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6 Vintage Pieces I *Seriously* Regret Getting Rid Of

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I’ve been “Tidying Up” (thanks to the Marie Kondo show) with the rest of the universe, trying to convince myself to let go of some pieces in my house, asking all the “spark” and “joy” questions. I have a lot of stuff (more in storage) so it seems like I wouldn’t regret donating or selling a lot of it. Sadly, I’ve realized that over the years (pre-Marie), there indeed HAVE been things that created a hole in my heart that were never filled. You see, once or twice a year (always after the holidays) “Purging Emily” emerges due to extreme home clutter body. I want to get rid of EVERYTHING and I often just go too far. I usually don’t regret it immediately because purging Emily likes her space, but normally a year or two later, I find myself thinking about that piece and all of a sudden having the very real realization that it’s gone. Like…gone and likely no hope of ever seeing it again.

Anyway, as I was lamenting about my past purge regrets to my team, their reaction wasn’t comfort or grief counseling, but more “Wait, which pieces?”

It’s like asking someone to talk about and show photos of ex-boyfriends. Dead boyfriends. Buried but not forgotten.

But let’s face it…I’ve had a lot of “boyfriends” over the years.

Remember when I thought that taking a photo of a piece and hoarding the photo would suffice? I was wrong. I have all the photos. They just remind me of them and make me wish I hadn’t given up on them.

I think it’s obvious to say but in case it’s not, I don’t regret giving up anything that I can get again or anything mass manufactured. Sure, every now and again there will be a shoot where I’m like “ooh, I wish I still had that pillow from Target that I donated to the rummage sale” but it’s not something that brings me real sadness and deep regret. I can shrug it off. The six pieces that follow though…they weigh heavy on me. The ones that got away (that I let go of, which makes it even more painful).

#1: “The” Blue Sofa

Emily Henderson Am I Boring Style Evolution Living Room Master Bedroom 161

That tufted and teak unicorn haunts me every day. Every time I Google myself (gross), it pops up (grosser), looking all authentically mid-century in a simple but unique way. The perfect navy. Indestructible poly that felt like velvet. A wood base that has the perfect curve that says “I was made with care and I will pass that care on to you.” Why???? Why did I sell it??? Because I had owned, styled, sat on and shot it for four years and when we moved into our first home and I started thinking about the furniture and decor, I wanted to do something different, show something different. SUCH a regret. That sofa was unique in shape, and perfectly comfortable (although you could feel the springs inside on the back). I’ve actually never seen another one and while many new companies have tried to replicate the shape, they can’t get it quite right and it just looks like a mid-century wannabe which is fine, but not her.

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Plus, it’s sentimental to me. I bought it right after Designstar and it was the biggest purchase I had ever made to date. Something like $700 or maybe $900, but I don’t actually remember because it was nine years ago…definitely under $1,000. I kept it for five or six years.

I think the person who bought it was a reader and lives in San Francisco. I’m serious that I’ll buy it back for a large profit. I miss it and it means a lot to me. It brought me SO MUCH JOY.

Maybe what I should do is talk to the new owner (PLEASE SHOW YOURSELF, I WILL NOT STALK AND ROB YOU) and get exact dimensions then find a furniture maker to recreate exactly, but a slightly updated version. Maybe the base is white oak instead of teak. But otherwise the dimensions and style would be attributed to the original designer. I know what you are thinking, and I have no intensions of then selling the design because A. it will likely be an investment custom piece with a wood base like that is special and can’t be mass manufactured and B. then other people would have it, thus losing the uniqueness.

Thoughts? Should I redesign it? Or are you guys over it and you think I should be, too? Am I too emotionally connected to it to be objective? Is it dated? Too mid-century?

Oh and where would I put it? Our LA living room. I was trying my hand at “traditional” in our 100-year-old English Tudor and while our sofa is beautiful, it’s just too traditional for me. I swung too far and I want to come back. I NEED MY GIRL TO HELP BRING ME BACK.

