January 25, 2011

Getting ready for our big Unveiling of "Our Answer to the Disposable Society We live In"

Sorry I havn't written lately. There is so much I have had going on as things have been crazier at the antique mall than ever. Besides the normal busy we have been hard at work on my pet project that I called "Our Answer to the Disposable Society We Live In".
Today people seem to be obsessed with “new things”, anything that gets a little old is replaced. Cellular phones, computers, and camera’s are obsolete before we get them home. Clothing stores knowingly sell us poorly made garments that has poor stitching and cheap fabric that appears to be designed to fall right after the return policy expires. Homes are decorated with pressed wood furniture that will never increase in value. Held together with glue and sawdust that likely will lead to cancer. Society seems to have decided to give up natural materials and finely crafted accent pieces for plastic knockoffs. Quality, longevity, and beauty seem to have been sacrificed for the sake of price, convenience, and laziness. The need for immediate gratification for new things has created a world of overflowing landfills where these new our relatively cheap items have been tossed away to sit in their graves of pollution and degradation like yesterdays news. Perfectly good equipment, like radio’s and sofa’s that need only be cleaned or repaired are tossed away because they are no longer new are left to sit and rot at varying speeds never decomposing completely back to mother nature. To save our planet we must stop this lifestyle of waste. We must begin to think and purchase for the long term and think about what our tastes have on our environment.

Today we live in what I call “The Disposable Society” or “The Ikea Age” which also could be called” Post Modern Minimalism”, the thought of beauty in furniture goods has been thrown away. This New Disposable Society seems to want to keep costs down, sales up, and has created a world with furniture that is not worth the sawdust it is made of. The new “quality” mass produced furniture is dull unadorned with “clean lines”. Ironically the clean lines are machine made so less labor costs and less jobs needed and it increases destruction of our natural resources.

Instead of purchasing new furniture we should be buying old furniture. The wonderful thing about purchasing antiques and collectibles is that you can have furniture that is unique. Decorating with old things allows you to choose what you like. Most modern furniture are simply attempts at imitating styles of yesterday. If your tastes are “Modern Furniture” you may find you really like Art Deco, or 1950’s Post Modern Furniture. If it is a more classic look that moves you probably you may discover you like Edwardian, Victorian, or Georgian styles. If you happen to have more eccentric tastes the Arts and Crafts movement will definitely move you. Personally, I like antiques from all periods. In my home we probably have pieces from all periods. Choosing to purchase antiques is making a choice to purchase not only pieces of history but that generally are more elegant , unique, and a far better investment for the future.
Realizing that in owning an antique store is owning the Mecca. We set out to prove to ourselves and our customers that they can actually remodel a kitchen using quality, sturdy antique furniture from our own store and get a designer look while on a budget.

I approached one of our dealers Designer: Kevin Alden Reed a Interior Decorator with a strong backgrounds in both visual merchandising and Interior Design with the challenge of proving that not only can we design a kitchen that does not require us to purchase more than 10% of the project and what is not recycled, reused, or repurposed needs to be acquired from sources that don't cause us to use up more of our resources like Habitat Restore, GoodWill or use old construction materials. And by Saturday January 29th we will rock your world. 

Here is where we started:

Flooring purchased at Habitat Restore
Installed by our own in-house Carpenter/Handyman Joey

 A part of me would love to let everyone see the new room but... the After Photo's will have everyone drooling

The main reason we decided to design a kitchen as our first project was the fact that a few years ago I came across a picker who had an absolutely amazing stove and double oven made by Heartland  that I purchased but never used.  It has been in my husbands warehouse for a few years.  As it clearly met the criteria of this project "Re-Use" which is part of our mantra of using all the R's which are 

The only piece in the Antique Mall I asked Kevin to use was this one.  Everything else has been his concept.  All I can say is I am back in love with my stove and oven and I still have no place to put it.