Sunday, January 28, 2018

Magic With What You Already Own

Does anyone else get a little depressed when they walk into a modern home goods decorator kind of store?

On rare occasions I actually shop in a brick and mortar store.  By rare--I actually mean maybe once every couple of months.  I always leave with visual and brain overload--and overwhelmed by pillows, picture frames, chinese chinese chinese everything including modern knock offs of every widget you can think of.

Lately, I am taking a page, no, a CHAPTER out of my maternal grandmother's decorating philosophy.  Less is more and work with what you have, you don't always need to buy buy buy new.

Grandma Lenore was superb at decorating her home--she tweeked and rearranged items she already owned to give a new fresh look to her rooms--and she did it often.  A new little fabric on a pillow there, or a furniture rearrangement there.  She would take that lamp out of that room and reusue it on a different table.  Or rotate paintings.  These changes were often done seasonally and it really kept her house fresh to the eye.  She attended auctions--and would spend very little money to acquire a need New To Her widget and incorporate that in her scheme.

Our shop sales have been gangbusters the last two months particularly.  People are buying small furniture and paintings--and we work hard at pricing fairly and accessibly.  I am seeing buyers well under 40 years old--and I am hopeful that folks are seeing the value in quality vintage over the Poorly Made But Looks Good stuff from yet another mall home decorator shop.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Paying Attention

I am not a person who makes new year's resolutions.  At least not the traditional ones.

This year, 2018, is The Year Of Paying Attention.  So far--almost halfway through January, I am still on course.

Paying Attention to the Antiques Trade:  People buy what they like--they do not buy what I THINK they should like.  Our sales at Odana Antique Mall in Madison have increased markedly--as we are stocking what the shoppers are looking for--not what we want them to like.  The midwest Madison crowd wants room ready.  No project pieces.  Fairly priced artwork.  Our experience--no furniture before 1900.  And not too off beat.  They actually buy conservative furniture--it's the creative accessories that they like.  A compromise for me.

Paying Attention To Food:    Readers of this blog will know I am an Aldi nut.  It is rare that I venture  to other stores these days.  The expansion of creative organic produce and gallons of milk with three week expiration dates for 95 cents are enough reasons to keep on shopping there.  Oh yes--and the gruyere cheese and pine nut hummus and raspberries and butter lettuce salad kits and.....

Paying Attention to Friends/Family:    But there are just so many hours in the day--evaluating and nurturing healthy friendships and giving those my attention.  Good friends are like gold.  One hundred and thirty five facebook friends including the pharmacist clerk?  Not so much.

Paying Attention to Who/What is Driving My Narrative:  I have found it too easy to let my thoughts be driven by the local and national media and the latest tweet, you tube video, television screen crawler or facebook posting.  Politicians, Hollywood Types and Otherwise Just Loud People have every right to express and act on their opinions although very different from mine. The actual definition of tolerance is the ability or willingness to permit something, particularly the existence of opinions or behavior that do not agree with mine.  I am not sure when secular society changed the definition of tolerance to mean that all ideas and opinions are equally true and must be universally accepted..  I choose, this year, for my sanity, not to be the squirrel chasing the nut.

No More Concrete or Cast Iron Please

Dear One  and I spend many good hours wandering around looking for quirky things to sell.  There is nothing that makes a dealer smile more t...