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Monday, August 22, 2016

Brown Furniture Plague

Week after week I am faced with selling entire contents of homes filled with "brown furniture".  I start by educating my client about the decrease in value of nearly 50% in the past 10 years of their quality name brand pieces.  Pinterest and Youtube are full of ideas for repurposing, chalk painting and destroying the beautiful wood grain, in some cases rare antiques, as this modern craze of monochromatic continues to paint the decorating books in black and white.

My concern is:  What if this phaze passes and we are back to the old days of stripping furniture?  You know we've been through this before.  Remind me to buy stock in Formby's when it does because I have a feeling it's around the corner.  I shopped a Nashville antique mall this week and noticed NOT ONE quality piece of antique furniture on display.  Everything in there looked like it had been dragged out of the barn or dumpster painted and spit shined in all of its rusticness.

Don't get me wrong.  I am a fan of the farm table, tractor seat stools, railroad cart coffee table and who knew how many things could be made from a pallet?  However, we are certainly losing an entire era of finer antique furniture not only in America but throughout Europe as well as collectors are diminishing.

I had a sale this month with a client who insisted I ask prices for her mother's french Louis XVI pieces that I knew would never sell.  She couldn't believe the value of these inlaid wood and rare pieces had decreased even in the 20 yrs. she had had them.  And I sympathized with her as I know they are to be valued in age and quality but the market is just not there.

However, there is hope.  I had a young family call me last week who were purchasing a historic antebellum home in Brentwood, TN. and were given the option to purchase all of the furniture as well for 30,000.  I was delighted to find "millenials"  taking such interest in preserving history and keeping with the style of the home.  After previewing the pieces, or drooling rather, my suggestion was this:  you definitely have 30,000 + in furniture considering the German Grandfather Clock, Louis the XVI bedroom suite, Chippendale dining set, grande piano, etc...BUT... don't think you can liquidate this in an estate sale anytime soon and double your money.  These pieces have value, stories, historical merit, local recognition and aesthetic brilliance to those who appreciate them.  However, the market is trending in rustics, contemporary and modern at the moment so you have the advantage of scarfing up an incredible buy and enjoying it many years and hopefully when your toddlers are grown will see a new appreciation for them as you pass them on.  In addition, I did give her many ideas and pictures of how to incorporate those pieces in an updated decor and marry them into a modern design that will blend them into today's world as they enjoy them for decades to come.  They accepted the deal and I can't wait to see it when they are finished.

  Busy Bee Moving Sales - 615-864-8991 - Estate Sales Professionals in Nashville, Tn.

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