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Tina Spangler, a.k.a LuxtonLake, uprooted herself from her hectic New York City lifestyle for the woods of Upstate New York five years ago. She found her home in a forgotten community of Narrowsburg, NY, called Luxton Lake. Once a thriving vacation destination for African-American New Yorkers, the area was mostly abandoned in the 1970s when the dam was removed and the lake was drained. Tina found a dilapidated 1950s cabin in foreclosure and with very little funds, decided to take the leap and fix it up.
With an eye for decor from the 1930s and ’40s, Tina loves to salvage old objects and give them new life. From her 1920s linoleum rug to her 1940s barkcloth curtains, this stylish abode has an air of practicality. Tina values the history of her possessions. Whether it’s the dishes her mother dumpster dived, the old medicine bottles she found in the yard of the schoolhouse in which she grew up, or the remnants from the Luxton Lake Clubhouse, each object has a story to tell.
This vintage linoleum rug from LuxtonLake is a rare find. I love the old-fashioned feel and the fact that older linoleum was made with all-natural materials such as pine sap and lindseed oil (unlike what we know as linoleum today, which is really just vinyl).
Tina is the local Luxton Lake historian of sorts. While researching for her short documentary Lucky Lake, she found many bits and pieces of the community’s past. From old signage on the Luxton Lake Clubhouse to forgotten relics from long abandoned houses, Tina has gathered a compelling narrative of New York’s yesteryears.
Tina collects Fire King Jadite‘s beautiful colors and sturdy design, though it was “made probably a little too popular by Martha Stewart,” Tina says. The green is most popular, but Tina’s great-grandparents collected the blue colored glasses.
Tina grew up in an old schoolhouse in rural Wisconsin. As a child she would find evidence of the history of the place by the names carved into the bricks and old bottles she would dig up in the yard. Tina likes the things in her house to have a history that she can tell as well as a practical use. She utilizes her collection of old bottles as vases for the flowers she grows in her Narrowsburg garden.
Right after college, Tina moved into an apartment in Boston fully furnished with 1940s and ’50s decor left there by the previous elderly tenant. She has been adding to the collection ever since. One of the original treasures she found was an old figurine lamp that she still uses.
Tina discovered a wonderful collection of 1940s portrait paintings by Joseph Unger while living in New York. From what she could glean, these works were from a painting class that Unger attended and the subjects were various figure models. This lovely portrait by emberatia makes me think of Tina’s fantastic collection.
Looking for more styles and interiors? Check out our video series, There’s No Place Like Here, where creative types show us their unique spaces — infused with their aesthetic and filled with the treasures they collect. Get involved and show us your amazing space in this Flickr pool.
What Etsy items would you add to your retro cabin? Leave a link in the comments!