Decor can serve as a treasured memory book for your home
By Bill Primavera
There’s a Chippendale-style couch in my living room that not only serves as a comfy place to stretch out, but also serves as a vivid reminder of the day I visited the old B. Altman’s (remember that wonderful store?) in Manhattan. during my lunch hour to buy it.
More than that, it reminds me of the defining event that officially launched a warm friendship that grew into the love of my life, with my wife. She was the colleague I invited to join me in my quest to furnish my bachelor pad in a way to impress.
Obviously, my choice impressed my future wife, given that we eventually got engaged, married and still live with that same sofa, although it has been restored to withstand the wear and tear of the years. Either way, I can never look at this sofa without thinking about that fateful purchase that brought us together.
In fact, everything we surround ourselves with serves to document a certain period or memory of our lives, whether we like it or not. Our decor can indeed be a diary without it being our initial project.
I have an antique corner chair and every time I look at it I see myself in a photo taken as a young father, sitting in this chair, holding my one year old daughter in my lap. And, I have a large round coffee table, which my wife and I, having no car in town, hauled quite a few blocks back home.
I also remember when my daughter was three years old, she fell and hit her head against the edge of that table, and my wife and I freaked out when we called for emergency care from a doctor who , at the time, could make house calls.
As a real estate agent, home buyers and sellers often ask me what types of furniture and decor can best enhance their homes. I’m always flattered that they care so much about my opinion or my taste. I try to make recommendations that have bite, ideas that will last over time.
The world of interior design has changed dramatically since I finished my first bachelor pad, and today’s kids have a different model to follow. When I was young, America was in the throes of the bicentennial celebration. Everyone flocked to antique stores to estimate what our homes looked like 200 years before this event. Today, young homeowners could not worry about relics of the past when creating their home environment. There’s nothing wrong with that, other than shutting down every antique store I frequented, including mine.
Most trends are cyclical, but I’m not aware of a return to the appreciation of furniture and decor from the past.
Also, due to my calling as a real estate agent, I see a lot of home interiors and it looks like the contemporary interiors are going to be around for a while and the antiques don’t seem ready for a comeback. And that’s sad, in my opinion. For me, there is a certain pleasure in using furniture and decorations that have been appreciated by others before me. But it’s not everyone’s cup of tea.
I remember when I got my historic house in the market, built in 1734, a woman stopped by my self-guided tour. Because I had completely renovated the place, there was no indication of its age, but when this woman was told when it was built, she dropped the sign-up sheet like she was going to burn her hand and left without going any further.
A house built by our ancestors is infinitely stronger than today’s construction, as long as the systems are updated. But to each his own.
Bill Primavera is a real estate agent associated with William Raveis Real Estate and founder of Primavera Public Relations, Inc., Westchester’s oldest public relations agency (www.PrimaveraPR.com). To hire The Home Guru and their team to market your home for sale, call 914-522-2076.