All posts filed under: Historical Housekeeping

Rearranging the Living Room

I often wish I had a larger living room.  Not that there is anything specifically wrong or frustrating about my living room, but as it is rather small.  Due to it’s size, the room doesn’t easily lend itself to much rearranging…something I love to do.  It never use to bother me that much, until I purchased a 1950’s decorating book at a flea market and realized the value and appeal of a larger living area.  Not because I want to shove in more expensive furniture, or to host large dinner parties, but because of a long forgotten aspect of a vintage living room…the game table. When I came across this addition, highly recommended in any proper living room, I instantly fell in love.  To create a space in the common living area where a person can write, catch up with the local newspapers, and more importantly, play games without sitting on the floor, is such an appealing aspect to family living.  This little area isn’t meant to replace an office, but to be a spot for mutual …

The Tea Set

Every woman needs her very own tea set.  It doesn’t have to be expensive, ornate, or exhibiting fine examples of hand painting (although none of that can hurt!)  The only requirement for any proper set is that it hold enough tea for all one’s friends.  While I am more of a coffee drinker and do not know all the in’s and out’s of proper tea, I have come to realize that a tea set is something more than just porcelain.  Below is my personal tea set and it comes with a story that will always make it dear to my heart …though the colors no longer match my kitchen. I came across this set ten years ago while I was in my senior year of college.  Like many college students, money was tight, and I happened to be out one day trying to find a few clothing bargains for my senior student-placement.  I wandered through the mall and ended up in Bon Ton, unsuccessful on my search up to this point.  I began ambling my way …

A Very Vintage Christmas

Is there anything better than prepping one’s house for the holiday season?  Not in my book! Decorating calls for extra special snacks to be placed out in easy reach, one’s most favorite Christmas music or movie gently playing in the background, and an excitement to place out all one’s purchased and handmade ornaments.  It is, at least in my house, the one time all year when the whole house gets completely decked out for the season.  The bathroom becomes an icy sparkly wonderland.  The bedrooms evoke a warmth and coziness of a magical wood where cardinals are seen darting about.  The kitchen is bright, colorful, and is the perfect place to add all those colored lights.  And the living room, my absolute favorite room in the house, is soft, warm, and peppered with silver and gold.  Add a few lit candles and time seems to fall away! Looking to create or add to your own Christmas abode?  Let the following ideas spark that vintage imagination!! Vintage Christmas Decorations for Around the House Vintage Tree Ornament …

Gift Wrapping Ideas

Gift wrapping, for me, is one of the most relaxing parts of the whole gift giving process.  One is able to relax in the faith that they have (hopefully) found the perfect gifts and can now begin the delightfully fun process of wrapping. I do not spend a lot of money on wrapping paper.  I tend to take advantage of sales and buy just one or two different (yet coordinating) patterns.  Then, through fun details and trims, each present takes on it’s own personality and look.  So if your creative-wrapping-well has run dry, I have collected 11 different ideas of both vintage and victorian styles to stimulate your imagination. Enjoy, and let’s get wrapping! P.S. Don’t be afraid to pick up a few extra rolls of wrapping paper.  They are excellent for sewing patterns and are at a much more reasonable price than regular brown craft paper. 🙂 Victorian Gift Wrapping Ideas  Vintage Gift Wrapping Ideas So let that paper and ribbon fly! 🙂 ~Aimee

Vintage-Inspired Thanksgiving Table Settings

I love setting the table for a special party or dinner!   It started when I was a child and my mom and I would always plan out the look and design for all holiday dinners complete with handmade place cards.  While I, at times,  struggle with hosting a party (I don’t do well in groups 🙂 ) I love the organizing and planning that goes in to it! I recently ordered a copy of the Better Homes and Garden’s book on Table Settings to further expand my repertoire and knowledge of setting the perfect table. While it is very short, it gives wonderful ideas for setting and organizing the dinner table. So in the spirit of all this planning, I thought I would share some of the research I have done for this upcoming holiday season. Lets start with the vintage ideas: I think this one may be too fancy for my little house! I love the simple design of the china…perfect for layering of textures and other colors. Again…maybe a little too extravagant! …

Tips for Calming Your Nerves

With Thanksgiving a little over a week away, it is possible that you are experiencing a slightly heighten state of stress.  With house cleaning, prepping for family, thawing the turkey, and mentally preparing for the enormous amount of calories you will be intaking, it is easy to let the stress make its way to your neck, head, and back. To help combat this yearly onslaught, here are a few tips to help relieve the pressure! “If you believe that you are overworking, lie down for at least fifteen minutes after every meal,  Or get home in the afternoon in time to lie down for an hour before dinner. Lie flat on your back and withdraw every bit of resistance and strain from your body.  Relax your arms and legs and let down your back til you lie all soft and fluid, melting into the matters or couch. If you can drop off to sleep, so much the better. But don’t fuss if sleep refuses to come. If you find your mind working overtime, pick up a …

Autumn Supper Parties

The foods of the fall season are as iconic as foods for Christmas.  Pumpkins, apples, squash, and of course, turkey, make their way to the dinner table in many homes during the month of October.  However, it seems as if large gatherings diminish during this time as the warm days of summer picnics come to an end.  To combat this apparent doldrum, why not host you own Autumn Supper Party.  Popular during the turn of the 20th century, these happy gatherings feature rustic decorations, hearty food, and plenty of happy company! Here is an excerpt from an article in Good Housekeeping (c. 1904) detailing the table decor and some rather interesting menu options… “Always use a bare table for a supper….veil its imperfections with doilies, small dishes, candles, and plenty of flowers.  To light the table, use silver or brass individual sticks if you have them, if not, invest in two pairs of the pretty twisted candlesticks to be had now for fifty cents a pair. In small dishes on the table have peeled radishes, …

Fall Bulb Planting

I promise myself every year that I will plant bulbs in the fall, and this year I am doing it!  I always have good intentions, and then the weather gets away from me and I am stuck with another year of a brown garden in the spring. Not this year!  🙂 As I began researching which bulbs to plant, where, and at what time, I was amazed at the variety of resources available, in addition to some wonderful vintage advice.  So I thought I would share my findings with all of you! Now Is the Time to Plant Your Bulbs by Helen Van Pelt Wilson “Gardens are ruled by a gay triumvirate – bulbs, perennials, and annuals – but in the spring the glorious flowering bulb is the mightiest of the three garden kings.   In long loved drifts blossoming bulbs will glorify even a tin garden from February until June and, if lilies are included, there will be scattered flowering far into September.  Planted with such bright ground covers as forget-me-nots, pansies, English daisies, …