Topics: family, consignment, school, boston, MA, chestnut hill, newton, Furniture Consignment, Hanover, plymouth Furniture, plymouth, furnitureconsignment.com, children, kids, school bus, back to school, boston consignment
"Oh, no!" One of our best customers, an interior designer, was in mid-conversation with a staffer when she caught sight of a new sectional across the showroom. "Impossible!" she exclaimed, striding over to examine the piece. "I simply don't believe it."
Turns out, she had a history with this particular piece of furniture. Six months ago, she had been working for a couple that had been - hmmm, how to put this nicely? - very challenging clients. They bickered so much during the design process that she felt like more of a referee than a designer.
What really broke her spirit, she confessed, was selecting their sectional. Last winter, the trio trekked through the snow to all the furniture showrooms in and around Boston. Every couch she suggested they dismissed as too soft, too firm, too stiff, or too sloppy.
Eventually, they agreed on a style. That's when picking the fabric became the new nightmare. They spent endless hours poring over swatches. Finally, the couple settled on a custom tight-back sectional with a chaise and the designer placed the order.
Sixteen weeks later, and a dozen or more anxious client phone calls to the designer, the sectional was delivered. The couple had a rare moment of miserable agreement - they just didn't like it. Without telling their designer, they shipped it off quietly to FCG.
So here it was sitting in our showroom. The sectional was spotless, stylish, and well crafted with vivid colors. Its price tag was a fraction of what the couple had paid only a few weeks earlier. The designer ran her hand over the fabric. "What a waste," she said sadly.
Shortly after she left, a family of six wandered in. Catching sight of the sectional, the teens raced across the showroom and leaped on it joyfully. "Can we get it?" they begged their parents. "It's awesome!"
I wish the dejected designer had stayed long enough to see how much this family loved the sectional. All her work and talent were finally being appreciated. I thought it was proof of the old adage: beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Happy people can find it pretty much anywhere.
Topics: consignors, designer, clients, consignment, boston, Sofa, MA, chestnut hill, massachusetts, newton, Furniture Consignment, Furniture, Hanover, plymouth, gallery, kids, interior designer, sectional, couch, chaise
"Hey, Jay!" one of the other dads hollered at me from the other side of the ballpark as our sons were finishing up soccer practice. "Looking forward to the party!" I nodded, grinned and waved back at the guy trying not to look totally confused. "Party?" I thought. "What party?"
Ten minutes later, I found out. Parked in my driveway was a truck. Two men were hauling a massive inflatable bouncing house into my backyard. Yes, we apparently were having a party. Robbie, our youngest, was turning seven. His buddies were coming to our house to celebrate. All of them.
Inviting 20 seven-year-old boys to a backyard birthday party is sheer lunacy. There are no carrot sticks on the menu, just pure sugar bombs. Add an arsenal of plastic weaponry and you've got an incendiary mix. You'd have less damage from a horde of Mongols.
Other parents - that is, the ones who value their homes - outsource these kinds of events. They rent an indestructible party palace for the afternoon. That's so the joint can be hosed down and, if necessary, rebuilt after the party.
Whose idea was this wingding anyway? Diana, my wife, looked remarkably cheerful for someone about to be overrun by munchkins with inflatable pickaxes. "Jay," she insisted. "It'll be fun!"
What actually happened was two hours of utter mayhem. Like an invading force of troop carriers, SUVs pulled up in front of our house at precisely 4 p.m. Out spilled an army of howling kids. The party instantly devolved into a battle scene. Their parents stood at the perimeter - wine and beer in hand - watching in shock.
Robbie's older brother, Cade, had been enlisted as a kind of bouncer to keep the peace. At 15, he is six feet tall and 190 pounds, but he was no match for a swarm of seven-year-olds. They attacked and beat him into submission with their axes. I could hear muffled cries for help, but I wasn't about to risk the fury of the mob.
Considering the battlefield wounds, we probably should have had a MASH Unit. One boy ran up to his mom with blood running down his lip. "Mom," he said breathlessly. "Can you hold my tooth?" He dropped the tiny pearl into her hand and raced back into action.