#2: A Coffee Table You Probably Won’t Think Is Special

Emily Henderson Am I Boring Style Evolution Living Room Master Bedroom 13

Even longer ago, 10 years or so, this was my living room (as many of you know) and while I have most of that art still, I do regret donating that coffee table. It doesn’t look special but it was solid and simple, with drop leaves on the side (so it could be a side table, too).

Emily Henderson Commonwealth Fireplace 1670x2227

It’s just nice and simple. I also miss my pouf (but I gave it to my friend so I can visit it) and if someone could give me back the painting of the sailor, I’d be psyched. But THANK GOD I  still have my birdcage ladder (not joking…I love that thing).

Next up…a piece that doesn’t quite garner the same emotional reaction as the sofa (well, nothing does)…

#3: This Credenza

Emily Henderson Dining Tables Dining Room Round Oval Rectangle Roundup 5

I was literally just shopping online for a vintage piece for the mountain house family room when I said “Ideally it would be mid-century, Danish, with cabinets for toy storage and mixed finishes…like wood and caning or natural material and…oh man!!! I used to have this!!” So NOW I want it back. So stupid of me. It was functional, unique and simple. I believe I got it at the flea market for $500 which sounds like a lot but it was in perfect condition and credenzas are expensive.

Side note, I also miss those chairs as they were comfortable and graphic with a bit of whimsy (the round cushion) but I recently found my dream chairs at the flea market that I have yet to show you. I’m sitting in one right now and while they aren’t as comfortable as those up there, they sure are beautiful. Stay tuned 🙂

And P.S. I still have the pair of lamps, the painting, the frame and the collection of wooden fingers/hands.

Also in the same room (but styled/staged to sell) is…

#4: My “Cool People” Painting I Loved

Emily Henderson Dining Room Staged House To Sell Dining Room

I bought this piece at the flea market years ago (I have a lot of this artist’s pieces, actually) and the composition and colors are great. Now, again I didn’t think it would “go” in this new house but when you find good art that is unique and in a color palette that you’ll love forever, you KEEP IT FOREVER.

#5: My Safari Chairs

Emily Henderson Am I Boring Style Evolution Living Room Master Bedroom 17

The safari chairs. The perfect caramel leather chairs I bought right before the trend hit hard. I bought them for $900 for the pair in Salt Lake City 8 or so years ago and I panicked when I spotted them in the store. They were so comfortable, kushy, large scale and stylish. I held onto them for a long time but one was increasingly falling apart and as we were moving and I was donating a bunch to Pop-up home to sell, I think I just sold them. For like nothing. I think I had just stared at them for so long and I wanted to be more ‘refined’ or something.

Emily Henderson Living Room Staged To Sell Boho Mid Century Eclectic Blue White Styled Couch Sectional Staged1

Big mistake. Big. HUGE.

Followed by another one…

#6: Birdie’s Daybed

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Birdie’s daybed was vintage. No, it wasn’t just vintage, it’s FRENCH, you guys. Now, there are new versions, sure, but I miss my vintage one. It is also sentimental to me as that room is, frankly just kinda perfect for us. It’s one of my favorite rooms ever…I miss my daybed and want it back. Whoops.

Emily Henderson Style Evolution Elliots Nursery 2

It was hard to write this post. Reliving the past, staring at lost loves can hurt. Especially when you were the one that broke up with them. But lessons were learned today. For all those pieces, I had a visceral reaction when I first saw them—yes, love at first sight. And like most relationships, after a few years some boredom snuck in and I couldn’t see how amazing they were any more. I had moved on, and it’s only now that I realize how wrong I was. Those pieces were so “me.”

But moving on, folks. I’ve licked my wounds and my love hole can be filled by others (I hope). So, I’ve been on the hunt to find that visceral, guttural reaction for vintage pieces. That’s the way I felt about my blue cabinet (from Round Top), our piano, my blimp, my antique Shaker chair…all still alive and kicking. And for the mountain house (and updating some of our house here), I’m going to shop and wait for love at first site.

