Something Old Is New Again



After the excitement of Christmas and the clean-up aftermath, I set a new goal for myself:  to rid the living room of boxes of books that thus far have had nowhere to go. I had wanted to get a bookcase for the area the boxes occupied, but it would have to be low enough to allow in the lovely light from the window above.  A low bookcase would not be sufficient for the many boxes of books.  

The space where the boxes were stacked for the past six months is right beside the fireplace—a pretty prominent feature in the room— and the boxes were not at all attractive.  I have selected a place for tall bookcases— which will solve the book problem—but that is another story.

For more than four decades, I have had a cabinet always used just to fill space in our home.  It is an old Magnavox Hi-Fi cabinet that I gutted years ago to make it easier for me to move around.  It is a very traditional mahogany piece and has seen better days since it first came to us.  After our move, I decided it might be more appealing if it were painted.  It certainly was not valuable as an original cabinet with its insides removed.  It had some battle scars from early use as a stand for a small portable TV. Paint seemed to be in order.

I had considered a black and gray combination, or a turquoise; turquoise won.  At first, it seemed too bright and lacking in depth, so I added some antique glazing; that was better.  Still not sure before Christmas what to do with it, I first put it in the spare room and let the holidays occupy me.

Come the new year, my daughter suggested I try using the old, painted the cabinet in the space beside the fireplace until I found something better; it certainly would fit.   I decided that the cabinetwould allow “Sophie” the cat, a more stable place in the sun to view the dogs next door; the boxes of books were sinking under her weight!  It also would add a bit of color in a room that already has a lot of wood furnishings.

I was not thrilled with the cabinet even after the paint; it just was not something I thought I would use again, but using it under the window was a good idea, so why not give it a chance.  Just when I thought I would kick it to the curb and see who might pick it up, it was spared that humiliation and has a place in our home once again.

The moral of this story is not to give up on a piece just because it is old and worn.  Paint can revive just about anything and bring new life to an old piece.  Who knows? It looks good enough to stand the test of time for another few decades.

Mail Delivery

I remember mail slots in the wall from my earliest years.  Oh how I longed for a modern mail box.  Now, I find the nostalgia comforting and quaint.  This little mail slot in our wall is one of the reasons I fell in love with this house— several years ago.  As I waited for the chance to move into the little house on the other side of the mountain, I envisioned different pieces of furniture I had to catch the mail, but after I moved in, I realized that most were not right for the space; I have had to make many similar adjustments.  

Not to be deterred, my first solution was simply an unpacked box sitting under the mail slot, with a basket to catch the mail.  Soon after the boxes were unpacked and out of the house, I moved a small, square table I had into position and replaced the box.  However, it was a bit bulky and interfered with one of the chairs at the table.  

With a bit more time on my hands now, I decided a small stool or short bench would probably suffice.  My daughter and I took off exploring shops around town.  I was in no hurry, so I could be choosy.  I knew I did not want anything fancy, and something more in keeping with the period was what I had in mind.  With a lot of wood used in this room— with the hardwood floors, round oak table and chairs and the hoosier cabinet— I was feeling like something painted would be my best option.

I found a small white stool with turned legs. The stool is not too fussy, and it is the perfect size.  The price was right, too, less than twenty bucks; now that was a bargain.  I liked it right away, and the size suited the space, as I predicted; but the white color was a bit too sweet for my taste.  I painted it a bright apple green; and for now, it is just right.  However, I have a feeling that very soon, it will be painted black and be more in keeping with a long bench I have in the room, and the black china cabinet. 

The black keeps the soft blue-green walls with white trim from being too cottage like. While I like the cottage look, I need a little black to keep it more grounded.

We enjoy having this little bit of nostalgia as a reminder of times gone by.  Another discovery, is a little post office inside a local pharmacy; it will never take the place of our beloved Acton Post Office and all the wonderful people that we got to know over the years, but it is as close to a community post office as we will see again, I think.