Friday, November 8, 2019

Our Town did something: Pandemonium and mayhem will ensue !

Our town "did something" this week...it elected a 28 year old Republican as Mayor and in the only contested city council race, chose a 19 year old Republican for city council.

In less than two minutes after this earth shattering event, and my messenger and my email began filling up with people in a panic..."What does this mean? How could they do this? They elected a kid? We are doomed!!!" Now to be fair most of those people are the same people who don't understand bike lanes either.

Everyone was looking for "meaning". I had a feeling this could happen and had told several people this was possible, although I try to avoid politics as much as possible, don't ever endorse people because I am communication director for Logansport Landmarks, but there was some handwriting on the wall.

The reason? Well there were many. Low voter turnout ( a lot of people are burnt out from the 24/7 political cycle our country is in). This was not considered an "controversial election", there were no big policy issues here. It is hard to tell the difference from the typical Republican or Democrat in this town...typically moderate to conservative, common sense people on either side of the aisle. People will also tell you our soon to be former mayor, Dave Kitchell is a great guy who really cares about his community and has accomplished  a lot  in his four years, He has done a good job,  and I have worked with him on preservation issues and found him to be very responsive. ...however I think the reason for this change is the changing demographic in our community and the people who see Logansport's future,  rather than clinging to its past.

Since 2014 when we moved our home and business here from Indy, MUCH, has changed in Logansport. Our Midtown neighborhood  now has few vacant homes, new ones being built on vacant lots and property values have close to doubled. City wide real estate grew at over 30 percent this year. and of course last year, Logansport was named the number 1 small city you'd actually like to live in....in the United States! by realtor.com . Our business continues to grow and we have had visitors from 40 states now.

But a lot more is going on since we opened. The downtown has two coffee houses downtown. Black Dog Coffee and Intersection  Coffee Shop. Both draw a new crowd, young and old, who "see possibilities" in the downtown.

The Record Farm has become a regional icon among collectors and aficionados of vinyl bringing people in from all over

Air B&B has come to Logansport with several air b&b operations ranging in style from Period traditional to urban loft offerings.

The State Theatre draws crows from far and wide with an eclectic offering of music.

In short, the demographic and perhaps expectations of Logansport are changing. People are moving here from Indy , Chicago, Carmel, Fishers and Westfield. I recently met someone who moved to Logansport , from San Francisco, and loves it here. There are more people here living here now who never hung out at our now dead mall on the east end, never road the railroad, and they don't wax eloquent bout the good ole days downtown, because they are too busy enjoying today and think Logansport, and our downtown, is coming along just fine.

So am I concerned about a young mayor? Yes and no. I understand there will be a learning curve. Most 28 year old's don't probably know that a police car cost 70 grand or a firetruck can run a million, but the fact is that the city council is the primary decision maker of the city. The mayor is basically the ambassador or cheerleader for the city, and hopefully our new mayor may be able to throw a lot of energy into that mix. Time will tell but I'm optimistic. If nothing else we have shed the image of politics as usual and perhaps this is a new beginning and a great start as the city grows and expands.

At a time when the "old guard" is still complaining about bike lanes and waiting for the 'magic factory' that will give everyone without a high school diploma some high paying job...maybe, just maybe...things are changing and a new "brand" for Logansport may occur. A city looking forward, not backwards and not afraid to 'take a risk' to make this city better.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Extreme chair makeover: An Aesthetic Movement style folding chair.

We all have one, or two , or several of these sitting in a closet or garage. The turn of the century wooden folding chair. They are simple and sturdy but frankly not much to look at . BUT, they don't look good in our Victorian homes when we have to used them when company comes over.

So the question for me had always been what to do and we decided to see if it was possible to 'restyle' one of these in a way that make it more compatible in a period home.

So we took some paisley fabric, some cotton batting and some 5 inch fringe and ....a poor mans Hunzinger chair. As you can see from the before and after below, its a simple, but amazing transformation.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Pottier & Stymus Parlor Set: A Fabulous Find!

August Pottier and  William Pottier established  a partnership in 1859 On Broadway in NYC. By 1875 The firm of Pottier & Stymus has established itself as one of the premier furniture designers and decorators in the US and generated over 1.1 Million Dollars in Sales and astounding figure in the Victorian Era for a furniture firm. They employed over 700 men and 50 women and manufactured what is considered to be the most desirable of furniture in the Victorian era. Their designed graced some of the finest homes in the United States including the white house

However given their popularity with the wealth class and the prodigious amount of high end furniture they produced, Little of it is around today. As tastes changed , pieces were tossed to the curb,  sold off to second hand stores or given away to the hired help. Fast forward 150 years and  it extremely rare to find individual pieces much less a parlor set.

But that's what we do FIND the hard to find and in our showroom , right now, is a three piece Pottier & Stymus parlor set.  This set had somehow made it was to the Midwest and the Chicago area.

