Archive for the ‘Antique Furniture Redesign’ Category

The Beauty of Antique Furniture and Accessories

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011
Redesig Redecorate

Redesign Redecorate

The Ultimate Recycling……….
Making do or making “new” with what you have. An idea that has lasted down thru the generations. When I go shopping for home furnishings I am sorely disappointed with the quality and workmanship of what is available in the market place today. This new items will never be the antiques of tommorow. They seem to have a built-in short life time, not having the wearability or lasting quality of furnishings made in the previous centuries. The craftmanship, the details, the materials are all sorely lacking. Try to find a bookcase made of solid wood, ones that won’t warp over time with the weight of your favorite books, try to find one that has an actual wood back, almost impossible. Sorry, I don’t get the warm fuzzy feeling polishing a particle board or pressed wood piece of furniture. Look at the drawers, how they are constructed, will they last through 100’s of openings and closings? How about the hardware, which is the jewelry that highlights the style of the furniture, is it a fine brass or a horrible imitation? Buying new furniture is a very expensive purchase and should last. What special memory laden piece will your children or grandchildren be inheriting from you, to enjoy and think of all the special memories associated with that piece of furniture and you? Not much of our modern day belongings will ever make it to the next generation. Make in America? Sadly that is more and more impossible to find.

So here is my solution, it is called rescuing, redesigning and repurposing. Beautiful solid wood furniture, artfully designed and crafted accessories, all things which were designed and crafted with quality materials and creative workmanship, where special details mattered, the likes of which can’t be purchased today, need to be rescued. “They just don’t make them like that anymore” how many times have we heard that phrase and how true it is. Antique furniture and accessories which have “good bones” can be restored, redesigned and repurposed to live for another generation. Think of what a decorating impact a couple of special pieces can do for a room. Think of a beautiful sturdy walnut eastlake dresser , repurposed to hold a bathroom sink, it’s new life as a striking vanity. Or it could be reincarnated as a kitchen island with doors made from the drawer fronts for cabinets. A piece of antique furniture may have a worn finish, may need a little elbow grease to release it’s inner glow, add in a creative thought and you have the recipe for a heirloom that will withstand the test of time and have your kids fighting over when you move on over to the otherside. Nothing can imitate the warmth of real wood, the strength and the details of yesteryear, so go “Green” recycle, rescue and revitalize a beautiful old antique piece of a family’s history. Remember every little scratch or worn spot has a story of life’s events. Just like the little wrinkles around our eyes, we earned them , laughing and living, character and patina takes a lifetime to accomplish. Say no thanks to new made in China.

Shabby and Fabulous, Painted Furniture

Sunday, May 3rd, 2009
White Painted Tea Table

White Painted Tea Table

From Shabby to Fabulous
In earlier articles I wrote about honoring the integrity of antiques, of not over restoring or changing the original finishes on antique furniture. In quality antiques, the original finish is a great part of the value and rarity of the item.
But what about the not so rare, valuable or just plain old good used furniture? With these types of items we definitely can get creative and have some fun. Painted furniture has been popular for a long time and can fit into many styles of decor. It was used in all the different eras as a way to dress up inexpensive woods, that finished in a traditional way had very little excitement or beauty because of a lack of grain or the ability to take on a hard high finish. Victorian Eastlake furniture many times was made of pine, painted in a base paint color that looked like walnut and then handpainted decorations of leaves and flowers were added to dress up the piece, this style was called “cottage furniture”, actually an early forerunner of the current “Shabby Chic” style which is so popular.
Whether you plan on doing an entire room of white painted furniture or just want to add a few pieces of painted furniture , here are some tips and ideas:

1. Find a piece of furniture that has the lines, shape, size and style that you want. Examine the piece carefully, make sure it is structurally sound, no cracks or spilts in the wood, legs, arms, seats, ect. or solid. Drawers work, doors aren’t warped and feet aren’t rotting. Minor repairs can be done if need be, but save the labor intensive stuff for the painting and decorating of the piece. There are many great places to find pieces of furniture to paint: flea markets, estate sales, tag sales, thrift stores, used furniture stores and roadside freebies.
2. Decide what type of finish will work best for your decorating scheme. Is this going to be an accent piece that will be totally different from what is already in the room? Or is this piece going to coordinate and blend in, in color or style with furnishings already in the room?

