Monthly Archives: June 2012

Vintage Life: Our 1920s Bungalow Renovation

Greg and I love old things. It seems to us things were just made better in the past, and had a great deal more style. Nowadays everything is made from plastic and meant to be thrown away – the hallmark of our “disposable” society.

And while there is nothing wrong with the functional Chevy Lumina, I don’t think folks 50 years from now will want to collect and restore one – it just doesn’t have the pizzaz of say, a 1965 Ford Mustang. To be honest though, we might be a little biased. Greg’s first car that he bought back in high school (and we still have) was a 1965 Mustang convertible, but that is a story for another blog post.

From the 1880s through the 1930s, our little town of Newberry, South Carolina, was in her heyday due to prosperity from several cotton mills.  An Opera House was built and business was booming down on Main Street.

A great number of arts and crafts style bungalow homes were built in the area around Main Street. Harper Street has long been our favorite street in Newberry because of the charming houses and huge oak tree canopies – so we always walk our dogs there.

Last October, we noticed a For Sale By Owner sign had gone up in the front yard of one of the worst lots on the entire street. We had often mentioned in passing that it was a shame the owner didn’t clean up that place, as it really was a cute house. Even though we were not in the market to buy a house, we decided to call the owner to take a look inside.

It was even worse on the inside than we suspected.  This poor house had been sorely neglected for years.  The City had even summoned the former owners to court with mandates to clean up the property.  A neighbor told us that the Fire Department had to rescue a colony of cats that had been living there with an even earlier prior owner.

But as any owner of an old house will tell you, we just knew we were supposed to rescue that house.  Our hearts fluttered as we imagined how great it would look after we renovated.  With a leap of faith, we owned this disaster a few weeks later.

I’ll give you a tour of the property.  Walk up the driveway on the right side of the house, past the dilapidated handicap ramp.

Now you’re looking into the backyard that is completely overgrown (with poison ivy and poison oak as I’ll soon find out), has a rickety old metal shed, and lots of garbage and huge chunks of rotted tree, filled with termites, of course.

There is an addition on the back of the house that was started by the prior owner.  It is a complete mess.  And the left side of the house is completely covered in ivy.

We have our work cut out for us.  I’ll leave the inside to your imagination right now.  You’ll have to read the next blog post to see just how bad it was.

 Aimee owns EuroLuxAntiques.com with her best friend, Greg.  Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way.  She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina.  Connect with or sign up to receive this blog in your inbox!

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Client Spotlight: Center Ossipee, NH

For me, one of the best parts of my job at EuroLuxAntiques.com is interacting with interesting people from all around the world. Many of our customers have historical homes and are looking for antique furniture or vintage chandeliers in order to honor the spirit of their homes.

They desire to immerse themselves in a rich, historical environment for a variety of reasons – for the love of history, for an appreciation of the quality of antique and vintage things, for the desire to re-use and re-purpose objects that carry a sense of history with them.

Whether it is a conscious turning away from our “disposable” technology-driven society for our clients, or rather a whole-hearted embracement of their dreams and passions, it is very rewarding to me to be able to help a beautiful antique piece find a new home – a new family to whom to belong, where ‘he or she’ will be treasured for years to come.

Mary and Adam S. in Center Ossipee, New Hampshire, have created a truly remarkable 18th century home, filled with personally meaningful treasures, through tireless persistence, diligent hard work, and a beautiful love story at the heart of their tale.

You can read all the wonderful details and follow Mary’s exceptional blog, An Historical Lady, which describes the charming and interesting life Mary and Adam lead. If you read just one post, read this inspirational one.

We are thrilled that EuroLuxAntiques.com helped Mary and Adam find the perfect vintage chandelier in the Double Hapsburg style for their dining room above. And as I know you are wondering what the rest of their amazing home looks like, I will share a few photos, with Mary’s permission.

Notice the incredible hand-crafted windows in 17th century style with wavy glass and some panes of pale green glass above and the soapstone countertops and sink below, which were designed by Mary and Adam. Rather than lamps, they have electrified antique lanterns throughout their home to create a warm and authentic atmosphere.

