June 19, 2014

The Art of Knick-Knackery!

By Amy

I'm a hopeless home decor junkie.  I love it SOO much.

But, being married and sharing a home with a male occasionally brings up some minor conflicts of opinion and preferences when it comes to home decor taste.  My hub and I share a lot of similarities in our style, but now and then he's less than thrilled about one of my design choices.  One thing we don't always see eye to eye on:


I love to peruse thrift stores and garage sales for awesome, quirky little objects.  The thrill of the hunt is half the fun!  Cause there's a LOT of useless, ugly crap out there to sift through.  I just like the useless, pretty crap!  Ha!  Especially if it's cool and vintage.  Or weird.  Or funny.  Or weirdly funny.   And there's a small amount of knick knacks in my house that are kept around purely for sentimental value.  Like the rather hideous cat that came from my Great Grandma.  I just can't get rid of the wall-eyed monstrosity!  I don't have anything else from my spunky, short, opera-singing Great G-ma.  Plus, I kinda like it....do you ever just love something just because it is so hilariously ugly?  (I wonder if this is why people are into those flat faced cats that look like they got their mugs slammed by a door.  And, I even like cats!)

So Patrick rolls his eyes and heaves great sighs of pain when I bring home any little treasures.  (He loves me, though, so you'll notice they are still in our house!)  And, here's the thing, I actually agree with the clutter argument...I don't want a bunch of silly figurines filling up every surface.  SO, I keep my knick knacks in designated areas, usually specific shelves.  That seems to keep Patrick pacified.  

But, I have to admit, I need to practice the art of editing.  Cause when I bring home an awesome fifty cent brass figurine, something else has to go.  I don't want my treasures to overrun our little home and suddenly we look like Aunt Ethel's cluttered parlor room.  Neither do I want to become a candidate for "Hoarders."  Too much is too much.  (Profound, I know.)  Knick-Knackery is an Art that has to be coupled with restraint, otherwise, it becomes a little puky.  But, tasteful, controlled knick-knacking awesome.  It adds character, warmth, personality, interest, and a sense of history into a home.  

Ok, I am done waxing philosophical.  Here are a few of my little treasures that I love most!  (PLEASE ignore the dust.)

My Knick Knack cupboard!  

Patrick made that little ceramic piano when he was a boy...hee hee!  Isn't it so cute and OCD?  His careful attention to detail never ceases to amaze me.  I bought that beautiful teacup at a student art sale in college.  I had to have it.  (Isn't it insanely good!?  And, a cute little thrift store bowl, along with the most adorable, tiny little porcelain kitty.  

The little globe ringholder was a gift from my mom (I've collected globes since middle school!) and the little "See No, Speak No, Hear No Evil" monkeys I bought when I went to Japan for a two week summer exchange program, and the little stone carved container was from my Grandma June when she visited Israel)
Cool little ceramic box, only glazed half-way down...it has great texture!  And a sweet vase from my sister, Sherie, but it's probably too big to count as a knick knack.

Elephant from my Grandma and Grandpa Brown.  A sweet little bugle from the thrift store and the key to my heart I gave Patrick to put on his key chain while we were dating.
Thrift store whittled deer!  It's on a high shelf and apparently it's dusty up there, folks.
A glass globe that my two cooperating teachers gave me when I finished student teaching.  I love it!  

Jewelry...some of it I never actually wear, but it is sentimental, so I display it, like the amber beads were a gift from an elderly lady I knew on my mission.   So, the purely ornamental is mixed in with those necklaces I actually wear.
I made this top hat man in my college ceramics class!  I love him so much.  If my house was burning down, first I'd get out my son and make sure my husband was safe, then grab important documents....and this dude.  His hat comes off and you can put cookies inside!

...And with the other hand, while sprinting through the flames, I'd grab this pig.  Oh SWOON!  Patrick doesn't really like it, but the pig and I are a package deal.

This vase is cracked up the back--I pulled it out of the dumpster at the ceramics lab--and it holds our change.  The cool ceramic succulent and the shell were both TJ Max.

I love this crazy metal fish!  I found it at a thrift store.
 Ok, so my son was taking a nap when I snuck in to snap these pics...that why the lighting is all weird, cause I had to use a flash.

Thrift store whale penny jar, and a gold owl from the decorations at Hayden's baby shower.  Thank you, Heather!

Little Squirrel from my mom and that tiny hedgehog (GAH! ADORABLE!!!) a little girl was selling at a craft fair/rummage sale.  She had a bunch of other tiny clay animals she'd made, and I wanted to buy them ALL!  

This sweet little bear was made for my family by one of our Japanese exchange students.  I swiped it from my parent's house.  haha!
A lop-sided ceramic pencil holder that a friend made for Patrick in Jr. High.  I love the color!

A sweet, old recipe tin.
Well there's my useless crap.  But, they bring me joy, so they can't be useless, right? :)

What do you think about knick knacks?  Love?  Hate?  In the middle?  What is your favorite/coolest/weirdest knick knack?  Why do you love it?  I'd love to hear! :)  

PS. This post is linked to the Be.YOU.tiful Link Party...go check it out! :)


  1. You know I love a good knick-knack! I think you've got it just right - keep the stuff that means something or is just awesome (leave me that pig in your will) and keep some order to it and NOT on every surface. I especially love things that have meaning - to be surrounded by things that remind of fun trips or wonderful people - what can be wrong with that? Or to remember you only paid one dollar for that awesome wood..... thing can be just as good :).

    1. Hahaha, ok you got the pig! Yes, you kick knack well!

  2. haha--thanks for showing us some of your little treasures! :P I've noticed that there are always TONS of knick-knacks in thrift shops and the like--actually, that's what convinced me to never buy any for myself. It's my theory that knick knacks will gradually accumulate in your home even if you never purchase any. It's already happened in our home! :P

    1. Haha, yeah, they do accumulate! I try to be picky, though and only buy knick knacks that I LOVE.

  3. I must admit, I'm not a real knick-knacky kind of gal. :) Perhaps because my husband super isn't, and like you said, a wife has got to compromise at times. :) That' being said, I do like to have something special from all my special people--my mom's cookie bowl, my dad's fly rod, my gma's cookbook, my other gma's ice cream maker, my best friend's secret recipe, etc. :)

  4. Oh Knick Knacks.. why do I love you so?! I've had to scale down and just use things that mean something to me. Its helped A LOT or else I would have stuff everywhere. hahaha

  5. Knick Knacks are fun and they tell your story. We travel, a LOT, for my husband's job and I always bring something home. None of it matches, but it tells our story. Over time you have to sift stuff out, but what's left shows you what is the most important to you. Kathleen @ Fearlessly Creative Mammas

  6. Oh goodness, I love the way you decorate, miss Amy!! And I love knick-knacks too! My absolute favorite is a small, brown, glass canoe with a quilted design on it :) I found it in a box of junk that my Gramma was getting rid of when I was in college. My sisters and I named it "The Canoe-O-Wonder"!! It sits on my husbands nightstand and holds his guitar picks. And oh my heck I havent been to the d.i. in awhile, I'm going to go tomorrow!


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