Vintage Finds in Mom's Basement

Over the Summer, I helped my mom clean out her basement and get rid of some stuff she no longer uses, by participating in her neighborhood street sale!  Everyone on her cute, little upstate block took part to draw a bigger crowd, and she was able to get rid of so much stuff.  Not only did she clear out her unwanted stuff; but my grandmother, sister and even I brought items to contribute.

Now this story isn't about another stoop sale, and how well we made out.  It's about the items I found before the sale even started. Sometimes you have to make sure there aren't any gems getting away!  I'm sure for a specific reason about 14 years ago, I took items from my mom's house that I wanted to have with me in my New York apartment.  I was making attempts to add familiarity to my tiny shared space.  But I have grown, moved to a new home, and my tastes have probably grown too.  So, taking a new look through old boxes in my childhood basement felt like an exciting scavenger hunt!

I have posted about vintage mixing with modern design in the past, and this practice consistently gives great results.  Whether it be a history lesson, a conversation starter, or a funny little story - vintage pieces peppered through a modern home always give us something to talk about! The juxtaposition of time periods, entertains the educated eye, and arouses our senses.  Let's get started!



My mom has hung onto this old Bufferin bottle for as long as I can remember.  It sat amongst the up-to-date bottles of aspirin in a medicine cabinet.  It was never filled, it was just there.  Now it sits next to Jonathan Adler Essential White Pottery, in the blue section of the Colorful Library!   The bud vase is resting on a agate stone, that I sometimes use as a coaster.

This old photography lamp was used by my father for studio shoots.  There is also a similar orange lamp - photos of that to come.  Both lamps had 500 watt lightbulbs in them when I pulled them out of the basement & started cleaning them up.  I replaced them with a 75 watt softer bulb, and even though it doesn't give much necessary light to the front living room, I love the way it accents the Yellow section of the bookshelves.  So much color!



When I got to my mom's house late Thursday night, we started sorting, tagging and marking prices on all of the items.  The first items I wanted to go through, were the bags that my grandmother had dropped off earlier that week.  It seemed someone other than me, has a thing for linen napkins in the family!  This set of 6 linen napkins have such a funky layout design, but the patterns are floral country home.  These have quickly become my new favorite Fall set!



Last, but certainly not least is this old wool Yankee pennant.  Pennant banners have become a new decorative craze for birthday parties, weddings, and special events.  But I have also seen more & more vintage banners being sold at the Brooklyn Flea.  This had been sitting in the basement unnoticed for years, but all of the sudden it had become cool again!



This is the entryway to the basement, and where we store our Brooklyn Seltzer Boys bottles.  The wall covered in prints and wall hangings is part of the dining room, at the center of the apartment.  I've been having fun filling all of that in, so it's nice that the pennant gets to stand alone on its little piece of wall.

I love to organize, sort and throw out the stuff we no longer need.  I'd consider myself the opposite of a hoarder, if there is a name for that.  I gain so much satisfaction from helping others with their clutter, especially with close friends and family.  But, you can't throw it all out!  Keep your eyes peeled for those special old items that you can make new again.  If it's been awhile since you looked at some items, you might get inspired to turn it around!

I encourage everyone to de-clutter your home, office and storage space - annually, bi-annually, or seasonally.  And if you just don't have the time, that's when you give me a call!


La vita è bella,


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