Things We Love: Antique Shows & Laughs from Our First 10 Years

As we mentioned in our 10 Years of European Antique Furniture blog post last month, Greg and I are celebrating our 10th anniversary at EuroLux Antiques this year. It is hard to believe so many years have flown by! We’ve had so much fun over the years, and we can’t help but look back and laugh at some of our mistakes too. We thought you might enjoy chuckling at some of our follies along the way.

Greg unpacking antique furniture from Europe
Greg unpacking antique furniture from Europe

After we launched EuroLux Antiques and brought in our first container of amazing antique and vintage furniture from France and Belgium, we started out selling at antique shows. In the summer of 2004, our very first antique show was the Scott Antique Market in Atlanta, Georgia. What a bunch of green beans we were!

We arrived in the wee hours of the morning at our designated spot with our rented U-Haul truck slam full. Remember how I mentioned in the last post that we had to rebuild all of the antique furniture out of about a million pieces after our container arrived from Europe, and that we really weren’t very good at it yet? Well, we had the brilliant idea that if we took all the pieces apart again, we could pack more on the truck. But we didn’t realize that most of the potential buyers would be standing there while we unloaded the truck!

Our first antique show at Scott Antique Market

We discovered that frenzied interior designers who are running from one truck to the next don’t come back to see you hours later, after you’ve figured out how to put everything together again. There we were with our piles of pieces, watching as the other dealers around us sold armoire after armoire. I swear they were rolling their eyes at our mess. One of our armoires stayed in bits through the whole weekend of the antique show because we couldn’t figure out how to put it back together!

Our booth at our first antique show

I will say the booth looked great though. John had designed the space ahead of time to show where each piece would go. I spent hours putting out box after box of decorative items, known as “smalls” in antique lingo. John, Kathy, Greg and I all had matching shirts with EuroLux Antiques embroidered logos too.

Matching logo t-shirts we wore for our first antique show
With Greg, wearing our first matching logo shirts

While we did sell a piece or two that weekend, it wasn’t the blow-out for which we had hoped. This meant that the only way everything was going to fit back in our U-Haul truck was to take it all apart again. Of course, we had taken our time over the week before the show to strategically pack the truck one piece at a time. We hadn’t considered that we’d only have a couple hours to load all of it back on the truck and clear out of the building at the end of the antique show.

All of the other dealers, shaking their heads at our “newbie” mistakes, were long gone by the time we finally got it all loaded again. The poor security guard had to wait until after midnight for us to get our mess together and finally get out of the building.

We needed Minkey to help us pack up our first antique show
I wish we’d had Minkey there to help pack up from our first antique show. We needed a packing wizard cat and he loves digging in!

So although our first antique show wasn’t a smashing success, at least we had done it! We picked ourselves up and learned from our mistakes. Our next show, a month later, was the International Collectibles and Antiques Show at the Metrolina Expo in Charlotte, North Carolina. We had a great show and sold a bunch of furniture. We were on our way and so excited about it.

And then came the Atlantique show in Atlantic City, New Jersey, but that is a story for another blog post! Do you like to go to antique shows in your neck of the woods? Tell us about your favorite antique show in the comments below!

Aimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her best friend, Greg.  Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way.  She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Connect with or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Renaissance Buffet & Antique Renaissance Style

I just came across these photos from a client who bought an antique Renaissance style buffet. As it is the 10th anniversary of EuroLux Antiques this year, I’ve been digging through quite a lot of old files, and I realized I’ve never shared these photos with you.

Tracy R. from Oxford, Alabama, bought this antique Renaissance style buffet some years ago. He came to pick up the oak buffet from us in the gallery, then he kindly sent these photos.

antique renaissance style

The antique Renaissance style buffet dating to 1900 looks wonderful in Tracy’s dining room. It looks so elegant against his dark green walls with the oval table and handsome dining chairs. Two glass candle holders on the table add an authentic finishing touch. The buffet or server is typical of antique Renaissance style furniture, featuring beautiful carvings on the doors and on the posts that support the upper part of the hutch.

