Seek and Ye Shall Find, MCM Style: How Custom Shopping Works.

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A while back, one of my clients asked me to keep an eye open for a nice walnut low dresser for her.  It's been on my mind overtime I am out sourcing.  Finally, I found a fabulous piece that was in great condition and I thought she may love it.  I sent a pic, and my initial thoughts on condition which I call a once over.  Meanwhile, my brain is going crazy processing the issues and trying to determine a strategy to repair and blend in the issues.  My initial pics were in the shop it was found and of course, these items do not last long so it was imperative that I pounce on it to secure it for my client.  I am lucky that she is easily accessible and we went back and forth via text for a little bit as I answered her questions, checked the dresser for smells, drawers work, structural issues and finish issues....plus the ever important dimensions!  She quickly decided this piece was for her (and I agree, that it is a totally stellar piece!).  There was a matching dresser and night stand and for as much as we hated to leave them behind.....I saw today they were already sold so no going back!  As soon as I had her blessing, I purchased the dresser and got it home to spend the rest of the day cleaning, touching up and filling a large gash on the left front corner.  As I worked, I really fell in love with this piece!  It was totally not the average low dresser and wow was it cleaning up fabulously!  I kept her posted with pics of my progress and she is totally excited to meet it!  Delivery is this Friday and I am so excited to see it in her home.  I love to get to clients homes since most of my customers are around the country, it's not always possible.  This lovely lady has quite the eye for design and it is a treat to see my awesome finds displayed in her amazing space.  Her color choices are bold and stunning.  The home is a sprawling MCM ranch in a charming neighborhood close to where I went to college. I always enjoy the visit! 

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As I finished cleaning up this piece, I was contacted by a shopper on Etsy about a pair of dressers I had listed.  She was interested in both pieces.  (Yea!  I hate separating sets!!!!)  Would I deliver to Maryland outside of Washington DC?  Sure would for these pretties!  We set the delivery up for the following day and I get them ready and packed my car. The family and I headed down and delivered these gorgeous chests and we got them all moved in.  They were perfect!  My client sent us on our way with the most delicious homemade chocolate chip cookies I ever ate!  As we talked and she said she was interested in some more dressers for the other bedroom, I showed her a pic of another set that was for sale and I just loved so much.  She loved it too!  So today I got all the specs and did my run down on condition plus checked how much dirt was really on it and how it would clean up.  Well, this set is amazing in a kitchy and fun way.  I am happy to report I will be purchasing this set and getting it ready for delivery in early July!

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Seriously shopping?  I get around!  I am always out looking and some things I choose not to invest in for various reasons including size, price and budget.  If i know you are looking for something, I would totally shop for you.  My goal is to get you a great price so that I can still price the final product under street value in my markets.  This means I will purchase on your behalf, go over it with a fine tooth comb trying to clean, erase imperfections as best as I can and tend to any structural issues that it may have.  Your freshly cleaned and touched up item will be shipped or delivered with the same care I take with the inventory I invest in.  You will get my honest opinion on condition and what I think I can do to get it up to snuff. I do not buy stinky or smelly stuff!  You can trust me to shop for quality items!  In most cases, I will ask for a deposit when I make the purchase with the balance due upon shipping/delivery.  If we have worked together in the past, however, you will have my trust on this. My services are offered in good faith that you will purchase the items secured for you.  Please reach out!  I will do all I can to help you find the piece of your dreams!  Good things take time, so do not expect an instant score and especially so if you give me a very specific list!  Walnut low dresser was easier to locate than say a Broyhill Brasilia 9 drawer dresser.  So the more flexible you are, the quicker this may go. 

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Stock update:

Both Frank Lloyd Wright stretched fabric frames are complete and listed.  I can make more but have 4 of the smaller 'Design 107' pattern and 3 of the larger St Marks Print pattern ready to ship! They are very simple, fabric stretched over an artists canvas.  Please see them in the etsy shop.  Reach out if you would like me to order yardage from this line for you.  Even if you only want a yard, I would split the minimum order with you as they seem to require a 2 yard purchase.  They are also selling pillows made to order.  They are not cheap, but if you are interested, please check the schumacher.com website for available prints (search Frank Lloyd Wright and they come up) and I can work up a quote for you.  All pillows are 2 sided with the print you select. Expect to pay around $200 per pillow and most are 18" square but I saw they had the velvet in 16" square, most likely because the velvet is crazy expensive.  Reach out!

