The Red Light Lamp – Lamps that Actually Improve Your Health

Lamps are known to be a great source of light especially once the sun goes down. Over the years, thanks...

Light it Up!

Lighting is essential for all homes, though we are living in an era where saving energy is becoming imperative. The...

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The Red Light Lamp – Lamps that Actually Improve Your Health

Lamps are known to be a great source of light especially once the sun goes down. Over the years, thanks to technology, there have been plenty of changes in the lighting world. From lamps that save energy while providing the same or more amount of light to those that mimic the light of day, the creativity has been diverse. However, the best of the batch has been the red light lamp. Even though most would argue that it does not provide ample lighting, it does have even better benefits to your health which is a great plus. Here are some of those benefits.

On and under the skin

Skin related illnesses like blackheads and acne can carry a great hit to your self-esteem. There are plenty of methods that have been found that can treat the condition. However, not only are these in some instances not effective but also carry other side effects that you might not find pleasant.

The red light warm-up bulb offers an easy and highly effective solution to the problem. All you have to do is irradiate the affected areas with the red light lamp. When doing this, make sure that the warmth carries a pleasant feeling and not more like a burning sensation. For the best results it is better to make sure that the lamp is at a safe distance away from the skin.

Joints and Muscles

Even though joint and muscles soreness are not life threatening, they are not pleasant to have around. They occur as a result of accumulation of lactic acid in the body.

Red light lamps can also help to ease the soreness and pain and help you to regain your full range of motion. Simply place the lamp about 50 cm away from the skin and focussing it on the affected areas.

The infrared radiation caused by the lamp helps to increase the blood flow to the affected areas. Consequently, this also helps to carry away the accumulated lactic acid helping the muscles and joints recover more readily and in a shorter amount of time. Not only is the method effective, it is also cost effective.


Just as much as lighting can be important to seeing, inadequate or more than enough amounts can cause eye strain and with enough repetition eye damage. Other eye problems like styes can also be treated with the help of the red light lamps. Even though it is highly advised that you don’t conduct such treatments alone at home, with the help of an ophthalmologist and the red light lamp, it is possible to take care of such problems. There is a lot of care that should be taken in this instance.

There are plenty of options on the market for red light lamps, therefore it would be helpful to view a review and ranking of the top red light lamps available online. After some research I was able to find these guys: It has the most comprehensive information available for red light lamps and will assist you with purchasing the right lamp for you.

Other than offering the user plenty of health benefits and alternative ways to take care of some of the most nagging problems, red lamp lights also have other benefits that include their ease of use, reasonable prices, high quality and even the fact that they can also be used on infants. All you have to do is pick the right design and size for your needs to make sure that you maximize on the benefits that the lamps have to offer.



Furniture Placements

One of saddest thing you may have experienced is moving out of your old home but moving in into a new home should also be one of the exciting moment you will have to experience after that. However, when furniture starts to come in, old or new, you will start to wonder where is for what. If this is unplanned move-in, placing your furniture could be daunting and will leave you a week maybe to stabilize placements for them.

The wisest thing to remember are the mistakes of furniture placements from the old home to avoid them. Next thing is remember the best arrangements done of the old home. That is the simpliest way to do it perfect this time. Know these common mistakes and avoid them:

  • Walls are never designed to hold your furniture, float furniture away from the wall, that way, it will reveal a creative space instead of a dead one at the center.
  • Be mindful of the natural beauty of your place. Your large sofa could be moved somewhere else other than placing it in front of your beautiful window enough to cover the view. If you have an indoor fireplace, never attempt to put chairs around it, the purpose of that is mainly for decorations and not a picnic area.
  • No to “too’s”. Too little, too large, too small, too big, too many and all those too’s, it needs to be a so-so. Too small furniture will lead you to employ “too” many furniture until space is covered with them, too large furniture will have you walk through the sofa to be able to cross into the other side.

Now you have identified the most common mistakes, you can now see what are the solutions. It’s all about being creative and do some thinking outside the box. While you are very clever of choosing curtain textures and colors, your lighting are perfect, you must consider that there are also furnitures.

