Finding things, Our recycled home, Thrifty

Recycled home – happy imperfection

8 February, 2013

We shift things around a fair bit in our house. We are so often picking up new bits of furniture from street corners (poor, neglected things) and little trinkets from charity shops that we kind of have to wriggle the whole lot about every now and then. We just recently overhauled part of our lounge in a bid to rehome a 1950’s cabinet that was covered in cat wee, which meant getting rid of a 1930’s beasty bureau that was taking up 50% of the room… This is the new craft station that took a while to get up to scratch:vintage cabinet

These rearranging sprees have turned kind of extreme at the moment, almost, almost, venturing in to “tidying” territory. I have, in the past, been entirely capable of spending twenty minutes creating a tableau- moving ornaments on a shelf by millimetres, reframing bits of fabric to place there, filling a vintage vase with roses to sit just next to that frame, all the while stepping on raisins, over mountains of Ramona’s toys, moving half-drunken mugs of tea out of the scene. I understand this complete obsession with beautiful things and utter apathy towards mess makes me a bit cuckoo.

However, pregnancy hormones must be kicking in, playing with this inconsistency of mine-  I am 30 weeks now, and with each day that passes I find myself, like, doing dishes! And picking the raisins up! Not only shifting around the beauty but dealing with the disarray. Talk about total discombobulation. Blimey, I’ll have a crush on Dave Cameron next.

Our latest big change in the lounge has opened up the room massively, and given us space to upcycle this old shadelesss lamp we found with a map of London.It looks wicked turned on, highlighting the twisting and turning bends of the Old Father Thames.recycled living space

We honestly found this bench in a skip. Who would chuck this away, eh?

Our house would be even more of a shambles if we didn’t have stacks of vintage suitcases lying around. The ones tucked under the bench were found in Oxfam for a few pounds, the black cornet case in a derelict space, and the glam white one was given to me for my birthday (filled with the pair of vintage curtains hanging by the cabinet – best pressie ever, or what?!) These suitcases are the outer hebridies of my craft station- they hold extra paper and paints that I can’t squeeze in the cabinet (c’mon, have you seen the size of that cabinet? It is teeny, weeny, really…)

vintage cases

With the prospect of selling this little bubble of Camberwell we live in looming, we are going to have to get some paint on these walls to make it all a bit more appealing. We have had the bare concrete exposed for the whole three years here- I love the raw feeling of it, especially with the juxtaposition of all our homey jumble-sale trinkets. In fact, a visitor last week asked us how we did it. Like “How did you get this awesome kind of gritty concrete effect?” Hehe. Hoho. “Pure laziness my friend, pure laziness.”

recycled shelves

There is nothing perfect in this house… nearly everything has a bit missing, a chip off the rim or a bit of rust, that is the way of making do, and then falling in love, with a completely recycled home. “Imperfection” for us not only means “bad ass thrifty” but it has come to mean “loved” and “enjoyed” and it is nice having a home filled with stuff that has bought happiness to loads of others in the past too. Even if it does make our house smell of cat wee. (Jokes.)

I have to admit, a bit reluctantly, these tidying up capers make it all even more delicious. I could almost get used to it…. *picks up a raisin purposefully*

lucy and ramona

These snaps were taken by the one and only Tom Hartford – thanks Tom, he was over here taking pictures of some exciting doilly crafts for an upcoming issue of Pretty Nostalgic mag… EXCITING!


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  • Molly - Mother's Always Right 8 February, 2013 at 9:48 am

    GORGEOUS pics of you both at the end – PERFECT! x

    • Lucy 8 February, 2013 at 12:59 pm

      You are a nice one 🙂 I had to retro-ise it even more with the help of Pixlar-omatic – the colours just begged for it!

  • nyssapod 8 February, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    What fabulous photos of you two – such beautiful twinkly eyes 🙂

    Also I’m coveting your 1950s cabinet – my husband’s 99 year old uncle has a similar one (but with no cat wee to wash off!)

