Furniture Love

Wonderful weekend here. I took Friday off work to celebrate husband’s birthday and we had an amazing time. We all headed up to Madison for a family day, and did some of husband’s favorite things – lunch at his favorite pub and a tour of some gaming stores up there. We also did the children’s museum with Little Man, and of course – stopped at a few antique malls.

There is nothing I love better than a good, affordable antique mall and the Madison Antique Mall is both of these things. I was happy to find a lovely oval Blue Willow vegetable bowl – for just $5 – to add to my collection. And I was happier still when husband called me over to look at this little gem –


Isn’t it wonderful? It’s a gorgeous little bedside table that fits perfectly into the tiny space next to my side of the bed. The paint needs to be freshened up, but otherwise it’s in great condition. It’s hard to see in the photo, but on the back of the table is a vertical magazine pocket – so handy, and gives it a little extra bit of charm. But the best part about this table? It was only $30! We’ve been searching for bedside tables since we moved in and I realized that the bureau-style tables I wanted to make over wouldn’t fit in the bedroom at all. So excited to not be using moving boxes as a table anymore! Well, on my side at least… we still need to find a table for husband’s side. But we’re halfway there.

Our visit to Madison was a day trip, but we have a superb antiques mall in our town as well – Colonial Antique Mall. I absolutely adore this place. I always find something (usually multiple somethings) when I go in there, and the prices are completely reasonable. They have a consignment section in the basement that I call the “bargain basement” with the best prices of all.

You may remember that our dining room still has no dining furniture at all. We do not dine. We eat meals scrunched around the coffee table in the living room. Not fun, so getting the dining room usable is high on my list. But furniture, especially large pieces, is so expensive! I’ve felt discouraged for months, knowing there is no way ever that I will be dropping 2k on a china cabinet or hutch.

So on Saturday we decided to continue the winning streak with the bedside table and check out Colonial – just to see. We found lots of maybe pieces, but nothing we loved. And in our last five minutes in the store, in the back of the consignment room, I spotted a hutch and it was love at first sight. Just the look I wanted. And just exactly the right size (our dining room is small; we need petite. Most hutches are not petite). I ran (oh, yes I did) across the room. It was gorgeous up close! No major issues. I was afraid to look at the price. I glanced at the tag and it said “Ethan Allen”. No, an Ethan Allen piece could not be in the bargain basement! So I walked around to the back of it, and sure enough the maker’s mark was clear as day – Ethan Allen. I had to know the price. I was determined to have it and I had to know if it would bankrupt me. My heart all a flutter I finally checked the tag – $150!!! Just one zero, not two! I literally did an actual happy dance in front of the hutch for a few minutes, with Little Man laughing and husband imploring me to calm down. So what does this beautiful piece of furniture look like? Behold –


Is it not the most gorgeous hutch you’ve ever seen? And only $150!? You’ll see one of the knobs is broken (I found it in a drawer when we got it home, so I’m hopeful of repair) and it has one little scratch on the top that is hardly noticeable at all. Otherwise, it’s in glorious condition. But the best part? I took the tag to the cash register and the kind lady ringing me out gave me another heart attack. She said to me – “Do you know this has been marked down?” Do I know this has been marked down!? Apparently the seller was insane. Or knew in their hearts I was out there, and had faith I would come at just the right moment and make a home it. Do you want to know how much I paid? It was on sale for just $114! So after tax, it cost me $122. Win! Win! Win! Could not believe my luck. Since hutches, even small ones, do not fit in Honda Civics, we did have to rent a truck, but fortunately Menards rents pick up trucks for $25 for an hour, which is all we needed. So all in including the truck rental, we paid $147 for this lovely piece of furniture.

Once I got it home, I started a little research on it. Additional marks on the piece read Baumritter and “Made in Vermont”. Apparently Baumritter was the first name of the company that started out as Ethan Allen. They used the name “Ethan Allen Baumritter” between 1936 – 1969, so I have an earlier EA piece. On the inside door I also found a poison control poster copywrited to 1959, so that further narrows the dates of it’s manufacture to between 1936-1959. It was clearly made in Vermont. It’s solid maple – there isn’t a piece of plywood or MDF on this thing. It’s a dream.

On Ebay, similar pieces are going from anywhere from $500 to over $1,000. So I got a good deal! The bottom cabinet will house my sewing supplies and fabrics. Since I don’t have a craft room, I needed a place to keep supplies that is easy to access and near a big work surface (the dining table, when ever we build it), but still enclosed so it doesn’t look cluttered and messy all the time. The hutch solves that problem! The larger drawer will hold table linens. The silverware drawer will hold serving pieces. And the top shelves will display some of my milk glass and Blue Willow.

The house is slowly but surely coming together. And I’m happy, as always, to buy second hand and get a great deal!