When the party was over, I surveyed the yard and tallied the damage. They came, they ate, they conquered. One tooth was extracted. A lawn chair had been twisted into a pretzel. The flowerbeds were shredded. No casualties. All in all, according to Robbie, it was a pretty good party. Would have been better if Cade had suffered a little more, but overall -- pretty good.
Topics: consignors, hoard, axes, consignment, boston, child, MA, chestnut hill, massachusetts, newton, Furniture Consignment, Furniture, Hanover, plymouth, children, gallery, kids, bounce house, attack, party
Topics: manomet, family, meatballs, 2015, grandmother, gramma, consignment, boston, MA, chestnut hill, massachusetts, newton, Furniture, Hanover, plymouth, chairs, quality, chair, dining, dining room, kids, travel, dining table, easter, grandma, cade
His old maple bat stood in the corner of the room. On a nearby bookshelf were his glove and baseball cap. The boy's clothes hung, cleaned, pressed and ready to wear in the closet. The room was meticulously maintained and chillingly quiet.
For more than two decades, his mother has grieved the loss of her beloved son. She couldn't bear to change a single thing in his bedroom. Then, a few weeks ago, she decided it was time. She and her husband, now in their sixties, needed to create a guest room for visiting family members. That's what brought her to FCG.
Diana, an ASID certified interior designer, would later say that the renovation would become one of the greatest challenges of her career. That wasn't because of the complexity of the design but rather the intensity of emotions - her client's and her own.
Every time before entering the room, Diana would pause. "It looked just like yours when you were growing up," she told me. "Or our three boys' rooms now." Which is to say that it looked like any boy's room in America: a twin maple bed, trophies, sports equipment and photos of siblings, Mom and Dad. For Diana, it was a reminder that life is fragile.
With the couple's permission, Diana injected new life into the silent room. She outfitted both windows with bright cornice boards and gave the walls a coat of fresh paint. She unrolled a Persian rug. Then, our moving guys brought in the furniture: a four-poster rice-carved bed, a mahogany dresser and a secretary desk. New bedding and a flock of pillows completed the cozy scene.
When she presented the fully decorated room to the couple, the mother had to fight to catch her breath. Then, marveling at the change, she said slowly, "A new room for the new year." Later, she thanked Diana. "It's hard to let go of the past," she admitted. "You made it easier."
Topics: manomet, family, renewal, renew, remembrance, consignment, boston, MA, chestnut hill, massachusetts, newton, Furniture, Hanover, plymouth, chairs, quality, chair, dining, dining room, kids, loss, new year
"Dad," Robbie pulled me aside and confided in a low, somber tone. "We have a problem."
Earlier, he had spied some wrapped presents tucked under the tree. The half-hidden stash was an irresistible lure for a six-year-old boy. With only twelve more shopping days left until Christmas, he knew he had to schedule some urgent reconnaissance.
This was a job that required absolute secrecy without any interference from his two older brothers or, even worse, Mom. His mission: to determine whether he'd get his fair share of loot for Christmas.
First, he made sure the rest of the family was busy - and not in the living room. Then, he crawled under the tree. Once he reached the target, he weighed and measured the presents from every angle. He undertook his inspection with the precision of a diamond dealer. He probably used a loupe.
The data, once analyzed, confirmed his worst fears. He had one present under the tree. His brothers each had three. So he filed a grievance: "It's not fair." But, he assured me diplomatically, we still had time to fix the situation.
When it comes to Christmas, I'm convinced that every kid on the planet is born with an internal abacus. When they're young, they're thrilled just to unwrap a box. Soon, they start keeping count of the gifts. Every child has to have precisely the same number as his or her siblings - or you're risking a riot.
When they're teenagers, they develop a sophisticated sense of value and style that shifts daily, which creates a gift-giving nightmare. Two parkas, both equally warm. North Face or L.L. Bean? Take it from me, one of those is going to be a big mistake. Tears will ensue. We're not quite there yet at our house but I dread the day.
Admit it. All of us have a little kid inside secretly checking out everyone else's gifts. So if you're racing around trying to even out the ratio, you'll find help at FCG.
Yesterday, a harried shopper dashed into our showroom in Hanover. "Something for my daughter," he gasped. "All out of ideas!" Minutes later, he tore out of the store with a generous gift card, his arms raised in triumph. "I'm done!" he roared happily. "Done, done, done!"
