Auctions, Estate Sales and Antiques Treasure Hunting

Auctions, estate sales and antiques treasure hunting expeditions write the latest chapter of my how I spent my summer vacation story.

Auctions, estate sales and antiques

Antiques auctions are my thing.  From start to sold, I love the workings of the antiques auction machine.  Dave the Builder and I have clocked many an hour in old barns, metal buildings, old storefronts and convention halls in hope of acquiring antiques and vintage furniture and accessories up for auction.  When live and in person isn’t in the bid cards, absentee bids are in order.  One of my very favorite auction houses, Gallery Auctions, Inc.  invites absentee bidding, offers quality merchandise and is known for superb customer service.


In the market for an antique bread or cutting board, I searched the listings with gotta have it success. I placed absentee bids on several boards to cover the spread, and was thrilled to receive the phone call that I won the bid I really, really wanted.  The board is big, aged, perfectly worn and rich in patina and provenance.  Score!

bread-boardAttending the highly anticipated local estate sale recently held less than one block from the Places In The Home abode turned out to be a good decision.  This particular estate sale was a treasure hunting must- one where quality meets quantity.  The bamboo light fixture immediately caught my eye, piqued my interest and held my attention.


First day sale prices can send a wave of sticker shock throughout the antiques dealers, estate sale aficionados and interior design and decorating community.  The word on the tree-lined street signaled high prices ahead.  The price I was comfortable paying did not square with the sellers initial asking price.  I told myself if it is meant to be it will be, and waited for the next day price negotiations.  Holding firm with an offer does not always work out for the best, but in this case it did.


Dave the Builder rewired the fixture, applied two coats of gloss white lacquer spray paint and here we are.  You’ll see this image again in a post I’m working on detailing more decor updates.


Horseshoe Bossier City Hotel and Casino

He said, “I need a vacation.”  She said, “Can we go auctions, estate sales and antiques treasure hunting?”

dare-day-clubDo we dare take a gamble on basing our vacation destination on past antiques inventory buying successes?  I’m willing to roll the dice if you are, Dave. He said, “make the reservation.”  She said, “win, lose or draw, I’m ready to go.”


The who, when, where and what anticipation of discovery is the common thread between vacation getaways and treasure hunting .


First stop on the treasure hunting train: Kings Antique Mall.  The gotta have it list for our auctions, estate sales and antiques treasure hunting trips includes requests from clients as well as items for my personal collections.  A hold tag on the two drawer chest dashed my hopes for ownership, but it gave me an idea for a piece already in inventory. Inspiration is everywhere.




I am always fascinated by the nouns of life and how we draw home decor inspiration from them.  Violets remind me of my maternal grandmother, and memories drive the antiques business.

violet-plate1I almost overlooked this small violet adorned dish while shopping at Antique Shoppes at 1100 Barksdale, but luckily spied it sitting pretty atop a dusty shelf.  It currently resides on my bedside table as a holder for my reading glasses.



Hitting the copper jackpot at Antiques on Gladstone.


I love when an entire city block is home to antiques shops.  Kid meet candy store.  Finding the hotel silver dome put the cherry on the treasure hunting cake.


face-vasesWe are home sweet home again.


Now comes the fun part.

Love your style!




A Most Fetching Friday




adjective: fetching


synonyms: attractive, appealing, sweet, pretty, good-looking, lovely, delightful, charming, prepossessing, captivating, enchanting, irresistible

This week’s Fetching Friday features signature design and decor interpretation, fashionable words, a perfect blend of antiques and modern, a summer settee, a full on fall preview, and a question for you all.


As illustrated in the Domino magazine feature “High Style Made Easy”, Interior designer Mary McDonald captures decorating lightening in a bottle in this office kitchen with her signature bold design choices. Decorating in a straightforward fashion strictly based on the function and purpose of the space does not always a statement make.  Doesn’t this office/workspace with its playing it not so safe accents and accessories pop a bit more than a conventional just get the job done look?

ff-Oscar De La Renta

The pairing, mixing and blending of antiques with modern and contemporary style elements is a decorative endeavor I highly recommend trying.  Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

ff-sophisticated-retreat-feelStyle at Home

A Marina Rust, Penobscot Bay, Maine summer home and a pink settee seasonally in Vogue


This Traditional Living Room by Springfield Interior Designers & Decorators Nathan Taylor for Obelisk Home defines full fall glory in apples, feathers, rich colors and warm accents detail.