Antique Renaissance style buffet

This second photo zooms out a little so you can see how the arm chair is upholstered in the same striped fabric as the dining chairs. That upholstery stripe is charming – classic but adding a great pop of color!

We carry a lot of antique Renaissance style furniture in the gallery, as well as some finely crafted reproductions. Typical pieces include buffets, chairs, tables, and chandeliers – so the style is especially popular for dining rooms. It creates a rather stately atmosphere for a dinner party! The Renaissance Revival style flourished in Europe from the 1830s to the end of the 19th century. At this time, furniture makers and craftsmen drew on classic Renaissance style that originated in Florence, Italy, in the 15th century.

antique Renaissance style buffet or server

They reinterpreted the style with their own creativity, but still the furniture showed the trademark antique Renaissance style details. The heavily-carved furniture tended towards large proportions and ornate carvings of classical motifs. Designs included scrollwork, arabesques, garlands of flowers and fruit, pediments, and columns. References to Greek and Roman mythology might include faces and cherubs.

This large antique Renaissance style buffet currently in our gallery is a fine example. Crafted in France in around 1900 in highly grained oak, the carved buffet is adorned with diamond medallions and foliage on the lower doors. The upper cabinet doors are carved with fabric swags and florals. At nearly nine feet high and six feet wide, the antique Renaissance Henry II buffet hutch is topped by a decorative crown. It offers plenty of serving and storage space and also has a full-length plate rack and two drawers for silverware. Pretty splendid, huh?

You can see more about this style, including photos of clients’ homes, in my other blog posts about antique Renaissance style furniture and decor. Or just browse the posts on antique Renaissance buffets. 

 

Aimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her best friend, Greg.  Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way.  She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Connect with or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Things We Love: Our Customers and 10 Years of European Antique Furniture

Love is in the air in the month of February and it reminds me of how much we love and appreciate our customers who trust us to provide them with fine European antique furniture and home décor accents. Greg and I are celebrating the 10th anniversary of our EuroLux Antiques business this year. Time sure flies when you’re having the time of your life! However, we truly understand that we wouldn’t be celebrating this momentous occasion without the patronage and support of you – all of the many wonderful customers we’ve been lucky enough to meet over the past decade!

Newspaper article just after we launched our European antique furniture business
Article in our hometown newspaper The Newberry Observer just after we launched.

Ten years ago, in January 2004, we jumped out of the corporate world and decided to launch this crazy business venture. We were passionate about European antique furniture so we quit our jobs. Greg was Controller/MIS Director of a manufacturing plant and I was a Global Marketing Manager at another manufacturer.

We were willing to gamble our life’s savings on the idea that regular folks would love hand-selected, high-quality European antique furniture as much as we did, and would be willing to buy it online. My dad thought we were definitely nuts. But we felt down deep in our toes that if we didn’t try, we’d always wonder what might have been. And so we jumped off the cliff into the free fall of entrepreneurship.

Our first European antique furniture buying trip
Aimee at a market on our first European buying trip.

It took us nearly six months to get all our ducks in a row. We had to incorporate, get insurance, find and renovate a space, get a marketing plan in place, and then we flew overseas to hunt out the best European antique furniture for our inventory.

Owning your own business isn’t glamorous, as any small business owner knows. Folks that don’t work for themselves think you can set your own hours and just take off whenever you want. I always say you do have the freedom to choose which 12 – 14 hours a day you work! But I didn’t have to put on stockings, high heels, and a suit every day, and I was thankful for that, although I didn’t realize how much heavy furniture lifting would be in my future.

We sold our house in order to raise capital for the business and moved in with my in-laws, which we thought would only be for six months or so. It turned out to be nearly three years. I am so grateful to John and Kathy for keeping a roof over our heads while we passionately pursued our dream. EuroLux Antiques would not have been possible without their emotional and financial investment. Right as we were launching the business, they were retiring, so we convinced them to come work with us too. This small family business venture has truly been a labor of love!

