Another Man’s Junk…….

I thought I’d clarify a bit more about my taste in design. It’s definitely ‘eclectic’ and moves from French to English to Vintage to Primitive/Country. I don’t have a problem with it but some folks really need to pigeonhole you in order to understand and I refuse to be so contained. 

We’ll start with the French part. I love anything with French writing on it…..books, journals, labels, tags, fabric, walls… name it. I took four years of French in high school and one year in college. My dream (as a girl) was to become a flight attendant and fly to Europe. I had researched Continental Airlines and decided that was for me…..hence the French. Unfortunately (or fortunately maybe) it didn’t happen and I married, had children and stayed in the good old USA. But the love of French things never died…..someday I will go…..

So, I love an earthenware pot with lavender right on top of the white linen tablecloth. A stone floor with an Aubusson rug. That is the part of French I love, the juxtaposition of the casual and the fine. The easy mixing of things and the tendency to keep old things because they are still useful and serviceable. So my love of French leans toward the ‘country’ side. If you haven’t read “A Year in Provence”, you must.

Next, English style. I love cabbage rose prints and faded fabrics in general. I love mixing florals and using color on my walls. I love old silver, landscape paintings, cottage gardens and tea. I love a bicycle with a wicker basket, clumping around the garden in my pink flowered wellies and relaxing with a nice cup of tea and Sense and Sensibility or Emma or Pride and Predjudice or any other great British movie on the ‘telly’. I am Scottish or Welsh in background (we’re not really sure) so it’s in my blood I guess. I drank endless cups of tea with my Granny from the time I was young and I hope to go to the UK someday…..sigh. Meantime, I lean toward anything English country and happily try and mix it with my style whenever possible. I recommend English Home magazine for inspiration.

Next is Primitive. This is probably my most minimal inclusion on a daily basis but I love it in the Fall and during Halloween especially. Primitive and Country and Vintage can really mix it up a bit so I guess they all deserve the same space here. Worn out benches, chipped pots, old garden tools for decoration, baskets, grapevine garlands and re-purposed furniture all fit here. I love vintage especially for the simple fact that I know someone else used that item before me and that it was important to them. I love the soft turquoise, yellow and pinks found so often in vintage items. I have fond memories of my Granny always wearing an apron when she worked. I wish I had some of them now. I still use some of the Blue Willow china that I inherited from her as our everyday dishes. I added more of course (she never fed 17 at one time 🙂 but love it to this day. She never had many new things so the vintage items I love now were seen often in her house all those years ago. She taught me to knit and crochet and sew….vintage crafts! I also love bent willow furniture, using found items in my garden, chippy old furniture and using a Mason jar for flowers. I have a big wraparound porch on my house and a screened one on the back….definitely more American than European.

Does this all fit together? YES, of course! I have decorated for many people and have told them the same thing. Find the colors that make you happy and find things that make you happy or mean something to you. They WILL work together. Maybe not all in the same room or all displayed at the same time but you CAN be surrounded by the things you love and mix these styles together.

I find great joy in helping others have beautiful homes. You don’t have to be rich or have a large house to have beautiful surroundings. We started out in a 50 x 10 foot mobile home with two kids and my husband and I. We painted the paneling, I made drapes and slipcovered our old couch. I painted all the kitchen cabinets (bright yellow…eeek) and wallpapered the kitchen with blue gingham paper. We made flower borders, put in a brick walk and made a play area for our daughters. We were only in our early 20’s and were there only five years. Most of it was good old fashioned hard work….not a lot of money. We never stopped and went on to build our first house, remodel two more houses and build our second house, where we live today. We have always kept that hard work ethic and I believe more people would be happier if they knew how to put in a good days work for something they want to have. If you don’t have the money….make it yourself if possible! Learn, learn , learn….you’re never too old. 

Don’t let lack of money stop you. Don’t be too proud to pick up perfectly good items from the side of the road if they can be re-purposed. Don’t be too proud to shop thrift stores or go to yard sales. Teach your children to not just throw away everything and get new….the world needs more people like that……

(she steps off her soapbox……gracefully, of course)

Here are a few items I just found. Getting ready for the next sale in October!

Butcher block kitchen island…already distressed black

hanging corner cabinet

large corner cabinet

soon to be French chair….for me!

small cabinet


  1. Love love love the white buffet table. I have the same exact table and it belonged to my husbands great grandmother. My father in law paid a great deal of money to have it revarnished. He has passed now and I would love to paint it. My mother in law would be crushed. I will not do that until she is gone. What is the brand and color you put on yours? I so love it ! Thank you!

  2. Hi there Lorraine

    I just found your blog, and LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your style! I totally ‘get’ what you said above about mixing lots of different styles, and having lived with the same old stuff day in, day out for years I recently decided to spice things up a bit and have been searching out blogs like yours eversince. I note that you said that you would love to visit England, and so I just wanted to say that if you ever do I would LOVE it if you would come visit me.

    I’ve already signed up to get all of your updates via email, and can’t wait to explore more of your blog and see your other projects.


    Judi in the UK

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