Monthly Archives: December 2012

Our 12 Favorite Posts from 2012

As the year comes to a close, I’d like to thank you all for reading our blog. I hope you’ve taken away useful information about antiques and vintage furniture. I’m grateful to all our customers who shared their photos with us (and with you!) to provide home decorating inspiration to everyone who visits this page or subscribes to the blog by email.

I’d also like to thank all of our Facebook fans who like, share, and comment on items we post there. It’s fun to get your feedback. And remember: You can post your home decor photos directly to our Facebook page, too!

In the spirit of new beginnings, I’d like to take a look back at ours (and your) 12 favorite blog posts and Facebook items over the past year.

1. Blue & White Delftware is Still a Delight!

I talked about the history of Delft ware, the classic blue and white ceramics, and also about the evolution of polychrome ceramic ware from Holland. Did you know China influenced the evolution of Holland’s Delft designs as early as the 1600s? Here’s a beautiful example of classic Blue Delft for you to enjoy.

2. Find EuroLux Antiques on YouTube

When Greg and I decided to start a video blog on YouTube, we weren’t sure what to expect. A year later, with over 16,000 views of our videos, we consider the experiment a success! For items on our website with video descriptions, you’ll find a video embedded directly on the item page. You also can feel free to browse and subscribe to our YouTube channel to get notified instantly when we post something new. This video about how Greg and I met and how EuroLux Antiques came to be garnered over 10,000 views!

3. Antiques Buying Trip Day 3: Street Markets

People always ask us where we get our fine French antique furniture and other items. We feel we have an advantage in that Greg and I actually lived in Europe for several years, so we know the ins and outs of finding great items. Our methodology is a lot like what you see Mike and Frank doing on American Pickers: We rent a van and drive around Europe, entering people’s houses and buying directly from them. But we also seek out the better street markets. This blog post includes a video that shows how we do what we do.

4. Antiques Buying Trip Day 10: WWII Nazi Camp

Why did Greg and I become antiques dealers? Because we love history. We have a passion for it. And sometimes that means taking the ugly with the beautiful. On the tenth day of our spring antiques buying trip, we visited the fully intact Nazi work camp in Breendonk, Belgium. We found it an eerie place. Our trip to Breendonk was emotional, and we captured the experience on video, which is embedded in the post.

5. Vintage Life: Our 1920s Bungalow Renovation

On a much lighter note, in June 2012 we began chronicling our adventures in renovating a ramshackle 1920s bungalow here in Newberry, South Carolina. This blog post marks our fist in the Vintage Life series, which has been very popular with our readers.

6. Gallery cats Lenny Bean and Fozzy Capture Hearts on Facebook

Regular readers know Greg and I love pets. Our own fuzzy family numbers eight so far! This photo of two of our gallery cats wishing everyone a “fuzzy weekend” captured everyone’s heart on Facebook.

7. Vintage Life: To the Floor Joists

We have discovered DIY home renovation isn’t for the faint of heart. So far, Greg has suffered a pair of broken ribs, while I’ve endured nasty bruises. Scorecard: Bungalow 2, Greg & Aimee: 0.

8. House Beautiful Called It: Antique Furniture is Coming Back as a Major Trend in 2013

Back at Facebook, our most popular post of 2012 was this one, which linked to our blog post on 2013 decorating trends. I talked about House Beautiful magazine’s Top 10 Trends, plus what the renowned Boston Design Center had to say on the topic.

9. Vintage French Country Louis XV Painted Cabinet Wardrobe on Pinterest

We’re just getting started on Pinterest, that addictive little site that lets you create virtual bulletin boards of all your favorite things. From recipes to design ideas, you’ll find tons of inspiration on Pinterest. This painted cabinet garnered over 20 “re-pins” by admirers.

10. Mantels & Entryways: Holiday Decorating Ideas

Beginning in November, I revamped the blog to include more inspiration and information on living the vintage lifestyle. This post with ideas for decorating your cottage, Victorian, or city house seemed to strike a chord with readers.

