Last week, my hilarious sidekick Cindy Daniel was approached regarding flipping an entire house through our estate services. The deal was that we clean out the entire home whether we wanted the items or not. This had me apprehensive regarding the amount of items we didn’t want and what we would need to do in order to liquidate the items as well as storage issues. Liquidating a home is a huge undertaking and often involves a month or more to clear out, pack, move and inventory. Normally, when buying the “whole hog” you have 75 percent of items that you will make very little (if any) money from. It’s a problem due to the amount of time and work involved and since its wedding season- I simply was too pressed for time to commit without viewing the items firsthand. I photograph several items when considering a huge undertaking to ensure I don’t miss an item.
Liquidating is hard work and, if you can’t turn a profit- a loss to the team that includes the investment (if we make a cash offer) or storing and itemizing while cleaning, refurbishing and repairing the “take.”
I’ve been through several homes and found numerous quirky and worthwhile investments that I’ve spent months and hundreds of dollars to flip through Texas Twins Treasures. The money is used for Dream Events and expenses for the Pawning Planners/Texas Twins Events.
Today was a wash for a number of reasons but mainly because the house was full of cats and the smell of urine nearly floored me and Little Pawner Makenna Marie Mahaney as well as my adventuresome friends, Tammi Leggett and Angela Rodden who were forced to walk back outside for fear of vomiting due to the odor.
I’ve stripped, stained and refurbished hundreds of antiques and look for period pieces or woods that can be used on other projects. Due to the smell and condition, there was nothing of value other than a rare piano of burned walnut which was perhaps the only truly valuable item in the entire house.
Of course, this item was excluded from a “deal” and therefore I decided not to make an offer based on the condition of other pieces within the home. The thing is when someone “sets aside” the items of value and has four bedrooms of clutter that have no real value and, there is no sign of a quick flip to turn a profit, the deal isn’t worth the investment. The odor, the clutter and the condition of the items made this a completely impossible and arduous task for myself and my team.
When we are flipping for services, normally we have only one or two items and I can quickly decide the investment of time and money necessary in order to profit a return.
I’m looking for something I’ve never seen before, I’m looking for something quirky, odd or out of the ordinary and the current condition is of little importance to me as my vision supersedes the current condition with my flair of design. However, when you are dealing with odor from either urine or smoke- it’s best to walk away because even when stripped, the wood or frame will “hold” the smell. Because of this I am highly aware of smells, animal hair and things that are going to be future issues.
I’m always looking for a set of anything in furniture two of a kind has a far better rate of return than a “single” item and although, I have flipped a chair, it’s usually a pair or chair and ottoman that sell far better and easier than a chair on its own.
This 48″ high Victorian chair was in an old warehouse in Mineral Wells with damage to the wood from water and missing the springs. It took me three months to bring its former beauty back and several hundred dollars. Because of this, I’m quite particular in what I’m seeking on the “hunt.”
Furniture from the 70s and 80s doesn’t interest me and reupholstering is expensive. I’m much more interested in pre 1920 pieces and occasionally even “Mod” styles from the 50’s and 60’s.
This piece was an exception and (as usual) in horrific condition with missing legs and a broken back spine, however, I took an interest in this flip because the chair was massive at 4ft and curved in the back with a matching curved ottoman which is a rare find indeed!
The amount of hand loomed silk tapestry and reverse welt of a silk coprdinate to finish this set was incredible at over 9 yards of fabric. So, you see, being “picky” this visionary can make a very quick decision on being upside down or turning a profit within minutes. I’m very good at furniture design and I’m very good at making a profit because I’ve sold millions of dollars of furniture over a 15 year window and I know what sells.
I do not refurbish furniture in cheap fabrics or prints. Using only the highest quality of tapestries, most people know a Texas Twins Treasures piece of furniture by me on sight. The contrast welt the silk loom and quirky ways I choose to upholster a piece are my “signature.”
I often choose a coordinate and the cushions are reversible with the back of the piece being completely different from the front in order to give my pieces character.
I may drape several fabrics on a piece and leave them for several days prior to making a decision of the fabric and/or the color stain used on the furniture. I’m quite picky and have been known to finish an item and if I’m unhappy- strip or and start over.
So, as you can see, furniture is very important to me. I love unique woods, carved woods and lines of pieces. Being unable to breathe in a home would give you insight that the furniture within the home has absorbed the odor too and if there had been a King Henry 18th piece in that household- due to the terms of having to take it ALL, I still would have pulled a “pass” card.
These two 1920’s cane wingback chairs had hot pink hideous fabric when I acquired them and (as usual) Cindy nearly tripped trying to stop me from “the trade.” However, I knew that a pair of these chairs was very difficult to find and, knew the rattan was in good shape, the walnut was sturdy and overall (other than the existing fabric of course) that I could transform the original beauty of the chairs. Furniture is an investment for me it’s an investment of passion, financing and my time. I’m only interested in the out of the ordinary and have no interest in “average” furniture since the investment for me is personal. If it isn’t something that I would own myself, it isn’t something I’m going to sell with passion. Cindy loves a quick flip which requires little or no investment and I have to be cautious when I know furniture requires a hefty investment so, today was a wash but, one I will never forget and as I hustle off to a hot bubble bath with bleach, rest assured that inquiring about pets will now be a standard question.
Wendy M Wortham