Small Town Travel Log: Harpers Ferry, WV

This past weekend, we went to the historic town of Harpers Ferry, WV for a visit. The town sits on the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers and is part of the national parks system. Despite the government shutdown closing all of the park buildings, we had a nice day of peering in windows, exploring the St John’s Episcopal Church ruins and admiring the carved Jefferson Rock Stairway. We also strolled across the B&O Railroad Bridge and had lunch at a local tavern.

The streets were pretty empty since the park was closed, but we enjoyed having Harpers Ferry to ourselves.

The Jefferson Rock Stairway is carved out of solid rock to connect the upper and lower parts of town.

After an afternoon of exploring, we set off for 868 Estate Vineyards across the state line in Virginia for a quick tasting, which was the perfect end to our day.


Armchair Junking: Gone Fishing

I was drawn to this collection of antique fishing reels when I saw it on Pinterest. I love the mixture of rich wood and worn brass. for varying textures. Would you collect vintage fishing reels or do you think they’re only appropriate for a lake house?

1) Vintage Pflueger Reel

2) Vintage Brass Salmon Fishing Reel

3)  Vintage Brass French Fishing Reel

4) Vintage Justus Fishing Reel from the 1920’s

5) Vintage Salmon Fishing Reel in Brass

6) Vintage Fly Fishing Reel by Perrine


(If anyone knows the original source on the reels collection image, please let us know in the comments.)

Farmhouse Friday: Old vs New

While these two houses were built nearly 200 years apart, both are dripping with character and feature modern amenities. Which is your favorite?

Upstate NY: Malta, NY

This 200 year old farmhouse is more like an estate – complete with a barn, carriage house, and potting shed. I love the exposed beams and wide floorboards, but the highlights of the house are the four fireplaces in the living room, dining room and bedrooms. You’ll need the extra warmth to battle the upstate winters since this property is pretty far north of our usual territory.

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Junkspiration: Somerville, MA Consignent Galleries

Sometimes when I’m having a particularly stressful day, I like to mosey over to the Consignment Galleries a couple blocks from my office in Somerville. It’s a 2-room showroom with many different antiques from all different periods and styles. There really is nothing like being amongst the old things when you’re feeling a little overloaded by technology and life. Today I stumbled across the lovely little set of antique silver. I am a particular fan of the delicate patterns and detailing, and often vintage silverware makes me wonder how many dinner parties and wonderful meals these pieces have been a part of. One of the challenges can be finding pieces that don’t have age-telling spots or tarnish. You can find some great tips for how to give old pieces a new shine with some regular household items here, and some beautiful other examples here. Enjoy!

Get It Together: A Red (Accented) Kitchen

Sometimes when I have doubts about the red accents in my kitchen, rooms like the one above from Country Living rebuild my confidence. Strip away the personal touches, and you’re left with a showroom kitchen. But as an apartment dweller, it’s important to be able to add vintage touches to any space without changing the fixtures – like these new, bright white kitchen cabinets.

Use a metal and oak workbench as a kitchen island and add a trio of burlap baskets underneath for extra storage.

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Armchair Junking: Wire Decor

American Pickers recently taught me that there are barbed wire collectors, who look for individual craftsmanship and unique shapes – it can even be quite valuable. Who knew? While I don’t collect barbed wire, I do love the handmade feel of vintage wire household objects and the old patina to shows its age.

1) I have a wire basket hanging on the wall of my bedroom and a mesh collapsable basket in the kitchen. I love that they are both functional and sculptural at the same time.

2) This pair of handmade wire utensils would look great hanging in a kitchen.

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Farmhouse Friday: Victorian Painted Ladies

At drastically different ends of the price spectrum, we have a pair of five bedroom Victorian painted ladies in Upstate New York and New England. Both have the typical charms of a large Victorian home such as sprawling porches and ornate trim.

The best part of this house in East Durham is that it comes with a bunkie that looks like a miniature doll house. Can you imagine the surprised look on your guests’ faces when they see what a charming little house they’ll inhabit for a long weekend in the country? While the interior is quite bare-bones, I would love to build out a new kitchen around the white wood plank pantry in the corner.

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