A Crime Against Vintage

To rehab or not to rehab?  That is the question.  Are you a purist or a functionalist?  Or somewhere in between?  Most antique appraisers will tell you that refinishing or otherwise altering an antique greatly decreases its value – but what about a vintage item that isn’t worth a ton to begin with?  Is it ok to shine it up a bit?  Reupholster?  Refinish?  Paint?

I have certainly done my share of recovering, painting, and making alterations to vintage items.  However.  I had a hair-raising experience last week and wanted to throw it out there and see how my lovely readers feel.  I had a gorgeous set of 50s barstools in my shop.  Perfect condition.  Hard to find.  Wanna see them?  Here they are:

Aren’t they purty?  Here’s the sad part.  A design show came in and bought them, and I overheard them  say they were going to recover them.  My heart dropped.  I felt nauseous.  I couldn’t refuse to sell them because they were already filming and they had already been paid for.  Is it just me or is this a crime against vintage?

I know, I know.  I sell things.  I sell things to people who will then own those things and can do whatever they like with said things.  I do not get to do a home visit and check references beforehand.  But it still hurts my heart.  When is it ok to alter an item and when is it not?  For me, if an item is in fantastic shape, I feel a responsibility to preserve it.  If not, free game.  What do you think?

In other news, I’ve got Christmas on the brain!  I got out all the Christmas odds and ends I’ve been collecting at estate sales all year and organized them in order to begin making ornament wreaths.

Isn’t it a glorious sight?  Piles of knee-hugging elves and indent ornaments – what could be more lovely?  And yes, I realize I plan to alter all these things by hot gluing them to tinsel garland wreaths.  I am a dirty rotten hypocrite.  Let the judging begin!


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