Barn Chic Antiques

Barn Chic Antiques

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Our House?

Old is in. Distressed is the new shiny. Nowadays, retail shoppers beyond pickers and junkers appreciate the look of aged, weathered, chipped, and rusty/crusty decor. This is evidenced not only by the vintage vignettes displayed in stores like Anthropologie, but also by the influx of manufactured furniture and accessories designed to look old in stores that sell nothing but new.
The impostor 'antiques' appear so perfectly distressed that sometimes I have to look twice to see if it is old or new (and I have been stumped a time or two!). But therein the description lies the dead giveaway: perfection. 

I assume that so many of you, like me, treasure the imperfections; those little flaws add character to the one-of-a-kind finds. But perhaps my favorite aspect of old stuff is the story that accompanies the piece. You either discovered it or inherited it, and either way leads to greater meaning for your home. I love sharing the story and unraveling a bit of history for a piece when someone admires it - I found that while shopping with my mom and sister in IL, this came from a solo adventure as a first-timer to Marburger, that is a hand-me-down from grandparents, this is a bulk pick-up/dumpster diving success story...I could go on and on. It is the connection to people and places that makes old stuff so special. 

But I have to admit I was pretty awestruck by a shiny *new* upscale home furnishings store that opened in the Domain recently. Professional retail designers are brilliant and I can find inspiration in their work regardless of the age of the materials used in their creations. And it seems that many corporations seek out talented pickers to join their retail design teams, so modern day looks are really just fueled by junkers. :)

Some of you may live near an Arhaus, but I hadn't heard of it before seeing the new one in Austin. Turns out the stores are all across the Midwest and east coast in metropolitan areas. Since I was raised in a barn, they aren't near my hometown, but now that they opened a storefront in Austin, I can share their style with those of you who haven't yet had the chance to experience their ambiance. It is awesome. I was like the furniture paparazzi and might need to increase my google photo storage limit after this post.


Can you say sticker shock? Yes, that is $34,999 for the carved bed frame above. 

I wonder if the cowhide chair is a special southwestern piece or if you could find it in Philadelphia too?

Shuttlecocks. Wow. I feel rebellious just typing that word, let alone decorating with them! Amazing.

All this goes to show that even new furniture stores can lead to good stories. 

Have a chic week,


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  1. I like the old, original, too, but that store is neat! Maybe I'll check it out in Austin sometime. - Revis

  2. I so agree, Sarah, that the stories behind our unique, imperfect junkin', vintage finds are what make them stand out. I kind of hate that the big box stores like Anthropologie and ones like this store you hi-lighted have taken the uniqueness out of our treasured finds, but at the same time, I like to be inspired by the ways they display and use these items to make them stand out.
    Fortunately, there are enough antique/vintage lovers like us that want the "real" thing, so we'll stay in business, but all the knock offs are getting pretty hard to distinguish from the originals!
    Great post, my friend.

  3. Looks like a cool store! I like the chippy blue cabinet best though - good attempt at old & distressed. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Ok, I want to sell a $35,000 bed too! I wouldn't have to sell much else after that, wow!! I do see a lot of reproduction items which is just something I don't want to have to buy? It is a pretty store though. Thanks for sharing girly and hoping to see you in mid August at City Wide.


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