Collecting with Michael Taylor: Chinese Jade and Chinoiserie Chic

Every collector has their special area of interest, and we can’t get enough of carved jade. Antique or modern, the timeless beauty of jade has proved hard to resist.  We have some truly magnificent 19th and 20th century pieces in Gallery I.

Jade has been prized throughout the ages for its durability and beauty and historically significant pieces of carved jade abound in museums and in private collections.

Most Chinese jade today comes from the northwestern province of Xinjiang.

Color varies from white, to yellow, to dark green and all shades in between. The neutral tones of jade pieces blend into both traditional and contemporary décor.

We also love chinoiserie art, furniture and accents and feature several large carvings, vases and cabinets in Gallery I.

Whether you are a fan of chinoiserie chic, or are just looking for authentic and interesting art to fill your home, we have a fabulous selection. Please come by and ask manager Jerry for a personal tour of our jade pieces; he’d be happy to show you what we’ve got in stock.

Also, this week we’re offering a 25% discount on all accessories in Gallery I, which includes jewelry and home décor.

We’re open Thurs.-Sat., 10am-5pm, or by appointment. We’ll see you soon!

My best,

Michael Taylor and Company

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Father’s Day is fast approaching, and the struggle is real. What to get good old Dad? He’s probably got enough barbeque grill paraphernalia, neck ties, travel mugs and “Our Dad’s The Greatest!” t-shirts, right?

This year, take your gifting game up a notch with something different, unique and totally unexpected. We’ve got some great stuff that he’ll never see coming.

Is Dad a classy guy? How about one of these two new-in-box Yema brand stainless steel watches for 20% off $125?  Yema is a French subsidiary of Seiko and known for European quality and style. Or is Dad more of a fan of classic rock?  This vintage Boston logo belt buckle will take him back to his rocker dude days. Hey, he’s still cool! (right??) It’s 20% off $20. And, we don’t condone smoking, but this antique cigarette/cigar box would make for a fantastic desktop catchall box for Dad’s spare change and receipts.

If he’s an outdoorsman, how about this hand-carved and hand-painted duck decoy? It’s a great accent piece for his office or man cave, and 20% off of $345. Speaking of the great outdoors, campers will love this vintage multi-purpose utensil set for 20% off of $45. Plus, we offer an assortment of vintage and antique pocket knives and lighters and we’ve got great examples at a variety of price points; ask gallery manager Jerry to help you find just the right piece.

If the Dad in your life is a guy who loves the History Channel, how about this merchant marine certificate; an interesting piece of Titanic-related memorabilia for 20% off of $95? Or, wish him luck with these carved jade elephants, 20% off of $125.  Another idea is to add a vintage Coke bottle caddy with the original bottles to his bar or Coke collection, 20% off $150.

Whether you’re shopping for Dad, or looking to decorate your interior spaces, we’d love to see you this week at Michael Taylor at Home!

My best,

Michael Taylor and Company


New Vs. Vintage

Decorating can be daunting, to say the least. Big box furniture retailers and chain stores offer the concept of “buying the room”, where they sell you a matching set of trendy new furniture for discount prices. One-stop-shopping, right?

We aren’t opposed to trends, or new furniture, but we find that there are several key reasons to consider purchasing vintage, antique or estate items rather than defaulting to a room-to-go.

1. What goes around, comes around. Mid-century modern styles that were popular in the 1950’s and 1960’s are once again popular. Knockoffs of 1950’s dressers, dining room sets and coffee tables abound in popular furniture stores; both low and high-end. But guess what? There’s a lot of authentic mid-century styled items—the real deal!—on the market in estate sales and in antique stores. We see them weekly in our estate sales and feature them at Michael Taylor At Home.

2. Quality matters. Antique or vintage fine furniture is often made with quality hardwoods like cherry, maple, and oak, whereas cheaper new furniture is frequently made of pine, pressed wood, or laminates. Older furniture is often put together with dovetailed joints, a feature that adds strength to drawers. New furniture is often constructed with cheaper methods. While some antiques can be delicate, there’s a reason so many have survived for so long!

3. It’s really not more expensive. Remember our warehouse clearance sale this year, where we had deals up to 75% off? Here at the Michael Taylor Company, we challenge the belief that antiques or vintage furniture is “too pricey”.  Local antique dealers shop our estate sales to stock their booths and stores; but anyone can get those deals and save on the antique store mark-up! If estate sales aren’t your thing, our retail store provides 6,000 sq ft of shopping with a convenient location and hours that work for busy people.

4. It’s green. Reduce, reuse, recycle…right?  When you buy antique or vintage rather than new, you’re making a great decision for the environment. Purchasing existing items rather than supporting the manufacture and sale of new is one of the ways that you help conserve our planet’s resources. Not to mention…you’re supporting local jobs and small business in the community in which you live. Who doesn’t feel good about that?