Assuming the piece you have rescued is already painted, use a putty knife to remove any loose paint, clean the piece with an all purpose cleaner to remove any grease, soil, ect. anything that will prevent the paint from adhering properly. Sometimes I will use 0000 steel wool with the cleaner to remove years of built up grime. Once the piece is clean and dry, any needed repairs or tightening up is done, you are ready to begin painting.

For a allover solid paint finish giving complete coverage for a look that looks like “new” your piece must be free of all bumps, dings, crackling old paint, old drips, blemishes, dents, anything that will prevent you getting a smooth surface. This requires sanding and filling of holes with wood putty or filler. Next after the surface is blemish free, apply a primer according to directions. After the primer is dry you can begin the painting process. My feeling is if you want a perfect like “new” finish, wouldn’t you be better off just purchasing a brand new piece of furniture, for the amount of work involved to get a piece totally blemish free?

If your piece has an old crackled finish and you wish to keep that aged look but just change the color or add color, skip the sanding, the priming steps, just make sure any loose paint is removed, leave the imperfections, (that’s what gives the piece it’s character and charm) using a brush working in one direction only, apply a light coat of paint to a small area, while the paint is still wet, you can experiment and with a rag wipe some of the paint off, allowing the remaining paint to seep into the cracks of the old finish. You are removing lightly a small amount of paint from the top flat surfaces. You can get creative and use a darker or different color for the cracks, wiping it away from the top flat surfaces. I have also used India black ink to color the cracks, wiping away the excess, allowing it to dry and then applying a top coat of light or white color paint which doesn’t cover the darker cracks completely. Doing this style of crackling, you have to work fast to wipe before the paint before it dries. You can apply more coats to achieve the look you desire. Remember to work in small areas, apply a light thin coat of paint or use a glaze, stop and wipe while wet, then move on. These is an aged crackle look, like broken eggshells. I use this look when the piece has the crackled or orange peel look already. To me it is not worth the work to sand it completely off or strip it, I just go with it.

A piece that is stained, should be cleaned, “roughed up” with steel wool or fine sand paper and a primer applied. A piece I just did, I used a combination primer/paint, it took 3 coats, going white over dark walnut stain, was maddening while I was doing it, keep finding spots that needed more coverage, but was worth it when the piece was finished. See photo. This piece is now for sale in our Collinsville Shop.

For the “Shabby Chic” look, there are several ways to achieve it. You can paint the pieces solid white covering the finish completely. It will require a couple of coats. If you are working with a piece that is stained, use steel wool to rough up the finish, then apply a primer or a combination primer/paint, this will require about 3 coats. After the piece is completely dry, you can enjoy it as it is or look at it as a blank canvas, to get creative by maybe hand painting a floral design in a focal point like the center back of a chair, a drawer front,, a center or a border around a table top. Timid about hand painting, use a stencil, or use decals (I have seen some great floral ones on Ebay) or decoupage some favorite pictures that are following a theme such as birds, flowers, ect. I have been saving some old magazines to cut up for decoupaging. I have plans for an old kidney shaped wooden vanity table that has a top that has seen better days, I plan to paint it all over with white paint and then on the top decoupage 1940’s ads of expensive perfumes that I have collected from vintage Vanity Fair and Architectural Digest magazines. After the ads are glued to the top of the vanity, I will cover the ads with a few coats of clear polyurethane to seal and protect the decorated top. Note: The vanity came out so good with the white paint, top looks like new, I didn’t do the decoupage look but left it just simply all white. This piece is also in our Collinsville shop now. Phot upon request.

