"Your house must be beautiful."
Not a week (actually a day) goes by without a customer saying this to us.
We usually laugh and say "the cobblers children have no shoes."
There are a few reasons for this. First is that we work 7 days a week, we have lots of plans and we get things done but not at the pace that we would like. Second, is that furniture comes and goes in our world. We buy things, we live with them and then our style changes and the furniture goes out. Finally, we don't actually have one home, we have two. We own a home near Valley Forge, PA which is also home to our private workshop and studio, but we also rent an apartment in Bordentown, NJ just a few steps from the store so when we need to be there for more than a few days in a row, we don't have to drive back and forth.
The apartment doesn't change too much, it represents Paul's style primarily - it feels masculine and comfortable with a nice mix of antique and contemporary furnishings.
The house however, is always in flux. For the last year or so we've been swapping out some older pieces for some clean line contemporary furniture as well as a few mid-century pieces.
But the master bedroom is the one room that doesn't change much. Until a few months ago when we came across the most beautiful piece of furniture.
Keep in mind that I don't get ga-ga over furniture. We see so much furniture that we know if we see something we like but it isn't the right price, we pass. We know that something else will come along.
So we were shopping at one of our usual suppliers in Pennsylvania when we spotted the most beautiful antique French armoire. I swooned over it as if it were a piece of art in a museum. It was the kind of piece that you admire in a magazine but you never imagine yourself actually owning.
Paul walked over and looked at the tag. He took his glasses off his head and looked again. Then he turned to me and asked "do you want this?"
Do I want this? This is a piece that I have only dreamed about. I laughed and responded "yeah, sure, how much?"
Paul looked me dead in the eye and said "$250." I was dumbfounded. That can't be right. I put my glasses on and looked at the tag. He was right, it was $250. I looked it up and down wondering what was wrong with it. Once I was satisfied that the mirrors were perfect and there were no missing pieces, I looked at Paul again. Holding back tears I told him...
"Yes, we need to own this."
So right then and there we bought it, took it apart, loaded it in the car and set it up in our bedroom.
Every day I wake up in that room and look at that beautiful armoire, I feel happy. It's lovely and life is to short not to surround yourself with beautiful things.
We're Paul and Johanna and we write about our life in the furniture business. The things we love, the places we go, and the treasures we find along the way.