Announcing..."As Luck Would Have It" -- the Website!

FINALLY! The "As Luck Would Have It" Website has launched! Now, in addition to the offerings at Home Store Manassas, my carefully edited collection of vintage treasures are available thru www.LuckVintageDecor.com. Be sure to check it out daily, as there are many more pieces of inventory to be posted. And tell ALL your friends, family, co-workers, strangers you meet in bars....Trust me, they'll thank you for it! At least I will...!

Friday, November 12, 2010

This is How We FLEA!

It was quite a weekend!  As heralded by my previous post, the latest-and-greatest DC Big Flea was held last weekend.  And, as exhausting and feet-numbing as it was, I nonetheless was thrilled for As Luck Would Have It to be included!  This being my third experience in four months on the seller-side, I feel like I’m fast-tracked to becoming a regular.  And Bianca the Van has the battle scars to prove it!

Although Bianca had already been loaded weeks prior with the more ‘substantial’ (read: heaviest) pieces, thanks to the help of my perennial assistant Andrew, there was much work to be done in the days/nights/hours prior to Set-up Day on Friday.  And, as usual, the packing of the last-minute items took the most time and energy: the extraordinarily large and delicate lampshades, the ornate (and unbending) wooden picture frames, and the gargantuan Stiffel lamp that rode shotgun, safely strapped into the van’s front seat.  

Finally, with everything packed as tightly and carefully as possible, Bianca and I set out at 7:30 AM bound for the Dulles Expo Center.  After a brief stop at the Falls Church warehouse to load the almost-forgotten dolley (Andrew threatened me with bodily harm if I forgot this key piece of moving equipment), I proceeded to sit in the typically torturous traffic-laden trip to Chantilly.  Once Assistant Andrew arrived, began our ritualistic unloading of the van, piling the smaller items into the bed and cab of his pick-up.  When the doors to the Expo Center’s South Building were finally opened for the vendors at 10 AM, we were ready and rarin’ to go.

English Cabinet Desk (open)
The cacophony during Set-up is quite energizing.  As long as you can avoid being hit by oncoming trucks and vans, and side-step the porters and vendors pushing and pulling sometimes unwieldy carts, the constant activity takes on the frenzy of a rock concert/circus.  It’s fun to reunite with vendors I’ve come to know from previous Fleas, and see the wares they’ve brought for the current show.  There’s a lot of pre-show shopping that takes place on Set-up Day!  Items that start in one booth often end up being offered by a vendor across the aisles!

English Cabinet Desk (closed)
After unloading the biggest, bulkiest, HEAVIEST piece of furniture – a most interesting mid-century/British-made/Danish-modern style desk which folds into one compact cabinet – I proceeded to agonize on the precise placement of the satin drapes for my booth’s backdrop, while Andrew unloaded the remaining items from Bianca.  (Amazingly, I completed my decorating task just as he brought in the last bin….Such timing!)   From that point on, the unpacking and placement of furniture and accessories went quite smoothly.  By 2 PM, I sent my most helpful assistant on his way; I, however, spent the next five hours carefully unwrapping and fretfully placing my Russel Wright ‘American Modern’ dinnerware.  Since my collection had expanded since the September show – now to include several important pieces in Chartreuse and Chutney – the table space dedicated to this mid-century icon almost doubled, requiring hours of undo and redo to achieve the display I’d envisioned.  And behold, in this video:  As Luck Would Have It presents, “Exotica: 20th Century Eclecticism”!




The next two days were a whirlwind….The foot traffic was brisk, and the attendees were most enthusiastic and appreciative of both my booth décor and its offerings.  I reveled in the attention given to the aforementioned British/Danish desk, and even had one observer iPhone video my “how-to-fold-into-a-cabinet” demonstration (might it be YouTube bound?!?).  But by far the biggest hit for ALWHI at this show:  Russel Wright!  I had such fun educating ‘newbies’ to the glories of ‘American Modern’, and discussing the collection with other afficionados.  Some folks purchased an item or two to initiate their collection, while others carefully selected pieces to accompany treasures passed down through generations.  I’m so thrilled to be able to offer the largest group of Russel Wright at the DC Big Flea, and hope to continue provisioning new and established collectors alike.

Many thanks to my friends who stopped by to lend their support (and provide coverage for restroom breaks!), including BFF Diana the Lady D, dear friend Jeri, and my new pal and ‘treasure finder’ Misha, with whom I share a love of all that is funky mid-century (BTW, this particular relationship all started with a Russel Wright chartreuse creamer featured on CraigsList….How fortuitous!).  I also had the distinct pleasure to finally meet Carol Paulsen, the most helpful and energetic office manager of D’Amore Promotions, which produces the DC Big Flea.  (Many, many thanks go to Carol for all her assistance!)

And here we are, days later, and I’m still recovering.  You see, I’m not one of those vendors who set up their wares and then sit back to more passively assist those who wander into their assigned booth space.  Oh no, honey, I can WORK. A. SHOW!  With an enthusiasm and intensity that’s part circus barker/part streetwalker (minus the tawdry outfits and well, illegal behaviors), I’m in constant motion during from start to finish.   Consequently, by the end of the show, I’m physically and mentally exhausted (not to mention hoarse!).  But alas, after the last attendee has left the building, there’s the dreaded end-of-show break-down (no, not the emotional kind…that’s usually a few hours later).  Everything that was not claimed during the show must be reloaded into the awaiting vans.  Thus, you have the same frenzied activity displayed on Set-up morning in reverse, except now it’s Sunday evening, everyone is much more drained and – depending on their respective success – somewhere between post-show elation and distress.

