COMMENT OF THE DAY: HOW THE DECLINING MARKET FOR ANTIQUES IS FUELING THE SELF-STORAGE BOOM “My mom has an amazing collection of stuff like this. I think about it all the time. . . . worried what I’m going to to with my great great grandfather’s table, and my great grandmother’s silver. I don’t have the room for it at this point in my life . . . but I don’t want to give it away. I almost feel like I need to get a storage unit for it.” [Chef DB, commenting on The Underappreciated Riches of Houston’s Antique Set]
THE UNDERAPPRECIATED RICHES OF HOUSTON’S ANTIQUE SET “Someday,” antique dealer and appraiser David Lackey muses to intrepid radio reporter Allison Lee, “the Millennials . . . may be horrified when their children want mahogany furniture and doilies and figurines.” But for now, Lackey seems resigned to the great generational decline — and accompanying price drops — in the market for antique furniture: “There are half as many antique shows in Houston as there were 20 or 30 years ago,” he tells Lee. “Traditional English and American furniture, overall, has fallen maybe 50 to 75 percent.” Lackey operates his business out of the Antiques of River Oaks antiques megashop (pictured above) in the home-furnishings-themed shopping center at 3461 W. Alabama north of Greenway Plaza, but he’s also out and about, soaking up the zeitgeist: “I go into more estates — or I’m working with older people and they’re selling a lot of their stuff because they say their kids and grandkids do not want it. They’ve made it very clear. The younger generation, for the most part, is not very interested in formal candlelight suppers. They don’t want silver, china, crystal, because they don’t intend to entertain that way.” [Houston Public Media] Photo: David Lackey Antiques & Art
First order of business at all future meetings around Motile: achieve full consensus on table height. The rendering above from Mayfield and Ragni Studio shows the Houston architecture and design firm’s plan for an adjustable conference table, allowing working teams to alternate at will between sitting and standing (so long as they can unanimously agree on exactly when to do so). The table is headed for this summer’s NeoCon design trade show, where it’s in the running for a HiP award; if you like the idea, the trade show’s online voting system appears to still be operational (though the voting period appears to have formally ended yesterday).
Table the Motion
Not quite 3 years after reopening as what owner Rodney Finger claimed to be the biggest furniture store in Texas, the 600,000-sq.-ft. I-45 Finger Furniture flagship — and the 16.5 acres near UH that it sits on — has come up for sale. Until the Finger family bought the property in the early ’60s, it was home to a minor-league baseball stadium for the Houston Buffs, a farm team for the Cardinals up in St. Louis. That history was given some floor space among the couches and mattresses indoors in the Houston Sports Museum — with a replica home plate in the showroom tile to approximate the original. And the asking price? $11 million.
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ART OF THE DOWNTOWN HOTEL SUITE FURNITURE Blogger Robert Boyd’s upstart Pan Art Fair — now touting itself as “Houston’s smallest art fair” — has been digging deep into the furniture of its Embassy Suites hotel room venue (Suite 307) to find space for more exhibitors. Added to the showing space for the fair, which runs at the same time as the much larger Texas Contemporary Art Fair across Discovery Green in the GRB beginning this Thursday: exhibits in the end-table and dresser drawers. Four of the six sliding spaces, dubbed “micro-booths,” have already been snatched up by artists and galleries, according to the fair’s website. Still available: the south end-table drawer, listed as the former location of “the installation Gideon Bible Piece.” [Pan Art Fair; previously on Swamplot] Photo: Embassy Suites
HOW TO REDECORATE IN SECRET West U design blogger Joni Webb confesses to the plan she had been pursuing all along: “How do you redecorate without your husband really noticing? If I had told Ben I was going to redo the entire downstairs, he would have had a heart attack. In order to save his life, I never told him. Instead, the changes were done a little bit at a time over the course of a few years. Slowly, slowly, and quietly. Once the countertops had been paid for and forgotten about, I had the walls painted. Well, they needed it anyway!! Once the walls were gray, I lived with the old yellow silk ticking curtains for a while before I changed them out for the grayish taffeta. And who would ever notice a few new slipcovers anyway? Certainly Ben didn’t. He pays so little attention to what I’m doing around the house, he is still oblivious that I have been redecorating for the past couple of years all with a grand scheme in mind.” [Cote de Texas] Photo: Joni Webb