CAROLINE WEST (photo courtesy of JASON REUSCH PHOTOGRAPHY)
Q: if money was no object, what antique or collectible would you buy right now?
A: I would drive down to Palm Beach, Florida in a huge truck and buy up tons of vintage pieces! Such as: faux bamboo Chippendale chairs, Hollywood Regency mirrors, vintage fretwork furniture, Asian-inspired tables, and a little French provincial mixed in there!
Q: What is the most gorgeous antique you ever saw, in a private collection, or even a museum?
A: Anything of meaning to my family, such as the antique iron bed that I used growing up (and have in a guest room now), which was my grandmother's. In addition, there’s my other grandmother's sterling silver flatware, which I inherited. Those items to me are the most gorgeous pieces because they mean so much to me!
Q: What sells the best in your booth?
A: My vintage furniture pieces that have been re-finished, my small vintage finds, and many of my new items, like the oyster shell votive holders, mirrors, and shell trays.
Q: What is the most interesting story you know about any of the antiques you have ever had, or even a compelling story you know about an antique you don’t own?
A: My breakfast room table and chairs (that I still use and look great) were actually vintage finds by my mother when I was moving into my first apartment around 10 years ago. She sanded and painted them a clean white and re-upholstered the chairs – and even after 5 moves and 10 years they still look great and have stood the test of time from a style standpoint too! Remembering her doing this for me, and seeing how I have loved those pieces over the years, was the main reason for starting my business with re-finishing vintage pieces in this way.
Q: What antique trend do you love right now?
A: I love the “nod” to the 1960s and ‘70s that is being mixed into today's decor. I think this trend is freshening up some interiors and making them not as serious. This is one reason I like the vintage faux bamboo mirrors and pieces of furniture (especially when painted). They give a feeling of Palm Beach in the 1960s and ‘70s – a little of that in every room just freshens the space up!
Q: What genre of antiques do you have as a collection? Is there a genre of antiques or collectibles you would like to collect in the future?
A: Faux bamboo, Asian-inspired, French Provincial and Hollywood Regency from the 1960s and '70s are what I love to collect!
Q: What era or sort of antiques do you not like? Why?
A: I am a huge believer in buying things that you like and using items that mean a lot to you (like items that you have inherited), and making them all work together in a home. The most important factor is that the piece means something to you – either you love it when you see it, or you love it because it has belonged to your family.
Q: Are antiques a good investment? Why or why not?
A: If you love it, it is a good investment. Don't buy it just because it is an antique, or just because you think it is valuable (but really aren't enamored by it), or just because someone says you should like it. Buy a piece because you want it and love it; your feelings about the piece are what means the most!
Q: Have you ever repurposed or “up-cycled” an antique item, or used an item in a fresh way?
A: All the time!!! I buy vintage pieces that need to be re-finished (and are not considered "antique"), and I have them professionally re-finished in a semi-gloss white or professionally re-upholstered (in the case of a chair). I don't distress or use faux finishes, as I usually buy the piece of furniture because it has great lines; I feel that a clean, white finish makes the lines of the piece pop and also updates it for today's decor. You can also mix it in with many other styles and colors of furniture, since a clean white look goes with almost anything!