How Retro do You Go?

 

I will never, ever, and I mean NEVER EVER get sick of looking at and admiring vintage kitchens!  Even though I have personally just redecorated my kitchen into more of a farm style, I know that it won’t be too long before the vintage look makes its way back.  Anyone who loves or appreciates anything vintage will understand exactly what I mean.  But when trying to write this post, I found myself struggling to put into words just what it is about the vintage kitchen look that I so much love.  Upon thinking, I have found that it contains both physical and mental attributes.  The idea of family, homey-ness, and just good old fashioned cooking makes up the mental appeal. But to describe the physical, I had to find some examples…..

First off,  take a look at this kitchen below:

 

Ahhhhhhh!   It looks so appealing, clean, sunny, and fresh!  From the striped cushions, the plate rack above the sink, to the geranium in the windowsill, everything oozes welcome and home.  But what is stopping me from creating a kitchen just like this?  Well besides the fact that I would have to do some major reconstruction, the idea of a tiled wall just seems a little out of date.

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Vintage rooms I would love to visit….

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Sometimes I wish I could redo some room in my house in historical theme and then switch it back when I was through.  Unfortunately I have neither the time, energy, or money to accomplish such a task.  Therefore, I am left to dream about the fun of experiencing and living in various rooms from various time periods…without spending a dime.

Here are a few of my favorite vintage rooms I would just love to spend a week living in!

While I would never go so aggressive with one color in my bedroom today, I would love to try it out!  And this 1940’s purple inspired room would be so fun!

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This 1950’s kitchen is so homey and inviting.  I can already smell the apple pie cooking!

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I would absolutely love to having a living room just like the Ricardo’s second apartment…love the curtains!

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This 1950’s living room would be a wonderful place to read, chat, or take a nap!

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Equally as lovely is this 1940’s sitting room! 

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And who wouldn’t love to sip an ice cold glass of lemonade on a veranda such as this 1950’s example?!

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Even if I can’t create and visit rooms like this today, I can still appreciate their charm and appeal!!

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Old Fashioned Window Boxes

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I love window boxes!  I’m talking adore every little part of their sweetness and beauty!  However, my house really can’t have window boxes…..its a long story that ends in bitter sadness and then a quick but effective switch to the “over the railing flower boxes.” 🙂  But if any of you lucky ducks out there have window boxes or are thinking of getting window boxes, than know you have my utmost love and admiration!

Below are a few of my most favorite window box ideas and their sources.  I hope they bring you some wonderful inspiration!

This first one has amazing pops of color!  Don’t you just love their use of a hot pink window frame?!

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Image from Midwest Living

This example really has the feel of the 1800’s to me.  Earthy, textural, and wild!  Love!

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Image from Better Homes and Gardens.  Click link to see the flowers used.

Now this window box isn’t outside, it’s inside, and features potted herbs.  A wonderful option for those out there, like me, who can’t drill holes into their siding.

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Image from Pink Roses and Other Passions

I can’t tell what I love more about this next one….the robin’s egg blue shutters, or the varying tones of green used?  I guess it must be all of it! 🙂

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Image from House of Turquoise

Clean, soft, and very happy, these lovely shades of pink and rose geraniums are lush and perfect for window boxes!

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Image from The Yvestown Blog

Whether you put them outside or inside, make sure you have a little pot of nature’s pretties somewhere to greet you every morning!

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My New Obsession: Vintage House Plans

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I have found the best way to learn about the past, or even appreciate the past, is by researching and studying how people lived.  Of course events and such are helpful, but taking a look at how the average person lived their life really opens up their world to you.  For this very reason, I have a rather large cookbook collection and enjoy reading them over and over again, to get a feel for what and how peopled valued certain events or occasions.

The same discovery can be made by looking at house plans.  Of course, many of the examples out there may not have been realistic for all families, but they do give you a fantastic glimpse into the architecture of the time and what people valued.  Number of bathrooms, bedrooms, dens, patios, etc. are all so fascinating to look at and appreciate.  I also love to get ideas on landscaping from many of these examples as they are quite sweet!