What favorite person, place or thing will be a part of your weekend plans?  I hope you have a most fetching Friday.

Love your style!

A Most Fetching Friday 6




adjective: fetching


synonyms: attractive, appealing, sweet, pretty, good-looking, lovely, delightful, charming, prepossessing, captivating, enchanting, irresistible

This Fetching Friday 6 features setting colors, fashionable words, traditional English style fit for fall, ooh la la in the kitchen, and a visual testament to a love of antiques.


Being optimistic is always in fashion.

ff-be-optmistic-badgeBe Optimistic Felt Badge – Best Made Company

Open the window and let the air of fall weather in is coming to a cool morning and crisp afternoon near you soon.

fall-breakfast-areaArchitectural Digest

Leila Lindholm’s fabulous French inspired kitchen complete with eclectic extravagance with the accent mark on love the look!


A fascinating combination.


Never underestimate the decorative presence, power and inspired influence brought forth by the use of antiques and eccentricities in design and decor.  A point well made in the home of Houston antiques dealer Kay O’Toole as featured in Lonny Magazine.


I hope you have a most fetching Friday 6.

Love your style!

A Most Fetching Friday




adjective: fetching


synonyms: attractive, appealing, sweet, pretty, good-looking, lovely, delightful, charming, prepossessing, captivating, enchanting, irresistible

This Fetching Friday 2 features antiques, words in the key of life, black and white statement pieces and an undeniable pop of pucker red in iconic Hollywood glamour via “The Look”, Lauren Bacall.

demiluneSmall Space Decorating via House Beautiful – photo by Jonny Valiant

Hollywood in KodachromeHollywood in Kodachrome by David Wills, Stephen Schmidt

outdoor-pumpkins Gorgeous entry in fall splendor via The Scout Guide

transitional-kitchenTransitional Kitchen by New York Interior Designers & Decorators David Scott Interiors via Lights Online

chic-black-and-white-living-roomsStunning Statement via Simplified Bee

pillow-H&MPillow Talk – H&M

Through the Years via Sweet as Candy

I hope yours is a most fetching Friday.

Love your style!

A Most Fetching Friday




adjective: fetching


synonyms: attractive, appealing, sweet, pretty, good-looking, lovely, delightful, charming,prepossessing, captivating, enchanting, irresistible

Places In The Home is an interior design and decorating show and tell. Goodness knows I have met the tell quota, so let’s concentrate on the show part of all this with a new blog series, A Most Fetching Friday. Architecture, interiors, design, antiques, travel and food will be the subjects featured in fetching Friday images.  Enjoy this debut collection of fetching Friday images of eye-catching features found down Southern states way.

Traditional Kitchen by Knoxville Architects & Building Designers Home Design Elements LLC

deeringantiquesahlmiamicircle_002Dering Antiques – Atlanta, Georgia via Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles

foxgloves-antiquesahlmiamicircle_015Foxglove Antiques & Galleries – Atlanta, Georgia via Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles

new-orleans-restaurant1St. Lawrence in the Vieux Carré – New Orleans, Louisiana

lemon-icebox-pieLemon Ice Box Pie – Food & Wine

Bill PaxtonDishing with Texas-born Actor and Director Bill Paxton via Southern Living

fetching Friday imagesMain Street Revival – Garden & Gun

I hope you have a most fetching Friday.

Love your style!

Diamonds In The Rough: Architectural Antiques

Dave the Builder frequently stops by our friend’s antiques shop for a cup of coffee, an antiques market analysis and to scan the inventory architectural antiques.

Bon Appetit 

Each time he goes to the shop I remind him to keep an eye out for my latest obsession – architectural antiques.  Who am I kidding?  I’ve long been obsessed with architectural antiques.  Corbels, pediments, light fixtures, porcelain signs, concrete statues, iron oddities, table legs, doors- yes please!  Our tastes get lost in “this is what she wants” translation, and like the box of chocolates Forrest Gump’s mama told him about, you never know what you’re gonna get.

Cinematic side note:  Harold Herthum, the lovely gentleman who played the doctor in Forrest Gump, was a dear friend of my father.  He was a true character on and off the screen.

More times than not Dave comes home empty handed, but last week he came home bearing gifts.

