Five Reasons to Bring Vintage and Antique Silver Into Your Life!

Click here to learn about MImiSilver is a big deal at Mimi’s Attic because it was a big deal to Mimi herself!

Mimi loved to pick up bargain silver at flea markets, and enjoyed dining with it at every meal, whether it was breakfast in the kitchen or dinner in her elegant dining room. If you were a houseguest of Mimi’s, she might have brought you an evening snack in your bedroom on a silver tray!

Today, dining and entertaining is typically more casual than it was in Mimi’s day, but here at Mimi’s Attic, we still think there is a lot to love about the tradition and beauty of silver and thought we would share our enthusiasm with you.

Let’s start with five reasons why you should consider bringing more silver into your life:

1. It’s romanticvintage silver teaspoons

It’s the age of technology and instant everything, but that only makes the moments we take to actually slow down and enjoy the little things in life more special. There is romance in taking the time to care for your items (polish that silver!) or set a beautiful place setting for dinner, even if it’s just for you. Little ones delight in polishing silver; so put the kids, nephews/nieces, or grand-kids to work when you don’t have time yourself!

Even a small silver collection of one or two pieces brings out the romance of collecting– the essence of lovingly building, piece by piece, a medley of carefully chosen items just for you and your loved ones to enjoy!

2. It makes your food taste betterVintage Silver utensil close up

Some people give scientific explanations concerning oxidation and silver ions, while others name psychology as the source for the improved taste. Even NPR has touted the tasty benefits of eating off of silver: “People will rate the very same yogurt 15 percent tastier and more expensive when sampled with a silver spoon rather than a plastic spoon or a lighter (by weight) option.” See more of that article here.

 

 

3. It’s a healthier way to dinevintage silver butter knife

No, really! The idea that you can actually glean minerals from eating off of silver may or may not be an old wives’ tale, but there are still other aspects to consider. Silver ions are naturally anti-microbial and can help keep food fresher and even heal wounds. Dating back to the ancient Greek and Roman times, food was stored in silver to help it last longer. Perhaps a silver cream pitcher is just what you need to keep that half n’ half fresh while you enjoy a lengthy brunch with friends!

Silver may even help you choose healthier food without feeling deprived. Even a tasty salad can feel decadent when eaten with a silver fork. Now imagine the luxurious feel of molten chocolate cake when a simple salad tastes that good!

Here’s a fun fact (that hopefully has no relevance to your life): silver tarnishes when exposed to some poisons and so was used by royalty throughout the ages as protection against tainted food. Have fun pretending to be a notorious lady or lord à la Game of Thrones while you dine (nobody has to know!).

4. It’s a nod to a more elegant time

Eating off a set of silver utensils can bring a dash of elegance and decadence to your everyday life. It’s somehow timeless and yet reminiscent of earlier decades where the tradition of having a beautiful set of silver was alive in every home. The individual pieces themselves can bring a little shine and beauty to any meal. And who doesn’t want a little more of that?

Mimi's vintage silver pitcherYour silver collection could endure for generations to come! Mimi’s beautiful pitcher featured on the right symbolizes the dedication that Mimi had to carefully and frugally building her silver collection. Her granddaughter and Mimi’s Attic owner, Kelly Moreland, still enjoys it with her family today. As long as the silver plating hasn’t worn around the edges (check the backs of spoons, too!), all a piece of tarnished silver typically needs is a little bit of polish and some elbow grease. It’s so fun to see tarnished silver come back to life!

 

 

vintage silver collection5. It’s valuable, but YOU can find a bargain at Mimi’s Attic!

Silver is valuable, but you can find it at an array of different prices at Mimi’s Attic. We assess items carefully according to their condition, brand, and usefulness. Sometimes the value of silver isn’t monetary, but emotional–and you never know what you might find at Mimi’s! Since we have many vintage and antique pieces come through our store, customers find they are delightfully reminded of family gatherings in years past when no one was glued to their smart phone or live-tweeting the family drama.

We often have silver flatware and various silver-plated dishes at a fraction of the price they would be new. You could find a treasure from years past that is even cheaper than the non-silver counterparts you would purchase at a big-box store. Come find your classy, taste-enhancing and health-producing silver treasure today!

 Ready to start collecting?

Stay tuned for our next post about purchasing and caring for vintage and antique silver household items!

 

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Mimi’s Pick-Up Service Makes Spring Cleaning Easy!