Finally arriving home feeling a bit battered and worn, yet satiated by a much-needed meal of Taco Bell, ALWHI’s third Flea had come to an end.  On the return trip (yes, once again in the ever-present Northern Virginia traffic), I had time to begin planning for the next Flea, January 8-9….2011 .  Where did the year go?!?  For me, I know a great deal of 2010 was spent collecting/moving/storing/refurbishing/photographing/selling vintage décor.  Onward to the New Year!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Time to FLEA!


It's that time again!  "As Luck Would Have It" will be participating in the DC Big Flea Market November 6 & 7, in the South Building of the Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly, Virginia [4368 Chantilly Shopping Center, Chantilly VA 20151].  For this occasion, I'll be presenting a new and exciting collection I've dubbed "Exotica: 20th Century Eclecticism".  The pieces in this collection are truly unique, and represent decades of fabulous design -- from handcrafted early-1900s American to mid-century European modern, to 1970s traditional!

Mid-century Walnut Bench
1950s Stiffel Lamp
Pictured are but a few of the items in this collection:  a curvaceous mid-century walnut bench; a stunning 1950s Stiffel ceramic lamp of generous proportions; an early-1900s sewing table with beautifully turned legs; and, a mid-century folding rope chair in the style of Hans Wegner, marked “Made in Yugoslavia”.

Early-1900s Sewing Table
There are also many other pieces so recently acquired that they haven't yet been photographed -- the Flea will mark their public debut!  Such items include: a pair of 1970s barrel chairs upholstered in a bold paisley in shades of rust and brown; an awesomely unique English mid-century desk that folds into a cabinet; and, an assortment of ornately carved wooden frames.  Oh, and something not to be missed:  a fabulous pair of early-1950s lemon yellow ceramic table lamps with green tiered shades, designed as abstract male and female forms – simply amazing!!

And once again, I will have my ever-expanding collection of Russel Wright ‘American Modern’ dinnerware. These iconic pieces, manufactured by the Steubenville Company 1939-1959, established Russel and his wife Mary as the original lifestyle tastemakers.  Now, in addition to my original collection in coral, seafoam, and granite, I’ve begun adding pieces in the richly bold colors of chartreuse and black chutney.  I will be showing many new, very rare and hard-to-find items in all the colors, including a stunning Open Carafe in coral.  As Luck Would Have It is the Flea’s definitive source for ‘American Modern’! 
Hans Wegner-style Chair

Of you're in the Washington DC-metro area, I hope you’ll be able to visit me at the DC Big Flea.  (And if you're not in the area, well, book your flight TODAY!)  My exhibit area is in Row C, spaces 173-174, to the left of the main entrance and near the front.  With colors and textures reminiscent of a Moroccan bazaar, the As Luck Would Have It offerings will be hard to miss!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Postette: Flea Party -- Day 1


Oh, Dear Readers, I am positively exhausted!  This weekend marks the second participation of “As Luck Would Have It” in the DC Big Flea Market.  After spending the past several days finalizing the collection being offered for this event, I was up and out of the house at 6:35 this AM, loading the last boxes into the waiting Bianca (my trusty white cargo van, of course).  Helper Andrew met me at the Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly, Virginia, to assist with transforming the bare booth space into a dreamy cottage getaway.  I promise tomorrow there will be pictures of this dreamscape, along with chronicles of the day’s activities.  But for now, I must stagger to bed, and leave you with a pic of one of the items in the ALWHI Cottage Collection – the floral club chair, clad in an oh-so-casual-chic linen and denim floral.  Til tomorrow!

Oh, BTW…. Do stop by if you happen to be in the ‘hood….ALWHI is in Row E of the Expo’s South Hall, just a few booths down from the main entrance!

Monday, August 9, 2010

FLEAdom

A few weekends ago was the quarterly DC Big Flea, held at its usual venue, the Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly Virginia.  And, although I did find myself on those esteemed premises those days, I did not wander the Expo’s hallowed halls in search of treasures. No, Dear Readers, I did not meander down the many aisles of the two buildings that were bursting at the seams with hundreds of purveyors of fine vintage goods.  I did not join the throngs of shoppers as they carefully (and sometimes maniacally) chose their precious bounty of the day.  Why, you may ask, was I at the Expo Center but not partaking of (and, as has become my habit, filming) this quarterly shopping ritual??? Because I was there – for the first time ever – as a VENDOR!

Yes, Yours Truly brought “As Luck Would Have It” to the DC Big Flea!  After many excursions with BFF Diana The Lady D, I decided it was time to take the plunge and sign-up for not one but TWO Flea booths.  It was an invigorating (and exhausting) experience.

"MAD about MID-CENTURY"
The Thursday night prior to the Flea weekend, Sig-O graciously agreed to assist me with the ceremonial loading-of-the-truck.  And by ‘ceremonial’, I mean ‘pain-in-the-nether-region’.  For although I appreciate having the ability to transport large quantities of vintage home furnishings, thanks to Bianca the Cargo Van, I nonetheless find the loading/transporting/unloading cycle both daunting and tiring.  And, due to the selections I made for the ALWHI’s Flea debut presentation (“MAD about MID-CENTURY”), several items of the collection were not only bulky but weighed a bloody ton:  an eight-foot Henredon sofa from the 1960s; the hand-painted mirrored screen (recently seen in the Home Store Manassas “Wild Things” collection); and, a Thomasville mid-century Danish Modern-style dining set with a table that extends ad infinitum.

So, with godson “V” supervising, Sig-O and I loaded up Bianca.  But, because I am incapable of doing anything simply, I had designed a booth space requiring an inventory that far exceeded even Bianca’s capacity.  Therefore, we filled not only the van but also the trusty Passat to the point of critical mass.  And, if I must say so myself, we did a phenomenal packing job.  By the time we squeezed the last lampshade in place, there was barely room for air to circulate.

