Have you ever Fallen In Love?

Have you even fallen in love?
I LOVE antiquing. From an early age I antiqued with my mom and sister in western Pennsylvania where I grew up. My California grandmother collected. Our home was filled with beautiful hand carved one-of-a-kind pieces. When they say “They don’t make them like this anymore” they are absolutely correct! The quality and styling are unmatched. Artisanally hand-made, not massed produced.

Each antique shop is like its own mini museum. Usually every item has a small tag with a bit about the piece, approximate date, the manufacturer. Antique cases are rented space with the seller usually having a specialty;
Carnival Glass, Antique Sterling (one of my favs), Cameos, Old Coins, Biedermeier, etc.
So you come away with a little sliver of how life must have been then. Who used this piece? It’s survived so many years in such great condition. You surmise it was a family treasure or lay somehow forgotten in an attic.
So this summer on our annual Maine vacation, I found THE most interesting, creative antique store I’ve EVER had the pleasure to meander through (that’s what you do in antique stores; meander, stroll, no running or going. It just doesn’t work that way).

 

Antiquing
The Art of Antiquing
Round Pond Maine

It was love at  first sight.   The Art of Antiquing is one of the most interesting antique shops I’ve seen in my 40+ years of antiquing. Perfectly merchandised. Being an ex-high end retailer, I totally appreciate eye catching vignettes, each with its’ own story, point of view. They have to be clean and uncluttered

 
This store is special.
Curated by (once again, back to museums) Margaret Brown, the antiques are very high quality and stunning! She merchandises the space incredibly well, placing pieces that work with each other for a lifestyle story.
She sources from Europe and the United Kingdom-Hand-picking items spanning the centuries.
Additionally, she does a bit of research on each piece and provides it with your purchase

For example, I brought home a piece of Castle Hedingham Pottery from England. Edward Bingham produced the pottery from 1864 until 1901, reminiscent of medieval and Tudor styled pieces.

Diana Jarvis
Pottery – the Art of Antiquing
Round Pond, Maine

The Art of Antiquing is located in the center of Round Pond, in a restored old building.
Living in London in the winter months, Margaret ships containers of her finds over as soon as the weather breaks.
As she quotes on her website: “We specialize in unique, sometimes dramatic, one-off pieces. As a result, things are always changing here, which makes each visit to our store a shopping experience unto itself—no two trips will be the same.”
The Art of Antiquing is open from June until the
Middle of October. You can sign up on their website for a preview of arriving containers.

theartofantiquing.com
4 Back Shore Road
Round Pond, Maine 04564
+1 (207) 529-5300
info@theartofantiquing.com

The Art of Antiquing, Round Pond MAINE
The Art of Antiquing
Round Pond, Maine

You’re moving! What to do with all that STUFF!

So you’re moving!  Onto the next chapter in your life.  It’s exciting until you start to get a handle on what exactly it is you need to move.  How did you acquire all this STUFF! Fortunately, there are several options for your accumulations.

Option #1 – DONATE

There are many fantastic places for the furniture, clothing, household items you no longer need.  Here are some of my favorites!

Household Goods  530 Main Street, Acton       (978) 635-1710

Household Goods provides a full range of donated furniture and household items, free of charge, to help people in need make a home. Most of their clients are moving out of motels or shelters into very small apartments.  They can pick furniture and household goods at no charge, to help set up an apartment and get themselves back on their feet. A large percentage of their clients have children so for safety reasons they do not accept glass topped tables,etc.
Drop off donations on Tuesday, Thursdays and Saturdays from 9-12. Click here for a list of items they accept.

More than Words
More than Words – BEST place for book donations

BOOKS

You’re moving, downsizing and need to trim that library back a bit? There is a fabulous organization that takes gently loved books.  I can’t say enough about them.

More than Words helps at risk youth who are in the foster system, court-involved, homeless, or have dropped out of high school.  (781) 788-0035

With two bookstore locations, they employ these youths empowering them to take charge of their lives by taking charge of a business They challenge the youth with two jobs: the Business Job and the “You” Job.