11. How to Buy Fine French Antique Furniture Online without Losing Your Mind

One of our most popular Facebook posts of the year was this link to our blog post about how to buy fine antique furniture online without fear. Some people think it’s crazy to buy antique furniture over the internet, but our informational post about how to vet a seller and what questions to ask proved to be a hit with our Facebook fans!

12. Antiques Buying Trip: Homecoming

Greg and I love traveling to Europe to meet wonderful people, buy antiques, and bring them home for you to enjoy. But we also love the day we fly home and reunite with Greg’s parents and our fuzzy family of eight. Nothing compares to the unconditional love of a pet, which is why we donate a portion of all sales to PETS, Inc. Here, Greg and Rudy get reacquainted after our buying trip.

We hope your 2012 was filled with dazzling highlights of life at its best, and we wish you a beautiful and happy 2013 going forward! Thanks for being our clients and friends.

 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: Creativity in Marquette, MI

I love how creative our customers get when decorating with antiques! This pair of photos from Julie F. in Marquette, Michigan, is a great example.

Julie picked up a Blue Delft garniture clock set that dates to 1890. I was thrilled when we discovered it was in working condition. The garniture candleabra add a romantic touch.

I love how Julie displays this antique garniture set on her wood slab mantel against a stone fireplace. The contrast between the rustic backdrop and the fine Blue Delft looks amazing, don’t you think?

Antique Blue Delft clock garniture set candleabra

Julie also made creative use of a vintage 1920 German lithograph by hanging it above the headboard of her antique brass bed. The lithograph not only adds some color and provides a focal point on the wall, but it provides an authentic antique feel to this room, as if you’re stepping back in time when you enter. Very nicely done!

Vintage German lithograph circa 1920 cherubs swan nighttime

The theme of this lithograph is so appropriate for a bedroom: a night scene with a napping woman and cherubs. How sweet!

I’d love to see your photos, too. Feel free to e-mail me pictures of creative ways you use antiques in your decor, and we’ll try to feature you here on the blog. Share your decorating skills with us!

Wishing you a happy and peaceful holiday season from everyone here at EuroLux.

 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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When It Breaks: DIY or Professional Restorer?

We’ve all felt that horrible sensation in the pit of our stomach when a treasured piece of china crashes onto the floor. Did it break? How badly is it broken? Can we salvage it at all?

Whether the damaged item is a cherished antique Blue Delft vase or an antique Belgian dining chair, it can be difficult to decide how to proceed. Some repair or restoration projects are do-it-yourself in nature, while others perhaps should be left to a professional.

As you might imagine, we do quite a bit of repair and restoration work around here. Not every item that arrives in a shipping container from Europe survives the trip unscathed. Thankfully, we have Greg’s mother, Kathy, to perform expert repairs and restoration on items that need tending. By the way, if you ever have a question as to whether we’ve repaired or restored an item in our inventory, please don’t hesitate to ask. Usually, we tell you right in the description, but I’m never offended by questions!

Because ’tis the season when glass and china items get dropped, knocked off the shelf, or otherwise broken, I asked Kathy for some tips on how to decide when to use a professional restorer. We focused on ceramic items because Kathy is a certified expert in fine ceramics restoration, as you can tell from this photo!

Step One: Consider the Monetary Value of the Object

The value of an object after restoration should be the same as it was before the object was broken. If the cost of repairs will be significantly more than the item is worth, you might want to try repairing it yourself. Obviously, you wouldn’t want to professionally restore a $2 coffee mug. And sometimes you can go on Replacements.com to find china pieces for a fraction of the cost of a professional restoration.

Step Two: Consider the Sentimental Value

You may feel an heirloom item is worth professional restoration, regardless of the cost. That’s OK. If you have a piece you want to continue to pass down through the generations, and if you can afford the cost to have it restored, then why not do it?

Step Three: Consider How the Item is Used

Most professionally restored ceramics cannot be soaked or washed in a dishwasher. This means a repaired object must be relegated to decorative status. If you’ve broken a utilitarian piece, such as a dinner plate, you may want to check other sources for a replacement rather than trying to repair the piece. If, on the other hand, the broken object is a vase, you may wish to proceed with the repair even though you know you won’t be able to display fresh-cut flowers in it anymore.

