Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Livin' in the Projects
Drowning. Overwhelmed. In over my head. That pretty much describes how I’m feeling this week about the state of my furniture addiction. Devotees of this blog have an idea of how frantic my quests for the Next Great Vintage Find have been lately. You’ve traveled with me as I’ve scoured antique/thrift/junk shops and flea markets, joined me in haunting the streets of my Arlington neighborhood, and read of my endless Craigslist cruisings (of the Free/Furniture/Antiques kind, that is). Hopefully you’ve enjoyed the lovingly-snapped pictures of the fruits of my labor. Other times, you may have shed tears of empathy for my missed opportunities (remember the French settee ?
But now, as I struggle to maneuver around my tiny home in Arlington, the sheer weight of the work that lies before me threatens to send me into the antithesis of Vintage Vertigo: Fix-it Phobia. Those of you who can relate to the thrill of finding a discarded or neglected piece of vintage décor treasure can most certainly understand the approach/avoidance phenomenon of such pursuits. Like the woman who is convinced she can change the shortcomings of her boyfriend, we vintage junkies are sure there is silk to be made from the sow’s ear. Such confidence (delusion?) often results in an endless list of To Do’s: scraping, sanding, gluing, painting, staining, caning, stapling, upholstering….The great number of tasks required to elevate the trash to treasure eventually seems insurmountable.
And that’s where I am at this point in our journey. Even before this most recent period of manic acquisition, my List runneth over: the ripped cane back of Windsor chair purchased years ago at an estate sale; the rusted Homecraft glider sans cushion; the distressed teardrop-backed iron ‘50s-vintage garden chairs; the ragged channel-back upholstered chair with the marred ball-and-claw feet; and on and on and on…. On the bright side, I am making some inroads. Two chairs are in the hands of an upholsterer (and if I must say so myself, my design incorporating a cacophony of fabrics and trims will positively wreak of Fabulocity!). And two other pieces are, well, in some state of refurbishing (thanks to the “Furniture Repair and Refinishing” class , which will resume in January).
Nonetheless, the attic is collapsing under the weight of my passion. The small bedroom in the basement has been dubbed “The Chair Room”, in honor of the seven pieces that fill the Tom Thumb-sized space. And, thanks to three newly acquired tables, reaching my kitchen once I wearily crawl downstairs each morning has become an exercise not unlike an obstacle course better suited for a Marine recruit.
So, dear readers, I’ve finally been forced to face this detrimental aspect of my otherwise exceedingly satisfying addiction. Yes, I must now answer The Question That Should Never Be Asked: “But where will I put it?”.
I’ve been avoiding this for years. The solution has been tickling the deepest recesses of my mind, always present but repressed – til now. But alas, Dear Readers, I must ask you to wait for our next episode, “Foraging for Storage”. Be forewarned: it ain’t a pretty journey.