Another “Shabby” look is to paint an all over base paint color and using goldleaf or gilt paint to highlight any embellishments or carvings or turnings on the piece. This gives it a “French” look, a little bit of gold adds some elegance. Here again you can experiment with wiping off or dulling the brightness of the gold. If the gold is too bright, too new looking, rubbing some bronzing powder or cigarette ashes into it while it is still wet will age it quickly. Contrasting or using an accent color paint can be used also on the embellishments or turnings also. If the piece has carvingsalong with the gold you can use black permanent marker in the crevices to create shadows, or black paint or India ink. Vary the pressure as you apply to make it look aged and somewhat worn off. Wipe some off for aging also. Remember all these techniques can be repainted if you don’t like the results till you get exactly the look you want. Like erasing your mistakes and starting fresh.

For a more primitive or aged look, if your new base coat is of a different color than the piece’s original paint color, you can use 0000 steel wool to “wear” off the new coat of paint on places where paint is normally worn off, ex. edges of tables, edges of the arms or rungs of chairs, seats of chairs, corners, tops of drawers, spots where wear is normal from use, rubbing off the top coat and having the different color under coat peeking through in these worn spots gives it an aged look by letting the different color show through. I had worked for a custom furniture maker and had learned aging techniques that would take brand new Shaker style furniture and make it look like an antique original. One style was to use a red or green base coat of milk paint and apply a new different paint color over it, ( blue over a red base was the most requested combination) After the 2 coats of the different color paint has dried, take steel wool and rub lightly over the seats of the chairs, the arms and chair rungs, all the spots of normal wear, to allow the different under color to be seen. After the desired aged effect was achieved, the item was polished with old fashioned butcher’s wax, no varnish, shellac or polyurethane was used. This is a great look for a active family, all the wear just adds to the charm of the piece.

The pleasure and advantage of painted furniture is that it works with a multitude of sins, blemishes, and wear and adding new wear areas will only add more character. It gives you the freedom to change colors and decorations so that a piece can be used in other settings and with other decorating themes. The best part of painting furniture, all mistakes can be painted over. We can rescue a cast-off and like Cinderella make it the “Belle of the Ball”.