  • If you are a lover of a fireplace, then you must make sure your fireplace is visible enough that even at the entrance you have the full view of it. If you are a lover of wide windows, then you must scrape out that sofa that cover a fourth of it. If you love your large vase, make sure it is not hidden behind the cabinet.
  • Knowing the space’s traffic pattern is crucial when arranging your furniture, close to perfecting the interior design of your space is a well-planned space traffic.
  • Buy multi-purpose pieces, like study table at night that could be a coffee table at day.
  • Don’t waste too much money with dividers, some of your furniture can create a natural divider.

If you are planning to move out, these house arrangements should also be a part of the plan.


Light it Up!

Lighting is essential for all homes, though we are living in an era where saving energy is becoming imperative. The challenge is to find a balance between the two.


naturallight-03-1-01-bNatural light is becoming more of a norm in modern home furniture decor. Skylights, large windows, doors made with glass, and glass roofs are ways that people are bringing natural light into their homes.

With technology and research moving at a fast pace, glass may now be used to insulate against heat, refract glare and offer privacy from the outside world, yet still allow the beautiful sunlight to illuminate a room. Not only are these the benefits of natural light, there is still the age-old advantage that glass provides, that being the view that glass offers.

Even owners of older houses are finding ways to bring natural light into their environment. Tubular skylights is a fairly inexpensive method to brighten up an area with natural light. This type of skylight is fitted from the roof down to the ceiling and is fairly maintenance free. Old-fashioned, small windows are replaced with larger windows. Glass bricks are also used to allow natural light to flow from one area of the home to another.

The face of artificial lighting is also changing. The traditional light bulb (incandescent) is no longer cost effective infashionable-design-contemporary-bedroom-with-modern-lighting-and-table-lamps-best-photo-01 the long run, and uses far more energy than the more modern LED (light emitting diodes) or CFL (compact fluorescent lamp) energy-saving light bulbs. A standard 6-8 watt LED bulb gives approximately 50 000 hours of light compared to 1 200 hours from the standard 60 watt light bulb. The result being that a standard light bulb needs replacing far more often than the more modern bulb. Yes, the initial cost of LEDs and CFLs are higher though the return on that small investment is both more beneficial to the pocket and to the environment.

The energy saving bulbs also offer a wider range of hues and ambience, from cool and bright, to warm and intimate, depending on the light and mood requirement in a specific space. The light requirement may also be adjusted for a specific need. A living area, for example, would require warmth and less brightness than a study, where good, balanced lighting is needed. A study would also require more focused light. A bedroom, on the other hand, would need both bright, focused lights and warm, intimate lighting. This is easily achieved by using LED spotlights strategically placed in the ceiling, as well as CFL soft-glow bulbs in the bedside lamps.

The exterior of your home is just as important. Lights that are strategically placed in the garden and have the ability to emphasis the beauty of the trees, shrubs and flowers. Walkways may also be lit up, not only for visibility, but for security as well, lending a special beauty to your night-time garden. Lighting around the pool area also creates a relaxing ambiance in the evenings.

So, when you are thinking about a new home or renovating your existing home, keep the importance of lighting in mind.


3 Trends to Update Your Kitchen This Spring

Guys I wanted to take a break from writing about Chinese antique furniture and wanted to quickly discuss how to update your kitchen this spring. I can’t wait till spring and summer 2015 🙂

If your kitchen saw better days ten to twenty years ago, it may be time for a kitchen upgrade. Whether you just want a fresh start this spring or need the updates so that you can eventually sell your home, making some simple adjustments can help even the most drab kitchen impress both you and your family. Don’t know where to start? Check out some of the following design trends to incorporate into your kitchen. Choose one or two of these trends to use and rest assured that even the smallest budget can accommodate them.

I. Mid-century furniture

Mid-Century Modern Kitchens1
While you may not want to go 100-percent mid-century (unless you want your kitchen to look like a snapshot from a 1950s housewife’s catalog or a dual set piece from Mad Men), there are some basic elements from the era that you can use in your kitchen. If you review some photos of classic mid-century rooms, you’ll notice the use of geometric shapes, clean lines, fresh colors, and wood paneling. When combined these design elements can create a simple elegance that is timeless and sleek.

