Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Inheritance pieces

For the past week to ten days our house has felt like a proverbial bomb site. I confess that I am not the tidiest person in the world, nor is the Husband, and it looks like the kids are (not unsurprisingly) following our example. I can deal with - and in fact do a fine line in - a certain level of dishevelment, however I have my limits and I've gritted my teeth and grimaced on more than one occasion as I've stubbed my toe on a box or banged my shin on out-of-place furniture. 

The problem is that we've had a doubling up of some large pieces of furniture, as I've inherited a number of amazing and much loved pieces from Dad.  A weekend or so ago we had a difficult but productive day at Dad's, which involved shifting all the furniture that we'd agreed to take from his house to ours.  It was a bit of a last-minute as a van became available, meaning that we didn't have the time to get rid of our own items to make way for the incoming ones. As a result, we've been manoeuvring around (and bumping into) two dining tables, two sets of dining chairs, two sets of bedroom furniture, and an extra chair in the living room.
Inheritance pieces - all photos (c) Comfy Marmalade 2017

The arrival of the furniture has been a bittersweet experience.  I love this furniture to bits and I'm delighted that we have the space (and an agreeable and supportive Husband) to take it.  Mum and Dad married in 1969, and the furniture they bought was the best they could afford, and very fashionable at the time. Some of it has long since gone, either because tastes changed or because of simple wear and tear, but the pieces that survived the last 48 years are right up my street and right back in fashion again - G-Plan, simple, Scandinavian, 'retro'.  I love their style, their design and their age, but mostly I love them dearly because they remind me of Dad, and Mum, and home.

Thankfully we've now managed to sell or give away our own furniture that we no longer need.  We sold our dining room table and chairs and my dressing table, and we gave away our battered but very comfy sofa as we'd only paid 99p for it in the first place! I was sad to see some them go, but excited and delighted to take delivery of these wonderful family heirlooms.

So, our bedroom now features an original G-Plan dressing table with a huge mirror and a matching set of drawers.  As you can see, they fit beautifully opposite our bed, sitting alongside a wooden chest that the Husband and I bought years ago for a song in a local antiques store that was closing down.

The G-Plan bedroom furniture in situe, alongside our battered old chest

The dressing table even has the original stool, which was used very little as, in all honesty, it's not the most comfortable of seats.  I've had fun choosing which of my knick-knacks and pots to dress them with, plumping for a combination of vintage treasures and modern purchases.

Vintage tureen on top of my chest of drawers.
I know they technically don't belong in the same room but they look so good together!

There's the original stool with its lovely legs...

The Scandi-style mono print on the far wall is by Jane Foster,
the print on the left hand wall is by Caroline Rose Art,
and the three-legged stool was a bargain from B&M

In the dining room we now have a Danish, solid wood extending table with matching chairs.  Dad was fastidious about protecting the table top, always keeping it covered, and as a result it is pretty much spotless.  I'm also keen to protect the table and preserve it for as long as possible - I've given it a new felt cover and this fantastic oilcloth, both of which I purchased from Dunelm.

Table and chairs in the dining room - as you can see, the room
is an eclectic mish-mash of styles and eras, mostly bought on the cheap, or handmade

Close up on that marvellous oilcloth from Dunelm
(visiting sleeping pup in the background adds cute angle!)

I love the pattern and mustard-y colour of the oilcloth and it really seems to suit the age and design of the table and chairs, they really do look very smart indeed.  And the table is the perfect fit for the room, slotting in neatly under our ceiling light - it was clearly meant to be I think!

Our brown leather sofa has made way for my most treasured item from Dad's house - this rather sorry looking but rather funky chair. 