Topics: manomet, family, robbie, december, consignment, boston, MA, chestnut hill, massachusetts, newton, Furniture, Hanover, plymouth, christmas, chairs, quality, chair, dining, dining room, kids, travel, holidays, gift card, gift certificate
So maybe my timing wasn't perfect ....
While undertaking the sixteen-hour drive over the river and through the woods to my in-laws in Kentucky, I listened to a radio talk show. According to the enthusiastic host, Thanksgiving was the perfect time to discuss end-of-life issues with older relatives.
In other words, white meat or dark? Burial or cremation? Pass the carrots, please. And, speaking of vegetables, when do you want us to pull the plug?
So after we finished our family feast, I thought I'd broach some of those topics with my in-laws. "Have you two created a will?" I asked. "Who's the executor?"
"Glad you asked!" Papa responded with great zeal. An Army veteran who did two voluntary tours in Vietnam, he wasn't a man to approach anything without a battle plan. "We've got good long-term care insurance in place," he said. "And we've taken care of the will." Diana, my wife, would be the executor.
He paused then for a moment and nodded his head slowly. We all leaned in a little closer. "I've given a lot of thought to this," he said thoughtfully. "And I'd like my ashes to be spread all over Nancy."
His wife's name is Becky.
In the uproar that followed that disclosure, he quickly explained. Nancy, Kentucky is the home of the Mill Springs National Cemetery, one of the oldest national cemeteries in the U.S. Established during the Civil War, some 4,000 veterans are buried there.
Well, the conversational floodgates opened - probably out of relief. Suddenly, everyone at the table had an outrageous death wish.
"I want to be shot out of a cannon," my mother-in-law announced. She wasn't about to be upstaged in the department of grand theatrical exits. I looked over at Diana. She was starting to look a little panicky. How would she find a functioning cannon in Kentucky?
Maybe some topics are better left alone at Thanksgiving. And probably Christmas. I've learned from this experience. So my advice would be to steer the conversation to more uplifting subjects. "Gosh, Mom, your dining table is so beautiful. I bet when the time comes we could get good money for it at Furniture Consignment Gallery."
Topics: family ties, manomet, family, robbie, thanksgiving, death wish, consignment, boston, MA, chestnut hill, massachusetts, newton, Furniture, Hanover, plymouth, christmas, chairs, quality, chair, dining, dining room, kids, travel, kentucky, funeral, will
My first thought: good thing he was wearing his helmet. Robbie, my six-year-old, and I were taking a bike ride last weekend in one of the state's beautiful parks. Suddenly, his bike slipped off the edge of the paved road. Then, he was down. He hit the rocky ground hard and my heart skipped a beat.
He'd been a trouper all afternoon, pushing the pedals with all his might climbing the steep hills and braking ever so gently to stay in control on the descent. Now, seeing the panic in his face as he stared at his scraped palms, I jumped off my bike and lifted his chin to look at me.
"Robbie," I said gently, "there's gonna be blood, but you're okay."
For a six-year-old, blood is scary. Blood requires Mom, Sponge Bob bandages, and chocolate milk. At least, that's the remedy in our house. But we were miles from home deep in the woods. No Mom, no Sponge Bob and a long bike ride back to the car.
Don't look at the scrapes, I advised him. Pull down your sleeves. Hop back on the bike. Robbie listened and nodded, his face serious. He grimaced, tugged his sleeves over the newly raw skin, then jumped back on his bicycle.
As we rode back to the car, I could tell his mind was already shifting from his tumble to the sheer joy of his first long bike ride with Dad. Robbie accomplished a lot that day. He learned how to climb hills. He learned how to control his speed. Most importantly, he learned how to overcome a setback.
Learning a new skill means making mistakes, and sometimes those mistakes can be pretty bruising. That day, Robbie learned to get up, brush himself off and get back in the game.
The best part of that day was the opportunity to appreciate something that had gotten buried in the back of my mind. My son reminded me that it takes grit and determination to learn a new skill. That's a good reminder for kids, adults - and especially for business owners. Looking back, I'd say that was the best bike ride ever.
