THE NEW GILDED AGE (Part 2)
THE NEW GILDED AGE (Part 2)
10th January, 2019 0
Interior design is all about how we experience spaces. It’s a part of our daily lives and affects how we live, work, play, and even heal. Comfortable homes, functional workplaces, beautiful public spaces - that’s but a few manifestations of interior design at work.
For Amy Wisniewski design and art have been a part of her life since a very young age, especially her passion for antique furniture and fascination with restoring it, which is one of the main reasons she decided to open Vintage 11 - an entirely unique custom and antique furniture and accessory shop located inside the SVRC Marketplace at 203 N. Washington Ave. in Downtown Saginaw, which also handles custom furniture painting and renovation, faux painting and murals, bathroom vanities, murals, interior design, and much more.
“I studied interior design at Delta College in their fine arts program and then went to design school at Central Michigan University, started my career in Traverse City, and then worked at Art Sample Furniture for six years specializing in custom painting and design,” explains Amy. “In 2001 I left and started my own business called Surface, which specialized in faux painting and murals, moved around in different states, and was gone for a decade. I slowly got back into developing clientele and heard about the Marketplace so decided to reinvent the business by starting Vintage 11 because I always wanted a shop of my own.”
“Vintage antique furniture has always been a passion of mine before it was cool to do; and my fascination for antiques always led me to different garage sales,” she continues. “Once I see a piece that I know I can do something with, I secure it for potential customers insofar as personal consultation is a big part of my business. Many customers have spaces within their home that they may have renovated 10 years ago, but now are tired of it and don’t want a huge renovation, so we may start by revamping furniture or refreshing it with a custom painting treatment to make it look new again.
“Essentially, after consulting about the project, we’ll create something new for it - whether its utilizing renovated pieces of furniture or accessories that I have on the floor, or finding something specific through outsourcing,” adds Amy. “I’ve had many customers interested in moving things around or having me do some shopping to create something for them unique to their space. It’s funny because a lot of people will put things to the curb and discard them and I’ll think they are beautiful and take these items and restore them. I have two garages and a basement full of stuff for people looking for something unique.”
“One customer came in this summer and I had a piece of furniture on the floor they fell in love with,” notes Amy. “I went to her home with it and then she wanted me to look for an end-table to match her piece of furniture. It just so happened that I had a piece sitting in storage for 20 years that I never knew what do with that I re-painted to make unique that fit her space perfectly.”
As with anything, the price for renovating a space or piece of furniture will vary depending upon how intricate you get with the piece or project. “I’ve been doing this long enough that if a person gives me budget I can work out options within that price range to meet their needs,” notes Amy. “A lot of unique antique pieces can be worth a lot of money, especially if they have a story behind it. I had a vanity that was acquired from North Carolina that came out of an old Masonic Temple in Washington, D.C. from one of the first furniture companies in the United States. It had the original stamp on the back, so the person who ends up with that piece in their bathroom will have a unique piece with a story behind it.”
“Recently I found an old piece from the 1950s that is mid-century modern and hugely popular back in the day at a garage sale shoved in a barn, so I brought it back to the shop and refurbished it and everything works on it, so this is a big part of what I do. Everything I’ve done, whether interior design, learning the history of design, managing retail, or setting up displays at Art Sample have all led to where I’m at right now - everything I’ve learned has come into play with Vintage 11.”
When asked about her most challenging project, Amy points to when she was working in Traverse City at Lynn Pettyjohn Interiors. “There was a beautiful home on the Peninsula that had been featured in Traverse Magazine, and the owner wanted to replicate the Ronald & Nancy Reagan years with several interior projects they were working on. They had had this old table with an intricate design and wanted real 14-karat gold treated into it, which was a very tedious and delicate process that took me 63 hours to complete this little table that was only two-feet long.”
“There really isn’t any one thing that distinguishes my services,” concludes Amy. “There’s a lot of amazing boutiques and antique shops around, which I love; but Vintage 11 is more than just a shop where you can buy antiques. Everything here is something I’ve either made or re-invented and restored with the added bonus of being able to offer design services where we either work, paint, or consult with you. Plus, we also stage Painting and Design Group Parties where we’ll conduct In-House workshops and show people how to do some of their own refinishing.”
For more information on Vintage 11 or to schedule an appointment or consultation, you can visit with Amy at SVRC Marketplace or phone 989.860.7084.
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THE NEW GILDED AGE (Part 2)