Welcome to the latest version of the Suzanne’s Cottage website. This iteration is different in a couple ways. This 4th generation of the site offers a new visual aesthetic. Secondly, new articles will reflect my bias as a dealer. There will be more articles dealing with life as a picker and a reseller of recycled and repurposed treasures. Trust me, it’s not as adventurous and exciting as reality TV would have you believe. Third, all the Gallery pages have been redesigned.
The Antiques and Collectibles business has evolved drastically over the past several decades. Charles and I began our quest as we struggled to furnish our old home almost fifty years ago. We didn’t want the manufactured commodity furniture that was available in the large furniture stores like Leavitt’s (remember them?), or Jordan’s. So we took off to the countryside in search of cool mismatched pieces that created a home.
Every weekend we visited flea markets in Southern New Hampshire, Central Massachusetts, and Southern Maine, in search of just the right piece. We’d know it when we saw it. And it was eerie how we usually gravitated to the same pieces.
We ended up with time worn pine pieces that you could put your feet upon after a hard days work. Your kids could run toy trucks over them and it simply added to the patina, no worries. Hunting for stuff was fun, When we first began, we copied or at least tried to emulate the design elements we saw in magazines. Eventually, our style evolved into our own. A style that is impossible to pigeonhole.
Eventually we ended up finding stuff that was too cool to toss in the dumpster, so we saved it. Eventually our home was furnished and appointed with many fascinating artifacts from days gone by. Some things grew into collections. Some items were more seasonal in nature, so we ended up with Spring/Summer decor, and Autumn/Winter decor.
Seasonal decor was much more than simply changing curtains and slip covers. Furnishings, and furniture placement changed. Key design elements and vignettes matched the season. Was our attention focused outside on the pond and gardens? Or were we turning inward towards the fireplace and the large stuffed chair with the throw blankets? This is my palette. Charles considers my decorating to be like sculpture, since it a three dimensional visual and tactile presentation.
With so much collecting, and seasonal decorating always taking place, we decided it was time to unload a few items. So about ten years ago I began either consigning items or renting space in group shops. This was not simply to free up space in the basement, but also as an outlet for flipping “Road Gold”. Those are the items you see at the end of some country driveway that has a cardboard sign that proclaims, “FREE!”.
This is the point where I instruct Charles to turn around and go back, as he rolls his eyes and reminds me that it is not my lot in life to be the curator of all the cool junk in the world. But he is wrong, that is exactly my mission. Even if I have no use for it, if it is a cool piece that is serviceable or a candidate for repurposing, I’ll find somebody who will love it and give it a home.