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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Junk Decorating


Junk Decorating

Thompson is a ”junker”. She has decorated her house with the elegant and the bizarre, the valuable and the worthless. She finds it all by junking - buying secondhand items - at garage sales, thrift stores and swap meets. She's scouted treasures as far away as Asia, but she bought most of her belongings for a few dollars each in Orange County, Calif.
''I don't like department stores. I like the old look,'' said Thompson, of Laguna Beach, in profound understatement. Even her toaster - the shiny, streamlined variety popular 40 years ago - came from a garage sale. She keeps a cache of four or five similar toasters in the basement as replacements for when one wears out.

For years,  ”junkers” such as Thompson kept their guilty obsession a secret. One didn't boast that the family couch once belonged to strangers or that the mantel painting cost a dollar at a garage sale.
But now the secret's out and so is the guilt, as secondhand treasures take a proud place in home decor. Junking has inspired an eclectic furnishing style. Even design publications such as House Beautiful and Metropolitan Home have been touting the idea of mixing odd collectibles and flea-market finds.
''I don't have any rules. I go by instinct,'' said Mary Randolph Carter, a Ralph Lauren executive and “junker” extraordinaire. Carter's recently published American Junk (Viking Studio Books) glamorizes everything from chipped vases to $3 oil paintings by amateur artists.

When bought in the right spirit and displayed in the proper household spot, junk can add personality and interest to a home, Carter said.

Carter, who was raised in a Colonial-era house with fine English antiques, considers junking a form of maturity - daring to choose what touches or amuses the buyer rather than what's automatically considered ''good taste.''

Cheapness is incidental but imperative to “junkers”. When fashion catches up to junking, and a collectible becomes trendy and expensive, Carter moves on.
''Things get hot, like Fiesta ware, which was considered junk. It was a quarter a few years ago, and all of a sudden, it's $5 (and up). I just leave it and go to a velvet painting or something."
~ Debra Warner (1904)



 Once again, such is LIFE! EVERYTHING “Brand New” & store bought is NOT always BEST…. Using “Junkers” & “thrifting” as a metaphor for life as we get older; sometimes, real treasures are found while scavaging around, in the alley behind the house, or you may happen upon it at a thrift store, a yard sale, anywhere is fair game. But it’s THE find,  that makes it special, especially when it holds VALUE to YOU!! Finding an unexpected “treasure” That which “touches or amuses the buyer”or finder.

To some it may just be junk, old, refuse, not really worth anything…..But look again, look closer, ahh yes.  It’s not at all what it appeared to be now is it? In fact some items BETTER with age, just like we do. They become “FINE antiques” Vintage or collectibles. The older they are the more valuable they become.  Ahh but isn’t that the way it is? It’s not the numbers, but the mileage.  It’s not about getting to the destination, but more about enjoying the journey. AND, if you have reached this wonderful milestone in life, called “a certain age” then you can appreciate, the journey so far. As the old song goes “wouldn’t take nothin for my journey.” By now I’m sure you are realizing "yeah, I've come a loooong way, but you know what?  I've still got a loooong way to go too". It’s not over yet. Just like that discarded relic, to someone, that was junk, but to the finder, it’s a treasure. Though it may be rusty, dented, ripped or chipped, old and out-dated by today’s youth-oriented standards, but as a treasure hunter, a “junker” with a keen eye, YOU can see value, worth and a thing of beauty…”awwww with a couple coats of paint here and there, a little sprucing up, yeah, it’ll be just fine and I have JUST the place for It”…..That’s how you should look at your life. Still got some mileage, some USE!! And there is a still a place for your gifts and talents. Take care of YOU. See beyond what others may see. Look deeper and see past the flaws, see things as they CAN be and not so much what they used to be. See things with a new perspective. Begin to take responsibility for yourself by yourself. Design the life you want to live as best as you can.

“When bought in the right spirit and displayed in the proper household spot, junk can add personality and interest to a home.”

Living Arrangements’ philosophy is like a “junker” or a “thrifter”  we’re not hiding or ashamed of the second-hand furnishings we've come to admire or the garage sale or  thrift store price tag or the "free.99" “still-some-good” alley find. We have thrown out the rules and the guilt trip of what “should be.” We are rethinking age, beauty & many other myths that we as women have believed for far too long about ourselves.  As women-of-a-certain-age, we’re coming into our own it’s our season. We are owning our realities and creating our
free, liberated, empowered lives.  We ARE our own beautiful, abundant, authentic selves. We’re not the old stereotypical image of what it is to be a mature, "older" woman. We’re taking our rightful places, and that happens to be where ever the hell we want them to be. And the world is taking notice.  We have decorated our houses (lives) with whatever suits us, from the elegant, the whimsical and bizarre to the valuable and the worthless, we've done it all by “junking””thrifting” &  “treasure hunting”.  We’ll Keep what is worth keeping and cast out that which doesn't serve us any longer.

“But now the secret's out and so is the guilt, as secondhand treasures take a proud place in home decor. Junking has inspired an eclectic furnishing style. Even design publications such as House Beautiful and Metropolitan Home have been touting the idea of mixing odd collectibles and flea-market finds.”


 Hedy Lamar
"Old Hollywood Glam"
"Vintage Beauty"

“She, the woman-of-a-certain-age” the mature "older" woman with “Advanced Style”  has decorated her house with the elegant and the bizarre, the valuable and the worthless. She finds it all by” junking” i.e. making your way like a “thrifter” or treasure hunter. Can’t you just see the analogy here? Decorating with second-hand thrift store “junk” as a metaphor for our time honored lives and bodies that are no longer as youthful and svelte as they once were. Some of us may be struggling with getting older, The “skin we’re in” just ain’t holding it together like it used to.  But yet just like that second hand piece of “junk” that appeared worthless, a second look told us, “ there is still  VALUE in it” and the term “Old” is relative. Think about it, when you were 30, you suddenly understand 25 is young. When you’re 50 you realize you’ll never feel “your age” because you spent your life with misconceptions about what 50, or any age older than you are feels like. Aging really is a gift. There is wisdom in those years.  I realize it more and more. We've spent years refining and perfecting ourselves. We are a rare find, a valued treasure, and like a vintage wine we mellow with age and our worth just keeps getting richer as time goes by.

“But now the days grow short
I’m in the autumn of the year
And now I think of my life as vintage wine
from fine old kegs
from the brim to the dregs
And it poured sweet and clear
It was a very good year”
~Frank Sinatra




Embrace your “Living Arrangements”

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