Picking With Reyne – Vol. 20

September 28th, 2010 by

On Friday I ventured down to Round Top, Texas to tape another video segment for my “Art of Picking” series here on Antiques.com

It was a setup day for many of the fields; however there were a few open for business.

I’m not sure when antique dealers became interior decorators, or if this is more a sign of the times, but I was amazed at some of the things I saw.

I’ve been attending antique shows for the past 20 years.  Some were indoors, some outdoors, some high brow, and some just an over-rate thrift shop.

Back in the day, it seemed only the high brow shows had dealers setting up booths as “interiors”.  What I mean by that is they were more like a room setting out of a magazine than a dealer setting up a weekend booth to sell their wares.  There were walls, with colorful paper hiding the pegholes of the board that held the fine art hanging on it.  Sideboards with candlesticks and antique frames with vintage images inserted.  Dining room tables and chairs with a fantastic chandelier hanging over the center of it and an array of Meissen plates and vintage Steuben stemware used as place settings.

The middle of the road to lower end antique shows offered booths filled with tables, risers, and display cases filled to the brim with “stuff”.  The people were friendly enough (well most of them) and they were there to make a deal.

When I first started selling at shows back in I think it was 1992, my friend Rosemary and I used to comment all the time about how people had no vision, and you really needed to show them how something would look in their home.  Your booth display was half the sale.  I know some people like digging through stuff to find the gem, but most people enjoy looking at beautiful things, displayed with like items, or in a way that makes sense.

Anyhow, back to my story…dealers at the Round Top show, one after another, had been setting up their tents with interior type scenes.    Many of the booths looked like a photo straight out of Country Living magazine.

The sheer volume of repurposing was mind blowing.  It was as if everything in the world had a second life again.  I loved it! (Can’t ya tell?)

Who needs Martha Stewart to show us how to turn “everyday” items into something spectacular??

All I know is these guys are teaching you “Decorating 101” while selling you a piece of history, and they have certainly got “Marketing 101” down pat!

Happy Hunting!


4 Responses to “Picking With Reyne – Vol. 20”

  1. Cobayley Says:

    Nice post Reyne…so many times when I look at “stylized” or “decorated” spaces in antique malls, I’m turned off. They’ve piled a ton of stuff on the table and you cannot even see the table.
    I want to envision how the item might look in my environment. I have to be realistic. I don’t have 20 foot vaulted ceilings or floor to ceiling windows.
    Always enjoy your articles. Thank you!!

  2. Meredith Says:

    A few years ago, I was in charge of trade show displays for a rather prominent wholesale home decor company. It’s a little different selling to small business owners for resale- but I spent beaucoup time setting things up to “show” as you would in both a shop and home environment. You’re right! Helping folks envision how your wares would glamorize their own setting is half the sale.

    On a personal note, I love love love using vintage/antique things in a modern home setting. As a young twenty-something,Im noticing that it’s not just me either- I see a lot of trends going that way.

    I love it because designing a room or an area around a piece with history gives a special flavor that can’t be achieved by simply buying stuff at Crate & Barrel. Some of my favorite pieces in our home are an old school clock from the 1950s (with those huge retro numbers) that we found here, and two quirky little japanese ceramic chipmunk figurines that never fail to bring a smile to my face.

    I also think repurposing items is a big trend right now. A friend of ours just gave us an old, cast iron red hand pump (from a farmhouse well) that we intend on converting into a sink faucet. I love it!

  3. Reyne Haines Says:

    Carolyn – Interesting perspective.
    I’m just the opposite – since I have little creativity, I need to see how
    things are going to look in my home, so I want to see all the china, silver,
    napkins, candlesticks etc on the table ;-)

    I never thought about how it takes away from the actual piece of furniture its on!


  4. Reyne Haines Says:

    Meredith – Always good to hear how people are incorporating new with old.
    That is so great!

    I want an antique water pump to use in the backyard at the fountain.
    Not sure how to pull that all together, but I like the thought of it.

    I am also wanting a few vintage/antique iron pots, with lots of missing paint
    to use in the flower beds, filled with witches balls or fishing balls. I think it would
    add a little color to them in the winter time.

Leave a Reply