Wednesday, February 21, 2018

How to Store Antiques & Collectibles

Are you an antiques lover or collector, but don’t have room in your home for all your treasures? Maybe you’ve downsized recently but can’t stand to part with items you’ve inherited or collected over the years. We feel you -- even our dealer-merchants have a hard time parting with the amazing items they bring in! After surveying our dealer-merchants and customers about where they store their antiques, collectibles and furniture, a majority of them said they store items in a basement or garage, while 11% said they opt for a storage unit. This map from Life Storage shows the average monthly cost of storage in the U.S. In Atlanta, a climate controlled unit can run you about $88 for a 5x10 space. While a basement or garage is the cheaper option, did you know that you could be harming precious items by keeping them open to the elements? Here are some simple rules and basic care consideration from owners Stacey and Jim Anderson, on how to properly store your antique furniture and collectible items.

Avoid Light

Light can harm most collectible, especially organic materials like wood, paper, and textiles. In addition to fading colors in art prints and fabrics alike, harsh light can dry out many materials and can speed up chemical reactions that occur naturally over time. All collections should be displayed away from direct sunlight. Even things that seem indestructible, like plastics, can melt when stored near a sunny window. In general, light levels should be fairly low for most collectibles so displaying them.

Control Humidity
When it comes to humidity, a good balance remains important for most antiques and collectibles. When there's not enough humidity, items like paintings, wood, and paper can shrink, crack and become very brittle. When humidity reaches excessive levels, rust can develop on metal items, mold can grow on a variety of objects, and insects are encouraged to breed.

Consider Temperatures
Fifty-six percent of people surveyed responded that they store their items in the basement or garage. These are good for short-term storage, but for long term storing, especially with organic materials like wood, paper, and cloth, you should avoid places that fluctuate in temperature. The ideal temperature for preservation is around 64 degrees. That's a little cold for most people, but keeping your home and storage areas as cool as you can afford while remaining comfortable is always suggested.

Change Climates Gradually
If you decide to change storage temperatures from hot to cold, or vice versa, do so gradually. Most antiques can be shocked when exposed to temperature extremes too quickly. For example, when exposed to extreme temperature changes the tiny cracks in the glaze of ceramics, called crazing, can appear more rapidly than they would have naturally. Glass items can crack as well when exposed to extreme temperature changes, along with glass components used in a number of different types of collectibles.

To Clean or Not to Clean
The more that fragile items are handled, the more likely they are to be broken. For this reason, they should be cleaned only as often as necessary. When you can't avoid cleaning, and sometimes you just can't when pieces have experienced years of neglect or improper storage, be as gentle as possible and use the proper tools. To assemble a basic collectibles cleaning kit, consider rounding up the following items:
  • Soft bristled brushes for dusting away loose particles 
  • A can of moisture-free compressed air for cleaning items too delicate to brush 
  • Cotton swabs 
  • Distilled water, which allows you to avoid chemicals and minerals found in tap water that can stain some materials 
  • Isopropyl alcohol comes in handy for cleaning ceramics and porcelain, as well as glazed finishes 

Avoid Excessive Handling

While it might be overkill to wear gloves while handling all your collections, it's not a bad idea to have a pair on hand for extremely fragile items. Family heirlooms, for instance, and other valuable items you want to preserve as long as possible, fall into this category.

Whether you’re a dealer-merchant or a customer, and choose to store your collectibles in a basement, workroom, storage unit or other space, please make sure to take the necessary precautions to keep your antiques in good condition! Not only does this ensure their value, but it also saves you the trouble of having to restore them down the road. Any questions? Ask our wonderful staff or visit the resources section of our website to get in touch with an expert. Follow us on Facebook or Instagram to see all the amazing items our dealer-merchants bring in daily!

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

2018 Trend Alert: Mid-Century Modern

Flip through any furniture brochure or stroll through any home décor store and you’re bound to notice beautiful retro style Mid-Century Modern furniture and accessories. It may be 2018, but the nostalgic pull of the ingenious architectural designs of the 1950’s is taking modern-day homes back in time.

The enduring popularity of the Mid-Century Modern style is based on many factors. It's classic, beautiful and a little bit funky. Low-slung sofas, bold patterns and fabulous furniture pieces with simple, clean lines and tapered legs successfully combine to create rooms that are stylish, functional and comfortable. It’s no wonder people continue to be drawn to this iconic design style.

While there is some disagreement about when the period started, it roughly lasted from the mid-1930s to mid-1960s. Technological advances led to production and development of a range of new materials making it possible to explore new textures and effects, colors and even new form. The timeless quality of the style, however, continues to appeal to today's homeowners. 