Bright 'n early the next morning, Sig-O showed up at Casa de Howard to begin the convoy to Chantilly.  Admittedly, I was a tad anxious about My First Time as a Flea vendor.  Oh sure, I’ve shopped it, but now I was about to embark on my maiden behind-the scenes voyage.  Where would we park?  Does one stand in line to be allowed entre’ to set-up, or is it a big free-for all?  How would I find my space?  Would all the other, more experienced vendors be able to spot the newbie?  It was like the first day of high school (oh GAWD, don’t let me start reliving that hell!).

But first (speaking of Hell), we had to get through Northern Virginia traffic.  Ah, yes, NoVA…. Where there’s no such thing as “going against traffic.”  There’s congestion and gridlock in every direction, including the westward trek from Arlington to Chantilly.  However, once we broke through the disaster that is The Beltway, we quickly made it to the Expo Center – with ten minutes to spare!
Rosanna's FAB Florentine Purchase
First thing I noticed was that the other early arrivers had parked their cargo carriers not lined up in front of the building’s entrance, but in regular parking spaces in the lot.  And while some vendors were just milling about, coffee in hand, others were busily unloading their wares into parking spaces adjoining those occupied by their vehicles.  While pondering this activity, I noticed a lovely woman walking towards me from across the lot.  Lo and behold, it was Rosanna, a friend of Furniture Redo Diva Blanca and fellow Furniture Addict and shop owner!  Rosanna informed us that she wasn’t there as a vendor, but as an early shopper….Turns out, dealers often show up at the crack of dawn on Set-up Day to shop the vendors as they’re unloading their vehicles.  As Rosanna explained, a few savvy Flea vendors actually get to the Expo super-early, and unload their wares to enable such opportunistic shopping.  Now we know!  You can bet that “As Luck Would Have It” will take full advantage of this activity next time.  The lovely Rosanna even shopped the back of my van – and twirled away with a Florentine chandelier that just screamed FABULOCITY!

As soon as we vendors were allowed into the Expo Center’s North Building, the real fun began.  Having located my space, Sig-O and I proceeded to unload Bianca and drag all my carefully selected (and did I mention, heavy) offerings inside.  Naturally, everything that needed to be set-up first was packed into the back of the van, or underneath all the smaller, more fragile items.  But, with the help of our assigned porter Bob, we made haste with the heaviest of pieces – the Henredon sofa and the mirrored screen.

This being my first time setting up my Flea space (and being the consummate perfectionist, much to Sig-O’s chagrin), the most time-consuming part of the morning was getting every item in my “Mad about Mid-Century” vignette placed just so.  However, it finally all came together, and as I hope you will agree from the photos, it was Mid-Century FAB! (Be sure to view the video to get a partial idea of the effort involved!)


The next two days were a blur.  Your truly accepted many compliments on the design of booth space, and the “OOHs” and “AHHs” were in abundance.  And I even sold some treasures!  Of particular thrill was the purchase of the orange Danish ladder-back chair pair, selected by a dealer for his mid-century modern shop in tony Georgetown.  Russel Wright enjoyed popularity on Sunday, and several collectors (including Ray and Jose – fellow vendors featured in one of my earlier Flea videos) left with cherished additions to their collections.  BFF Diana The Lady D was on-hand throughout the weekend, supplying me with caffeine and other nourishment.  Friends Cundy and Ginny, along with Gin's daughter and grandkids, stopped by to lend moral support.  And Butch and Barry even made an appearance; Barry seemed pleased by the place of honor given to his mother's Russel Wright collection.

Hand-painted Mirrored Screen
Alas, all good things must end, and the DC Big Flea was no exception.  Unfortunately, however, for us vendors the end of the Flea does not mark the end of the day.  Au contraire, it’s only the beginning of what some (myself included) would argue is the hardest part of the event – breaking down the booth, repacking and reloading.  UGH UGH UGH.  I had decided to let Sig-O off the hook, after all his hard work on the packing and set-up, and instead had hired handy-guy Craig to assist with these loathsome post-Flea tasks.  Along with his GF, we spent the next five (yes, five) hours completing the cycle of Flea participation.  This included sitting in the horrid NoVA traffic back to Falls Church to unload a portion of the remains into The Warehouse, then on to my Arlington home to unload and place – for the final time, I’ve sworn – the most fab mirrored screen (after all, my heart cannot take the danger of transporting such a fragile – and monstrously weighty – item again!).  No tears, though; I get to enjoy this beautiful treasure each time I walk through my living room.

Battleworn, tattered and torn, I somehow managed to crawl upstairs to my awaiting boudoir and felines, where I dozed a fitful sleep filled with replays of the weekend’s events.  It was great fun, albeit exhausting.  And if you missed it, SHAME.ON.YOU.  However, you will get another shot at being in my good graces; I’ve signed up for the next DC Big Flea, September 18th and 19th.  You will be there….Resistance is futile.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Perfectly Wright

I do so miss writing my Furniture Addict postings.  Alas, my accelerated acquisition activities, coupled with frenetic shuffling of furniture from Point A to Points B, C, D, n, have required every bit of energy I can muster.  While I have tons of addict-related events and treasure discoveries to relay to my Dear Readers (who must by now be doubting my dedication to this Blog), time and exhaustion have prohibited me from putting pen to paper, so to speak.

But today, I am taking a much needed (yet brief) respite from my vintage furnishings hunting and moving.  Sitting by the pool in beautiful Rehoboth Beach Delaware, surrounded by the July 4th vacationing hoi polloi, I am sufficiently rested to relay at least one episode of décor drama.

Recently, I was contacted by Barry, of Butch-and-Barry – a most interesting and fun couple to whom I was introduced years ago by Sig-O.  B&B, being inveterate collectors of some of the finest vintage home furnishings, have decorated their lovely Arlington Virginia townhome with an extremely well-edited collection of furniture, china, and objects d’artes.  So, I was quite intrigued when Barry called to ask if I might be interested in an extensive collection of – wait for it! – RUSSEL WRIGHT DINNERWARE!