I have chosen a few of my favorite houses to share with you!  Enjoy!

1920’s

Sweet, charming, and the perfect cottage!  I adore the front entry way and the chimney in the front.

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This next plan is wonderful as it is meant for a warmer climate, and features a wonderful sleeping porch!

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A very grand family home, this example even shows you sample ways to decorate.

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1930’s

While I am not sure how I feel about the bedroom being so far up front, I love the full size porch!

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This one is my personal favorite!  I love how grand it looks, yet is still one floor!  And the two patio areas in the front are such a nice touch.

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1940’s

I love the Spanish influence in this home!

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Although very small the charm of this home can’t be beat.  I even love the small little porch peeking out form the back.

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1950’s

With such a strong change in house shape and look, both of these floor plans are easily marked as 1950!

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And of course, one can not forget the all important vacation home floor plans!  🙂

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Many of you may recognize these floor plans as you may live in a house just like it….I know I sure do!  I hope it can give you a new appreciation for the thought and care that went into designing many of these homes!

Have a wonderful day!

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Finding Kitchen Canisters

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I simply adore kitchen canisters and find them to be a triple threat in the kitchen.  What does that mean?  It means they are attractive, a space saver, and keeps your food fresh.

With all that, how can you go wrong?!

The other lovely thing about canisters, is they help enhance the look or theme of your kitchen in a very affordable way.  When I redecorated my kitchen last year, I specifically searched for canisters that would add to the look without losing any more space on my kitchen counters.  While no longer available, these are the canisters I choose for my kitchen:

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Ready to find some wonderful canisters of your own?
 Here are a few different styles to help get you started!

 

Red Canisters from Wayfair

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Antique Canisters from Amazon

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Forbury Sugar Canister from Anthropologie

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Cambria Crock from Pottery Barn

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Happy Shopping!

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A Love for “What-Not” Shelves

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I had never heard of the term “what-not” to explain a shelf until I was in my teen years shopping around an antique store.  The shelves that earned this name were usually made of wood and often were painted white.  A few had graduated shelving sizes while others were uniform and made to mount on a wall.  Similar to this style…

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While shelves from the 1880’s-1950’s varied in size, style, and location, their purpose never changed: to display one’s most treasured items!

While the term “what-not” isn’t used as often, the technique is still very much alive, and with even more creative shelving styles!  I have collected several of my favorite examples of shelves featured in a variety of places in the home.

Here we go!

These open shelves in a kitchen, are perfect to display dishes and treasured pottery!

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Image from Adorn Inc.

Suitcases are a great option for an office or above a small desk in a bedroom.

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Available for purchase from PB Teen.

This display is ideal for those true Victorian lovers…look at all those lovely floral patterns!

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Image from Elfnpulver

Fabric can be displayed in this unique arrangement of wooden crates!

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Image from Apartment Therapy

This is perfect for a bathroom, nursery, or sewing room!

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Image from Woman’s Day – link not available.

So get creative and display your treasures on a shelf equally as special and unique!

All the best, 

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The Art of Shopping

shopping

” You know what you want to buy for your home and you have the money required.  You carefully prepare a list of the articles needed and this seems to you to be all the preparation for your shopping expedition any one could ask.  But the professional decorator will tell you that there are in this ‘game’ certain rules which if followed give the buyer double the value for money spent.  We would give as the first and most important rule for shopping the careful preparation of your lists and as the second rule a conscientious sticking to your list until the articles on it have been bought.  It is by observing this second rules that the expert shopper saves time and money.

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If you are buying cretonnes, chintzes, or brocades for your rooms wear imaginary ‘blinders’ and keep on walking past the counters which show table linen.  First get those things you came for; that is good ‘technique,’ there is something clean cut about this method.  If you still have time lift you can return to the linen counter, or making a note of what you saw in passing, you can add line to the next day’s list.  You may remind us that the lovely things not seized on the spot is lost; that someone else gets is the moment you have left!  This sometimes does happen but on the other hand, stop and think how many times the ‘bargain’ snatch up, the article bought in haste and not on our lists, turn out to be a “white elephant” which goes with nothing else we own.

