Today, while Brett and Hurley hung out at the house doing chores, I took off for Richmond to do a little antique shopping with my good friend, Terri. You may remember Terri from my antique auction trip. She is a great person to have along for a good second opinion.
We went to Gate’s Antiques. I have been here before, but this time, we did a little more looking in detail. Well, to say we did “a little more” may be underestimating what we did. We spent four hours there! We talked to the owner, Jay Gates, a second generation family member to owns Gate’s Antiques.
Gate’s Antiques is located in Midlothian, Virginia, just outside Richmond. Gate’s Antique was opened in 1961 by Jay’s father and mother. Jay starting working with his family in the store around age six. After attending college and working part time in the store, Jay started working full time in 1997. In 2001, he took over management of the store and has led the business ever since. Jay specializes in American and English furniture from 1650-1925. He also specializes in Chinese and Japanese exports. Jay is an appraiser and is an active member of the New England Appraisers Association. Gate’s Antiques has been recognized as a leader in the antique industry in central Virginia. Recently they were voted Favorite Furniture Repair and Refinishing Shop in 2011 by the Richmond Magazine.
We started off chatting with Jay and his mother about Belle Grove and what our vision was for the plantation. We talked about each room and what I saw in those rooms. We talked about furniture, art, rugs and curtains. We talked about colors, fabrics and wall coverings. We talked about what “statement” we wanted to make when someone walked into the Mansion.
Then we were off to see the furniture he had in stock!
All four warehouses!
It was glorious!
So much to see…
So much to pick from…
Jay asked me:
“What do you think about this one?”
“What do you like about this one?”
“What do you not like about this one?”
“Do you like the legs on this?”
“Do you like the finish on this?”
The best part was that when I said, “No, I don’t like that.” He was okay with it. We just moved on to the next piece. And as time went on, he seemed to zero in on what my style was, even though I still don’t know what it is. It was like I explained to Jay. I can take food and place it on a plate and make it look and taste good. But I can’t take furniture and place in a room and make it look right. I need someone that is going to listen to me and help me take those pieces I like and make sense of them in a room.
By the end of our walk through, I was ready to buy most of his items. But I can’t just yet. First we need to get a proposal and see what we have to work with. Then we can make sure that we have the right person doing the job.
So today was mostly window shopping…
But next time…
It will be for real!
Below are some of the items we saw today. If you have Twitter or Integram, you got to “live” it in real time! We will be doing that as we go along. So you too can get the thrill of filling Belle Grove.
Tomorrow, it’s off to the plantation to get some measurements.
Hurley will be coming along.
We might just have to get some video of him enjoying the plantation!
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