If you’re not sure where to start, you can always start with the kitchen table. Look for a table with minimal woodwork—scrollwork and other flourishes need not apply—and a finish that emphasizes the wood’s natural beauty. Chairs should compliment the table with soft hues and minimal woodwork. If you want a slightly more trendy alternative, you can add clear lucite chairs to the kitchen that will blend well with the room.

II. Bold blue accents

Forget teal and grey; the hottest new color for your home this spring will be blue in bold, exciting shades. While the easiest method of adding blue would be to paint a wall, there are plenty of other ways to incorporate this color without having to worry about painting over the color in a couple of years. Instead, try showing off some blue bottles and vases on the countertop, which are both beautiful and functional. If you have pendant lights hanging from the ceiling, you can switch them out for blown glass or mason jar-style pendants in a blue shade.

III. Gold fixtures

If your chrome or brass-colored fixtures are starting to look tacky, try switching out a few key kitchen fixtures for gold. Obvious replacements include the kitchen faucet and lighting. Look for items that emphasize clean lines and the structural beauty of the fixtures. Also try to avoid items that appear to have been “antiqued” since that look is difficult to achieve without appearing tacky.


Furniture Restoration

Furniture Restoration

Learn how the antique chinese furniture are restored / refurnished to improve the finish available so that you can select the right chinese antique furniture pieces.

Because the refinishing process is done with meticulous care, and with the goal of bringing out the object’s inherent character, the craftsmanship and restoration brings you the best quality possible. In short, it is a very complicated way to ensure the best possible restoration and refinishing of Ming and Qing special Chinese antique furniture.

According to the appearance of the antique furniture, there are three kinds of restoration methods: Ancientness maintenance; Bark maintenance; Renovation. The examining standard and schedule are very strict during the restoration; the quality control is throughout the whole process.

Ancientness Maintenance
The antique Chinese furniture restoration means: After repaired by carpenter, the parts with white surface can be scarped and polished; but the other original lacquer and decoration must be kept.

Operation flow: Furniture selection — Removal ¡ª Replacement material ¡ª Boards joint — Test for makeup — Assembly

– Furniture selection:
Observe how mildewed and rotten the furniture is to see if it can be repaired on the basis of the Ancientness maintenance.

– Removal:
The craftsmen in the restoration workshop will take each piece apart, this is a very important procedure. The quality of the restoration depends on it.

Remove it after watching its structure, when removed, the order that is contrary to the original makeup order should be adopted. The damage of the original lacquer should be lowered to the least. The scraper cannot be used.

Take off all hardware and metalwork and keep them.

– Replacement material:
The worker will firstly use sandpaper and special tools to make each piece smooth but Max. keep the old laqure , painting and carving to keep the chacraters of the old piece.

Watch the antique furniture’s original texture, the damage degree and parts to see if it really need material replaced, if so, the same texture, color and grain are in need. Generally, the light colors are preferred. Refinish the surface with several layer of laquer (With several times of polish ).

In such a way it can get the pieces max keep the charater (Color , Surface Defect of Long Time Using etc.) of old item. It look much like old piece.

The next step is to repair and clean the bronze and other metalwork according to the your request and replace them back on the Chinese furniture.

– Boards joint:
The joined board should be made an angle of 30 degrees with the sideboard. The joint with paste powder should be operated under certain pressure and temperature; the operation method is to clip the boards for 4-8 hours firstly, then take out and place it for 24-48 hours. The requirement after joined is to keep the boards straight; no gap; no paste print, no crack.

– Test for make-up:
The requirement is the same as the following renovation.

– Assembly:
According to the original structure, when assembling, the tongue¡ªgroove structure should be tight, the frame is flat and straight, the surface is smooth, no paste print.

– The requirement of the cabinet style is:
1, to keep the gap between the door and door, the door and the frame homogeneous, generally within 5mm.

2, to keep it easy to open and close the drawer; the gap around it is within 3mm;the vertical stays and bracket arms should be added in the back or the bottom to keep the antique furniture in a long use.

