2017-09-13 / Loose Ends

A love story

Not too shabby
Susan Nienow

I just watched two TV shows about redecorating. Looking around, I realized that unlike newly furnished homes, my house tells a story. The sofa has been with us the longest, I think. It was one of our first purchases. It is on its third reincarnation, having been reupholstered as needed. The first was a plaid in a velvet-like fabric – typical ’70s look.

The next was blue flame stitch, and now it’s a textured light tan with embroidered trees – or pinecones. We could never decide. It survived the collie, two kids and a number of adults. It’s still a working sofa.

We just bought a “new” dining room table at a consignment shop. We are thrilled with it and are pretty sure we know why someone got rid of it. There aren’t any tablecloths that fit it. Oh well. Not a problem for me. I will use one or two that don’t fit. I love the table.

Some of the furniture is about 14 years old, or nearly new to us. We have several family pieces that we treasure but aren’t treasures to anyone else. We had the wiggly chair reglued, and new cane inserted to replace the “no longer safe to sit on” part. Other pieces of furniture have come to us “as is” and are still as is.

That means dinged, dented and usually scratched. In some cases, we know how the offense occurred, but mostly they’re mysteries. Still, the pieces have history, and we can remember which house they used to live in and where they were located in the house. Besides, thanks to some decorator or promoter somewhere, shabby chic came into style and has never left.

What is truly an emotional blow is that our kids don’t really care about these pieces. It isn’t the shabby part; it’s their lifestyle. They don’t have extra rooms like offices or even extra bedrooms. They have moved out west and traditional Virginia décor isn’t on their radar.

My other half’s desk is army surplus that we had refinished to get rid of the cigarette burns all around the edge. Apparently the army didn’t have ashtrays back then. We love that desk. It is just the right size and has history.

Our linen chest used to reside in my grandparents’ dining room. Since I was the first of my siblings to marry, I received my grandparents’ bedroom furniture, and we used it until we moved to this house. The man’s dresser is wobbly and the supports for the mirror over my grandmother’s dresser are missing.

We dealt with that by just hanging the mirror on the wall. Then one night (of course, in the middle of the night) it fell off. My other half took that as a challenge. As a result, we weren’t sure we could get the mirror off the wall when we moved. That’s history.

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