|Notice something missing? My favourite reading chair and matching ottoman were hauled off to the back of a neighbour's truck yesterday -- this move is happening!|
Getting rid of the junk, then, was hard physical work. Getting rid of the good stuff is taking more finesse. Duchesse is perceptive -- much of our furniture will not make sense in whatever new space we find (yes! it would be so much easier if we were able to find and buy that space first!). Big, comfortable pieces that we chose and consciously invested in, buying quality that would last, and hence, pieces it will cost a bit to replace. Selling them on a small island, with a very limited market (there might be 400 people living here, especially in the summer, but perhaps not quite yet) was never going to be as likely nor as lucrative as selling them in the city. On the other hand, hauling them to the city and putting them in storage until they're sold is costly and there's also the added risk of dents and dings along the way.
So I made a list -- isn't that always the best way to start a daunting project -- and then I catalogued the pieces we wanted to let go of; searched my files for their original purchase prices; calculated a fair and realistic price; and photographed them, Finally, I wrote up a description, accompanied with the photos and sent it out in an email to our Island Listserv, posting it simultaneously on our Island Community's Facebook page. Within ten minutes, I got emails, Facebook IMs, phone calls, and folks knocking at my door. Suffice it to say that my wallet is fuller, my house emptier.
There are a few big pieces we will keep, some simply because the market here is too small to get anywhere near a price that would make sense. Our dining table and chairs, Mission/Stickley style, hand-built by a local master craftsman from reclaimed antique oak, are unlikely to work in an urban condo, but no one on the island is going to pay even the minimum that would make sense for these, so we'll wait and sell them in the city. We really like our whiskey-coloured Natuzzi leather love seats, and there's a good chance at least one of them will fit in a condo living-room. We're loathe to part with the teak bedroom furniture we only bought a few years ago and are, honestly, crazy about. I suspect it may have to be replaced, though, OR at least be whittled down by at least one teak dresser. So I put it on our For Sale list, but with a price sufficient to make it worth giving up, and so far (we're not so secretly relieved), no takers. The grand piano, you may be curious to know, is coming with us -- its fate needn't be decided yet. Overall, despite these remaining big pieces, divesting ourselves of a big swack of indoor and, especially, outdoor furniture, has reduced our moving and storage costs significantly.
This makes a difference, because to move from the island requires that moving trucks be brought over by a barge, which requires a tug to guide it safely to the dock, which operation requires consultation of a tide chart. Hefty charges are paid for each hour that said barge waits, empty and idle, for the trucks to be filled before they drive back on the barge for their ride back across the water. Letting go of some furniture that wouldn't suit a condo well anyway is a very good thing. But oh, I will miss that dark green leather armchair and ottoman in which I spent so many completely satisfying hours.
To move on from the missing, though, I've begun daydreaming about what I might replace that chair with, what sleeker yet still superbly comfortable seat might cradle my reading self in our next home. And before I go back to sorting household small goods into Keep, Sell, and Giveaway piles, I thought you might like to know that my chair daydreaming took me on a little jaunt back to Rome.
Remember the day I got my sad self out of my Roman hotel room and out for a long walk, past delectable shop windows lined up along narrow curved streets. . . and I happened upon a red leather bracelet? Well, that wonderful workshop, which the very kind and helpful gentleman pictured below allowed me to photograph, obviously turns out so much more than leather bracelets (which, I suspect are merely a way of using up pieces left over from much larger projects).
And, oh dear, I'd have to go to Rome again to do that testing. But, as you know, I have a daughter, son-in-love (to be a son-in-Law before long -- my daughter's recently added a shiny bit of jewelry to her fourth finger, left hand) and heart-grabbing granddaughter living in Rome.
Dario Alfonsi website and let me know which chairs I should break my "carry-on only" travel rule for . . . Although it looks as if they're happy to ship internationally . . .
And really, anything that comes out of such a beautiful workshop must be worth carrying across a continent and ocean or so, don't you think?
It may be that this is a completely impractical daydream, but it's getting me through the dismantling of my current, well-loved home. Time to get back to that now, actually, to the piles of smaller domestic goods spread out in the increasing Furniture-Was-Recently-Here spots in the livingroom. I hope to write a post answering Duchesse's query more fully, in particular regard to these smaller goods. If you've moved at least once, you'll already know that they can be much more troublesome to pack (and to leave behind) than the big items, and that's even more true when island logistics are involved.
For now, though, I'll be sorting and packing . . . and daydreaming about a change in lifestyle, an urban condo, a sleek Italian leather chair in a delectable colour. A girl can dream, right?