My what big beams you have

These days I’m apparently scoring quite low on the thoughtfulness spectrum and can’t seem to scrounge up a fun suggestion for the life of me. Mr Vix, however, is generally knocking it out of the park in terms of small gestures and interesting ideas.

Truthfully I’m not sure which is worse: having TWO idea-free, preoccupied people banging along together or looking so terribly lazy in comparison to the do-gooder.

So while I’d like to say that I recently invited him to a vaguely cultural consumerist happening in a beautiful former industrial space, he gets full credit for investigative initiative.

I was willing to give him extra points for helping me get through the brawny, off-limits steel doors we saw peppered amongst the gargantuan wood beams—but sadly my Bluebeard’s wife tendencies went unsatiated.

Doors and beams speak to a building's industrial past, while vendors' products blend old and new

Despite being confined with the masses, however, there was certainly plenty to see.

Like the coffee table that reminded me how lucky I was to spend many a roasting summer day in nothing more than a bathing suit and a metal-tagged bungee cord bracelet while my clothes languished in a basket:

Why do I need this coffee table? Because when I was a kid, swim clubs used these baskets to hold one's clothes!

Or the pairing of clean-limbed furniture and blowsy local flowers:

Handmade chairs and Oregon-grown flowers

As I’d started off the day in a semi-cultivated setting and barely boho splendor, I kept reminding myself to think “ascetic” not “aesthetic” every time I spotted the venue’s beautiful $25 arrangements. Because damn if the lupine and peonies wouldn’t have made a stunning accessory as I strolled around in my purple nightgown/maxidress.

With warm temps and no rain, this weekend called out for a maxidress

[My Persnickety Bohemian side runs around smug as smug can be when boho goes mainstream enough to tempt me away from my usual much-more-more staid looks.]

The more Mr Vix and I wandered and peered and chatted about wares, though, the more I started to fill something stirring. Something besides greed, I mean.

When we got to the slab and block tree tables I figured out what it was: fear.

Old wood meets spendy tree tables crafted in mid-century modern mode

Because we’ve fallen in love with spendy things before, then tried to get the proverbial “look for less” via DIY projects that end up being ever so much more complicated and/or time-consuming than one’s pre-project calculations.

Exhibit A: our $135 dining room table and buffet in their sad before state.

In the Vix household, we appreciate 50s-60s furniture with nice lines, but our price point means things come in a little more...rugged state

It didn’t seem as if it would take me forever to sand the poor old hard-loved things down and do layer after layer of dark Danish oil—the better to tie them into Mr Vix’s prized possession, a waaaaaaaay oversized tree/coffee table—but it actually kind of did.

So in 2005, I refinished a $135 table + buffet to better tie in with Mr Vix's massive tree/coffee table in the adjoining living room...

And once the dining room looked a little better, I decided I couldn’t take another minute of the living room door. Mr Vix took it off so I could sand and tung oil the dried-out wood before getting a couple of tiny panels of glass in the top.

So THAT inescapable project dragged on.

...which led to me lightening the door I hated (and having a bit of glass put in)...

Now I have no regrets about the time or mess from the other side of it, and enjoy my pauper’s version of the beautiful furniture we see in showrooms and events:

...which led me to avoid refinishing projects for the last several years (but I love my final, imperfect results)

But our seemingly innocent weekend jaunt led to renewed talks about the settee currently sitting in a (scary) basement corner, piled high with camping gear. The one we’ve been planning to recover for 8 or so years, but haven’t QUITE gotten around to yet. The one that surely will require more work and/or money than estimated.

Hmmm: instead of re-igniting the planning stage, maybe I should just create a “DO NOT ENTER sign of my own….

4 Responses

  1. Projects are what give life meaning. The results so far have been great – can’t wait to see how the settee comes out.


  2. Thanks, Colleen! We’re willing to outsource the sewing part of the settee project but it’s still been years…here’s hoping we can get our act together this summer.

  3. Yes, your settee might be best if left in the basement – I have naively sent a couple of things to be re-covered and was absolutely shocked by the total cost. Recently, however, I did attack a small ottoman on my own with a staple gun and that came out beautifully. I guess the moral is “know your limits”.

  4. Ms EO —

    Yes, cost is definitely part of the reason the basement is (still) home for the settee! I need to see your ottoman, so I hope I just missed it on your blog….

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