At a time of year when ads hype battery-operated, mass-produced holiday cheer, a few shops sit quietly in the background and offer up something simpler and homespun.
Reminisce in downtown Paso Robles is one of those shops. It has been some form of antique store for 25 years. Today, it offers a mélange of goods that combines antique, vintage, new and handcrafted. Their products for the home in clude antique and vintage furniture, art, architectural elements, home accents, and gifts.
Jeannie Bork, who has owned the shop since 2006, has been selective about the 38 vendors who fill the stalls of her 4,500-squarefoot “village of shops.” You won’t find shelves of jumbled knick-knacks or dated furnishings. Furniture, both antique and vintage, is either in prime original condition, or expertly refinished. Home accents are just as thoughtfully chosen.
Each vendor decorates in vignettes showcasing their specialty and offering design inspiration. At no time is this more evident than at the holidays. Along with the usual wares, each booth has its own take on creative ways to deck the halls. Many use items that can be found lying around the house, or inexpensively at vintage or thrift stores.
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You’ll find at least a dozen ways to decorate a tree, for instance. One tree is done up in wintry metallics. Others are decorated around a theme such as birds, vintage kitchen utensils, girly pink ornaments, beachy items and sporting equipment. One tree is decked out in white paper lanterns and white lights, and is crowned with a top hat — a tree Bork calls the “deconstructed snowman.”
You’ll also find several different ways to dress up a simple clear ornament, such as stuffing it with tinsel, strips of colorful paper, shreds of old sheet music, and pages from old books.
Another common decorating prop is what Bork calls the “unexpected vessel.” You’ll find greenery, silk flowers, ornaments and other items arranged in old suitcases, aluminum buckets, and birdhouses. Even an old birdcage originally from the Charles Paddock Zoo gets in the holiday spirit by sheltering a miniature tree.
Many vendors offer handmade items such as hand-sewn table runners, handmade soaps and holiday decorations. Several vendors creatively repurpose salvaged materials into original items for the home.
“We were green before green was in,” noted Bork.
One vendor has created a small Christmas tree from old metal springs — an ideal display piece for ornaments. Another has crafted wreaths from chunks of driftwood strung together. Yet another vendor freeze dries roses from her yard to make winsome wreaths and swags. Reborn Custom Woodworks displays furniture made from salvaged woods.
“I feel we have the most incredibly talented dealers,” said Bork. “They love doing what they do and I think that love shows.”
Reminisce is at 1344 Pine St. in Paso Robles, 239-1001.