!!