– The requirement of the chair style is to join the tongue¡ªgroove structure well, according to the damage degree.

– The requirement of the table style is to keep the joint of the rim and the cap tight; the bracket arm should be used in


Operation flow: Removal — Material selection — Replacement material — Polish ¡ª Boards joint — Test for makeup — Assembly

– Removal:
Remove carefully after observing the structure, and then take effort to keep the Chinese furniture’s structure complete.

– Material selection:
The same wood from the other antique furniture is in need. But sometimes it is hard to find in special condition, In this case, similar grain, texture will be in use.

– Replacement parts:
According to the processing requirement and the weight bearing on the different parts of the Chinese furniture, the proper material should be selected. The requirement is no crack, no scar, and no rotten place.

– Polish:
The antique furniture lacquer surface can be polished directly: The surface of the thick tung oil lacquer furniture need be polished after it is melted by the blowlamp; the thin lacquer surface can be transferred to the polishing workshop to scarp with scarper.

The polish requirement is: 1) Every part should be polished to be white, even one corner cannot be forgotten; 2) No old paint print, no oil spay on the surface; 3) The same color hue. Click here to view more about ” Refinishing Antique Furniture ”

– Boards joint:
1) Clear the border of the complete board with steel brush; 2) Smear paste on it; 3) Join them. The curved board need be straightened firstly, then brush water around it, and bake the raised side by fire; After baked dry by fire completely, it should be put on the adjusting straight shelf with the concaved side down, one end is fixed, the other end was pressed by a wooden stick. After a while, it will be straight. (Don’t bake the board until it is burnt, or press too strongly or it will break) the joined board needs to be clipped to fasten for 4-8 hours in the normal atmospheric temperature condition.

– Test for makeup:
All parts should be tried to make up after restoration. In order to avoid the addition of the new material, shortening the frame size according to the sizes of the door and the sideboard is permitted. The requirement is to keep the original parts and the frames tight and in order.

– Assembly:
According to the original structure, the tongue-groove structure should be tight; The diagonal of the frame furniture should be symmetrical; Special paste powder should be used; But no paste powder should be used on the whole antique furniture’s surface after assembling.

Bark Maintenance
The antique furniture restoration means: On the basis of keeping the Chinese antique furniture’s color hue and texture effect, some simple operation could be made after the lacquer is taken from the Chinese antique furniture to the parts the texture showed. After painted, the furniture still belongs to the antique furniture.



Furniture Wood

Red sandalwood:
It is treated the most valuable wood, and its texture is the finest of all and the heaviest in weight (35kg per cubic meter), Purple black in color mostly, the grain does not manifest.
Yellow rose wood:
Colors range from light yellow to dark red, the texture is hard with beautiful grains that are arranged in inverted V shapes. When sawn, it sends out fragrance, another type is known as old rose wood with stagnant grains, it does not have pleasant fragrance.
Chicken wing wood:
There are two kinds, new and old. The old one features tight and dark purple brown color interwoven in between; the new one is tough in texture, with alternative purple and black colors and blurred grains.
Mesua ferrea:
It is also known as native olive, the wood is similar to chicken wing wood in color and grain. The texture is rough, with variant grains and marked brown eyes, but hard and lasting. The core part is dark red in color, with fine grains.
Red wood:
It is also called ¡°Zi Yu¡± or ¡°Suan Zhi¡± in Guangdong. Red wood is also divided into new and old. Old red wood is similar to red sandalwood, but looks darker in color hues. Its texture is not very tight, but it has fragrance. New red wood features reddish yellow with similar motifs to yellow rose wood sometimes.
It is valuable furniture wood produced in India, Thailand, Guangdong and Hainan tropical area of China, its texture is hard and fine with deep black like lacquer in color; There are two kinds: one sinks in the water, the other doesn’t sink in the water. It is a fine hard wood.
It is also called ¡°Zi Nan¡±, a kind of evergreen arbor produced in the western and southern area of Changjiang River with gray bark and vertical crack. It is tight in structure with beautiful grain, fragrant smell and purple color. No crack when dry, little retroactivity, but the wood is little soft, used for mosaic and joint material very often.
Camphor wood:
It is also called ¡°Xiang Mu¡± produced in the south area of the Changjiang river, the texture is hard with beautiful grain .The core part is red brown or light yellow in color with camphor’s smell. It can be made for chest, cabinet, especially good for painting box, because it is not only against worm-eaten, but also water-tolerant material.
The wood is hard, with good colors and large grain arranged like mountain peaks rising one above the other. Suzhou carpenters call them “pagoda motifs”.