Yes, Russel Wright!  Now, for those of you who, admittedly or not, are unfamiliar with the glories of Russel Wright, allow me a pedagogical moment.  Mr. Wright, along with his wife Mary, was among the earliest home décor lifestyle gurus.  While they also designed beautifully streamlined furniture, they are perhaps best known for their iconic American Modern ceramic tableware, whose definitive sleek and simple styling is nonetheless imbued with organic shapes – the perfect marriage of Form and Function. 

My first encounter with the design ingenuity of Russel Wright was during a trip to NYC more than eight years ago.  The not-so-sig-o of the time suggested a side-trip to the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, which most fortuitously was featuring a Russel Wright restrospective.  I was immediately enamored with the gracefully simple curves and subtle yet bold colorations of the dinnerware designs, especially the pieces comprising the American Modern collection, produced by Steubenville Pottery 1939 to 1959.

Our friend Barry had become the caretaker of a beautiful batch of Russel Wright American Modern collected over many decades by his mother.  Desiring to pass the collection along to someone who might be interested in acquiring the set in its entirety, and being aware of the newly formed "As Luck Would Have It” vintage décor business endeavor, Barry most fortuitously thought of yours truly.

Once I enthusiastically agreed to consider Barry’s collection, he and Butch invited me to a home-cooked dinner.  But the first order of the evening was my introduction to Russel Wright.  Barry had painstakingly displayed the entire collection among two tables in their well-appointed basement.  And I was immediately awestruck by the bounty!  Having grouped the pieces by color – seafoam, coral, and granite – I couldn’t believe how many different items Barry’s mother had amassed.  Placed among the stacks of dinner plates, cups and saucers, and salad plates were some of the most iconic American Modern gems:  a water pitcher, salad bowl, coasters, chop plates, covered casserole…just to name a few!

I must admit, I had tried to prepare myself for this moment….In the days since Barry’s initial call, I had planned to make a well-informed business decision, based on careful consideration of  how this collection could factor into the As Luck Would Have It inventory; how I might best use this opportunity to acquire such a large collection, perhaps to launch ALWHI as a definitive source for Russell Wright’s American Modern.  I had planned to meticulously research the ‘net for competitive retail prices per item, and, at some later date, approach Barry with an offer based on sound business principles.

But, once I gazed upon the most beautiful and lovingly amassed collection of this most iconic mid-century tableware, all rational thought evaporated!  I simply HAD.TO.HAVE.IT!  And the most gracious Barry, undoubtedly sensing my extreme desire, accepted the offer that I had determined I was able to fund.  What a wonderfully mutually beneficial arrangement!  I acquired a stunning collection, and Barry had found someone who appreciated and desired the pieces in toto.

After sealing the deal with a handshake and a friendly hug, we commenced with the other pleasures of the evening -- a most jovial dinner of wine, pasta with homemade bolognese sauce, and   a sinfully tasty cherry pudding derived from an heirloom recipe, all within the context of storytelling and gossip sharing!

Who could ask for anything more!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Vintage VANguard


Recall, Dear Readers, the trauma I experienced with my inability to transport that most glorious French Settee?  Or, all those moments of doubt when pondering the capacity of the trusty Passat to transport all the delightful treasures I would amass in one vintage décor expedition?  Recall, too, the cry I would lift up to the furniture gods in such times of anguish:  “I NEED A VAN!!!”

Well, TAH-DAH!  May I present…Bianca the Van (not to be confused with BLANCA-the-Furniture-Redo-Diva).  Yes, I finally took the plunge into the world of ubiquitous white cargo vans.  Fleeting associations with snipers notwithstanding, after much deliberation I succumbed to the fact that I needed a workhorse to handle the ever-increasing demands of my vintage décor addiction (and the “As Luck Would Have It” business it spawned).  This was not, I repeat NOT, a decision made in haste.  Oh, no…I thoroughly researched various and sundry vehicles that had the potential of meeting my requirements – some of function, others of form.  There was the Conversion Van, which had the cheesy allure of retro decadence, with its interior limo lights, faux wood trim, and rear seat that folded down to bed (disco ball not included – but was definitely a post-purchase must!).  Then there was the comfortable yet not quite sufficiently utilitarian minivan, which could be dual-purposed to accommodate Sig-O/godsons D&V/god-dog C to and from Rehoboth (and maybe even a vintage trinket or two) – but not, say, a French settee that one might happen to find abandoned on the curb (yep, still obsessing over that one). 

Then, during one fortuitous perusal through CraigsList, I happened upon an ad that sounded most promising: a Ford Econoline “E150” van, which as it turned out was being offered by a local audio-visual company.  After hastily making an appointment to visit said vehicle, I rushed to the company’s location and was pleasantly surprised by the near pristine condition of the van.  And, as if customized for hauling the typical objects of my affection, this particular vehicle had even been outfitted with an interior lining that included chrome toggle-hooks for attaching bungee cords – thus enabling the secure transport of acquired treasures!  (I know…whoever thought I’d be in such a state of amazement over a cargo van?!?)

Only days later, after having a local mechanic give the van a reasonably clean bill-of-health, the once transporter of audio-visual equipment became a regal chariot blessed by the vintage décor gods!  Thus far, Bianca has enabled yours truly to acquire a pair of 1940s dressers from a new Fave Source in the oh-so-trendy Alexandria, Virginia neighborhood of Del Ray (the topic of an upcoming post, I PROMISE!); an early ‘50s card table and chairs set (OMG, just wait til you see pics of THAT beauty!), found at another newly discovered treasure trove in my hometown Ashland, Virginia; a Danish mid-century modern easy chair and ottoman set from yet ANOTHER new source – which is located mere yards from Bianca’s previous owner!….and other terribly fabulous items, all of which will provide fodder for many, many future Furniture Addict tales.

