I won’t lie. Second marriages have their challenging moments too. We of the “second time” just have new, different hurdles to clear. To begin with, we’re more set in our ways than twenty-somethings. My husband and I are also from very different backgrounds which means our knowledge base is very different. What’s not to like about shopping as a medium for bringing you together?
Touring estate and vintage household shps is an interesting vehicle for building relationship. Rule #1: Check your home décor dogma at the door and open your receptors wide. Never, ever relinquish your humor or personal preferences. Or, you’ll be in big trouble.
If you’re someone who had the temerity to gut and re-do her house one year into her second marriage, shopping for stuff together probably pales in comparison. Purchases are not an essential part of shopping. I’ve learned this from Larry, even though sometimes, I chafe at exiting empty handed. Preparation is important. Your chances of making a buy are greater if you have dimensions and have done some homework.
Curiously, we’ve discovered that shopping for chairs was a successful foray into collaborative learning. A chair, unlike a bed or kitchen table is not totally essential so there’s no mandate demanding purchase in a certain time frame. We both like chairs of all styles. I’m a believer in integrating varied styles through their color, less than by period or look. The primary “must-have” is comfort. We can all agree on that, right?
Fortunately, very early on, I sensed that as different as we are, we share a lot in terms of gut visual instinct. It makes for some really good shopping. We both enjoy putting things together from different periods, colors and cultures so interests and range is wide. Remember, check all dogmatic opinions at the door.
We enjoy incorporating different kinds and colors of wood, especially carved mahogany. (I draw the line with metal) The teak serenity statue that lives in the garden in warm weather was a challenging Spring project. We found him in Brimfield, Mass- even before the garden was made, and realized that we both instinctually responded to Asian art. We were wandering the extensive outdoor market with nothing particular in mind. That’s another really good by-product of shopping trips like this. It’s free to get into and you get to wander together –which is relaxing in itself. Finding something special is a bonus.
A few years later, having been invaded by disease, bugs and rot, the inside and out repair to Serenity took months before we could bring it out truly sealed against more damage. I learned a lot and inhaled more. A good friend bartered his wood knowledge for pillows. I loved the final coating of spar varnish, pure tung oil and a little turpentine. Tung oil is a really cool product- it’s made by pressing the seed from the nut of the tung tree. The oil dries upon exposure to air. The resulting finish is transparent with a deep wet look. It kept me out of the shops for quite a long time, and forced me into a patient place which isn’t easy! The next Brimfield multi-day show is in September.
Wandering online works too. A local blacksmith helped re-finish and secure some old English gates we found online in Albany. We’ve started a black metal family of things in the garden. The European balance to our Asian friend. “Design while shopping” is an organic process with lots of benefit if you take the time.
Another very awesome online auction and estate business in Bridgeport. BlackRock Galleries. You can look online and visit their huge brick and mortar location for regular sales. A great place to wander with or without and auction.
Paola Pillows are the icing on the cake of furniture shopping. Each design is crafted in America – from photos of my plants gown in Litchfield, Connecticut. Take comfort in nature, and ease back on a beautiful soft down cotton pillow.