Tuesday, May 15, 2012

LIV Vintage Celebrates 1 Year

Today is the one year anniversary of the launch of the wonderful Etsy store LIV Vintage. If you are not a follower of this amazing vintage shop, here is a small sampling of some of her vintage pieces that have sold recently. She is an incredible online source for vintage Chinoiserie and Hollywood Regency with a fabulous eye, wonderful prices, outstanding customer service, and reasonable shipping. Keep checking back all the time. Her pieces sell very quickly and have been known to sell in minutes when I feature one in my High/Low posts. She was nice enough to suspend her vintage Chinoiserie hunting long enough for this interview below. Enjoy getting to know Kim of LIV Vintage. In honor of her anniversary, she is offering Chinoiserie Chic readers 20% off all items in her store this week with code LIV20.

Q - How did you choose the name LIV Vintage?

A - The name LIV Vintage came from my daughter’s name Olivia. Her nickname is Liv and I made it a play on words “live vintage."

Q - What motivated you to open an Etsy store and to specialize in Chinoiserie?

A - For as long as I can remember, I have been passionate about design. I have sold antiques and vintage items for many years. I also am an International Society of Appraisers certified appraiser. I have always had a love of Chinoiserie and find myself drawn to those pieces.

I began selling on Etsy in May of 2011 actually on a whim. I had heard about Etsy and thought I would try selling a few pieces. As fate would have it, you featured some of my very first listings (a wonderful pagoda headboard and nightstands) and I started to gather a small following. So I guess you could say Chinoiserie Chic was instrumental in my continuing to do something that I am passionate about.

Q - Where do you find your pieces?

A - I find pieces from many different sources: estate sales, auctions, Craigslist, flea markets ….you really have to love the hunt because you could go days without finding a single item, but the reward comes when you stumble upon that one special piece.

Q - How do you use Chinoiserie pieces in your own home?

A - I have very eclectic taste. I love Chinoiserie mixed with Louis XVI, Mid Century Modern, etc. I also love the mix of high and low. My living room currently has a Chinoiserie yellow lacquered credenza, a pair of Louis XVI chairs, an antique bronze and marble gueridon I bought years ago when I really couldn’t afford it, a Mid Century lucite coffee table, an Ikea sofa (kids and a dog ;-) , and of course, Chinoiserie lighting and mirrors.

Q - Isn't Florida where you live fabulous for finding vintage Chinoiserie?

A - I think my area is fantastic for finding Chinoiserie and a lot of other great design. Many retired people have migrated here from places such as NYC and have brought the best of what they have collected throughout the years.

Q - What Chinoiserie pieces do you suggest for the beginning collector?

A - I think the classic Chinoiserie pieces are Chinoiserie mirrors, they have been around since the 1700’s, Chinoiserie lighting adds a wonderful touch, and anything with a Chinoiserie influence such as the Greek key, faux bamboo, and pagodas. These pieces may be antique or reconfigured in a more modern interpretation, but ultimately the classic lines will make them stand the test of time. If I find a piece I really like, I get my fix by keeping it for a while, but I do LOVE change so eventually that piece will make it to the marketplace.

Q - Do you suggest repainting vintage pieces or keeping the original finish?

A - When it comes to refurbishing vintage pieces, I say go for it with a few exceptions. For instance, I have a vintage Renzo Rutilli Chinoiserie yellow lacquered credenza that I would NEVER think of painting. It would greatly diminish the value of the piece in doing so. But the everyday pieces by Thomasville or the like won’t be harmed by repainting or refinishing. I think they actually tend to be enhanced by giving them a more modern edge.

Q - Suggestions for painting vintage pieces?

A - I paint with Benjamin Moore products. I like the color palate and the quality of the paint. I would gladly paint a piece for a customer. A lot of my pieces end up being custom painted in a color to suit their d├ęcor. Sometimes the hardest part is trying to determine what color to paint something because I don’t want to limit the customer by choosing the wrong color for their design.

Thanks so much Kim! Happy Anniversary. Now go visit her store for a Chinoiserie find of your own and remember to use code LIV20 for 20% off this week. 

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