Lady, you’re on the wrong coast.


“I’m looking for a flat-top highboy.”

“I’m looking for a flat-top highboy.”  I could actually hear the blank expression on the other end of the phone. “It’s an 18th century chest of drawers raised up on cabriole legs”—was the explanation I wasn’t sure would make a difference.  “Yea….we don’t have anything like that.” I took another shot—“How about Queen Anne dining chairs?” More silence, and then a sigh from the San Francisco antiques dealer. “Lady,” he said, “You’re on the wrong coast.”

The man was right. In fact he had succinctly summed up what I had slowly been realizing over months of visiting antique shops, scouring craigslist, and braving estate sales with my husband in search of furniture for our new house. We live in Torrance, a suburb of Los Angeles. It’s a very nice place to live—we’re near the beach and the weather is so beautiful that no one has an air conditioner—but alas, there are no antiques here. At least, not the kind I’m looking for. Sure, if you’re looking for a tufted velvet sofa of the “we literally ran out of better ideas, so we designed this” persuasion, you won’t have much trouble.  [Read more…]