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.

Sweeter Dreams When you Save!

I’m all about being creative and innovative, and if I can be self sufficient at the same time that’s just an added bonus. By that I mean, if I feel I can create something, or find a cheaper alternative to something such as an upholstered headboard, then I will. I’ve been looking around furniture stores with my interns and it never ceases to amaze us how expensive the upholstered headboards are. In some stores they are priced at over $1,000! After looking around Lillian August, I was determined to find inexpensive alternatives to their beautiful headboards. If you really love this look like I do, don’t settle for the expensive one in the store just because it’s convenient. Take this opportunity to express your creative side and make a work of art. But if that’s not your thing, shop around. I found this great, three piece upholstered headboard on CountryDoor.com.  If there is one thing I’m adamant about, it is shopping around.

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There is no need to break your bank for a stylish look that will fit your life. If you can find it cheaper somewhere else or make it yourself, then do so. In this case both are possible. To make it, you would just need to make a plywood frame, cover it in batting, then using a staple gun to cover it in the fabric of your choice. I would love to hear from you about headboard horror stories regarding over pricing, possibly a great piece that you got for a steal, or even a successful self-creation!Image

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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