Again…and hopefully again and again. 🙂

Also, please regale us with tales of “one that got away” pieces from your design history in the comments. Let’s all mourn (and move on) together…

Fin Mark

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[…] post 6 Vintage Pieces I *Seriously* Regret Getting Rid Of appeared first on Emily […]

Laurel Libby

I don’t have “the one that got away” … yet. I’m here in “I love my leather club chair, it’s the most comfortable chair I own, but am a teensy bit bored with it and think I’d like to have a pair of matching chairs instead, but don’t have anywhere to store it so have to be really sure” land. Now I’m going to think even harder about it before pulling the plug on it. And the one item I’d never get rid of is the vintage metal twin bedframe I used to sleep in at our island vacation home growing up. The vacation home was sold when I was a teen, but we each got to keep one thing… now my daughter sleeps in it.

Cait

If you make the blue sofa, I would absolutely buy one. I lost most of my worldly possessions 3 years ago in a storage unit fire in an international move. There’s a lot of stuff I miss, but the thing I think about the most is a pair of very simple mid-century chairs that I found for $100 in grad school. About 8 years later I paid significantly more than that to get them reupholstered in the most perfect deep teal. Due to a customs mix-up, it took 10 months for my furniture to make it from the US to my apartment in Haiti. 2 months later my job was eliminated and I moved back to the US and my stuff went into storage while I sorted my life out. A week before it was going to be moved into my home in DC the storage warehouse burned to the ground and I lost everything. I tried to take a very Marie Kondo/ fewer-better-things approach to re-outfitting my house and only brought in things that sparked joy. I was forced to learn how to let go of things, and I am thankful that nobody was hurt in the fire… but… Read more »

Emilie

Foreign Service spouse here!! Sitting here on a drexel sofa surrounded by all of our U.S. government owned and furnished furniture. I’m sorry about the loss of all your possessions in the storage fire, and thank you for your valuable service to our country.

Cait

The unfortunate thing is that Drexel has actually made some gorgeous stuff with clean lines… that’s just not what someone at State decided to go with. It is also unfortunate that Drexel makes such solid stuff, those massive china cabinets and heavy credenzas aren’t likely to be retired anytime soon! Thank you for YOUR service as a Foreign Service spouse Emilie, I think the spouses often have to sacrifice so much more than we do!

Jessvii

About that sofa, sofas don’t last forever. Maybe it has died? I would be all about a furniture collaboration where you design a few upholstered pieces (sectionals, sofas, maybe a chaise) with a manufacturer.

On another note, when I Googled Design Star, and scrolled down to winners, your name didn’t have a link – how do you not have a Wikipedia page?

Loveley of honeymoonvintage.com

OMG. as soon as i saw the title of this post, i knew i was going to start thinking about THE DESK again. i think about it often and i get all sad. i often look at my new desk and sigh and yell, “I can’t believe I sold that desk!” and then my husband and small children roll their eyes and my husband says, “I told you not to do it” and my son says “Are you still talking about that desk?”. This desk is a 70s or 80s vintage olive wood burl desk with all clean lines. And I got it from this old mansion where it had been put in an amazing office a long time ago and they were renovating the whole thing, so they were dismantling the office. And I only paid $300 for it, and it is worth so much more. Here’s a picture of it: https://www.instagram.com/p/BVpm_tAlLEU/ Why did I sell it? This is the part that makes it even harder when I think about it. Because it is so stupid. So, I got this desk to work at because I had just started a new job where I get to work from home.… Read more »

joanne

Wow that was a beauty. I am sure the person that bought it was like “I can’t believe I bought it for only 395!”

loveley of honeymoonvintage

i know!!!! they probably thought i was an idiot and had no idea of it’s worth. little did they know that i was just a ball of anxiety at that time and made a bad decision. waaaaaaaaahhhhhhh!

Elizabeth

That desk is gorgeous!!! What a loss!

Matty

A fedora hat that belonged to my grandfather. I sold it for like $2 at a stoop sale, some hipster dude walked away wearing it, and my mom meekly said, but that belonged to my father…And I didn’t stop him, I didn’t offer more money to buy it back. Why oh why?! I can picture the back of that man striding down the street. Regret doesn’t adequately capture it.

AllyEx

I don’t get your obsession with that couch. I think if you got it back you would get over it pretty quickly. Aside from which, it’s condition is likely not that great anymore. This seems like a case of glorified nostalgia.

