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Emily Henderson

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by Emily Henderson
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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

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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

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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).

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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…

  1. 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.

  2. 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 I really miss my art and those chairs.

    I’ve since joined the Foreign Service and the US Government provides most of the furniture overseas instead of shipping everything around the world. No matter where I am, I will have the same heavy faux colonial Drexel Heritage furniture and beige curtains. Those chairs would have been perfect to add some personality and color to my space.

    1. OH geez. I can’t imagine. I’m so sorry. Ultimately yes, they are just “things” but its the sentiments attached to them that are real. I’m realizing now that you are saying that, that a lot of these things i’m attached to because they were from my youth and they kinda represented me growing up (and they were scores). Maybe what I miss is my youth 🙂 I’m sorry about your fire – that sounds devastating but you have a great perspective about it. xx

      1. Emily if you ever want to do a style foreign service furniture piece I’m sure many of us would be on board. (Or for most people, how to add personality to corporate apartments, or how to update colonial furniture). The struggle is real….

    2. 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.

      1. 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!

  3. 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?

    1. ha. i don’t know! I think Emily Henderson does and with my photo its a professional vollyball player from Australia. I should probably add one 🙂

      And yeah, internally it wasn’t in the best of shape, although from the outside it was still perfect.

  4. 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. Anyways, whenever I would sit down to work at my desk, I would get a headache and feel like i couldn’t breathe. Well, after weeks of this, i blamed it on the desk, and thought there was something wrong with it, like, was there some kind of old weird dust or mold somewhere that I couldn’t see it (because I’m a total hypochondriac). So, I immediately sold it for $395 on Craigslist, and it went same day. Like, someone wanted it within 5 minutes of me posting it. Because, of course it would. Well, within a couple weeks, I got a new desk, which is a beautiful vintage Drexel Declaration desk https://www.instagram.com/p/Bo3wHFOAHpN/ , but it’s NOT THE SAME. It’s not as cool and unique. It’s possible to get another desk like this one, but I will NEVER get that burl wood desk again, and definitely not for that low price. So, here is the really stupid part. I also realized that the headaches and feeling like i couldn’t breathe wasn’t the desk (duh), it was anxiety, which that year just appeared out of nowhere, over life and my super stressful new job. How did i know this? Because I felt that same way when I sat down to work at my new desk (face-palm).
    Sooooo, that desk is my Emily’s blue sofa. I see you Emily! And I totally relate. Sigh. And I’m not over it. I just keep hoping the universe will bring it back to me.

    1. 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!”

      1. 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!

    2. That desk is gorgeous!!! What a loss!

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

    1. Maybe. Maybe i just miss being that version of myself. who know?

      1. I think you are on to something here, Emily. Perhaps instead of ruminating about it, you should remember why you got rid of these items in the first place, and trust in yourself that you did the right thing. Life is too short to be wanting something you can never have. In your business, you surely run upon fabulous things everyday that you love. But you can’t have everything. Try simply enjoying the memories and the good feelings that these objects stir in you. Take another look at the photos. Then put them away.

        1. …But sharing these thoughts with others is part of the “healing process”, lol.

  7. 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.

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

  8. 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…

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

    1. 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.

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

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

      1. 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.

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

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

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

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

    5. 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.

    6. Wow !!!

  12. 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…

    1. 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.

    2. 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

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

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

    4. 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.

  13. 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!

  14. 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… though I have a feeling it does… at little.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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 🙁

  18. 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.

    1. 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!

  19. 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 unless I know I will be able to keep the item for at least 10 years. Such is the reality for those of us not in the design industry or without access to shop vintage stores on a regular basis or ability to store items for later use. I look for investment pieces, either somewhat traditional “safe” choices that will age well, or antiques that will somewhat hold their value come resale time. The easiest items to sell have been tables and chairs. Sofas, not so much. They don’t age well and take up too much space in consignment stores. Rugs – forget it. The markup on rugs is so extreme that I now refuse to re-sell them. I just put them in unconventional places, like a workout room.

  20. 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. 🙂

    1. Feedback is ALWAYS appreciated. Thank you!

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

    1. HA!

  22. 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.

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

  24. 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.

  25. 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!

