Sentimental Vintage

Posted by Dani on May 25, 2012

Being a fan of great vintage style, I love hunting for fabulous finds along Queen Street East and West here in Toronto, and at my local Goodwill or Value Village. Nothing makes me happier than scoring a great deal on something gorgeous and unique. But what about vintage finds from our own families? Things that have been sitting around for years at a family home or cottage can take on new life you’re you look at them with fresh eyes. And they are a part of your personal history, so you get style with a story. Here’s a great example.

This espresso set was a wedding gift to my mother from a neighbour back in Italy in the tiny village where she grew up. Now keep in mind that a neighbour there is a little different than what we experience here in Canada. The families in her village have been together for hundreds of years, living side by side through hardship and joy. Money was scarce and the gift of this coffee set was thoughtful and genuine. My parents moved to Canada, then back to Italy, and back here again, and somehow this set made it through these journeys unscathed. It sat for many years in my mom’s cabinet, unused, until she gave it to me recently.

My mom insists that a proper home needs a set of coffee cups out on a sideboard, sitting on a tray so that you are always ready to serve your guests. Because of course coffee should be drunk out of a cup, with a saucer, not some chipped mug pulled out of the back of a cupboard. So when she gave it to me, I decided to try to do it her way. I dug out a tray and one of the many exquisite hand made lace doilies I’ve received over the years, one that was probably crocheted by nuns in a convent outside of Florence where my great aunt once lived. When I laid it out, I was surprised at what a nice touch it gave the space – something quite different from the usual things I use to decorate. And when my mom was over the other day, I skipped using the old mugs for coffee and used these exquisite cups instead. Why not? After all, life is short.

I might have stopped to look at this espresso set had I seen it in an antique shop, but this one comes with a unique story. My family’s story. Perfect for a sappy sentimental person like me.



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