Friday, November 7, 2014

Hunting for French Treasures

In France, buyers of antique furniture, linens, glassware or decorative items are blessed with a diverse collection of pieces! Investing in one important piece of furniture can be easy and affordable in France! The brocantes are everywhere or so it seems. Certain French towns and villages have specific days where sellers bring out their wares and set up tables with items they are selling, similar to our flea markets here in the states.  I have found the quality and mix of old French 
and English pieces to be amazing!  Many times, especially the French linens have been in families for generations.  People choose a more modern way to live and sell their collections they have inherited or do not want anymore.  I have an eye for unique pieces and I usually know immediately when I see something if I it will work for me or a future client in the market for a French antique linen or a piece of furniture!  I love unique chairs!  Finishes and upholstery can be changed.  This happened to me recently with the table above!  I saw it at a sale last month and thought the decorative carvings were beautiful.  It did have some damage, though minor on the top.  I passed on it and at this month's  sale, it was still there, so I inquired about it.  It had been purchased at an estate sale in New York and the price included a table leaf.  The sellers price was 250.00 which was a great buy, but of course I bargained [i love this's 
fun] and bought the table for 180.00!  What I have learned in shopping for pieces that are French inspired is.....learn about the piece, if possible, and even the background of it when you are attracted to it.  As time goes on, if you initially really like it, I think your feelings will grow.  After all, our homes are 
places we relax and find comfort everyday!  

My advice when purchasing a piece that needs work is DO not be intimidated! Invest in good quality products to help you achieve the French look you are wanting.  The internet is a valuable tool for researching paints and finishes for 
ideas.  I have found two paints I really like!  Annie Sloan is a British designer and she offers a variety of colors and finishes in her line.  I used an American decorator's paint, Amy Howard at Home, which my husband and I had used before.  We have used this paint on frames for his mirrors, and other antique pieces.  I used luxe grey and used the dark wax along with her product Dust of Ages, a powder which gives a nice old finish!  Patience is the key and you can always add more of the wax or powder once you move the piece to the spot you plan to use it!  
Yes, my home is becoming more and more French!  The hunt for treasures can be compulsive but when you love something and it has made a difference in the joy in your life then it's natural to pursue it!  Come with me to France! All you need is a carry on suitcase, patience, a camera, a great attitude, and I promise you won't come back the same person!  You see......for me it is hard to draw a line between work and play! The French way of life is thrilling!  Have a beautiful day my friend!  Monday we will be discussing how to make French window treatments!  Merci!

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