Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Lately, I have Been Feeling Very Sorry For.........

Brown Furniture. ( Do you know what I am talking about?)

Now that the craze for "mid-century" is in full bloom

and is being designed around by all the big box stores

and catalog retailers, all the stream-lined, slightly beige,  non-descript stuff that lurked around your parents' and grandparents' houses

in beech, birch, alder and walnut

from the 50's thru the 70's, is now packing warehouses where the hip want to be, and commanding astronomic prices

that even the big box stores' astronomic prices for goods-made-by-the-bazillions-for-fashion-victim-legions-the-world-over in factories in China..........do not achieve.........

Meanwhile I sorrow for sweet sad brown furniture.

Fifteen years ago I saw all of this furniture (or its cousins) as it filled the three top floors of a drafty warehouse in Leicestershire.   Cheek by jowl with old pub signs, Toby mugs, and brass ox-buckles.  Fifteen years, and thousands of miles further afield, it commands still only those humble 1996 prices.  And yet.  Nobody wants it.  Especially not my English husband.

Noone cares about the handwork in these pieces.  The precision and the balance.  The heft, and the harmony, that some humble man put into the setting of the curves and the matching and joinings of the grain.

  Six hundred dollars (or less) for a hand carved oak or mahogany sideboard.  Solid as a rock!  No particle board here.  Think of the old growth forests that have yielded this up for you!

Do you know how much Lloyds Loom would cost you new?  And that you can leave it in the rain?  Do you realize that this settee has probably survived one hundred years intact?  And an ocean crossing?

If you were to buy one of these homely, lonely, "brown" (Victorian and early 20th c. English) pieces at YOUR local version of Wertz Brothers, you could insert it into a corner of your otherwise all-white Scandinavian style decor as an "accent piece".  Better, as the focal point of the room.  You could plop an inky indigo blue vase (or several forest green ones) on top of it, or a squishy bold Marimekko print cushion into a nice chair.  With your own bobbles added.  You could paint them a more modern color with this paint.  And it could look this good.  No messing, no guessing. 

 With the money you've saved you could also pick up one of these other kinds of pieces......

that EVERYONE wants now.

Proving that you truly are glam and a design-savvy person.  With brains and heart to go along.  And me, I could live with a little less heartache. 

 Now.  Wouldn't you like to do that?

1 comment:

  1. You show so many wonderful old pieces in your post!
    English Arts and Crafts oak furniture is all I have in my home.
    Armoires for closets (my San Francisco house has three, yes three, small closets), buffets for file cabinets - these antiques can be put to modern uses.