When I go shopping with my sister, we tend to get sort of degenerate with our pocketbooks and crazy (in a good way) with our ideas. Which means, of course, that we also tend to come home from our twice-a-year shopping trips with awesome stuff, like when we hit a major flea market last year.
So what did I come home with this time? A starburst clock.
I wasn't even shopping for a wall clock, let alone a starburst clock. Don't get me wrong, starburst clocks are the ultimate tchotchke in vintage and retro decor, and I understand their wide appeal. But, with the key words being "wide appeal," prices for these clocks have been climbing into the stratosphere, and I had long ago counted myself out on ever owning one of them. I didn't see some of the more strictly mid-century versions of them being a particularly good fit for my 1939 home--they were a little too chrome and mod for my house.
Also, a little retro rebellion here? I was beginning to feel like the starburst clock thing had jumped the home decor shark a while back. They are everywhere, and I sometimes refuse to do what everyone else is doing just because everyone else is doing it. I can be stubborn that way.
In spite of all that, I found this gold version in a local vintage boutique:
I realized that this clock solved several problems I was having with the space over my living room fire place mantel. I really wasn't sure what was going on that wall. Several ideas had been considered and rejected, and since I wasn't in a hurry to do anything in this room (it's pretty low priority considering the other rooms that need major attention), the mantel wall just languished, bare naked, but certainly not in the exciting way.
I considered framed art above the fireplace, but felt very "meh" about it.
I considered a mirror, something like this, featured in Country Living:
Dyan was the one who first spotted it, and that's what sisters are good for-- an eye that is not your own, but well-acquainted with your tastes. Sometimes she can make me consider something entirely outside of anything I was thinking about, simply by saying "what about this?" Or if I'm being skeptical, sometimes "quit being a poop and come look at this." Whatever works.
I like that it's a material different from the wood mantel. I like that it's a wee bit glitzy in a room that has a lot of dark brown in it. I like that the shape and the "rays" provide contrast to the very square and blocky look of the mantel. The price, while not a "thrift" price, was definitely reasonable.
I'm still messing about with the items on the mantel itself, but I threw some things up there to ground the arrangement for the purpose of blog photos. I'm open to ideas, though I do really like the Royal Copley vases on the left (my sister gifted me the two vine-patterned ones, and the deer vase is from the flea market trip we did together). Whatever I do it will stay relatively simple; I don't want a highly styled mantel with candlesticks and architectural salvage and dried fruit and bittersweet vine and a carefully selected odd number of items from Pottery Barn. That crap makes me twitchy, and then you have to dust it.
So instead of checking off any item on my active project list, I backed into something else for a different room. I like how serendipity works that way, especially when my sister is along for the discovery.