Know It All

See the George Nelson bubble lamps on the cover of Elle Decoration UK?


There were two in our first home.  The oblong ones.  Hung as sconces, really, on either side of the bay window in the living room.  Original.  The color of the paper would make you weep.
And we had two of these Sputnik fixtures.  One was in the entry hall and one was in the upstairs hallway.

I sold them all at Boomerang, a little vintage shop, for seventy-five dollars and replaced them with fixtures from Home Depot and still had enough left over to buy dinner for two at the Peanut.  This was right before I sprayed and tore and scrapped the original 1950’s Chinoiserie paper with the hand-painted details off the back wall of the dining room.  It wasn’t Gracie or de Gournay just in case you’re starting to panic.
It just makes me wonder if the junk I’m putting out for big trash pick up is going to keep me up at night fifteen years from now.
Both fixture images courtesy of 1st dibs.  The George Nelson here and the Sputnik here.
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23 thoughts on “Know It All

  1. just remember when you put things out for the trash that you might be making someone’s day- another man’s treasure and all…

    i sold a funky aluminum and acrylic lamp at a yard sale once for about 20 bucks- it was just too beat up to restore i thought. later saw it on 1stdibs as “rare george nelson” for about four grand. oops.

  2. Oh, I do sometimes think of those items I gave up when downsizing. Some I wish I’d kept and some totally not my style anymore.

  3. Oh, please see my post slated for thursday.

    I was going to post this today, but I had to pay homage to the blog year. One year old today.
    How do we calculate a blog year, by posts or by comments.
    as always you are my bright and shiny light in the blogosphere.

    Pardon me while I go do the early drive by trash route.

  4. I don’t know..dinner at the Peanut is hard to beat! I wonder if you did the same to day if you could work the Cashew as well 🙂

  5. We’ve all made someone else very happy with our purging…but my dear friend says you have to get rid of things to make space in your life for the new treasures unseen.

  6. that nelson fixture is in my parents house, we used to stick black construction paper triangles and a mouth, on it to make it into a jack-o-lantern at halloween.

    I grew up in a house FILLED with mid-century modern stuff. I think, 15 years ago, I would have tossed it to the curb too. I didn’t appreciate it as much then as I do now.

  7. Oh. At least you had enough left over for dinner for two.

    I’ve started to feel this way about some things in recent years, and my mom feels this way about certain items too (including I think Marcel Breuer cane chairs from her first apartment.) The things you give away when you feel you’ve outgrown them or when they just aren’t your style at the time…

  8. Ohhh… you struck a nerve with me! When we moved from a fairly large home to this smaller one- I really wanted to down-size. And for the most part I have few regrets… however~ there are a couple things I long to have back.
    For intense, a small wing-backed chair, a cobblers bench and two sweet windsors ~ I do miss those darlings…..

  9. Saw the photo of your living in HB — congrats! What is the lovely collection of brown pottery? And I LOVE the landscape picture too!

    Jan at Rosemary Cottage

  10. In the spirit of confession I painted over the beautiful original interior wood paneling of an Airstream Trailer in the late 70’s. I choose a truly odious color that looked like skin. It was like living in a human organ.

  11. I know, I know. We all do it. And, no, I probably wouldn’t have used these pieces – maybe the sputnik lights in the boys’ rooms – but I wish I’d treated them with a little more care.

    And, anon, I was being flip about big trash pick-up; all our our “gently used items” are donated to charity.

  12. The way I’ve come to look at this is, “would I ship it to Maui?” That is where I want to retire. If the answer is no, I let it go with no second thoughts. You can drive yourself crazy with wondering if you gave away something valuable. Take this from someone in the process of emptying 30-years worth of stuff in a 2-car garage. Goodwill gets all the best and usable stuff, I offer the rest on Freecycle and the rest goes in the trash.

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