European antique furniture - armoire
One of the first armoires that nearly made us pull our hair out in frustration trying to figure out how to build it!

Our first container of the European antique furniture we’d bought arrived in July and we were so excited. That excitement soon turned to utter frustration as we learned that all of the pieces of furniture came apart in what seemed like about a million pieces. Luckily they were all numbered as to which piece of furniture they belonged to, so we made piles of pieces and then tried to put them together. We look back and laugh now, but we had no idea how to reconstruct some of those French armoires! It seemed that no two went together in the same way. Greg and I remember staying up until the wee hours of the night wrestling with that furniture. After ten years, we probably haven’t seen it all, but we sure don’t get stumped much anymore.

Before we went online with our European antique furniture store, we started doing the antique trade show circuit during the summer of 2004. The Metrolina antique and collectibles show in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Scott’s antique market in Atlanta, Georgia, were our first shows. I’ll share stories with you from our early shows next month.

At the launch of our European antique furniture business
This photo of us appeared in that first Newberry Observer article

But in the meantime, I just want to thank each and every one of you who has helped make this “American Dream” possible. We have worked so hard and put our hearts, souls, blood, and tears into building this business. But we have always known that we couldn’t do it without you. I always try to sign each email with “Thank you for your patronage – we appreciate you!” Those aren’t just words here at EuroLux Antiques – we mean it!

We are still passionate about European antique furniture, even though we’ve expanded into Asian antique furniture and high-quality reproductions and home décor accents too. And truly, madly, deeply – we love our customers!

Aimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her best friend, Greg.  Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way.  She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Connect with or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Antique Carved Furniture Fusion

Rick and Cheri J. enjoy visiting our little town of Newberry! They enjoy the laid-back atmosphere, small town charm, and our wonderful Newberry Opera House. They usually try to plan a weekend get-away to Newberry several times a year to catch a few shows and enjoy prime rib or shrimp and grits at one of our local restaurants, Cabana Cafe. Of course, they also spend some time visiting our EuroLux Antiques gallery on Main street.

Rick and Cheri have purchased quite a few pieces from us over the years. I love the fact that they have a strong sense of their own taste… they follow their hearts in choosing furniture for their home. They aren’t restricted by some idea that they must select pieces all in the same style. They do like antique carved pieces, but they are bold in mixing up styles to create a unique furniture fusion! Let me show you what I mean.

Antique carved French Renaissance buffet

Rick and Cheri chose this beautiful 1900 French Renaissance buffet in walnut with a marble top. The antique carved buffet boasts whimsical jesters at the top. The buffet graces a wall adjacent to the dining table. Notice the table is set and is complete with a bottle of champagne!

Antique carved buffet

Antique carved French 1880 Hunting style vanity

They also chose an antique carved Hunting style vanity for the bedroom. The 1880 French vanity table in walnut features barley twist legs, bun feet, and a lovely marble top.

Antique carved 1880 French vanity

Their beloved Akita guards the vanity in its new home in Rick and Cheri’s bedroom! I can’t decide which is more gorgeous – the dog or the vanity! Together they make an adorable tableau.

The couple also recently purchased a Flemish Renaissance Mechelen table. The antique carved oak table dates to 1900. Splendid carved lions’ heads keep watch from each corner, and the deep apron is adorned with a carved pattern to set off the floral design on the five nicely turned legs.

Antique carved Mechelen table Rick and Cheri plan to use the table as a desk, paired with this handsome Eastlake Chair that they bought from us. The very fine arrow-shaped silhouette on the crest rail is just one highlight of the antique carved walnut Eastlake chair. The chair was crafted in the USA circa 1900, and it is typical of the Eastlake style that was so popular in America in that era.