Allison

I don’t have one that got away, but I have a piece I aspire to. We moved into a new house in 2017 and I passed on buying this chair (the Stickley Leopold) because it’s insanely expensive (for us) and I just couldn’t justify the expense when we had a whole downstairs to furnish (two chairs would eat up the total budget and we needed to furnish the dining room, kitchen and living areas). We bought some perfectly ok living room chairs instead. We’ve since discovered that our perfectly ok chairs are only ok and far from perfect because they are not comfy for lounging.
So now, I’m contemplating purchasing the dream chair and selling the ok chairs for way less than what we paid. I may get one dream chair this year and another next year. They are lovely and the most comfortable chair I have ever sat on. Once those babies enter my home, we will use them FOREVER.

Paula Carr

Oooo, love that chair! Although I’d probably make it even more expensive by reupholstering it. I’m thinking an olive green leather?

Deb

My oldest daughter got divorced and we bought her house to relieve her of the debt. She left behind her midcentury credenza/dresser. My middle child moved in and then moved out, leaving that lovely piece of furniture behind. As we staged that house for sale with very little furniture, that credenza SHOWN like spotlight was on it. Sold the house(thankyou credenza), had to get rid of the remaining furniture (we gave it away) but no one wanted that beautiful credenza. Put it put to the curb , gone in 5 minutes. Regrets, I’ve had a few…

Emily K

You shouldn’t feel bad about that blue sofa. It’s not one-of-a-kind. I’ve seen that exact sofa out there. In fact a couple years ago when you posted about your regret in selling it a reader posted a Craigslist link to that exact sofa. If you really want it back you can find another vintage one. No need to have it recreated. IMO theres better, more interesting, fresher feeling sofa designs out there for you and your current homes. List the elements you liked: comfort, durable navy velvet, wood, curves, and see what else could meet and exceed that.

Kari

Next time I’m side eyeing my 200 year old round Shaker table that doesn’t let all of my 1961 Windsor chairs push in just right, I’ll pull up this post. I know how endlessly I would regret if I parted with either of the pieces… I just have to overlook one small functional issue to live with a lifetime of vintage happiness.

Jess

Hahaaha! I, too, have a beautiful 200 year old round table (with a built in lazy Susan) and my chairs don’t push in well around it either. But that table found me and I will never abandon it. I’m with you.

Andrea

More design posts, room reveals please. I’m tired of the content that has been coming our way for the past few days.

Emily S

Emily don’t listen to her. The negativity can go. I thought this post was great!

Michelle

I second this. There are lots of design aggregate sites out there feeding daily influxes of pretty pictures. Go to Houzz or Apartment Therapy or Domino or a mag for house beauty porn needs. Let this blog be the amazingly personal and unique conversation it is with Em and her team. To them I say – we are well rounded readers with lots of thoughts. THANK you for recognizing that with your content.

Jenny B

I third this. Yowza it’s crazy how entitled people get about their free content. I have LOVED the last few days!!

Betsy

Then move on. You are not forced to read the content. Jeez!

Molly

Completely disagree. I really enjoyed the post and found it highly relevant to the issue of design.

Wade Bostrom

I love content like this. My favorite is flea market finds 🙂

Esther

Don’t listen to this person, Emily. I loved this post. It made me grateful that I still have my safari chairs. And grateful for the rugs I’m hoarding until we redo our floors. Usually I’m good about keeping special things. I do regret selling an incredible walnut dresser (I think it was Harvey probber and I bought it for $250 to flip, but it was so glamorous and made the room look so fancy. but it was heavy and we were moving) and giving away as a gift a set of authentic vintage woven wall-baskets about 2 years ago (my husband didn’t like the style and you know how that goes with compromising). I think about the baskets a lot— it’s weird.

Patricia

Wow !!!

Cris S.

I tend to regret things I didn’t buy, not things I sold or gave away. I have a mental list of things I passed on at the flea market (oh!!!! those darling french miniature chairs I shouldn’t have walked away from. I came back 20 minutes later and they were gone. Someone got a steal!).

