Have I have mentioned my love affair with French antiques? So you can imagine how thrilled I was when I stumbled upon the coolest antique shop in Norfolk Va …of all places! I was in Hampton one weekend with my crew from work for a hair show & we had several hours to kill, so someone mentioned we should explore downtown Norfolk….more precisely Ghent. Sounds good to me…I always love to explore new little towns….you never know what your gonna find. Well, this area was so up my alley! One street full of shopping, restaurants, antiques…. It doesn’t get any better! And you can park your car on one end and walk to the other…perfect! Anyhow….my favorite antique shop there is called The Antique Design Center & Michael has a booth in the very back that is brimming with ….none other than…..FRENCH ANTIQUES! That’s right….he actually lives in France part time so he has the inside scoop on where to find the real McCoy. So many companies are reproducing the look now but I’ve always believed in the value of a true antique that will last for generations, and you really can’t beat the patina of wood, or paint, or gilt that has been around for hundreds of years. Ahhhhhh :)
I have a great story on the lovely painted gray sideboard. It’s a Louis XV period piece (ca 1780s) & my heart started going pitter patter as soon as I laid eyes on it! Here is a photo I took in the store.
I had not ever seen a piece ( in person) with so much age & character… I had to have it! ….. Until I noticed the price! Of course period pieces are never cheap….. So I left without it and decided I would try to find something similar for less money. I left my name & number at the desk so in case they could really get the price down….way down. I spent he next 9 months searching for a “replacement” with nothing even coming close to the look of that one. What was worse was that I couldn’t even remember the name of the shop I had seen it in so there was no way to call & find out if it was even still available. Then one day (as fate would have it…& I do believe pieces have a way of finding me) someone from the shop called & asked if I was still interested in the buffet because it had been moved to his other shop in New York & he would bring it back if I wanted it…..ummm YESS!! And so after all that time, I got my sideboard & for a much more affordable price….affordable being relative here….LOL! Then of course…when I went to pick it up… I fell in love with THE CHAIRS….also Louis XV with the original paint & signed Krieger..here we go again! So I ended up having to make another trip down to pick the chairs up…. I told myself I was only gonna get them if all 7 of them fit in the back of my suv….didn’t think they actually would….but they did! Yea….they were meant to be mine :)
This is a picture of my current dining room with my new antique sideboard (more appropriately referred to as an enfilade) & chairs. I will be using these same pieces in my new home…can’t wait!
So, id love to hear from you all….where are some of your favorite shopping sources?
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