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If one gets the habit of carefully thought out lists and sticking to them when shopping, it is not long before the mind works this way.  It is then that you can claim to have mastered the art of shopping!  And it is no exaggeration to say that you have doubled the value of your allowance for house decoration or any other needs.

We give as another rule to follow when shopping; that you should concentrate on the purchase of the moment.  By this we do not mean to dawdle over your decisions for this method wastes your time and the time of the salesman or woman.  Any shop encourages the patronage of those who know how to shop because goods sold to them is pretty certain not to be return or exchanged.

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Master the technique of shopping and your room, flat or house will look immeasurably more attractive than the home of the man or woman who buys at random, the attractive but unrelated treasures which beset the path of the one who has time and money to use carelessly.  As you gain in experience you will be able to visualize your rooms (see them in your mind) and soon you will shop with confidence and few mistakes.  That shopping for others has become a profession that the truth of our claim, that this human effort, like all others can become of economic value.

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Source:

Be Your One Decorator by Emily Burbank. 1922

 


Shall We Move to the Country?

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” ‘ The best place to live is in the country.’  ‘ Let’s move to the country where we can have plenty of good food, lots of elbow room, and plenty of fresh air and sunshine.’  ‘A home on a little land will give us a chance to be independent.’  Thus, many person who live in towns or cities dream or talk enthusiastically of owning a place in the country where they may live and raise food and other products for home use and sale.

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This desire to leave the crowded city is so strongly felt by many persons that it has been aptly termed ‘the call of the land.’ In recent years, the number of people who have heeded this call has steadily increased. Many of these people are establishing homes on small plots of land which vary in size from a few acres down to an acre or less.  This trend toward living on a little land is especially noticeable in the “fringe” or suburban areas on the outskirts of most large cities and for many miles along the improved highways radiating from many towns and cities of various sizes.  In general, these families with homes on a little land secure their main income from employment aways from the places on which they live.  This, for the most port this movement into small-scale farming constitutes a part-time, or “spare-time” venture.

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Several factors are responsible for people establishing homes on a little land and engaging in small-scale farming on a part-time basis.  As one factor, employment in many occupations leaves considerable amount of outside of working hours.  Furthermore, the use of automobiles and the development of improved highways have made it easy to live in rural areas at a considerable distance from the place of work.  Modern conveniences now available to country homes make rural living more attractive than was the case some years ago.

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People on small-scale farms give various reasons for living there rather than in towns or cities.  Some of these reasons are as follows:

  1. To lower the cost of feeding the family.  As one means of lowering the cost of living, most people engage in small-scale farming to raise part of the food for the family table.  They find that food they raise for themselves cost very little money ‘out of pocket,’ and usually there is plenty of family labor to do the work in raising it.
  2. To reduce the cost of housing.  Some people move to the country in order to provide housing at lower cost than in the city.  People who formerly rented a house or an apartment in the city are often able to own their home in the country.  If a country place is purchase with a house already built, the cost of such property is usually less than a comparable house in the city.
  3. To satisfy a liking for the country.  Many people move to a place on the land to satisfy a liking for country life.  They are “fed up” on the noise, sort, and crowded conditions in the city and they long for the open spaces, fresh air, and sunshine of the country.  Some of these persons are interested in hobbies, such as raising plants and animals, for which the city provides little or no opportunity.  Many jobs in cities consist of work indoors; some persons so employed desire relaxation and variety by getting physical exercise out-of-doors.   Most people now living on small-scale farms are probably there because they prefer this type of life.  Some of these persons spent the days of their youth on farms and thus developed a liking for the country which as prompted them to ‘return to the soil.'”

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Looking to find examples of people today “living on a little bit of land?”  Check out these blogs:
There are so many wonderful films that focus on farm life and country living.   A few of my favorites are:
The Egg and I (1947)

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Summer Stock (1950)
Poster - Summer Stock_01So whether you live in the city, or on a little bit of land, let the slowness and peacefulness that farm living can offer, always be around you!

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Source:

Living on a Little Land by George Percy Deyoe and Herbert M. Hamlin, 1948