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We are shoving off on vacation in a few weeks.  I will be totally off the grid for most of it.  I will probably put my online shops on vacation mode so I don't have any mad shoppers.  Although I expect to get into town every few days and access wifi, I am positive we will not have internet out in the Adirondacks where we are primitive camping.  If you need something, please reach out to me before Jun 22nd.  I will most likely not be coordinating any deliveries that week either or large furniture shipments. Hit me up now if there is something you love so I can get it shipped out or delivered for you in the next week or 2.  I will be crazy packing as we will be living in our VW Vanagon for 10 days or so which takes a lot of planning!! haha  

Special thanks to Darcie and Debbie who have been the most gracious clients and I just adore working with you! xo Malissa

Another mass attribution debunked, getting a little crafty.

I follow my gut when I am buying. I inspect a piece to look for telltale signs of 'better maker' construction, crave brightly colored interesting pieces or am looking through the hideous original upholstery and already imagining how to redo it.  Before I delve into my latest research, I'd love to show you these great little X BASE benches I just picked up.  I believe they are redone in this gnarly plaid flannel.  I see them with more tailored accents like buttons and piping and possibly a pillow top.

These great little accents are real popular in the interior design crowd.  I will be honest, I only took them on because they were a pair.  Some things are better in pairs....and these will be fantastic with new threads!

These great little accents are real popular in the interior design crowd.  I will be honest, I only took them on because they were a pair.  Some things are better in pairs....and these will be fantastic with new threads!

They would look great in a bold color like raspberry or teal, but I could also see them in the cream velvet I picked up a bit ago. I am full of refinished goods right now that I already invested into so cannot fund the upholstery work in advance of a buyer.  Here is a great chance to get involved in the project! I will coordinate the restoration for you and you can select your fabric! I started a section on my web page to feature items I have waiting for restoration.  Any of these items can be custom restored for you.  I will take them on myself as my budget allows but if you see something you love let's get it restored for you! 

THE LILY. 

Last week I featured a few new acquisitions in my write up which are listed and ready to go.  The one table, the Gilded gold lily, sent me on a research mission to uncover it's past.  Many dealers including the allmighty FIRST DIBS folk attribute this gorgeous little number to Arthur Court and I was going to try to crack this case.  

Chairish removes the background from the cover pic I send them so all of their listings look uniform.  Because my fees are highest in this market, I prefer to do all sales on Etsy if possible. Chairish has very good white glove shipping rates through plycon, however, so I always price shipping there on my largest or fragile items and would encourage clients to purchase there if that is the best rate for them.

Chairish removes the background from the cover pic I send them so all of their listings look uniform.  Because my fees are highest in this market, I prefer to do all sales on Etsy if possible. Chairish has very good white glove shipping rates through plycon, however, so I always price shipping there on my largest or fragile items and would encourage clients to purchase there if that is the best rate for them.

Arthur Court, still around, is known for cast aluminum serving pieces, decor, and other small items for the home.  There are no mention of any furniture in the current inventory.  While this Lily base is cast aluminum, I have no reason to believe Arthur Court had anything to do with it.  One or two listings mention Drexel, so I take that and run.  Being at eBay at the right time led me to a piece of ephemera of interest.  It was a 1969 magazine ad for Drexel's Et Cetera line of embellished furnishings featuring no other than my Lily on the pic! No matter how large I made the pic, I could not make out the text.  There was a lot of text. I bought the ad!  I am a firm advocate of keeping a library of research materials and will splurge on catalogs, books and other items that feature my finds.  I appreciate those who take the time to cut this stuff out and preserve the history. Ads are sometimes the best resource we have to piece together the history of these items.  

a great ad, the back features an awesome Formica kitchen ad! In Orange and yellow mod glory!

a great ad, the back features an awesome Formica kitchen ad! In Orange and yellow mod glory!