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

  27. 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 refinished myself in the most beautiful stain; the vintage hutch that I drove an hour for after finding it on Craigslist and praying that when I got there it wasn’t in worse shape than the photos or hanging out in a smokers house (it wasn’t! it’s amazing! I paid way too little for it from a tiny rural town!); and then my vintage credenza that currently serves as my bar cabinet… but I’ve figured out how it could easily store sweaters if we have no room when we move and it has to get stuffed into a bedroom. IT WILL NOT BE LEFT BEHIND!

    Reflecting on these pieces, I realize how much your blog influenced me at the time to take risks on seeking things out that were quirky, vintage, or sight-unseen and integrate them into my house. All are pieces I really love styling, but they ground the space. I’ve said it before, but THANK YOU for all you do. Even if it wasn’t conscious, your blog has been a great inspiration and support system for taking design risks and turning my house into a home. I’m very excited as vintage Emily returns, as it’s been too long since I have searched CL too!!

  28. search “gondola” sofas

  29. 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. Like, a LOT. As far as your regrets, I miss all but one of these lost lovelies on your list (not that you need my permission ; ) -especially that Funky People piece! aaand the couch, daybed, safari chair and yes, that coffee table too… The pieces I miss from my life are ones that belonged to my Mom that I consigned when she passed due to lack of space. In the end though, I cherish all the more the pieces of hers I was able to keep -her charming but wonky sewing table and the working retro sewing machine that was Her mother’s.

  30. 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.

  31. 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!

  32. 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

  33. 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 . . .

  34. That blue sofa was really beautiful..

    http://www.henatayeb.blogspot.com

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

  36. 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. 🙁

  37. 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!!

  38. 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!

  39. 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.

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

  40. 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.

    1. 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!

      1. Thanks Arlyn! 🙂

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

        1. Oh noooo. Let me look into it.

  41. 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.

  42. 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.

  43. 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.

  44. 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….

  45. 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

  46. 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 this post, Emily!

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

  48. 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.

  49. 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 further, some I contemplated exactly where I would place it then when I finally made my decision to pull the trigger, POOF! They were gone. To this day, I still scour places in hopes to find another like those or hope that it ends up for sale again.
    Again, thanks for the post. It’s a great reminder that if you have something that you love and get a bit bored of it, simply rework it in another room or space in your home, see if you can change it up a bit or just stick it in a closet if you can at least until you are 100% certain that you’d be fine letting it go! Here’s to hoping you find your long lost beauties again and can bring them home again for find their equivalent that you are just as happy with!

  50. Well, I have a question for you. Do you have a storage area for things that are you not using but might use in the future? If not, you should get one – that way, you can store the pieces closest to your heart to use in your house later or for staging. It might be worth it if you have pieces you love. I have a few, including this little table with the feet…what a personality! And the sides can fold down, making it a table which is also special. I have two blue chairs from my Mom and two spectacular antique wooden chairs from my mother and father in law. I’ll never get rid of any of it. Maybe you can do something similar?

  51. Cute, cute post. I loved it! Enjoyed Emily’s true reactions. 🙂

  52. I think sfgirlbybay is selling an identical daybed in her shop!

  53. That blue couch is everything, please get it back. Did you buy it in Portland? I can’t remember but I feel like you did and it makes this Portlander think that maybe there’s still an amazing blue sofa like that for $700 here. That’s a fantasy – everything is overpriced now. I would also cut a pinky off for that sailor painting. also – never, ever get rid of that dog painting, please. I love seeing it in your different houses displayed in different ways.
    I have been looking for a word or phrase to describe the feeling of losing something that was never yours. Like when you hesitate to buy a vintage piece and it sells before you go back to buy it. It’s a real, physical pain that I should probably be in therapy for.
    My big regret is a pair of Milo Baughman swivel club chairs that were a perfect 70s brown velvet. I inherited them from my mom and loved them, but my terrier threw up in one and I could never get it clean again. I ended up having to rip the upholstery off and never got it fixed and finally sold the pair at a garage sale for next to nothing and immediately regretted it. They were the perfect conversation chairs, and my memories of curling up for a nap as a wee girl in them will always make me regret getting rid of them before my kids could do the same.

