Author Archives: euroluxantiques

What is Wood Separation in Antique Furniture?

One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to film more blog posts! I’d like to share some of my knowledge about antique furniture with you, so I hope that you will find this helpful!

Wood separation is one of the things to look for as a clue to whether or not a piece of furniture is truly an antique. You’ll find wood separation, also called shrinkage, where joints of furniture come together. It looks like a gap or a space, and can also be manifested as a crack or split in the wood.

However, it might be easier for you to know what to look for if you understand what causes wood separation, or shrinkage, in the first place. It has to do with the relative humidity of the wood and how that is impacted by the temperature and humidity of the environment where the wood is kept.

We’ll look at more examples of wood separation in the next blog post! Please let me know if there are any topics you’d like to learn more about and I’ll see if I can help.

 

 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!

Get more great tips like these by subscribing to our blog by email! Just enter your address below:

Delivered by FeedBurner. We respect your email privacy!

Client Spotlight: Fine French Antiques in Peoria, IL

I always love it when our customers take the time to photograph their purchases to show us how they’re using them. And I especially love it when they include pictures of their sweet furbabies!

About a year ago, Isabelle J., who is herself from France but now resides in Peoria, Illinois, bought a set of six antique Louis XVI dining chairs to match her existing antique French dining table. Doesn’t this set look beautiful?

011513_antique_diing_set_window_euroluxantiques

 

You can tell Isabelle has taken great care to build her French antique interior decor by selectively adding pieces over the years. Note the beautiful antique server, at top-left in the photo, and the brass candelabra. Stunning! You can also see Isabelle’s adorable pooch, the aptly named “Angel” (who speaks fluent French, by the way!).

Here’s another view of the solid walnut chairs paired with Isabelle’s gorgeous trestle table.

In the background, you’ll see an antique buffet. I love the way Isabelle showcases her collection of light-colored china on the shelves. The contrast between the warm wood tone and the creamy china really draws the eye to the plates. And that Art Deco sculpture is sensational. Although Isabelle didn’t purchase that sculpture from us, we do carry similar ones.

As we corresponded, Isabelle wanted to make the point that these chairs are very comfortable. She said, “We have found the chairs beautiful and comfortable, and this is very important for American people, who think the French stay too long at the table.” I can only smile at that! Stay too long, lingering over dinner with friends? Impossible!

Just look at the gorgeous patina on that table top! I can practically feel the table’s history. And the chair set works so well with the antique trestle table. Note how great the Art Deco clock looks on the wall. Although from a slightly different period (probably the 1930s, while the chairs and table date to 1920 or earlier), the antique regulator clock looks right at home in this setting. It just goes to show how easy it is to blend eras as long as you take care to match color or some other element within the overall design. It’s worth noting the tapestry hanging on the wall at left is a reproduction similar to those we carry. That particular tapestry is based on an 18th century inlaid panel on a cabinet that belonged to George IV and hung in his Carlton Palace. The original panel now resides in Buckingham Palace.

Lastly, here is chère Angel:

On that adorable note, we’ll bid you adieu!

I thank Isabelle for sending us such wonderful photos and allowing us to showcase her beautiful home on this blog. Please send me your decorating photos so I can share them, as well! I love seeing the many ways people live with antique furnishings.

Just a reminder, you may now subscribe to our blog by email! Enter your email address below. We respect your privacy and will never sell or rent the names of our subscribers. We also invite you to follow us on Pinterest, but be forewarned: It can become an obsession!

 

 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!

Get blog updates delivered to your inbox! Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Bookshelf: Audubon, Gardens & Elegant Decor

Everyone knows I love fine French antique furniture. But, like everyone else, my interests are diverse. I love gardening (as you can see from my Vintage Life blog series). I love the challenge of restoring a classic American bungalow. I love taking nature walks with Greg to enjoy the beauty of trees, flowers and birds.

And when I’m not living my passions, I love doing the next best thing: Reading about them.

A trio of recently released books from publisher Skira Rizzoli will feed my senses with stunning photos and engaging commentary. These books will not only make great reading, but I think they’ll look terrific on the coffee table.

The Elegant Garden by Johann Kraftner

Now that the winter doldrums have set in, are you feeling a flush of cabin fever? This book will rescue you! Lavishly illustrated, this 432-page book covers every type of garden imaginable. Whether you’re keen to fashion formal English style gardens to complement your Victorian home or you lean more towards a prairie look, this lovely tome will provide you with a visual feast and plenty of ideas to implement when the spring thaw finally enables you to get back outdoors.