And, guess what just arrived in the mail?  The magnetic signs to be ceremoniously placed on Bianca’s doors, announcing to all that this glorious vehicle belongs to “As Luck Would Have It”!  If you happen to see us during one of our vintage décor hunts, be sure to honk if you’re a fellow Furniture Addict!  But be forewarned:  we brake for treasures!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Joseph’s Coat of Many Colors


My Dear Readers have long been aware of my ongoing love affair with that thrilling Store de Thrift, Joseph’s Coat.  This Falls Church, Virginia establishment has yielded many a treasure, but recently it has outdone itself as a purveyor of fine vintage décor!

You’ll recall that BFF Diana, the Lady D, is the one responsible for introducing me to the lures of Joe’s Coat (as those of us in-the-know refer to it.  Ok, well, at least Diana and I).  And, yet again, it is she who drew me in on multiple occasions over the past several weeks.  The Lady D, a savant with a cell phone, entices me by sending a text with nothing more than a pic attached – a picture of some glorious item, destined to set in motion an episode of intense vintage!  I submit as evidence:

  • Lion-paw Dining Table:  Having received a texted pic of this fine oak structure, I immediately recognized its locale as the furniture area of Joe’s.  Frantically dialing Lady D to ascertain the item’s specs, my repeated calls were constantly interrupted by more and more virtual treasures being sent over the ether.  Finally I was able to connect with our intrepid hunter, and was informed that this table was in excellent shape.  As Diana provided me with the table’s measurements (to determine, of course, if it could possibly fit into the Passat), I pictured her in some exotic yoga pose, holding the phone against her ear with her shoulder while extracting the tape measure with outstretched arms (the oh-so-challenging ‘Talking-on Cell-while-Measuring’ pose, to be attempted only by the most advanced yogini).   Alas, I waffled on committing to this lovely vintage find, on the basis that it seemed highly unlikely that I could make it fit into the Passat (even my trusty chariot has its limitations!).  Nonetheless, I managed to make my way to Joe’s mere days later, and discovered that the lion-paw table was still available!  Fate smiled upon me indeed; after crawling under the table and taking copious measurements, I determined that, by removing the tabletop, I would be able to fit the disassembled treasure into the awaiting Passat!  Yes, I was so ashamed of myself for doubting its cargo capacity – and my own Furniture Addict ingenuity.


But wait, there’s more!

  • A diminutive table with a framed glass top: Note the beautifully woven gold fabric behind the glass, and the lovely blue patina of the table’s finish.  Serendipitously, I discovered in the same Joe’s Coat spree a precious little book (dated 1895!) of Poe’s Poems, inscribed “Anasue Comer, from Mother”.  This tiny tome is beautifully bound in leather, with painted embossed flowers of a distinctively Art Nouveau design.  Note how perfectly the book accompanies the table, especially when set in a delicate bowl of yellow-tinted glass given to me by dear friend Amelia – pure vintage FABULOCITY!

  • Kanawha Candy Dish: Diana convinced me that this lovely milk-glass candy dish was indeed a collectible find. Labeled "Kanawha Handcrafted Glassware, Dunbar Wva", it is a pristine example of that company’s wares.  And the swirls of orange, yellow, and green make it the perfect accent for the Flamestitch Wing Chair – both pieces are part of the “Spring Brights” collection currently on display in the “As Luck Would Have It” shop at Home Store Manassas!

  • Capodimonte salt-n-pepper shakers:  How can something so small be so over-the-top?!?  Just take a gander at this charming pair of Capodimonte-style Italian salt-and-pepper shakers.  Note the male and female near-nudes in repose, along with the requisite cupids.  Brava! 

  • Quimper Fish Plate:  Once again, the Lady D shamed me with her knowledge of fine collectibles.  As I was agonizing over the merits of this whimsical fish plate, she expertly turned it over to reveal that the piece is “Quimper”, and hence quite desirable.  Merci’ beaucoup, Diana!


And I could go on and on and on.  As always, Joseph’s Coat did its part to feed my addiction.  Trust me, there are more stories to tell of trips to this most wondrous of places!  Hurry in…And tell manager Christina that Howard and the Lady D sent you...It'll be star-treatment all the way!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Catch-Me-If-You-Can (Episode 1)

My oh my, dear Readers, but it has been a month!  Yes, I know, I have been terribly delinquent about regaling you with stories of my various vintage décor exploits, but it’s been a period of manic activity!  But now, as I calmly sit here with a cup o’ tea by my side and a purring kitty on my lap (and a few Xanax at the ready – alas, only joking about that), I’m prepared to tell all…. But, where to begin?  Let’s start with….

April 3rd, Arlington Civitan Flea.  As I alerted you (don't say I didn't!), the first Arlington County Civitan Flea Market of 2010 commenced bright 'n early at 7 AM on April 3rd.  This is the wonderfully fun event BFF Sharona and I stumbled upon late last year, and which is held the first Saturday each month (April thru November) in a multi-level parking garage in the county’s Ballston area.  Well, let me say, this season is off to a roaring start!  Each row we traveled provided many vintage treasures: an oval oak side table here, a carved wood frame there….But, the most amazing find was a set of four metal patio chairs which proved to not only be of the same manufacturer (Homecrest) and vintage (late ‘60s/early ‘70s) as the Jetson-esque group already occupying my garden, but with seats covered in the same gloriously vibrant mod floral design!  Though these seats have seen their share of fading and grime from exposure to the elements, this Furniture Addict is convinced that a little TLC will bring them back into the FABULOCITY fold.  Truly the discovery of the day. 

