For a new look, try something old

By RENE’ DAY / Community Columnist

A smart columnist enlists input from readers to make sure that topics continue to match interests. A recent conversation with a mid-30s Shelby County resident helped me realize that there are quite a few “nest builders” around who need to know about local retailers offering unique home décor items. And, it seems that today’s nesters are using the past to make what is “old” new again.

Vintage items like this tobacco basket and buffet mirror can add interest and individuality to your home. (Contributed)

Several years ago, if you mentioned the words “fixer upper,” you were talking about a house needing renovation. Today, you would be talking about a trend made madly popular by Chip and Joanna Gaines of Waco, Texas. This couple (along with their teams of contractors, film crews, and design assistants) has almost “single-handedly” changed how America decorates. Some call it new “farmhouse,” or the new “country” living. Its signature includes shiplap walls, neutral colors, and reinvented pieces used in innovative ways. If you want to introduce touches of this style in your home, there are some fantastic places to visit in our county that have just what you need. However, if the “fixer upper” look isn’t quite your style, the variety of vintage and antique items available will offer something for every design trend. Your imagination is all you need to reinvent or repurpose items to achieve something unique.

Items that were once necessities for home or farm life are now much desired decorating commodities. Take the humble tobacco basket. They were once used to dry newly harvested leaves, but no longer. Today, these wooden squares of latticed strips make amazing wall art. Several were recently spotted at Greystone Marketplace on U.S. 280. And, vintage light fixtures are “hot” and they can be easily rewired. Or, unexpected items like old industrial funnels, copper pots and Mason jars can be converted into interesting lighting options. Try looking at the Chelsea Antique Mall on U.S. 280, Sammy’s Antiques & Consignment in Wilsonville, or one of the newer purveyors of vintage items in Columbiana. There you will find Dragonflies Antiques & Marketplace, Main Street Market, The Farm Company and Joyce’s Old Country Store Antiques. Harpersville is home to Black Sheep Antiques and this is definitely the place to look for that perfect lake (or any) house item.

If you prefer something a little older and more “primitive,” travel to Montevallo and visit Cedar Creek Antiques. Housed in a reconstructed log cabin, you will find early cupboards, farm tables and a variety of accessories to bring the past into your modern space. Look for an authentic dough bowl and fill it with seasonal items like lemons, candles, or pumpkins for an easy, dramatic centerpiece. Just up the road on U.S. 31 in Pelham are Vintage Interiors and Oak Mountain Emporium offering terrific antique linens, hand-painted vintage pieces, and fun mid-century modern furniture. If you like a one-stop shopping experience, try Meyer’s Plants and Antiques. And, Attic Antiques on Cahaba Valley Road has been around longer than most and has achieved a reputation worthy of your visit.

With so many options nearby, there is no excuse for your nest to be boring. “Fixer” up to reflect “YOU” by making something “old” new again!