New acquisition: Fine lighting from Chameleon Antiques

Our stores are now being filled with new acquisitions from a long time, well-known lighting store from the design district in NYC – Chameleon Antiques. They specialize in traditional antique lighting as well as contemporary and fine reproductions.  These acquisitions are soon to be uploaded to our web store – we’ll keep you abreast of all updates!

Our four New York City stores each has a variety of fixtures ranging from simple pendants and lamps to high-end Caldwell silver chandeliers and elegant crystal chandeliers.  Here’s just a few of the many lights we have recently acquired.

If you have any questions about the lighting displayed here or in our email announcement, contact us or call us at 888-233-9678.

Madison Avenue lighting

Fine lighting at our Madison Avenue store

Caldwell chandelier

Elegant Caldwell chandelier


lighting One of the many pairs of lamps just in


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A short but sweet history of chandeliers

k191987 (Custom)Chandeliers are one item that originated in high status and one which has consistently remained so throughout its development. Humans have typically reserved their best—and, in the case of chandeliers, brightest—resources for their places of worship. Churches and abbeys were one of the few areas where large crowds of people were able to go at the same time and unite for a common purpose. The clergy and the structures themselves were revered by the people and typically well cared for. This is where the first recorded uses of these innovative light fixtures developed back in the fourteenth century.

m226191Having derived its name from a French word that means candle holder, the earliest chandeliers hung in churches and literally held candles. The relatively simple designs were made of wood and shaped as crosses to serve practical functions: to provide light for as much of the inside of the church as possible at one time and reduce the possibility of fire from low lying, lit candles among large groups of moving people. The chandeliers were attached to the ceiling of other large spaces where crowds gathered, also, such as meeting halls.

The cost of the light fixtures was inhibitive even then, with only the common areas that benefited from crowd funding and rich citizens able to afford to use the larger ones. Some households of modest means may have owned small versions of the wooden lights, with simpler designs and fewer candles. It took no time for chandeliers to become the wealth status symbols they remain today, with castles commissioning the most elaborate fixtures for display.

French leader, Louis XIV, ordered sumptuous chandeliers to adorn his castle and chandeliers became all the rage for the wealthy elite. During the Victorian Era, chandeliers dictated a social order for the aristocracy. The detail of the design, what they were made of, and the size determined how much clout a person had. Queen Victoria sent the heaviest chandelier known, to a fellow royal in Instanbul. This magnificent structure weighs just over four tons and holds 750 light spaces. A gift of a chandelier this substantial spoke of the Queens’ immense power and highest social status. The receiver of her gift must also have been in the top area of the royal ranks.

Chandeliers were then made of various other materials, metal being the most commonm226194 choice, although crystal embellishments soon took over a great part of the design. The technology of glass production helped to develop crystal details for chandeliers. By the time the 1800s rolled around and gas was used in producing light, chandeliers were customized to accommodate the changes. However, once electricity began to be used for general lighting needs, chandeliers were no longer necessary for light, but held steady as home décor.

Today, chandeliers still reign from up high as one of the most innovative ways to show household wealth and taste. Even though chandeliers have been somewhat lost to history; pushed aside by bolder, more industrial lighting options, the architect-urologists at Olde Good Things have gone out of their way to hunt down, salvage, and reuse vintage and antique chandeliers in 21st century homes. The chandeliers in stock at our warehouses are made of almost any type of materials, such as animal antlers, household items, wrought iron, repurposed anchor chains, and anything else designers and crafters decided to use in their masterwork.

If you’d like to learn more about chandeliers, and find out how you can use a salvaged or repurposed chandelier in your remodel, contact the specialists of Olde Good Things.

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Using salvaged, vintage chandeliers in remodeling

One of the best ways to create exactly the look you want while remodeling your home is to use what has already proven successful; recruit vintage chandeliers for a new position of honor in your modern home. Using a chandelier that has been salvaged from an older home may not only save you money on your new look, but you’ll also contribute to helping save resources that are consumed in making new home design items.

