Tuesday, August 11, 2009

where I am impulsive

We've all done it.
Made impulsive purchases of things not needed, but lusted after.
Some have worked out better than others.

We have our small, innocuous purchases, like these cute, tiny spoons, which make me smile when I use them to eat my yoghourt.

And there is this, bought at
Anthropologie, just because I travelled all the way to the only Canadian store in the new and improved Don Mills Plaza, and had to buy something. Then I find out when I get it home that it is not only a timer, but one with a handy magnet. How I missed that, I have no idea. It's not like I don't turn every item over immediately to see the price...

And this. My cast iron teapot bought at the market a couple months ago. I LOVE it!
I only wanted a photo for a challenge...

Then. there is this.
bought at a street sale, of all places!

I love these pieces. At least I do whenever I see one in an antique shop. In my living room, where I have been slowly moving towards a mid-century modern look mixed with Art Deco, I'm not so sure.

It was a great deal. It is in very good condition. It has never been painted or otherwise defaced. The guy delivered it for free.

A small part of me wants to paint it. horrors! Because, as much as I love it, I'm not that crazy about oak.

Could I be any more conflicted?
Has anyone else bought something they've long admired from afar, but not so much once getting it home and up close and personal?


  1. It's your whatever it is - go ahead and paint it if you feel like it. I think it's lovely as is though it doesn't seem to know wheater it's a curio cabinet or a secretary, but it's yours your impulse rules.

    As for impulse buys (in French coup de coeur - i.e. a heart hit, which I think fits), I make lots of those. Thankfully they're usually cheap ones. One of my favourite ever is my own cast iron teapot. Lord how I love that teapot!

  2. "coup de coeur" it sounds so much better in French. Jazz, it seems to be a combo curio secretary. And its value will be greatly reduced if painted - not that that is why I bought it, still...

    and aren't those teapots the best?

  3. I've never seen a cast iron teapot - is this a Canadian thing? Or a relic from the old backwoods days? (If that is the word I'm lookin for?)

    But oh yes, I have had several things that looked just right in the shop/market/carboot sale but when I get them home,......

    Usually they turn out too big! The scale of things in a shop or the open air is deceptive!

  4. I have long pastel plastic spoons I picked up in Ireland that I use to stir my coffee. They make my morning routine special.

    I say paint that cabinet!! Do you know about Design Sponge? They are so inspiring and have DIY projects all the time, and Before and Afters too. I mean, imagine that cabinet in black lacquer, or some other color that suits your room.

  5. The cast iron teapots have become quite popular lately, Gilly, though still also quite expensive (but you need no tea cosy with these!).

    Yeah, it doesn't show up in the photo, but the cabinet is about 3" too wide!! I thought it looked so compact in the open air...

  6. I think that is where I first learned of Athropologie, Ruth. I don't know if I can do it though - it has been in its natural state for over a hundred years...

  7. Well, I say if you plan to keep the cabinet indefinitely, then paint it a funky color. If you plan to resell, don't. There, decision made! LOL

    I love those spoons! Would definitely make eating any dairy product a worthwhile experience!

  8. Thanks, Susan. I'm bringing you with me next time I go antique shopping.

    Those spoons were true extravagance. I had to get one in each colour...

  9. All my impulse buy are clothes and I regret some I have bought, because I seldom wear them, but I buy cheaply, so it is no great pain. I would love to impulsively buy a cast iron tea kettle. I would not regret that. Don't paint the cabinet, it will lose it's value. Get something else instead.

  10. Another voice of reason. The value is important, even if I don't sell it. (whoever inherits it might?) Irene, my mother also splurged on clothes - much of which she never wore. She had three closets full that we had to sort out.

  11. Oh yes I have done that! I bought a small desk one day that I had been admiring in a vintage store, it didn't got with anything in my decor...I just liked it. I brought it home and spent hours finding just the right place. Now I look at it and ask myself, what was I thinking!
    Sunny :)

  12. Sunny, remember that Friends episode where Phoebe buys everything in the Pottery Barn display for her apartment? That's what I'd like to be able to do... everything would then look right when put together.

    Then again, it wouldn't be as much fun as buying something just because you love it. Maybe once I get rid of a few other things in my place, this piece will fit in?