Do you find yourself drawn to Mid-Century Modern décor? Dream of incorporating a little (or a lot) of this timeless style into your home, but not sure where to start? By understanding the distinguishing features of the style, you can pieces that echo that. Iconic pieces from this era have been adapted and copied endlessly, and chances are that you might be able to find pieces that fit your lifestyle needs and budget, if you don't want to spend a fortune on furniture. Here are some tips:
  • Vintage Mid-Century Modern furniture pieces are the key to a fabulous Mid-Century Modern room. Start here by considering Boyhill, Lane, Kent Coffey, or Mt. Airy furniture. One large piece can set the tone for your room nicely.
  • Build around it. It does not have to be a set, but avoid too many patterns and stay within a color range, especially for wood.
  • Layer in pops of color with artwork or fabrics, just a bit of bold pattern and of course a little shine with metallic accents (star bust mirror anyone?)
  • Try lighting fixtures like unique pendant lights and remember, mid-century modern is not a matchy,-matchy style, so no need to find lamp sets!
  • Pull in a few plants and a chic terrarium & voila! You’ve got a timelessly beautiful Mid-Century Modern room.

True Mid-Century Modern furniture and accessories are highly sought after, and finding good pieces can be difficult, but we can help! We have over 500 dealers in 3 locations and during February, the Buford Queen will be featuring Mid-Century Modern furniture in their dealer consignment area. Chances are, we’ve got some fantastic items just waiting to become part of your fab new Mid-Century Modern room!

Follow us on Facebook or Instagram to see more from our dealers, including this recent post featuring Mid-Century Modern pieces!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Trends in Home Decorating: Spring Fling Edition

It's almost springtime, with our 8th annual Spring Fling just around the corner! Here are some of the trends for 2017 that you might be seeing from our dealers - cheery colors, mixed patterns and happy motifs - plus a few unexpected twists

Green With Envy
Named the 2017 Pantone Color Of The Year, Greenery is meant to represent refreshment and revitalization. Dark shades of green will become the new must-have dark interior color as we say goodbye to navy and midnight blues. You can also incorporate this color into your home through cute succulent plants, and other plant accents.

A symbol of both grace and optimism, the butterfly is no longer just for kids rooms (or a staple of the 90’s) but now being celebrated as a sophisticated decorating accent.

Mixed Patterns & Textures
We also saw this in 2016 and it continues into 2017! Mix different patterns and textures by pairing a velvet floral with a burlap pattern.

Cork is Back

You heard it here first – cork is making a comeback. Not only is cork a stylish material idea that adds warmth and texture to spaces, it’s also ideal for absorbing noise in our increasingly large, open plan homes.

Marble Madness
If all things marble are the key to your design-loving heart, but the downfall of your bank account, try marble wallpaper, which has seen an explosive 303 percent increase in interest on Pinterest. Splurge on a large marble piece, like a coffee table, or collect marble accent pieces to place around your home.

All of these ideas can be found at the Queen Of Hearts – just have one of our amazing staff members helps you bring it to life! And join us March 23-26 for our Spring Fling Garden Party to see more trends!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Meet Dealer Alan & Sandy Kelley (Dealer Code KRAZY) of Krazy Al's Music

Each month we feature one of our dealer-merchants from each of our three stores that offers unique, one-of-a-kind antiques and merchandise for your home and garden. We have a lot of creative, savvy and talented dealers and we thought you would enjoy getting to know them!

Alan and Sandy Kelley (Dealer Code KRAZY) of Krazy Al's Music specialize in unique and vintage musical instruments and accessories. They've been dealers at the Queen of Hearts Buford for four and a half years, and love the great people they meet every time they're in the store.

Alan and Sandy love the "old is new" and rustic trends, which you can see in their home through 50's and Disney collectibles. Outside of filling their booth on S. Battery St at the Queen, their hobbies include picking and collecting unique items for their home. Their favorite items to sell are guitars and they love seeing them find new homes with Queen customers. Alan and Sandy also have one daughter Shanna, and Alan works at Guitar Outlet in Commerce, GA. 

Be sure to stop by KRAZY on S Battery St and say hi! 

Are you a dealer? If you want to be featured on our blog, email us at!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Take Down That Wall! Marietta Renovation

If you've been to the Marietta store, you know that our dealers that sell fine art, custom pallet art, wall decor and photography currently occupy space on a gallery wall in the center of the Marietta store, between Meeting and Queen Streets.

We've started 2017 off with a bang as staff and volunteers tore down the gallery wall on Sunday, January 29th, making way for bigger shop spaces down the center of the store, wider aisles and more visibility!

Art and home decor dealers have relocated to a newly designed "Art Gallery" on East Bay Street.

The new, expanded street will be called Meeting on Queen Street. Stay tuned for more photos of the expanded street, and to watch the video click here! We are looking forward to a better and brighter Queen of Hearts Marietta!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Dealer Aaron Kaplan (Dealer Code LKNAK) of Friendly Clock Shop

Each month we feature one of our dealer-merchants from each of our three stores that offers unique, one-of-a-kind antiques and merchandise for your home and garden. We have a lot of creative, savvy and talented dealers and we thought you would enjoy getting to know them!