A recycled chandelier can create just the vibe you want to accomplish with your home overhaul. An eclectic collection of modern furniture styled with a vintage chandelier can help a room evolve into a chic expression of the various components of your personality. In some cases, a chandelier can become the focal point of the room, drawing eyes to it in the midst of other dressings that may not be as elaborate. Playful designs of out of the ordinary materials can infuse fun and character into an otherwise plain spoken room.

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If you can find a vintage chandelier with an elegant design, it could well reside in your bathroom, lending an extravagant feel to a small space and making time spent in the room special. A chandelier can also be used in an unexpected place, such as a high ceiling hallway, to provide light with a classic touch. Hanging a chandelier from another era in your bedroom can steep your sleeping quarters in the aura of that day and time.

You can feed a desire to represent certain time periods through your chandelier. You may be fascinated with the Dutch and Flemish created chandeliers of the 1700s. Acquiring one of these light fixtures will allow you to accent your home with a bit of history that’s not only functional but attractive. The decadence of a Victorian crystal chandelier may beckon to you from an architectural salvage yard, and you should heed the call and bask in the multi-faceted lighting of long ago. A home office that sports a checkered tile begs for a 1950s retro style chandelier to create the complete vibe, complete with furniture in boxy shapes and vinyl.

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There is a wide selection of vintage chandeliers available at Olde Good Things. Take a few minutes (or hours) and check out our selection through our website, or visit one of our many locations. You can also do your own salvaging and recycling when you ask around to see if people know of older homes and estates that may be selling the fixtures, likely in preparing them for demolition or remodeling.

Allowing a vintage salvaged chandelier to occupy a place of respect in your home as you are recreating your space will give new purpose to an old beauty. The attractive light fixture will not rot and waste away in a landfill or deteriorate slowly in an attic, tucked away from adoring eyes. Instead, it will shine even brighter as it becomes reincarnated into the fabulous eyepiece it was originally designed to be, high in the air where all stars remain.

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One of a Kind Show Chicago

Olde Good Things will be one of the hundreds of artists displaying unique items at the 14th annual One of a Kind Show in Chicago. It’s a great place find truly unique items for yourself, your home and everyone on your holiday gift list.  More than 600 talented artists will set up shop at the 2014 show. The show is at The Merchandise Mart; click Directions below for more details. We are in booth 3140.

OKC2014_Floorplan11x17_05Days & Times
Thurs Dec 4th – 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Fri Dec 5th – 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Sat Dec 6th – 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Sun Dec 7th – 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.


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How to remove paint from and polish vintage/antique door knobs


As the most successful architectural salvage company in the United States, we often find beautiful antique and vintage doorknobs that have been, tragically, painted over. One of our main challenges is removing the paint without damaging the hardware. Using a solvent like paint thinner could damage the metal and ruin the look of the hardware. Removing paint, lacquer, or other deposits from antique metals is one of the main questions we receive from our customers. Luckily, cleaning and restoring those vintage doorknobs is much easier than you might think. All you need is an old pot you’re ready to get rid of, some hot water, and a few simple ingredients that you most likely have laying around in your kitchen.


To get that paint off your vintage pieces, simply fill your old pot with water and bring the water to a gentle boil. Then you can carefully drop your doorknobs in or place them carefully in the pot using a pair of grilling tongs, and after a few minutes, the paint should begin to come right off. The sludge left behind in the pot will be pretty disgusting, and it’s best not to reuse the pot for cooking once you’re done. After boiling, you should be able to easily wipe or gently scrape away any remaining paint. Be sure to wear gloves, and avoid touching the metal with your bare hands! It’s HOT! As an additional bonus, this method will usually also remove any lacquer that has been used on the doorknobs. These now de-lacquered metals will be an excellent choice to use in areas such as laundry rooms, bathrooms, or other more humid areas of your home.

