Everything Vintage Co. in Toano, Virginia

Have you ever been to town of Toana, Virginia? Me neither. That’s probably because you could drive through it with a blink of an eye. But if you are into one-of-a-kind, hard to locate, antique advertising/industrial/funky/prim items to add to your specialized collection…than do I have a very unique place for you to stop and visit. Enter Everything Vintage Co. in Toano, Virginia, just a few minutes west of Williamsburg, VA…right up Richmond Road.

Looks pretty plain Jane from the outside...until you step inside that is...

Looks pretty plain Jane from the outside…until you step inside that is…

As the Mr. and I were leaving our fun, but short weekend adventure in Colonial Williamsburg, we headed west on Richmond Road and stopped in one of our favorite antique stores on the East Coast. We found this eclectic shop on a Sunday drive a couple of years ago…where we stopped and purchased this piece of antique advertising (scroll to the bottom of the story) that was chillin’ on the hot sidewalk, outside of the shop…just like these two lovely examples below.

antique_gulf_sign

Man caves across the country are screaming for these two signs to join their bare walls…

When the Mr. and I first went to this shop, there was a real mix of high and low end antiques…primitive, industrial, signage, smalls, etc….and really seemed to offer a little bit of everything for all kinds of collectors.

antique_pedal_carUnfortunately, this time around, the Mr. and I were really surprised to see the dramatic increase in the asking prices of most of the items in the shop. I understand that the pieces they offer are very unique and some are quite hard to find…so they demand a higher asking price. But no deals here…expect to pay full retail.

antique_printers_cabinetThis is definitely a shop for the serious collector who is looking for that one, special item to add to their collection. And if they don’t have it in the store, I bet they could find it for you!

antique_gas_pumpTheir offering of antique advertising was very impressive. I fell in love with this Anniston Bus Depot sign below. The clock was not working, but image if it was re-wired to light up and keep time! Amazing…

antique_bus_depot_sign

Signs, signs, everywhere signs…

antique_stepback_cupboard

Spice up tea time with this beautiful Lipton’s Tea sign…probably made from enamel.

I’m guessing that some of these items come from auctions…such as this beautiful oak grain bin that once belonged in an old general store.

antique_grain_bin

With the mix of bicycles and advertising, it made me think of American Pickers…

As an illustrator, I’m always looking for inspiration from vintage ads…like this Esslinger’s beer character. I love the simplicity in his uniform and the use of the bold red on white.

antique_beer_sign

I love the graphics on this Esslinger’s beer sign…something about the design of the little man reminds me of two other brands…Campbell’s Soup and Phillip Morris Cigarettes.

As much as I loved this old industrial cubby shelf…it screamed tetanus shot!!! I know the rusty thing is a hot look/trend right now…but if this baby came home with me, I’d have to pay to have the metal grate cubbies powder coated in some bright, fun colors.

antique_industrial_cabinet

For some reason this made me think of Laverne and Shirley. Didn’t they work in a factory?

antique_baughs_fertilizer_signIn the back I found this sweet apothecary cabinet painted in cottage green and cream. I loved the handles…even though I was unsure if they were original or not to the piece. But at $495…it seemed a little steep. I’d think this piece would look precious in an entry way with a large deco mirror paired with it and an old oak coat rack or umbrella stand beside it. Too cute!

antique_apothecary_cabinet

Cottage chic and cute to boot! One could store lots of little treasures in this adorable apothecary chest.

Copyright 2014. The Savvy Seeker blog by Erin Hurley-Brown. All Rights Reserved.

Ashwood School Antiques

So, while I was at my company retreat the other week, at the luxurious and way too fabulous Homestead Resort & Spa, I managed to find an hour to kidnap a few of my coworkers and drive them to the nearest antique store (no surprise there)…

Ashwood School Antiques in beautiful Bath County

About 4 miles down the road, we found this awesome old school house turned antique store, called Ashwood School Antiques. Originally built as a high school in 1908, the school served many purposes until it closed it’s doors in 1969. Folk artist and antique dealer Pat Broyles purchased the old school house and turned it into an antique store and part home (where she resides). I can’t even imagine the work that went into bringing this building back to it’s former glory!

What a fun idea to stencil a staircase in such a clever way!

One thing that immediately caught my eye when we walked in, were the adorable stenciled staircase! What a great idea! Notice the fourth step up, that says “Circa 1908.” This would be an awesome project to do in your own vintage home! Then my eye was drawn to all the lovely antique egg baskets lining the staircase!

One of the many relics from when the building was a school in the early 1900′s…

There were many artifacts in the front foyer, reminding visitors of what school was like in 1908! The chairs were so tiny!! I fell in love with this porcelain water fountain. How cool would it be to put this in your bathroom!