Antique carved Eastlake chair

Antique carved French Brittany 1880 nightstand with marble topFinally, although he wasn’t sure where it would go in their home yet, Rick picked out a chestnut nightstand in the Brittany style. The French nightstand features an enchanting red marble top. It’s rare to find such ornate decoration on the back rail, but this antique carved nightstand dating to 1880 has it all! Two figures of a man and a woman recline in a pastoral scene beneath trees, a farm house, and a windmill, and the door medallion contains a cameo of a dashing male figure.

Although from around the same era, all these antique carved pieces are in different styles: Eastlake, Brittany, Renaissance, and Mechelen. And they all work brilliantly together in a fantastic furniture fusion!

 

Aimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her best friend, Greg.  Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way.  She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Connect with or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox

Castle Vacation: Château de Bagnols

A few months ago I blogged about French castle hotels. These centuries-old châteaux offer a unique vacation experience and you find them all over France. As we just mentioned Beaujolais Nouveau Day, I couldn’t resist telling you about another French castle you can stay in: Château de Bagnols. Built in the 13th century, it overlooks the Beaujolais valley and it’s one of the grandest 5 star French castle hotels, with stunning interiors.

Bagnol outside

A vineyard was added to Château de Bagnols in 1820 and it’s still surrounded by vines and gorgeous formal French gardens. Over the centuries, different owners have added to Château de Bagnols, but it was in pretty poor shape until a 1987 renovation. The English Lady Hamlyn spent more than $16 million restoring it to its glory! It boasts medieval towers, a moat, original frescoes, an outdoor heated Roman swimming pool, and a 100-year old lime tree terrace.

Château de Bagnols fireplace

The rooms are furnished with original antiques, like many other French castle hotels. And as you can see from the photos, the Château de Bagnols offers luxury all the way! Not many of us have a living room with such exceptional architecture, but we can all take inspiration from the decor style. The welcoming nature of this room is enhanced by warm red upholstery and dark wood furniture. Just a lamp, vase of flowers, a decorative bowl, and a few favorite books on the table create a pleasing vignette.

Château de Bagnols bedroom

This bedroom makes great use of an arched alcove.  Imagine how cozy it would be, nestled into that bed under the crimson velvet bedspread! This is actually a former chapel dedicated to St. Hieronymus, and the wall paintings were created in the 1620s. Up-lighting adds to the atmosphere. You could recreate that intimate mood with wall sconces or Dale Tiffany torchiere lamps.

Château de Bagnols bedroom This delightful boudoir was once the command point for the 15th century drawbridge! The yellow damask hangings on the Louis XVI style bed adds to the glow of the fireplace. This bedroom is also furnished with a 19th century carved Henry II style chair, similar to some of the Henry II French Renaissance chairs in our gallery.

Château de Bagnols has 22 rooms and suites and the listed historic castle is about a 30-minute drive from Lyon. Previous guests at the castle include King Charles VIII, who stayed in 1490. The Treasurer of France lived there during the 17th Century. Madame de Sévigné, famous for her witty letters, visited in 1673. So if you take a trip to Beaujolais and stay at Château de Bagnols, you’ll be in good company!

Aimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her best friend, Greg.  Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way.  She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Connect with or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

 

Best of October 2013: Victorian Restoration, Home Accessories and More!

Where did this month go? We went from harvest to Halloween in our October blog posts, starting with polka and liver nips at the Newberry Oktoberfest through to our vintage Halloween photos! Along the way we talked about some gorgeous antique furniture and home decor inspirations. Let’s revisit some of our favorite October posts.