    Good luck with selling your house! We’ve got our place on the market at the moment and my husband has boxed up most of my pre-loved treasures as part of the ‘house doctoring’ so I’m looking forward to un-boxing and rediscovering things again after we move.

    • Lucy 8 February, 2013 at 1:55 pm

      Ah yeah, that is the bit I hate, doing without my little bits and bobs. Hope it goes well! x

  • Snozcumber 8 February, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    Great space. Always nice to see fellow collectors’ collections of thrifted ‘stuff’. A real visual treat! Don’t tell me where you live, I may come and rob you.
    I too spend far too long time edgeing things back and forth by a few millimetres and just standing back and staring at my arragements. I have an amazing ability to not see mess strewn about the house. You could call it a superpower really.

    • Snozcumber 8 February, 2013 at 1:47 pm

      I want those rackets.

    • Lucy 8 February, 2013 at 1:56 pm

      Ah so good to hear it isn’t just me! My husband thinks I’m a loon.

  • Fiona 8 February, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    That craft station is fab. Ditto the bench and that little wheelie chair thing. It must be tough thinking about selling when your home is clearly so ‘you’. Beautiful pics too by the way 🙂

    • Lucy 8 February, 2013 at 9:51 pm

      Thank you! I do feel a bit sad about leaving it 🙁
      We found the little pram by a bin round the corner, it just needed a bit of TLC (like most things!)

  • lally young 8 February, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    OMG room envy!!!!! I would love my room like this. But I have an OCD with stuff infact I have far 2 much of everything.
    U2 look so happy!!!! I love that photo, I cant to see you in pretty nostalgic! love that mag!

    • Lucy 8 February, 2013 at 9:52 pm

      Hehe, you would HATE this house! It is an OCD hell! hahaha x

  • Damson Lane 8 February, 2013 at 9:31 pm

    Utterly gorgeous! How could you not want to sit at that craft station all day and then have a play on the abacus! I really need to do this and just concentrate on a little area a week or something as I am just creating piles on chaos rather than havens of peace. You have got ‘nesting’ down to an art.

    • Lucy 8 February, 2013 at 9:54 pm

      🙂 I understand where you are at though- I feel like that most of the time. It is like you sort one corner out and then just when you turn your back, that explodes, and then you deal with another bit, and meanwhile another area of chaos bubbles up… EEP!

  • Jayne 8 February, 2013 at 9:46 pm

    What a lovely blog post Lucy! I’m so jealous of all of the lovely things that you own! I have been ‘collecting’ since being a teenager and have so many ‘dust collectors’ it’s unbelievable, my favourite is Scary Mary, an old tin dolls head from Germany. I also have a fair few suitcases full of things that I might just use someday! Keep sharing your beautiful collections!
    Jayne x

    • Lucy 8 February, 2013 at 9:58 pm

      SCARY MARY! Hehe, oof I’d LOVE to see her!!
      The thought of downsizing and packing up is a bit frightening, how will I chose what to keep and what to shed? *weeps*

      • Jayne 8 February, 2013 at 11:40 pm

        Just keep everything! I made the mistake of getting rid of a lot of things when I moved house, I’ve regretted it ever since. A pic of Scary Mary is on it’s way to you via Twitter! J x

        • Lucy 9 February, 2013 at 11:15 am

          EEEEE! She is IMMENSE!

  • chrissy 9 February, 2013 at 2:55 am

    i thought i had stalked, er, loved every corner you’ve posted of your home. how is it i’ve missed that fantastic skip bench?!?! it’s both gorgeous and practical. the kind of piece i would call my mum to help me load into her vehicle to sneak into the house. <3

    • Lucy 9 February, 2013 at 11:16 am

      Hehe, we had to ask a passerby to bring it down to our place for a nifty £10 in the hand, husband couldn’t manage it on his bike tee hee!

  • Amy 14 February, 2013 at 9:35 am

    They sell recycled paint now, would go nicely in a recycled home

    • Lucy 14 February, 2013 at 8:47 pm

      Ohhh will totally keep eyes peeled, sounds FAB!