A few months ago I stumbled upon an abundance of antique dough bowls from Hungary and Germany on sale at a local flea market. I had been wanting a dough bowl for a long time but didn’t want to pay the price for the ones I was seeing at stores like Pottery Barn or other chain home design stores – especially because I wasn’t convinced they were authentic.
The ones at the flea market were huge! And they were about a quarter of the price of ones I had seen at Pottery Barn, but yet they were four times as big! AND, they were authentic. I was so excited!
My sister and I searched for just the right one – aged but not chipped, big but not too big to use for decorating. And as we searched and moved them around, a crowd gathered around us, wondering what the fasciation with these unusual objects was and why we were so excited. I kept hearing people talking:
“Is it an old fashioned bathtub?”
“Is it a little boat?” (I was pregnant at the time and this made me laugh thinking of putting my baby in it and floating him down the river like Moses.)
“What do you do with it?”
“Where did they come from?”
And then a woman came over to me and asked, “What are you planning to do with this?”
The dough bowls created quite the stir!
My only regret is that I didn’t buy more. But, to answer the question of what I am doing with it, here’s how I’ve been using it for Fall, as well as some other ways I plan to use it.
The possibilities are endless! But, as much as I love dough and baking, I can tell you I will not be using it for its original, intended purpose. That would just make too much sense.
- Use under the Christmas tree and fill with wrapped presents
- Fill with wool throws, blankets, pillows in the living room or any room where you need extra warmth for comfy, cold nights
- Display on a table and fill with candles for dinner parties
- Fill with loaves of French breads and assorted baked goods for brunch or a party
- Use as a drink holder for bottles of wine or champagne
- Create a centerpiece for Christmas full of live, mini pine trees – with or without lights
- Treat as a giant tray and use for books, magazines, etc. on a coffee table or shelf
- Use as a pot/planter and fill with succulents
- Create a pot rack or a light fixture
Do you know how many either ugly or uncomfortable-looking rocking chairs are out there? I do. I’ve been looking at them. Why are the only options either hard, spindly wood that looks like something grandpa made 100 years ago and rocked on the front porch in with a glass of sweet tea (which, I love but not for 2 in the morning when I’m breastfeeding) or dated and boring upholstered gliders that you’re only buying because you’re having a baby and need to cross it off the list (and are basically thinking, “I don’t care what this looks like because my baby is going to spit up all over it”)? Why aren’t there options that are both comfortable and stylish, that can transition out of the baby’s room when baby is no longer a baby?
Last week, I spent a lot of time in a rocking chair on a chipped, white wood porch, staring out at the sea. Morning or night, you could find me in the rocking chair, writing or reading or just gazing and dazing. It wasn’t really the most comfortable chair – it was rickety and wood. But still, I kept thinking, “Everyone from a baby to 80 should have a rocking chair.”
What is it about the subtle back and forth that calms us, helps our thoughts and worries drift away? A rocking chair is such a timeless piece of furniture and can transition from a deck at the beach, a log cabin by a fire, a rambling porch in the South, or a nursery for a newborn baby. They can be made of wood, wicker, fabric or metal. But the purpose is all the same – to lull, remind us all to slow down, and help us feel at peace when the world around us spins like a crazy blur.
If I’m investing in a piece of furniture, I want to be excited about it and know that I can use it in many parts of my home, preferably for many years to come. And just like all things in my house – I want it to be both functional and beautiful.
I have yet to find a rocking chair/glider/whatever for under $1000. I think that’s a significant investment! So I want to make it worth my while. Am I the only one who feels this way?
Here are a few options I’ve found that I like but they are either still more than I want to spend or my husband doesn’t like them (and I’m starting to think that might not matter unless he is planning to breast feed every other hour of the night, in which case we would have other concerns.)
If you have found one you think fits both requirements, have used and loved, and even used in other rooms besides the nursery, please do share! Or I suppose I could also try the following suggestion from Apartment Therapy and make my own!
I never tire of exploring all the treasures that await at the Metrolina Expo in Charlotte, NC the first weekend of every month during the Spring thru early Fall. I have my favorite vendors, of course, the ones I always look for and save to splurge on when I go. But there are always new surprises too, like those I came across this last weekend. Maybe I’ve overlooked them in the past, or maybe our timing has been off, but I’m happy to say I found them this time. I was able to snatch up some good deals for clients and myself!
