I remember reading over the last several years that antiques was a waning market. The older generation needed to get rid of items as they downsized and the younger generation didn’t seem to care. Many of my clients have asked what to do with their quality items—everything from tailored men’s suits to proper antique furnishings as well as once-coveted household items such as china, crystal, silver and the like. We get these questions so frequently that we even have a standard email we send out with our best advice on how to rid yourself of old items—no matter what the value. Below is our standard response, followed by tips for selecting antiques.
It is our mission at Pamela Hope Designs to assist in beautifying and updating your homes and commercial spaces. Every day, we help clients downsize, renovate and/or update their style.
We are frequently asked what to do with unwanted or unneeded items such as art and furniture. We suggest donating items that are outdated or of little value to an appropriate charity of your choice. Another person might really need that twin bed that no longer fits your 6’4” son! We also find that some of the people you may already know, such as housekeepers, gardeners or handymen, might be able to use your items or will know someone who does.
For middle market items such as children’s furniture, outdoor furniture, fitness equipment and items from popular stores like Pottery Barn or Star Furniture, we have found that the neighborhood marketplaces on social media can be quite effective. You will have to put some effort into photographing and logging your items and keeping up with offers. You may also have to allow people to come to your home or office. Remember to price to sell because checking Facebook Marketplace numerous times a day can get tedious.
If you have items of high value or are currently in demand, consignment shops offer you a way to rid yourselves of those in a convenient fashion and perhaps make a dollar or two along the way. You may need to send photographs, receive approval and make arrangements to deliver large items. Smaller items can be dropped off according to the guidelines of the various stores.
Here are our favorite consignment shops around Houston:
The Guild Shop is located at 2009 Dunlavy Street, Houston, Texas 77006. For more information on The Guild Shop, visit their website, www.theguildshop.org or give them a call at 713-528-5095. (This is Pamela’s favorite where she shops, donates and consigns regularly.)
Designers Furniture Exchange is located at 5701 Richmond Ave, Houston, Texas 77057. For more information on Designers Furniture Exchange, visit their website at www.designersfurnitureexchange.com or give them a call at 713-781-9394. (Pamela has bought numerous pieces from this shop for herself and clients.)
MAI is located in the Houston Design Center at 7026 Old Katy Road, #166B, Houston, Texas 77024. They have a small but well curated space specifically for consignment. Visit their web page at https://maihouston.com/ or call them at 713-461-2057. (Pamela loves this fabulous collection of small dealers, shops there frequently and seldom leaves empty-handed!)
Eudybelles is located at 3434 FM 1092, Missouri City, Texas 77459. For more information on Eudybelles, visit their website www.eudybelles.com or give them a call at 281-969-8461. (This is a new resource. We have not vetted it yet but liked their proactive approach.)
It feels good to let go of things that no longer bring you joy or serve a purpose. Let those things bring joy to someone else!
In addition to my frequent donations and consignments at The Guild Shop, I recently took an out-of-town guest to various thrift stores around town as per her request. I was blown away by The Blue Bird Circle Shop! I had been there once or twice while in college. We had been visiting the Menil to see the Niki de Saint Phalle exhibit, so this shop just popped into my mind and we dropped in. It is so neat, clean and spacious. It seriously felt more like a boutique than a resale shop. I didn’t have time to peruse the art and household goods, but from across the store they looked great and I saw a pair of paintings I really admired. The prices were fabulous and the service was as well. I highly recommend shopping, donating and consigning here too!
So, the good news about antiques is that there are plenty of them and plenty of places to find them. One of my favorite ways to spend a day is to visit a historic town and hit a few antique stores after morning tours and lunch. We have many charming parts of Houston that are full of antique stores and co-ops close to home too.
Even better news about antiques is that you can buy them today and take them home. No 32-week wait for a dining table that arrives damaged when you get it. With the attractive pricing of most vintage pieces, you can easily afford to repair, reupholster or refinish a piece. We have talented artisans who do this for us every day.
This lovely dining room table and chair set was bought at a high-end consignment furniture shop. It was a very expensive brand and just looked a bit dated. Since it was going into a very traditional dining room, the style worked fine. We just wanted to freshen it up. We had it stripped and restained, and then we reupholstered the chairs. They looked absolutely perfect for a fraction of what a new set would have cost from this same manufacturer.
Some projects are even DIY-able or can be a hybrid. For example, in my early 20s, I bought a little, single nightstand on lower Westheimer. All I did was polish it and buy two new knobs. I used it in my room in an apartment and then in a guest room when I moved into a home. A few years later I visited a store I adore, MacKenzie-Childs in Manhattan. It was at Christmas—the very best time of year to go! Of course, I had to buy something, so I bought a few holiday trinkets and two fantastic drawer knobs (shown at right). I used them on the old nightstand to freshen it up. At that point, it was a printer stand in my office, so I got to see those gorgeous hand-painted china knobs every day.
Fast forward to 2016 and I had the same piece painted a bright coral color (Sherwin-Williams Charisma 6605) and put it in my upstairs sitting room. The MacKenzie-Childs knobs stayed and looked really cool with the coral paint. Just think how much use I have gotten out of my bargain nightstand I bought 30-something years ago.
That brings me to the very best part of buying antiques or vintage pieces. You are reusing something wisely and repurposing it for years to come. It’s no wonder that antiques are back. I am such a fan. Adding some uniquely found treasures to your home is a sure-fire way to make it yours.
Do you have a favorite find or beloved family heirloom? Let us know in the comments below!
Until next time, find your inspiration, or call us and we’ll help you find it!