Mary and Adam recently added a stunning Antique English Court Cupboard to their living room that dates to 1689 and is covered head to toe in abundant, heavy carvings. I really love this piece!

Be sure to notice the treen hanging candle holder and authentic beeswax tapers in the photo above, which can be purchased on Mary’s website, The Country Lady Antiques.

If you’re intrigued and would like to see more photos, Tour the 1785 Mill House. As you can tell, I greatly admire Mary and Adam and wish them much happiness and success in their endeavors. I’ll leave you with one last photo of their adorable yorkies! Thanks for stopping by the EuroLux Antiques blog! Next up, I’ve decided to share photos of our own renovation project – a 1920s bungalow.

 Aimee owns EuroLuxAntiques.com with her best friend, Greg.  Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way.  She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina.  Connect with or sign up to receive this blog in your inbox!

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Client Spotlight: Tallahassee, FL

This blog post should actually be titled, “An Ode to Betty S.”  Betty purchased a beautiful Antique Art Deco Buffet from EuroLux Antiques as a birthday present to herself at the end of last year.  Outstanding Art Deco carvings with a floral motif, original Art Deco brass hardware, and a pretty red striated marble top, make this Art Deco Buffet a knock-out!

Betty placed this great piece in her very cool home in Tallahassee, Florida, and it actually acts as a “wall” to separate her kitchen from her laundry room, while providing extra storage space in the kitchen.  We always enjoy seeing creative uses for antique and vintage furniture!

You can’t quite appreciate it from this photo, but you are actually looking at the interior of a 1958 Midway trailer that is at the center of Betty’s funky abode!  It was parked in 1966, the original owners added on an addition in 1971, and Betty has added her own additions over time, including a deck and porch, so there is now a mobile home in the middle of the house.  From the outside you can see the area on the right is the front of the mobile home and to the left is permanent house.

Here is a photo from inside the front door looking through a window on the side of the mobile home into Betty’s kitchen!

I am very envious of this great retro patio furniture set with glider!  What a wonderful place to chill out with a cold beer or glass of wine.

Many of our customers at EuroLux Antiques have historic homes, but this one is truly funky and cool – thanks for sharing your vintage lifestyle with us!  Of course, we couldn’t forget to mention that Betty does her part to save homeless pets, a cause near and dear to our own hearts.  Aren’t her fuzzy children adorable?

Betty gave us such nice compliments that we just have to share them here:

Dear Aimee and Greg,

Thank you so much.  The beautiful Art Deco oak buffet looks great in my kitchen/eat-in area and has exceeded my dreams of how good it would look in my funky 1958 home.  I’d especially like to praise EuroLux for going that extra mile—from staining the back of it for me, to rubbing on a protective coat of furniture wax, to custom-making two brackets, and for packing it in such a manner that it made the eight hundred mile trek to my house with absolutely no damage—not even a scratch.  (Hats off to your shipping company!)

It was a pleasure doing business with EuroLux.  Mom and Pop shops are disappearing from the American landscape and I’m happy to have found yours.  Your personal, friendly service, the quality of your pieces, and the fact that you truly care about your customers made for a lovely shopping and buying experience.

With best wishes, Betty

 

However, I have to explain to you how particularly special this sale was to me.  I’ve known Betty for 20 years, having met her back in 1992 in a tiny office (in the maze of the Williams building) on the campus of Florida State University while I was an undergraduate student.  I didn’t know then what a tremendous impact Betty would have on my life.  You see, Betty handed me a one-page flyer about the Florida State University Study Abroad program in Florence, Italy, and even went the extra mile to help me line up a small scholarship to go on the program. 

The world opened up to me in such a profound way during that study abroad semester that it truly changed my life’s path.  My new-found interest in Italian Renaissance Art led to a Masters degree in Humanities and another trip back to Italy, this time as a counselor for the Florida State University International Programs in Florence.  I became hooked on European history and living abroad, and was determined to somehow get back to Europe.

