10/04/2008

Furniture!!

Shayne and I went to the farmer's market this morning, then decided to stop at Relics.  Relics is an antique shop with somewhat irregular hours, and it seems like every time I want to go there, they're closed.  However, luck was with us today, and they were open (yay!).

The store has been around almost 10 years.  My mom and I used to drive by it occasionaly and think about stopping, but it took us a while to actually go.  When we did, we found that the owner, Paul, was working on fixing up the storefront as well as selling antiques and furniture.  Paul has a background in historic preservation, and I asked if I could help him do some work on the place to learn about how to fix old buildings.  I was about 16 or 17 at the time, but I showed up almost every Saturday afternoon and used 409 cleaner, a dentist's pick, and a toothbrush to clean the paint off of the Frank Lloyd Wright designed glass tiles over the front plate-glass windows (those tiles sell for about $60 each, and there must be at least 200 in the whole shop!).  There was no central heat in the building, and still isn't as far as I know, so we used an old wood/coal stove to keep warm.  I was allowed to explore the old burned-out apartments upstairs, and learned that the building had once been a photography studio.  Even then, I was in heaven...

I eventually had to stop helping Paul out, but I try to stop in every so often to see how things are going.  Paul's partner makes stained glass, and his work now decorates the store as well.  It's unfortunate that the shop is in a shabbier part of town; there was a revitalization effort that started when the shop opened, but it has since fizzled out.  The neighborhood is crap, and filled with abandoned homes and buildings.  It really makes me sad, since there are so many unique and interesting buildings in that area.

Today at Relics, I found what I've been looking for for a long time: an affordable bookshelf with leaded glass doors.  I couldn't take a picture, since there was so much glare on the shop windows, but this photo is very close to what it looks like:
It might even be identical.  I'm not sure that the pattern in the glass is the same, but it's very close, and the feet and curved edges are exactly the same.  I'm so excited!  This is undoubtedly the most expensive piece of furniture I've bought in my life (and still under $600, lol!), and also the most unique.  It will look gorgeous in our living room and really bring in the arts and crafts feel.  It is missing a shelf on the left side, but we can either put large items on the bottom, or have a shelf made.  They have a very simple routed edge that shouldn't be difficult at all to replicate.  The top has some nicks and scratches also, but we'll just put a runner over it.  We couldn't bring it home today, but Shayne's going to get it by next weekend.  I can't wait!!

2 comments:

Lori said...

Lovely.....for the nicks and dings on the top....try Kramer's Best Antique improver....we use it on our finds all the time. It can usually be bought at antique stores......

JLM, Fellow South Bender said...

Fantastic post on one of our favorite stores in the 574! My wife and I are regular customers at Relics, and enjoy the kind company of Paul and Pete as much as we do finding great furniture there (so far a sideboard, mirror, torch lamp, and several smaller artifacts). Best wishes to them and to you! Great blog!