I am a bit of a sucker for old industrial-style furniture. Metal desks and filing cabinets, office chairs, work lights, stuff that was once on a factory floor: I like the aura those things give off, the sense that work – sometimes hard manual work – was carried out in their general vicinity. (And they generally have the dents and scratches that attest to that.) I like the simple lines and bare-bones style of the stuff. No gewgaws or unneeded ornamentation here. I wouldn’t want a house full of it, but the occasional piece is a nice touch, I think.
Which is why I feel very lucky indeed to live just a few blocks from a great shop in Montreal that specializes in such stuff. It is called Style Labo, and (for those of you who don’t live a few blocks from Blvd. St. Laurent and Ave. Bernard in Montreal’s Mile End neighbourhood), its website is here and is fun to poke around. To me the store is like a wonderland: furniture, old maps (I love old wall maps), lighting, etc. etc. The only thing is that the stuff is not by any means cheap – and fair enough; the owners should charge what the market will bear. Trouble is, the market can bear higher prices than I generally can.
All this is leading up to my latest find. It wasn’t in Montreal at all, but in a Madoc store that Raymond and I like very much called Country Treasures. The back section of the store is all antiques and collectibles, and we’ve found some great stuff there on our visits. And it’s always a pleasure to chat with Maureen, the friendly shopkeeper at Country Treasures.
Anyway, you can see my find in the photo at the top: a metal cabinet with a wooden (faux, I think) top that was probably in some office or other once upon a time. But I think it looks just fabulous as a bedside night table, and that’s where it is, in the “girls’ room” – the bedroom that my sister, Melanie, and I shared when we were growing up at the Manse in Queensborough.
Doesn’t it look great?
And here’s the best part, people: the price! I just about fell over when I looked at the price tag. Hiding it from Raymond, I asked him: “How much do you think this would be selling for in Montreal?” “Three or four hundred bucks,” he ventured.
And how much was it in Madoc?
Twenty-nine dollars, people. Twenty-nine dollars!
You can only imagine how fast that sucker got snapped up.