GAINING PROFESSIONAL SKILLS: THE BUSINESS JOB
• Work 20+ hours/week
• Manage an online & retail bookstore in Boston and a bookstore/café in Waltham
• Train in all aspects of business
• Facilitate peer-led trainings and team meetings
• Plan and host store events
• Track performance and earn promotions

SUCCESSFULLY NAVIGATING LIFE: THE YOU JOB
• Learn essential life skills (opening a bank account, finding housing, getting an ID)
• Participate in workshops, mock interviews, resume building
• Craft individualized action plans
• Be accountable for their progress
• Commit to getting GED or diploma
• Receive assistance to pursue higher education

More than Words has 2 Store locations:

Bookstore and Cafe
376 Moody Street
Waltham, MA  02453

Boston Warehouse Bookstore

242 East Berkeley Street, 2nd Floor
Boston, MA 02118
Also:  Book Donation drop off location:   56 Felton Street, Waltham           (781) 314-9330

More traditional donation outlets:

Habitat for Humanity – ReStore   Donations are sold, with monies going towards Habitat housing projects in our area.

Both Epilepsy Foundation and Big Brothers / Big Sisters have monthly pick-ups in your area.   You can call or schedule on-line.

Option #2 – CONSIGNMENT  

Moving service and delivery company illustration. Two loader mover man holding and carrying sofa with big carton cardboard box. 3d color vector creative concept with characters.
Moving service and delivery company illustration. Two loader mover man holding and carrying sofa with big carton cardboard box. 3d color vector creative concept with characters.

Consigning gives you the option of getting a few shekels for your pieces.   I like Buy and Consign in Waltham.  Hand pick estate cleanouts.  Their cut is 50%.  Prices are reduced every 2 months until they’re gone.  Eventually, however, the items are donated.

Option #3 – ON-LINE SITES

EBAY – enough said!

REPLACEMENTS – they deal with china, crystal, flatware and dinnerware.  When I inherited my mother’s china, we replaced the missing pieces here!

Option #4 – JUNK COMPANIES

GotJunk   or  (800) 468-JUNK  (5865)

Type in your zip code, select the pick up date / time (it’s a 2 hour window). They donate or recycle 61.3% of what they pick up!  Picking up appliances, furniture, TV’s, mattresses, and bags / boxes of who knows what.  Prices seem very reasonable. A client of mine used them.  He left a huge pile of lawn furniture, old mattresses, boxes of misc items.  Got Junk showed up in a 20’ branded truck, loaded everything.  Took a Charge card over the phone.  About $750.00.  DONE!

 

Clean out your House
Clean out your House

Clean Out Your House

(781) 826-3120) is the sister company of Buy and Consign.  They take everything from any part of your home including the garage, attic and basement – furniture, clothing, rubbish, hazardous wastes, old bikes, or anything that is cluttering up your home. They take everything, do all the labor, and are responsible for disposing of it in a green and environmentally safe way.  They also work in partnership with Household Goods!

 Option #5 – ESTATE SALE

Most estate sale companies will sort, price and catalog items.  However, you want one that goes that extra step.

  • Place drop cloths over all carpet
  • Clean and wipe all items
  • Have a cashier
  • Have several security people, ideally 1-2 per floor
  • Advertise in local paper and online
  • Inform local antique dealers
  • Post the sales on their website
  • Clean house when finished
  • Donate all items left
  • Give donation paperwork to Seller

There is a charge of between 25 – 30% of the total sales. Some companies charge a flat fee.

In your search, for an estate sale company, also ask for referrals. Call different clients that have used them.

Trilogy Estate Sales is very good.  (617) 969-1093

They will liquidate the entire contents of a home and provide free consultations!

There are lots of options depending on your time and the complexity of the job.  The biggest help of all is TIME!  Give yourself alot of it. If you know you’re going to be down-sizing in a few years, start NOW.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Healthy Home – Radon

WHAT IS RADON?le

Radon is a naturally occurring odorless, colorless, tasteless radioactive gas produced by the decay of uranium and radium in the ground.  It percolates up from the soil. Because it’s a gas, radon can move into water or air.

Radon is present outdoors and is normally found at very low levels in the outdoor air and waters of our rivers and lakes.  It can be found in much higher levels in enclosed spaces like your home or private well.  Once inside enclosed spaces, radon can accumulate.  Hence, radon levels inside tend to be much higher than those found outdoors. Due to the geological makeup of our region, it is estimated a quarter of Massachusetts homes may be at risk for high levels of radon.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has classified the states counties based on radon potential.  This chart shows Middlesex, Essex, and Worcester counties have the greatest risk for high levels of radon. I’ve also included a map of the US.

US Radon Map
US Radon Map

 

HOW SERIOUS IS RADON?

Radon is a carcinogen. It is the leading cause of lung cancer among non smokers, and the second leading cause of lung cancer overall. There are many sources of radiation, however radon is the largest.