    1. My grandparents had swivel club chairs in their basement in a hideous pea soup green velvet. My cousin and I loved to play/swivel/sit in them. They eventually got them recovered in navy velvet. I don’t wish I owned them (they sold in their estate sale) since I would have no place to put them in my home, but I love the memory.

  54. This is one of my problems with de-clutterers. You can get caught up in the frenzy of downsizing (and it CAN be a pleasurable frenzy) and end up chucking things you’ll regret chucking later on.

    Especially vintage.

    When you get rid of something vintage, you’re pretty much guaranteed to never find another matching piece (unless it was vintage, but mass manufactured or it sold in large numbers when new). I was waiting for a custom shadow box from an Etsy vendor and thought I’d lost the object I wanted to display in it (a cool, wooden, square Japanese matchbox with a nice 50s image of a woman). I thought I’d lost it, because I couldn’t find it when the shadow box arrived. I was ironically purging a lot of stuff (mostly books) at the time and thought it had fallen into one of my donation boxes and was gone forever.

    I was frantically searching for something similar online and couldn’t find anything at all like it. Not even something similar but slightly different. Luckily, I found the object.

    I learned my lesson. I couldn’t believe how upset I was about a silly little item (that was not all that expensive — a little pricier than most vintage matchboxes but due to its rarity — priced about right). If it’s near unique and I really like it, I keep it.

  55. Someone is coming from Craigslist in like an hour to pick up our extremely perfect coffee table for NO money. It’s Henredon rosewood, it’s a big low square with 4 rolling tan leather ottomans that slot under it and a glass top. I love it, it makes people want to sit down at it, but it’s WAY the wrong scale for our place (we went from 3000 ft and 12ft ceilings to 1100 and 9ft). It’s so not baby proof and it has the sharpest corners, but man, it’s hard to say goodbye.

    If I could attach a photo I would…he sure is handsome.

    1. Sometimes when I pass on things I don’t need I imagine another person finding it and REALLY needing it and REALLY enjoying it. That makes it easier for me to say “no thanks.” I am sure your table’s new order will love it and consider it a lucky score!

  56. Love the lines on that blue sofa. Like an old Cadillac. Long and low 🙂

  57. I loved this post!! I understand your nostalgia for each one of these pieces, ESPECIALLY “The” blue sofa. Ever since the first time I saw it on here years ago I have wanted one and would absolutely purchase one if you recreated the perfection. Going to be moving in a week, and definitely purged half my life away recently and there are about 10 things I’m kicking myself over. But using it as an opportunity to find some truly amazing pieces- fingers crossed.

  58. Great post, Emily! I’ve had this feeling before and it’s frustrating! Who is the artist that painted the Cool People?

  59. I want y’all to know that I saw the title of this post in my Feedly and immediately shouted “AMERICA’S SOFA!!!!” in my head 😀

    1. HAAAAAAAA. Love this.

  60. None of this makes a ton of sense to me. Not judging- I just think people and perspectives are different. I think how we’re raised and our childhood experiences have a lot to do with it (I wasn’t raised in a nice or cozy home with good memories and I work hard to make my home exactly that for my kids). The smell of a real, new leather sofa will always make me think of my grandparents, so do Pendleton blankets. I think I cherish the memories and the people more than the actual things. I’ve never gotten rid of something and so deeply regretted it. Things can always be replaced, even if the replacement is new or different…people and memories can’t.

  61. Ithink if you had it made it would not be the same and you would still be pining for it. As Marie says let it go.

  62. The bamboo vintage bed is available!

    https://www.sfgirlbybay.com/product/bamboo-daybed/

    1. Ha we were all just talking about this in the office! Thank you for sharing.

  63. I think there’s a deeper message in this post…if you love something, who cares if it’s the right “style” to go with your other things or if it’s what’s in style right now? Keep it and cherish it. Remember, “pretty always goes with pretty” and “perfection is boring, let’s get weird.” Who says a touch of vintage mid-century in a 100 year old tudor would be such a bad thing?

    Emily, it’s been fun seeing this whole style evolution you’ve been going through since buying the tudor. A bit painful at first when you went hardcore traditional, but I feel like now you’re coming back to center and have expanded your style to have all the old mid-century fun you used to have, with a fresh and unique traditional bent.

