For someone who has such an intimate relationship with “things” I can be strangely cold about parting with them. I shop, collect, style, love, hug and then after a while (and after a couple shoots) I’m typically ready for something new – so I sell either to a client or now on The Flea. But there are many things that I simply can’t/won’t get rid of.
I have a rule the when you are a collector (AKA if you are someone who has too much stuff) everything you own should be either A.) Functional, B.) Beautiful, or C.) Sentimental – and if a piece can be all three of those things then that’s a magical piece that you should keep forever.
Here are my top 5 things that I would save from a fire – these are things that I don’t think I will EVER part with, mostly for sentimental reasons (which is truly the best reason to keep anything). Obviously anything alive (like children or pets), or truly sentimental like photo albums would be first, which is a given, but these are the decorative things that I’m obsessed with.
1. That Vintage Floral Pillow
I found that scrap of fabric at a thrift store 9 years ago and sewed the pillow out of it. It has been with me through 5 different homes and countless different styles. I’ve always had a thing for florals (because flowers are pretty much the prettiest things on the planet), but this floral fabric is special. Maybe it’s the colorway, maybe it’s the scale. I don’t know, but I love it. Sidenote: I love it WAY more when it’s styled like the photo on the left, not the photo on the right.
2. Vintage Irish Setter Portrait
I bought this guy at the flea market for $20 five years ago, then had it framed. It’s special. I have had so may readers ask where I got this painting, or if they could buy it from me if I ever choose to sell it. It’s something that I just can’t part with, and that I have continued to hoard through every move. It is vintage, it is blue, it is quirky, and it makes me happy.
3. Vintage Leather Safari Chairs
I picked these puppies up from a vintage mid-century store in Salt Lake City years ago when I had just started the blog. They were $900 for the pair and it was THE most I had ever spent on any single piece of furniture in my life. Granted $900 is a steal for the pair of these now a days, but back then it felt like I was really dishing out so much for these chairs. I have used other chairs in my living room, but for some reason I always come back to these.
4. Blimp Drawing
Photo – Tessa Neustadt
It’s large, no, in fact it’s huge, but as my leg hairs burn off you will know for certainty that I will be trying to rip this piece off the wall to bring it with me to safety. I had eyed it for months at a flea market back when I was living in NYC and although it was not much in price, it was my first “real” piece of art and it felt like a big purchase for a young girl at the time. I wasn’t sure what I would do with it but it always attracted me. Flash forward to 10 years later and now I finally made the decision to frame it and it is now prominently displayed in my living room.
5. Ceramic Collection
Photo – Mike Carriero
My ceramic collection continues to grow more and more each and every year, and I couldn’t be happier about it. I have no particular theme, or specifics that I like to collect, just whatever appeals to me, and I think that is why I love it so much. I have been able to part with a few that you may have seen go up on the flea from time to time, but the majority of my collection I have had for years and it holds a very special place in my heart. Fire or no fire, these puppies will be with me for the long haul.
6. My Book
OBVIOUSLY. I have like 40 copies and I can order more, but you know, just in case the internet shuts down . . . Also just in case you didn’t know about it, I wanted to do a January book plug. Now don’t get me wrong, I would grab my children far before any other loot in my house ESPECIALLY my book, but so much time, energy, creativity, and work went into this little collection of pages that it is definitely one of my biggest accomplishments thus far in my life. Besides, when everything else burns down around me at least I will have the pretty objects on the page to reminisce about all those pretty things that now sit in the rubble.
Photo – Tessa Neustadt
Photo – Tessa Neustadt
Photo – Jenna Kutcher
So what, pray-tell, would you save from a fire? What have you had for long enough that you KNOW you must love it, or what would you actually cry if broken?