Handcrafted Classic American Furniture Never Goes Out of Style

A traditional classic.

A traditional classic.

Have you ever walked into a room and been drawn to a beautiful piece of furniture? Maybe that sounds a little silly, but quality furniture can really pull me in. The craftsmanship, finish and detail are something to be admired. Which is why I recently became the manager for Eldred Wheeler’s factory showroom in Wilton, CT.  The pieces in my store are timeless and as far as I’m concerned have no design boundaries. A well crafted piece of furniture looks beautiful in both traditional and modern design. Placed as a functional piece of furniture it enhances the total look of a room or as a focal point it serves as a piece of art. If you shop for traditional furniture, keep an eye out for Eldred Wheeler pieces. They are well crafted and tend to hold their value at resale. Check them out online or find the Wilton Store on Facebook.

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How to Visualize, Search, Find and Save Money on Furniture

As you can probably tell from my previous posts…I HATE PAYING FULL PRICE…and I almost never do.  Recently I had a major success with some dining chairs. In my mind upholstered chairs would be the perfect look for a dining room off an open kitchen, with a look of casual elegance, so the search was on.  Consignment shops, flea markets, furniture stores and tag sales were scoured for just the right set at the right price. Occasionally I would stumble upon a chair I liked for the room, but pricing or fabric was often the issue.  So I’d say for more than a year my search continued on and off when the opportunity presented itself.

Original chairs

Finally my efforts paid off when on a trip to a fabric store, Chintz and Prints (another story), I stumbled upon McGeorgi’s Antiques down the road. It was really a fluke that I ended up in this store, so when I walked in and found my chairs I was quite surprised. Eight upholstered dining chairs in, almost perfect condition. My only concern was the fabric, but at about $100 per chair, I could recover them and still be ahead. Well I didn’t buy them on the spot, I agonized for a few weeks, (which I don’t recommend) and finally returned to purchase them, hoping they would look good when I got them in the space.

How they looked at McGeorgi's Antiques

How they looked at McGeorgi’s Antiques

Now they are in the space and I think they look great as they are. No need to recover and similar new chairs can easily sell for $400 or more, most likely more! I’d love to hear what you think of my find and would love to hear about any great finds you’ve come across. Also if you are in the Newtown, CT area, be sure to check out McGeorgi’s Antiques, he’s got a wonderfully eclectic collection.

The chairs in the dining room.

Add Color and Character with Furniture Store Accessory or Flea Market Find

A recent trip to Elephant’s Trunk Flea Market in New Milford, CT yielded a non working vintage camera for about $5.00. I’ve noticed vintage photography items being used as decor in catalogs and magazines so I decided to pick one up and I grabbed a couple of old movie reels as well. Of course before I knew it I was seeing photography equipment everywhere, placed on a bookshelf, a side table, clusters of cameras, movie reels and more.  Non-working cameras found at a chain furniture store are selling for many times more than my flea market find. Just wondering if you can really see any difference? Do you like the look of vintage cameras in decorating?

Furniture Store Accessory

Great News! You Can Bring New Life to an Old Chair

Have any old chairs that need some repair?  No need to go to the stores that charge you fee on top of fee.  You can do it yourself!  With a little direction, my interns recovered some old dining room chairs, and now they look good as new.  It’s simple, easy, and a great way to bring new life to an old piece or a room.  With that in mind, we took a trip to the Barn in Bridgeport, CT, where we found a rooster print, that matched my existing decor perfectly.  The fabric was affordable, as was the entire process because we used the existing cushions, and fortunately I didn’t have to pay my interns for their labor.  This is a great alternative instead of getting new chair.  You can also purchase an inexpensive chair and easily revitalize it with a new print that you absolutely love. This is all about not settling for what you are presented with. You can always personalize anything you buy to fit your home and your life. Stay tuned for more ideas, and feel free to share your magical makeovers!

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Brimfield is less than two weeks away!

I love this time of year. The weather is great everything is coming back to life and most important the outdoor antique show season begins!

One of the best in the East starts on May 8th. Located in Brimfield, MA, The Brimfield Antiques and Collectibles show is probably the largest in the country. According to their website there are over 5000 dealers in over 20 different fields. It is truly a maze of dealer after dealer and a great place to start the antiquing season.

Since the show is so large, you won’t be able to see everything in one day and you might go away empty-handed if you don’t stay focused on a few items. Some pretty standard advice is to wear comfortable shoes and clothes, bring a rolling cart if you have one, stay hydrated and enjoy the thrill of the hunt. Another word of advice, when you find something you like make sure it’s value is acceptable to you, it’s quite possible to find the same item with another dealer for less. I’ve seen this on several occasions and it’s always a little disturbing, but just like clothing and furniture,  collectibles and antiques have trends. You might want to do a little pricing research on Ebay or other antique and collectible sites, especially if you are looking for something in particular. Many of the dealers have web sites as well which might be worth viewing. You can always ask the dealer to bring the item to the show. You may also want to do a little research on the Brimfield website, each dealer rents space in a particular field and all fields are not open every day. The fields also seem to have their own style and some fields charge admission. There is plenty to see without paying admission, but if you are looking for something in particular, you may decide on one of the paying fields.  Brimfield Exchange is a good source for information or try Brimfield.com.

There are other sites about Brimfield but I leave it to you to discover them, please feel free to add them in your comments.

Well I’m heading to Brimfield next Friday, as always I’m looking for signs, garden accessories, interesting bar ware, fabrics and anything else that blows me away…I’ll let you know how I make out.