Antique Brittany Furniture for Victorian Restoration

Our client Angela M. is restoring this beautiful 1890 Victorian house in Galveston, TX.  The white porch is adorned with mariner’s wheels details and Angela bought several pieces of French Brittany furniture from us to continue the maritime theme. See more about Angela’s Victorian restoration and the antique Brittany furniture!
Boho style Mission chandelier
With Halloween on the horizon, we took a tour of the Gothic chandeliers and other magical light fixtures in our gallery. Check out the dragons, eagles, and castles in our Gothic Chandelier post! Of course, vintage Gothic chandeliers add character and Old World atmosphere to a home all year round. They offer a dash of drama, fantasy, romance and mystery. They’re great for period-style homes, but also perfect for people who love an eclectic element in their home decor.
Stained glass in home decor accentsSpeaking of eclectic, we also looked at the many ways you can use stained glass in home decor accents.  If you think stained glass is only for church windows… think again! Of course we looked at some lovely examples of stained glass in home windows, but also explored ways to add a touch of luminous stained glass color in furniture and lighting too. And we found stained glass patterns in fabrics, wallpaper, decals, and even a shower curtain!
We also turned our client spotlight on this antique buffet we provided to the Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Boston, MA.
Antique buffet in seminary lobby
The seminary is one of the largest evangelical seminaries in North America and a donor  generously gave funds to decorate the lobby. Mary Ann asked us to help her find an impressive antique buffet suitable for the space, and this elaborately carved Henry II Renaissance-style buffet dating to 1900 did the trick! See more about the 9-foot-tall sideboard and the new lobby decor in our antique buffet post.

Windsor counter stool in our client's California kitchenOur Windsor Counter Stool client spotlight described how Wendy in California saved money with us when she was searching for stools for her kitchen. Wendy is a very smart shopper! The Woodbridge Windsor counter stools look perfect in Wendy’s lovely kitchen and although they are hand-crafted to appear authentically antique, they offer the modern convenience of a swivel seat!
Thanks for sharing October with me. We’ve got lots more to say about home decor, antique furniture, and living it up, vintage style. Sign up here to receive our blog posts, and you can follow us on Facebook too.


Aimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her best friend, Greg.  Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way.  She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Connect with or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Antique Brittany Furniture for Victorian Restoration

Angela M. recently bought several pieces of antique Brittany furniture from our gallery for the beautiful Victorian house that she is restoring in Galveston, TX.  The 1890 Victorian was almost completely gutted by fire about two decades ago. Here is the photo Angela sent us of the outside of the house as it looked nearly 120 years ago in the year 1894.

Our client's Victorian restoration home as looked in 1894

And below is a photo of the house “under new management” last year. Isn’t it gorgeous?

Front closeup

Angela says that the house is known for the lovely detailing around the porch of mariner’s wheels.  The white paint on the porch really makes those wheels stand out! Antique Brittany furniture is a perfect choice for the interior. The Brittany style often features maritime details such as ship’s wheels in tribute to coastal Brittany’s sea-faring history.

Brittany armoire 14-2A-1This is one of the pieces of antique Brittany furniture Angela chose for the house. It’s a display cabinet or bookcase dating to 1880, carved in chestnut with a beveled glass door. You can see the large ship’s wheel at the top of the French cabinet, tying in with the maritime theme of the house porch. The two galleries of spindles along the top and bottom of the bookcase are typical of Brittany style furniture. So are the hand-carved rosettes adorning the bottom drawer.
Antique Brittany Table KC-33A-1Angela also picked this Brittany style chestnut dining table dating to 1880. It’s a real stunner and the French craftsmanship is superb. Each leg boasts a carved figurine of a man or a woman wearing period regional costume. Carved figures of French country folk like these often decorate antique Brittany furniture. They are one of the most delightful characteristics of the style. The central stretcher beneath the table once again features a carved ship’s wheel.

Antique Brittany chairs KC-33B-1To match the table, Angela chose this splendid set of six Brittany dining chairs. Crafted in France in around 1880, the chestnut chairs are carved with an arched gallery of spindles on the crest rail. Each chair back features a carving of a French man or woman in happy pastoral scenes. Some of them are playing bagpipes. If you’re wondering why French country folk are playing bagpipes – an instrument that normally makes us think of Scotland – here’s the reason. Brittany is historically a Celtic nation, like Scotland, Ireland, and Wales. Similar Celtic traditions and symbols appear in all those regions as they had such close cultural ties. Hence the bagpipes, which are often portrayed on antique Brittany furniture.

