Today, enjoy this guest post from my faraway friend, Josephine!
Jo: I have always been a thrifty person. It may be because my parents grew up in Sweden and England during the second World War (not baby boomers), so frugality was highly praised in my family. My father worked in the hospitality industry and often purchased secondhand furniture from his place of work when they remodelled the lounges or dining rooms. My mom was a self-taught seamstress, upholsterer and furniture refinisher. Our house was always well-decorated with her unique touch. Cushions, curtains, valances, armchairs, sofas, plush headboards, Halloween costumes, prom dresses–my mom could do it all and on a thrifty budget. Of course, my dad also did his share of DIY projects: finished basement, living room extension and an epic two-floor tree house with crows nest lookout and fire escape.
When I look around my condo, which was itself a thrifty find, nestled inside a 1913 character bldg in need of some TLC but in a fantastic neighbourhood, I realize that 90% of my furniture is used or secondhand. Antique markets, Craigslist, Kijiji, Sally Ann, Value Village, MCC thrift, the IKEA As-Is dept and the Old House Revival Co. are my favourite shops in Winnipeg, Canada’s most Cheap and Cheerful bigger city. It’s slightly isolated but with an unparalleled vibrant cultural scene and affordable cost of living (if you can embrace the winters.) Many of my pieces also come from my life abroad in Sweden, France, Morocco, Turkey and Afghanistan.
When I lived in Paris, I was fortunate to get a contract teaching English at Vitra, “manufacturer of the works of many internationally renowned furniture designers” such as Eames, Panton, Saarinen, Citterio, Morrison etc. I had absolutely no knowledge of design at the time and this was a fabulous entry into that world. You can imagine my excitement when I acquired this Saarinen tulip coffee table knock-off at Sally Anne for $10 CDN.
It looks fabulous with my knock-off Acapulco chairs in my mom’s backyard.
Since returning to Canada in 2010, I’ve fallen in love with vintage Pyrex bakeware and Norwegian Lotte Figgjo dishes. Here is just a smidgen of my collection.
Finding the elusive red Primary Colours mixing bowl thus completing my set, has been the highlight of my collecting career so far….and for $8 CDN at the Mulvey Flee Market. The dish rack, a splurge and similar to one I had seen in the Conran Shop, comes from India, ordered from this UK website. http://www.theplaterack.co.uk.
Pretty nice finds, eh? 🙂