Step Four: Consider the Expense

A truly skilled restorer can make a broken piece look new again, but this expertise comes at a price. You should also take into account these factors that can increase the cost of any professional ceramics restoration:

  • If the object is broken into many pieces
  • If pieces are missing and must be fabricated
  • If the pattern has to be researched (for example, to determine the correct shape for a handle to be fabricated)
  • If a repair (such as gluing) has already been attempted and the old bonding must be removed
  • If the object includes decorative pieces in raised relief, such as flowers, that must be cast in a mold

It’s also worth noting that Royal Doulton and Dux items usually cost more to repair because cracks tend to “travel” during the restoration process, making the whole thing trickier and more time-consuming.

How to Choose a Professional Restorer

If you decide to have that heirloom vase restored, here are a few things to look for in a professional restorer:

  • Professional certification from a noteworthy training institute or school
  • A portfolio of repairs for you to review to evaluate the quality of work
  • Customer testimonials available on their website or referrals to clients willing to discuss their experience with you

If you have any questions about professional ceramics restoration, we’re always happy to chat with you by phone!

 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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To Upcycle or Not to Upcycle

The hot new buzzword in antiques and vintage is “upcycling.” What does it mean, exactly?

An “upcycled” object is something old that has been re-purposed into something new and functional. An upcycled object can be as simple as an old jar turned into an oil lamp, or it can be as complex as an antique sideboard turned into a dual vanity for the bathroom.

In our recent newsletter, we introduced you to a line of upcycled vintage light fixtures we’re now carrying. They’re made by Nashville artist Robbie Cook, who takes smaller vintage objects like silverplate spoons, electrical insulators, and old door plates and turns them into charming chandeliers. Here’s one example:

This “spoondelier” re-purposes 360 vintage silverplate spoons into a unique chandelier. Those spoons might otherwise have wound up in a landfill. The spoondelier may not be for everyone, but for those who enjoy their antiques with a touch of whimsy, this is a great piece. Not to mention it’s a one-of-a-kind work of art, since each one is handmade and no two are alike.

Here’s another example of Cook’s work:

Blue insulators take on new life in this fun and beautiful chandelier!

And here’s one more example of Cook’s work. This piece represents elaborate upcycling at its finest:

This delightful chandelier is a perfectly amusing piece for any cottage decor or for anyone who takes her tea with a lump of humor.

OK, upcycling small objects is one thing, but would you ever consider cutting holes in an antique server? Some designers would!

Above, interior designer Julie Murray found an antique sideboard to create a two-sink vanity for her bathroom.

And another example. This old dresser not only got its top ripped off, but it got a paint job, as well!

This upcycler did note that this particular dresser was “of no good quality.” Perhaps to ease her conscience?

I take a positive stance on upcycling. If a piece of antique furniture can’t be saved any other way, why not paint it and put a sink in it? And certainly re-purposing old insulators and silverplate spoons into fun light fixtures can’t be a bad thing. But would I ever deliberately cut holes in a fine antique French wardrobe to run cords and cables through the back? Yes, I have done it. But I saved the small hole I cut so that it could be glued back in the future. Living with antiques, I believe, means you should cherish and care for your vintage and antique pieces, but also make them useful and functional for your life today.

What’s your take on upcycling? Where are your boundaries, in terms of re-purposing antique and vintage furniture and objects?

 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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Vintage Life: Goodbye Garage

We’ve been cleaning up the yard around our 1920s bungalow, and had always planned to tear down the ramshackle garage/workshop (and *literally* half a bath) built by the former owner.  We knew it was full of mold, so it didn’t surprise us when it turned out to be full of termites too.

Below is a view of the side of the back of the house.  We added the door in what used to be the pantry (and was probably originally the back porch).  That will now be the entrance to the mud room (off the kitchen) from the garage, which will be built where you’re standing.  The rest of the ramshackle garage/workshop will be torn down, and then we’ll build a large bedroom addition in that space.

Going…

Going…

Gone!

Greg loves tools and has been able to greatly expand his collection during our renovation.  He is especially excited about his new tool to bust up the concrete slab under the former garage (and eventually the driveway too)… an electric jackhammer!  (grunt like Tim Allen from Home Improvement.)