    I haven’t quite had the “one that got away” yet (we’re still trying to completely get past the hand-me-down furniture-we-don’t-actually-like phase), but this post just made me appreciate some of the things we do have and once LOVED a bit more.

  64. I haven’t really gotten rid of much furniture or art that I regret… however during a purge I accidentally placed some diamond jewelry and a beloved denim jacket in the wrong pile. I certainly regret that mistake!!!!!

  65. Wow! That is scary! This was a wake-up for me! I am redecorating BUT NOW PUTTING WHAT I AM TIRED OF IN THE BASEMENT UNTIL I AM READY TO BREAK-UP PERMANENTLY. Your Birdseye Day Bed was the clincher!

  66. I just sang the Mary poppins song “where the lost things go” while reading this… gone but not forgotten!!

  67. Please make The Blue Sofa!!!! 😍

  68. I couldn’t believe it when I learned you sold the blue sofa, and now I can’t believe that you sold Birdie’s daybed! Live and learn….

    The sofa is known as a “gondola sofa,” for obvious reasons. My favorite is by Edward Wormley, known as “La Gondola(!), and selling for a small fortune on 1st dibs. Adrian Pearsall (sp?) made several different gondola designs, and I always thought that your sofa might have been one of his designs. I also thought that the wood on your sofa looked like walnut, so I’m surprised to hear it was teak. There are good gondola’s right now on ebay, etsy, and 1st dibs.

    I have a couple of misses. One was a Folke Ohlasson for Dux at a thrift store two years ago. It had an external skeleton in walnut and the original, ugly brown plaid upholstery. It was extremely comfortable, but I dithered about paying to reupholster it, even though the sofa was just $165. I’m still regretting that one.

  69. I agree with all of them, but specially that blue sofa (I was shocked when you sold it!), the credenza and the day bed! I’ve pinned those pieces years ago and they remain as some of my favorite. I’m actually close to start construction on our new home and I’m definitely going to search a similar credenza and bed.

  70. I couldn’t believe it when I learned you sold the blue sofa, and now I can’t believe that you sold Birdie’s daybed! Live and learn….

    The sofa is known as a “gondola sofa,” for obvious reasons. My favorite is by Edward Wormley, known as “La Gondola(!), and selling for a small fortune on 1st dibs. Adrian Pearsall (sp?) made several different gondola designs, and I always thought that your sofa might have been one of his designs. I also thought that the wood on your sofa looked like walnut, so I’m surprised to hear it was teak. There are good gondola’s right now on ebay, etsy, and 1st dibs.

    I have a couple of misses. One was a Folke Ohlasson for Dux sofa at a thrift store two years ago. It had an external skeleton in walnut and the original, ugly brown plaid upholstery. It was extremely comfortable, but I dithered about paying to reupholster it, even though the sofa was just $165. I’m still regretting that one.

    1. Okay, Emily and Arlyn – I’d like a way to delete or edit out a double post. Lol.

  71. NO! NO! N0! Not the blue sofa. I love that sofa and it just screamed “Emily” I hope that you can get it back If not maybe you can design one. The daybed is also pretty special.

  72. That couch and the safari chairs basically defined my own design awakening. I’m right there with you in feeling that loss!

  73. I’m with you on all of these hurts, but OH. MY. Safari. Chairs!!! I hurt especially hard with you on those beauties.

  74. I was with you right up until you put the words “love” and “hole” together. I have a glass of wine and it’s Friday night and I’m still over here like 👀! I jest! This post was great and very heartfelt. Don’t let anyone ever make you feel bad for loving things. It’s part of what makes you who you are and you’re great.

  75. This happened to me with books! When I first read The Lifechanging Magic of Tidying Up I went through everything in my house and purged so much. I also got really into minimalism and started listening to a bunch of podcasts and watching documentaries about the topic. I had hundreds of books and I got rid of all of them except for 15-20. Huge mistake. I think about those books all the time and have started collecting books again since then.

  76. You got rid of the daybed?! NOOOOO!
    I was frantically packing up in the midst a very stressful and frenzied cross-country move, and was so overwhelmed I put a pair of vintage metal bistro chairs (in a perfect deep blue) out on the sidewalk. The people who came by a minute later and picked them up said “You are giving THESE away??” and were giddy and I immediately knew it was a huge mistake.