Spring is a wonderful time to look at your home with fresh eyes. What rooms make you happy? Is there a room that doesn’t feel quite right? Move things around to best serve your current needs and style dujour. Once you do that, you my find you have pieces that are simply taking up space, don’t represent your current style, or don’t serve a useful purpose in your home anymore. That’s where we come in! Mimi’s can consign your “previously-enjoyed” furniture and we can even pick it up!

Delivery Guys MaxOur Pick Up services start at just $50 anywhere in Tompkins County. That gets you an appointment with two of our burly, friendly delivery guys. They’ll get that furniture out of your home and into our store for the buyers to process. Do you have a whole house to clear out? We can help with that too.  Just give us a call at 607-882-9038 or email us at info@mimisatticithaca.com to discuss what you have to sell.

For more information on how our consignment process works and what items we do and do not accept, dive into our “How To Sell” page.

If you’ve never sold with us before, read this cute little step by step guide.

Or just stop in! Find us on State St. in Ithaca’s West End. Don’t sweat your spring cleaning, let us do the heavy lifting.

 

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Before and After: Cabinet in the Pink!

Entertainment Cab AfterEntertainment Cab BeforeOur latest Before and After tale comes from Christy, a relative novice in the world of up-cycling. She’s proof that all you need is an idea and a pinch of ambition- no experience necessary.

Christy wanted something for her front entryway to help organize keys, mail, shoes, etc., and she wanted it to be in a bright bold color to stand apart from the neutrals of the house.

Done and done!

She found this great sturdy cabinet at Mimi’s and slathered on two coats of chalk paint followed by two coats of wax. “I have never painted furniture before,” she says, “but I definitely found a new hobby!” She also switched out the original hardware for knobs from a dresser she already had (gotta love a little recycle with your upcycle). Despite the tremendous change, the project only took her about four hours. When asked what advice she has for other do-it-yourself-ers, she said, “Use your imagination when shopping at Mimi’s Attic, they have beautiful pieces that can be transformed with just a little paint and creativity!”

We’re so happy to be the starting point for this fun project. The bold pink color against the delicate pattern of the wall paper makes the entryway look like a scene from a storybook. Now that you’ve caught the DIY bug, we look forward to seeing what other great projects you come up with!

For all you readers out there, if YOU have a “before and after” story about a Mimi’s purchase, send us those pictures! We love hearing all about it, and we give you $5 in store credit just for being you.

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Before and After: Mid-Century Armchairs

MidCent Chairs Before 1We received yet another awesome Before and After story from one of our great customers, Emily. This one is the ultimate “from drab to fab” transformation (largely because these chairs started out… well, considerably drab). They had great solid wood frames and clean, Mid-Century lines, but that beige upholstery wasn’t doing anyone any favors. So, for $12 a piece, they were the perfect starting point for a great makeover. MidCent Chairs During

First, Emily took the cushions off and refinished the frames (we love that new, dark stain). Then she reupholstered those sad cushions in a great new fabric. The stripes accentuate the sleek energy the chairs already had and give them a new, timeless quality.

MidCent Chairs AfterWe want to send a big thank you out to Emily for shopping re-used, and showing how easy it can be to make an old thing new. We hope this snazzy transformation inspires YOU to bust out your tarps and paint brushes and get up-cycling!

Plus, when you send us “before and after” photos of something you got from Mimi’s, we give you $5 in store credit! So get browsing, Ithaca, and get inspired.

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Selling Furniture is Easy at Mimi’s Attic!

Sell To Mimi's AtticYou may not realize this, but every item on our sales floor came from a community member just like you. And every time a consigned item sells, a community member gets at least half of the selling price. It’s a remarkably simply way to 1) clean out your house and 2) make some extra cash. It couldn’t be any easier; customers simply bring their items in, and we take care of the rest!

So… if you’ve never sold with us, what are you waiting for!?

Here’s a handy guide:

Step 1) Figure out what you want to sell. Mimi’s buys furniture, of course, but also housewares and home decor! So don’t forget to check those kitchen drawers for sell-worthy treasures. Is there anything stored in the attic or basement that you haven’t used in forever? You could have furniture and decorative items taking up space that could be making you money at Mimi’s!

Step 2) Bring it on! Walk in with one item or a whole truck-full. We can usually process your items while you shop. If you have large items you can’t move yourself, ask about our Pick Up Service.

Step 3) Pick cash or store credit. (Whether we buy your items outright, or put them on consignment, you get 10% more when you choose store credit… just sayin).