The Age of Elegance by Alex Papachristidis

If you follow American interior design at all, you’ll recognize the name of designer Alex Papachristidis. Known for his love of 18th century furniture and his eclectic design style, Papachristidis rooms never fail to delight. No matter where your decorating tastes lie, this book is sure to please, with photographs of 16 residences designed by Papachristidis. Ranging from New York mansions to a beach house on Cape Cod, the interiors presented will inspire you to incorporate elegance into your own decor.

Audubon’s Aviary: The Original Watercolors for the Birds of America

Because we’ve recently added a line of high-quality reproduction aviary and botanical prints to our online collection, I was delighted to discover this sensational book that spotlights Audubon’s original watercolor paintings that were later turned into the engravings we’re all so familiar with in “Birds of America.” Truly a work of art, this coffee table book will provide you and your guests with a rare look at Audubon’s paintings and historical insight through the text by Roberta Olson.

What kinds of books do you enjoy? I could use some suggestions to fill my winter reading list!

 

 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!

Don’t miss a blog post! Enter your email to subscribe below:

Delivered by FeedBurner

5 Winter Care Tips for Antique Furniture

With winter putting the shivers on everyone, I thought I’d take a moment to give you some tips on how to care for and protect your antique furniture from the vagaries of humidity fluctuation. First, a bit of background.

As most of us don’t live in museums, with humidity-controlled environments, it’s important for you to be mindful of how rising and falling humidity levels can affect your antique and reproduction furniture. Did you know relative indoor humidity levels can fall as low as 30% when the furnace cranks up and can rise to 80% indoors during the summer? The wood in your furniture will naturally expand and contract with these fluctuations. That’s not a bad thing, in and of itself. In fact, you should see natural wood shrinkage at the joints of antique furniture. If you don’t, you’re probably looking at a reproduction!

Still, all that expansion and contraction of the wood in antique and reproduction furniture can have negative consequences, such as split panels and crackled finishes. Here are five tips to help your furniture survive normal indoor humidity fluctuations.

1. Buy high-quality, expertly made furniture. Some people believe any antique piece is “high quality,” but that is not necessarily the case. When you buy fine antique furniture on the internet or in a gallery, always closely inspect the construction of the piece and ask the seller to show you what makes it a quality item. The same goes for reproduction furniture. Expert woodworkers understand wood shrinks in the direction of the grain, so pieces should be cut and fitted in order to allow the wood to expand and contract at the joints. If the panels cannot move naturally at the joints, they may crack in half.

In this video, I talk a little bit about how to evaluate an antique French Hunting buffet for its quality of construction.

2. Keep your fine furniture out of direct sunlight and away from heat sources. Never place a piece of antique or high-quality reproduction furniture next to or on top of a heat register. This will cause the wood to dry out even more than it usually would. Exposing furniture to sunlight can cause the finish to deteriorate rapidly, which can allow still more moisture exchange between the environment and the wood.

3. Stabilize the finish with paste wax. As furniture ages, its finish naturally becomes brittle and microscopically pitted. You can help your furniture age gracefully by cleaning it with a gentle soap (like Murphy’s Oil Soap; allow the piece to dry thoroughly after this step), abrading it with 4x 0000 steel wool if the finish has become dull and hazy, and applying a good paste wax (we like TLC wax) using 0000 steel wool. Allow it to dry, then buff it. You’ll get a good arm workout! Or you can use a buffer attachment for your power drill. You only need to wax your furniture every one to three years, depending on its condition and the humidity levels in your home or region.

4. Use a humidifier. If you live in a very dry climate, you can try to lessen relative humidity fluctuations indoors with a humidifier. However, don’t place any piece of fine antique or reproduction furniture too close to a humidifier. This can cause the wood to absorb too much moisture.

5. Avoid common spray products for “dusting and polishing.” You know the ones we’re talking about! These popular products will only serve to cause buildup on your furniture’s finish, and they actually attract dust! Not what you want, right? Instead, just dust your fine antique furniture with a very slightly damp cloth or feather duster.

I hope you find these tips helpful for preserving your antique and high-quality reproduction furniture so you can pass it down through generations to come!

 

 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!

Get more great tips like these by subscribing to our blog by email! Just enter your address below:

Delivered by FeedBurner. We respect your email privacy!

Vintage Life: Hello Flowers!

Everything is coming up roses!  As you’ve been following our progress on our 1920s bungalow renovation project, I thought you’d enjoy seeing the results of our landscaping efforts while everything was still in bloom at the end of the summer.

The grass came in pretty well, even though we still have quite a few weeds.  The baby grass was too fragile to put down weed killer this summer, so we’ll knock out all that crabgrass in the spring.  The caladiums were a riot of red, white and pink, but most of the other bulbs didn’t come in.  We added more ferns, hostas, blue hydrangeas, multi-color azealas, gardenias, and pink camellias.