Due to Angela’s arthritis, she is having much of the Victorian restoration work done for her. We all know these things take time! But we hope she sends us photos of the antique Brittany furniture in place once the house is further along. Angela says “I should have waited a while to buy furniture, but I love the Brittany style and just couldn’t resist!”

We’re glad she gave in to temptation. She chose some exceptional furniture that will blend perfectly into the stately Victorian house and stay true to the exterior’s maritime theme.

Aimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her best friend, Greg.  Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way.  She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Connect with or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Best of August 2013: Antique Inspirations

We explored vintage and antique inspirations in our August blog posts, from groovy vintage clothing to antique spinning wheels. Every day is full of antique inspirations here at the EuroLuxAntiques.com gallery of course, and I wouldn’t have it any other way! Whether I’m unpacking a new container of hand-picked treasures from Europe or chatting with clients on the phone about how a piece of antique furniture would fit in their home decor, I reckon I’ve got the best job on the planet. It’s even better when clients send us photos showing their purchases in their new homes! Let’s revisit some of our most popular August posts.

Antique inspirations in our client's French Renaissance kitchen.  Chairs from EuroLuxAntiques.comBob H. sent us a bunch of photos of his amazing chateau style home in Prairie Grove, Illinois, complete with suits of armor! Bob bought a set of ten Renaissance chairs dating to 1900 from us and also a Renaissance buffet server. The chairs were upholstered in leather and carved in walnut, and Bob had a dining table custom-made to match the chairs, right down to the details on the antique chair stretchers. His medieval and Renaissance themed decor is full of antique inspirations and it’s not surprising that his beautifully designed home stars on an annual housewalk. Our Renaissance style furniture client spotlight on Bob’s home will show you why!

Antique inspirations in this reproduction Console Table from EuroLuxAntiques.com, in our client's hallwayIn my spotlight on console tables, I shared my tips on how to choose and use a console table. This was inspired by our client Elizabeth in San Francisco, CA, who was faced with a tricky choice of which console table to choose from our gallery. She has a long, narrow hallway and she couldn’t decide between three equally lovely tables. Which would look best in the space? Elizabeth finally opted for this high-quality reproduction console table in an antique French style, as you can see in the photo. The streamlined silhouette on the hand-waxed and distressed table looks perfect in Elizabeth’s hallway, in my opinion!

 

Sell antiques at auctionWe receive very many emails from people asking how to sell their antiques or vintage items. Often they don’t know how to start figuring out what their antique is worth and then how to go about selling it. So I wrote a post to help them! The post How to Sell Antiques and Vintage Items gives tips on various ways to find out a value for your antiques. It also describes ways you can sell your items locally or via an online site.

Antique inspirations in Dale Tiffany lamps at EuroLuxAntiques.comWe are delighted to offer Dale Tiffany lamps and light fixtures in the gallery. These gorgeous hand-made stained glass lamps are truly antique inspirations!  Many of the intricate glass mosaics on the shades exactly replicate the original designs of Louis Comfort Tiffany lamps from over a century ago. Others are inspired by antique Tiffany lamps, and they are all crafted with the glass techniques pioneered by Tiffany. I know how much artistry goes into creating each unique Dale Tiffany lamp, so I was pleased to see a new video showing how the lamps are crafted. You can watch the short video or just read a summary in my post on Dale Tiffany lamps.

What have been your antique inspirations this month? Tell us about it in the comments box below.

Aimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her best friend, Greg.  Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way.  She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Connect with or you can sign up to receive this blog in your inbox!

How to Buy Antique Furniture Online

I work with a lot of repeat customers, and most of those customers started out skeptical about buying fine French antique furniture on the internet. I don’t blame them. It’s a large purchase that you can’t inspect in person before plunking down the cash. Who would be that crazy?