Thrifting: Giving and Getting, A Win Win Situation

Saturday, March 7th, 2009

Thrift Finds

Thrift Finds

It’s that time of year again…. Tax time. Now you are probably wondering what does the grueling task of getting ready for your taxes have to do with decorating? Lots! I look at tax time as another New Years Eve, time for reflecting over the past year, making resolutions and setting goals for the coming year. Going through the previous year’s receipts and seeing where all your dollars went, reliving the past year’s purchases, good and bad ones, helps you focus for the new year. In these scary economic times we all need to tighten up the budget.
This is going to be a little lesson called “Decorating On a Shoestring”. Along with doing the taxes another chore needs to be done, Spring Cleaning. Time to take stock, purge and organize. This task can be overwhelming and easily postponed but there is no time like the present. Tackle this, room by room, closet by closet. To make the cleaning go easier you got to get rid of “stuff”. First off, set up 3 areas in the room with empty boxes, large contractor size garbage bags, and storage bins or containers. Now comes the hard part, being objective. Start in one area of the room or closet and don’t leave that area till you have completely gone through it all. The big questions are: Do I really need this item? Have I used this item in the past year? Would I like to replace this item? Do I love this item and wouldn’t dream of parting with it? With clothing it is a little easier, does it fit? Have you worn it in the past year? This is like a game, you have to answer these questions quickly and make a decision, the longer you take and think about it, the less you will be inclined to part with it. Once the decision is made decide how you are going to dispose of the item. Here’s the rewarding part, think “Green” the ultimate recycling is to donate your unwanted items to your local thrift store, things that are still in good condition, useable, wearable and saleable for the thrift store will be most welcome by them. If it is broken, torn, or stained do not donate but dispose of. No one is going to buy a chair with a broken leg or a pair of drapes that the fabric is rotting or the tee shirt that would make a better polishing rag, these should never be given as donations. You are helping many people with your donations and you can take a donation tax write-off on your taxes (you must have an itemized receipt of what you have given).
Another fun alternative is a swap party with friends, whether it is a knicknack, decorative items party or a kids or adult clothing swap meet or even a children’s toy swap, it is a great excuse to get all your pals together and have a party. There again make sure all your swap items are clean and in good repair, your rhinestone decorated sandals that pinch your feet and you have never worn could make a smashing new accessory for your best friend’s new summer outfit. Everyone brings and goes home hopefully with a “new” treasure and had a fun afternoon.
Another way to look at all this purging is from a money making angle. Dollars made from selling your items at consignment shops, can be used to buy things that you really want for the new season. Or get together with a couple of friends and plan a tag sale, decide whose house has the best exposure for tag salers to find, pool your goodies and share the work and make some money. In a future article I will cover all the points in having a successful tag sale or estate sale. If some of the items you have decided to part with are collectible and have value you may want to contact antique dealers, used furniture dealers, ect. who would be interested in purchasing what you have for sale. Consult the Yellow Pages in your phone book, go online, stop in some antique shops, find dealers who would be interested in the types of items you have for sale. This is usually the fastest way to get rid of unwanted items. Remember a dealer will offer you a “wholesale price”, not the top retail dollar figure that you might get if you spent the time and money to advertise the item and sell it retail yourself. If you want to sell it yourself and you have time to deal with the numerous inquiries, you can try internet sites such as Craig’s List, or set up an account and sell it yourself on Ebay’s auction site. The classifieds in your local newspaper or Penny Saver may find you a customer. But a word of caution, don’t spend the money till you get it, and have sold the item. These times are tough, many people are cashing out the dollars in their closets and attics and things are a hard sell for the most part right now, you have to have a little more patience and swallow hard and compromise on price. What things were selling for a year ago, is no where near what they are selling for today. I was one of the first sellers on Ebay, in the beginning (ca. 1998) no matter what you listed for sale on Ebay, it sold and at a good price, now only 20% or less of what is listed on Ebay actually sells and many times for a lot less than it’s value. This was a lesson we all had to learn, something is only worth what someone is willing to pay you for it. This “Recession, Depression” whatever you want to label it has hit all of us hard, no one is immune from it. So the dollars you get from getting rid of unused or unwanted items may not be a “killing” but every little bit helps, whether it is cash in your pocket or a charitable donation it still helps.
Now remember I suggested you have some storage boxes earlier. These are for items you are keeping but not using at this time or in their original state or for their original purpose. Now I know you fellow collectors or packrats, didn’t totally reform and get rid of everything you aren’t using. But hopefully you gave it a good try. We are still using the “thrifty mentality” many of these items can be refinished, redesigned, or repaired. Curtains, sheets, bedspreads, many things made of fabric can be made into other things. Decorative items can be swapped into other rooms or areas, furniture can be redone, painted or refinished, the crafty ones will look at these items as raw materials to be transformed or made into something new. Quilts were made out of scraps of material, rag rugs were made out of old clothes, kitchen tables had their legs shortened to be made into coffee or cocktail tables. Old armoires were made into entertainment centers, old dressers into bathroom sink vanities. So back to recycling, what can we make out of our discards that we still like and have many more miles in them ?
We had turned into such a throw away society, our landfills were over flowing and new was always better, but times have changed and it’s time for us to be creative as well as thrifty and responsible. Hopefully we won’t ever be in the position of our grandparents, who lived through the Great Depression and made 101 dishes without meat or put cardboard in their shoes but we can re-examine our spending habits and go back to some of the old ways of re-doing, repairing, and redesigning and come up with some pretty clever and unique ways of decorating.
Now for our reward after sorting, cleaning and purging, we have a fresh palate to work with, to redecorate. After Spring cleaning who wants to put things all back the same way. Family and spouses won’t even notice all the hard work you did. Now it is time for the fun of redecorating, getting creative and achieving a new look. Work with what you have, swap things between rooms, spend a little of the money you made selling off your old things, after dropping off your donations at the thrift stores, go inside and check out the bargains, you may find just the treasure you need to start your creative juices flowing, inspiration may strike and you have a theme for a whole new look. That little ladie’s desk that needs a coat of white paint might be just the thing to put in your bedroom corner and make a wonderful place to sit and journal. Maybe you might find a small brass lamp with a toile shade to go with it at your neighborhood Goodwill. Recycle, it’s fun!

