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 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...!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Sybil Style

I’m not yet sold on 2011.  Sure, the Year of the Rabbit sounds all warm-n-fuzzy, but my experience thus far is mixed.  There was the armed robbery in my office parking garage (I as victim, not assailant).  Then, the Passat break-in (again, victim).  And the death of my partner’s father (see, it’s not all about me).  Oh, and on an irritating side note, this week I was alerted by a neighbor that the ‘hood busy-bodies have been complaining via listserve about the lovely and legal (albeit blue collar-tinged) Bianca the Van being parked on the public street in our historic area of Arlington.  I guess Class Snobbery is Prestige’s first-cousin.

On the flipside, the year began rather pleasantly.  On January 8-9, “As Luck Would Have It” once again participated in the DC Big Flea at the Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly, Virginia.  Readers of this Blog (to whom I must be a huge disappointment, since I’ve neglected my writerly duties for months) should be familiar with my previous three Flea adventures.  You’ll recall that my prior Flea offerings have reflected my ‘eclectic’ (read: multiple-personality) tastes, running the gamut from “Mid-century Glam” (a’ la ‘Mad Men’) to “Cottage Chic” to “20th Century Eclecticism” (inherently identity-challenged).  For the Flea’s inaugural 2011 show, I focused my collection on mid-century modern….That is, if you consider ‘mid century’ as encompassing the years between 1939 and 1980 (it was a long century, was it not?!?).

Vatne Mobler Sofa (c. 1960)
Once again, Assistant Andrew was invaluable in helping me prepare for the January show.  Between Christmas and New Year’s, we had managed to load Bianca with the largest mid-century representatives, including a most phenomenal find:  a Vatne Mobler sofa of rosewood and leather, dating from 1960.  This extraordinary Norwegian piece is a stunning example of organic modernism, with clean lines warmed by the rich tones of the rosewood frame and the lusciousness of down cushions wrapped in full-grain leather.  And, fortunately for Andrew and myself, the sofa’s small profile typical of Northern European designs made the piece much easier to transport (unlike the gi-normous Henredon sofa from my “Mad” collection!).

The Vatne Mobler was accompanied by other highly stylized vintage pieces, each fabulous in their own right:  a Milanese-influenced faux leather swivel chair, identified by its label as “The Original Lounger” by the North Carolinian ‘Carter Brothers Furniture Company’; a pair of butterfly chairs with their 1950s wrought-iron frames, clad in natural cotton canvas; a 1960s chair of solid Lucite; and, a pair of Italian chrome and Lucite barstools -- representing the disco era, along with the brown swivel chairs (in ‘chocolate fudge’ velour!) and the chrome-and-glass coffee table.  View the entire collection, organized chronologically beginning with the Russel Wright ‘American Modern’ dinnerware collection, in the video (apologies for the jittery cinema verite quality….I was highly caffeinated):

The January Flea was an exciting show for ALWHI.  The response to my offerings was quite positive, and I met many people who shared my enthusiasm and appreciation for mid-century design.  As in past shows, I had the opportunity to converse with other Russel Wright enthusiasts, and introduce the ‘American Modern’ line to those previously unfamiliar with this extraordinary collection.  It was particularly thrilling to have several of my items, including the black swivel lounger, purchased by young 20-somethings for their first apartments; indeed, how refreshing to see that good design is appreciated by all ages!

French-style Armchairs (c. 1950)
So now, exactly one year after initiating the “As Luck Would Have It” enterprise, I’m faced with how to proceed.  Admittedly, the challenges of starting a new business as a sideline to my full-time Job That Pays The Bills, along with the daily demands of being a Man of a Certain Age, are emotionally and physically exhausting.  I’ve also found myself in constant struggle with my boundless décor tastes.  As evidenced by the aforementioned ALWHI collections, I find it impossible to limit my acquisitions to one particular period, style, or provenance.  I not-so-simply appreciate good design, whether exemplified by the sensuous curve of a Norwegian sofa, or the intricate carvings of a 1950s French-style armchair (like the pair pictured here, awaiting a makeover by Furniture Redo Diva Blanca).  Granted, my MDPD (Multiple Design Personality Disorder) might make it difficult to develop a particular fan base/client following.  However, as I continue to explore the far reaches of my décor creativity, I can only hope that others who share my affliction can come to appreciate the endless possibilities of vintage home furnishings.  As the interior designer William Sawaya stated (in an article serendipitously discovered in a 2008 issue of Metropolitan Home magazine), “The mixing of periods reveals the personality and self-confidence of the owner.”  Perhaps, especially in my case, it would be more correct to say that such a practice reveals one’s personalities.

And, to those Cretans who would criticize the presence of Bianca the Van, I suggest they judge her not by her exterior, but by the extraordinarily eclectic treasures that lie within.