Sometimes I just need to spend a couple of hours browsing through antiques and artsy fluff to get a project rolling. Recently, Lochinvar and I wanted to create a photo studio space in our basement and a dressing room from a laundry catch-all area. These projects allowed me to contemplate some revamping in other rooms, too – including the guest room and our bedroom. With four spaces and plenty of furniture whirling through my head, I needed some thematic ideas. So, on a whim, I spent a quiet afternoon at Merchant’s Square in Chandler.
This is one of my favorite places to pass a hot summer day because I always leave with decorating ideas and a few chuckles from the quirkier items that abound. For instance, check out the wooden clogs that look like Lego blocks. These puppies would make a great Cosplay costume addition, but not something I’d wear on a daily basis. Can you imagine the noise?
Then, there’s the knight-in-shining-armor themed table lamp. I fear my feline friends might try to stage a joust with these accoutrements. Or, worse yet, it might provide weapons for would-be intruders.
And, as long as we’re talking about about weapons, whose bright idea was it to invent an indoor horseshoe game? Note it says “Rubber shoes reinforced with steel” on the box. I think my Ragamuffin would have destroyed every piece of glass in the house with permission to throw around these things. (And we won’t even discuss the fact that Father looks like he’s about to shout Ole! while young Betty appears to be practicing for the high wire.)
After a bit of mucking around, the silliness factor gave way to more inspirational items like these romantic doodads. The doll themed coloring book would make wonderful artwork for a girl’s room or an antique style dressing room, as would the lace angel wings. (I have to admit, I looked at those for quite awhile trying to image where they might end up in my house.
Of course the porcelain meets paper doll also seemed to fit in with my romantic vision which would perfectly complement many of the whimsical beribboned tags. All of these items were the vision of a single vendor who had lacy French-feeling frippery to spare. I think I could have decked out an entire room in that one shop, and I felt an instant kinship to its anonymous owner.
As I continued to amble down the aisles, my eyes and hands were drawn to many pieces of painted furniture, but I especially fell in love with the old Paris maps on the drawers of this piece. The colors are so beautiful and delicate!
I also love the wrapping paper lining on the drawers of this chest. Just opening up an empty drawer feels like an adventure among the flowers.
In addition to the lovely romantic furniture and decor items, several vendors offered beautiful pieces of wearable art. Here, a plain linen shirt became a jacket bedecked in crocheted doilies, embroidered table toppers, and an assortment of vintage lace odds and ends. The maker had an entire rack of shirts, jackets, and dresses that I would love to wear about town.
Finally, I fell for this vintage purse with an adorable under-the-sea theme. This is the perfect piece for those always-be-a-mermaid days. (Sigh)
As I browsed, my brain considered that I could create the new dressing area as a homage to vintage frilliness and keep it for myself, but (alas) Lochinvar had design plans of his own (dark wood, leather, and a blue Oriental rug). So, I settled for cleaning out and rearranging the guest room with its antique bed, painted desk, and handmade yo-yo bedspread and pillow shams (Thanks, Mom!)
In the end, Lochinvar also suggested that I could work some fru-fru magic on our bedroom. (Of course, he didn’t have to say that twice!) So, that project is currently underway. I have already added curtain panels from Goodwill (a bit of sheer lace over a print at the window and some dotted swiss in the archway), reupholstered the seat over the tub, hung some peacock art, and added a comfy chair to the space. Meanwhile, those map covered drawers continue to dance through my head as I survey two night stands, a headboard, and a foot board. I think they’re calling my name!