So, I noticed this morning that someone had just posted that they had a free pink toilet in great condition on their lawn free for pickup. What some might see as a threat to a neighbor's sanity reads like a golden opportunity to us. One quick holler to the Mister and he was on that very lawn within minutes and the toilet was ours. Now there may be some folks who might be saying, "Oh, Eartha! Gross! A used toilet!" but when you're in the old house restoration game, this is all par for the course. When you're restoring a vintage home, being told that there is a free vintage bathroom fixture is even more music to your ears than the ice cream truck.
(that said, I always scrub them within an inch of their life and with toilets, definitely get a new toilet seat)
This led me to think about the things that we have done since we bought this little 1956 ranch house - some of these things might ring some bells for you too if you're in our shoes and are a Vintage House Restoration Junkie.
Back to toilets. Yes, we really must! Today's find:
Which is now sitting in front of this just waiting for ole Eartha to clean it:
A junkie might also bring something like this home:
We flushed out the pine bark nuggets and it was as good as showroom new!
And it's without shame that I admit that we restoration junkies sometimes hoard
new toilet seats in our garages:
Because if you're like some of us junkies, you won't be taking a real vacation anytime soon!
Helpful Note: If you're looking for pink, try Amazon first. Blue? Try Lowe's. Don't pay a ton if you don't have to. If you're inclined to stock up (like some of us..not naming any names), you can buy several for what you'd pay for one at those fancy vintage reproduction toilet seat retailers. If you have to go that route to match your color, then by all means do. There are some great resources out there with every color under the sun - and they are also more pricey. First, try other routes. Right after we installed ours, a horrible contractor cracked it. See...it never hurts to plan ahead. If we'd paid a hundred bucks for that toilet seat, I'd still be chasing that guy down the street.
And after a long search to find the perfect color of toilet seat to match original fixtures, one of these junkies might take photos of it's installation like other people might a momentous occasion such as that of a baby's birth:
I'll spare you the rest of the toilet seat installation photo shoot but let me just say that it was very
posh and included champagne toasts!
You might also be a vintage house restoration junkie if this photo makes your heart go
How's the blood pressure? Can you take another?
Note: One of these junkies might also call dibs on things that we have absolutely no use for. Like a sunshine yellow toilet.
And one final toilet note:
Yep, it's an actual note. This is the sort of thing that you might find in a vintage house restoration junkie's house. Kind of makes you understand why we hoard extra toilets,
Let's move on to paint colors. Vintage House Restoration Junkies are obsessed
with paint colors. Absolutely obsessed! You might hear us exclaiming,"But is it period?
in an exasperated tone when looking at color charts.
And we won't quit until we get the exact right shade of aqua:
Me: It's not aqua enough!
Mister: Does it need to be more blue...or more green?
Me: I don't know...just more aqua!
Mister: (blink. blink)
In that same vein, where some homeowners might see chipped or peeling paint as a major hassle, junkies see it as a wonderful archeological expedition!
For it's these tiny glimpses into forgotten layers of paint that tell us what colors a house has been through the decades. They invite us to color-match them and use them once again. Sometimes, they even let us know that we're on the right track with our color choices. For instance, we recently picked a color for our front door and upon preparing the door for paint, discovered underneath the layers that the door had once been that exact same color!
See that wall there? Peeling wallpaper is also like a great archeological dig. In this case, flocked flowered wallpaper that was glued straight to drywall and then painted over with layers and layers of paint. Can I get an "Amen"? (and the phone number of a good drywall repair person?)
In finding these clues, it's in the same spirit that we leave notes for future owners of our homes to find, in the hopes that they too will want clues from the past. We leave time capsules in attic joists and between wall studs. Messages behind medicine cabinets and wallpaper:
For instance, when replacing a broken mirror, we found this tatter of old wallpaper. We left it there but not before researching it so that we could tell any future owners what year it was from. Notice that we also noted what the mirror cost us as we're convinced that people in the future will think that things now are cheap just like we do when we look back at vintage prices.
What about you, buckaroos? Are you junkies too? Maybe you're not and think that we're crazy as you watch us snatch things from your curb or prattle on about the perfect shade of yellow in the paint store? Tell me all!
Until next time,
x's and o's,