While antiques might be a ‘thing of the past’ they can definitely be a thing for the present and future, too – even for millennials, according to one antique dealer in Lindsay.
Kathleen Chester, who along with her husband John Vanderheide, runs White Pine Antique in Lindsay, says many mid-century pieces can be painted to be utilized in the home, even for modern sensibilities. White Pine carries the FAT Chalk-style paint for this.
“Our lifestyle has changed and so have the furniture choices that we make. Many of us no longer have a formal dining room so a sideboard or china cabinet is no longer used in that capacity. Paint it and use it in your bathroom for bath towels and linen, use it in your bedroom as a closet, or use it in your living room for your flat screen TV,” she says.
Chester says if people use their imagination it can be a lot of fun decorating one’s home, especially with non-chain store pieces of furniture.
“One of the most interesting aspects of an antique is the uniqueness. It’s having a piece of decor that piques your interest and isn’t something that you will find in every other home you visit — it creates conversation,” she says.
She says many pieces can be changed so “that they are useful to you.”
“We have a vintage Findlay stove that just needs a lovely piece of maple attached on top so that it can be used as a butcher’s block,” for instance.
“Some of the vintage lamps that we sell are pieces of artwork all on their own — but they’re useful pieces of art.”
Another idea: Turn a vintage floor model radio or record player into a liquor cabinet. “You have space to store your beverage bottles in and an interesting piece of furniture. Your own in-home bar.”
Of course, one of the advantages of using vintage pieces is the quality.
“It would be hard today to find a reasonably priced chest of drawers that’s made as well as the vintage pieces that we have,” Chester says, and antiques also speak about a person’s interests, sparking conversation.
So many people buy things that “look old” but are actually new. Instead of choosing to to buy a piece that’s new but made to look old — buy the old piece.
She gives the example of using stacking boxes for shelving by picking up some old pop bottle crates. They are sturdy and they have a history that goes with them.
“Get out of the habit of always having to buy new — help preserve the past and keep ‘stuff’ out of the landfills.”
There’s also the curiosity factor. “Stop for a moment and think about what it meant to people when they purchased the new improved oil lamp — it burned brighter and for a longer period of time. Be intrigued by the way that it was for those who went before us.”
Chester says she and her husband, John, love to meet the people who come into their store.
“They share their stories and a little bit of their lives. If they have something to sell often there’s a story that goes with it.”
She and her husband opened the doors of White Pine Antiques and Collectables in Apsley in August of 2013. This store is seasonal, open weekends in May, June and September and in July and August they’re open every day.
Since they live most of the year in Lindsay, they also chose to create White Pine in Lindsay at 104 Lindsay Street South. This location is open Wednesday to Sunday year round. Although on Monday and Tuesday they’re open “by chance.”
There’s antique and vintage furniture, china, crystal, glassware and earthenware, lighting, hardware, kitchen appliances, tins, military, books, stamps, LPs and musical instruments. There’s also a large variety of artwork, like paintings, sculpture, and indigenous beadwork.
“Come for a visit — and if you can’t find what you’re looking for we love the challenge of trying to find it for you.”