It means all kinds of wood with whirlpool grains, not special wood type; twisted roots, gnarled branches and abnormal trunk form it. Watched from side, it looks like grapes or whirlpools in the big river: interesting, vivid and beautiful, it is fine in texture and hard in weight.
It is also called ¡°Bai Yu¡± produced in China flatlands, with straight lines and rough structure.

Chinese Catalpa:
It is a little light in weight with soft and rough in the texture, the grain is clear, making it dry is difficult, but not easy to be out of shape when damp. Big shrinkage and corrosion resistant.
Walnut wood:
It is white with brown tone, the parts colors range from light white to brown red, the texture is rough with straight line.

China fir:
It is white or light yellow in color, with plain and straight lines. It is fine in texture, corrosion resistant and easy to process.

It is hard in texture and heavy in weight with clear and beautiful grain, and produced in the southwestern Asia area. It is not easy to be out of shape, and it has little shrinkage when dry, mostly used in technical decoration, carving parts.
It is also called ¡°Bauhaus¡±, soft and fine in texture and beautiful in grain but fragile, yellowish white in color; Clear annual growth rings, big strength, good elasticity and hygroscopic. It is easy to be cracked and warped if careless in the process of making dry.



Decorating A Cozy Space

The mid-century modern design has returned, more popular than ever. Neat and clutter-free, it is a perfect style for an apartment or condominium lifestyle. Due to the fact that this trend is a simple, pleasing look that needs only handful of pieces of furniture to put together, it also might be the kindest on your pocketbook. A lot of the pieces that you’ll require can still be found at reasonable prices in consignment stores, thrift stores and at garage sales. Buying a good quality reproduction is an idea for one or two of your larger sized pieces. They will be instantly recognizable and set the tone. Regardless of if you can recall thew 1950’s or not, mid-century modern can very well become your distinctive style.


Selecting the furnishings comes first. Search for a solid-color couch that incorporates style elements typical in contemporary sofas of the 1950s. Look for one with a close-fitting fabric covering, flat or button-tufted. It should have smooth rectangular arms or, ideally, no arms at all. You should avoid traditional rounded or upholstered arms, and there shouldn’t be any sort of a skirt hanging down. Look for metal or wooden legs that happen to be rather simple, with strong lines and no decoration. Then look for genuine mid-century modern lounge tables. For identifiable mid-century flavor, opt for the well-known “step” style for occasional tables and bookcases and an amorphous shape for a coffee table


Seating from that period looked sculptural and was built to conform to the body. Egg chairs and the Eames Lounge chair are popular examples of this style. Decide whether you want leather or solid-colored woven materials. While the leg shapes don’t need to duplicate those of the sofa, try to go with all metal or all wood legs for a more unified look in your room.


Decorate the sofa with accent pillows in geometric outlines — triangular, square, or round. Choose solids that match and draw together colors from the upholstery fabric as well as any other textiles within the room. Arrange the pillows asymmetrically on the sofa without any formal arrangement. Do not arrange afghans on the furniture. Keep it uncluttered. Area rugs were seldom used in mid-century modern residences, even on hard-surface bare flooring. If you choose to use one, make it simple. Select a natural material rug or a flat-woven wool rug in a simple solid shade or an uncomplicated modernistic design using a restricted palette of colors.


Decorate with only a handful of lamps to develop a block of light. Choose lamps that are striking, both in size and in their sculptural form. They should be simple in shape but large, with plain drum-shaped shades. Accessorize a fireplace mantle or other large surface with one or two large items instead of a number of littler ones. Make use of a single oversized vase or sculpture or just a pair of modern candlesticks. In most cases, there was no artwork hung above the fireplace. Select abstract art in sleek simple frames for your space.