You’ll never guess what was *under* the concrete slab.  No, not a dead body.  Give up?

 

 

 

old bricks!  (happy dance!)

 

  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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Bookshelf: Napkin Folding, Soups & More

Part of what I love about living with antiques is the innate sense of history each piece embodies. And nowhere is this more evident than with antique or vintage French Country kitchen furniture. When I sit down at my antique kitchen table, I can almost feel the original owners gathered around, the entire family enjoying a bowl of the classic French pot au feu. Who knows how many generations ate this hearty stew and drank wine together at this very table? I love France, and my antique dining table connects me with those wonderful people on a soulful level.

So I was delighted to discover a trio of new books from Robert Rose publishing that will help you enjoy your antique furnishings during this holiday season. Two are cookbooks and one teaches you how to create elegant napkin folds — perfect for any occasion, and particularly appropriate for those planning a Victorian Christmas. Let’s dive right in!

Top 100 Step-by-Step Napkin Folds

This delightful book by Denise Vivaldo takes you through all kinds of fun and pretty napkin folds with skill levels that range from easy to challenging. Vivaldo has catered everything from the Academy Awards Governor’s Ball to Hollywood wrap parties, so she knows her stuff. The book is helpfully wire-bound so you can set it flat right next to you as you walk through the steps to create each napkin fold.

Napkin folding is kind of a lost art, yet it will make your family members and friends feel very special to sit down at a place setting that includes a folded napkin. And your holiday dinners will feel even fancier with the simple touch of a folded napkin.

In the book, Vivaldo also discusses how to choose the right napkins for any occasion, what to look for in terms of fabric (to make folding work better), and what size napkin to use for various occasions (think: cocktail napkins, luncheon napkins, dinner napkins, and even paper napkins). This is a book that will reside on your bookshelf for years to come, as you discover the fun of napkin folding.

I thought this “orchid fold” would look particularly lovely on a Victorian Christmas table. Email me for a full-size version of the photo you can print out and keep! (Note: All photos and recipes courtesy www.robertrose.ca.)

Orchid Napkin Fold Directions from EuroLux Antiques.jpg (5.19 mb)

150 Best Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed by the volume of cooking involved in the holidays? I know I do. So, I was pleased to discover this book of delicious (and simple!) grilled cheese sandwiches. Written by Alison Lewis, a nationally known recipe developer, 150 Best Grilled Cheese Sandwiches includes selections that range from humble to decadent.

A little history (because antiquers always love history!): The grilled cheese sandwich dates back to about 1920. It became popular during the Great Depression as an inexpensive company supper dish and was often called the “Cheese Dream.”

If you picture the grilled cheese sandwich of your childhood and can’t stomach even the thought of the calorie load, you’ll be happy to learn Lewis’s book includes tips on how to lighten-up a grilled cheese sandwich (hint: use grainy mustards and Greek yogurt) and devotes an entire chapter to light and healthy sandwiches.

Grilled cheese sandwiches are enjoying a huge resurgence and were recently named a major trend in cooking. These sandwiches can be fun to prepare with guests, and you can even create dessert sandwiches!

One of our favorites to help us get out of the holiday turkey rut is this decadent-looking Grilled Roast Beef and Stilton sandwich.

Grilled Roast Beef and Stilton
Serves 4

You’ll need: a panini grill or large skillet. Preheat panini grill to medium, if using.

  • 8 slices whole wheat bread
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise or basil aioli
  • 12 oz thinly sliced roast beef
  • 1 cup arugula leaves
  • 2 tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup crumbled Stilton cheese (or your favorite blue cheese)
  1. Brush one side of each bread slice with butter. Place on a work surface, buttered side down. Spread 4 bread slices equally with mayonnaise. Top equally with roast beef, arugula, tomatoes and cheese. Cover with remaining bread slices, buttered side up, and press together gently.
  2. Place sandwiches on preheated panini grill or in a large skillet over medium heat and cook, turning once if using a skillet, for 3 to 4 minutes or until golden brown and cheese is melted. Serve immediately.