In my home, we have a new puppy! After mourning the loss of our beloved dog a few weeks ago, we just adopted Roxie, a reverse brindle boxer with white socks on her feet. Nine weeks old, she's playful and inquisitive, exactly what we needed.
Having a puppy in the house brings out the mischief in all of us. Roxie is going to be a big dog, so we bought a big crate for her. A couple of times this week, I've come home to find our five-year-old locked in the crate. "Dad," he would plead with a sheepish half-grin, "get me outta here!" When he'd crawled into the crate to cuddle the puppy, his two older brothers pounced on the chance to bolt the door.
Kids love to tease each other and hide in secret places. Like puppies, they have an irresistible urge to play - but they are often unaware of the risks. That's why we want to alert you to a potential danger you may have in your home: the hope chest.
From the 1920s until the late 1960s, hope chests were a treasured gift. In it, young women would store needlework, linens and even baby clothing in anticipation of marriage. Lane's hope chests were among the most popular. They were airtight with robust locks, perfect for preserving heirloom items.
But that meant they also were the most dangerous. Two children recently suffocated to death in a Lane Hope Chest in Franklin, MA. Once the lid closes on these well-made chests, they cannot be opened from the inside. Since 2003, seven children have died in accidents involving hope chests.
Most antique and consignment stores are aware of the dangers and have removed the locks, but there are millions of old hope chests still in use in homes with locks intact. Removing the lock is easy. As a public service, we've created a "how to" video to show you how to do it. Lane also is offering safer replacement locks for free.
So please, watch the video and spread the word. If you have a hope chest or know of someone who does - even if it is tucked away in a corner of the attic - remove the lock. You could save a life.
Lane Form to order new Child Safe Lock: Here
Topics: home, 1980s, life, tutorial, lane, hope chest, death, consignment, boston, Furniture Consignment Hanover, Furniture Consignment Newton, chestnut hill, Furniture Consignment, Furniture, Hanover, customers, 1980s Furniture, plymouth, 1940s Furniture, children, kids, cedar chest, safety, suffication, precaution, how to
Despite the arctic cold, we're starting to see a predictable harbinger of spring. Realtors and home-staging professionals are flocking to our showrooms. They're hunting for furniture and accessories to update the homes they hope to sell in the next few months.
Some 40% of home sales occur between March and June. Homeowners are busy prepping for that brief window of opportunity. The smartest ones know that clever staging can boost the selling price significantly.
Staging is an art. And since we work with some of the best in Boston, I can offer some of their secrets:
First, update your lighting. Cheap fixtures and lamps from the 1970s are a big turn-off for buyers. So are cracked or stained lampshades. New lamps and shades bring immediate warmth and style into a home - and that's a purchase that won't put a big dent in your wallet. Our showrooms offer lots of choices from classic to trendy.
Put things in scale. Homeowners often roll out a rug that is too small for the room. Maybe it was a quality hand-me-down from a relative or they got a bargain at the rug store, and they figured that something on a bare floor was better than nothing. News flash: a small rug in a big room is like a postage stamp on a lawn. It shrinks the room visually. We have rugs in all sizes. If you don't find what you need in our stores, then softly gleaming hardwood floors are a better bet.
De-clutter. Pack up the dust-collecting tchotchkes. Nothing says Grandma like an army of Hummels. That could be a turn-off to the thirtysomethings looking for a chic nest in which to start their families. Also, take a hard look at your furniture. If potential buyers have to hold their breath to squeeze around a king-size mattress in the master bedroom, you've got a problem. Get rid of furniture that overpowers a room.
One last tip: beware the curse of IKEA. We've all committed a few sins in the name of frugality. Say you bought some particleboard furniture a few years ago. You hauled the box home and assembled it yourself. Now, you're selling your house. Keep in mind that nothing depreciates an upscale home faster than cheap furniture. Just a few quality pieces -- bought on consignment - would reinforce the concept of quality in your home.
Topics: real estate, home, delivery, change, life, staging, lamps, lamp, consignment, boston, Interior Design, Antique furniture, chestnut hill, pick up, Furniture, Hanover, customers, plymouth, children, audience, target, kids, moving, spring break, designers, rug