Thursday, May 20, 2010

Off the Wall...Yard Art

Well, here we go talking about off-the-wall yard art "OTWYA". That could be a major descriptor, over stated, or under stated. I cannot describe with any forethought how this developed in my back yard...but, I'll give it a shot.
Some years back while living in Lubbock I was constantly checking out the local vintage/resale stores. From time-to-time I'd come across metal hubcaps selling for .30-.90 cents apiece. Now, I don't really want them, but at the same time I'm thinking...hmmm...we don't really use metal hubcaps anymore. now it's either fancy rims or plastic hubs. So, I just started to buy 'em at those prices.
The first time I took a bunch of metal hubcaps to an antique show they brought no interest...zilch, nada, zero. I tried a couple of more times and even listed a Plymouth 1930s cap on eBay...zilch, nada, cero.
That's when my decorator and friend went for the "collection" of hubcaps to grace the interior walls of the patio deck. The idea used the available caps and it looked great.
Then one fall, while over in Fayetteville, TX at the show I find a farmer who had 100s just lying in a field.
Well...gotta say I instantly popped over to his place and grabbed all I could find.
I was diggin' through the tall grass, trollin' in thickets, and generally finding metal hubcaps of all types and varieties...I've been over to that place 4 times and I'm still findin' hubcaps.
Now...there was just no place to put 'em all. Stacked up, I was always tripping over 'em, so I cleaned, polished, and put them on the back fence for a little south Austin yard art.
They catch the evening sun and sparkle like a West Texas twilight...and the hubs stash just keeps growin'. Now,...I'm always lookin' for metal hubcaps.
I've got a couple in the house...the too cool for Sunday School 1950s moon spinner with the saturn stamps, some of the '58 Chevy Impalas with the checkerboard design. Those help decorate the game room & achieve a MCM 50s-60s feel.
BTW...I'll be moving the Williams Pitch and Bat game in soon. It's the 1958 Shortstop Deluxe wood-rail machine where the players pop up and run around the bases. There's two pitch speeds and a batter...great two player game.
I'll post on the day the Williams comes to join Elton's Pinball'll be a challenge to get both in with all the 50s furniture...hasta luego
If you see any metal hubcaps, let me know...I plan to build this year's Christmas tree out of found hubcaps.
Good luck in your pursuit of vintage, antiquities, retro, and all-round cool old hubcaps.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Accessorizing: The Final Touch

To me, adding the right accessories to your MCM decor can really set off the can make it or break it. We talked about how you can successfully blend different styles such as the earlier "MCM Meets Southwest" article. Accessorizing can distinquish your decor, identify your style, and add enjoyment and pleasure for you and your guests.
Picking the right accessories can be a daunting task or a "walk in the park" depending on your decorating decisions.
You can make it easy if you know the theme you want. Is the theme color based, collection based, era based, or have some other basis?
Here's an example of how my decorator and I did my home...When we were choosing the accessories to add, my decorator kept asking me the same question..."What collections do you have?"
Well, that's why the guest bath walls are all covered in old Mexican sombreros of all sizes and styles.
That's also how we developed the backyard decor of old hubcaps on the patio and back fence...more on this little episode later...I don't know too many people who have 100s of old metal hubcaps just lying around.
Meanwhile back at the ranch...she took my different collections and began to theme each room.
The guest room looks like a 1950s high school sportsfan room...full of old athletic memorabilia, letter jackets, and pennants.
The living room has a surf/skate theme...and each skateboard has an old western hat hanging on it.
The game room has pinballs, slot machines, gumballs interspersed with old Ranch Oak furniture from the A. Brandt Furniture Co. from Fort Worth, TX.
So, my decor was collection based...from what I had collected or kept over the is amazing how much of my accessories are things from my past I never threw out.
You can do it any way that works for you, but just the right set of lamps, just the right starburst clock, or just the right area rug, just the right cocktail set can really brighten a room and further establish your "style."
Good luck with accessorizing your decor.
Now, let's think about yard art and hubcaps...hasta luego

Monday, May 3, 2010

Antiques & Vintage Retro: A Green Investment

I always like to point out to my customers and clients the advantages, in today's world, of buying "used" and "recycled" furniture and accessories...or antiques, if you will.
I've always been impressed with the quality and craftsmanship in older furniture and accessories...made in America, built by American craftsman, of American materials. Up until about 1980 most things were made in the US and then shipped for sale. Today we see more things coming from China or other Pacific Rim countries...the labor costs are cheaper, the material is cheaper and hence, the final product is cheaper (read not made to last).
The things Roadhouse Antiques & Vintage offers for sale via our shows, website, or other Etail opportunities are things that have survived for 50 years or longer. They are things that will last another 50 years and beyond.
We scour markets, shops, barns, fields, sites, and other places to provide you with the best we can find...we're true recyclers...we're American pickers. We find things we can recycle, they may take a little fixing up or TLC, but you won't have to cut down another tree to buy our wood products or smelt any ore to buy our metal pieces.
We like to think of ourselves as a Green Business with little to no harm on the environment...although, we do have to transport the inventory we offer, we try to make sure we're hauling a full load not a partial load. Heck, we'll tie it on the top of the rig if we have to.
When you buy our products, you can buy with confidence that the product will last, hold value, and maybe even increase in value while you enjoy it. If you ever decide to sell an antique or retro vintage purchase you've made, you probably won't lose money on your investment. Why? You're making an investment and having the joy of using your purchase while you own it.
Try that with a piece of furniture from simply will not work. With antiques and vintage retro it will work.
I always encourage buyers to buy the best you can afford, upgrade when you can, and buy what you love.
What's moving best for us right now are pieces at the top of our line...the better pieces at reasonable prices. Not to say our lower cost inventory is not selling, because it is...but we sell our best pieces first. We continue to upgrade our inventory to meet this need while keeping our prices in check and affordable for the quality of merchandise we offer.

So remember, when you're looking to buy antique and vintage're buying green and making an investment toward your future. The two concepts go hand-in-hand. Good hunting!