Re-Design Project: Victorian Fireplace Mantle / Bed Headboard

Friday, December 26th, 2008

Finished Project

Finished Project

[caption id="attachment_17" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Ca. 1880's Fireplace Mantle "]Ca. 1880's Fireplace Mantle [/caption]
HISTORY: You never know when inspiration is going to strike. I had been thinking about replacing my Walnut East Lake bed for a few years. I loved it dearly, the headboard was over 6 feet tall, made with walnut boards that went across the headboard diagonally with a scalloped and carved top header. I had had this bed for over 35 years. I had spotted it in an antique shop and fell in love with it. I got it home tied to the roof of my car, about a 40 mile trip, the benevolent spirits must have been with me that day, it got home completely intact. It has moved with me to new homes every time. The walnut bed was joined by a matching walnut dresser several years later. I live in a very unique home, it was built in 1783, orginally as a schoolhouse, it was called “The Academy” and served as a one room school for high school age students. After the civil war, there weren’t enough students, so the school was closed, no one really wanted the building, it was used as the 1st Catholic Church for several years, townhall for a short time and finally was sold to an adjacent estate in exchange for a large steel beam to be used in construction of a building damaged by fire. It was moved to it’s present location and plunked down in the middle of an orchard on the estate. It was the used as a private theater for the owner, who was the publisher of “Ladies Home Companion” Magazine, she used it for entertaining her guests and built tennis courts next to it. Several very noted, famous people in publishing, goverment ( including 2 presidents) and businessmen came to stay with her in the main house and enjoyed entertainment and tennis here. After she died the estate was divided up and sold off, this building eventually became a home in the 1950’s and has been home to Lavender Path Antiques and my home since the early 1990’s.
I am fortunate to have the original 24 foot domed ceilings, which made decorating a “large” challenge. The rooms are also oversized. In looking in furniture stores, all the beds available were just too small, uninteresting and of inferior quality woods and craftmanship compared to an antique bed. I keep looking waitng for inspiration to strike. New beds just didn’t have the romance I was looking for, and antique beds were getting very hard to find and the prices were really going up. One reason for parting with my antique bed was the size, I really needed a larger bed, with a large dog sleeping on my feet and 2 cats snuggling up beside me there wasn’t a lot of room for anyone else. So when I had almost given the idea of change, inspiration hit me. I had seen a photograph of an antique fireplace mantle re-designed into a headboard. I fell in love. Even though I am an antique dealer, to find a Victorian Fireplace mantle, exactly what I was looking for wasn’t going to be easy. I started by searching architectural salvage companies, years ago, many bargains and what interesting pieces could be found in them. But I got the shock of my life, looking at the prices for these items there in today’s market. I made several phone calls to antique shops all around, tracked down a few mantles but they didn’t fit my vision of what I wanted. Decorating with antiques can be a very slow process at times, to find the perfect piece when you are looking for it can be daunting. I wasn’t giving up. I shopped Ebay till I had blisters on my fingers, saw some that just might fit the bill, but had to think about shipping costs or distance to go pick it up. Price ranges were all over the lot. But the research help me formulate my idea and I knew exactly what style I wanted and the appox. price it was going to cost. I continued my search online and looked at several but it appeared I needed to find one I could pick up rather than ship. These are rather heavy. I decided to check my local Craigslist classified ads list. Bingo! I found one listed and only 6 towns away. The person emailed me a photo and I fell in love, he had what I had envisioned. The mantle had a mirror with candle shelves on either side of it and a upper shelf, bringing the total height to over 7 feet tall, just what I needed. There was some carving detail on the top section and on the lower section. It took a week to get our schedules coordinated so I could go see it. I was so afraid it would be sold to someone else who got there first but luck was on my side. I knew I was going to buy it even before I saw it in person. And best of all it was a bargain! It barely fit in my van even though it was in 2 pieces. But I got it home. Friends and family thought I had really flipped my lid when they saw it. But I could visualize the beauty it could become. *** Refer to photo at top of page for it’s original condition.