My big issue right now is that I didn’t buy a cabinet that would have been perfect for the inset area of our kitchen. Perfect. Exact right size, material, set up and look. I’ve been looking for a year since and haven’t found anything to come close…

Andi

I’m the same! I regret not buying so many things. Often times the cost of the item was so inconsequential it’s embarrassing to think about.

oh yesss. I still can barely get over not buying a set of six almost pristine Cesca dining chairs from a woman on facebook that owned a thrist store. She was selling ALL SIX for….SIXTY DOLLARS. Not entirely sure if they were actually authentic or just a knock off, but regardless, I kick myself for not buying them. I still and will likely always love the silhouette of that chair and I cannot believe I passed. UGHHHH

WHAT. For just $60??? For all. Of. Them?? ARLYNNNN!!!

priscilla

me too. aagh, the flea market and the things that I never bought!!!

Melissa

Oh yes, the one that got away! Because it was too expensive, or a logistical impossibility to get it home, or there was no place to put it in your home without getting rid of something else, and you don’t want to get rid of something else, or you second guess yourself out of it. That seems to be the constant thread, making a decision that in hindsight you regret, and never being able to forgive yourself for that decision. Oh, well, live and learn.

Sherry

I don’t ever want to experience “the one that got away”!! The blue sofa is iconic Emily. It’s the piece I immediately associate with you. I’ll hope that it makes its way back into your cozy living room where you adore and admire her forever more. The chairs though…those chairs…I love those! That really pains me. I absolutely love those chairs. I never want to feel “the one that got away” pain. I too have a storage for my overflow pieces. I will remember this and lament a little more before gettting rid of pieces in the future. I’m actually in your neighborhood. Would love to know who you’d use for “recreating” the sofa and/or reupholstery!

Paula

My biggest regrets haven’t been with purging but not realizing fully my attachment to an investment piece because of sticker shock. I too am a lover of vintage and here in the Bible Belt there isn’t much unique awesome vintage. Everything is very hobby lobby-traditional. When a great piece does hit the market it seems to come with a shockingly high tag. Generally speaking I love a great deal and one of my favorite things to do is collect slowly over time so when one of these awesome pieces makes an appearance I have a hard time pulling the trigger. There are three investment pieces I have regretted not jumping on in time and I think about them ALL THE TIME!! I find myself wasting time and designing with them in mind or endlessly searching for them again. They were all unique one of a kind items though so they too are— RIP. I get it!! Sometimes those pieces slip by for whatever reason. For the record those chairs and THAT couch have always been on my list!! They are gorgeous!! If I ever find anything remotely similar to them I will NOT hesitate!! </3 Hope that confirmation doesn’t sting…… Read more »

Michelle

I appreciate this post, although most of my regrets are fashion related. I too have periodic urges to purge and can overdo. I think this is all just part of aging/life. So is learning from them. Just as I have learned to resist buying things I like but don’t love by picturing it in my donation pile, I have also learned to appreciate what I have by considering how hard it would be to replace. That said, there is no sure way to avoid this pain. Hanging on to things you no longer use or can’t fit just causes different regrets. I’d like to think someone else is cherishing these gems as much as you cherish the memory. THAT said YES you should totally replicate that couch. I also think you could make a version for sale. Use a different wood or upholstery if you want to stay unique. But there can never be too much beauty in the world and having a role in creating is richly satisfying.

Kristine

Oh this was soooo helpful. I was considering selling my vintage teak Erik Burk dining chairs and table but NOW I’M NOT. I know I’ll regret it one day. Thank you Emily.

Kate

A safari chair inherited from my grandparents…. we stored it in a cellar when we moved house…. and a heavy rain destroyed the cellar and the chair.. maybe I could have saved it somehow…. I regret it soooo much 🙁

Catherine

That couch. Yes, get it back if you can. Ignore all the people who say it’s probably falling/fallen apart by now. Couches can be reupholstered and their insides can be rebuilt! The way you write about that couch (like, everytime you write about the blue couch), I can hear how much you miss it.

If the new owner doesn’t want to part with it (and who could blame them!?), then get the dimensions and have it custom made.