But wait, there’s more!  Like, the mid-century oval ceramic plate with faux-croc texture and dated as “1966” on its wood-toned underside (absolutely essential to the Mod grouping I’m planning for the As Luck Would Have It Fall 2010 Transition Collection!)….And this truly amazing and authentic art nouveau plate (I just about D-I-E-D when the good ol’ boy vendor said he thought it was “kinda old”!).   Between all these items and the set of four wooden wine boxes purchased from a young man selling off his mother’s estate of collectibles, there was barely enough room in the trusty Passat for dear Sharona.  Although she was willing to be sacrificed in the name of vintage décor victory, I nonetheless found space for her just long enough to drive us both to our fave breakfast (and pizza) spot, Atlantis, for a meal fit for Flea Market royalty.  After all, we were entitled to gluttony after all that, er, gluttony.

For a live-action experience of our early morning flea-vaganza, watch the video!  And be sure to check out Aaron and Shannon Hase’s “Yuppie Décor” offerings.  This friendly young couple’s spot at the flea was filled with yummy décor and furnishings.  "Hey, Aaron and Shannon – is that framed map of Nantucket still available?"


Next Episode:  Joseph’s Coat of Many Decors….

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

FLAME-ing HOT!

I just cannot leave well enough alone….

Last year, I discovered a fantabulous 1920s wingchair at that most delightful of places, Class and Trash.  Actually, it was one of a not-quite-matching pair; while both chairs were of the winged variety, and both were covered in the same VERY vintage seafoam green nylon fabric, the legs were quite different on each.  One had very straight Chippendale-style legs, and was reborn into the world of total FABULOCITY as the infamous White Tiger Chair.  The other, with ornately carved ball-and-claw legs, waited ever so patiently for its own dramatic restyling.  

And behold, in all its glorious splendor:  the Flamestitch Chair!  Do watch the video for the full experience, Dear Readers, oh do!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

We Heart The Flea

Oh, what fun!  Once again, I joined BFF Diana the Lady D for our quarterly pilgrimage to Chantilly, Virginia for the DC Big Flea.  The latest antiques and collectibles extravaganza was held on March 6th and 7th at its usual locale, the Dulles Expo Center.  And, per usual, the Lady D beat me there (but only by sheer minutes this time!), so she had nary a head-start on me.

Whereas the previous Flea, in bitterly cold January, had been one of the best attended in recent times, this particular weekend brought with it the first hint of spring – bright sunny days in the mid-50s.  Unfortunately for the vendors, the less die-hard Flea goers decided to spend their weekend on more outdoorsy activities.  Alas, the vendors’ loss was our gain: easy parking, and fewer contenders for the good stuff!

This time around, there was much less furniture offered and instead most of the vendors brought more ‘smalls’ – dishware, knick-knacks, jewelry.  Nonetheless, toward the end of the day I was most fortunate to discover these glorious armchairs, circa 1950s, at the booth of two wonderfully wacky ladies named Sarah Jean and Katherine.  Love Love LOVE these chairs – and the girls who sold them! The chairs’ lines are so elegant yet flirty (much like their previous owners), and the tufted backs are incredibly chic.  Granted, the upholstery is more than a bit tattered, but nonetheless you can see how – with the right combo of fine fabrics – they are easily within reach of total FABULOCITY!

There was so much to see, so many delicious finds to bring to my Dear Readers, that I had to create not one but TWO videos to capture it all!  Be sure to watch them both….There are many varied vendors, some familiar to you from the January Flea and lots new ones with wondrous wares.  So, pop the corn, settle into the comfort of your fave vintage chair (tattered or not!), and let the shows begin!

Part I:




Don't go away!  Here's Part II:

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Luck Has (um…HAD) It!

Ah, success!  At least, a modicum of it…!
The first pieces of the “As Luck Would Have It” inventory offered at the Home Store in Manassas Virginia have been purchased!  Yes, Dear Readers, after all the collecting, all the hunting (and all the loading and storing), this Furniture Addict has sacrificed a few of his treasures in the name of commerce (actually, I prefer to consider it as “spreading the joy – for fun and profit”). 

Behold, the first babies to leave the nest (and by ‘nest’ I mean ‘storage unit’) during Home Store’s inaugural week….The most fab iron-and-glass chandelier (complete with ruched black velvet cord cover) pictured with the restyled white tiger chair was the first-of-the-first.  Later in the week, the ornate gold frame also seen here was claimed by some fortunate shopper.  

Then, this pair of Victorian cameo-back chairs with flawless gold-and-black striped velvet covering found their way to a new home.  (And, can you believe it, ALL of these pieces were discovered by moi on Washington DC’s Capitol Hill?!)  

Like any collector, I can only hope that my former treasures have found their way into the hearts of other like-minded furniture fanciers, who will behold them with the same affinity as I.  Adieu, my darlings, and bonne chance!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Gilt-y Pleasures

I am a great admirer of minimalist interiors.  Those sleek, clean, sparse spaces, unencumbered by fanciful ornamentation and devoid of superfluous objects.  Oh, yes, Dear Readers, I have a great respect for homes that adhere to such pure design concepts.

I just can’t live in them.

I like stuff.  Indeed, if it weren’t for ‘stuff’, there wouldn’t be a Furniture Addict Blog!  As anyone who’s familiar with this journal knows, I have a great need/passion/desire to collect and display ‘stuff’.  But not just any ol’ thing.  The objects of my desire must speak to me in some way….They must incite some spark, convey a certain Je ne sais quoi before I embrace them as treasures.

One of my collections was initiated a few years ago by the purchase of my jewel box of a home in Arlington Virginia.  The previous owner, a kindred spirit who had enjoyed many years of treasure hunting while living there, most magnanimously conveyed a spectacular gilded metal chandelier that she had installed in the petite dining room.  I was immediately mesmerized by this golden gem!  It fit so perfectly within the home’s Parisian-inspired décor that she must have recognized to remove it would be akin to stripping the structure of a vital organ.  (That, and the fact that its style was antithetical to the design of her future home in Mexico.)  Regardless, like all the other design choices she had made for my new home, its delicate ornamentation blended seamlessly with the vintage furnishings I brought to the space.

