Catching the latest trends for your home can be a bit like running through a maze looking for a piece of cheese.
You see the looks, you pin the pictures and then you must go and try to find these items in a retail store. Sometimes you get lucky and find just what you are looking for but other times you find yourself wandering up and down aisles looking at the same tired, repetitious stuff.
Where do these people find all those interesting items that you see on the Internet or on home improvement shows? Sourcing can often be the most frustrating part of a design project, unless you know where to look.
A colleague of mine and I had lunch today and we (of course) ended up in a funky little design shop in Sylvan Lake.
My colleague is working on a mega show home right now and is looking to fulfill her theme of Farmhouse Chic to decorate this project.
As we got looking around, my mind kept running back to old items I had seen and sourced around local farms, auctions and garage sales and I told her that if she wanted some authentic pieces that I could take her on a tour to show her what was available.
I have used old cream separators, parts from heating units, wagon wheels and other finds that need a clean and sometimes a new finish to decorate and I’m finding that these items have genuine history and beauty that you can’t find in a store.
We have a rich and extensive heritage right here in Alberta and many rural people have held on to these items from the past because they have room to store it and it isn’t in the way.
The shows where the two guys go and pick through people’s sheds is a very accurate and exciting thing to watch because some of the items I have seen in my own back yard!
My fiancée dragged an old water pump home from his mom’s and its waiting for a handle, then it will become a decoration beside my barrels full of flowers.
Did I see this online? You betcha.
Did I find what I was looking for while shopping? No, it was buried behind a shed long forgotten but still holding enough value not to get rid of.
These are the things that can be discovered and uncovered right in our own back yard.
You have probably been to a garage sale, but have you ever ventured to an estate sale or an estate auction? These can be bottomless sources for unique decorative items if you are looking for vintage items.
They might be a little dusty and rusty but beneath the cranky exterior lies a piece of history and a beautiful new addition to your home.
My next project is an old bike I found in the trees that I am going to paint red and use to hold wooden crates of flowers at the end of our driveway. It is a happy project that I can’t wait to get to and decorate our front walk with.
It will be a wave hello to anyone driving by and it is a great way to use an otherwise useless item. Get out into our province and find those treasures. Happy hunting!
Kim Wyse is a Central Alberta freelance designer. Find her on facebook at ‘Kim Wyse Associate Royal Lepage Tamarack Trail Realty’.