On Sunday, I had time to stop by the Antique Market shortly after it opened, and one of the first things I saw filled me with absolute dismay. Then I bought them anyway.
You may recognize this pair of schoolhouse-style shades. When I found the original one, I had never seen it before and understood it to have been handblown and original to the late 1940s or sometime in the 1950s. When I saw these two, I thought they must all be modern reproductions and felt I had shockingly overpaid for the first one. Not to mention that we don't need lights for months yet, and I have to store them in the meantime.
Then I thought, am I crazy? Who cares? They look great and will totally set the mood of our new kitchen. Hence the purchase (for $30 apiece, I might add. I am not looking back to see what I paid for the first one, which also came with a fixture, but I know it was a lot more than that and was still a ton less than I would pay for the other schoolhouse lights I like.)
The thing about vintage stuff though is that a little goes a long way. I am not a designer, but I have bought a lot of vintage kitchen stuff over the years and I can tell you: if you want a truly quirky space, use a ton, but if you want something that suggests quirky, while still being fairly calming and neutral, you don't want to go too crazy with the other finishes after putting in three handpainted lamps with a tea and homebaked pastry theme.
That said, red countertop, anyone?
Pete is more than open to a red countertop, and although I like Caesarstone's deep blue-tinted red more than the Cambria one in my hand here, I also loooove red. I just fear it will push the kitchen too far into retro land to suit us in ten years' time.
I wanted black or dark grey, and I think Cambria's slightly sparkly blue grey would be lovely, but... well, apart from other possible negatives, Pete is unconvinced, so that's likely a No right there.
Faux marble is just dripping with much-loved-by-me coffeehouse associations, but is that too cold for these crazy retro lights? I never see crazy retro lights like this in elegant Parisian-style coffeehouses. (the faux marble here, from Cambria, is too off-white for what we are doing. but there are other options.)
Meh, countertops. There are so many more interesting things to decide about in life. But they are so very expensive, and so very difficult to change.
I think marble is going to end up being safest.
After the lamp-related success story, I went back to the antique market with a friend and saw this cute juice jug tucked away behind some other very nostalgic kitchenware items at a different stall:
I noticed right away that it looked as though it was meant to go with my existing juice jugs. Also, it's in pristine condition, and the ridged glass top is so practical for keeping a grip on. I might actually serve juice in this one.
Really would make a great vase too though, wouldn't it?
You know, I actually have a rolling pin with handles the same green as these leaves. And vintage kitchen curtains in blue and white check with white organza ruffles and red trim, and bright red plastic canisters (plus matching breadbox), and countless other clear glass and milk glass treasures all from the same 20 year period. A red countertop would look so, so amazing, wouldn't it.
(but too quirky!!)
Ugh. I'm stopping now. Go knit something - I'm going to! and I'll see you later. Just maybe not tomorrow, because my week kinda blew up again, oops. but soon!