While many homeowners prefer the patina on older metal doorknobs, some homeowners are looking for a more polished look. Vintage metals can look fantastic when restored to their original bright shine, particularly brass. Polishing antique brass door hardware without scratching or otherwise damaging the surface is a concern of many homeowners, and we often get asked what can be done to polish up these beautiful pieces. Unfortunately, many modern methods and suggestions for cleaning can damage doorknobs that are only plated metal. Luckily, there are gentler methods that are easy to mix right in your own kitchen.


Before cleaning your antique hardware, you can mix up your own gentle brass cleaner with a small amount of equal parts flour, salt, and vinegar. This naturally gentle cleaner won’t scratch the surface of your vintage doorknobs, even if they’re not solid brass. Dip a soft, damp cloth into the homemade cleanser and apply to the door hardware. When you wipe clean, even tougher tarnish should come right off. It’s always best to try the gentle method before using the harsher commercial cleaners. In addition to damaging the finish, many of these cleansers have chemicals in them that can leave metals like antique brass looking more like copper. While copper is lovely, it certainly doesn’t have the bright tones that brass does. If you do decide to use a commercial cleaner, be sure to test whether your hardware is completely brass or just plated metal – it will make a difference in which cleanser you will need to use.

As you can see, cleaning up and polishing those antique doorknobs is easy if you’re willing to take a little time and care. Using these gentle methods will help preserve the original beauty of these pieces without damaging the metals or scratching the surfaces. If you still have questions about cleaning your vintage or antique doorknobs or other hardware, feel free to contact us, or come by one of our locations. If you’re looking for some vintage pieces to add to the doorknobs you already have, or if you’re searching for other antique pieces, you can view our wide selection online here.

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How to polish brass & copper

14bel8729Brass and copper are two of the most beautiful metals used in antique or vintage building pieces. Over time, however, these metals can become tarnished, or develop a patina that changes their natural color. While some prefer the look of this aged patina, others prefer their metals to remain bright and lustrous. If you have a piece you’d like to keep looking bright, or if you’ve found a piece in our gorgeous selection of decorative metal items that you’re hoping to restore, continue reading below for our tips on polishing up your copper and brass.

Before removing any existing patina from brass or copper pieces, it is important to have them appraised by an expert. In some cases, removing the patina from a vintage or antique piece can seriously lower the value of the piece. Consider coming by one of our Olde Good Things, locations and letting us take a look at your item to ensure that your items retain their full value.

If your piece is brass, you’ll first need to check if it’s solid brass or simply brass-plated. This is easy to test using a magnet. If the item is only brass-plated, the magnet will stick. In this case, you should only complete the first step below. Over-cleaning any item that is plated brass can remove the finish. If your piece is made of modern copper, it will have had a lacquer applied to its surface to protect the piece. These should not be scrubbed, and there is no need for a commercial cleaner.

The first step in cleaning any copper or brass item is a simple wash with hot water and a mild soap. Use a soft cloth to wipe the piece down, and then a clean, dry, soft cloth to dry. This will usually remove most deposits. Once your piece is dry, you can choose to use a commercial cleaner and polish, or you may choose a gentler option. It is quite easy to make a simple polish that works well on either copper or brass using items from your own kitchen.

If your piece is solid brass, a simple buff with a jeweler’s cloth will remove most mild tarnish. You may need to remove the lacquer from a solid brass item in order to polish it well. This should NOT be done for copper items, however. If you wish to use a polish, or for copper items with only a bit of tarnish, a simple paste made of equal parts vinegar, salt, and all-purpose flour will work quite well. Plain toothpaste (without any mouthwash or other additives) will also work well. Using an old, clean toothbrush will help you reach any small crevices where dirt and tarnish often collect. When applying the polish, wear cotton gloves to avoid canceling out your polishing work by leaving fingerprints. Apply the paste to your item with a clean, soft, cloth. Once the piece is covered, rinse the paste away and buff your piece with a separate cloth until it achieves a brilliant, rich shine.

m215759For copper pieces that have more moderate to sever tarnish, a stronger cleaner can be made using equal parts real lemon juice and salt. Rub onto your piece with a clean cloth briskly, and then rinse. Dry with a clean soft cloth and buff the piece briskly. Tomato ketchup or paste also makes a very effective cleaner for stains or tarnish. If these methods don’t help to remove the tarnish, you may have to consider purchasing a commercial cleaner. Once your piece is polished, if you removed lacquer from your brass items, you will need to be sure to reapply the protective coating.

