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About Me

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My name is Gerrie Wydeven doing-business-as Wydeven Designs. I have been conducting this small GREEN business since 2004. Wydeven Designs, based in the Atlanta, Georgia area, sells CHAIRS, LOVESEATS, CHAISES, SETTEES and other fine, well-constructed refurbished upholstered pieces. I love to travel, cook, take photographs and generally follow style and decor topics as well!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Weekend Estate and Garage Sales - Oh So Tempting!

I usually only travel to far-out locations on Thursdays as was the case with this Marietta sale. The sale was well organized which I like. The French style cane chairs were very nice ($225 each) but not reasonable enough for me to buy and this sale was too far out for me to return or leave a bid. I did like the wooden horse - my dad used to carve horses like this as a hobby and I have one of his horses in my home.
Several of you have told me you like to see how my weekend(s) of sales go (living vicariously in some cases) - so here is a posting about this weekend's sales. Of course, my weekend starts as early as Thursday - quite a few of the estate sale organizers offer a "preview" day on Thursday. It is usually best to be there early and on the first day. You can always return later to see if that favorite piece is still available and for a better price or, in most cases, leave a bid for the amount you are willing to pay. I seldom return later unless it is convenient (e.g., in the Buckhead or Brookhaven areas which are my favorite haunts all days of the long selling weekend) or if there is something my Saturday sales partner, Ouida, might like since she is currently redecorating her living room.

Another Thursday sale although this one was a little closer to my house. I would have bid on three pieces shown here (chaise at $199, chair at $120 and settee at $150) but have so much inventory that these just did not tempt me enough.
I am still experiencing inventory and storage challenges, so have determined not to buy something to refurbish/sell unless I just can't walk away from it. There were nice pieces I would have considered at some of these sales - at least at a reduced price from asking - but they didn't excite me enough to add to my stock.

One of the Friday sales was on Riverview Drive in Buckhead in the lower level. There were several nice looking chairs but not at a price I was willing to pay. 
OK - now I am in trouble. This FABULOUS HOUSE on Tuxedo Road near Chastain Park in Buckhead was the locaiton of a sale in the four-car garage area. The owner and her decorator were handling the sale which had some very nice pieces that were being discarded because they did not fit into the decor of the new home. One of those items was this wonderful linen velvet bergere chair and a half in great condition. The owner told me she had had it redone by an exclusive shop in Buckhead less than a year earlier and placed it in a hallway - not really used.  I got it for a good price and am selling "as is".  Actually, it fits beautifully in my (red Chinese rug) living room - it may be hard to let go!
The location of this Saturday sale was the most exciting part. It is a horse farm that had been occupied by the current family for over 30 years in the heart of Buckhead. I cannot imagine how much this land is worth. The contents were old and tired and we thought the family may have been hoarders. 
One of our favorite sales was this artists. She is moving onto other artistic endeavors and is selling most of her stock at 10-20%  or less from previous prices. Ouida bought Isadora Duncan - a recycled sweater "creature" and I bought some jewelry. I would have liked to buy more of her charming creations for my granddaughters but they have so much stuff already, I just wasn't sure after carrying around several including the black and white guy in the top row and the orange bow-tied guy at the bottom. I know I will regret not buying some of these items.
This was another well organized sale. I was weak by this time and couldn't resist buying the two ottomans at the bottom for $45. I plan to redo wooden legs and replace fabric. I like them well enough that I would love to add to my lower level furnishings but I think I may be overdoing that already.
It was a great weekend for sales - looking forward to next weekend although the 4th of July will probably result in fewer sales!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Making a Striped Fabric Decision

Settee in need of refurbishing - I had a hard time deciding what to do with it!
Usually when buying well-constructed upholstered furniture for a redo, I know the fabric and the wood finish color (if part of the refurbishing project) I will use before I get the piece home. I have 100's of fabrics and at least eight Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (ASCP) finishes to choose from so the coordination of these two critical design elements is fairly easy. Sometimes, however, I cannot make up my mind and I go through the angst of revisiting each choice I've make dozens of times. This is one of those occasions.

I picked up the nice settee above about three weeks ago thinking it would only need fabric but discovered that the woodwork was in pretty rough shape so it would need redoing as well. Of course, the fabric and finish need to work together so that started an effort to coordinate various fabric and finish looks. I had almost decided when I picked up a nice linen with velvet stripe fabric. For some reason, I got nervous about the idea of stripes on this piece even though I have used stripes extensively over the years - just not on wider pieces like this one. So, I plugged in "stripes on sofas and loveseats" to see internet images of striped pieces and also checked out various "decorating with stripes" articles just to get a better feeling for the look.

Here are some of the affirming images I saw and advice given on using stripes in home decor.

First of all, a push against conventional wisdom:
You know how designers and books and magazines always encourage you to buy the bigger pieces of furniture in a solid neutral color so they’ll last forever in case you change design styles?  Sometimes it’s good to fly in the face of convention.  link to full article
As well as an article about coordinating with stripes:
As prints go, stripes are relatively simple which makes them a great candidate for combining with other less versatile prints. For instance, florals or paisleys could be a lot of fun.  Use a striped blanket with floral pillows or a striped couch with a floral throw piece.  link to full article
So, then I looked at images (all of which are available on my pinterest board with some original source data - link.

