Upstairs Vintage

Living above my shop is all pros and no cons. I don’t have to drive to work and I can bake oatmeal raisin cookies and offer them while still warm to people who come in on a winter day.

The downtown buildings in Richmond were built between the 1850’s and  1920. Some of the old buildings in town have loading ramps and even freight elevators, but this building was a bank. My kitchen was probably an office. The building isn’t conductive to bringing in furniture and there is no storage on the ground floor. I carry cartons and cartons and cartons upstairs or to the basement and I work on furniture in the kitchen or in the shop on the days when the shop is closed.

While living in a bank might sound like fun to the adventurous, the building was never meant to be a home. I love it though and I think of it as home – though it took awhile, I’ll admit.

Some things spend time upstairs until I can use them in the shop.


Until I got used to them, mannequins would scare me in the dark.

Things I love:


I think light is the most important feature in a room. I’ve never met a vintage paper lampshade that didn’t come home with me.

IMG_0852If I find a piece of furniture where a mouse has gnawed a hole at the bottom, I’m in love. I always think that it must have taken them such a very long time.


Traveling was so exciting during the Edwardian age. These suitcases were used by a someone who would be been traveling for a short period of time. I like to think about where they have been. Where they taken on a train ride out to the country to visit relatives back on the farm or taken on a honeymoon?

IMG_0849This reminds me of my long-ago Cocker Spaniel, Dickens. The caption reads Needlepoint but it is actually worked-wool done in a very fine hand.


Sometimes, little dolls stay on the shelf upstairs for a long time. But, they always end up being sold. The little indigo and saffron miniature doll quilt belonged to a little girl during the Civil War era.



Tiny bisque dolls were manufactured in Germany and, later, Japan. Some people call them penny dolls. Some of these represent newspaper comic characters, popular in the 1930’s.


                  Silk thread embroidery on natural flax linen is hard to find. This round tablecloth has lovely hanging crochet work. I was lucky enough to find a box of needlework like this, all made by the same woman. All but three were sold on eBay. I think people may not have realized what these are when I put them in the shop. I wouldn’t have know until I learned how to tell handmade lace from factory-made. Telling whether something was sewn by a skilled needlewoman or a new sewer is easy. Learning about antiques is just like learning about art. It is just a matter of learning to see.

IMG_0850I like anything that has to do with traveling.


And anything to do with art.

IMG_0844The Christmas music box with the bottle brush trees and the fireplace that lights up didn’t sell and is back upstairs on a dresser.  I don’t know if I will subject it to another trip downstairs. Its little feelings are hurt.


~Thank you for stopping by today.~


7 thoughts on “Upstairs Vintage

  1. From Denise
    Your collections are so emotional in the best way possible. For the era
    of girls/women that grew up as you did, it is just warm, cozy and remembered so
    fondly with your cherished items. Don’t know how you can sell them! The doll
    collection is truly beautiful. I’ve never seen items put together with such
    thought and artistic ability. Your comments are like a warm, blanket framing


    • Thank you, Denise. I pasted your nice comment from where it arrived in my email. I’m not sure why that is….I’m still learning. This was the best compliment I have received on the blog and darn it, I’m making sure it gets in here!


    • Hi Beth,
      You are so right. This one probably survived because it was framed and hung on a wall. We’ll never know who made it, but we know this, the person said, “That was too much work to put on the floor.”


    • Nice to hear from you, Beth. I know that hearth rug is going to be hard to let go of. But, just as you know, all of these beautiful things just pass through our hands. I always enjoy it when I see a post from you. I know we’ve been at the same auctions at times. Someday, I’ll get to meet you.


  2. Thank your sharing your shop. Living in an historic building only adds tothe charming feel of your pieces. One of the most intriguing attributes about antiques and vintage items is they all have a story to tell. Unfortunately it can’t tell is, but it leaves it to our imagination to let it speak to us. So glad there are people like us around who still find enjoyment in those pieces.


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