Monday, October 10, 2011

Hidden Treasure: Charlotte's Merchant Vendors Shine

This month brings many changes to the crazy layout of this old house and to the finely tuned dynamics of our marriage. Cooper is moving to a big boy room and giving his nursery set to his "new cousin to be." I am giving up the guest bedroom space to the 2 1/2 year old cutie pie mentioned above and gaining back a much needed office space. We are rearranging, reworking and redesigning at least three rooms on a small budget. In my rush to get Cooper's "ducks in a row," I forgot about my "ducks". . .or more specifically, my  immediate storage needs!

The first order of business was to get a dresser fast, like in five days fast and on the cheap, like $500 cheap. For an entire week I was a desperate, mad women in need of a furniture fix.  My search started at the Brass Exchange on Selwyn Avenue, a great place  for new, AFFORDABLE  traditional and french country  wooden furniture. They order their inventory (from Bramble) a year out and if they don't have a piece you can order it, but it takes forever and they didn't have what I needed in stock. I quickly realized this was going to happen to me at almost every furniture store, so I changed gears and hit up the local merchant vendor and consignment shops.

Next Stop, Cotswold Marketplace for fun transitional and traditional vendors with new and remade classic pieces and in-house decorators. I didn't find the perfect dresser, but I did find some awesome options. Take a look:

* Perfect Color but not enough drawers.

*Both dressers were cute and around $500, but not quite big enough to hold the 1/4th of my stuff I am trying to keep with me in our room.

I left Cotswold and made a mad dash to Slate Interiors on Central Avenue. I am a big fan of their transitional, mid-century and modern vendors plus they have great  interior designers. Oh and I love, love, the mid-range price point! Search through the different mini-rooms for everything from great lamp shades, furniture, upholstery of every kind and fun home accessories. I didn't find just the right piece for our master bedroom this time, but they really do have a little of everything.

Dont just take my word for it, see for your self:

* I love the corner lamp with the chrome base and oversized shade!!

*HUGE sunburst  mirror would be perfect for a grand entrance and the lamps are my favorites! Ok, I think everything in the picture just rocks.

On two wheels, I scooted out of Plaza-Midwood and back over to Dilworth to try Alexander Scott for the first time. Relatively new to the area, Alexander Scott is a vendor merchant now occupying the old McCall Gallery of Fine Arts building. Judging from the grand entrance and private gates, my first impression was that I would never find anything on budget. But they don't know that, so I roll right on in. . .  Well they might suspect that, by my frazzled self, but they are super nice and helpful anyways. I found a piece or two on budget and slightly above it. What a great place to have in the neighborhood.  The girl working the floor takes me through two floors of amazing pieces and then offers to email her venders a description of what I am looking for. So sweet!

Here is the one piece that  I seriously considered:

Saturday afternoon, I ditched my family at home and decided to try  a couple of places. Heading up South Blvd, I turned blindly onto New Bern Street. I have heard this sleepy South End street is home to many furniture warehouses. Jackpot! New Bern is home to at least four great places including French Heritage and the Furniture Connector. Both places have some inspiring pieces and mid-range prices, but no luck for me here.

Completely disheartened and feeling beaten down, I navigated my way up South Blvd to Sleepy Poet Antique Mall.  The place is crowded, dusty and not at all pretty and for a minute I think I might have a panic attack. Just in time, a kind older gentleman hands me a piece of paper and a pencil and tells me to keep track of what row I am on and the pieces I am interested in. The place was full of hidden furniture gold and 20 minutes and three rows later I have found at least two excellent options under $300. I am way under budget and with the help of my friends Beth and Billy, I  decide on the spot that my search is over. I talk the guy down to $250 and bring my dresser home immediately.

What do you think?

Here it is at home minus a cool new mid century lamp and some funky accessories:

*As soon as I get it all decorated I promise to post!



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