But I think you should then sell it, because there are so many of your readers who would buy a version of that couch, and lots of people who aren’t your readers who would buy it. And lots of other people owning that couch still wouldn’t make it less special.

Karen

yes, this! Every time you’ve mentioned that blue couch I can hear how much you miss it. I hope you can get it back and happily update each other on what happened to the other while you were separated!

Celeste

My furniture regrets go both ways. I have given pieces to relatives only to have them let a girlfriend “borrow” them (permanently) or put on the curb (literally) when they needed to move or the like. I have also sold costly items through consignment stores, only to make pennies on the dollar after the store takes its cut and I pay for getting the item to the store for sale. I think it is hard for those of us not in the design industry to just decide we are done with a piece and dispose of it without taking a big financial loss. Every designer I have worked with quickly suggests tossing pieces they want to replace (ie, sell me) but nary a one has every actually offered to help me get rid of or repurpose anything – rather, I have been left to try to sell via consignment or Craig’s list etc – all at substantial losses. I also have regrets regarding purchasing items that ultimately don’t work. This is a double whammy, as I am out money for the item, then out again to sell it. All this has made me reluctant to make big investments in furniture… Read more »

erin

Yes! I love this content. I immediately went snooping in craigslist and found a bunch of really good stuff! I left this post feeling excited. For your ongoing content-feedback-consideration. 🙂

Feedback is ALWAYS appreciated. Thank you!

Amanda

Not going to lie, the blue sofa is why I started following your blog! ?

HA!

Sarah

When my parents split up and sold their house, they gave away a Milo Baughman Style Mid Century Burl Wood bedroom set (they had a headboard, side tables, low dresser and armoire. It was very heavy and very well made. I was a teenager at the time and couldn’t have cared less. Now I wonder about it. I have memories of staring at the pattern in the armoire doors and seeing monsters facing off. It would never fit in my tiny bungalow but I hope its still in use somewhere igniting some other little kids imagination.

HEATHER YOUNG

OMG, painful! So many great items. As a chronic “purger”, I can sympathize.

Maddie

This post was painful to read!!! I know the feeling well. I own a shop so sometimes it’s hard to sell the most special pieces, but I know they went to a good home.

Ashley Moseley

Definitely remake the sofa! It is so cute and is the perfect mcm piece! I feel like we get this perfect sofa in our lives and than some how get caught thinking we should finally change it and then when we do we instantly miss it!

tess

that style of sofa is called gondola, adrain pearsall and edward wormley designed similar,
see hans wegner for round seated dining chairs

Alison

I kind of feel the same way about the couch I currently have. It’s not vintage, but was bought from Thrive (RIP) six years ago when I first purchased my house. It is BY FAR the most money I have ever spent on any piece of furniture, but it brings me a ton of joy. Since we’re looking at buying a new bed frame right now, I keep being SO cheap on my options. However, every time I think about the couch and the number of years it has brought me joy for, and will continue to do, I’m reminded to spend a little more for the right piece that is ME (and then hang onto it)! I constantly look around my house at what we’ll have to get part with when we downsize. My husband and I plan on leaving our city and moving into an apartment when we hop states, so it’s inevitable we’ll need to get rid of things. The things NEVER leaving are: the small grey, metal typing table that I inherited from my great-aunt (has served as a bedroom/side table, plant stand, you name it); my thrifted coffee table that is very simple, but I… Read more »

tess

search “gondola” sofas

emily jane

I have a post-therapy truth that I think applies here -all that you feel is right. Period. Full stop. It is fine if someone doesn’t ‘understand’ or ‘agree’ but you do not need to justify or explain how & why you miss that amazing blue sofa in order for the emotion to be valid. (This may seem obvious to some but for someone (me!) who used to wait for permission from someone else before allowing myself an emotion, it was/is a transformative shift in thinking.) Around either when you sold that beauty or when you realized you regretted it, I found the same couch in a deep brown on craigslist and was ready to empty my meager savings and make the drive to Tacoma from Portland immediately. Sadly it sold in the time it took me to reply to the listing. It is true that there may be other versions out there (which could all be reupholstered beginning with foam and feather cushions and thus be shiny and new from the inside out solving both comfort and longevity issues one often encounters with vintage) BUT, I looooove the idea of you designing a custom, perfect-in-the-space version for your current home.… Read more »

