If I had to describe myself with one word it would be artist - a visual artist and an artist with words. My artwork is included in Ohio Online Visual Arts Registry. I'm working with various galleries in the Midwest to promote my oil paintings and abstract light photography.

 

Inspirations for Home Design

 

Design Investments: Shopping for Antiques

 

Image:  When I spotted this cabinet in an antique store I was fascinated by the shelving.  I have a large collection of large books, mainly atlases, and the cabinet offered me a way to store them horizontally.  The top however, was a thin piece of wood with no interest and an ugly edge.  I measured the top and realized that a 24″x24″ granite tile would hang over but also expand the top surface.  It was a steal at $75; fit into my vehicle; and the granite tile from The Tile Shop only cost about $25 so the total cost was around $100 – well within the budget I had set.

© Becky Linhardt 2010

 Shopping for antiques can be like shopping for a car – you often buy because of an emotional reaction, a feeling.  That is a good thing.  You should really love the piece you are buying because you are planning to live with it for a long time.  However, before you go antiquing you should prepare in advance and give yourself plenty of time to find the perfect piece.

Preparing a list of measurements

One of my antiquing buddies has a list in her purse at all times of the things she could use and a list of spaces she has available.  I always carry a mini (8’) tape measure in my purse.  It is easy to remember that you have mostly dark or light furniture in a room but it is equally important to remember that you have only a 3’ space along a wall or that the window sill is only 25” from the floor and any cabinet would need to be low also.

Tight squeezes

List your ceiling heights but also remember to check the height and width of the doorways that the furniture will need to pass through.  Some antique furniture can be partially disassembled to move but many pieces can not.  If you can not fit the item in your vehicle or a friend’s truck, you will need to factor in the cost of having it delivered.

Evaluating

So how do you know you are getting a good price?  Research.  If you are buying an investment piece costing over $10,000 the research is critical and you need to seek a reputable dealer and ask lots of questions.  Same if you decide you want to start collecting something like pottery or glassware.  Consider taking a digital camera so that you can photograph an item you might want to research or to think about for awhile.

Value

If you find a side table for $100, the value is set by questions you ask yourself.  Do I really love this piece?  How many years do I think I will keep it and can I reuse it in other ways?  The last question I ask myself is – would I pay this much for a new chair, table, bookcase, etc.?  If I was willing to pay $250 for a side table and I find a $175 antique that I love and it fits my needs, then the $175 cost is a bargain.

Bargaining

Don’t be afraid to ask if the price listed is the best price. Dealers have an idea in their head of how much they need to get for a piece and may negotiate.  At antique malls they will often have the owner’s permission to discount to a certain point or they will call the dealer.  Also, many dealers will give a discount for cash or check purchases because they avoid the charge card costs.

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        As a travel writer it is my responsibility to select the best places, events, and experiences to present to you. Most travel has been on my own though some has occurred on sponsored press trips. Travel listings here will be more informal than my published articles.

 

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