Sunday, November 6, 2011


The question I get asked most often, is 'where do you keep all your stuff?' I think this a very good and thoughtful question, which needs to be answered. Therefore, I am hijacking my usual weekend feature, and giving you a tour of my home, part 1. (The second part will be at a later date and will include my 'upstairs' collections. This is the 'downstairs' stuff). Most of these photos don't really give you a wide angle view of each room, so you'll just have to imagine what the bigger picture might look like.  Keep in mind also, that this isn't everything, but it does include the vast majority of my collections. (Click on any of the photos for a closer view)

So, after opening my front door to you, dear reader, the first thing you are likely to see is a tall, glassed in display cabinet (Ikea, 1995) full of old toys, books, records and miscellaneous treasures that are important to me.
Ikea cabinet is one of my favorite pieces of furniture, because I can get so much inside!

Chatty Cathy, Raggedy Andy, Leering Monkey, and my fun toy kitchen stuff sit on top.

You will learn more about my beloved Shirley Temple doll on a later post.
 As you walk into the entryway, you will go down two steps into our livingroom, which is a comfy, mostly craftsman-style room. It also doubles as a music room, and I keep my various instruments here, and use it as a practice area. On the mantel, I keep many of my Arts & Crafts-style green pottery.

Lots of green pots and Craftsman accessories

My favorite piece of furniture- an authentic Arts & Crafts sideboard, housing more green pots & Craftsman accessories... plus a few instruments. Some of our Roycroft books also reside there.

I love the old photos- these are from my Mom's Mom... photos from turn-of-the-century Minnesota. I also have a framed Valentine my Grandpa gave my Grandma in 1907.
 Through a double glass door, and into our dining room, in addition to a pretty Windsor-style oval dining table and 6 chairs, is a china cabinet full of my mostly blue and white china collection.

 Across from that is our recent acquisition- a beautiful curved-glass display cabinet we inherited from Bruce's Mom. It's probably from the 1920s.  That's where I keep everything else: Depression Glass, Franciscan Ware, more blue and white pottery, just a mishmash of pretty things.

Into the kitchen, where I keep my vintage kitchen treasures: an inexpensive folding book rack holds my cookbooks, and some fun kitchen stuff:

I love this old tomato basket- it's cardboard with a wooden handle, which houses my kitchen ephemera and accessories.

A little corner on the counter to hold more kitchen treasures.
Next, is the family room, where I keep the biggest portion of my collections. When we moved into our house in 1995, we had a shelf built above the windows, along 2 walls. For years in the '80s and '90s it had been the fashion to have these types of shelves in my favorite restaurants, Chili's, for example, where they piled vintage treasures as decorations and to lend atmosphere. I really liked this, and wanted it in our home. So, there's lots of stuff up there, that doesn't get dusted nearly enough. (Actually, taking things down to photograph them has been a good way to get at least some of that done!)

I have lots of games, pull-toys, and musical instruments up there.

If you look closely, you can see my toy clowns, kaleidoscopes, and building toys from previously featured collections.

 I do try to keep most of the 'normal' surfaces of our rooms clutter-free- I don't have collections on every available surface, in other words!  If any of you used to read the marvelous Mary Englebreit's Home Companion Magazine, she used to feature different artists and collector's homes and treasures. I think my stuff is mild compared to some of those! Bruce isn't really crazy about having things everywhere, so we like some 'quiet' spots where there is no clutter. I obviously didn't photograph those!

We have a large entertainment center (circa 1990) that houses my toy typewriter collection, and some other miscellaneous stuff:

I'm still a hippie at heart... you can still see some of my old crates collected in the early '70s, used in my displays.

Well, that's it for today! I hope you enjoyed the tour. I'll probably follow up with the second portion of my house in a few weeks. Please stop by often!


esther_a said...

I enjoyed this post! I have often wondered where you kept it all! The thing that struck me was that arts and crafts cupboard. I have a sideboard with the same timber, handles and curved arch on the sides. I new it was purchased by my great grandfather in the early 1900s (maybe about 1915-1920) but I had no idea of its "style"! There is also a table and chairs and a display cabinet in the set. I shall have to research that style a bit more!

Barbara Sindlinger said...

You have it displayed so it doesn't look junky or cluttery. thanks for sharing this.

Chris said...

I agree with Barbara, about your wonderful home looking clutter-free. Your collections make it warm and welcoming.