  77. I’ve been waiting for a furniture collection from you for years! I vote yes to redesigning the sofa!

  78. Wonderful home! Great lighting, fantastic colors. The open windows in the living room are so picturesque. The artwork fits well, bright blue chairs. A crisp, clean look for the whole house.
    Better Built Craftsman LLC

  79. So, my furniture regrets are those I did not ask for after I lost my grandparents. I was able to think of a few things, but I was grieving. This really hit me when I went through a mid century store recently. So many things reminded me of my Grandparents. I was afraid my husband would hate the store, but instead he loved the entire store! Similar age of grandparents. I fell in love with him again when he said that. He had just taken the day off for me to drive 6 hours round trip to buy a mid century lounge chair. Crazy, but a beautiful day to drive .The chair looks just like one my grandfather had in his living room. It was a chair I would scoot by when I would borrow an encyclopedia for a school project. We rarely sat in it because it was in the far end of the room from where my Grandpa would sit. Its been 25 years since my grandpa died. Why didn’t I just grab it? Well, now I have it for my kiddos.

  80. My white crocodile leather Jonathan Adler coffee table!!!!!! To be fair, it had seen better days. It was white and it had yellowed a bit and had some stains/marks but I wish we’d tried harder to salvage it. We debated painting it or looking into professional restoration but in the end we got rid of it and I would buy a new one again in a heartbeat, but they don’t make it anymore!!!! Nothing else has really filled that void in terms of coffee tables. I found a used one being sold online but fear it would be the same level of wear and tear that we had on our old one.

  81. as the new owner of that piece of art, come see if you ever find yourself in houston, tx. its brought such joy to my home so I hope it brings you a (little) peace to know its being loved and enjoyed every day xx

  82. When I was 18 I moved to San Francisco and bought a mid century dresser that was $200 which at the time was a LOT of money for me. I loved it endlessly and it was the first piece of furniture I had ever bought for myself for the first place I had lived on my own. A few years later I moved to New York and very reluctantly sold it and cried when the girl loaded it into her truck. Fast forward 3 years I ended up moving back to San Francisco, and somehow that girl knew some friends of mine and had found out I had moved back. She was moving to New York and gave me my dresser back for free! This was 8 years ago and now I have it in my home in LA. I still love her.

  83. I’m a vintage vendor (on Etsy) and collector and for this very reason I often hoard/save things for a long time before parting if ever. Sometimes after a year or two I’m ready to let go but I have had many regrets. I recently scored the mid century sofa of my dreams for free! I don’t have a place to put it right now but I refuse to part with it because I know someday I will and I’ll never get it again. And I would obsess if I let it go. So it will be squished into the playroom for now lol. At least I’ll be able to gaze at it and visit and someday it will have it’s special place in my home. When it comes to vintage you literally may never find it again so it’s ok to hoard in my opinion!

  84. Considering how much and how long you have been pining for the blue sofa, I advocate for you having it custom made. It would be even better than the original.

    We had to whittle down our furnishings a lot four years ago when we moved from CA to the East coast. I do still regret selling our mid-century dining set: the table was this unique shape with curved edges, between an oval and a rectangle, with two leaves so very adjustable, and matching upholsterered-seat chairs. The wood was so beautiful and I have never seen anything like it again! And to add insult to injury, any other mid-century dining sets I like are SO much more expensive. Hopefully someday I will find something that sparks joy like that pretty pretty dining set did. Sigh.

  85. When I was 10ish, my dad came home from work with a royal blue velvet wingback chair with a tag underneath that read “house beautiful” along with some markings to identify the piece specifically. If my memory serves me right, it was a piece that was in their print magazine. I begged and pleaded my parents for them to allow me to keep the beautiful blue velvety chair in my room and eventually.. it was mine. I was design obsessed from a young age, and I remember staring at that chair day after day hour after hour and imagining an entire space beautifully curated around it. When I moved out, I left it behind because it was so loud and I didn’t feel confident about making it look good in my first house and my mom eventually sold it. Turns out 10 year old me knew what she liked because 28 year old me misses that chair all the freakin time. Live and learn! Thanks for your post… 🙂 you inspire me!