Luckily, many of our customers are “that crazy.” They not only took the plunge once, but they’ve come back again and again. They’ve learned the secret: Buying fine antique furniture online can be a fun, affordable way to fill your home with items you love to live with. Here are my tips for safely buying antique furniture on the internet.

1. Know Your Seller

Greg and I have been doing this for nearly ten years, so we have an online presence that’s easily discoverable by search engine. A Google search for “EuroLux Antiques” returns 96,000 results! You’ll find us on eBay, on YouTube, on Etsy. You’ll find reviews of us on Yelp and at our local Better Business Bureau. Of course, you’ll also find us on major social media sites, including Facebook, Pinterest, and Google+.

All of this exposure says several things about us (or any online seller). It shows we’ve been in business for awhile. It says we’re engaged with our clients. It says we’re reputable.

True, anyone can fake an online presence. That’s why we’re also easily accessible by phone at 803-276-4001. We have a bricks-and-mortar gallery (see photo below) with regular business hours. If you want to discover what type of customer service experience you’re likely to encounter with any internet seller, simply call their customer service number before you make a purchase. It might be an eye-opening experience for you!

2. Browse the Seller’s Website

But don’t browse their listings just yet. Head for the “About” link. No “About” link? That could be a red flag. Search for a similar page that tells you about the seller. The information you find on the seller’s “About” page can tell you a lot about the type of service to expect from them. And in the business of selling antiques online, service is everything.

Does the About page only give company information, or do you learn something about the actual people behind the business? Most customers would rather purchase antiques from a real person, not from a faceless company.

Check to see if the seller maintains a blog. What type of information does the blog contain? The tone and style of the blog’s content can give you some great clues about the character of the seller.

Lastly, check the seller’s Shipping and/or Terms page. Make sure they offer a reasonable shipping fee and a returns policy.

3. Check References or Testimonials

If you visit our eBay page, you’ll notice we have 100% positive feedback with over 3000 transactions. I’m very proud of that track record! But it’s not the end of the story. You’ll also find a virtual book containing dozens of testimonials from our clients on our website. If you’re considering buying antique furniture online and you don’t see plenty of customer testimonials on the seller’s website, don’t hesitate to ask for references

4. Ask about Flaws

Maintain a healthy skepticism toward any antiques seller who consistently lists items as being in “mint” or “near-mint” condition. Antique furniture, in particular, generally shows the slings and arrows of wear. In fact, that’s one reason people buy antiques: They love that “lived-in” look!

If the seller provides poor photos or few photos of antique items on its website, be sure to ask for more pictures or a detailed description of the furniture by phone. I’m always eager to describe the scratches and chips on a piece of antique furniture to a prospective customer because I want them to know precisely what they’re getting. Greg always takes multiple photos of every item from various angles to authentically represent the condition of antique furniture on our website. We strive to describe colors as accurately as possible. Because customer satisfaction is our top priority, we want our customers to know that “this buffet’s marble top has a chipped corner” or “that antique clock is missing a finial.” If you’re dealing with an online antiques seller who won’t reveal flaws in his or her merchandise, you might be wary of dealing with them.

This gorgeous Henry II antique French buffet, for example, experienced a shipping mishap so we replaced the original marble top with a similar piece of granite. Note how we state that right up front, in the description. You have a right to know exactly what you’re buying — from us or any other online antiques seller!

I hope this brief guide to buying antiques on the internet helps you shop with confidence. Remember, as the customer you always have the right to ASK. Any reputable seller should be happy to field your questions and help you feel comfortable making a large purchase. I know all of us at EuroLux strive to do just that.

PS: Don’t forget you can now subscribe to this blog by email! Just use the form at the bottom.

 Aimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her best friend, Greg.  Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way.  She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina.  Connect with or sign up to receive this blog in your inbox!

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