Step 4) Do a Happy Dance. This step isn’t required, but it is heartily encouraged.

For more information on selling, check out our “How To Sell” page or give us a call at 607-882-9038.

Now dive right into the exciting world of selling gently-used furniture, housewares, and home decor!

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Before and After: Classy Updated Console

Sometimes we take a quick glance through a consignment shop and see a lot of things that could almost work….but are just not quite right for the space. Well, we can all take a little up-cycling inspiration from Mimi’s staff member, Whitney. Whitney is not one to get discouraged about a minor color palette discrepancy. She sees the positives and the possibilities!

DIY Inspiration

 This console table had great bones to start with and was just the right size for the space. Whitney simply did a little sanding and applied a couple coats of fresh paint. And WOW, what a difference! This snazzy, yet practical table now goes perfectly with Whitney’s decor and brings out the warm tones in the space. We think this project is an excellent reminder that a little paint can go a long way. So, next time you see a table that’s almost perfect, think positive! Maybe it just needs a little love to be just right.

DIY Inspiration

And, to sweeten the deal, we will give you $5 store credit for sending us your Mimi’s “before and after” photos. Next time you want to re-imagine a Mimi’s find, remember that you can earn your money back on that paint or hardware purchase to complete your  project!

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Staff Pick: Twin Recliners!

On the sales floor, we often notice something we call, “Mimi’s Magic.” It’s when the right item finds the right person at the right time. That’s what happened for Karen, her husband, and their living room. They’d been playing musical recliners between a hand me down La-Z-Boy for him and a new La-Z-Boy from Sam Peter for her. Naturally, she’d come home and find him in the recliner that was supposed to be her’s. He said it was so much softer and more comfy. Uh oh.

Enter Mimi’s Attic:

Twin Recliners

We had the exact same coveted La-Z-Boy recliner for only $120! Now these twin recliners live side by side and no one has to settle for less-than-optimal comfiness. And you can’t even tell the new one from the used one! (But we’ll tell you anyway; the Mimi’s one is on the left with the yellow pillow. Who’d have known, right?)

Many thanks to Karen for sharing this adorable story with us. We’re so happy to have facilitated some Mimi’s Magic for you!

 

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Staff Pick: A Piece of His Story

One of our sellers, Allison, recently sent us a lovely email to check on her consignments. Her email happened to include a short history of this dresser and it’s just so sweet, we had to share it!

Dresser 1953

The year was 1953. Dwight D. Eisenhower had just been elected president, and Allison’s father was just starting grad school at Cornell University. He bought this precious solid oak dresser at a used furniture store in Ithaca for $5, and it remained his dresser for the rest of his life. Allison says, “it’s the ultimate in reuse if another person picks it up and and uses it for another 65 years.” We love that spirit, Allison! The dresser is still so sturdy, someone certainly could!

This story reminds us why we love what we do. The history in these pieces makes them so much more beautiful. If you’d like to make this lovely dresser part of your family history, you can take it home for $150.

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Eco-friendly Cleaning Supplies now at Mimi’s Attic!

ecofriendly all purpose cleaner ecofriendly cleaner ecofriendly wood cleaner

The dawn of a new year is a wonderful time to start with a clean slate. But we understand that sometimes the slate’s got a lot of gunk on it. You may wonder how you’re ever going to get it clean.

We humbly recommend these local, eco-freindly cleaning products from Nitty Gritty Naturals! As you’re getting ready to begin again, clear the path of dust and grime with Orange scented All-Purpose Cleaner and Lemon Scented Wood Cleaner.  They’re locally made with all natural ingredients like vinegar and essential oils that clean safely without harsh chemicals or fumes. They come in reusable and recyclable glass bottles. At $8 each, they’re not a bad investment to keep your new year fresh.

 

 

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Reflections on the Past Year…

Mirror, mirror on the wall, what consignment store had the best 2014 of all?

fairy tale mirror

Mimi’s Attic, of course!

We have had an amazing year at Mimi’s Attic. We were more packed than we’d ever been this summer, consigned thousands of items throughout the year, threw our biggest sale, and even hosted a food drive. All that, AND we won our second “Best of Ithaca” title! We can’t believe how much we’ve grown and how many new friends we’ve made.  Of course, none of this would be possible without you, our community. Without you, we’d have nothing to sell and simply no fun at all.

So thanks for all the good times, Ithaca! We can’t wait to see what amazing new pieces 2015 will bring us!

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