I throw around “soulful” quite a bit to describe the feeling I hope to incorporate in my own home, and the projects we work on for clients. It’s a style that is often conveyed by incorporating the “perfectly imperfect” kind of things I spoke of in my last email letter, to create a sense of ease and approachability in a home. Craving this kind of soulful living makes me notice and admire others who are also committed to a lifestyle not of perfection, but an appreciation of timelessness and timeworn. One of the first people I gravitated towards in my online world was Ashlyn Goldberg. She has curated a home that is the epitome of soulful style, so I thought I’d catch up to her to find out how she does just that:
Our Interview with Ashlyn Goldberg – Vintage Rescuer
AGI: We found you through Instagram, and were immediately drawn to your passion for rescuing items from your local resale and vintage shops. Can you tell us a bit about how you started doing that?
Ashlyn: I started shopping thrift shops in high school, many years ago, because I enjoyed finding unique pieces that others weren't necessarily wearing. And more recently, when we bought our third, and current home, I starting thrifting as an affordable way to furnish our new home in a way that took into account our budget and the style I was after. I am a SAHM and when the kids are in school, I have time to visit thrift shops often and seek out pieces that I am looking for. Lastly, from an environmental standpoint, buying used makes more sense. I thrift my clothes and my children's clothes and it feels like a small way of not adding to our existing environmental problems.
AGI: What types of items tend to catch your eye and why?
Ashlyn: The older the better. I love antiques and vintage furniture. Give me all the patina. And I really enjoy a good mix. So, for example, in our entry, I have a large antique chest of drawers paired with a modern lamp and a modern black and white piece of abstract art. In our living room, I have an antique Bergere-style chair I found at the thrift store that I had recovered in a beautiful beige linen fabric with a zebra hide pillow on it. Also in our living room we have a large natural fiber rug with an antique rug layered over it. Pairing old with something that is new or more modern and creating that contrast and tension is what I find interesting. And thrift stores, at least in our area, are great places to find antiques and vintage furniture and accessories at affordable prices.
AGI: Why do you scour vintage items - what do you think they bring to your home that maybe you can't find elsewhere?
Ashlyn: At this point, by and large, I only buy vintage and shop at thrift stores. I find the hunt for something rare to be fun and exhilarating. But mostly, over the years, I've honed in on the kind of feel I want for our home and frankly, new pieces just don't deliver. For example, I enjoy the collected-over-time, warm, cozy, and inviting vibe. I don't want anything in my house to feel precious or too perfect. Our old or older furniture tolerates two, sometimes rowdy, boys really well and I don't worry about it getting damaged because it has already withstood the test of time. Finally, I've developed a deep appreciation for things that were made to last and have lasted, sometimes, for centuries. Finally, old pieces with history, wear and imperfections satisfy me in ways that shiny and new don't.
AGI: What's the best thing you've ever found in your hunting and why?
Ashlyn: Gosh, hard to answer because I love so much of it and I've found some great pieces. If I had to choose, I would say vintage bamboo furniture, vintage lamps, and old blue and white chinoiserie.
AGI: What do you believe it means to have a soulful home?
Ashlyn: I believe it means to be true to yourself, your family and lifestyle, and to create it slowly with intention. I want my home to feel warm, inviting, and to be a place where people can gather, put up their feet, relax and restore. Specifically, for me, that means a lot of texture, layers, solid wood furniture, a mix of natural elements, houseplants and fresh flowers.
But most importantly it's the people that reside in the home that give it heart and make it the place where I want to be. What I've created over time is, I hope, a lovely backdrop for our lives to unfold.
I couldn’t agree more! Thank you, Ashlyn, for graciously sharing your soulful living thoughts with us!