If you can attend the flea market in person, definitely do! If you can’t, look for similar deals here at Strick’s or Studio Collection by French Laundry Home, which is often featured on One Kings Lane as well. And don’t forget to search for flea markets in your local area. It’s always fun to hunt for unique pieces that will add character to your home or wardrobe!
Starting today, I’m going to be featuring a new, favorite find or product each week on Tuesdays. In my business, I find something new almost every day while researching, talking to design contacts and clients, or shopping and exploring new shops and flea markets. And I love sharing what I find – but sometimes I forget! So, posting weekly will keep me researching and searching and you, my blog subscribers, informed of anything interesting or beautiful you should check out or may already be searching for in your own design pursuits. Plus, I love highlighting the artists, shop owners and creators who come up with these great ideas and products! As they say in “the biz” and we all know is true, word of mouth is everything.
One of the blessings and curses of the way I work is that I never stop wanting to change things, especially in my own home. Once I’ve lived with something for awhile, I wonder what it would be like to use a different paint color, rearrange the furniture, change the art…
I have too many visions, passions, loves that it’s hard to pick just one color or one fabric, or even one style. I want to try them all at different periods of time. If something starts to become a trend, I veer away from it, automatically want to change anything I have that resembles the trend so that my home stays different. This can be a problem, almost an addiction at times. It can be costly too – both in time and in money so if I absolutely feel the need to change something, I look for little ways to make changes that will have a big impact. I don’t usually change everything at once. I might repaint a wall, or buy a new rug, or switch furniture from one to the next, move art around or change the frames or lampshades, etc.
I recently decided to make a few changes to my bedroom. My husband and I had been using the same (bad) queen mattress and bed frame for awhile and it was never really what I wanted but I settled at the time. (I have learned that compromising is not the same as settling in marriage…or in life…or in design!) So I pleaded for a new king mattress and headboard for our anniversary and he agreed. Well, once we ordered a new mattress, we of course needed new bedding. And then when I realized our new headboard was going to be taller than our old, we needed to move the art above our bed and replace it with something else. And then I just happened to find this beautiful, designer wallpaper on sale that would be perfect behind our new headboard. You see how this goes? If you’ve ever read the children’s book, “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” it is a pretty good representation of how I am in my home. “If you give a designer a mattress…” they are going to need a headboard! And maybe a few more little changes too.
Well, the headboard came and I can’t say enough good things about it. The pictures won’t do it justice so you’ll just have to trust me that it is a work of art. The quality, detail, and the fabric, curves and shape overall are stunning. I had searched online for an upholstered headboard but thought they all looked alike and were too expensive for the quality. They all looked a little bit generic to me. I wanted one that stood out, that excited me, and would be a good fit for both me and my husband – soft and curvy, a little dramatic, yet strong and detailed. I found the perfect one, plus about ten others I could have bought, online on Etsy at Handcrafted by Samantha and had a great experience working with Samantha to choose the right color, fabric, size, etc. Even my husband loves it more than he expected. He says he can’t believe how good it looks every time he comes into the room. For him, that is saying a lot.
Here are just a few of my favorites from Samantha’s site on Etsy:
So, the headboard is here, the wallpaper is up, and now I’ve decided the bench at the end of the bed is looking just a little too small…
Much like life in general, most creative work, especially interior design work, always feels like a work in progress. Is anything every really done? Usually when it’s deemed done, I see things I want to change, improve, or I get an idea that’s altogether different. It doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the end result. I just think of creative projects as ever-evolving. My business itself is a work in progress. It’s a baby right now but there’s a lot of room to grow. One of the ways I plan to grow soon is by offering an online shop on my website, as well as B.home original products. I have a lot to learn. But I’m having fun, and trying not to rush the things that will (and should) take time.
I don’t think we can fully appreciate our creative pursuits and projects until we recognize how far they, and we, have come. The satisfaction, the fulfillment, the reward…all come from the progress you know you’ve made and the things you’ve learned along the way. If we were handed our end goals on a plate, we probably wouldn’t appreciate them, or even recognize them as our own. We want to see our stamp on them, but we want to know the journey has made a mark, a lasting impression on us as well. We want to be changed by the process. I do, at least. I know that my work and I will both be better for it.