300 Sensational Soups

Getting back to that pot au feu I mentioned earlier… With their classic beef stew, the French knew this truism: A good soup nourishes the heart as well as the stomach. This fabulous soup cookbook by Carla Snyder and Meredith Deeds will keep your family warm all winter. When you share the sublime soup recipes in this book, you’ll connect with friends and family members on an intimate level.

Vegetarians and vegans will be happy to know the book contains plenty of meat-free selections. There’s even a classic pot au feu recipe! But I loved this decadent lobster chowder recipe because I think it would make a beautiful first course for any holiday dinner.

Rich Lobster and Roasted Corn Chowder
Serves 6

Preheat oven to 425F. You’ll also need a large rimmed baking sheet.

  • 3 cups corn kernels (fresh or thawed frozen)
  • 1 1/2 Tbl olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt, divided
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 4 slices bacon, chopped
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 lb boiling potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups clam juice
  • 1 1/2 cups whipping cream
  • 2 Tbl unsalted butter
  • 3 cooked lobster tails (each about 10 oz), meat removed and cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 3 Tbl chopped fresh chives
  1. On a baking sheet, combine corn, oil, 1/2 tsp of the salt and 1/4 tsp of the black pepper; toss to coast evenly and spread in a single layer. Roast in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Stir and redistribute into an even layer. Roast until corn is lightly but evenly browned, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
  2. In a large pot, saute bacon over medium heat until browned and crispy, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towels. Set aside.
  3. Pour off all but 2 tbsp of the fat in the pot. Add onions and saute until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add cayenne and saute for 1 minute. Add potatoes, stock, clam juice, and the remaining salt and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in roasted corn and cream; return to a simmer, stirring often, until potatoes are tender, about 5 minutes. Do not let boil.
  4. In a large, heavy skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add lobster meat and saute until heated through, about 1 minute.
  5. Ladle chowder into heated bowls and top with lobster. Garnish with reserved bacon and chives.

I hope you enjoy these recipes and the napkin-folding instructions and can use these ideas for your holiday entertaining — and the cold weeks ahead! These three books from Robert Rose will make a welcome addition to your antique French Country kitchen bookshelf. (Note: We are not affiliated with Robert Rose in any way.)

What elegant, decadent, or surprising dishes do you make during the holidays? Do you salute your ethnicity through food? Please share with us in the comments!

 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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2013 Trends: Antique Furniture Comes Back

I know many of you don’t decorate based on trends. You buy antique furniture because you love its look and appreciate its high quality and value. Still, I was excited to see antique furniture made the list of House Beautiful’s “10 Home Decorating Trends that will be Hot in 2013.” And it made me want to look into other 2013 design trends to see how fine antique furniture and accessories might fit into the picture.

The renowned Boston Design Center issued its 2013 Trends Report, and again I noticed traditional furnishings making a comeback. BDC devoted an entire category to “The Classics,” summed up as “tailored shapes, tasteful and refined, polished surfaces, perfectly modern.” Many fine French antiques and vintage pieces fit this description, such as this beautiful upholstered 1950s Louis XV arm chair in walnut.

Another candidate for BDC’s “The Classics” category? This fab French mid-century modern sideboard.

BDC also devotes an entire section to “pattern” trends, and they predict stripes, floral prints, and figural patterns will be big in 2013. Other design blogs also have predicted a comeback of animal prints, but with a whimsical twist — such as in this reproduction French bombe commode with a sensational zebra stripe!

Designer Melissa Rufty says she’s “crushing on brass” for 2013, and certainly many antiques used brass hardware. If you like more bling, there are a variety of high-quality reproduction pieces that incorporate brass or even gilt elements for the ultimate shine.

This particular console table not only includes the brass elements predicted to be hot but also homes in on the classic themes predicted by BDC.

Designer Leta Austin Foster says “enough with the plain” in the House Beautiful 2013 trends slideshow and calls for “pretty, classic fabrics.” Again, you can look to vintage to fill the bill, as in this gorgeous French velvet table runner from the 1950s.

In terms of color, all the major trendsetters see blue in the future. One obvious way to add pops of blue throughout your decor is by displaying classic Blue Delft ceramics.