How great are these (see source information above). I was particularly enlightened (and inspired) by the last piece since my fabric is a blue and cream stripe and I plan to use "old white" ASCP to refinish the woodwork - what a stunning piece!

So, at some future point, I will be showing the finished product - but here is the before preview - what do you think?

Stripe I plan to use on this piece - the woodwork will be redone in ASCP "Old White" which should blend nicely with the linen background. Now, I am enthusiastic to start the project!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Weekend Estate and Garage Sales Adventures and Buys

The housing market is really heating up in Atlanta and lot of the sales, like this one in nearby Sandy Springs, are moving sales. This house had some wonderful items and I was tempted by the love seat (they wanted $200 so I would definitely have had to bargain - most I would have paid is $100). I am, however, suffering from too much inventory, slow sales and limited storage space. A larger piece like a love seat just doesn't fit into my current plans.
The weather was great in the greater Atlanta area for garage and estate sale shopping so I headed out Thursday, Friday and Saturday mornings with lots of destinations. The trick, as any experienced "saler" knows, is to be the first at the best sales. Since there are usually quite a few and I check out a fairly large geographic area, this is definitely a hit or miss proposition. I am also working under a self-imposed "do not overbuy" requirement since my storage spaces are bursting at the seams.

I found interesting sales on all three days but Saturday was definitely the best. With my regular Saturday partner Ouida along, we found some wonderful sales and each of us bought some items we love.

This Dunwoody sale (another moving sale) was limited but had some decently priced pieces that would have been great for someone starting out.
This sale in a large golf-course community on the river, was held in a huge house with four stories of stuff. The house itself and the grounds were the most interesting elements of the sale - not that much tempting inside.
The moving sale at this beautiful home was the only one I remembered to photograph on Saturday (I easily get distracted). I bought the great oil (24X48) and Ouida bought two lovely lamps for her living room which she is furnishing almost exclusively with our estate and garage sale finds! 
OK - I didn't totally walk away from all potential purchases. I bought this set on Thursday for $135 for the pair. They are heavy and solidly made. I will be redoing the woodwork (Annie Sloan Chalk Paint) and haven't yet decided on fabric - either a blue and yellow toile or blue and white woven check - what would YOU recommend???
Well, I do love a good weekend of sales and this one was great! Now I need to head into my workroom (aka garage) to get this and other furniture ready for reupholstering. My husband would like to get his car back in the garage!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Turquoise or Aqua - Is There a Difference?

Turquoise Settee - see my pinterest board
I have a lovely set of turquoise and cream checked compact wingback chairs for sale (Etsy and eBay) and a customer wrote to ask whether they were more turquoise or aqua.  I had thought teal or even duck egg blue were also in the running for similar colors but did not know how to respond to her question. I looked up definitions and examples:
Turquoise is the name of a bluish green color, based on the gem of the same name. The word turquoise comes from the French for Turkish, as the gem was originally imported from Turkey. The first recorded use of turquoise as a color name in English was in 1573. source
I also asked the question:  What is the difference between turquoise and aqua and found several answers including this one:
 Many people have the idea that aqua and turquoise are the same color because the hue of both is so similar. In fact they are so much alike that it is difficult to be able to tell them apart. They both belong to the color spectrum group that is called cyan spectrum. There are three colors in this group – aqua, turquoise and aquamarine. All three have traces of blue and green that make them hard to differentiate between them. link
I thought I was getting closer until I asked for images of turquoise - both the color and decorated settings - and found the spectrum ran from very greenish to very bluish.

So now I am even less certain about how to answer the question about my chairs - the range is great and I love every hue of this color.

Here is an image from my pinterest board juxtaposed with the chairs in question - my TURQUOISE wingback chairs!

What do you think about this color group and how would you describe the difference? Regardless of the name (... a rose by any other name would smell as sweet ...), it is a great color and goes with so many other colors both those in the same blue - green family and others dramatically different.
Just one color palette with great color combinations!  
In part two of this posting series, I will discuss decorating with turquoise (or aqua, or teal, or duck egg blue)!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Life's a Beach - Family Trip to Hilton Head Island

We just returned from a great week at the beach with family. We rented a house on Hilton Head Island in Palmetto Dunes Plantation using Vacation Rentals by Owner (VRBO - link) and were thrilled with the house and surroundings. The weather was hot and steamy (typical) and we had one good sized summer storm. We did have a pool at the house which was liberally used. This is a quick return from vacation posting with some pictorial highlights.
A good place to start is the Coastal Discovery Center which includes a museum and art gallery and a nice walk through the grounds - link
An off-island trip to Beaufort, SC, is a must - we highly recommend a horse-drawn carriage tour of the historic district.
A visit to the lighthouse and Salty Dog Cafe in Sea Pines Plantation is a must for first-time visitors!
Another great off-island trip is to Daufuskie Island via ferry and golf cart - quiet and serene.
Shelter Cove Marina has restaurants and shops and, this evening, children's entertainment.
I was able to drag my husband to this design center - I have a VERY hard time staying away from these type of shops.
Sunrise on Hilton Head Island - my husband's photo!
So, this should have convinced you to make this trip - it is lovely and worth multiple returns!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Color Trends - Are We Finally Ready for Tangerine?