  86. Awww, I totally get you Emily! I’ve had plenty of items over the years that I often think about to this day. One piece is an iron wire chair. I kept it with the intention of spray painting it a fun bold colour (as it was still in its original brown colour) but when we moved my hubby thought it was part of the donate pile and got rid of it. I thought I could find one like it again but still haven’t seen one pop up. 😭😭😭

  87. My mom saved stain glass shutters my grandpa made. He made everything on them including the stain glass. They just sat in our basement in a box for 25 years. When my husband and I move to a new hour he repurposed them using them as doors on a buffet he made himself in the dining room. Now I have something that combines the work of my grandpa and my husband.

  88. I love this post! I have pieces I miss too and family pieces I grew up with that are no longer with us. I would love to see the process of redoing that sofa from scratch!

  89. i know, right? that’s why i just can’t get over it. sigh. the universe has been pretty good about bringing stuff back to me, so i’m hoping this is one of those things. like, maybe the guy will sell it eventually, and then i can buy it? or, i can just sit and cry some more, which has been working out pretty well so far, waaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!

  90. As I recall, you spent a boatload of $$$ having a seamstress custom make a mattress cover for the daybed. I can not BELIEVE you got rid of it. It was so perfect. Oops, I’m not helping here.

    I had to get very cold and logical about what got to move from our two story Tudor with a full basement into a downsized two bedroom condo. I miss having options to decorate with, but I’m mostly okay with what I gave away. I even gave away my grandfather’s roll top desk (that I refinished in college) but as it went to my grandson, I’m pretty happy about it.

  91. Maybe an ash wood base on the sofa? Or a powder coated metal? Would brass be tacky? It would wouldn’t it. Yeah stick with wood. Bring back the couch though em, it’s a gem. Not to add to your regrets but I kinda miss that whole house. You took such cool design risks there or maybe I just kinda dig the mid century style. I always think about those stools in your old kitchen too!

  92. Love that daybed. I have that sentimental problem also and sometimes it is a good thing and sometimes not.
    You have great style love all your style and fashion.

  93. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a Website devoted to finding items you’ve gotten rid of but want back? Don’t know how it would work, but….. A national lost and found of sorts.

  94. My parents had the most beautiful set of light pink, velvet chairs that my dad got for free when they didn’t sell at an auction. I loved the things growing up and my parents promised they were mine, but were sick of holding onto them. They gave them to my cousin in the meantime for her college apartment to “borrow” until I was ready for them. When it came my turn to house the glorious chairs, they had been trashed. We gave them away, but it still haunts me that I could have reupholstered them. I know you shouldn’t love things, but damn, I loved those chairs.

  95. I don’t have one that got away, I have three or four or ten that are incredibly sentimental to me and my husband, so we could never part with the, but they seriously go with nothing else in our home. We have a stunning pair of lamps that have a very Mid-century feel to them that my grandfather made from scratch in his wood shop when I was a tiny human. I have a western union clock that was a “master clock” in the wester union hub building in Cincinnati until they tore the building down in the 60’s or 70’s. I have a vintage school house light fixture that also came from that same western union building. An entire set of office furniture complete with clock and Ming Dynasty temple bell, that belonged to my husbands great great grandfather. Our grandparents are all gone now, but having those pieces brings them back to us and our children in such a tangible way. They were a lot like the lamps my grandfather built, a little different, completely gorgeous inside and out, they don’t really fit with any style but they somehow go with everything, and like my granny and gramps, they are the perfect pair.

    Maybe that’s why I’m so sentimental about my furniture and all my stuff. It’s not the material nature of the things, it’s that these items represent in such a visceral way, literal pieces of me and my husband. Who we are, where we came from, and how did We get where we are today.

    So don’t ever apologize for keeping the things you love. I am not a writer and will never write a biography, so what I pass on are the pages from the book of my life and the lives of our loved ones before us.

  96. Great post thank you for sharing! I’m in the midst of purging my “home” of 20 years. So this was very timely for me. My philosophy is… would I pay someone to move this? Or sometimes I say would I care if it were stolen? And would I replace it??? You’re post has given me pause and I’ve since added to my list of questions… is it at all possible that I will regret this decision later??

    Side note… “love hole” that will keep me chuckling for the next week!!!!