5. Vintage tells stories. While none of us want to live in a museum, having a few items in your home that tell the story of an earlier era can spark conversation with your guests, or bring back memories. People often point out items in our estate sales and gallery and remark that their grandparents had a similar one. Things from earlier times remind us of family, days gone by, and where we come from, create a special environment. As they say…home is where the heart is!

Ready to shop yet? We’ve got 5 great estate sales this week in Franklin, Brentwood, Clarksville (glad to be back in Clarksville, we love our Clarksville shoppers!) and metro Nashville. Thanks to everyone who came out last week to Michael Taylor At Home for our huge semiannual warehouse sale; this week we will be closed to re-set and refresh our Gallery I and Gallery II spaces with new-to-us inventory. And congrats to Matt Mercy, winner of our $350 gift certificate. We’ll be doing more giveaways this summer so if you didn’t win, stay tuned for future opportunities!

In next week’s blog post, we’ll have lots of Father’s Day gift ideas. You know he’s got all the barbeque grill accessories and neckties he can handle…we’ll help you find something unique and different!

My best,

Michael Taylor and Company

Estate sale shopping strategies: Tips from the experts!

Ever wonder how people seem to find the perfect item at a great price at estate sales? Do they have a special “in” or secret? We’ve found that planning and strategy make all the difference when it comes to estate sale shopping.

Here are a few of our favorite tips and tricks to get the most from your estate sale shopping experience:

1. Arrive early. In the busy summer season, for the best deals, you will want to arrive up to an hour prior to the sale opening time to get a place in line. Here in Nashville, it’s customary to bring a shopping bag or box to mark your place in line if you wish to wait for a bit in the comfort of your car…but get ready to line up in person as the sale time approaches.

2. Take advantage of discounts. While most sales start at full-price on the first day, the price will drop on subsequent days. If you’re looking for a real deal, head out to shop on the last day of the sale. (Hint: at Michael Taylor, we offer a 20% off code good on the FIRST day of our estate sales to email list subscribers…subscribe and save!)

3. Don’t like the price? Leave a bid. If you fall in love with an item, but the price is more than you prefer to spend…most sales offer the option to fill out a written bid form with your best price. At a certain point in the sale, the estate sale staff will evaluate unsold merchandise. If your bid meets their requirements, they will contact you by phone and let you know that you’ve got a deal!

4. Keep measurements handy. With estate sales, the time to buy it is when you see it, but knowing that a furniture piece is the right size will help you make confident buying decisions. We have tape measures available at all of our sales to help you figure out if the perfect dining room table will fit your space, but it’s best if you have the dimensions of the piece you’re looking for with you.

5. Bring a friend! Our estate sales are packed with great items. A shopping buddy can help you lift and load items, and is another set of eyes to help you find just what you’re looking for. Plus, it’s more fun to shop with a friend.

6. Shop for the opposite season. Christmas stuff is less popular in July, and we’ve got lots of lawnmowers for great prices in January. Buy for the next season, and you’ll save money for sure.

And remember…the more sales you visit, the more likely you are to find the treasure you’re looking for. Get out there and have fun…we’ll see you at the sales!

My best,

Michael Taylor and Company


Updating Your Outdoor Spaces with Estate Finds

Spring has arrived here in Nashville! It’s time to freshen up porches and patios, but how do you re-create the designer looks featured in decorating magazines?

Whether your decorating style is vintage or contemporary, we’re the experts on sourcing everything from retro garden accessories to modern outdoor seating. Here are a few ideas for using estate items to enhance your outdoor landscape…

Vintage concrete and cast iron planters add charm and curb appeal to outdoor spaces. The weathered patina of these planters lends rustic elegance to front entryways and porches. Widely available at our estate sales AND our Michael Taylor at Home gallery, they are an era-appropriate complement to historic homes, or give a touch of retro charm to new construction.

Fill them with annuals now, and switch out seasonal flowers for pumpkins and mums in the fall.

Now is the time to enjoy meals outdoors with family and friends. Add a cast-iron patio set to your patio, or a painted wood farm table to your porch. Accessorize with a vintage thermos, or 1950’s-era ice bucket. Mixing old and new is how you add a personal, fun aesthetic to your outdoor décor.

Don’t be afraid to add a whimsical touch to your outdoor space! A vintage bicycle or a cast concrete statue are great focal points for a porch; accessorize with florals for a unique vignette.

From topiaries to tablescapes, we’ve got a 6,000 sq ft gallery full of unique ideas and inspiration for spring! There’s something new to see every week; come in and let us help you put together a look for your home.

My best,

Michael Taylor and Company