Thursday, August 2, 2012

Redo & The West Bottoms

So, this winter I got restless. I needed things to be new around me for more reasons than one.

I've been going to this amazing place in the West Bottoms, a place in historic Kansas City where the Missouri and Kansas rivers meet. The area was originally called the French bottoms since it started as a trade site for French trappers and local Kansa Indians. At the evolution of the railroad system, it became the site of the Kansas City Stock Yards in 1871 and home of the Livestock Exchange Building, the largest of its kind in the world. This brought Hereford breeders and the famous American Royal Livestock and Horse Show. Some stats show that close to 90% of young Kansas City’s wealth resided in the West Bottoms until the massive flood of 1903 stopped further development. Another huge setback for the area was the end of WWII which halted much of the industrial economy. Today it's full of old industrial buildings that are a hot spot for the arts industry and local shops.

We love it so much we had our family pictures taken there by our dear friend, Brad last fall. Yes, that's our family in the middle of the road on a church pew.  

So every month on the first weekend, vintage shops open to the public. Each shop is crowded with dealers, antiques, crafts, and vintage items. Most of the furniture has been patinaed or distressed or worn and faded. It's fantastic.

In the basement of my fav shop:
RE: Restoration Emporium

Every month is an adventure. I have a list in my mind of what I'm looking for and get amazing ideas to decorate. AND I make mental notes and take pictures of what I think I can do on my own or find out how to do on Pinterest. I usually go with a girlfriend or Jamy on a hot date.

Women waiting in line at Good Ju Ju

It's out of hand. Think opening day ticket sales for Justin Beiber. Instead of pre-adolecent teenagers insert crazed stay-at-home moms on a mission for some vintage furniture. In a line with their Starbucks with one hand and measuring tapes in the other waiting for the doors to open at their fav shop. I've literally seen fights break out with elbowing and cussing.  It's insane.  And I love it (not the cussing part but the adventure of it all). It's an experience. On top of the soccer moms vying for the patina finished dressers, there's flea markets, food trucks, and [my fav] local coffee. 

So our house was still decorated in the we-don't-have-style-yet/first-married-but-we're-registered-at-Bed-Bath-and-Beyond. Traditional. Non-nondescript. And I was longing for something new. So we began to redecorate with our finds. It's been fun going on the "hunt" every month. AND we've actually come out on top. We've sold the old stuff on Craig's List and actually ended up making money. You can't beat that.

Post Script: After looking at the horror of some of these pics (my photographer friends are all cringing that they made it in a blog) I may break down and see if I can ask Santa for a shiny camera for Christmas...for the benefit of the reader of course.

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