when you have a true appreciation for what’s come before, you learn to incorporate it into your modern life. you draw inspiration from design of bygone eras and you make it new and relevant for today. you gather both the objects and the values of another time and then you put them on your favorite shelf, glancing at them constantly, making them a part of everything you do.
or so i’m told.
i met up with becka brittain on twitter and she pointed me to her blog, bliss in a teacup. becka maintains a gorgeous collection of her favorite things, documenting her life with her husband, richard, and her inspiration for making. they both have a deep love of styles of the past and a passion for giving them new purpose. she says:
There is just so much character to be found in older pieces, and part of the joy for us is bringing the pieces we find back to life. I’d say the vast majority of our home is furnished either by things we’ve thrifted, found on craigslist or in alleyways and on the side of the road. We have many a story of lugging some giant, heavy piece of furniture back to our apartment (we don’t have a car, so it gets….interesting) that one of us has spotted while out walking. It amazes me that people get rid of some of this stuff, and the idea that it could potentially end up in a landfill just seems like such a waste to me.
see how good they are at this? jealous. i’m kind of a bum when it comes to finding vintage pieces. but i love to see them in action. so i asked becka for some tips:
Perseverance is the key. While the resurgance of vintage both for aesthetic and environmental reasons is great, it has definitely made it harder to find exactly what you’re looking for. Either because thrift and vintage stores are more picked over, or because the prices have become much more expensive.
Learn to develop an eye for things that others may pass up because they’re broken or need a bit of a clean up. Lucky for me, Richard is a former cabinet maker and generally pretty handy, so we’ve been able to refinish furniture or fix up old electronics. If you can figure out what you’re able to repair (there is a wealth of knowledge online) or know of someone who could help with repairs, the vintage world can totally open up for you. Also, this can come down to aesthetics. I personally don’t mind things that aren’t in pristine condition, as the wear and tear adds to the character of the piece. I have quilts with small tears in them, that I got for considerably cheaper than ones in perfect condition, but I love them all the same…if not more!
but becka doesn’t just take pretty pictures of her house. she and richard also have a shop full of beautiful things they’ve made. to me – and remember i’m highly untrained – if you had a vintage piece that you loved & didn’t know what to do with and put it next to something from the bliss in a teacup shop, you’d have a fabulous pair of objects that would make any nook proud and rather handsome!
becka says, “Nothing is created out of a vacuum, everyone borrows from and is inspired by what’s gone on before them and what is happening around them.” their shop is inspired by the simple things they surround themselves with: fabric, woodwork, a clock – and the craftsmanship of each of these things. they are also inspired by scandinavian design:
We love Scandinavian design, and even more so after having the chance to visit Sweden and Norway and see all the goodness for ourselves! There seems to be a lovely marriage of traditional, Modern design and new ideas that really speaks to us.
if i keep peering into the homes & lives of people like becka and the others you’ll meet as we explore the theme “everything old…” i’ll be able to pick up this sense of style. and create a new way to make it work for my life!
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