Little did I realize at the time that this fortuitous conveyance would lead to years of hunting for similar treasures.  Very soon after moving into my home, BFF Diana The Lady D and I were exploring a tiny nearby shopping district.  Immediately drawn into a home interiors shop by its fanciful window display, I was astonished to see hanging inside a gilded and bejeweled sconce which was the perfect match to my chandelier! 

Exuberantly entering the establishment, we were welcomed by the shop’s proprietor and discovered that the shop was actually a combination home décor store and interior design service.  I quickly inquired about the sconce, and the proprietor informed me that such objects were imported from Italy into the United States in the 1950s through the 1970s.  (In the Washington DC area, the primary purveyor of these imports was Lord & Taylor, a once high-end department store whose ultimate demise resulted in yet anther batch of the ubiquitous Macy’s).  Apparently, there were several manufactures of such gilded metal decorative objects, but most all were identified in some way as “Florentine”.  The sconce, while not marked, quite obviously fit into this category. 

After a minimal period of negotiations (my skills were not as finely honed as they are now), Diana and I left the shop accompanied by the newly acquired sconce.  Immediately upon entering its new home, I spied the perfect location to hang this treasure – on a hook serendipitously left by the previous owner, on a wall flanking the dining room entrance!  Standing in the living room, one can gaze upon both the chandelier and its smaller – yet no less glorious -- counterpart.

Since those two most momentous acquisitions, I have augmented my collection with other magnificent finds.  By far the largest piece is this coffee table.  Unlike the chandelier and sconce, which is sculpted in a stylized leaf design, the coffee table is resplendently created with two oversized lotus blossoms supporting a clear glass oval top.  This incredible item was discovered at one of my first DC Big Flea outings (accompanied by, of course, the Lady D).  The vendor from whom I purchased this beauty explained that, while she adored the table, her husband had insisted that she downsize her collection of Florentine gilt.  (I think she should have solved the dilemma by ridding her home of the husband, but we all make decisions with which we must live.  Regardless, her lapse in judgment resulted in a gain for moi!)

Other glorious pieces in the collection include a footed cake plate with gilded roses and roses etched in the glass; two table lamps (one from Joseph’s Coat, the other from Capitol Hill’s Eastern Market); and a pair of sconces discovered on my and Sharona’s first excursion to the Arlington Civitan Flea, as documented in an earlier post.  There is also a more diminutive (but no less ornate) sconce with delicately white enameled flowers, acquired at the DC Big Flea from David Haney of Fort Harmar Antiques of Marietta, Ohio (the same vendor from whom I’d purchased those most wonderful wing chairs.)

Quite honestly, I feel no guilt over my gilt.  These masterfully handcrafted pieces of la dolce vita provide me with endless visual delight.  Let the minimalists bask in their austerity.  But for me, like that doyenne of overindulgence Mae West once exclaimed, “Too much of a good thing…can be wonderful!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Postette: The Lady D-List


What oh what would I do without BFF Diana, The Lady D?!?  As my Dear Readers are well aware, the Lady D has been an integral part of my vintage décor adventures for quite awhile.  Recall that it is she who introduced me – and subsequently, many of you – to the thrift store glories of Yesterday’s Rose and Joseph’s Coat.  ‘Twas Diana who unearthed the King Wing Chairs, and who shared with us the beauty of her vintage chenille bedspread. 

In honor of Diana’s ongoing contributions to Furniture Addict, and her unending search for décor that epitomizes FABULOCITY!, I hereby launch a new feature of Furniture Addict:  The Lady D-List”!  Please check out the ever-increasing list of Blog-worthy sites on the right-hand side of this page (just below the Glossary) for Diana’s contributions…Happy surfing!   

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Don't Cry for Me, Furniture Addicts...

Oh, Dear Readers…DID YOU MISS ME?!? The truth is, I never left you….Au contraire, I’ve been hard at work preparing for the next phase of my furniture addiction. Yes, it’s finally happening….The hunting and gathering of vintage treasures, the late-night dumpster diving, the endless Craigslist cruisings, all have led up to this inevitable point-in-time: the establishment of “As Luck Would Have It” -- THE SHOP!

As I confided in a previous post, the passion of my addiction has been focused on the hope and dream of having some type of storefront, virtual or otherwise, for displaying (and perhaps even selling!) the objects of my desire. And, thanks to Furniture Redo Diva Blanca, an unexpected opportunity was presented that is making the dream a reality.

Diva Blanca introduced me to a lovely and energetic lady named Won who is opening a new home décor mall in Manassas, Virginia. This new venture, “Home Store”, will feature a number of vintage and antique dealers, along with Won’s own stunning collection of imported furniture and locally acquired antiques. This is not your average antique-and-collectibles mall. While we furniture addicts can appreciate the attraction of such entities, Won’s vision for Home Store is even more appealing: a destination for professional decorators and collectors alike, offering a wide selection of high-quality new, vintage, and antique furnishings, all in a fresh and inviting shopping atmosphere.

Indeed, the space occupied by Home Store is so open and light-filled that visitors will immediately feel as if they are in an expansive Manhattan designer showroom. Won’s extensive background in high-end home furnishings is evident not only in the design of the Home Store space, but also in her meticulously selected collection of décor which she has brought in to complement the offerings of the vendors chosen to embark on this great adventure with her – including yours truly!

Yesterday, BFF Richard and I endured a treacherous trip to Manassas to deliver the carefully edited portion of my collection to the space I’m occupying in Home Store. Although forewarned about the snowstorm headed for the DC-metro area, we were not quite prepared for the insane conditions encountered on the route to Manassas. Richard arrived at my home right on schedule, at 8 AM, and proceeded to help me bring down the few items from The Mezzanine (ie, my attic) that had not yet made it to The Warehouse (ie, my self-storage room). We then proceeded to the storage facility and the awaiting moving van, which we filled with the Chosen Ones in record speed.

