Newbies before and after

Newbies before and after

Townhome living: yes or no? Reading Newbies before and after 3 minutes Next Chic showhouse

We always love receiving a new container of one-of-a-kinds and antiques, but perhaps it’s never more fun than when we’re  doing it with newbies experiencing it for the first time.  That’s what happened this week when two new employees (whom we will introduce you to at another time) were there to help, box cutters in hand, excited with every reveal.

The chaos of unloading a container? Not really! With our great team of workabees and two newbies, this mess got unpacked and cleaned up within three hours – and on the floor just a few hours later!

Seeing it through the eyes of our newbies  made us relive the thrill of the hunt in the first place.  There were lots of oooh’s and aaaah’s as things got unpacked, and almost as many questions:  Where are they from? What are some of our favorites? What’s the history behind them? What were they used for?  How do you find this one?   And (Sam Jones’ favorite question), was this bought before or after lunch?

The answer to Sam’s question is simple:  Our treasures are uncovered often in the dark, at trade-only wholesale fairs that take place a few times a year  very early in the morning, and come with a mad rush, laced with adrenalin and caffeine, that lasts for just two hours.  If you haven’t found your treasure in the first two hours after the gates open, you’re too late.  So to answer our newbies’ questions, here are some before and afters that will take you from “dans son jus” (what the French euphemistically call “in its juice” to define a piece that has never, for better or worse, been altered) to the cleaned up version that you see on the floor of our store.

We loved this table because of its legs – and we knew the bird poop on top would be cleaned up in a jiffy!


Sure enough, a star is born … minus le poop!


These vintage Madeleine Castaing style tables were posing regally for us at the fair, but oh my, were they dusty!


It wasn’t until we got them home that we knew for sure that their tops could be cleaned!


One of our favorite leaps of faith was spotting this 1940’s Italian burled wood bar in the basement of a showroom in Paris.

We thought it would clean up nicely! Sure enough, we’re all gaga over it now!


When we saw this pair of doors stacked behind others in the back of a showroom, we weren’t really sure what they looked like from top to bottom.

Unpacking them this week, we heaved a huge sigh of relief: Perfection!


Ditto for this pair of Trumeaux which we bought without seeing them from top to bottom.


And same for this chest: We weren’t tall enough to see the top. Was it marble? Painted wood? Did it have a big hole or scratch? We loved it and took our chances.


And it paid off! The top is a beautiful old marble, with a great patina that is original to the piece.


We weren’t so lucky with this piece, which came with a broken leg and got sent straight to the “hospital” for wounded furniture.


One of our favorites was this gateleg table which was so covered in dust that we weren’t sure what it really looked like beneath the white layers.


Luckily for us, the finish was beautiful, and all it needed was a major dusting to uncover its gorgeous patina!


Another favorite was this funny little commode with 18 drawers. When we bought it,, it was sealed shut on the corners and we couldn’t open the drawers.


But when we unpacked it and found the key, we opened every drawer and marveled at its beauty and originality!


And what about that horse that Meg and I were fighting over? Well it got a lot of attention too … and we may be fighting over it for a long time!


The A team – they got it done in just two hours!

So it was fun reliving our container through the eyes of our newbies and telling them the stories behind each piece as it came off the container.  We always love to see all of our employees’ reactions and appreciate their support and excitement as each piece is unveiled and questions are asked.  Of course we sprinkle our stories with embellishments of all the hard work, waking up at the crack of dawn when we’ve barely had any sleep,  digging through snow, plowing through wet fields covered in so many layers we can barely walk with sniffing noses and rain soaked clothes.

We show them lots of pictures like this …


… and not so many of these!

Ta ta,


P.S.  We can’t wait for you to meet our newest arrivals — the goodies we brought off the container and the newbies we have working at the store!

1 comment



Do you still have the dog tables? If so may one be purchased, price, and dimensions, please.


Do you still have the dog tables? If so may one be purchased, price, and dimensions, please.


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