Radon undergoes a radioactive breakdown, decaying into other radioactive elements resulting in the release of subatomic alpha particles. These stick to surfaces such as dust particles.  If this contaminated dust in inhaled, these particles adhere to the airways of the lungs overtime damaging the cells. It is estimated radon exposures cause 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year in the United States.

The EPA has established an action guideline, recommending mitigation for residences with radon concentrations at or above. 4.0 picocuries per liter of air  (pCi/L)

RADON TESTING

Radon testing is simple and inexpensive.  Radon test kits can be purchased at your local hardware store, on Amazon, online.  Kits typically cost between $10 and $40.  You want to get a kit with 2 vials as you’re checking for consistency.  Place both vials next to each other. Read the instructions on the kit carefully.  These tests are timed.  A typical test takes at least 48 hours.  Reseal the vials, note the vial numbers and mail back to the testing lab. Your results should be available on line 2-3 days after the lab has received your kit.

Radon Test Kit
Accustar Radon Test Kit

If you’re buying a home, it is important you make radon testing part of your inspection.  Most home inspectors can test for radon. Some inspectors have continuous radon monitors, providing hourly radon levels.  These cost a bit more than the vial kits, however your results will be available immediately after the 48 hour required testing time.

If your home tests over 4.0, don’t worry!  Mitigation systems typically get the levels under 2.0 pCi/L.

RADON MITIGATION

The process to mitigate is relatively simple. A method called active soil depressurization is typically used. A zone of low pressure is created below the slab, reducing the rate radon enters the home.  A fan and piping is installed sucking radon out from under the foundation and venting it into the atmosphere.  A system typically costs between $1,200 to $1,800.  Your homes design, size, and foundation may impact the systems cost.

After your system is installed, it is important to retest for radon.   Please give your new system a few days to clean the radon out.

Radoy System Monitor
Radon System Monitor

Also important – the radon mitigation system is a vaccume system.  Your systems pipe moving radon from your foundation to the outside air will have a tube of colored water.  The levels on both sides of the tube should be uneven.  This indicates the system is working.  IF both sides are even, please call a mitigation contractor.

Mixing – Classic meets Contemporary

Your home is a collection….a layered timeline of your experiences, interests, and points of view. Your life isn’t one dimensional, why should your home be? Fill your home with objects that reflect your passions.

Mixing textures, colors, styles, weights.

This Paris apartment was recently featured in one of my favorite design blogs –  Habitually Chic Blogspot.  It’s a fantastic example of mixing – the more traditional gold leaf and ornate moldings with the pop of color and clean lines injected by the contemporay art piece.  This color “pop” literally pulls your eye from the painting on the left,,,across the contemporary surfboard table with colorful ceramic vases,,,over to the turquoise clear glass on the right.  This room has fabulous movement,  color movement, textural interest, light play provided by the mirror and window.

Suzanne Kasler tablescape
A Suzanne Kasler tablescape

Here’s mixing on a smaller scale. A tablescape by Suzanne Kasler, an Atlanta based interior designer. A tablescape is a vignette, a lifestyle shot. A brief, but powerful scene that leaves you wanting more. Here she combines the modern textural metal pieces with a more traditional painting, and honestly, what’s more classic than Leonardo da Vinci?  The colors and textures play beautifully here.

Whether mixing an entire room, or just a vignette the result is well balanced, shows depth, and it a piece of art in it’s own right.

Classic meets Contemporary
Classic meets Contemporary from Veranda J/F ’16

Here’s a simple, but very impactful example. Antique chairs with the contemporary art piece above.  The linear chair backs “frame” the art above.

Included below are other wonderful examples.

Modern and Antique
Modern art with antique silver pieces
Classic meets Contemporary
My favorite Suzanne Kasler vignette

This theme can also be carried outdoors.

Fontana di Trevi in Rome is a stunning combination of the original Baroque architecture by Nicola Salvi and scupltor Peitro Bracci.  Built in 1762, the fountain was recently upgraded and restored (thanks to Fendi!), adding state-of-the-art LED lighting giving a bit of dramatic sparkle.

Rome's Fontana di Trevi
Classic meets Contemporary
A 1762 fountain gets LED lighting
Lis Bustamiante
Classic meets Contemporary outdoors!

Here, Luis Bustamante, a Madrid  interior designer added colorful contemporary art on top of a stairway framed with antique stone urns