Susanna's Favorite Item in Her Home
At the front door of Susanna’s Carlsbad home you’re greeted by a welcome mat and a sweet outdoor seating area that screams “Welcome, come on in”. As you walk further in her sweet dog, Luna, is the first to say hello followed by her husband, Tyler. In the background you can hear "I'm Coming Out" by Diana Ross playing on an old record player. Their living room is the first room you enter. With its beautiful high vaulted ceilings and natural light pouring in, it’s easy to feel right at home! Her comfortable L-shaped sectional, eclectic pillow collection and stunning vintage area rug make you want to curl up with a blanket, grab a glass of wine and stay awhile. One of Susanna’s favorite pieces in her home lives in this room. It’s a family heirloom with a lot of history. It sits front and center in her living room and is a piece you probably wouldn’t expect.
Growing up as a child I was surround by eclectic pieces that my mother and father had collected over the years in our well curated home. Our mother was and still is an avid antique collector. Some of value and some not, but that didn't mean much to her. The piece had to speak to her. In fact, I'm sure many of the pieces chose her, knowing they would have a well suited home and someone to care for them. She taught me all about antiquing and I remember as a small child she would pull over suddenly in the middle of our errands to hit up an antique shop that she had spotted.
So often, I was surround by the smell of old things, the dust of a shop that's never been dusted and the voice of my mother chatting softly and intently with the shop owner. Asking questions of it's origins, or discussing the possible age group of the piece. Going back and forth between the 40's or maybe the 50's. Turning the item upside down and looking for markings or clues of it's history.
"Made in Germany" it would say. Then quickly wondering how it got from there to a tiny shop in Carlsbad. Every piece we owned had a story. The story of it's maker, the story of it's journey, the story of the original owner, and the story of the chip on it's side. My mom was able to see the beauty even in a chipped piece and to me that meant she chose with her heart.
So now, as I sit here and ponder over the idea of my favorite piece in my own home, filled with randoms collected over the years, I have started to think about the stories on why they live with me, and wonder about their lives before me. I started looking at artwork that I've collected from family members, dealers or flea markets, as well as my expensive area rug that I shouldn't have bought. Along with a solid teak dining table from Bali, and the first piece of furniture my husband and I bought together, and after much thought on the many pieces I love, it dawned on me that my favorite piece is a piece I grew up with. A piece my mother and father collected from a garage sale just before they married. A piece that sits in the center of my home where the majority of our meals are shared at, game nights played at, a foot rest during movie night and has a long history of being the stage for countless nights of dancing. My coffee table.
When I moved back to San Diego after my college days, I of course as one kid would, hit up their parents for some hand me down furniture. The coffee table was one of them. I've since moved this coffee table to a handful of different apartments, and homes. First as a single lady, and now my poor husband is stuck with it. A true piece of family history, or quite possibly another family member.
This table, as I mentioned was picked up at a garage sale just before my parents married in 1976. We think the table was designed/made in the late 50's early 60's and made of solid pine. It's been refinished a few times over the years, and due for another refinish soon. But the video footage of my parents and aunties dancing on it at late night parties, to the gum my brother stuck underneath it, down to the nail polish remover stain from my teenage years of self manicures, these memories will never be able to be refinished. For this table has lived with our family before us kids were born, it was a staple of our childhood, and as an adult now, I write about this pieces as though it's been a life long family member. Or possibly more like a live-in nanny that offered a seat for me while I watched countless hours of Sesame Street, and held my homework as I pondered over mathematics, and assisted in my teenage manicures. To now, a place to rest my feet as my husband and I watch movies. And maybe someday, this table will be apart of my own child's history.
Thank you coffee table. For always being there.
To watch an epic old school video of my family dancing on our coffee table click here.