Old is the new New

IMG_2192I grew up in a classic PreWar apartment on Washington Square Park. Its black and white tile bathrooms with massive tubs still looked Pottery Barn cool when my Father died this past August. Chris grew up in a Turn-of-the-Century Colonial in Scarsdale, NY, which his parents meticulously restored over the many years they lived there. So while sometimes a “Gut Reno” is called for, preservation has its place too.

Our mountain log cabin was no exception. A kit house from Maine, it was built in the early 70s. Once we stopped gaping at its spectacular view, we explored inside. Not so pretty. Corners had been cut, bad design decisions abounded. BUT…the potential! Buying it would mean selling our (lovingly restored) suburban NJ home, paring down, keeping what we could for the cabin while moving to a modern apartment in Jersey City.

One of the best things that came out of this seismic change was what family heirlooms and well-loved antique/vintage finds we could repurpose in their new mountain abode. And how they made this new place feel like home. Of course we needed those rustic touches that would make it Adirondack-perfect, not “Adiron-dorky.” And I don’t mean taxidermy. That sent us on the hunt. The hunt for unique, well-loved, purposeful pieces that would enrich our new space and our new lives. With their age-old patina, their mysterious stories, their timeless beauty.

So…”treasure hunting” in the vintage and consignment shops of Northern NY has become a favorite time-together thing to do. And last weekend was no exception. Here’s what we found and why we just had to have them.

How handsome is this binocular and leather case set! We had been wanting binoculars to scan the mountains when we’re out on our porch. Chris spied these. Made in Germany in the 1930s, they were in perfect working order. The case has some worn leather, but that only adds to its charm. Asking price? $95. Chris offered $75 and was accepted. Way to go!

More from the 30s. This railroad lantern is just the perfect combination of color, form and finish. Originally kerosene was used to light it. We’ll be using faux votives inside. I can just see it out on our porch in the summer evenings ahead. Oh…and there was a cool yellow one we might just have to snag too. Priced at $44, we got a 10% discount because it was the same vender as the binoculars. Score!

IMG_2189This vintage Rudyard Kipling storybook was published in 1947. Since our son Pierre and his girlfriend April recently adopted a rescue cat they are training to walk on a leash, I couldn’t resist it. I’m encouraging them to frame the book jacket and keep the actual book around as a conversation piece. Happy to report they thought it was pretty cool.

As much as I love my fashion finds, this trove of untold stories and new stories to come somehow felt more satisfying. And meaningful.

If you’re (way) up North, here are our favorite places to peruse:

Plattsburgh NY

https://www.facebook.com/RedRoosterMrkt/ (source for everything from this post)




Keene NY


All Photos by MP Allegaert



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