It has become a Memorial Weekend tradition that Arte International (formerly Arte de Mexico) holds a giant 3-day sale at their Burbank warehouse location. If you are a Burbank local, you probably know all about it. If you are a furniture or decorating fanatic, you probably also know about it even if you are not a local. Their stuff is generally pretty high-end, pricey & unique. Even if you cannot afford to buy or you don't "need" anything, you may want to hit the event just to browse.....that's what we do. We never "need" anything there & yet last year, we came back home with a truck full of great finds!
Last year, we purchased some iron lamp bases (2) that we have yet to create lamps out of, but when we do....look out! (they were only like $8 each, so it's not like we broke the bank on them...yet.) We also bought a variety of wall-mount candle-holders and other decor items that we proudly display in our home. Many items are in new condition, some are slightly mangled, scratched, or in need of general TLC. Other items require creativity to bring them to life....and that is where the true fun begins! We got a giant teak pillar last year with some carved designs near the base & the top. What to do with it? Who knew at the time, but it seemed as if it would make a wonderful & tall candle holder. In the end, it did! My husband attached it to a teak base we already had & now this giant pillar would stand on it's own, with a giant candle atop it's crown. We had to torch it a tad -- literally, with a torch, to darken the wood-tone to our liking. It came out great & is a wonderful candle perch for atop the landing of our stairs where we just "needed something tall & skinny" to fill a void. : )
We bought a giant, carved pine floor-lamp, unfinished, as well. This one created some issues when it came time to work on it -- and it was no cheap purchase. The stain took "green" & looked ashy & blah. Seemed like a giant waste of money at first, but I was able to go over the stain with a more red hue to counter-balance the ashy undertones from round one. In the end, it came out lovely. Shopping for a lampshade proved to be a real challenge, but eventually, something panned out there, too. We added some Mexican iron "decorations" to the base & it is now a great addition to our living room. Phew! It was scary for a bit since we paid over $100 for it in its raw form & initially, things were not looking good. The lamp is huge & well-worth more than what we paid.
I totally got off on a tangent here, but the bottom line is that it's a GREAT sale, even if you just want to wander around & see some neat stuff, get inspired or just enjoy the shopping frenzy of people & interior decorators buying all this cool stuff. For those of you that are into photography, I think it's also a great place to take some pix of some unique items, as well. I find it very inspiring to go there each year, even though it's not often that we BUY as much as we did last year. I always want to go. We never "need" anything, but it sure is inspirational in terms of ideas for projects around my own home, even if I don't happen to have the space (or desire) to hang a giant chandelier constructed of animal antlers & wrought iron!
If you have free time this coming holiday weekend, I highly recommend it! It's free....so long as you don't purchase anything. ha ha!!! They have items as cheap as $6, though, in case you can't stand the thought of leaving empty-handed! You will find small decor items, prints, candle holders, baskets, bowls, mirrors, chairs, armoires, patio items, lamps, fabric, pillows & furniture , of course. Many items cost well into the thousands of dollars, but we can all dream on, right?
Arte International annual Memorial Weekend sale is Saturday through Monday 5/23-5/25/09. The best stuff goes early, so don't miss out!