Mary

How about all that authentic midcentury danish furniture my step mother left me. I ended up selling it to a lovely young couple… all good. Now my daughter (who didn’t want it at the time) has bought replicas of the exact same stuff.

sarah

Where do your purge items end up? Here’s a suggestion: a shop link (Em’s List?) on the site where readers who don’t live in CA can have a shot at your purges. Something you used to love can find a new life with one of your faithful readers!

Amy E Jones

Oh man, I do love all the pieces you’ve shown here! But, you have such a good eye for scoring vintage that there is still hope for acquiring future ‘boyfriends.’ Can’t wait to see what you find.

I always wished I had won a pair of vintage leather club chairs (perfectly worn) at an auction on Valentine’s Day with my boyfriend (now husband). We were so broke at the time and couldn’t bid any higher. We actually shouldn’t have been there at all because my boyfriend was selling his guitars to pay our rent! LOL. He is now a practicing lawyer in his 40’s, we own a home and have kids and I guess the hopeless romantic in me covets them more for the memories than anything else. XO

Elizabeth

I seriously wonder if you got that blue sofa back if you wouldn’t be like . . . hmm . . . what do I do with this? I don’t think it would work in the Mountain house or your current home (but I could totally be wrong). Where would you put it? Or is it more about the comfort of having it? I’m seriously curious!

Also, I cannot BELIEVE you got rid of those safari chairs! They were so perfect! Sigh. There just isn’t room in life for all the perfect things . . .

Hena Tayeb

That blue sofa was really beautiful..

http://www.henatayeb.blogspot.com

Rebecca

That daybed would be the most painful item on this list for me. She’s a straight stunner

KMR

I love to purge and typically don’t look back. My one regret is my grandmother’s 1950’s ceramic light up Christmas tree. Cleaning out her house was overwhelming and at the time I thought the tree was tacky and not at all special. Waah, what was I thinking?! Now every holiday season I feel sad about it. I know I can buy or even make a new one, but it wouldn’t be the same. I want *her* ceramic tree. 🙁

Ann

We are looking at downsizing considerably, and won’t be able to take all the furniture I love with us. So I’m looking at which pieces spark more joy than other pieces. Such difficult decisions!!

shade

I let go of 2 mid-century modern vintage sofas (a matching set – big & little) that we inherited from my stylish sister-in-law in the Middle East! We’d had them for 5 years, they were falling apart a little, and I wanted a change – something more modern. I sold them for nothing and now we have a West Elm sofa. Womp womp. It’s pretty and comfy, sure, but it doesn’t have 1/2 the character those sofas had. REGRET!

Recreating your blue sofa is a good idea. You can enjoy it again, in a slightly new and improved way. I say go for it!

Stephanie

There’s a huge mid-century warehouse in Canton, OH called Main Street Modern. The owner travels all over the country buying and also has restoration and upholstery services. I’ve seen him post similar sofas to the one you have. Maybe shoot him a note to see if he has one or can keep an eye out? http://www.mainstmodern.com/

As for my “one that got away”, it was a Rattan Basket Chair Swing on a pristine white metal stand. I gave it up to move in with my boyfriend. He’s worth it but damn I miss that swing.

Kristi

Thank you! We are around Canton regularly to visit family. What a great reference. Will check this place out.

Loveley of honeymoonvintage.com

So disappointing. I wrote a LONG comment about my biggest regret furniture piece that i got rid of and it didn’t even post. That was this morning. 🙁
That’s so frustrating when i take the time to comment.

Hi Loveley! I went to check what happened, and sometimes our spam bot doesn’t post a comment if there are several links in it since those are typically spam, but I found your comment and re-approved it!

Loveley of honeymoonvintage.com

Thanks Arlyn! 🙂

Vicki Williams

MY comments never post eiter! Have asked on instagram and here. I’ve been following since Design Star. Please help!