Aaron Kaplan (Dealer Code LKNAK) of Friendly Clock Shop specializes in clock sales and restoration. He recently moved to a larger space on Queen Street in our Alpharetta store where he and his wife, Lillian, have been dealer-merchants for one and a half years. Aaron sells clocks, figurines, Doulton, Toby mugs and miscellaneous merchandise in his booth. He loves being a part of the Queen family because of the great atmosphere and helpful staff. He particularly enjoys selling grandfather clocks, mantle clocks, and wall clocks, but really enjoys repairing them.

Aaron's favorite items in his own home, besides clocks, are figurines and lamps. He enjoys victorian, art nouveau, art deco and Asian trends. Aaron collects clocks, loves reading and especially enjoys family time with his wife, Lillian. He and Lillian grew up in New York City and have four children and eight grandchildren. Aaron previously worked for North American Aviation, Rockwell International, and Boeing Aircraft Company and is now retired. Be sure to stop by the Alpharetta Queen and say hi to Aaron - you can usually find him at the Queen in his booth doing minor repairs.

Are you a dealer? Do you want to be featured on the Queen of Hearts blog? Email for more information!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Dealer Phil Done of The Country Cottage and author of The Ornament Box

We love to feature our creative, savvy, and talented dealer-merchants and thought you would enjoy getting to know them! Meet Phil Done of The Country Cottage, Dealer PNP on Church Street, in our Alpharetta Queen of Hearts.

Phil has been a dealer-merchant at the Queen of Hearts since February 2016 and specializes in European cottage collectibles hand-picked from Hungary, Romania, and France. He says that his favorite part about being a dealer-merchant at the Queen is finding treasures (just like a pirate!) and fluffing the booth. 

A year ago, Phil moved back to the states and married his partner, Piotr. Phil and Piotr sell an array of European pieces. Piotr is from Poland, and they lived in Budapest for a total of ten years. Twice now, they have brought over containers full of European collectibles, including grain sacks, seltzer bottles, vintage teddy bears, dough bowls, pickle jars, demi-johns, and enamelware. Phil attributes their success to personally hand-picking unique pieces. They live in Marietta with their doggie, Roxie.

These are a few of Phil's Favorite Things:

  • European Enamelware (because he loves the bright colors!) 
  • Finding old European teddy bears stuffed with straw, but says that it is hard for him to part with them unless he knows they are going to a good home. 
  • His dog, Roxie and his partner, Piotr. Piotr likes the selling and business part of it, so together they make a great team.
  • An old china cabinet with a bowed glass front that is in his home. It resembles the one his grandmother used to have, and he remembers as a child listening to her tell the stories of all the pretty things behind the glass, which probably started his love of antiques.
  • Palettes of warm gray and off-white 
  • Painted furniture and that "chippy" is still in - you used to not be able to sell anything with a ding or chip in it!
  • Taking old things and find new uses for them. Recently, he was amazed when he saw an old mattress coil turned upside down, lined with sheet music, and transformed into a vase for dried flowers.
  • He also admires the work of many of our dealers at the Queen!

Besides hunting down treasures for his booth, Phil has two other loves: teaching and writing. Originally from California, Phil taught 15 years in California public schools before moving to Europe, which had always been a dream. In Europe, he taught third, fourth and fifth grade for 10 years at the American International School of Budapest, one of the premier international schools in the world. 

In his first two books, 32 Third Graders and One Class Bunny: Life Lessons from Teaching and Close Encounters of the Third-Grade Kind: Thoughts on Teacher-hood, he wrote about the funny and poignant things that happen in the elementary classroom. His third book, The Charms of Miss O'Hara: Tales of Gone With the Wind and the Golden Age of Hollywood from Scarlett's Little Sister, is a biography of film star Ann Rutherford, best known for her role as Carreen O’Hara, youngest sister in Gone With the Wind. Phil's writing has also been featured in Reader's Digest, Real Simple, and The New York Times.

Phil's fourth book, The Ornament Box, with a foreword by classic film star Debbie Reynolds, will be released on October 11, Both Hallmark and Lifetime have expressed interest in adapting it for television. 

The Ornament Box is the story of one family told through its ornaments. As they are unwrapped on Christmas Eve, so too are the family’s relationships, struggles, and secrets. The ornaments tell stories of love and loss: sometimes they are worn and broken— just like us. This is about what unites a family: tradition, holiday, and sickness, and shows us that the eternal spirit of Christmas is not beneath the tree; rather, it is within.  

Meet Phil Done and have him sign a personalized copy of The Ornament Box for you at any of the below times. If you can't make the book signings, The Ornament Box will be on sale at all three of our locations for $16.95 and is a perfect stocking stuffer!

Alpharetta Store, 670 N Main, Alpharetta:
Thursday, November 3     5 to 7 pm
Friday, November 4         1 to 3 pm
Saturday, November 5     1 to 3 pm
Sunday, November 6       1 to 3 pm
Saturday, December 3     3 to 5 pm 

Marietta Store - 2745 Sandy Plains Road, Marietta:
Thursday, Nov 10      6 to 8 pm
Saturday, Nov 12      3 to 5 pm

Check out their Facebook page at

For more information about The Ornament Box, go to, or email your questions to