One of my favourite past-times is going shopping, and I adore going furniture shopping – most especially as it’s the only way Mr LPU & I have to make the house we live in our own at the moment – we rent and can’t paint or hang things on the walls, change the flooring, or make any structural changes. We’ve been lucky enough to pick up a couple of original mid-century items of furniture to use in our home, and today I’d like to share those with you, as well as some of the issues surrounding second-hand furniture.
First I want to share my dressing room, where I have two wardrobes and a dressing table made by Beautility Furniture Ltd. Of the two wardrobes, the double-doored is my favourite, simply because the central section has a patented “Rota-Unit”, which can be turned 180′ to show a slim, half-length mirror.
My dressing table is, of course, where I spend a considerable amount of time (I don’t just roll out of bed looking this put-together, you know), and so it’s size was of considerable importance when I was looking at the set, the two cupboards, three drawers, and two little cubby-holes beneath the mirror all held plenty of interest for me, and hold plenty of goodies & useful items for getting ready, as well as having space on top for my train case, makeup brushes, hair products, two lamps, and a magnification mirror. The ample mirror that is attached to the dresser is on a little latch-and-chain mechanism and so is able to tilt, which it should really be, but then I would lose some of the all-important surface space on which I work.
Sadly, as you can see from these photos though, they’re looking rather sad at the moment, with handles missing off doors, and some rather deep scratches on the external (and internal) surfaces. I also seem to recall seeing these items with different handles, which were possibly the originals – the dresser doors had little pull-tabs, which were drilled through a single hole, and mine now have handles which require two holes. It’s only a small change, but it makes finding a set of handles a little bit more difficult.
As much as I love my dressing room, my favourite item of furniture is found in our living room. Mr LPU & I had spent a leisurely Sunday morning browsing a local “trash and treasure” sale (my new name for “car boot sales”, thanks to my friend Mallory), and some thrift stores. As we were driving home, I noticed a rather wonderful looking and shiny piece of furniture in the window of a thrift store we didn’t know was there. Mr LPU offered to take us back to look at it, but I refused in preference of getting home and having some lunch.
I thought about what I had seen that day all week, and when Saturday arrived I went to have a closer look. The shop was shut, but it was still there – a drinks cabinet with a mirrored inside. It looked rather large, but it had peaked my interest, so I walked around the town, thinking about where we might put it, and wondering if Mr LPU had a day off when this particular thrift store was open. As luck would have it, on my way back to the car, there were some people inside the shop, so I took my chance at getting a closer look. I took some measurements, and discovered that it was for sale for only £20. Twenty pounds…we couldn’t miss this opportunity!
When I got home, we talked a little and decided that I was right – we couldn’t pass this up, and so Mr LPU went on his day off that week, handed over £20 and brought the cabinet home. It’s now our TV/entertainment unit, and is plenty big enough to hold our TV, set-top boxes, our phone & router, DVDs & games, as well as my yoga gear – in fact, the only thing it’s missing is a lamp or lights of some sort (and I’m sure you can see the space for those, when I find the right one).
As with the set in my dressing room, the drinks cabinet has seen better days, though there’s a better chance of being able to restore the surface of this, and I fully intend to do that next summer. On the bright side, it’s a solid item of furniture, in good working order, and has some really nice features, including the mirrored interior (which we use for storing various remotes, a hairbrush, and a tape measure), the roomy cupboards (one of which holds my yoga mat, standing up straight, without issue), to the detail in the handles – it’s all certainly something which minor surface marks and scratches don’t detract from.
What about you – I’d love to see and hear about your original mid-century furniture; maybe you got a great bargain too, or perhaps you put a lot of work in and made a big difference to a shabby item, or have re-purposed an item. Please tell me below!