We estimate it was upholstered in last in the 1970's. In a  lovely rust  banding with a small pattern center upholstery, it is done to follow the original upholstery in terms of its design, Other than exhibiting some sun fade it appears to have been rarely , if ever, sat in.

The lovely black walnut frame is executed with incised designs with gilt accents.

We are quite honored to offer this three piece parlor set in our showroom.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Shop tour May: A look around

I took some photos of the shop the other day. It has taken time but we are getting the 'balance' we wanted. It hard being an actual antique store.

Well if you have hall tree you need a hat to put on it.
An exceptional early Victorian Circa 1896 Chandelier
Balance and colors
Tablescaping supplies
Lovely Butternut (white walnut) Revival chair we re-upholstered
We carry a lot of period tassels and fabrics
One of our antique framed gravures

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Antique of the week: 1875 Aesthetic bed

We very rarely get beds into the shop. Couple of reasons for this that most have been painted or turned into benches, the other is they take up a lot of real estate in the shop. But I couldn't pass on this one.

American Aesthetic Movement, but a nice clean interpretation of it, gone are the heavy carvings of the Rococo or Renaissance .

The headboard is almost 5 feet (actually 58 inches) but is substantial and would work well with most homes today.

The foot board is 33 inches tall

Executed in walnut it has some nice incised carvings and ornamentation. It comes with side rails and slats.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

The Tour: Off to Morocco in our Victorian Aesthetic Movement Parlor

Some spaces you just have to think about. In this case a small room off the"Garland Parlor".  This room probably functioned as an upstairs office for Mr Burgman and as the family grew it became a bed room. By the time we came along it was painted white and totally devoid of personality.

It  also had some design challenges. The door was to one side which made the room look totally unbalanced and it walled in a very small space in way that made it appear even smaller/ Our solution was to close in the doorway and instead move the doorway to a new centered to the room opening  Originally a single door with transom. in its new configuration at 5 ft wide with Victorian fretwork. Portier rod below with exotic vintage fringed tapestry and curtains, it takes the entrance to a new level and welcomes your entrance to a unique space.

On the wall opposite the fainting sofa we hung a large antique tapestry on the wall which was done in a Terra Cotta color  and brushed and color washed to give it a slightly aged look.


Below that we stretched some old green fabric on a wooden stretcher and sat it on the floor to add another visual layer and placed a vintage ebonized and gilt table topped with a brass Turkish Tea Pot

The window was also an issue as it was not centered. We decided to false drape part of the wall to make it look like one double window with the drape pulled back.


Peacock feathers and a Urn with peacock complete a theme and fill a corner



This Moroccan lantern light adds visual interest in the other corner.

The settee is an aesthetic movement piece. that just happened to work with wall colors perfectly.

 The stained glass window  started out at a regular "farmhouse window" that we replaced with stained glass in colors to match the light fixture stained glass.

The Moorish chandelier and medallion complete the look. We still plan on covering the ceiling with a Turkish style ceiling tile we have on order.

So we went from white box to Moroccan Dream in less than one week

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Re Purpose 101: SteamPunk, Industrial, Boho, Candle holders

Sometimes projects just happen. A regular client of our wanted something different for their restaurant/bar other than the normal the candle holder.

We do upholstery....so we have springs. We also had a huge quantity of vintage  peg style Candle votive's thanks to a friend of ours and an estate clean out.

As you can see, trendy and different. sorta Steampunk, Industrial, Boho, Country Chic Candle holder.

We made extras so they are available in our shop too.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Extreme Chair Makeover: Turkish Parlor Chair

Finding an 'exotic' parlor chair suitable for a Turkish parlor is next to impossible, a pair of high end chairs could set you back 10 grand or more IF you could even find them.

So how do you get "the look" without spending a ton of money? Well with a simple new slipper chair and some imagination. We already had these chairs from staging a house a few years ago and they are study and somewhat comfortable but in their  sold form they are contemporary boring seating. These actually came from Target and at least has a sort of Moroccan upholstery.

This is the chair before and its your typical big box chair that colts together and "instant chair"

Now these chairs sit higher than Victorian era chairs so we elected to cut  2 1-2 inches off the legs
You would not have to do this but we think it makes the chair look more "era authentic" We used a black base fabric that had a slight floral design and has some shine on  it. We doubled this fabric to give it more weight and durability and in this case the black skirt is 7 1/2 inches long. This immediately changes the scale of the chair. At the same time we added fabric to the top which duplicates the style of exotic chairs in the Victorian era.


The black fabric created the backdrop for the 5 inch Gold lace fringe which was applied to the skirt and the top with glue. Although we elected to do some sewing on this project this could be done no sew with hem tape and adhesive.

So there you have it, a Turkish parlor chair for less than 150.00.