Always keep additional accessories to a minimum. A single decorative tray in a strong color (or one of the substantial sculptured ashtrays so well liked during this period of time) may be all that is necessary to dress up a coffee table. Use floral designs very cautiously, and then only those with a simple Asian pattern. One single personal photograph on an end table will make a more sophisticated look than a collection. The surface area of basically any table should always make its mistake towards bareness rather than embellishment.


Furniture Decoration

Furniture Decoration
China’s rich and complex history has provided inspiration for a vast array of decorative motifs. From the ornate red and gold palette traditionally associated with Chinese style to the serene Orientalism favoured on the international scene today, designers the world over are coming up with varied interpretations of centuries-old ideas. And no more so than in the East: a new breed of globally aware China-based designers is proving the driving force behind the development of the genre. Whereas once they looked Westwards, they are now turning their attention closer to home and drawing on their creative roots to produce a new vocabulary of design that is exciting, innovative and energetic – and draws heavily on Chinese style.
Here we feature a visual array of Chinese furniture of Ming and Qing dynasty and decorative ideas, from highly collectable antiques to modern minimal interpretations of Chinese style. Materials are diverse, but tend to favour the natural. It’s a veritable cornucopia of ideas: table, bed, chair, and so on.
Chinese Antique Furnitures & Miscellaneous Items Decoration Tips

Less is more when accessorizing a minimalist Oriental dcor. Ruminate on the grace and beauty of each piece. Carefully select them for elegant, dramatic, even artistic impact. Stand larger pieces alone so they make their own statement. Group together smaller pieces, like Chinese lacquered, miniature furniture.

Blue-and-white porcelain, red or black lacquer ware, painted mask, shadow puppet, bamboo-handled teapots, carved jade, boxes with mother of pearl inlay or stoneware pottery with painted imagery are common.

Some special items include Chinese bamboo wedding baskets, 18th-century chinoiserie, fan-shaped lacquered stacking boxes. Mirrors with ornately carved frames that hail from Burma or Bali and look almost Indian, are a fusion of colonial and native styles.


Don’t forget a sculpture or two, uplit for extra effect, such as a Lahu hill-tribe musical instrument, essentially a primitive harp. Choose also a cho-fa roof ornament on a pedestal or a Chinese netsuke, a carved belt toggle used to secure pouches through the sash of the kimono.

Screens can function as a backdrop to a statue if they are solid colored, laminated surfaces or simply designed. Or they can be accent pieces unto themselves if more elaborate. Consider the 18th-century carved-jade table screens or axonometric cityscape on an eight-paneled screen.

Wall Hangings

On walls, hang framed hand-made paper or, for higher style, the striking black brushstrokes of Chinese calligraphy. For drama, place an antique Chinese kimono or embroidered Chinese shawl.

Other Dcor

Enhance a calm aura by displaying a statue of Buddha, a vase with a lone plum or cherry blossom branch, a bonsai tree. Use Chinese “scholar” rocks ¨C a flat circular basket filled with pebbles, medium-sized rocks and one large rock.

Achieve balanced energy and promote good fortune with such feng shui artifacts. Try a pair of carved-wood mandarin ducks to enhance marriage prospects, fish for prosperity, and a small water fountain for luck.

Storage Cabinets
Oriental storage cabinets and chests are solid, rectangular forms with inventive detailing and workmanship. Designs include light-relief carvings of dragons chasing pearls or lacquered surfaces with asymmetrical designs of nature themes.

Artique Galleria
Certain Furnishings staff members appear to have become addicted to Antique Galleria near downtown Minneapolis lately, bursting into the office with news of their latest finds. It’s a fun place to shop: a panorama of breathtaking beauty, color, and form, full of alter tables, carved window panels, chairs, chests, decorative accessories like ginger jars, bowls, plates, vases, and more. Prices range from $10 to the thousands.