Oh noooo. Let me look into it.

Angela

These are some of my favorite pieces, that brought me to love your mid century vibe! I think they all stand the test of time, but so does your work.

I say recreate you sofa, just DO it! But keep it teak or walnut because the wood was a beautiful warm tone that made it sing. It is also timeless! I wish I was the lucky one who got those safari chairs, the reproductions just don’t compare.

Jamie

Omg, I love this. And I loved, loved that blue sofa. I remember admiring it when it was in your first house. I hope the new owner gets back to you:-)

Do you happen to know the artist of the painting behind the credenza in #3? Really dig that piece.

Lastly, love the Pretty Woman reference. Huge!

Thanks for sharing your lost loves. I feel you.

Jill

I have a pair of velvet curtains I bought at one of the Paris flea markets. There were four panels, but A) I was on my own and could only carry two, and B) I was just a little unsure they would work in our apartment. You know where this is going — I went back the next day hoping to score the other two panels and they were gone. I blew the first rule of flea marketing — buy it when you see it, it won’t be there if you go back.

Betty

OMG I loved your Safari chairs – they looked so comfortable, indestructible and versatile to match any
home. I would have loved to buy them. (to never ever sell them again)…..
I personally don’t have these regrets – the few pieces that are near and dear to me I shlepped from
house to house and even through 1 divorce. I never could part with them – they’re three unique pieces,
two old English pine armoires and one old pine hutch from Panama. I always will find room for them –
the rest I couldn’t care less….

Cretee Nemmer

I once sold the cutest vintage settee upholstered in really awesome white Crewel fabric. It went with EVERYTHING. The husband wanted something “modern” so I sold it. He’s gone and so is my favorite piece I ever owned. TEARS

Betsy

I needed this post today. When my grandfather died, my grandmother pretty quickly sold her house. So possessions were given to family that wanted them, and the rest of it sold. My grandfather made amazing wood “things” in his basement. Probably to escape the chaos of 7 kids!! He made the most beautiful wood wall cabinet, with chicken type wire on the door. Beautiful mouldings all around. I have always loved it, and was able to stake my claim on it at 22. 23 years ago I knew it was special. When I bought my first house, it immediately went up on the wall. Of course not without a little drama. There it has been for 15 years. The thing is seriously double bolted to the wall studs with huge screws. But I have been thinking lately, that it is time to take it down. Maybe get rid of it to someone else in the family. But i know that no one else will love, and appreciate, it as much as I do. So it will stay in its place of honor, by the front door. Damn…now I have tears in my eyes thinking about my grandfather. Thank you for… Read more »

Brooke

I say this with the greatest love & respect – this post disgusts & saddens me! Be ashamed, Emily, be very ashamed for parting with those items.

Lashley

We’re really still in the phase of acquiring things we actually like, vintage or otherwise, so I don’t have too much to relate to here, but I’ve definitely gotten rid of some sweet pieces of clothing that didn’t fit anymore, then swung back to that size (in one direction or another) and that’s been a bummer for sure.

I wonder though if the “Dead boyfriends.” line is necessary in this piece? Maybe because Cup of Jo had a really lovely piece about death with lots of heart-wrenching comments, but I can imagine that there is at least one reader for whom that line is very difficult to read.

Christina

Those Safari chairs with the buckle and straps on the side!!! Talk about sublime comfort to the max!! They aren’t exactly my style and yet I’d totally incorporate those in my home if I could! I wanted to chime in to say, ‘thank you’ for this post! While there are many who appreciate good design, I love, love, love it when a person sincerely appreciates their found, created or bought items for the craftsmanship that it took to make them, for the materials, lines, specific shade of color and scale of each item. I’m only 4yrs new to decorating our home (we were savers before and simply lived in our home but I’m making up for it now!) and have been in a self crash course in learning about how to layer and put our home together both functionally and aesthetically so I sincerely appreciate that you loved and appreciated your items. Since I’m new at decorating, I haven’t purged things that I regret just yet however, I have DEEP regrets over a handful of items that slipped through my fingers. Some items were over my budget…some by just a hair and I was hoping the price would come down… Read more »

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