I guess my biggest takeaway from reading about 2013 decorating and interior design trends is this: Antiques are never out of style! Regardless of what the current trend seems to be, antique and vintage furnishings always have a place in your home’s decor.

What do you think about the projected design trends for 2013? Do you pay any attention to trends?

P.S.: Don’t forget: All of our photos are perfectly Pinnable!

 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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Vintage Life: Good Grass!

While we waited for the grass to grow, we built a brick sidewalk from the porch out to where the new driveway will eventually be.  First we put in the bed, put down landscape fabric, and then added a tamped-down layer of crush and run gravel.

Next came a layer of sand and then we did a basket weave pattern using old bricks.

You might be wondering where we got such cool old bricks.  We actually dug up quite a few out of the yard itself.  We also gathered some from an old family plot at a local cemetery where a brick wall had fallen down.  We hope we didn’t bring any ghosts home.

Finally, we put sand over the top of the finished brick pattern, and will continue to add sand over time, as it settles down between the bricks.

We plan to put in a brick driveway too, so we’re still on the hunt for more old bricks.  We’ve found some from several different people on Craig’s List and have only paid $20 so far!  We also found a bunch in the basement of a building we own on Main Street.  We still need several thousand more, so please let us know if you want to get rid of some old bricks!

We also needed to give a little love to the backyard too.  We made beds along the sides of the fences where we had planted evergreens, put down landscape fabric, and of course, shoveled more mulch.

Next to that giant pile (another 18 cubic feet!) of mulch that is taunting Greg, we planted two peach trees and an additional fig tree next to the one that was already there.  Now we have an orchard!

Along the back fence, we used all of the cement pieces we dug up out of the front yard to create a bed.  Then we planted leyland cypress trees, which will eventually block out the neighbor behind us as they should grow 50+ feet tall.  Greg and I also took down three relatively small oak trees along this back fence line by ourselves, and we only damaged the neighbor’s fence a little tiny bit.  (sorry.)

And guess what?!?!  The grass is starting to grow!  (Sing with me…) Cel-e-brate good times, come on!  Let’s all celebrate and have a good time!

  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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How to Buy Antique Furniture Online

I work with a lot of repeat customers, and most of those customers started out skeptical about buying fine French antique furniture on the internet. I don’t blame them. It’s a large purchase that you can’t inspect in person before plunking down the cash. Who would be that crazy?

Luckily, many of our customers are “that crazy.” They not only took the plunge once, but they’ve come back again and again. They’ve learned the secret: Buying fine antique furniture online can be a fun, affordable way to fill your home with items you love to live with. Here are my tips for safely buying antique furniture on the internet.

1. Know Your Seller

Greg and I have been doing this for nearly ten years, so we have an online presence that’s easily discoverable by search engine. A Google search for “EuroLux Antiques” returns 96,000 results! You’ll find us on eBay, on YouTube, on Etsy. You’ll find reviews of us on Yelp and at our local Better Business Bureau. Of course, you’ll also find us on major social media sites, including Facebook, Pinterest, and Google+.

All of this exposure says several things about us (or any online seller). It shows we’ve been in business for awhile. It says we’re engaged with our clients. It says we’re reputable.

True, anyone can fake an online presence. That’s why we’re also easily accessible by phone at 803-276-4001. We have a bricks-and-mortar gallery (see photo below) with regular business hours. If you want to discover what type of customer service experience you’re likely to encounter with any internet seller, simply call their customer service number before you make a purchase. It might be an eye-opening experience for you!

2. Browse the Seller’s Website

But don’t browse their listings just yet. Head for the “About” link. No “About” link? That could be a red flag. Search for a similar page that tells you about the seller. The information you find on the seller’s “About” page can tell you a lot about the type of service to expect from them. And in the business of selling antiques online, service is everything.

Does the About page only give company information, or do you learn something about the actual people behind the business? Most customers would rather purchase antiques from a real person, not from a faceless company.

Check to see if the seller maintains a blog. What type of information does the blog contain? The tone and style of the blog’s content can give you some great clues about the character of the seller.

Lastly, check the seller’s Shipping and/or Terms page. Make sure they offer a reasonable shipping fee and a returns policy.

