1902 Victorian

Bringing our old house out of the disco era and back into the Victorian.

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Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Time to Work

I am taking some much-needed time off from work. Thursday and Friday I'll be home working diligently on the kitchen instead of sitting behind a desk daydreaming about being home working on my kitchen.

I am NOT allowed to spend half the day reading blogs and tinkering with the html on my site.

On Saturday, we're going to an antique auction in Eutaw. The town is slightly famous for them. I hope some of our more knowledgable old house neighbors will be there to give us some pointers. Antiques are apparently a very important part of old home ownership in Eutaw. When we went on the tour last year, the guides kept spouting names of furniture designers, china manufacturers, etc., and we just nodded along, pretending not to be totally ignorant of it all.

Across-the-street neighbor Miss Judy (Darwin's sort-of aunt) pointed out that antiques are an investment that increases in value, while new furniture decreases in value (at least in the short term). That's an excellent point, but it's still tough for us to plunk down $3,500 for a dining room suite that's missing a leaf in the table when our kitchen reno is still in progress, we need new flooring in the back hall and office, the north side of the house and the front porch need new paint soon, the entire interior of the house needs new paint (all the way up to the 12-foot ceilings), and the whole master bathroom is due for a total tear-down and redo.

So I think this first antique auction will be more of a learning experience than an actual shopping trip. The card table in our dining room will have to do for now.

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Jordana said...

Real antiques are nice, but you can get only furniture for a lot less than that by diligently combing yard sales, thrift stores and rummage sales. We have very little new furniture, but I don't think anyone paid more than a few hundred dollars for any piece of furniture in here and most things were well under a hundred. My set of living room chairs were $.50 (yes, fifty cents) each. They were even pretty nice until my two year old bit and ripped some fringe off one of them.

10:34 AM  
Kristin said...

I ADORE thrift stores and yard sales. My sis and I were just saying the other day how excited we are that serious yard sale season is almost here again.

Most of the stuff I have is from those kind of places. I found the most beat-up-pitiful but beautiful painted pine bedroom set at a consignment shop last week. Finally, I decided against it. Dining room first. Dining room first.

2:37 PM  
Anonymous said...

Texas T-bone here ...

Only those with disposable income buy furniture as an investment. We bought ours to sit on, eat on, sleep on, etc. We've got a mix of antiques that were handed down (1915 piano, barstool, desk), some we found and bought (Scottish wardrobe, old wooden chairs) and new stuff that is comfortable and durable. We have a kid, and the "investment" in our leather sofa and chair has paid for itself many times over.

3:29 PM  
mindy said...


I love yard sales too - and you can find a gem every once in a while. We inherited a few nice antique furniture pieces when my parents sold their house and took off in an RV, but other than that pretty much everything we own doesn't "fit" with the house. So I comb the thrift stores and when the weather gets nice I will be out on Saturday mornings looking for good stuff on the cheap. Can't wait.

I know what you mean, I love looking at antique stores but can never bring myself to pay the outrageous prices.... even if they will appreciate in value. With two dogs in the house, I don't trust that my investment would pay off!


3:29 PM  
Mellie Helen said...

Thanks to your visit to my blog, I got to meet you and your blog! Wow, what an exciting undertaking, restoring a home to its Victorian lustre. What a blessing to live in such a special neighborhood. I just know you and Darwin are going to have many fond memories of this special home you're creating together.

5:47 PM  
Gary said...

Most of our furniture and lighting fixtures come from auctions and antique stores. You may be pleasantly surprised to find that some old furniture is quite reasonable. An 8 piece depression dining room set cost me $625. A German 1880 glass case was $500, my ornate oak bed was $700, the fire place mantles were less than $500 each. Often a good old solid piece of furniture will cost less than it's modern equivalent. Don't look at old furniture as an investment, just know that if you had to sell it you would get about what you paid for it. Maybe more if you are lucky.
You should start frequenting estate auctions. They often prove to be a better deal. It helps that I worked for an auction house for a year back in 1993. Don't expect your neighbors to be helpful after the initial preview, there are no friends at auctions once the bidding starts!

8:03 AM  
Trissa said...

The auction seems like a great way to learn more and maybe you'll come across a great deal! Have fun & enjoy your time off!

11:19 PM  
Kasmira said...

Kristin - it's Friday.....do we get a progress report? :)

8:10 AM  

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