Yes, I’ve just completed another thrifty “makeover” for our bedroom! This time I wanted bright colors to help offset the prolonged darkness of the short Maine winter days. I also ended up returning the heavy wool blanket we bought online last year because it turned out to be falsely advertised as being free from mothproofing. The label on the blanket stated otherwise, in another language! Sneaky!! To the merchant’s credit they took it back past the return date once I explained why I “waited” until then. Before I share the specifics of my thrifty purchases for the newest vintage makeover, here are past snapshots:
In the spring we bought low-cost 100% wool and cotton Maine-made blankets from a shop in Freeport. We love them because they are comfy, breathable and very well made. In the summer one is just right, and in the months of October and November we layer them. From December through March we need a heavier blanket to supplement the lighter ones when we turn the thermostat down to 64 degrees at night.
This was last last fall and winter with the estate sale barkcloth curtains purchased for a few dollars many years ago.
Here’s a more glam look from years prior.
For this and future winters I dreamed of a bright well-made vintage plaid wool blanket that would coordinate with my orange and yellow floral sheets and pillow cases. All of the vintage sheets I’ve purchased in the past were still sealed in their original packages with tags intact stating the 100% cotton content. Buying a vintage wool blanket is more challenging because so many were treated with DDT prior to sometime in the early 1970s. For that reason buying a vintage circa 1960s and earlier wool blanket without a label is too risky. At that time moth-proofing was listed on the label, whether by law or voluntarily I don’t know, and was a selling point, not something to hide. Almost every wool blanket I saw online and liked that had a label stated it was mothproofed, even the ones from New Zealand, except for the exact one I wanted!
But wait, there were two of them! An etsy seller from New Zealand had a listing for two Queen-sized orange and yellow plaid blankets made at the Mosgiel woolen mill (1874 – until it shut down sometime in the 1990s) for a total cost of $138 with shipping to the US! The cost of a new heavy 100% wool blanket is around $200 so two for under $70 each is a deal! The labels are fully intact with no moth-proofing stated. The font style and colors are suggestive of the early 1970s. When I received them I machine washed and dried them one at a time. They have retained their colors, have not pilled, aren’t itchy and are very warm.
This past spring I also bought solid machine-washable yellow curtain panels from Target for $8 each. With a solid color I can use my vintage bedding with fun floral patterns! Even with the lights out this morning during a snowstorm the bright panels give the room a bright, cheery glow and the illusion of streaming sunshine.
I hung this vintage brass beaded sconce (check out that great patina!) which I bought on ebay for $45, shipping included, for a pair of them. The flameless candle, which is controlled by a remote, was purchased as a set of ten on Amazon for $24. It is now a wonderful night light with an adjustable brightness. I placed some of the other candles in the scones around our house.
We’re still enjoying the ceramic Christmas tree I bought last year at a rummage sale for $5.
There seems to be a misconception that simple living means mute-colored minimalism. You know, white or grey walls, a few possessions, sterile atmosphere, some made in China “inspirational” signs that say things like “Joy”. Nope! Vintage colorful charm is uplifting, fun and oftentimes the frugal, sustainable choice for simple, joyful living! I get that not everyone wants their bedroom to look like a mid-century time capsule. That’s the beauty of true simplicity–you decorate in a way that you truly like and can afford!