Although the snow had commenced only an hour before setting off on the road to Manassas, our route on major thoroughfares was already covered in snow. Richard The Brave agreed to drive the 16-foot behemoth while I took the wheel of my trusty Passat (which was also laden with items destined for The Shop). Immediately confronted with icy conditions and resultant accidents, I proceeded at an old-lady pace to our destination.

Arriving an hour and a half later (and a few minutes behind Richard, who somehow managed to pass me along the way!), we rushed to unload the truck and the Passat in the unrelenting snow. Sending Richard on his way to return the truck, I proceeded to undertake the daunting task of merchandising my allotted 9x12 foot Home Store space. I was most fortunate to have negotiated a prime location in the Home Store – the front window space, with the wrap stand directly behind me.

After much deliberation, the resulting display can be seen in this video. Although I haven't quite finished the display (I still need to merchandise the 'smalls', or all the knick-knacks....I was anxious to get home before dark!), I was so pleased how the space turned out, very much as I had envisioned! There are two themes, or stories: Gold/cream/black “Wild Things”, and silver/black “Rocker Chic”. The overall impression I try to convey is that vintage furnishings can blend seamlessly with contemporary items to represent an individual’s unique tastes. As you’re viewing the video, look for these representative items from my collection (some of which you’ll recognize from previous posts!):

From the Wild Things collection:

  • Handpainted mirrored screen:  A recent find from C&T, this substantial piece has a distinctive French flair.  With stylized eagles and gold-painted trim, each panel is solid wood (and it weighs a ton!).
  • White Tiger Chair:  as described in a previous post, this is a restyled 1920s vintage chair.  Very Joan Crawford, don’t you think?
  • Cream Faux-Leather Tuxedo Chair:  With its brass nailhead trim, a very handsome piece that positively screams FABULOCITY!, especially in how it so perfectly complements the mirrored screen.
  • Striped velvet Victorian Parlor Chairs, and an early-1900s Writing Desk:  acquired in Capital Hill.
And, from the Rocker Chic collection:

Do enjoy your virtual shopping tour, Dear Readers….And I will be sure to alert you to the Home Store’s grand opening, as well as all upcoming receptions and special events.  Looking forward to seeing you in the As Luck Would Have It shop!

I kept my promise....Don't keep your distance....!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Flea Bitten -- The Video Game

Attending the DC Big Flea is like throwing gasoline on the fires of a Furniture Addict's passion. And BFF Diana The Lady D, being the consummate enabler, is more than happy to fuel the flames whenever the opportunity arises!

Such was the case when she encouraged me to join her in Chantilly Virginia for the quarterly Flea held on January 9-10.  For this Flea, both buildings of the Dulles Expo Center were packed with vendors and their followers.  The heady mix of furnishings and collectibles sent the throngs into a glorious Vintage Vertigo collective!

This was one of the best attended shows in recent memory.  In typical form, The Lady D arrived before the doors opened.  Even I managed to pull into the already crowded parking area within 20 minutes of the first addicts' entry into the cavernous South Building.

Once inside, I quickly located Diana as she perused a case full of vintage compacts.  We then proceeded to flitter hither and yon, absorbing as much of the extravaganza as possible.  Below check out our latest video production, documenting our romp among the relics:  (Note:  As I edited the video, I discovered that I need to study my Thesaurus to improve my arsenal of adjectives.  I think my  overuse of exclamatories would make for a fine drinking game....May I suggest selecting your finest vino/beer/soda, and proceed as prescribed below:

  • For every "WONDERFUL!" or  "FABULOUS!" I mutter in the video, take one drink;
  • For every "STUNNING!", take two drinks;
  • "ICONIC!" earns you three drinks.
Remember....Unlike when shopping for vintage treasures, you should demonstrate responsibility and restraint when drinking!)


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Postette: Silver Jubilee

Blanca, my Furniture Redo Diva, struck gold -- or in this case, silver!


Recall from a long ago post the amazing console/game/dining table purchased at Class and Trash, the table with the exquisitely carved cabriole legs and perfectly intact ball and claw feet, and which expanded expanded expanded? Well, after much deliberation I was inspired to commission Diva Blanca (who, BTW, was recommended by the lovely Lisa of C&T fame) to do a dramatic makeover: refinish the top in a lustrous semi-gloss black, and the base in metallic silver.


And the result…TAH DAH! Sterling FABULOCITY!



Monday, January 4, 2010

Good Thrift Hunting

Thank GAWD that whole Christmas shopping nightmare is over! Although I admit to being the inveterate shopper, I do not enjoy being anywhere near a retail establishment during the weeks/days/hours leading up to The Event. However, I’m also the inveterate procrastinator, so I am doomed annually to join the hoi polloi in the seasonal rite of time passage I know as Holiday Hell.

But, once it’s over, watch out baby! No, I’m not one of those insane people that descend upon Macy’s at Oh-Dark-Thirty on December 26 to dig through the detritus of Christmas Past. Au contraire, on the days immediately following the day, I retreat to the sanctuary of my home to let the healing begin. It is not until almost a solid week has passed that I feel it is sufficiently safe to venture out into the post-apocalyptic world that remains once the aforementioned crazed throngs have exhausted themselves in a Christmas Clearance crescendo.

And so, refreshed from a few days of rejuvenating rest and relaxation, the time came to emerge into the daylight (albeit here in the Washington DC area, bone-numbing COLD daylight). I had convinced BFF Chris that we deserved a full day of shopping, Howard-style, which meant an exhaustive – and exhausting -- crawl through my fave local thrift stores! Check out the video of our adventures at Yesterday’s Rose (for “Half-off EVERYTHING Day”!) and Joseph’s Coat (where everything was also half- off!) OMG OMG OMG!