Embrace the creative divide

Vintage and reclaimed pieces are super popular right now. The patina and character found on older items just can’t be reproduced or matched.

There are many ways to incorporate vintage items into your home’s design and interior architecture and they quickly become focal points in a room.

A client recently hired me to build a partition wall for their front room. Years ago they had knocked out all the walls to make the space open-concept, but over time they realized that they wanted some separation between the entry and the living space.

Christine Roberts created this divider to separate an entry from a living room. It was built from vintage parts including stained glass windows, an old door, and a pair of columns to finish off the ends. PHOTO: Christine Roberts
Christine Roberts created this divider to separate an entry from a living room. It was built from vintage parts including stained glass windows, an old door, and a pair of columns to finish off the ends.
PHOTO: Christine Roberts

We tossed around several ideas including half walls, barn door-style sliding walls, or just a plain solid wall built back into the space. Nothing really felt quite right for the space and their style (vintage, chippy chic). The client quite nicely left me to ruminate for a while … a long while … and I kept trying to find the right item or piece to solve the problem.

Nothing really leapt out at me until one of my vendors at the Leslieville Flea walked in one Sunday with several stained glass windows. The client had actually seen a wall done in old windows and thought it would be great if we could incorporate something like that in the space so it just seemed fated.

I started drawing up how to make this “wall” come to life. Knowing the requested dimensions of the wall to be built, I started laying out how the windows would fit and then tried to figure out what to use to fill in the rest of the space.

We needed something to use as a base for the windows and then something else to fill in for the length of the wall. A door turned on its side almost perfectly fit the equation. We even kept some of the hardware on it for more character. Add reclaimed timber on each end and we had our desired length for the base.

I wanted something really great to frame those amazing windows, so I started looking for columns to put on either side.

Searching vintage sites on Facebook provided me with a dealer who was selling these guys – tons of character and they would really set off the windows perfectly.

Put all these elements together and you end up with a wall that is completely unique, original, and striking. It would have been easy to just build a wall out of wood and drywall and paint to match the room, but with a little patience and creativity we ended up with something that fits the room, is functional and really makes a statement all at the same time.

Don’t be afraid to think creatively and use pieces for something other than their intended purpose. Instead of heading to a big box store for your next renovation or design project try visiting a salvage shop, antique shop or flea market to find materials to use in your home. Not only is it environmentally responsible to reduce and reuse materials, the end result will be much more unique and interesting and truly reflect your style.

The Leslieville Flea is moving back outdoors to The Ashbridge Estate at 1444 Queen St. E. on the third Sunday of each month from June through October. The first Flea is June 21. Stop by and see if you don’t find something to use in your own home!

 

Christine Roberts is a stylist and interior designer. An avid vintage collector, she makes furniture and home accessories from reclaimed materials and co-founded The Leslieville Flea.

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