I have always been into vintage, even as a kid. I liked old buildings, old books, old furniture – anything with scratches and dents and “history.” And I’ve always decorated my home – my college dorm, my single girl apartment, my married lady house – with a mix of new, vintage, and antique furnishings. Now that my son is three and out of official baby-hood, I’ve also started decorating his room with vintage pieces. At first I was worried that nothing would last around him – he is a toddler boy, after all – but then I figured a few things. One, these pieces have already stood a lot of wear and are still going strong. Two, I think kids can learn how to take care of things, as long as you show them that you expect them to take care of things. And three, we already have vintage pieces in the other rooms of the house. So, with those abstract comforts floating in my head, I began adding vintage pieces to Mr. Why?’s room.
The first addition was easy – an old “Virginia” pennant that is on the wall. He can’t reach it, so it’s pretty safe. The next addition — a vintage oak dresser — was riskier. The dresser has beautiful brass pulls with engravings of owls and acorns. I spotted it at an auction and knew I had to have it for his room. I brought it home, cleaned it up with some Murphy’s oil soap, and stepped back so that my son could have a look. He loved it! He was so excited by the owls and acorns – which are at eye level for him— and the wheels. He simply couldn’t believe it had wheels. I tell you, we could not get his IKEA dresser (a holdover from my hubby’s school days) out of there fast enough.
After the positive experience with the dresser, I thought we could try something else I spotted while out and about one day – a vintage, 50’s era Big Ben clock. Mr. Why? had been asking about a clock, and I also thought it would be good for him to have one in his room. I’d been looking for a few months, but didn’t see anything that I thought would work. Then one day, when I wasn’t even thinking about finding a clock, I got lucky. I spotted this beauty and scooped it up immediately. I couldn’t pass up the dark wood casing, blond trim, and nice, clear clock face. Classic. For a (somewhat) brief moment, I considered selling it on my Etsy site, but knew I just couldn’t do it. So, after cleaning it up with a dab of petroleum jelly (it quickly restores wood and evens out scratches), I placed it on Mr. Why?’s dresser before picking him up from pre-school. And what can I say? He loved the clock too! My son couldn’t wait for Mr. M to get home, so that he could show it off. And he felt like such a big boy with a real, grown-up clock.
Going forward, I’m encouraged by my son’s initial reactions to his vintage room décor. I would love for him to grow up appreciating craftsmanship and character as much as I do. But for now, I’m on the lookout for a shelf/bookcase for him. Let’s see what I stumble upon next …