PROCESS: As I took it out of the truck, no easy task for a middle aged woman, who is fit, it was heavy, my excitement must have given me the adrenlin rush I needed to move it by myself. The mantle was covered with dirty, chippy, old white paint. It had been in storage in a basement for several decades and only recently moved into a garage. It was dirty. I scrubbed it down with good old Murphy’s oil soap and got all the decades of grime off. The mantle had no structural damage, the wood was in fine condition, aa little wear here and there but that is the charm of antiques. I had a decision to make on what to do with the finish. I could spend hours, sanding it down to bare wood and then staining it, or paint it. I felt stripping it would take away a lot of the character of the piece, it would never be “perfect” and perhaps all that work wouldn’t be worth it. There were several layers of paint on it. I didn’t want it painted white, I wanted it to marry with the Eastlake dresser that I owned. The dresser was painted a very dark reddish brown, almost black in some light and decorated with handpainted flowers and green leaves, all original. I had a paint chart wheel with over a 1000 colors on it, given to me by a painter, I took the chart and matched the color of the dresser to one on the chart. I went to Home Depot and they made it up. In the light of my bedroom the color looks almost like mahogany wood. I painted the mantle, it took 3 coats. Working with the paint, brushing in the direction of the grain only, I was able to create the look of grained wood, never completely covering with a solid coat over the layer underneath, leting a faint amount of the lighter color of the previous coat underneath peek through. I did this show-through technique on corners and other spots that wood had natural worn spots from years of use. I did not want to make it look new, I still wanted the antique character, wear and blemishes included. I work with a small sponge paint brushes, I find they give me the agility and ability to do fussy paint techniques rather than a regular paint brush, then when you are done, throw away. In a few spots, I would wipe off a little of the wet paint with a rag, further “distressing” or aging the look. It came out exactly matching the dresser. Taking the cue from the green leaves that decorated the dresser, I put a coat of forest green paint over the base color on the applied decorative carvings on the mantle, I did that quickly with an artist brush not covering the carvings completely, there again striving for a worn look, not newly painted. On top of the green paint I used another artist brush and used liquid gold leaf paint, there again quickly running the brush over just the high points of the design. In a few spots, I felt I had applied the gold paint to heavy, I just rubbed some off with a rag while still wet, to give it a burnished aged look. The bed was now finished and ready to be moved into the room.

HARDWARE AND ASSEMBLY: I had to purchase a new mattress, foundation and bedframe. I bought a queen size that would fit perfect size -wise with the mantle. I placed the lower part of the mantle against the wall. I used 2 very thin pieces of scrap wood, less than 1/4 inch thick, under the front legs of the mantle to creat an ever so slight pitch, so that it learns back towards the wall. I did this only because it was going to be sitting on carpet. I slid the bed frame and mattress to sit right in front of the mantle leaving about 2 inches of space inbetween the mantle and the bed. The top half of the mantle with the mirror and the shelves would sit on the bottom part of the mantle. Now here is the part that really took some thought. I wanted to make sure that the top of the mantle was secure. The bottom is mostly covered by the bed and will never fall forward. I put 2 heavy-duty round screw-eye hooks on the back of the top of the mantle, on either side like you would do with a picture frame , I placed them about 6 inches down from the top edge. I fastened into a stud in the wall a heavy round circle on a plate that fastened into the stud with 4 screws. This was actually a hook used to tie horses, I felt if it could hold a horse it could hold this mantle for sure. I used length of brass chain, the type that is used for hanging chandeliers, I used the chain to attach to the eye hooks on the back of the mantle and then attach to the horse ring in the stud. This may be being a little overcautious, but I wanted to be sure it was secure to the wall. I could have done some framing and fastened the whole mantle to the wall but I was concerned about damaging the wall permanently and wanted to be able to take the mantle headboard if I should ever move again. Once I got the top in place, I realized with the way it was constucted with the front posts on the mantle shelf, that would also prevent it from tipping forward. But I have now gotten it very secure. I’ll bet you are wondering about the opening in the mantle that is open for the fireplace. There are 2 ways to handle that. I purchased 4 bed risers to put the feet of the bedframe raising the bed 8 more inches off the floor. I had used them also with my old Eastlake bed. I like a high bed for the look, and for the storage space underneath and being able to vacuum under the bed easier. By using the risers the height of the bed is now only 1 inch short of covering the opening in the mantle, with big fluffy pillows, it never shows. The alternative that could be done would be to take a piece of plywood cut slighter bigger than the opening, cover the plywood with quilt batting material, staple with a staple gun in place and then cover with coordinating fabric that matches or compliments your bedding. Take the fabric covered board and screw it into the back of the mantle. My using the risers eliminated the need for covering in the opening in the mantle. I change my bedding quilts and coverlets so often that I would be changing that fabric cover all the time.

