Saturday, 21 August 2010

Making do - A vintage way of life!

I was prompted to do this post by someone who's never been to our house but has read my blog, we were chatting at an event and she said 'I bet your house is amazing', it made me really think because no actually it's not and no I'm not being modest it really isn't, I have some amazing things, but my whole house is not amazing.

So I thought I would broach a subject that illustrates this. Making do, vintage style!

We have lots of cute stuff in our house and always have, but it's changed through the years according to the size of place we lived in, we downsized a lot a fews years ago as we were in rented accomodation for about 18 months, also even if you have collected stuff for as long as we have, your tastes adapt. We have friends who have fabulous stuff, but to be honest we've never really had the money, we were musicians for years - that means broke but fun life - then sadly my husband had a really bad car crash and he hasn't been able to work since, so we've never had a lot of extra cash, and to be honest when we have we don't just spend it on stuff we like to experience life, so holidays are high on the agenda!

Anyway let me get to the point. When you love vintage stuff, you often have to make do until you get what you want at a price you can afford.

A huge example for us right now is end tables for the couch. We don't have any, we are making do with some pieces of furniture until we can afford something like this



Although I've got to be honest I don't think we'd ever pay $400 for end tables, unless we won the lottery!

So for now I have this on my side of the sofa



It's a lovely green & gold trimmed cocktail trolley. The top is a removable tray see below for pic. I say cocktail trolley but it could just be a tea trolley it just looks quite glam for just tea so I imagine cocktails being rolled through on it. I love it but it's not my ideal end table.



And even worse is what Paul uses for a endtable, horror of horrors it's a bedside cabinet! Paul needs things to hand more than I do as he's disabled, it doesn't mean he can't get up and do stuff but it's handy for him to have medication and stuff nearby. So this is ideal storage wise for him but oh how I hate how it looks, especially next to a fabulous cocktail cabinet!


I've learnt to make do much more in the last 10 years since my husband has been unable to work and therefore we've been worse off financially. It's quite a hard learning curve as I'm a very impatient person, when I want a room to come together I want it to happen now, but financially we're not able. Then I get to thinking about how people lived 50-60 years ago, making do was a way of life, only the very rich or lucky had their house and wardrobe exactly as they wanted. It is quite a modern phenomenon of vintage lovers to have a house period perfect isn't it? I understand it, if I could financially do it, boy I would, but I can't and so I realise I'm coming to terms with mixing time periods, making do and adapting to what I have, it's quite satisfying.

Two additional people influenced me when writing this post, first up was Mary from Welcome to Deluxeville I can't quote her exactly, but she said something along the lines of she's a patient lady when it comes to finding what she want and only pays what she can afford, it got me to thinking about my situation, and also Glamour Daze whose latest  post is about a young woman's wardrobe plan of 1947, it's quite shocking how little they made do with! So thanks to both these ladies!

14 comments:

Kitty said...

It's so funny you did this post, I just had someone say a similar thing to me this morning, like' oh you're a vintage seller you must have the best everything'...umm, NO. My best of everything has to be sold and my loungeroom looks like a pigs breakfast of hand-me-downs, a few vintage pieces and mismatched bookcases. Which is why I haven't shown it on my blog, ha ha! also I think when one is used to paying basically wholesale prices for vintage stuff, its really hard to pay top dollar, when all you have to do is be patient

Coedith said...

Great post! I think it shows true vintage spirit. Can you imagine being able to visit with a gal in 1945 and telling her we don't use/wear this or that due to it's being from the wrong era?! Of course I am guilty of doing this myself but wan to keep it in check with raising a family and living within our means. And I must say I like your end tables.

Ivy Black said...

What a great post! Hubby and I were having a similar conversation recently. Almost all of our favourite pieces are secondhand,often dragged from skips years ago and done up. He used to do the odd removals jobs for folks going into homes or downsizing, and we' be given lots of things because they knew we'd like them. If there is something I have my heart set on I wait until the price is right!
x

1950's_atomic_ranch_house said...

Bah, typed out a whole post and lost it!

Have made due myself for my whole life, up until a couple years ago. Only now can I afford to buy a pair of matching chairs! Not expensive, but what I like, and that will fit the decor.

I simply worked extra hard at finding affordable things that matched, and waited to get enough stuff to pull a room together.

Have faith! Part of the joy is finding those affordable treasures. =)

vintagejoann said...

Love you, your blog and this post! I too have always made do and only buy things when the price is right. I think your interim end tables look charming and better then some junk from walmart. You have style and a sense of humour and the best decors are full of love and creative energy.

Dolly Cool Clare said...

We dont have much cash either, never have done so we make do with stuff and get bargains. We still have canvas wardrobes in our bedroom as when it comes to either - get fitted wardrobes or go on holiday, there is just no contest!!
Liek I always say with car booting, and bargain hunting for vintage goodies - if it was all there for you to just go and buy in a one stop shop, it would be no fun. Its the thrill of the chase - and some things are worth the wait (and the saving!)

In The Heyday said...

Hey doll, something you are not short is such passion for life!

Straight Talking Mama! said...

Seems like I struck a chord here, nice to know everyone else waits until they find the right thing too, AND most importantly can afford it! I know the right thing will come at the right time and the right price!

Gingeyginge said...

Thank you for your visit and lovely comment...Great post...This is the true way of life for most of us.

Gingeyginge said...

Thank you for your comment...It's the ticking that I love!

eightball said...

at best, our house looks like one of those untidy vintage shops, that you stumble on now and then...
but "back in the day" people did make do, like you say - they didn't have anywhere near the access to the kind of stuff we like, so they would create their own or adapt stuff (like paul's cabinet)...
i'm sure there was a lot of decade blending going on - i can remember going to my grandad's house, and he would have 1930's items and 50's stuff all sitting on the same shelf, without even thinking about it...
if you like it, then love it!

Straight Talking Mama! said...

oh yes I think ours looks like that a bit too!

Darlene said...

I covet your end tables, MISS STM, is that bad?

Good on your for your rediscoveries~

'The Girl Can't Help It' said...

Love your post. My husband and I are still renovating our little 1948 house and have been doing so for 10 years. It has taken us soooo long to find the vintage bits and pieces we want and so we make do and wait. Gee it would be so much easier if we walked into a modern department store and said we'll have that and that and that!
However I love the thrill when you find a special item you have longed and its exactly what you want.

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