Friday, August 27, 2010

Recycled Furniture: Affordable and Stylish

Lately I've been thinking about how people buy furniture...and, what makes the decision easier when confronted with similar pieces.
When I recently received my "FALL" copy of Atomic Ranch magazine, I was floored as to how much of the furniture decor in the articles was new...not vintage.
Now, I really like Atomic Ranch (they're fixin' to come out with another book which should be outstanding just as the first) but the new stuff just doesn't do it for me.
So, I get to pondering why would someone buy reproduction pieces...and, Boy Howdy, I can list a lot of reasons...ease and speed are just a couple that quickly come to mind. We are a society of instant gratification...I know, when I sell on eBay, if it's a European or Pacific Rim buyer, they'll go for the cheapest shipping which takes the longest time for delivery...but, if it's a US buyer they want it shipped ASAP...just cultural differences, I guess.
Finding just the right authentic vintage or retro piece for your decor can take time and be daunting...easier to head up to IKEA and hope it's still in one piece when you get home.
I trust what we sell at Roadhouse Antiques and Vintage will last...heck, it's already made it through 50 years of use and should easily last another 50 years...quality endures.
The investment value alone should have people leaning toward authentic pieces...prices are another factor.
Pricing MCM furniture against reproduction should have you solidly in the vintage corner as the real deal is usually less costly than the reproduction. I keep an IKEA catalog close at hand to leaf through from time to time just to remind myself of their prices.
But thrifting, going to estate sales, combing through Craigs List takes time. It seems infinitely more gratifying and an effort worth making, but not for all.
We try to make it easy on the buyer by amassing the goods, hauling 'em to a central location (Austin, TX), and posting for sale below market pricing.
The dealers love us when we hit town with a new trailer load...they want to get the top-end merchandise off the open market and into their stores before the end user can find them on our CL postings...I'm constantly asked if all of our MCM furniture is on our website. The quick answer is NO, it isn't because it sells so fast here in town it's almost fruitless to post it at where we have our other listings.
I hope you find what your looking for and always think about contacting us for special requests...our "pickers" in the mid-west will keep an eye open for you.
Hasta Luego from the Roadhouse in Austin...

Monday, August 23, 2010

Antique Furniture: Does It Have A Future?

Here's an important question for the antique community..."Is there a future for antique furniture?"
When I ask this question, I'm referring to the furniture from the early 1900s and back. The pie safes, primitives, step-back cupboards, and ladder-back chairs we all used to sell.
The reason the question is relevant, to me, is because I don't see too many 25-44 year olds buying this era of furniture much anymore. And, that's my target demographic: 25-44 year olds...and, that's why I am almost exclusively selling Mid-Century and Danish Modern furniture today.
About three (3) years ago, I detected a decline in sales of early antiques circa 1850-1940. The more I analyzed it, the more troublesome it appeared. My sales of antiques from that era where to people 60 years old or older. These are people who are now downsizing, not collecting anymore, or selling off their antique collections. That's when I started to pay attention to what my kids & and their friends were collecting and decorating with...Mid-Century and Danish Modern.
I immediately changed the focus of Roadhouse Antiques & Vintage and my clientele instantly became 25-44 year olds. I'm glad I did and, I haven't looked back since.
So again, the question is..."What's the future of antique furniture, if the young folks aren't buying it?" Who will buy it and for how long? What's going to happen with all of the great Victorian era furniture?
Now, don't think I've lost my antique marbles because I do realize this is somewhat of a regional phenomenom. Old Victorian homes of the south demand furniture from that era, old farmstead homes need primitives, early homes of the eastern seaboard will always demand like furnishings...but, there aren't many young collectors out there with those styles in the forefront.
Young dealers and collectors at the shows I frequent are into "Pop Culture." Most of their parents were/are dealers and collectors, so they grew up in the business. But, they deal in what they like, what turns 'em on, what they enjoy, just as we did and still do.
I'd sure like to see some feedback on the question and hope some of you reading this will give me your opinion of where antiques are headed...mostly furniture. The young crowd still loves all my advertising, coin-op, arcade, native-american collection, and other things, but not the old furniture we sold so well for so many years.
Back years ago, young people started with the "Golden Oak" age, progressed to Victorian era as they became more sophisticated buyers/collectors, and then ventured to primitives, or Gothic about as far back as they seem to go is Art Deco.
It's a question I ponder and frequently ruminate on...
I hope to hear from you on this because I don't have a ready answer...Hasta luego.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Woodstock Tribute..."I was the one with long hair in levis"

Woodstock...1969's the same time, only 41 years later.
We were there!
Along with 500,000 of our best least that's the way it worked out...whatever was needed was provided.
Cooler than the otherside of the pillow.
Great experience...and a wonderful summer of '69.
Pete called me and reminded me where we were...we didn't go to Woodstock together, but ran into each other while we were there. Imagine finding a hometown buddy among 1/2 millon people in northern NY???
Salud...Woodstock...1969...I loved it.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Beat Goes On: Back in Austin

Well, after a brief hiatus from the blog because of traveling...I'm back in Austin. Back at home in "The Live Music Capital of the World" and glad to be here.
It's good to be back even if it's over 100 degrees these is the dog days of summer.
I arrived back in Austin in mid-July with another trailer load of Mid-Century Modern furniture scored up in Lima, OH. My "picker" had it all ready to go and I got some way cool stuff...including the vintage 1972 Stella guitar in the photo. This load had 6 instruments...the best was the circa 1900 German-made Conservatory violin by Miller. I had it "shopped" by Stephen Schock Violins in Bloomington, Indiana before returning to Austin.
Probably the coolest piece I got sold immediately to a MCM shop here in was a Bassett room divider...2 piece with 9 open cubby holes on the top and credenza-like base in a rich walnut. I always tell my customers not to wait to check out the new merchandise...'cause Austin's dealers don't wait. I really think alot of the reason why the dealers hit my loads so fast upon returning to Austin is not only because it's great stuff at good wholesale prices, but also because it takes it off the market except in their store, i.e. I no longer am a competitor after they buy my stuff. One dealer got all my money-makers, but gave me a fair price we both agreed on.
Anyway, it was a lot of work in the heat as we had to unload the trailer, then load the trailer for a show on the weekend.
Yesterday I had some clients come by to get the 1960s sofa/daybed and I had to pull it out by helper and I had stacked it on some chairs and put a Walter Baermann couch on top of it...whoa, hard to do alone, but they bought two pieces which I'm delivering up in North Austin off MoPac.
Sorry about the delay in posting here...after arriving on a Sunday evening, I got together with some friends and went tubing the Guadalupe River at Canyon Lake on Monday, then we did the unload/load followed by City Wide Garage Sale...Austin's Antique and Vintage Market, then on Monday following the weekend show we unloaded the trailer reloaded again and headed to Fayetteville to get more merchandise on site in preparation for Round Top.
This fall's Antiques Weekend show in Round Top, TX you will find me at La Bahia on Highway 237...I will NOT be at Fayetteville as usual...I'm all in at La Bahia. You can find me there in a tent facing the building beginning 24 Sep - 2 October...hope to see you there.