We asked co-owner Nora Rottier how they get all that great stuff. ¡°We import directly,¡± she tells us. ¡°We spend quite a bit of time in rural China, Tibet, Mongolia, Nepal, Myanmar and Thailand. We’ve gotten to know lots of people and we’re always able to find out who wants to sell things. We develop good relationships; that’s important in Asia.¡±Direct importing is a conscious philosophy for Artique. ¡°We don’t buy at shows in Hong Kong, LA or Chicago, or even in the urban Asian markets,¡± Rottier comments. ¡°We take the time to work directly with people in their villages and homes so that we can purchase unique, high-quality items. Sometimes we’re amazed at what we come across-once in a while we’ll find a piece you’d only expect to see in a museum. Customers often comment on our unique selection and good prices; that’s the beauty of doing things this way.¡±

Direct importing also results in an assurance of authenticity; they always buy pieces in the original condition with the original hardware¨Cthey won’t consider anything that’s been worked on or restored. When pieces need cleaning or repair, the pair contracts with local craftspeople who are familiar with the techniques and materials before shipping to their Minneapolis or San Jose stores.

¡°Our wedding cabinets are especially popular,¡± Rottier notes. ¡°They’re hand painted or carved wood, and they’re quite dramatic and full of interesting hardware. Customers like them because they’re unusual but incredibly functional; they’ll often put TVs or stereos in them.

Some customers furnish their entire homes in Asian antiques; others add just one piece to add to otherwise Western-style rooms. Occasionally, store staff will go to clients’ homes to help them make smart selections. Rottier has noticed that people now consider it ¡®good design’ to have some kind of Asian piece in a home. She alerts her mailing list when new shipments arrive.Artique Galleria is located at 1607 Hennepin Avenue, across from the Basilica. Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 11-5 or by appointment; phone: 612-370-1332. View their online catalog at


We love antique stores run by people with a passion for their merchandise, retailers who can tell you everything, for example, about that table you’ve got your eye on: where it came from, who might have used it, the style, the period. They’ll remember it a year later when you call, frantic about a water stain. Don’t worry¨Cthey know what to do. They may even come out to your home to help you.

That’s how C.W. Smith is. The Asian antique import store in St. Louis Park is a family business owned by Wade and Carol Smith and daughter, Vanessa. They’ve created a warm, inviting, even peaceful environment within their storefront space, and their dedication to helping customers find and enjoy beautiful things is refreshing.
Their vintage merchandise, a range of wood and lacquer furniture, pottery, porcelain, textiles, artifacts and more, comes from all over Asia. The displays are great–they help spark ideas for how to use the pieces in your home. ¡°One of my favorite parts of this job is just being around all these pieces and enjoying them for what they are, and helping people understand the beauty of them,¡± notes Vanessa Smith.

Many of C.W. Smith’s antique furniture pieces are hewn of incredibly large, thick pieces of wood you just don’t see anymore. We especially loved the functional beauty of the British, Dutch and Portuguese Colonial furniture and the exquisite Chinese cabinets and Thai laquerware we recently saw there.

It’s the place to go if you’re a collector; the shop has some very impressive artifacts: one visit turned up artifacts from the Han dynasty (221 BC-220 AD), the Ming dynasty (1368-1644) and Chinese furniture from the late16th century. There are also more ¡°recent¡± Asian antiques¨Cfurniture and accessories of all kinds from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries in many price ranges.

The Smiths are direct importers, frequently travelling to Asia. ¡°You really have to go and enmesh yourself in an environment if you want to discover beautiful objects. It takes time but that’s the joy of it,¡± Vanessa says.

C. W. Smith: 4424 Excelsior Boulevard, St. Louis Park. 952-922-8542. Open Tues-Sat 10-5, Sun 12-4 or by appointment.

Fleming * Karst
What’s larger than a convenience store, smaller than a warehouse and full, from wall-to-wall, with 19th century Chinese antique furniture and furnishings. If you guessed anew store named Fleming * Karst you would be right. The store in downtown St. Paul features armoires, chests,chairs, dining tables, end tables, altar tables, headboards, screens, baskets, planters and a host of other antiques from mainland China.