Dad's beloved and well loved armchair, soon (I truly hope) to be
lovingly transformed and restored

I know it doesn’t look much to you, but the memories this chair evokes… This was Dad's favourite chair and he used it all the time.  The chair was one of a pair bought around 1970; my sister and I (and our own children since) have spent many happy hours spinning around and around on it, and latterly Dad spent many happy hours in it reading and listening to the radio.  It's in desperate need of repair - the foam and the base have all but perished, as has the material - but it's so quintessentially Dad that there was no way on this earth that it wasn't coming home with either my sister or myself.  Clearly it needs some TLC, and I've sourced a local company with a good reputation that has promised to take good care of it and lovingly repair and recover it.  I think I'm going to go for a grey material (red doesn't really sit well in our house and besides, I think I need to take the plunge and make it my own, however much it feels at the moment like I'm tarnishing Dad's memory), but I think I might ask them to incorporate the original red buttons into the recovering, as a nod to its past and its beloved and desperately missed owner. I'll post an 'after' picture once we have it back.

We've also seen some smaller bits and pieces heading in our direction.  We've found some fantastic items, some of which we knew Dad had and some of which have come as a surprise.  For example, we opened a food mixer box and found this clock, which belonged to a lovely family friend, a dear old lady who sadly passed away in the early 1990s.

Auntie L's mantelpiece clock, in storage for 25 years and now running like clockwork again!

The Husband's eyes lit up when he saw it, as he is a great lover of clocks, and wouldn't you know - after what must be nigh on 25 years in a box, it runs like… well, clockwork.  It's not really my kind of thing, and the idea initially was to sell it, however I think both myself and his nibs are growing fond of it and I suspect it may find a permanent spot on our mantelpiece.

In amongst the hundreds of books that Dad owned we've found some real crackers, such as this one.
Creative Wood Craft, which looks (and is) fascinating but sadly far beyond my woodworking skills

He was a keen woodworker, especially in his youth, and I just love the design and content of this particular book.  I don't suppose I'll ever make anything from it, but I'll treasure it all the same.

I also found this amazing tin - I have no idea what it was originally used for, nor do I know what I will use it for, but I couldn't let it go...

Love the colours and design...

...and it looks bloomin' gorgeous on the G-Plan bedroom furniture

And I've found a number of items of real practical use - I'm using Dad's coat and fleece that he wore when out walking on the hills (one of his favourite pastimes) when I go out walking our dog every evening.  His clothes are such good quality and had a lot of use left in them, and I confess that I get much comfort from their smell at the moment - I often stuff my nose into the neck of the coat to get a quick sniff of him.  I hadn't realised just what a powerful sense smell is before all this, and sadly it's one of the senses that we can't record, unlike sound or imagery. I fear the scent of him disappearing, forgetting it… but for now I sniff his coat whenever I'm wearing it and I find a lot of solace in that.  And the Husband was delighted to take delivery of a number of baking tins and paraphernalia, again all really good quality, and has been putting them to good use by creating all manner of cake-y goodies including my favourite, lemon drizzle, yum!

In addition to Dad's stuff, I've treated us to a new (well, new to us anyway) piece of furniture recently - more specifically, five new pieces which came in one lot.  I've been after a set of mid-century style tables for some time now, and have been keeping my eye on eBay and similar sites. Up until now we've been using a nest of dark wood tables which, although in good nick, were always a bit of a stopgap for me.  I spotted this lovely set on eBay last week for £30, which seemed like a good deal to me.

So pleased with this nest of tables - so well made they should last my lifetime at least, and only £30.
An inheritance piece for our children, should they want them.

I love their utilitarian nature, in that the smaller tables all fit within the underbelly of the main table, and I also really like the simple lines and lighter, warm wood.  The Husband thinks I'm mad but he's used to that by now!  So they now have pride of place in our living room, which means I now need to find a new home for the nest of dark tables… and so it goes on!

I feel so fortunate to have these pieces of my family history close to me in our home, even if I feel a twinge of sadness every time I use them at the moment.  I'm also very lucky that Dad and Mum had such good taste in furniture!

Bye for now xx

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  1. Awe lovely as for the dressing table stool I saw on Pinterest a stool with an IKEA sheep skin on it xxxx

  2. That sounds lovely - I'll have to have a look on Pinterest and possibly take a trip to Ikea! Thanks for that x