Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Arbor

I have been wanting to share with you for some time now a picture of the beautiful arbor (or arbour as we would spell it in Australia!) that my husband built. It came about when I showed him a picture of an ornately carved Balinese style timber wedding canopy that I had pinned on my pinterest page from a wedding blog. 'I could build something like that' he said and that evening the ideas began to flow. He would design it to be transportable - in sections that come apart and are able to be reassembled on site. As our new family business is vintage china and accessory hire, our arbor needed to have more vintage elegance than the Balinese canopy which had originally caught my eye and that's when we thought 'veranda'... let's make it look like the entrance to a traditional Victorian villa home or permanent gazebo in a park or country estate, perhaps we could find some authentic cast iron lacework and work that into the design. I was starting to get excited... and here is where it became one of those 'meant to be' stories.

The very next day we went into town for a latte at our favourite cafe which has all manner of vintage wares for sale, a great place for any bowerbird. As I went for my weekly wander through the shop as we were waiting for our coffee, I just happened to glance down at the floor and saw four corner pieces of cast iron lacework from an old veranda. They were magnolia pink and I immediately knew they were meant to be ours. My husband could hardly believe it either and we promptly paid for what would be the most gorgeous feature of our soon to be built arbor.

We knew it would need more than just four corners of lacework to give it the look of a veranda and just one week later we found what we were looking for. A last minute decision to call in at an antique shop in another city where the china is usually too highly priced for our budget but out the back we discovered a shed stacked with all manner of furniture and vintage wares. Yet, another glance at the floor (it pays to look down!) and stacked under a table were more corners and panels of cast iron lacework. Not just any lacework but the exact match for our previous find and painted the same shade of magnolia pink. Could it be that they were salvaged from the same old house and ended up for sale in different cities? We were scared to ask the price as we had been looking on ebay and knew that people were asking hefty prices for authentic cast iron lacework so when the lady gave a very reasonable figure for all the panels we didn't hesitate.

We did go and look around some more salvage yards in the hope of finding authentic posts but old veranda posts are heavy and expensive so we had to settle for new turned posts from the hardware store. Lots of construction and painting ( Dulux antique white USA of course - my default paint colour) ensued but finally it all came together just in time for its first outing to a wedding expo - we already were showcasing our china and were given permission to take along and set up the arbor! We brought it home and set it up on top of our freestanding concrete water tank which has one of the best views over the neighbouring fields. The white arbor stands out with its verdant background of green and I try to imagine it set up in a field or on the lawn of a country estate. A chandelier sparkling in the sunshine and a couple about to take their marriage vows. We have had one genuine inquiry thus far for a wedding next year and if that eventuates I know from the setting they want it for, that it is going to look spectacular. We are hoping that it will be hired before then as I'm certain there are couples out there that want something different to the usual bamboo poles or flimsy metal garden arches for their wedding ceremony and not every park or country estate has a gazebo. In the meantime, I'm just enjoying having the opportunity to admire it every day and know that at least one of our children will one day God willing be married under the arbor their father built by hand. I can't wait until then for it to be used so I have plans for special tea parties under the arbor.

Hope you have enjoyed seeing our arbor and hearing of the providential story behind its construction. We are still hoping to find two more corner pieces to really finish it off and I know they are out there somewhere!


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