Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Try something new with something old

Growing up in rural Pennsylvania, it seems everywhere you go there are big red barns with giant signs saying “Antiques.” Sometimes antiques are sold at flea markets, or special antique events around the area, but have you ever actually stopped in one?

Of course, at some point in our lives we're all dragged into an antique shop by our parents or grandparents whether we’re 12 or 25 years old, and it seems like the longest day of our lives. However, I would argue if you walked into an antique store by yourself sometime, by your own free will, you’d be pleasantly surprised at the amount of things you find interesting.

It was on one of these “dreadful” outings with my Gram that I began a collection of 1973 Looney Tunes glasses. I always loved Looney Tunes as a kid, and searching for them kept me occupied while antiquing.

They aren’t particularly rare, but they're fun to track down, and it’s a relatively cheap hobby for me. Finding something to collect while you’re antiquing can make it much more interesting.

I know that as “broke college kids,” or soon-to-be “broke college graduates,” we need all the help we can get financially. When it comes to decorating a dorm room, apartment or a new house, sometimes antiques are the cheapest options.

You can ask anyone who watches HGTV, the rustic look is in. Just about anything you would find in an antique shop could be used to decorate a space. There are also plenty of different eras and styles of antiques. You could go for the old, rickety barn look, or maybe look for some more refined vintage pieces.

Many times, the decoration isn’t necessarily meant to be decorative, but it can no longer serve its actual purpose, such as old wheels, unstable rocking chairs, or chipping glassware. It’s fun to find an item you like and come up with a new way to repurpose it.

Some things you find are still completely usable, typically kitchenware. Cast-iron and enamel pots and pans are a dime a dozen at antique shops, and still have a lot of years of use left in them. Buying a cheap set of pots and pans from Walmart is fine, but if you want something with some history and character, go antiquing.

For example, every time I go to my grandparents’ house, my Grandpa makes buttermilk pancakes on a cast-iron skillet. I’ll have to invest in one soon so I can make them the same way, because they just don’t turn out the same in a nonstick pan.

The moral of the story is: go antiquing. Try something new with something old. You don’t have to do things the same way as your grandparents, but antiques are treasures that never lose their value, even when they’re broken. Make your space your own by repurposing old things.

P.S. Despite what Grandma says, the fine china isn’t only for decoration, you can use that too.

— Dallas Kriebel, senior mass communications major #AGreatPlaceToBeYou

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