Betty became my colleague after I landed a job after graduation with FSU International Programs.  I saw first-hand that not only has Betty positively influenced my life, but she has spent her entire career helping thousands of students have incredible study abroad experiences across the globe.

I was very sad to leave my friends in Tallahassee a couple years later, but I decided to pursue an MBA in International Business in order to open doors to get back to Europe.  And, to shorten an already long story, eleven years after my first study abroad experience in Florence, my husband and I launched a European Antiques import business  – none of which would have happened had I not wandered into Betty’s office twenty years ago.

So thank you, Betty, for the role you’ve played in my life, for being one of those friends that stick with you, and for being one of EuroLux Antiques’ most loyal fans!  You don’t know how much it truly meant to me to make you happy! :)

Okay, sniff, sniff, I can’t help that I’m a bit emotional.  But I do believe you should always take the opportunity to thank those who have made a difference in your life, and Betty S. – you surely did!  Thank You!

Aimee

 

Update on July 9, 2012:

Betty S. bought a very pretty Vintage German Art Deco Regulator Clock – check it out!

and she wrote such a nice customer testimonial that I have to share it here:

Dear EuroLux Team, You did it again!  You made me a happy camper again.  A German Regulator clock cannot compare with an oak buffet but the service certainly did compare.  Top notch, five star treatment!  Wrapped with extreme care (and I mean extreme), with prompt shipping, no hassle fetch-it from the bus station delivery to my state.  I didn’t really expect an eighty year old clock from Europe to keep good time–I will admit it.  It was pretty enough that if it didn’t keep time, I would just set the hands to 5pm and pretend it was happy hour somewhere and call it art.  You said it worked and I believed that.  It didn’t mean it worked well.  There you go and surprise me again.  It’s keeping great time!  Two weeks later.  Amazing.  The informational sheet you provided on the care of a key wound clock was much appreciated.  I learned a few things and apologized to my two other clocks for not knowing better.  To top it off, you included a small level.  Perfect.  Throw in some candy.  Why should anyone ever walk into a brick and mortar store again with that kind of service?  You know I’ve been in your shop so I know what’s going on, but I didn’t know everything.  My visit a few years back affirmed my belief that I had a ‘good student done well’ story.  I didn’t necessarily think I’d become a customer.  Two purchases later, two appreciative smiles later, and all I can say is please give attaboys and attagirls to your team.  You guys are so many steps ahead of the service I’ve come to expect from an internet purchase that I can’t say enough good things.  You guys are amazing.  Thank you so much.  Again.

My best,  Betty

 Aimee owns EuroLuxAntiques.com with her best friend, Greg.  Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way.  She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina.  Connect with or sign up to receive this blog in your inbox!

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Antique Furniture Container Arrives!

From the time we fly home from Europe after an antiques buying trip, it takes about a month until the container arrives at the EuroLux Antiques Gallery in South Carolina.  Our containers ship across the Atlantic ocean, arrive in Charleston, and then are trucked to Newberry after we receive the green light from US Customs. 

It’s always exciting to receive a container, but also a great deal of hard work.  It normally takes us between 4 and 5 hours to unload a container.  Our friend who packs our containers describes them as packed “full, like an egg.”  Everything is unloaded by hand, one piece at a time, and very carefully, of course. 

Once the container is unloaded, it looks as if there has been an antique explosion inside the Gallery basement!  It usually takes us a few days to get everything unpacked and organized.  Next, we start cleaning and waxing the antique furniture, and checking all of the vintage chandeliers to make sure they’re functional.  After a couple of weeks, Greg and I start photographing the items and preparing the data in order to upload the products to the Internet.  And that’s when you get the chance to see what beautiful “new” treasures we’ve found!

If you would like to join our mailing list, you’ll be the first to find out when we post new items to the Internet!

 Aimee owns EuroLuxAntiques.com with her best friend, Greg.  Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way.  She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina.  Connect with or sign up to receive this blog in your inbox!

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