In the bed to the left of the front porch, we have a Japanese magnolia with purple flowers, gardenias surrounding the magnolia, and (white, lavender, yellow/pink and red) rose bushes with boxwoods in front and clyera behind.

The bed to the right of the porch was extended to include a bed around a trellis.  The trellis isn’t quite all the way up yet, as we have to wait until we finish the screened porch to finish it.  However, you can see that we’ve framed out the screened porch.  The trellis is meant to give privacy and shade to the porch.  We planted jasmine and climbing roses around the trellis with boxwoods in front.

Look how great the sidewalk looks!

For my birthday, Greg bought me awesomely cool 1950s vintage porch furniture in the basketweave pattern (matches the sidewalk!).  We have 2 stationary chairs, 2 rockers, and a glider.  Of course, they all need to be sandblasted and powdercoated – but that is a project for the future (after we’ve moved in!)

Ta-da!  Are you impressed with our landscaping?  We are!  (We’re not for hire though, so don’t ask!  LOL)

This photo was taken the day we closed on our little “money pit”, over a year ago now.  We still have a long way to go, we’re still best friends, and we’re still smiling.

 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:

Delivered by FeedBurner

New Year, New Products to Love!

I hope you enjoyed (or are still enjoying!) the holiday season. I, and all of us at EuroLux, wish you a healthy and happy 2013.

I want to share some exciting news with you to kick off the new year. EuroLux will always be known for its fine French antique furniture, but we realize not everyone’s home can accommodate an 8-foot tall antique buffet. And not everyone’s budget can accommodate the antique furniture of his or her dreams.

That’s why I’m pleased to let you know we’ve expanded our product lines to offer you the very best reproduction antique furniture on the market today. High-quality reproductions serve many purposes:

  • They’re generally sized to fit the proportions of modern rooms (and by “modern,” we mean homes built within the past century).
  • They can help bridge the style gap between genuine antiques and newer home furnishings to create a seamless interior design scheme.
  • They often give you the ability to customize the finish color and level of distressing.
  • They’re budget friendly.
  • They enable you to obtain items that don’t exist as antiques (or are extremely rare), such as king-size beds, made by adapting authentic period designs.
  • They become tomorrow’s heirloom antiques. After all, even an antique Brittany armoire made in 1880 once was a new piece of furniture.

Greg and I hand-picked the reproduction product lines to carry because we wanted to make sure they truly were the highest quality available. The vast majority of our reproduction chairs, chests, beds, and other items involve a significant amount of hand work by a skilled craftsman. This ensures you receive a very high-quality product. Let me tell you more about these new additions to our inventory.

First, we’re excited to announce we now carry Dale Tiffany light fixtures. These exquisite chandeliers and lamps often replicate the original designs of Louis Comfort Tiffany and use traditional methods to create the hand-blown art glass in each shade. Dale Tiffany Studios also creates its own designs and employs the highest level manufacturing standards for each piece. From luxury replicas to budget-friendly fixtures, our Dale Tiffany line offers you the chance to incorporate historic designs or contemporary updates into your decor.

This exquisite Dale Tiffany polished chrome chandelier, for example, incorporates real crystal pendants (as opposed to less-expensive glass). And at just 18 inches tall, it’s proportioned for today’s smaller foyers and bedrooms – or a large master bath. Picture yourself soaking in the tub under this sparkling beauty!

We also now offer exceptional, hand-crafted reproduction furniture. Here’s a small sampling of the items now available in our reproduction category.

Photo of a reproduction English Tudor style bed in king size

This English Tudor style king-size bed is crafted of solid alder wood with cherry accents and features an aged, distressed umber finish so it will blend well with your existing antiques.

 

Reproduction French Country bar stool

This gorgeous bar stool offers you an updated French Country style to complement your decor. This barstool features a hand-shaped back and hand beading, which guarantees that no two are alike. It’s an exceptional piece of fine furniture.

After seeing these examples, I hope you’ll agree “reproduction” is not a four-letter word! I judge these items worthy to stand alongside any piece of antique French furniture in the home.

What’s your take? Do you eschew reproductions in favor of the “real thing,” or do you see reproduction furniture as an opportunity to round out your design scheme?

 

 

 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!

Receive our blog by email! Just enter your address below.

Delivered by FeedBurner. We respect your email privacy.

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!

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

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!

Subscribe to our blog by email! Just enter your address below:

Delivered by FeedBurner. We respect your email privacy.

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!

Our blog posts to your inbox like magic! Just enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner. We respect your email privacy.

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!

Our blog to your inbox, like magic. Just enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner. We respect your email privacy!