There’s a couple of great little shops in Abbotsford called Spruce Collective and The Market by Spruce Collective. The Spruce Collective is actually that: a collective of women who met as vendors at vintage markets and together opened up a brick and mortar store. They source vintage, stock made, and sustainable goods. The Spruce Market is a spin-off that focuses on vintage furniture and household wares. They also sell items on-line and rent items for events. From what I can tell, they are doing a roaring business.
There’s a lot I like about this little/big venture. I like that they support local artisans and crafters. I like that they focus on sustainability and community – they often hold workshops from calligraphy and make-your-own-incense (who knew?) to re-purposing furniture. They really do have a lot of unique items in their stores.
Yesterday, a friend and I ventured into the Spruce Market and I found something I’ve been looking for, for well over a year: a vintage sideboard for my kitchen. We have a pretty small kitchen but when we moved from our teeny basement suite into this house over 20 years ago, I felt like I was moving into a palace and the kitchen was one of the reasons why. I had TONS of cupboard and drawer space compared to what I’d had for the 11 years we’d lived in our basement suite. (People still marvel that I don’t own a dishwasher. I never have. One of the reasons we didn’t put one in this kitchen is because I don’t want to part with the cupboard space.)
Having said that, over time we started running out of space. I’ve done quite a bit of purging over the last couple of years, which has really helped but we still seemed to have stuff on the counters all the time. My biggest eyesore was a table we had against one wall that just became the hold-all: where the mail goes, where our toaster oven sits, the fruit basket, the blender – you know, stuff you want to use but never know where to put.
I thought about buying another counter with cupboards and putting it there but while that would be practical, it’s boring. So I’ve been looking for the perfect vintage sideboard for this purpose and now it’s here! I love it. It love the detail in the wood, the graceful lines the curve up each side, the drawer pulls, the fact that it has an old skeleton key to lock the cupboards. I like that it sits on a frame so I can clean the floor underneath it. It’s deep enough to hold my toaster oven but not as deep as the table was so it make the kitchen feel bigger.
Here’s the kicker. It was expensive. At least it was for me – with taxes, it came to over $500. Part of me wonders if that’s because it had the “vintage” label attached to it. I think that if this piece had ended up in a thrift shop, it would have landed in the ‘silent auction’ section (which so many thrift shops have now) and it might have gone for as much or more. If I’d found it at a garage sale, I might have got it for $50. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter because, you know, I bought it! Merry Christmas/birthday/valentines/anniversary/mother’s day to me!