Published on August 17, 2008 :: 2 Comments
Here we are in North Carolina, on vacation. I understand that to most people ‘vacation’ means a break from working..but it was Saturday, and there were lawn sales and flea markets out there, and there might be something great… So, we were up and out the door before 7:00 am in hot pursuit.
The coolest thing we found today is an unusual sectional wooden bench that dates to the 1950s or 60s. When I saw it, I turned over the small center section hoping to see the mark of some famous designer or a reknowned mid-century manufacturer — and found only an impressed Made in Sweden mark. But that’s okay, we are way into all things vintage and Scandinavian right now. Also – the woman hosting this lawn sale put a clever little sign on the benches reading, “All it needs is a can of spray paint.” So really, we were obligated to buy it just to save it from some horrible DIY Rustoleum fate.
We need to clean it up a little (it got too close to some other paint-based home improvement project) but it has wonderful lines and is nicely constructed. The seats are thick boards, chamfered on the underside. And we will do some research before we bring it in to the shop, in case we can identify the designer despite the lack of signature.
Steven is pretty excited about the folk art hand-carved wooden chain he bought. It is gorgeous, and impressive in its repetitive intricacy.
Then we found this fun red-painted country bench and the nice antique country handled baskets.
We will save the baskets for the Schoharie and Lakeside Antiques shows in September (see our Schedule of Events page to the right for details.)
My favorite Hudson-bound find today is the terrific vintage gilt and crystal candelabra at the top of this post. It has just the right decorative, Paris apartment chic. As soon as we get back home we will take it into our shop, Warren Street Antiques. Come in and see it for yourself.
Published on August 12, 2008 :: 2 Comments
Three or four times a year we load the kids and the dog into the van and head south, to visit my (Hilary’s) mom in North Carolina. This is one of those times. How the middle of August became one of our traditional trips to the sunny south, I can’t figure out. Although truthfully, I am wearing socks right now because my toes are unaccustomed to the aggressive air conditioning.
This is where I grew up, my suburban homestead. And if I open my eyes I can look around and identify some of my stylistic roots along with the familial ones. My parents had an interest in antiques and old things, and as a kid I accompanied them to flea markets and antique shows. They furnished our house with purchases from these outings, and I picked things out as well. Steven and I still have the little bow-front oak lowboy I picked out at a show when I was 13. I remember that it cost $85. My parent’s house also held lots of pieces that belonged to my mom’s mom, or my dad’s parents. So my awareness of the history and age of things was raised early in my life.
On the other hand, even though I grew up in the 70s and 80s (okay, I graduated from high school in 1984 — there you have it!) my parents were married in 1950, and some of our furnishings and decorative pieces were from the earlier days of their marriage. Like the coffee table in the living room, that my dad tiled the top of with little gold-flecked squares in a starburst design. Or the giant orange enamel bowl that he made his famous caesar salad in. There are also stories of things I never saw, like the complete set of Russel Wright they sold in a yard sale before they moved north from Florida, before I was born.
I can still point out the two houses in my neighborhood that I admired and coveted as a kid. And they are a true study in contrast. There is the big grey and white Victorian with the central staircase that sweeps up from inside the front door, and the lovely glass-enclosed porch on the side. A couple of blocks away there is the modern, flat-roof house by the lake, shaped like a dramatically low-slung U with a pool in the middle and tons of sliding glass doors. I wanted them both, and truthfully I guess I still do.
I like it here, I am happy to be here. My mom does not travel, so we come to make sure that our boys know her and understand where I, and they, came from. We will settle in here for a couple of weeks, and Steve will putter around and get little things done for Mom. And then it will be time to go and we will pile back into the van and head north. For home.
Published on August 6, 2008 :: 2 Comments
What a fun afternoon we had today! We got together with our colleagues from Warren Street Antiques in Hudson NY for dinner at Dave’s house. It was our first social affair since Steven and I joined the shop last fall, and it was lovely.
Because of the way we schedule coverage of the shop, with each of us taking one day a week, we hardly ever see each other. So it was a nice opportunity to all be together, eat and talk. Our boys had a blast playing in the pool and the treehouse while the rest of us enjoyed Dave’s cooking – curried chicken, rice with yummy things in it, salad and fruit. The menu was complemented by Dave and his wife Maureen’s relaxed style and the gorgeous contemporary environment of their home. It was a perfect summer supper.
Take note, in light of what I discussed in an earlier post about antique dealer weekends being strange, mid-week affairs, of the fact that this dinner party occurred at 4 pm on a Wednesday night. Naturally – it was the only evening we all had “off.” It might seem strange to some, but works fine for us.
Back to their house for a moment – I am suffering from serious home-envy right now. They live in a 1950s modern house with big open common areas both upstairs (kitchen to dining/living room, opening onto generous covered porch) and downstairs (giant den/rec room opening onto pool area.) All of these spaces are filled with tasteful furnishings set off with oriental carpets and surrounded by fabulous art and decorative objects. I mean, its just so great it kind of makes me want to cry.
So here I am back at home, in my tiny Victorian house with its too-small rooms and too much clutter. And I will continue to try to love it, to daily make peace with it (some days with more success than others.) But someday…
What did we talk about over dinner, you ask? Nothing earth-shattering — we reminesced about shows, and customers, and things, things, things. The things we bought and sold, wanted or just barely missed. It was good, and the boys fell asleep on the way home. Steve is snoozing on the sofa, and I am not far behind. Goodnight for now.