Olde Good Things has a HUGE selection of brass and copper items in out inventory, and if you find one you love, don’t let a little tarnish keep you from buying and using that item in an awesome home remodel or decorating project.

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It’s show time

Its that time of year where Olde Good Things travels all over the country to showcase our unique creations. Here’s where we were this past weekend.

Rose Bowl in California
Madison CT antiques show
Eastern Market, Washington DC
Clover Mart, Chestnut Hill PA
Country Living, Columbus OH
Brooklyn Flea
77th Street and Columbus Ave, New York City
Park Slope Flea Market, Brooklyn NY

Here’s where we’ll be through October (in addition to our usual spots in NYC, Washington DC, etc., see show calendar here). Come on down!

Lauritzen Gardens Antiques & Garden Show – Omaha NB
Sep 18 – 21, 2014

Oktoberfest Wilmette IL – St. Joseph School
Saturday, Sep 20, 2014

Hillcrest Inn Antique Show – Warrenton TX
Sep 25 – Oct 4, 2014

Junk Bonanza – Shakopee MN
Thu, Sep 25, 11:30pm – Sat, Sep 27

NYC Big Flea – Pier 94
Sep 27 – 28, 2014

Burton Antiques Market – Burton OH
Saturday, Sep 27, 2014

Clover Market – Ardmore PA
Sunday, Sep 28, 2014

West Palm Beach Antiques Festival – Palm Beach FL
Oct 3 – 5, 2014

Alameda Point Antique and Collectible Faire – Alameda CA
Sun, Oct 5, 6am – 3pm

Lincoln Road Antique & Collectible Market – Lincoln Road FL
Oct 12 & 26, 2014

Clover Market – Chestnut Hill PA
Sunday, Oct 19, 2014

Country Living Fair – Atlanta GA
Oct 24 – 26, 2014

American Vintage Market – Davenport IA
Oct 25 – 26, 2014

OGT participates in shows and has delivery trucks over most of the country; we can deliver what you need.


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Easy ways to reuse vintage decorative hardware

As a company that specializes in “architecturology” we are incredibly blessed to find amazing vintage hardware to add to our growing inventory. Recently we added a huge selection of vintage door hardware, decorative hardware, and hardware we salvaged from well-known New York landmarks. Our decorative hardware department consist of finials,
elevator hardware, latches, hooks and racks, ice box hardware, shelf brackets, shutter hardware, window hardware and much more. With all of the great things we’ve got in stock, it isn’t hard to find creative ways to use it all.

Make your windows into showpieces

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Hang ‘em high!

Vintage hardware may be olde but it still has its uses, especially when our customers stop by and grab a few to reuse in their home decorating projects.

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If you have some ideas to share, or if you’ve used vintage hardware in your home décor, tells us about it.

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Upper West Side store closing

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After four years, our Upper West Side store is closing at the end of July, as our lease is ending. We thank you for your patronage and support of Olde Good Things. We have enjoyed all our wonderful customers!

We will be open daily 10-7, and 10-6 on Tuesdays. Our last day of retail operations will be July 30th. We can be reached at our email address if you have any questions or need to reach us after our close date.

You can still visit us at our four other Manhattan locations!

Columbus Avenue Team

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Tropical wood decking and beams now available

The Architecturologists got another nice supply of tropical ipe wood beams and decking, this time coming from a lower Manhattan pier.  (The previous batch came from the Coney Island boardwalk). The existing pier is being demolished for the construction of a new shopping mall. Email for details if you have any interest!

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