Let’s talk Estate Sales! Tasteless, tacky, but really true: you can’t take it with you, so I’m going to buy it!
Before you write me off as completely insensitive…stay with me for a second. I have “dead people” in my life too. My blog is dedicated to my late grandmother. We’ll call her Nana. In my very first post, I alluded to the fact that her personal life was a bit messy….and that it affected her fabulous furniture, some of which I now own. And I’ll tell you….I’m torn. The bedroom suite that started it all – my obsession with Mid-Century – it’s actually damaged by the hand of my grandfather whom I’ve never met; during a drunken rage. Fasten your seatbelts for a tale of drama, people! My mom says he took his pocket knife and sliced giant X’s in Nana’s velvet couch as well as lines down the front facing of the bedroom suite because he knew that was the way to get to her. The neighbors called the police because of a glow coming from the inside of the house. It was my grandmother’s entire wardrobe. Furs, gowns and sequins were all in the process of being incinerated in the fireplace. I don’t have a picture of the fire or the couch sliced with X’s, but I do have an aftermath picture of the kitchen and I know what you’re thinking: Nice stool, right? You know the ones with the little step stand? Gosh, they really don’t make things like they used to.
Admit it, MCM isn’t just an obsession, it’s a syndrome that we share.
As for the credenza, I’ve thought about refinishing it myself, or having it re-finished. You know what? I don’t think I have the heart to. Because every time I see the lines in that beautiful credenza, I’m reminded of how much my grandmother endured, and how she came out on the other end a stronger person. Sure, there’s a couple cigarette burns in the top of the end tables. So what? Each time my eye is drawn to it, I can picture her holding a Belair between her those long fingers and her always perfectly manicured nails. I know she’d love to know how much I value the things that she did and that I embrace the beauty, warts and all. And that’s the reason why I love estate sales. I like to think that every piece that I acquire has a story and perhaps a very interesting dead person behind it. I know that somebody’s beloved something will live on in my home and hopefully someday grace the home of my son, or someone else who will appreciate it for what it is: Beautifully crafted things bought, sold or traded through time creating a story all their own.