3. Check References or Testimonials

If you visit our eBay page, you’ll notice we have 100% positive feedback with over 3000 transactions. I’m very proud of that track record! But it’s not the end of the story. You’ll also find a virtual book containing dozens of testimonials from our clients on our website. If you’re considering buying antique furniture online and you don’t see plenty of customer testimonials on the seller’s website, don’t hesitate to ask for references

4. Ask about Flaws

Maintain a healthy skepticism toward any antiques seller who consistently lists items as being in “mint” or “near-mint” condition. Antique furniture, in particular, generally shows the slings and arrows of wear. In fact, that’s one reason people buy antiques: They love that “lived-in” look!

If the seller provides poor photos or few photos of antique items on its website, be sure to ask for more pictures or a detailed description of the furniture by phone. I’m always eager to describe the scratches and chips on a piece of antique furniture to a prospective customer because I want them to know precisely what they’re getting. Greg always takes multiple photos of every item from various angles to authentically represent the condition of antique furniture on our website. We strive to describe colors as accurately as possible. Because customer satisfaction is our top priority, we want our customers to know that “this buffet’s marble top has a chipped corner” or “that antique clock is missing a finial.” If you’re dealing with an online antiques seller who won’t reveal flaws in his or her merchandise, you might be wary of dealing with them.

This gorgeous Henry II antique French buffet, for example, experienced a shipping mishap so we replaced the original marble top with a similar piece of granite. Note how we state that right up front, in the description. You have a right to know exactly what you’re buying — from us or any other online antiques seller!

I hope this brief guide to buying antiques on the internet helps you shop with confidence. Remember, as the customer you always have the right to ASK. Any reputable seller should be happy to field your questions and help you feel comfortable making a large purchase. I know all of us at EuroLux strive to do just that.

PS: Don’t forget you can now subscribe to this blog by email! Just use the form at the bottom.

 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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Things We Love Right Now – December 2012

Did you have a good turkey day? We enjoyed a fun family holiday at home. Then, right after Thanksgiving, Greg and I ran away to Hot Springs, North Carolina, for a quiet weekend before the busy season. As you can see below, we had a wonderful time there!

We came back in time to enjoy our local holiday parade. Newberry, South Carolina, puts on quite a show! People enjoyed our large gallery window, “decorated” by two of our gallery cats, Lenny and Minky. Therese put up a tree in the window and decorated it with her collection of antique fans, scarves, and gloves. Even her Great Aunt’s shoes made it into the vignette!

Things We Love

With the festive season well upon us, all of us here at EuroLux are reflecting on what we love in December. Last month, we introduced you to Greg’s mom, Kathy, who repairs items that arrive damaged in the cargo containers from Europe. Here’s a photo of Kathy at work. Later this month, she’ll share some tips with you on how you can fix any of your ceramics that get broken during the holidays.

Kathy says one of her favorite things about December is decorating for the holidays. She creates an elaborate mantel display using magnolia leaves, not unlike the magnolia wreath below.

Of course, it wouldn’t be the holidays without gifts. Greg loves giving and receiving presents. This year, he’s hoping for a Fender Squier guitar to connect to our Xbox. Greg and I like to unwind by rocking out to the game Rockband. I sing, while Greg plays drums and guitar.

As for me, one thing I love about December is the flurry of holiday cards that arrive in the mailbox. I love both writing and receiving cards. It helps me re-connect with old friends I may only hear from once a year.

I love the colorful display the cards make, whether piled in a wicker basket or artfully arranged on the mantel. In keeping with this theme, I’ll be sharing some information this month about how color and antique furniture can work together to create a unique look for your home. I’ll also be writing about antique furniture as legacy — a theme that’s especially appropriate during this holiday season when we miss those family members no longer with us to celebrate. How fortunate we can fill our homes with heirlooms that remind us of these loved ones every day of the year.

Also coming up this month, I’ll be alerting you to some new decorating trends (antique furniture makes House Beautiful’s “What’s Hot in 2013″ list!), sharing some books you might find useful, and spotlighting one of our valued clients.

The main thing we love during December is YOU. We love your emails and phone calls. And we sincerely value your business.

What things do you love about December or the holiday season, in general?

 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!

Enter your email address:

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