The Fleming * Karst name comes from the two principals, Barb Fleming and Patt Karst, neighbors with a shared love of old and unique Asian furniture and accent
furnishings.Barb Fleming, recently back from a furniture buying trip in China, explains. ¡°These Asian pieces can be any furniture item from a simple basket that might sit on a table to a full size armoire in a hallway or living room. They can be altar tables, side chairs or even an ornate storage box or trunk that decorators and homeowners may use as a coffee table. The pieces were originally designed to be utilitarian and functional. Today we can adapt them to both enhance a decorative styling and to provide 21st century needs.¡±

¡°The uses are many and varied,¡± adds Patt Karst. Patt Karst, a professional interior designer, believes that home interiors are ¡°most interesting when they reflect the cultural variety we find all around us. A 19th century Chinese altar table in an entryway, for example, is a fascinating introduction to a home that promises guests an international flavor throughout the rest of the interior.¡±

Does this mean we should dedicate our entire house to 19th century Asia? Not really, say the two women. The antique Asian pieces are intended as ¡°accent¡± furniture. As such, they create a focus of international interest within any decorating theme from Victorian to Contemporary. Barb Fleming, who developed her appreciation of antique furniture while living in Great Britain, has been working with antique Asian pieces for the past 5 years. Patt Karst, who has also traveled in China, joined Barb Fleming about 6 months ago and the two now oversee what must be the largest antique Asian furniture store the Twin Cities area.

The new 2,500 sq. ft. store in Lowertown offers decorators and home owners a chance to see a personally selected shipment ¡ª from ornate and high color chests and armoires to ¡°half moon¡± tables, traveling chests, screens, wash stands and canopy beds. Several pieces are well suited to present generation use such as the armoires and cabinets which have been modified to house TV sets, hold entertainment centers and internally arranged for other storage duties.

The notion that each piece is personally selected comes about through the help of an Asian associate who evaluates the pieces for authenticity and general condition. Then the staff at Fleming * Karst reviews each potential piece. Often that review entails a trip to the Orient. Carefully selected furniture items now available include Asian furniture and specialty items in a variety of sizes, shapes, colors and wood finishes.Fleming * Karst also offers a fine selection of accessories that are ideal for gifts and special occasions.

The Mysterious Beauty of Black Lacquer The new Fleming * Karst store is located at 180 E. Fifth St., Suite 180 in Lowertown, Downtown St. Paul. The exterior entrance is on Jackson St. between 4th and 5th. Store hours are M-F: 10-8, Sat: 10-6 and Sun: 11-5. Phone number is 651-292-9900.

Mysterious beauty of black lacquer – antique Chinese black lacquer furniture .

Black lacquer has fascinated the Chinese since antiquity. Having the yin characteristics of dark and mysterious, black belongs to the Five Colors and is directly associated with Water, one of the Five Elements. People have always considered it sophisticated and stylish, and have appreciated the high levels of craftsmanship involved in its manufacture.

Practically speaking, raw lacquer, which is tapped from the lacquer tree (Rhus Verniciflua), typically has a dark reddish-brown to black tone. With further processing, a transparent lacquer can be produced; more common was pigmentation with iron oxide to achieve tonalities reaching jet black. Thin successive applications of lacquer form a rich, deep-toned coating that is highly resilient and impervious to water. Inlaid or painted decoration was also easily added to its surface. The finely crackled surfaces and richly mellowed tones of such finishes have been a subject of connoisseurship for centuries. Now, black lacquer furniture is “the next big thing” in antique-collecting and interior design. It has a modern, stylish look, a clean finish and a strong silhouette, so it blends perfectly with modern interiors. Also, if a collector wants to start a collection today, there are still some excellent pieces available, and they will only appreciate in value.

Techniques commonly used in black lacquer antique chinese furniture include daqi, referring to the thick finishes applied over a lacquer paste undercoating; tuiqi, a thinner finish applied directly to the surface of the wood, and miaojin (lit. “traced in gold”), involving the application of colored lacquers with gold highlights to depict painterly scenes against an opaque – often black lacquer background.

The following pieces exhibit all of these techniques, displaying the mysterious beauty of black lacquer