"I'm a holiday traditionalist!" - Blythe's two cents on holiday festivities

I'm a holiday traditionalist!

I like, no, I LOVE setting up my tree each year, I NEED to read Tasha Tudor's illustrated version of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, on the night before Christmas, and my stockings, hand sewn by a dear friend, must be "hung by the chimney with care," even though it's not a working fireplace.

This is all much to my husband's chagrin, as he is a minimalist (whom I refer to as "the Grinch" year round). But I never can quite celebrate unless I have decorated for the Holiday...


That is why I so enjoy setting up my Hayloft room shots for you... I get to celebrate a bit each sale and share my nouveau traditionalist decor ideas, which come from a mix of my newer experiences as a wife and mother and my happy, big family, mom-makes-everyday-a-holiday childhood. These ideas may not be perfect, but they are me... how I grew up, what I learned to love and how I want to celebrate that all with, well, you all... (cheesy, I know). 

With that being said, Santa's cookie plate IS, indeed, important! As is his milk glass, or tea cup, or brandy snifter for his cold travels...as are the table and linens that you place Santa's goodies on... they are yours, they should all speak about you and your traditions and what you love about your life now, as well as inspiration for what you want or wish your home and life to look and feel like during these and future holidays.


Your city home may be less than 400 square feet, but that does not mean that you must lower your standards (right mom?)! You may use your cookie plate as a dinner plate year round... it might be a porcelain Tiffany pattern, a silver salver, or it might be a plate that says "Santa's cookies"... You can buy two Bacarrat Brandy snifters, not 12, and repurpose them as vases when you are not sipping away! Buy a basket and some tree ornaments and put them on your table with some pine boughs that you surreptitiously collect from the corner tree salesman, and let those work as your "Charlie Brown" tree this year. It's New York City, we can do anything that we want and make it city chic and acceptable; so buy what you love so it will be an inspiration to you for this holiday and always. 

Happy holiday decorating!


Some Musings on Travel

It is Tuesday, November 21st. I am writing this post a day early – in the SUN, while savoring some delicious Hershey’s chocolate – because we leave tomorrow for our Thanksgiving holiday. What a treat. All of it. The chocolate, the sun, and the knowledge that a few days off are in store (and lots of delicious food, and the mixed adventures of family time).


The theme of today’s post is travel because, for one, I am craving a trip somewhere (I almost always am), and, secondly, because I discovered some old travel journals here the other week. One of my specialties at the warehouse, as you may previously have read, is going through boxes of books. It was probably deemed a specialty because no one else wanted to do it – it’s quite dusty and involves a lot of redundant activity - but I really sort of enjoy it once I get into it. Often, the box contents are lackluster: old hardbacks or paperbacks no one is ever going to read. Sometimes, they are nice leather-bound volumes that end up in the office I built for myself out of bookshelves, to be lotted and sold in future auctions; they are beautiful decorative items. But the things that get me the most excited when I find them, the ones that I put aside to pour over when the warehouse is a little bit less busy and I can concentrate on creative endeavors, are the more personal books. The old notebooks, or schoolbooks, or the books with beautiful inscriptions in their front pages, are the ones that speak to me. An entire life’s travels came out of a box last week: recorded recollections, in journals of many shapes and sizes, that spanned many continents and more years. Somehow, they ended up on our doorstep.


They are quite pleasurable to skim. Written in the 70s and early 80s, they are the Michelin guide lovers’ true tale across England, France, Spain, Japan, India, and beyond. They are full of her ups and downs, trials and tribulations: days too hot to bear, admirations of marvelous architecture, detailed accounts of delicious meals had and ones almost too mediocre to choke down. They are not the most evocative of accounts: they are quite matter-of-fact, but they certainly get across her way of thinking - a slightly bratty, entitled one, but one that appreciates the beauty in the world at every turn, and that matures, I think, with each new trip.


Travel, I think, has the power above all else to help us grow. It makes us uncomfortable, as it did this woman by all of her accounts (in one, she describes the many roaches she encountered on a trip to India), and it forces us to find new ways of working through our discomfort. We must grow through this process, because we have to reach for things that were previously unknown to us, outside of ourselves. I find it so wonderful that this woman so meticulously kept track of her journeys, because this growing process got tracked, unbeknownst to her, in the process. And a record of her life, and her growth, has been left, beautifully and leather-bound, behind.


- Olivia Andrews Dillingham


Playing House at Hayloft

Happy November, Haylofters!

We greet you today with a fresh sale and lots of exciting lots for you to investigate. This week, our lovely Blythe put some of those lots together so that we could show just how beautiful they can look in a homey setting (as awesome as our warehouse is, it can sometimes be a little difficult to picture our items paired up together and in a living room from here). 

In this post, we will share with you her creations, and break down the lots used. There is a decided Thanksgiving theme to these displays, which is getting us all very excited for our turkey dinners - only two weeks away!

Read More