Beautiful oak china press….can it fit in my car?

Leave it me to then spot every amazing antique cupboard/hutch/cabinet in the store! I was already trying to scheme how I could squeeze one of these into my car and take it home with me…until reality checked it. I knew the Mr. would NOT be happy….oh well, maybe next time!

Oooo…or do I like this one better?

Ugh! I don’t know why I go so crazy for these cupboards!!! Picture this white chippy goodness with some cute shelf paper, filled with ironstone or brightly colored fiesta ware!!

Fun turquoise washstand cabinet. I bet there are about 15 layers of paint on this baby!

Then I spotted this turquoise gem, hiding under vintage cookie tins and hat boxes. I LOVE the color! What do you think…would you place this in a hallway, bathroom or maybe use it as a nightstand?

The perfect mission rocker for your Mr.’s man-cave…except it’s missing a cup holder for his beer…

Then I almost missed this cool mission arm chair. I could picture this in a man-cave…maybe next to a vintage record player or antique Victorla.

I’m thinking this would make an excellent movie prop…why do I not have a moonlighting gig in the film industry?

Upstairs, my coworkers and I spotted this very old wheelchair. My guess is that it was probably used at the turn of the century at the hotel or one of the other old spa locations.

The Everly Brothers had it right when they said, “Whenever I want you, all I have to do is Drea-ea-ea-ea-eam”

And then we saw it….the pièce de résistance!!! Standing about 8-9 feet tall was this very early American stepback cupboard, probably original to Bath County. I would imagine most women get heart palpitations when they see Brad Pitt or Channing Tatum…but for me…this is the kind of stuff that gets my heart rate up! It was definitely hand made…with pale gray paint worn off in all the right places to reveal it’s original red paint undertone. I almost had to borrow a handkerchief to wipe the drool off my bottom lip! Needless to say I was very sad to leave it behind…but for a cool $3,500 it could be yours! Hopefully you have really tall ceilings and can fit this pretty baby in your home!

Copyright 2012. The Savvy Seeker blog by Erin Hurley-Brown. All Rights Reserved.

Chalk Paint Cupboard

I LOVE a good “find.” Especially when that “find” is someplace least expected and for an amazingly low price. That was the story behind this cupboard that I found a few blocks from my house in the garage of a tow truck company (I’m telling you people…there is no place I won’t go for a great treasure).

My dream cupboard...before photo

Apparently this beauty came out of an old house that was being renovated in the Fan District of Richmond, Va. But when I looked closer, I could tell this neglected treasure had been tucked away in a carriage house for many, many years. The original glass windowpanes were in tack but there was a bird nest in the drawer, paint flaking off everywhere, brown rusty goo stuck on her shelves. This lady needed a makeover…STAT!

Some people go nuts over chippy, flaky furniture. I love it too but you do have to be realistic and think about the lead paints that were used many years ago. I made the decision to take the huge task of power sanding this thing and giving her a new coat of paint. And let me stress how HUGE this thing is. I think she hits at 86” tall!

Isn't she lovely? Restored to her original beauty!

So after a week of sanding this thing on my front porch while blaring the local classic rock station on my hand held FM radio, she was ready for a first coat. For the past year I have read probably dozens and dozens of reviews about Annie Sloan’s magical Chalk Paint. It’s about as much of a craze as Oprah Winfrey’s famous gift giveaway. As an artist, I’ve used all kinds of mediums from watercolor, acrylic to oils…but never any kind of chalk or milk paint. So I decided to spend the $39 + $15 shipping fee (gulp) and order my quart of Annie Sloan’s ‘Old White.’

Why the Craze?

I don’t want to turn this blog entry into a tutorial for Annie Sloan’s chalk paint…so I’ll just give you the basics.

  • It’s water based
  • No fumes
  • NO PRIMER REQUIRED (Yes, it’s true. Slap this on top of raw wood or something with a horribly thick polyurethane coating)
  • Dries FAST

That’s it. It’s expensive stuff but if you want to keep your mom’s hand-me-down furniture and give it a fast update, this is the way to go.

Add a pretty tassel to top it off...

After I was done painting two coats and giving it a light sanding, I used a clear wax to seal the chalk paint. Then I begged my husband and another strong male friend to lift this baby into our house so I could fill it up with all kinds of fun stuff!

If you’d like to read more articles about using Annie Sloan’s paint try reading Centsational Girl, Case de Lewis or Miss Mustard Seed. If you have used this wonderful paint, let me know! I’d love to hear about your experience as well!

Copyright 2012. The Savvy Seeker blog by Erin Hurley-Brown. All Rights Reserved.