  13. My house was built in 1940 and the very average woodwork has aged to a dark color much like your cabinet. The small rooms would appear bigger if the trim was white. Every time I mention it, someone screams, "You're going to paint the wood?!" If it wasn't for the sanding and scraping involved, I would have slapped white paint on all of long ago. Paint it. It's a beautiful piece and would look wonderful with paint.

    Umm, about buying stuff, yes. A handmade pine corner cabinet that is totally worthless. I need to paint it.

  14. miwise, I once watched one of those moving up decorating shows where a couple had painstakingly stripped all of their wood trim in their old house, and were so proud of their efforts, thinking they'd also made the house so much more valuable, only to have the new owners paint it all white again! They were in tears when they saw it. Unless you have LOTS of light, I'd go for the paint. But, oh god, the stripping and sanding...

    Pine, however, just cries to be painted.

  15. Of course you had to get each color. Any brilliant woman knows that!

  16. Yes. I have. My wedding ring! Had to replace everything that came with it!

    The cabinet has character, but I'd go for a repaint. There's so many effects and gadgets come along with paint these days you might end up with something VERY unique!

  17. I don't believe I'd paint something antique that's still in really good condition - only old battered or inexpensive things.

    I've bought things on impulse. Like, um, my house. It was the only one I even went inside and although it was in pretty bad shape and everyone questioned my sanity, I made an offer on it right away. I LOVE my house.

  18. I buy things all the time on impulse. Cute little pate knives are on of my weaknesses! I mean, how many ot those does one need??
    Mostly they come from garage sales & only cost cents.
    I love that cabinet, but see what you mean. Sell it & get some fabulous price for it, then buy something perfect for the space. or not....

  19. I did want to mention that I really like your piece of furniture, I don't think I would paint it, maybe strip it and then stain it a different color. It's quite unique.
    Sunny :)

  20. Oh no, you cna't paint that cabinet - it will ruin it's value for sure. Maybe store it somewhere safe and get something else for it's purpose.
    We bought some old church pews once at an auction, someone had painted them bright yellow but we HAD to have them for our yard.

  21. Or an indecisive one, Susan!

    Oh, Lena, that is one impulse I haven't dared consider.

    And yet another big ticket from SAW. I am nowhere near as handy as you for such an impulse!

  22. I also collect sugar & creamers, Meggie - and I don't take either in my coffee! Talk about useless, but I love the look of them.

    Church pews for the yard? Sounds interesting, Sagittarian. This piece actually will be quite useful - it has way more storage than the little secretary I already have that is always bulging with unpaid bills, etc.

    Staining sounds an option, Sunny. Thanks.

  23. If you don't like your cabinet thing anymore, why not take it off to some antique store and see if they'll give you a good price for it before you start defacing it with paint? Or bring them a good photo and see if it's worth anything. If not, paint it.

  24. I'd strip and paint it with a different finish: I'm not that crazy about oak either but the mix with more modern furniture might be stunning.

    To be honest, my best buys were impulse purchases, while browsing catalogues and carefully considering have induced some disastrous "don't want this stuff, but can't return it" issues
    (including a brand-new, top of the line yet noisy fridge)

  25. It's not that I don't like it anymore, per se, XUP, it just needs to be without all the other furniture in the room!! Anyway, you don't get good prices for antiques selling to a shop. I once had to give away a very nice drop leaf table because there were just too many of them around and no dealer wanted it.

  26. Yeah, buying new things like fridges and washers make me almost apoplectic with fear of a wrong choice, Peter. So many newer models just don't last.

  27. Sorry I haven't visited much, but I'm playing a lot of catch up on some personal stuff. Drop me an e-mail and let me know how you are.

  28. Keep that oak in it's original state and keep it for a long time.

    Many years ago, (30 to be exact) after i left Windsor, I came to New Zealand. Two years later, I got married and set up our little apartment.

    Our furniture were a mish mesh of what ever we could buy at garage sales and hand me downs from friends. 10 years of living like this, with my husband as a professional student and then an engineer, we didn't buy furniture as he was always wanting to be a professor overseas.
    When we eventually did,. we had a garage sale. A second hand dealer came, and wanted to buy only a hand me down dressing table at $150. I tried to persuade him to buy the others.

    Eventually he confessed, the Oak was priceless, the others were rubbish. He said , he would give me $200 for the whole lot.



  29. Yes, I think I will live with it as is for awhile, Ann. The oak is already growing on me.

  30. Cool finds, especially those spoons!


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