Decorating & Design
August 24, 2010
East Coast Antiquing
I don’t know what’s in the water here at House & Home, but it seems quite a few of us editors have been gravitating east this summer. I just returned from eastern Canada and Maine, Michael Penney and Sally Armstrong conquered Maine as well, and Meg Crossley has been busy antiquing in eastern New York State. The east coast has always held more appeal for me than the west — I guess it’s the old New York versus California argument. Whatever the reason, if you haven’t been east it’s an area of Canada (and the States) not to be missed.
I would say that my holiday involved three key elements:
1. Family and relaxation
2. Some sort of yard sale or antique hunt
All very important for a well-rounded vacation, I might add.
So, family and relaxation… well, I can’t think of a better day than at the beach. The scenery out east is breathtaking — I can’t figure out why we all don’t live there. This beach in New Brunswick goes on forever — it’s perfect and sandy and warm enough to swim (we’re talking Atlantic ocean here). So clean… so lovely. My daughter (above) and son had a great day playing in the tide pools.
Yard sales… oh yes, there were yard sales. I bought this super cute bicycle to tootle around on for $20. There was a farmers market in town the day I bought it so I made good use of the basket and grabbed some carrots, tomatoes and flowers for the house. The produce was so fresh (and cheap)! Purple, white, yellow and orange carrots — yum!
All things white… clearly noted on this holiday: gorgeous white stoneware, white painted fences and wooden houses. Above are some pieces I bought while away. I love the silver fork with the wood handle. The little jam spoon is sterling and has my initials on it. The stoneware tureen was a bit pricey, $50 (more than the bike), but I really had to have it. It has a perfectly grey-white patina and just a touch of wear without any cracks or chips.
Inspiration… so off the back of white comes the painted houses and how I want a white home — ideally on the ocean and covered in shingles. There are so many shingles out there in a crazy array of shapes. When you start playing with the patterns, magic happens.
Here are just a few of the houses I saw and coveted. Oh, white shingles. Lace curtains, too — fitting, don’t you think?
The stone chimney, the weathered cedar, the windows… come on! Seems as though architects were rebelling against the fussy Victorian trends when they started to design shingle-style homes, popular in the north-eastern United States between 1874 and 1910. All I can say is, thank goodness they did!
To read about Michael Penney’s adventures in east coast antiques, hotels and homes, too, see his summer blog posts.