  97. I relate so hard to this post. Before getting married, I had a house full of furniture, a lot of it vintage, acquired from grandmothers or through hours and hours of scouring local antique malls. But my stuff was in FL and we were planning to travel the West/PNW and eventually settle out this way, but settling would be years down the line (after 8 years of traveling, the settling has only just begun), so it didn’t make sense to pay to store so much stuff for an indefinite period of time and then have to ship it all when we did settle, IF the furniture even fit/worked in whatever home we ended up in. We did end up shipping out what we had in storage after 2.5 years of travel (mostly personal stuff, small housewares/decor that I couldn’t part with, heirlooms) but my favorite antique table that belonged to my grandmother broke in the move. 🙁

    For financial reasons, we’re still in a furnished rental for at least another year and while I’ve taken a few things out of storage to live with here, for the most part, I’ve just had quick glimpses into boxes before they were once again buried in the back of new storage unit. I have a feeling there will be things that I thought I hung onto but that didn’t make the cut at the time. Getting rid of so much was for the best at the time, but I definitely wish there’d been a way to keep more of those pieces I loved. Starting from scratch is going to be tough.

  98. I thirfted a little spice rack and spray painted it bright yellow. It was on my kitchen wall for a year or so and I loved it but then decided to invest in more storage so off it went. I put it on the street corner where people always leave good things in search of new homes. It disappeared almost instantly. About two months ago I walked past the corner and saw something bright yellow in the corner of my eye – it was the spice rack, a year later, back on the same street corner. I almost took it back home with me

  99. I miss my antique makeup vanity and matching chest drawers! When my second daughter was born I had her nursery in my dressing room. I moved the vanity into the guest room and just got use to doing my makeup in the bathroom.So when I moved it back in, I didn’t use it. After 3 years of not using it, I sold it, I MISS it!!!! The lady that bought it had the same reaction to it as I did when I bought it, it’s my only reason I don’t breakdown and cry….

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  101. Awesome, I know, right? that’s why I just can’t get over it. sigh. the universe has been pretty good about bringing stuff back to me, so I’m hoping this is one of those things. like, maybe the guy will sell it eventually, and then I can buy it? or, I can just sit and cry some more, which has been working out pretty well so far Download cracked PC Games

  102. Birdie’s daybed 😫😫😫

    And that couch.

    I’m sorry for your loss 😔

  103. I lived in Japan for six years and had to sell almost all my furniture when I left. There was a big wardrobe that we used as a tv cabinet–it was a little bit brutalist–sigh!! There was a big coffee table that was black lacquer w flowers and stuff painted on it and some mother-of-pearl inlay, waaaah. Oh, and there was my bench that I at first thought was Herman Miller, but I think a very talented and serious craftsman had made a copy–we gave the bench to our friends. This was all stuff I bought used and it was cheap. Like $150 for the wardrobe, $40 for the table, etc. There was also furniture I’d found in the trash and cleaned up–I loved that stuff too.
    But my main regret was a sweater and hat that I gave away– the sweater was just a pullover, but it was the perfect shade kelly-green and fit perfectly. Someone knitted my hat by hat–for some reason the combination of colors made my skin look amazing. I wore it in many photos.
    I think I finally found a replacement for my sweater, but I’ve never found another perfect hat–yet.
    Re your story, do you not think that absence makes the heart grow fonder? You were kind of tired of the couch, but now that it’s gone you convince yourself that it was better than it really was….Also, did someone on your staff borrow that little ladder? I swear I saw it in a shot of one of their homes (can’t remember who it was, though). But of course there’s more than one birdcage ladder in the world.

  104. Can you tell me the name of the artist that painted the “Cool People” painting?

  105. A beautiful mint green vintage sink bought on Craigslist for a song. It was in awesome condition and I miss it dearly still…years later? I should have just stored that thing in my garage forever…until I was ready for it. 🙁

  106. Oh! I really feel for you throughout this post!!! I remember reading your posts in which you spoke about getting rid of some of those pieces! It broke my heart for you then and it does now reading about that regret! I’m holding onto too much furniture and art that I love love love but need to purge. Mostly because it seems too traditional….. BUT…..I’m…..SCARED…. OF…..REGRET!!! After alll… shouldn’t I just wait until they come back in style?!? Like my favorite pair of boot leg jeans??? Maybe you should write a post about what we should all be purging…and what we should keep.

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