When Dave walked in with this lovely our conversation went something like this:

Dave:  “Is this what you’re talking about?”

Me:  “Yes indeedy!”

Dave:  “Do you know what it is?”

Me:  “I’m not really sure, but I sure do love it!”

Dave:  “It’s a bed post.”

Me:  “Fabulous!”

Dave:  “What are you going to do with it?”

Me:  “Put a MacGyver on it.”


Country Living

We’ve been known to buy a curiosity piece without an inkling of what it is. This is where the fun begins.  We channel our inner MacGyver and usually end up with a piece we love.  The trick is to come up with a piece we love and hopefully a client will love.


Online Galleries

One afternoon Dave came home with what was once the bottom of a Mahogany Canterbury, sat it in front of me and announced “this is going to be your new footstool.”  He built up the top piece with foam and upholstered it, flat polished the Mahogany and casters, and left it at home almost an entire month before taking it to the shop.  Our finds tend to find a new home pretty quick upon completion.  It’s the nature of the business.

 Back to the bed post.

What are we going to do with the new find?  We’re considering cutting the post in half to make a pair of lamps.

burlap lamp shade


I love the balustrade column lamp Dave made a couple of years ago, and I’ve been wanting to replace the lamps in our bedroom.   A floor lamp with a marble base?  Decorative trim molding on the end sections of a kitchen island?  See how the creative process takes on a life of its own.

Do you have a love for diamond in the rough pieces?


Treasures,Trinkets and Trash: Flea Market and Antiques Shopping

Flea market and antiques shopping is all the rage, and why not? Discovering fabulous finds from yesteryear or the quintessential pièce de résistance races the heart and feeds the soul of a true treasure hunter.


There are many flea market aficionados that deeply regard Paris and the Les Puces de Saint-Ouen Market as the holy grail of flea markets – the epitome of ooh la la chic and vintage style. As for flea markets here in the good old USA,  isn’t it always flea o’clock somewhere?  I’ve frequented the best of the best- the rusty, chippy, in need of tender love and repair cream of the flea market crop.  And antique shops?  I lost count years ago.  Like a moth to a flame!

Faux Window

The one and only item I own purchased from a Paris flea market is a vintage Louis Vuitton suitcase. Factoring in the signs of age, gentle use and the honey patina,  this piece is a keeper.


Dave the Builder brokered a deal for this little goodie as a surprise Christmas gift. A  fellow interior designer friend of ours purchased the suitcase for her husband while antiquing and fleaing in Paris.


Now don’t hold me to it, but this Louis Vuitton suitcase may just be the closest I ever get to an actual Paris flea market. It is a dream trip on the list, but in the meantime the finds this side of the Eiffel Tower satisfy the decorative joie de vivre.

Darryl Carter for Benjamin Moore

Darryl Carter – Benjamin Moore

If there is a better way to spend a weekend afternoon than in New Orleans perusing Camp Street or strolling the streets of the French Quarter,  I have not found it yet (and goodness knows I do love the pursuit of Paris).  It’s a wonderful substitute for an afternoon in Paris only 3½ hours from my driveway.  I set my GPS -Grand Paris Style- for the Vieux Carré  and we’re off!

M.S. Rau Antiquesvia

M.S. Rau Antiques and Tara Shaw Antiques are absolute favorites.  The best of the best antiquities inhabit these two New Orleans institutions.


You can definitely become lost in the European flair of decorative furnishings and continental treasures. 

Tara Shaw Ltd.Tara Shaw Maison

Antiquing and fleaing at flea markets is a weekend ritual of absolute bargains and beauty in the eye of  the treasure, trinkets and trash beholder. I love the phrase treasures, trinkets and trash for what it is and what it was- the name of my grandmother’s antique shop.  The appeal of flea market and antique shopping  is rooted in curiosity, appreciation, vintage love, and the art of the deal.  Avid, seasoned, and even novice  flea market treasure hunting and antique shoppers know of what I speak.  Do you brake for antique and vintage treasures?

love your style

New Year, New Trends: Projected Design and Home Decor Trends of 2013

My decorative and design energy is fired up for the New Year.  I’ve spent the last few days checking things out fresh and new for 2013 aka the design and home decor trends of 2013.  As we all know, fresh and new is not always fresh and new. You may spot more than one renewed, refreshed, repurposed, and/or reinvented idea from decor trends pasts. That’s the great thing about good trends- they possess the quality, look, and decorative chops  to become even better the second, third or hundredth time around when done very well.  Like, love or hate them- the decor trends and forecasts for 2013 are in.  Color is color once again, a romantic renaissance is coming back around and look what blast from the past is set to lead the way- the big brass band of beauty.

