Newly Upscaled Antiques

Newly Upscaled Antiques is a new line of furniture, décor and home accessories created by a husband and wife team who have worked together for seven years. Each piece is handcrafted from salvaged items with a fresh contemporary look. These chic new pieces not only look like they are brand new, but are designed to bring classic antiques into the 21st century.

The designers have an eye for detail and have even brought in some of their old high school friends to help get it just right! The result is a fresh take on antique furniture, décor and home accessories that will satisfy collectors and those who just want to be stylish.

Their style is classic, but with a twist. Their designs include all new pieces such as:

-Coaster tables in country style porcelain tile finish with antiqued glass tops

-Dresser handles in chrome steel finish

-Tables with wood butcher block tops in black finish

-Cabinets in white finish with chrome hardware

-Coffee tables in white finish with wood glass tops

-Timber dressers in white finish with brass hardware

-Armature lamps in white finish with brass accents

-Bathroom mirrors in chrome steel finish with bronze accents

This is the big trick at Restoration Hardware. The store sells new furniture that looks like it’s been around for a century: oak-veneer furniture in the style of Queen Anne, or mahogany tables and chairs from the 1920s. But the company can’t sell new things in old-fashioned styles anymore – they are now selling newly upgraded antiques.

You can see this at head office in California, where the co-founder and CEO, Joe Magnacca, runs meetings every day to make sure his staff are selling “a new kind of antique.” It’s a classic example of how a clever acquisition can make you obsolete. What’s happened is that Restoration Hardware has bought up high-end supplies businesses that have become so efficient they can now produce everything the company needs on demand – and then sell it back to the customer as if it were brand new. The company is no longer an antique dealer; it builds its own supply chain. When customers come in to buy something from Restoration Hardware, they are almost always buying something that has never been sold before – and probably never will be again. And because individual antiques don’t fit into Restoration’s supply chain, it doesn’t have to worry about obsolescence.

This is a new kind of home accessory, a replica. They are made to look old.

It’s a tribute to the power of antiques: they can seem brand new and still be right there in the store next door. But that’s not because they’re exactly like the thing you remember. It’s because they’re so very similar that they can be mistaken for it without testing anyone’s memory.”

Sometimes people collect something just because it is old. In the early 20th century, a collector named George F. Kennon collected old toy buses. He kept them in a custom-built antique shop that looked like an old-fashioned city bus. Then he adapted them for modern use—making them removable, for example, so that people could move them around their house and use them as storage units.

While the idea of using antiques as storage was new, the idea of using them to create a living room look was not: in fact, it was so well-known that it had its own name: “antique busk.”

Modern art has a reputation for being fussy, but the fact is that modern art, whether it’s photography or painting or sculpture, looks exactly like what it is. It looks exactly like how we expect it to look.

Modern furniture, on the other hand, looks brand new. It looks just like the finest furniture ever made. The problem with this is that it doesn’t last. Furniture doesn’t wear out; it gets sold and replaced with something identical. The quality of the living room declines by a factor of four every fifty years, and so by the time you’re my age you’ll have something that would look just fine if you were wearing an antique busk.

A friend of mine has a very interesting job. He’s a busker, someone who plays music in the streets of Vancouver and other cities, and his specialty is vintage instruments. He’s built up a collection of instruments that he uses in his performances, but which had been built in the past: harpsichords, mandolins and guitars made before the 1940s, for example, or Stradivarius violins.

He found these instruments because they are rare or because they are unusually beautiful. But some of them are also rare because they have been modified to be playable by modern players, often with aluminum strings instead of gut strings; they have been retrofitted with electronics to permit playing on stage.

I don’t know how much money he makes from busking, but I think it’s probably enough that he can play the instruments for pleasure and make a modest living from autographs and photographs. The work is fun too: he gets to travel around Canada, the United States and Europe playing music that fits into his collection.

And this is certainly not a vanity project: like me he has two full-time jobs as well.

One way to make money is to buy things and sell them for more than you bought them for. Sometimes the difference is only a few percent, but sometimes it can be 20 or 30% or more. That’s a lot of money. And there’s more to it than just making sure you overpay. You need a way of knowing how much you’re overpaying, and if the price keeps going up, how much farther can you go before selling?

This is where antique business comes in. The best antique business books place great emphasis on two things: how to protect yourself from overpaying, and when you know the price has gone all the way up, when you know that your profit won’t go any higher.

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