Furnished in period style. Just not the same period.

Mid-20th-century furniture in the Manse’s dining room, all light-coloured wood (maple, I presume): a bookcase bought at auction a week ago (left), table and chairs found recently at the vintage shop Camp Ho-Ba-Chee in Warkworth, Ont., centre, and at right an art-deco sideboard bought three or four years ago at the Aberfoyle Antique Market.

An 1815 house whose owner has filled it with mid-20th-centure furniture. Inspiration! (Montreal Gazette photo)

This past Saturday’s Montreal Gazette had a story in the section called Homefront (which is about buying and renovating houses) featuring a beautiful historic (1815) house in Georgeville, Que., whose owner had filled it, not with early-19th-century antiques, as you might expect, but with fine furniture from the era when he was young – the 1950s and 1960s.

Can you say “This rings a bell of recognition?” Dingdingdingdingdingdingding!

Now, the owner in question is quite the collector, and he has some very fine pieces from renowned designers (Charles Eames, Hans Wegner, Mies van der Rohe), according to the article. There’s no way I could ever live up to those design standards; our budget’s nowhere near that.

But Raymond and I have been having fun in recent years picking up a few mid-20th-century pieces at auctions and flea markets and antique malls. I’m very partial to art-deco stuff and Raymond likes Mission style. Our pieces are not worth a lot of money, but they make us happy and we think they look nice.

This photo shows our new (to us) table and chairs (and Scandinavian-style candlesticks), as well as the sideboard that I am thoroughly fond of. The rocking chair in the background is from Portugal originally, and was found (along with its mate) at an antique shop in Hudson, N.H.

I am very happy, for example, with how the Manse’s dining room is coming together. It’s kind of crazy that we are furnishing it before we do the great big renovation that has to be done – walls, ceilings, floors, electrical work, and the list goes on and on – but hey, in the meantime we want to be comfortable when we’re there. As of our most recent visit, it features a 1940s or ’50s table and chairs, an art-deco-style sideboard, and the latest addition, a bookshelf bought at an auction near Stoco. All are maple, and the light-coloured wood looks really nice in that big bright room. It’s like we planned it, but really it’s just a case of things coming together.

So by the time we’re done, our 1888 Manse may in some small way resemble that mansion in Georgeville, in that behind its 19th-century facade will be furniture from quite possibly the best time ever.

Because isn’t the time when one was young always the best time ever?

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