The magazine, Better Homes and Gardens I believe, was dated 1969.  I learned that my lily has it's original glass, is definitely cast aluminum and was called a cigarette table.  Small in stature to use next to a lounge chair, and the petit table top to feature an interesting ash tray with enough space to hold your pack, a lighter and a cocktail. As cigarette smoking slowly fell out of vogue, so did the use of the association. Like many trends, they come and go.  There are still those who enjoy a puff here and there and also those who like to recreate that type of space just to keep the era alive.  Whether you choose this piece to accent your nightlife or to bring some incredible lifelike nature indoors, it is sure to charm you and your guests.  

My favorite part about the ad is the official description.  'The Gilded Lily-for real. This cigarette table reflects the originality in Drexel's famed Et Cetera Collection. A bunch of Gilded Madonna lilies bursts into full bloom to hold the glass top.'  💕 

So what about the designer? Well, I figured out the answer to that as well.   The caption under the pic ends in italics 'Designed by Drexel Design Staff'.  Arthur Court, the most tagged company (or person) on this piece.....no way.  Just another mid century modern urban legend. It is great when we enjoy certain designer's work.  I do love carrying highly collectible works from the era's best.  But ultimately, these are pieces you will be living with, passing down or reselling later.  Take the time to delve into the history.  I really try to find out about my items because I am intrigued and do my best to pass that info on.  Misattributed items does no favors to the artists who created them and it certainly is shifty, lazy and no better than a used car salesman. ✌️

On a final note.  I am in the process of stretching some of the amazing Frank Lloyd Wright reissued prints onto canvas for hanging. I figure there are some non crafty folk out there who would like to admire these great designs without having to sew or be creative.  If they sell quickly, I will invest into other prints.  This fabric is very expensive.  On the St Marks Print, I used a large frame as the print repeats every 17".  This way you really can see it.  I love it against my brown wall.  I will be doing the smaller blue print on smaller frames and at a reduced price as I can get more out of a yard.  Look for the listing on the smaller ones (11 by 14) over the next few days! 

Malissa

16 by 20 St Marks Print in natural linen with black print, 1955 reissue Frank Lloyd Wright for Schumacher.  3 are available but I can make more.  Fabric yardage available in 1/4 yard increments at $40 per 1/4 yard.  LISTED IN ETSY SHOP.

16 by 20 St Marks Print in natural linen with black print, 1955 reissue Frank Lloyd Wright for Schumacher.  3 are available but I can make more.  Fabric yardage available in 1/4 yard increments at $40 per 1/4 yard.  LISTED IN ETSY SHOP.

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Large canvas priced at $75 each plus ship. This is an awesome opportunity to get some yardage or a ready to hang piece of fabric art before the stock sells out!  

Pre order your cut of limited Frank Lloyd Wright prints now plus Accent Tables added.

I had a busy weekend and will be enjoying the holiday weekend so wanted to drop a line before I got wrapped up in that! I placed my order for 4 yards of the Frank Lloyd Wright for Schumacher fabrics.  I plan on using a yard of each to make something I can sell ready to use (pillow or stretched over a frame....jury still out) and will offer up to a yard of each print for sale in 1/4 yard (9") increments. I will cut to size so if you order (2) QTY, you will get 1/2 yard uncut.  Bolt is 54" wide. 55% linen/45% cotton, machine washable. Price is $45 per 1/4 yard with a small shipping fee.  I will refund overages if I do not need it all or if you buy multiple quantities. I can special order anything in the line, please reach out! This is a very limited run and not available in fabric stores.  Grab some while you can! Find listings under FABRIC YARDAGE in my etsy shop.

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Below are actual pics of my samples. 

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Picked up a few great new accent tables last Friday! Here's a look! Also listed and ready to ship, see my etsy shop.

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Cute painted Morrocan accent table. Great boho piece! 

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Drexel Et Cetera gilded aluminum Lily side table.  Amazing details and 3/4" thick glass top. Petit and adorable! 

Have a great holiday weekend!   

Malissa