DECORATE: I purchased 3 bed skirts that coordinate, florals and solids in different lengths. Now remember using the risers you need a longer bedskirt, my need was for a 21 inch drop. Then I used a 15 and a 13 inch over that. I use 2 king size pillows at the very top of the bed up against the mantle, they are there all the time. I then layer 2 queen pillows on top of them and use 2 pairs of regular size pillows in front of them for that romantic Bed and Breakfast look. I mix and match florals, stripes and solids in pillowcases as I did in the bedskirts. Choose your decorations to put on the mantle and shelves. I have opted to leave the very top shelf bare, was concerned about things could fall but so far everything on the lower shelves have not moved an inch, all secure.

Result: I am just thrilled with my Re-designed headboard. I rescued an old mantle that had no home and it has a new life as a high headboard with the Victorian look I had envisioned, that fits perfectly with my very large room. The integrity of the mantle is still there, it can be re-used as a mantle anytime as it was originally designed for. This project went much faster than expected and the luck of finding the piece so fast must have had some divine intervention. So yes you can fall in love again.

Welcome To Our New Blog

Sunday, December 21st, 2008

Rose covered teapot

Rose covered teapot

I am looking forward to sharing with you creative decorating ideas using antiques and vintage items. I call the antiques business the Bliss of my life, my mission making homes beautiful, interesting and comfortable without breaking the bank, all this is 2nd nature to me. I have been a collector since the age of 6 when I fell in love with my first bone china teacup covered with tiny little violets, I was probably the only little girl who asked for a china closet in her room at age 10. Antiques are treasures that come with a story. I become a dectective and follow the clues to find the history and the provenance of the item and then study the clues to learn all about the owner who cherished this item before me. I believe in coming to the rescue of old unwanted or unneeded items . I rescue, redesign, retro-fit, refinish or refurbish to create an item of beauty for someone else to add to their decor and cherish. Antiques and vintage items have a special warmth, patina and character about them. Maybe a little shabby, a little worn, but aged with character, and have a way of attracting your interest to examine a little closer, to touch and to wonder what stories it could tell about the life it had before you set eyes on it. So the next time you see at an estate sale or an auction or in a cluttered antique shop an item that makes you stop, reach out and touch it and pleads to be taken home, don’t pass it by when it talks to you. Bring it home, you will always find a place for it if you love it, don’t let it be the one you regret that you should have not let get away. Write to me, tell me about your special find that pulled at your heartstrings, send a picture too. Us antique lovers are terrible romantics and fall in love over and over again. Whether it is a cherished family heirloom or a find you just brought into your home, this is the place for sharing ideas on decorating with these treasures of all.
Check back soon, the next article will be about an 1880’s Walnut Fireplace Mantel rescued and now living life as a beautiful Victorian headboard for a queen size bed.