What’s in a Name?


Fang and I went on a little buying spree a couple of weeks ago. We bought a sideboard for the kitchen, a china cabinet for the dining area (notice I did NOT call it a “room”), and two tables (one end, one coffee) for the living room. Most of the pieces were purchased from a place called ReStore, which is a thrift store that supports Habitat for Humanity. This place is an “upcyclers” paradise.

With the help of the kind women at a shop called Handpainted by Cookie, the pieces are currently being made ready for their move into the hovel — they’re all being repaired and repainted. For those of you who are gasping at the idea of painting furniture, I say “get over your bad selves”. They’re not Chippendale’s or Duncan Phyfe’s, ladies and gentlemen. They are also, all of them, in some way, shape, or form — much like their owners —“damaged goods”. In my mind there’s nothing wrong with slapping some paint on a thing to make it more presentable. I do it all the time to my face — a little eyeliner and blusher goes a long way, am I right, Ladies? And changing the knobs from a garish gold to an understated nickel? That’s like slipping on a pair of leopard-print flats in lieu of my well-worn Uggs.

This is not a sponsored post, but I have to give a shout-out to Cookie and Lisa over at Handpainted by Cookie. These ladies breathe new life into discarded furniture. They have the ability — and the sawdust under their fingernails to prove it — to find good homes for items that would otherwise be destined for the wood pile. I like that. When I buy something (well, okay, MANY somethings) from them, it feels a little bit like a rescue. People do it for puppies and kittens all the time and are celebrated for it. So, when I do it with furniture, why do I feel maligned? Why do I feel I have to defend my actions?

And I do feel that way. I also feel protective of my acquisitions. As a result, I’ve started to name my “rescues”. The old sewing machine table (with the original AND working treadle!) that I had painted teal? Because the color reminds me of The Little Mermaid, I’ve come to think of her as “Ariel”. I’m not sure what the other pieces will come to be called — I have to live with them a while. You know, get a sense of their characters before I assign them a name. We did that with our cat. Unlike the cat, though, I have every intention of keeping the furniture.

The cat stayed AND he got a name* — one that fits him. I’m thinking something Italian for the side table — because it has a very cool marble top. He kind of seems like maybe he’s a “Rocco”, but time will tell. He may prove to be too regal for “Rocco”. Perhaps he’ll wind up an “Augustus” or even an “Octavian”.

We name all kinds of things up in this joint. My daughter’s car? We call him “Sven” — because he’s Swedish and definitely male — cars equipped with turbo boost engines CANNOT be female. It’s a rule. You can look it up. We toyed with “Bjorn” and “Olaf”, but found the former too sleek and the latter too, well, dull. “Sven the car” is neither sleek nor dull. He’s pretty much a workhorse. “Lars” may have worked, too, as this moniker conjures the same images as “Sven”, but we just liked “Sven” better. So, it stuck.

I’m sure that “Rocco” (or whatever he comes to be called) and “Ariel” will get along nicely — complement each other even. Of course they may need a few more “friends” to round out the decor. I’d really like to find a small rocking chair — she’s got to be perfect, though. She’ll have to be a “Millie” or a “Florence” — a chair that’s seen her fair share of colicky babies or one that spent her former life on a lemonade porch — a chair with some history. I kind of envision her in a pale yellow. Who knows? Maybe she’ll be a “Daisy”.

*Our cat’s name is “Nipper” — because he bites. He’s pretty cute, though.

 "Nipper"

“Nipper”

13 thoughts on “What’s in a Name?

  1. […] you liked this, you can read more about “The Hovel Purge” here! […]

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  2. Kyle says:

    Thanks for the tip on “Hand-painted By Cookie”. I’ll have to visit their shop.

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    • javaj240 says:

      I didn’t realize we were in the same neck of the woods! You should absolutely check out their shop — tell them I sent you! If you don’t love them, I’ll eat my hat!

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  3. Paula Cavalier says:

    I have that exact same round coffee table in my garage waiting for a new home.

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    • javaj240 says:

      Too funny! You should put it up on Craig’s list… someone may take it. It is really nice — it’s the perfect size and shape for my living space. I love it!

      I actually toyed with the idea of leaving the top as is — I really like the design and the top isn’t in bad shape — but it just doesn’t work with my decor. So, I opted to paint the whole thing black. The legs are a mess on the thing, so it needed some work — I think something knawed on them, LOL!

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  4. I love all of the new furniture you rescued! I just said the same thing to someone else the other day about buying used furniture and fixing it up…it feels exactly like rescuing a puppy from the pound!

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  5. Totally a rescue, of sorts, and I appreciate your interest in doing so. We have a storage unit to prove it, full of pieces I just had to have and can’t part with, that are waiting for a forever home with me someday.

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  6. I love Nipper (of course) and I love your love of furniture.

    You are right about furniture; they are living, breathing things that should be restored. All expensive antiques were once restored, so why not these? (Plus for a GREAT cause).

    I wish I was a handy girl, but alas that gene were directly to you. Good for you!

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    • javaj240 says:

      Thanks, Cathy!

      I cannot do the larger pieces myself — due to space and time constraints — that’s why finding “Handpainted by Cookie” was a godsend for me! I am about to tackle an old metal cabinet — the final piece I acquired from “Miss Marge” — I’m thinking polka dots, LOL! We’ll see how it turns out!

      It’s nice that you share and understand my mindset about furniture!

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  7. shalilah2002 says:

    Ah It’s strange but this morning I made a promise to myself not to ever get rid of this laptop desk I’m using now. It’s old but it makes a good laptop desk, dressing table, and bookcase.

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    • javaj240 says:

      A thing that can multitask? He’s a keeper. Maybe even a “Bill” — in honor of Bill Gates. The guy who invented Windows is definitely. Multi-taker!

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