Knowing the story or provenance of a vintage piece is part of the appeal of owning the item! Whether it is a set of dishes, a beautiful linen tablecloth or a handsome piece of furniture, knowing where it came from and the road it traveled prior to arriving in your home is important. Too often the story is lost and not shared between generations of owners and therefore the value and significance of the piece is not appreciated. In my shop, we share stories and invite the customer to have a glimpse into the previous life of a piece because we believe it is important and significant, and simply fun too!
Some of my favorite stories are derived when a piece comes in to consign and the individual can tell me their memory of the item and how it was used in their family home. Chairs always seem to stand out with me as having a fabulous story. I recall several sweet stories about chairs, and one in particular was with a simple dining room chair. It was a chair with a caned seat that looked like so many other chairs from the early 1900’s. But the story was magical which made this piece sing of its heritage! The man who inherited the chair told me it used to sit in the corner of the dining room at his grandparents’ house. When he would visit, his grandmother would pull out this chair and prop a pillow on it in order for him to reach the table, which made him feel like a grown up seated at the family table! Other times if there were garden vegetables that needed cleaning, his grandmother would carry “the chair” onto the porch so he could help! When it was too hot to eat inside, his special chair would be taken out under the trees and he would once again feel all grown up! He recalled the love that was represented in the chair. After hearing his story the simple chair took on a new level of meaning that touched my heart!
The joy of being surrounded by furniture and home goods that have age, patina and soul is in the stories that come with each piece. I enjoy hearing the stories and passing them along to the new owner. As we come together with family gatherings this season, perhaps you will want to take a moment and ask about the stories behind some of your own family pieces. You just may hear some amazing tales!
All the best,
Colette, Shop Girl
Owner, The shops at Station 8