He Did What?...& You Paid How Much?

picture grabbed from chippyshabby.blogspot.com
He Did What?...

A customer came in the other day and told me a story about how she found this totally fabulous, shabby-chic dresser. Perfectly distressed and chippy and simply magnificent. She was so excited about the piece. She bought it, brought it home and then left again to finish her errands.

She returned later that day - still excited about her fabulous found treasure. Her husband, beaming with pride in his initiative to help out, he exclaimed...

"honey - while you were away, I sanded and painted that dresser for you and now it's good-as-new"

There it was - her fabulous shabby treasure was now perfectly smooth, perfectly painted one solid color, not a worn corner or chippy paint anywhere!

You Paid How Much?

My Dear Aunt sent me an article on the increased amount of antiques out there as a result of the many downsizers and need to clear space for smaller homes.  The gist of the article was that because of this increase in supply - great deals can be found.  The article showed an antique dresser that had been painted black and had it's original hardware.  The dresser looked just like a few that we have or have sold in the shop lately.

The article said that you can now get a dresser like this one for only $1,250 where before it was $2,500.  Where the heck are people shopping that they think $1,250 is a deal??  In our shop, the same dresser would be around $299!  We could deliver it from CA to New York and it would still be half the price of the low price they are touting as so great.  It baffles me.  Well, if there is anyone out there that thinks $1,250 is a steal for an antique gorgeously restored dresser, give me a call.  I'll decorate their whole room for that price and still have money left over for an Appletini at a fancy restaurant in SoHo ($68/glass marked to $65 for happy hour lol).


Vintage Transformations

I just completed an old bedroom set.  It was not in very good condition cosmetically, but, I could tell - it had great bones.  Spindle feet, interesting lines, and pretty, ornate, detailing.  It needed some prep-work to transform and restore it's beauty.  I took it all apart and sanded down all the pieces and then started to apply the layers of paint.  White or Black?  That Is The Question.  I've mostly been working in white for the past few years, but, lately, have been fancying the drama of black.  I decided to do the whole set in black.

I love the way it came out.  Especially, the high-boy dresser.  The top part was missing it's drawer, so I sanded it all down and painted the inside and made a cubby for books or a jewelry box.  It really gives it character.

I went back in to shabby it up and accentuate the beauty of the details with intricate sanding techniques almost like paint brush strokes back into the design.  Then, I replaced the original hardware.

Add the mirror for above the highboy dresser.  The bed frame had some of the same detailing as the dressers.  The scalloping is very pretty and adds a feminine touch to the black pieces.  There were two dressers and below (in my spot at the shop) is the shorter dresser.

 A dramatic contrast to my white furnishings yet still shabby-chic with a hint of Parisian (a bit more on the Parisian side as we just celebrated a fun Bastille Day event at the shop and with our friends at Melange, Not Too Shabby, and The Bag Lady

On a personal note, I spent a fabulous weekend at the beach with my girls.  Found a few mini-sand dollars.  I had collected great sea shells and sand dollars this year and filled jars for fun summer decorating.  As a retailer, we always look to the next holiday while still in a previous season (think Christmas decorations in September).  So, as we hit mid-summer, it's time to look to school starting and holiday decorating.  So, my new black obsession, mixed with a handful of festive silver treasures, will fit right in.


Cowboys and Firecrackers

I just LOVE this display!  Karryann took a cowhide and reupholstered an old chair with it.  This work of art would sell for the high hundreds or even thousands in SF or LA.  She's got it here at the shop for only $245.  One of the pitfalls of working with all these creative women is that I want to take home so many of their masterpieces.

The display was great for the time of year.  We just had the long horn cattle drive through the middle of Sutter Street and the 51st Annual Pro-Rodeo and fireworks show.  Hypocritical that I could covet a cow skin chair but not want to go to the rodeo because I feel bad for the animals.  But, I appreciate the beauty of the hide, the fun of the sport of rodeo, and the cowboys and cowgirls who flock to the town for the weekend.  Jeans, long sleeve button-up shirts, boots, and cowboy hats in triple digit weather.  That's dedication to the true American spirit as is the rustic style of the old bottles, rusty metal table and cowhide chair.  Perfect for a barn in the Midwest or a loft in SoHo.

I guess that's what Independence is all about.  Freedom to hug a cow, wrangle a cow, or sit on an antique  chair made with cowhide.  God Bless America.  Happy 4th of July.

PS.  On that note, since we also love all things French here at Gracefully Vintage, we will also be celebrating Bastille Day at the shop July 16th and 17th.  "Vive-la-France"!