I loved this little settee the first time I saw it, but I knew with some expert reupholstery and a new design direction, it could be even better. My client has the coordinating armoire in the living room and we wanted to take the piece from antique to modern.
Just around the corner is the front entry to the condo and we knew this piece would be the perfect introduction to the eclectic personality that fills this home. Wanting to play up the contrast between antique and modern, we juxtaposed the gilded antique wood frame with a very modern red patterned cut velvet. It now looks perfect mixed with all of the modern artwork. Helping clients express their personality through fabrics, color and upholstery is our specialty. I love how this antique piece is now beautifully suited for a more modern setting. The settee is a treasure which stands as a work of art all on it’s own. That’s the power of reupholstery and good design.
Twice a year the Zero Landfill event provides an opportunity to keep interior design samples out of the landfill, plus it helps us get a jump on Spring and Fall cleaning. Throughout the year we save up discontinued fabric, sample books, carpet samples and miscellaneous remnants. Being overachievers, we did more than our fair share by filling up our entire Willow delivery truck and transporting these items to the drop off location. This season it was hosted by Organic Looms at 401 N. Wells in Chicago. We were grateful for their help with this event.
These interior design items, mostly sample books and memo samples, are then rescued from ending up in landfills. The goods are transferred to a warehouse where the public can sift through all the “treasures” and take whatever is useful to them. The zero landfill group also donates samples to be used as art supplies. The next few events will be assisted by United Supply in Roselle, IL. They’ve generously offered to collect items from WCAA members (Window Covering Association of America) twice a year. We are grateful for their volunteer efforts.
We have been amazed at how much we’ve collected in such a short time!!! Willow Drapery & Upholstery is concerned about conservation and the environment. We are happy to do our part.
My 88 year old client Arthur Pollakoff just left my shop (Willow). We had a lovely conversation. (I should be doing my paperwork but I wanted to take a break and write down what he said first). He wanted to get a quote on some kitchen chair reupholstery. I walked to his car and brought the chair in. I quoted the price and he said he wanted to run it by his wife and see what she thought. I suggested he call her since just getting out of the car seemed to be quite a bit of work. He’s been married 62 years. When he was done speaking with her I told him he won a gold star for being such a good husband. He called her babe, honey and sweetheart. You could just tell he still really liked her. He wanted to reupholster the chairs but she wanted to shop for new chairs. He can barely walk 20 feet and knows shopping at stores for new chairs is completely ridiculous but he said, “ok, we will undertake the effort to look for new chairs, and reupholstery can be the fall back plan.” He wasn’t just blankly doing what she wanted (as I see many husbands in my shop do), there was a sense of teamwork and mutual respect. They were disagreeing with one another but it was still very pleasant to listen to their phone conversation. He said to me, “One of the secrets to a happy marriage is that you have to respect each other.” I told him that I was divorced but that my 2nd marriage was wonderful. He told me more, “It’s important to remember that you don’t have to win every battle. That’s the one most people goof up.” He told me about his wife and he had endless nice things to say about her. She was an artist, and a professional calligrapher. From the calligraphy she started selling wedding invitations and from that became a wedding planner 40 years ago. She was very talented at it and he said he decided to support her efforts in it. He said, “It’s important to spend time together and I decided if I wanted to see my wife the best way would be to put on a tuxedo and work with her. He worked full time Mon-Fri as a salesman for a lighting company. And every Sat and Sun he was at a wedding in a tuxedo with her. He also joked that she was too beautiful to be left alone every Sat night at somebody else’s wedding anyway. He said working 7 days a week was hard work but that most “work” was hard. He said that good things and good luck would always happen when he was working hard. Never any other way. He joked that good luck could only engage when hard work was at hand. I agreed with that philosophy as most of the truly lucky things that had happened to me were when I was working hard.
He told me about his children and grand children. He then said he would share a story before he left the store. A woman was at home and looked out the window to see 3 men sitting down in her front yard. They looked tired and hungry so she went out and said that they could come in the house and that she would give them some food. The men asked if her husband was at home and she said he was not, that he was at work. They said that they could not come in then but thanked her. When her husband arrived home, she went out again and talked to the men and invited them in for some food. They said that she could only invite one of them in, only 1. They could not come in together and that she only had 1 choice. One man was Wealth, one man was Love, and one man was Success. She asked her husband which man she should invite in. He said Wealth. She thought more about it and said that if she could only have 1 then Love was invited in. Once Love walked in, then Success and Wealth walked in. The husband and wife were confused and said, “I thought we could only invite one of you in, and that the others could not come?”. The 3 men said that only when you invite Love into your home first will that allow Wealth and Success to follow. You cannot invite Wealth first and expect Love to follow.
Arthur Pollakoff repeated to me, “Invite love into your home”.
I told him of my client’s the Whitcomb’s who have only been married 57 years and how comfortable I am in their home. They showed me the 2 club chairs that they want to reupholster in their living room and the 2 chairs in their den. They said, “This is where we like to sit together and read in the mornings. This is where we like to sit together and watch TV in the afternoon around 3pm.” It was very sweet. I noticed that their house had a wonderful feeling to it. There wasn’t anything special about the architecture or furnishings but the house was very clean and it was filled with love. I told my husband Bob that I wanted us to grow old like that.
Arthur liked that story and ended with, “You are the master of your destiny, what you pick and choose to spend your time on shape your life.”