Daily Life · Housewares

Living Vintage

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.

Mirror, what mirror?
Oh, there it is!

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.

One of several missing handles, I also do’t have the keys – though why I might need to lock my wardrobe is beyond me!

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).

 

Showing some wear & tear…

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.

But for details like this, little things can be overlooked

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!

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8 thoughts on “Living Vintage

  1. Your pieces are absolutely gorgeous, Taylor! I am in love with your wardrobe and the rotating mirror! Wow!

    As for some of my vintage furniture collection, I have a two matching mid century wardrobes, a gentlemen’s one and an art deco one. I had to paint the two matching ones as all the laminate was peeling off, which was a bit of a shame. Might stencil lace on them or something to make them look a bit more special. There’s a chunk missing from my art deco Huon pine dressing table and one missing from my 100 year old piano too. Oh and the candle holders are missing from the piano, which are nearly impossible to chase down! Haha I will find some though, eventually! My kitchen chairs need reupholstering and the chrome is all pitted with surface rust that I am still scrubbing off with steel wool. I guess all the surface rust and imperfections tell their life stories. I love them all dearly and would never part with them for love nor money.

    My favourite piece is my 1910 lounge. It has been reupholstered in leopard print. My partner nearly left me for buying it but I had to have it. Victorian furniture is my favourite, but I love mid-century too! I love vintage furniture so much that I have a lot of doubles, like two sewing tables and three vintage dressing tables and two laminex tables and a dining table… Next on my list is an art deco display case, but I will need a bigger studio and house soon as I am running out of room! Haha!

    You can NEVER have too much vintage!

    Thanks for the mention gorgeous lady.

    ❤ Mallory xo
    http://www.malloryholley.com

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  2. I love what you did with the bar for your entertainment center! We did something similar for our record player and LPs. We took an old vanity, removed the mirror and our record player fit perfectly on one side and the LPs on a shelf on the other side. And we are about to use a room divider piece as our entertainment center, we just purchased it this week and it’s being delivered this weekend.

    I hope to share pics of our new place soon!

    xoxo
    -Janey

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