Saturday, October 29, 2011
A Furniture Find
Yesterday I dragged my sister Beverly and my brother-in-law Stephen, who are visiting from Birmingham, and Emma all to Baytown to look at a 1950s maple set. The furniture turned out to need refinishing. Although the price was reasonable, I figured that once I paid to have it re-done it would be way more than I wanted to spend. The seller, bless her heart, offered to let me take a couple of the drawers to a refinisher nearby. I agreed, and we set out. As we pulled into the parking lot, I thought, "What a nice place!" It was much nicer than I was expecting for a refinisher. It turned out that this "refinisher", Town and Country Sales, offers much more, including upholstery services and a gallery of restored and new pieces.
Three people were standing outside and greeted us warmly. One of them was Ronnie Parrish, the owner. I explained why we were there, and he came over to the car with me and Beverly, examined the drawers, and gave us a detailed explanation about what would be required to fix it, the virtues and sins of maple as a furniture wood, what to beware of in future shopping for maple (tiny hairline cracks where the wood is joined by glue) and how much he would charge to refinish it. He ended by encouraging us to keep doing what we were doing--searching Craigslist and going to garage and estate sales in search of quality furniture. The whole time he talked to us, it was as a knowledgeable friend. Clearly, profit margin is not his primary concern. He loves what he is doing, and he cares about people. It was a wonderful experience.
After returning the drawers to the car, we told him we wanted to visit his store. He welcomed us to do so, and we entered to discover an antique wonderland, all of it expertly repaired and refinished. "I finally found furniture I like!" Emma exclaimed as we "oooohed" and "ahhhhed" our way through the building.
When I looked at the prices, I had sticker shock, not because they were so high, but because they were so reasonable. Not cheap but reasonable. Stephen was impressed by the woodworking equipment he could see in their shop. On the way out, Emma and I climbed up in the big chair in front of the store, and Beverly took the picture above. We can't wait to go back.