Thank Goodness I Didn't Buy That!

Though I mentioned being frustrated by my lack of progress on the house yesterday, I have to acknowledge that I'm also glad I haven't gone full steam ahead. I'm not the kind of person who sees a space and knows instantly what to do with it. I need to spend some time in the space and see how it gets used. The ideas slowly come together for me. There are some truly horrific pictures in the archives of this blog that show that I don't always make the best color or purchase decisions on the fly.

As I lived with our coral/pink front hall this summer, I realized that I hated the paint color I picked. I'm going to repaint the room shortly and I'm going to use a softer, more subtle pink.

For months, I thought I'd be ordering a bone inlay chest to sit in the foyer, under my beloved John Matthew Moore print, Olivia. I thought this would looks so great with her:

I post this picture and wonder "what the heck was I thinking?" That is not the piece to compliment Olivia and it's not a piece that really "goes" with our style (though I LOVE bone inlay). Thank goodness I didn't make that purchase!

So I am now looking for a more traditional, wood chest for the space. While I was traveling for work, I ducked into a furniture store in Northern Virginia and saw this beautiful Hickory Chair chest:

I like that I could order this piece locally from Folly Home Furnishings  and that Hickory Chair is manufacturing everything in North Carolina.

I also paid a visit to Stedman House here in Charlottesville to see if they had any options. I'm embarassed to say it, but in almost ten years of living here, I never realized Stedman House was a retail store and an interior design firm. I thought their house downtown was just an office!

Nicole Fagerli, one of the designers on staff, immediately recommended a company called Modern History when I described the style of chest I hoped to find. She showed me some pieces in their book...and I honestly assumed they'd be way out of my price range when I saw the beautiful finishes on them.

On my way home from visiting the Richmond Symphony Designer Show House last weekend, I stopped at a few more stores. A woman at The Kellogg Collection (a store I recently fell back in love with) started pulling up some Modern History pieces on her computer when I told her about my search. She told me that the company was making everything in Vietnam these days. When I told her I was hoping to buy something made in America, she said that many (almost all, I think) casegoods were being made in Asia because the wood is coming from there and the EPA had regulations that prohibited some of the materials our manufacturers used to use.

I left Kellogg a bit sad. I didn't know how much the Modern History pieces would be, but I imagined them to be in the same range as the other brands carried in the store. At that price point, I didn't expect imports.

When I ran into Beth Ann Kallen from Folly the next day, she reassured me that Hickory Chair was making all of their goods in North Carolina. She's even been to the factory, so she saw their practices first hand!

I circled back to Nicole at Stedman House and she send me prices. The Modern History pieces were about half the price of the domestically made pieces.

I have to admit that I'm wavering a little bit on the American made thing right now...


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