Layering for warmth also applies to inside warmth, comfort, and coziness. Layers of color on color, texture on texture, pattern on pattern- pile it on! What could be easier than spot updates?


Adding lux linens and throws in seasonal fabrics, patterns and colors will infuse the look, the feel of comfort, and softened impressions to the space. 


You’ll hit a trending trifecta with this wood, metallic, and gold gilded drift wood sconce from Clayton Gray Home.


Wood accents, meticulous metals including going for the bold and gold, texture, pattern, and shades of green will make an impact on the interior design and decor radar for 2013.


Antiques as pieces of art will serve as focal points and conversation pieces.


I’m thrilled to see the encouraged use of antiques as art coming around.  Last week as I was viewing Million Dollar Decorators I was cheering on Jeffrey Alan Marks. His comments regarding the use of antiques as the final touch of personality in decor made me an instant follower of his train of thought. Unique, one-of-a-kind, unusual, whimsy, conversation pieces- yes, yes and YES! If only one piece brings this to the space then I say bring it! Can you tell I’m a huge fan of antiques as art?

It’s a new year full of new trends. I’m definitely inspired!  Are you?

A Formal Introduction to the Primitive Dining Table: Pairing the Formal with the Primitive

Formal is defined as being in accordance with the usual requirements or customs.


Fabulous, by my design definition, is being anything but in accordance with the usual requirements or customs.  Pairing the formal with the primitive such as dining chairs and dining tables creates a surprising contrast, becoming the focal point of the space.

Cottage Haven Interiors

I highly recommend seizing every opportunity to show and express personal style through home decor and home furnishings in an original way.  There’s a place and a time for keeping with well, that’s the way it’s always been done, so…  

The cure for decorative complacency can be found in the mixing of styles. 

House Beautiful

House Beautiful rated the above example by Designer Suzanne Kasler as one of their top kitchen tables.  Formal meets primitive in a traditional setting- how many design styles can you identify in the above image? Flattering in presence and stunning in design execution, the pairing formal Louis XV-style dining chairs with a 19th-century French farm table is a stroke of tasteful genius.

House Beautiful

As showcased in Atticmag,  formal Chippendale dining chairs paired with a primitive three plank farm table equals a comfortable formality that steps out of the expected comfort zone.

The first primitive dining table I purchased was at an antiques auction in 1999.  Dave the Builder and I previewed like it’s 1999 the night before the Saturday afternoon auction, and as my eyes zeroed in on the mark, a late 1800’s primitive harvest table in pristine condition, my antiques loving heart began to race.

Dave the Builder, who questioned my judgement, thought I was crazy as I wrote the item number down in my notebook.  “Why do you want a picnic table?”  he asked.

elegant-refusal-dining-roomCountry Living

That picnic table, which I won at the auction, turned out to be a magnificent addition to the Hopefully Classic inventory.  It sold within the week, and remains the primitive piece that got away.  I definitely regret selling it.

Better Homes and Gardens

The next year we purchased a late 1800’s Cypress farm table.  The grayish patina threw me a curve in the pairing department.  I recently brought in a set of six Mahogany Regency Sabre leg dining chairs, not really knowing what piece to pair them with, but knowing I could not pass them up. Dave the Builder was arranging items, and I was with a client so I was not paying much attention.  Dave had placed the chairs around the farm table and the look blew my mind.  The woods, patinas, and styles played perfectly off each other and hit a note of design accord.  The set sold the next week.  The Regency dining chairs and Cypress farm table were great stand alone pieces, but when matched together the look was flawless.

