And so it begins…
I adore Gustavian style–the French lines and the Swedish reserve; the light, cloud-colored palette; the subtle sheen; the simple elegance.
I also love “thrifting”–something I did years ago and have recently gotten back into. It’s a past time that’s somewhere between a scavenger hunt and Aladdin’s Cave…always surprising and full of neglected treasures. It never breaks the bank, and it makes you feel great to recycle used items.
About six months ago, these two threads of my life intertwined and I became a Gustavian thrifter. I’m sure Gustav and all those Swedish purists would shudder to hear that, but for me–it’s very exciting. I started doing this to collect things for a new home (we’re in the process of selling). For decades I’ve been a collector of exotic, dark, ornate objects from all over the world. I have haunted foreign flea markets for years and years. But now, in middle age, my Scandinavian roots are showing and I’m longing for light and a more minimal approach to decor.
So, I’m starting anew. I’ve accrued tons of inspiration on my Gustavian Style and Interior Decor Pinterest boards. And from the many, many other women online who are doing similar things–rescuing items or refinishing items with an old world look. I gasp at what they can accomplish, but I’m starting out small and slow–since this is by no means my “job.” That’s the beauty of it.
I’m betting this won’t be a very linear blog because I tend to go off on tangents. Most projects will be my own, but some posts may feature others’ work. I may post about specific DIY projects, but also just about trends, techniques, and interesting things I run into along the way. Also, I may stray into the French side of things fairly often. Strict Gustavians–please forgive me!
My first post is about vintage picnic baskets. We would all love those antique, weathered, grey wicker baskets in French flea markets, but these wicker baskets are much easier and cheaper to find. They come in all kinds of sizes and colors and do double duty. They’re useful for picnics, but they’re even more valuable as storage containers (more attractive than those expensive wicker lidless boxes people buy.) I have 10 of these from quite large to purse size, and keep my craft supplies in them. You could also use them to store photos, files, linens, party supplies, dishes, etc.
They look great stacked like suitcases, or tucked under tables. Most of them come with lovely fabric linings and leather or wicker handles…and they rarely cost more than $7-10. (Recently I saw one on Macy’s site nearly identical to one I bought for $5 and it was marked $135!)
Get thee to a thrift store and start collecting these! They’re wonderfully rustic looking, good organizers, and so easy to transport from one place to another. (Make sure you buy sturdy ones with functioning straps, fasteners, and handles.) Use them in your kitchen, craft room, living room, kids’ room, etc.