Images of "tangerine" and orange design are easy to find - link to my pinterest board with orange images and sources.
Pantone link to site, the go-to color experts, declared Tangerine Tango the 2012 Color of the Year which I dutifully reported well over a year ago (their 2013 Color of the Year is Emerald - see my posting in December of 2012). I think we know if takes a while for colors to take off - more time than needed by those predicting the trend. I am starting to see a lot of Tangerine (Orange, Coral) in home decor and clothing. Ann Taylor just announced their "Orange Crush" collection for summer.
Ann Taylor

In home decorating magazines, blogs, websites and even JCPenney brochures, the color is ubiquitous. It goes well with so many other hot colors such as neutrals and taupes as well as more serene colors like mint and citron.

I had two polka-dot orange chairs (dubbed my Dorothy Chairs) several years ago and one sold immediately to a client who was using it to decorate her daughters room. The other one languished for over a year before I donated it to a local charitable auction (where I understand it sold immediately). Because of this experience, I have been cautious about fully embracing this color when refurbishing my fine furniture. While Pantone was saying "yes", my customers seemed to be seeing "no" or "maybe".

Well, I took the plunge again with a tangerine zebra stripe wingback chair that is part of my "Estate Collection" - these are the pieces that I find that are in perfect or near-perfect condition and do not need anything to improve their appearance. I sell these at a lower price than my refurbished pieces which makes them a good deal for buyers and allows me to make my usual modest profit.

Here are some wonderful tangerine images ending with my chair - let's see how it does in today's marketplace!

Love this "pop of color" look from House Beautiful - link to my pinterest board 
Just like something I would do - love the light woodwork with this vibrant chair -  see link above. 
This coral is a little more subdued but looks very crisp with all the whites - see link above.
Another great chair - see link above. 
Love this look! 
Nicely paired with citron green - see link above!
There's a lot of orange - not sure about the green - see link above.
Here's my chair - I'll see how well it does!
Well, it seems the predictors were a little off in their timing and it certainly looks like Tangerine Tango is taking center stage.  What do you think of this color?

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Hills and Other Challenges - You have to love it!

I have known for some time that I will travel a long distance and endure physical challenges (within reason) to follow my heart to an estate sale or a "I have to have it" buy when pursuing that next great refurbishing project. At the same time, I will often change a recipe rather than travel by car 1.5 miles to buy a missing ingredient at the nearest store. It's hard to explain, but that's the way it is.

Near bottom of driveway off the road ...
This weekends sales amply demonstrated this truism. I traveled to a sale on Wieuca Drive in Buckhead - not that far - but it has a mixture of great mansions and falling apart older properties sometimes buried in the woods. A sale was being held at one of the latter and despite the fact that you couldn't see the house from the road and the uphill driveway looked unstable and steep, I took off.

Walking up the hill ...

Near the top ...
It is hard to see the steepness but I was out of breath when I reached the top.  The house was clearly marked for demolition and it was packed. It looked like no-one could have lived here for decades but the people handling the sale assured me that the lady who owns the property left that morning.
The house was packed with dolls, doll accessories, "art", books, etc, etc, etc - a hoarder's paradise!
Purchase - one of two - this will be a feature of a before and after project
I wandered around the property and was ready to leave and descent the hill when I spied two old but durable chairs that spoke to me - $15 each!  I told the sales woman that I had a predicament. I liked the chairs and would like to buy them but I didn't want to drive to the property and didn't want to carry them one at a time off to my car which seemed miles away. She found a young man who was willing for a tip to carry them to my car in his rickety truck. We made the deal for $10 and soon the chairs were loaded and I got a ride back to  my car as a package deal. Nice!

I went on to my next sale and guess what, another tree-line old lane and a house off at a distance - neither as far nor as steep.  Off I went!

Next sale - Davis Road in North Buckhead

Reaching my destination!
This was a "moving" sale and the owner had never had a sale before. She had also inherited old pieces from elderly family. She just wanted someone to take them off of her hands.  I ended up buying two sets of club chairs and ottoman (rocker/swivel made by Century Furniture) for $5 (yes) a set and a chaise lounge for another $5. Other than those pieces that I've gotten free over the years, these have to be my best prices for the past 8-9 years.

I am thinking of doing this piece in a small blue print by Waverly.
I am thinking of doing these in a cream on cream damask with linen same color piping - should be wonderful!
Unfortunately, I already had a few things in my van and couldn't load these - we had to return today for a pickup!

So ... I got some great buys and had some nice adventures. You really wouldn't do this if you didn't love it!