Austin Architect

Dave the Builder and I were drinking coffee one evening and found our conversation focused on a recent buying trip.  Authentic antique farm and harvest tables are becoming more scarce and prove difficult to locate.   Artisans, custom wood and furniture makers, and DIY aficionados are rising to the occasion to produce gorgeous interpretations and meet demand.  Dave the Builder has built farm tables for 4 of our clients.  Our school of thought is to introduce a new twist on an old way of doing things.  One custom table was built from Victorian square grand piano legs and Louisiana reclaimed Cypress planks.  He dry brushed the piano legs with paint to match the patina of the Cypress.  The table now resides at a cattle ranch in West Texas.  Talk about formal meets primitive!  

jj locations

The table featured below is the most current one he has built.  We purchased the antique legs and married them to our first choice, Louisiana reclaimed Cypress planks.  The  patina is achieved with a two step process.  He begins with a dark stain application until the desired patina is reached.  The  formal introduction was complete upon returning from a friend’s antique shop with the finest set of six formal white washed wheat back rush bottom dining chairs.  A designer friend scooped the set up for a client.  The chairs did not stay in the shop long enough for me to photograph.  I like that!

The final step is the trick.  We recommend and use Johnson Paste Wax. Available at hardware and home improvement stores,  Johnson Paste Wax gives furniture a safe, hard, and protective  finish with a soft luster.

Don’t be afraid to blend formal with primitive pieces.  The contrast surprises, complements, and is easily capable of becoming the focal point of the space.

Love your style!




The Hunt & The Shop: Antiques Buying Trips

One of the most rewarding benefits of my antiques business is the antiques buying trips.

Retail, auction and antiques therapy satisfies my shopping needs, replenishes inventory and puts us on the road again.

John Lennon: Life Framed Art Print

The beautiful lyrics of John Lennon’s “Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)” apply in many situations.   John Lennon’s famous quote nails the truth to the wall of life when he sings “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”  Life, and the graceful maneuvering trick that resulted in pop goes my kneecap, happened to me while I was busy making buying trip plans. The suitcases were packed, reservations made and Dave the Builder’s truck and trailer were emptied and ready to go.  Unpacked, canceled and dejected all due to my ungraceful ballerina act.

Dave’s truck looks mighty fine loaded with a delivery, but empty means shopping time!  Shopping for antique and home decor accessories in North Louisiana and East Texas is not our usual antiques stomping grounds, but nicely fills in the inventory blanks.  With our son flying in last weekend, a shopping trip to Canton, Texas for Canton First Monday Trade Days market was not in our plans.

My Canton First Monday Trade Days days date back to the early 1970’s and the heydays of my grandmother’s antiques shop, Lucille’s Treasures, Trinkets & Trash.  I can almost taste one of the homemade lemonades made with crushed ice and fresh lemons the size of grapefruits. The love of antiques and trade days run deep in this family!

Knowing first hand how exciting antique shows, markets and trade days can be, I am enjoying the news from Brimfield Antiques Show. Since I can’t be there live and shopping in person, live tweets (#Brimfield) and Brimfield Pinterest boards showing beautiful antique and vintage treasures from the largest outdoor antiques show in New England help to keep me in the antiques know.

Brimfield hosts approximately 6,000 antique, vintage and collectible dealers selling everything from linens, Americana, costume jewelry, rice and grain baskets and furniture.  Country Living  counts Brimfield as one of the best antiques shows in the United States.

Traditional Home

When we are able to head North on our buying trip, Red Door Interiors is on the list.  Discovering this gem two years ago provided me with one of the best buying afternoons ever.  Large gold garden crowns, garden baskets for shop displays, French demijohns, resin fleur de lis wall plaques, decorative candelabras and one of the best foo dog sets I have come across filled the back of the SUV. It’s all about the home decor accents and accessories! If you are ever in the Shreveport or Baton Rouge, Louisiana area by all means make plans to shop at Red Door Interiors. The merchandise is exactly as the tagline states- cool, casual & classic. The best part is the prices are affordable.

Louisiana Cypress anything is always on my radar, and Dave the Builder is trying to find time in his schedule to build another farm table. I am looking for a two tier small hutch, a client has put her order in for a marble top sideboard, and unique chairs tempt me at every turn. Fabulous Fabrics will hopefully put an end to the search for the perfect  fabric for the English dining chairs project.

Antiques inventory buying trips are  fun, and make me love what I do! When my knee mends we will once again pack the suitcases, make the reservations, empty the truck and trailer, and be on the road again.   I wish happy antiques and vintage shopping trails to you!









images via All Posters, Canton First Monday Trade Days, Mass Live, Sports Antiques,