Simple pleasures: flea market treasure finds new home

The last Renningers antique extravaganza of the season is always bittersweet for will be a long stretch from February until the next season begins in November. It's a lot like waiting for Downton Abbey to return and we all know how that feels.

But I found a great little treasure in this beautiful field shaded with a canopy of old oak trees. After tromping through acres and acres of vintages finds, there it was. I knew the minute I saw this turquoise terrarium that it would likely go home with me. But I walked away and kept coming back.

It is old, a little rusty and the pretty turquoise paint is peeling just enough to give it character. The stall owner had filled it with dishes. I knew I could give it a better life. So, we made a (good) deal.

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I knew just what to with it.

I coated the bottom with some of my favorite shells that I have collected from Upper Captiva Island and some of my treasures from New Zealand beaches. Now they are all mingled together and sitting in the middle is a small piece of driftwood that I found that is just perfect. And my prized white nautical shell is the focal point.

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Now it sits in my entry on an early 1800's, English sideboard that is from a kitchen. Coincidently, this piece was also discovered at Rennigers in Mt. Dora. I like to think that it came from a manor house kitchen but will never know for sure.

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The weekend search for antiques and other inspirations

One of my favorite things to do its to hit the road in search of new treasures for my clients and for myself.  This past weekend it was off to the final extravaganza of the season at Renningers Antique Market in Mt. Dora.  On the way back to southwest Florida I stopped in Arcadia's historic district to browse at some of the antique shops.  Spectacular Spaces found some great inspirations for accent pieces.

Below, from the Vintage Garden in Arcadia.  Filled with shabby chic antiques and garden decor.  


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Antique Market Find: Discovering a neglected treasure and bringing it back to life

It was a very sad, shabby cabinet that had been propped up in the dirt.  Almost an afterthought.  Neglected, it looked like it had all but given up being noticed, much less purchased.   No one even stopped to think of the possibilities.  In all fairness, it had lots of competition in the acres of treasures at Renningers Antique Market in Mt. Dora this past weekend.  But this was its lucky day and mine.

The nice vendor said that it was a very old medicine cabinet that he had taken out of a farmhouse in Alabama that was facing demolition.  He was only asking $30.  We did not try to deal.  We knew we had something special.

My husband, a miracle worker at bringing old pieces back to life, could restore this primitive piece back to its earlier days.  Inside there were marks from medicine bottles. Upon cleaning off the layers and layers of dirt and taking it apart, a label on the back of the mirror revealed that it was over 100 years old.  After some minor repairs and cleaning up the original hardware, careful not to remove any of the remaining paint, it almost beamed with thanks for saving it.

It now hangs proudly on the cottage bathroom wall of a collector of all things shabby and primitive (me). Someone who appreciates its peeling paint, distressed wood and deep nooks for treasures.  It is a treasure itself.  Purchased from the nice vendor who did not recognize the gem that he brought from Alabama to Mt. Dora so we could take it home and give it a new life.