Suzanne Eblen and Amy Whyte on Vintage Finds - Home Front

Suzanne Eblen and Amy Whyte
May 10, 2018

In 1996, Suzanne Eblen restored the 1879 Old Lucketts Store in Lucketts, Va. into a regional center of antique and vintage finds. She and business partner Amy Whyte have expanded the business to offer an annual spring market, now in its 19th year. This year the market, with about 200 dealers, will be held on May 18-20 at the Clark County Fairgrounds in Berryville, Va. Suzanne and Amy are here to answer questions about painted furniture, vintage garden urns, architectural salvage and crusty antique hardware.

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Vintage furniture is a passion of Suzanne Eblen and Amy Whyte. In 1996, Suzanne Eblen restored the 1879 Old Lucketts Store in Lucketts, Va. into a regional center of antique and vintage finds. She and business partner Amy Whyte have expanded the business to offer an annual spring market, now in its 19th year. This year the market, with about 200 dealers, will be held on May 18-20 at the Clarke County Fairgrounds in Berryville, Va. Suzanne and Amy are here to answer questions about painted furniture, vintage garden urns, architectural salvage and crusty antique hardware.

Don't forget the "E." Clark County is in Nevada.

haha just fixed it as I noticed that this morning. Sorry!

from Aunt Jennifer! And best of luck to you and Suzanne for a successful market. Wish I could be there.

Thanks, Jenny! Wish you could be here too, it's going to be awesome!

Any great tips for this year’s Spring Market, it looks like it will be huge?

Get there early, bring your own wagon if you have one, bring cash... and a smile! Also, take your time on the way in and go through downtown Berryville, it's super cute and will help you bypass the traffic. 

If you had to pick one thing from your house to save from a fire, what would it be?

Of course, after my family and my dogs it would be my family photos!!

Are there any decor trends that you love? Any that you are not fond of?

I love a serene, tranquil palette like white and gray. It's timeless and easy to live with.  There is nothing that I don't like, I'm a firm believer in buying what you love and it will work.


Hi. Talk about a vintage find - bought on Craigslist a complete 1970s Ethan allen girls "daffodil yellow" bedroom set. The question now is what color to paint the walls. Should I go with a creamy or a crisp white, or neither? I like sherwin Williams paint. Also, think Priscilla crisscross curtains would be pretty, but should the curtains' color match the walls? I'm up for any suggestions. Thanks very much.

The best pairing with daffodil yellow would be a classic white such as Sherwin Williams "Pure White". 

Hey, everybody! Amy and I are happy to be here answering your questions this morning.  We're wildly excited about our Spring Market this year and looking forward to talking with you all about it.

Can you give us some tips for negotiating prices at a flea market? And do dealers at your Lucketts store expect people to try and get a better price?

It's always ok to ask once. If it's a really fair price to start with then just be happy and pay the price.  It's a lot of work to find and repair these items! I don't ask for discounts myself if I'm at a flea market. I will either pay the price asked for or not buy it.

Any ideas for all the " brown " furniture we have in our homes - besides painting it white?

Gray, black and navy are all the rage....

Hi ladies!!! Think you are so great!! Can you tell me how you get your inspiration for the monthly Design Houses? How do you make all the paint colors and everything flow so great every time!!

Believe it or not there is not a lot of thought that goes on behind in, when it starts coming in we see how it all plays together and we make it work!

We have been following Lucketts for years and are so happy to see that you guys are still great friends and work together!!! How do you manage the yingband yang?! Also, any tips for working with your BFF?

We are super lucky! We embrace each other's strengths and are appreciative of them. We also drink cocktails ;)

How do I make sure older chairs will hold up over time, or should they be taken apart and re-glued and nailed together? Same for drawers of antique dressers? Do you have recommendations for trades people in the VA/WV area that do these repairs? thanks, Susan C.

We don't tend to repair - we love the character of the old. I tend to embrace their faults and one tip to help an old dresser drawer function better is to use an old candle to wax the drawer runners or a bar of soap.

When your started Lucketts so many years ago was this your vision? Where do you see it in 10 years?!

When I was a little girl I dreamed of having a place by the side of the road that you hoped y0u had a good find and when you went in it exceeeded all your expectations.  Great finds, good people great music.

What are some décor trends we'll see at the market this year?

We have over 200 vendors that will be bringing the best of the best and we think that every trend will be addressed. From painted furniture to modern, everything you see on your favorite HGTV shows will be there!

What shops in Leesburg do recommend?

27 South! Vanish Brewery and SideBar are some of our favorite hang-outs. ...oh yeah, and The Old Lucketts Store ;)

Where can I find fabrics that look old?

We like to use old fabric! We source from flea markets and antique stores...we're sure there will be lot of options at Spring Market. We might take an old blanket and have pillows made from it, for example.

Can you tell me if you have experience with Craigslist or eBay? What's the best way to sell something from your home?

I've bought on Craigslist but never sold.  You just have to check it often and act fast - be ready to pounce! You can get some really great finds on Craigslist!

There's gotta be some new stuff to replace the ubiquitous Mason Jar. Have you seen anything exciting?

Ladders and barn doors are super popular! All kinds of architectural elements can be brought into the home.

I bought a vintage piece that the seller appears to have painted using chalk paint without prepping the surface. Not surprisingly, the paint has been easily scratched off in places. Any suggestions on how to fix this without stripping, sanding and repainting the whole thing? I fear doing so is the only right answer, and I'm just not in a good place to do that.

The only way to fix a bad paint job is to sand it and I recommend starting over with Amy Howard Chalk-Based Paint. It's more durable and will be very resilient..which is why we stand behind it and sell it at The Old Lucketts Store.

Oh my. I would love to come to the spring festival, but can't what with being several hours from DC and being busy next weekend. Are there other similar markets in the mid-Atlantic that you know of/travel for?

That's actually why we started our market, there really aren't any in the mid-atlantic area that would compare with Brimfield, Country Living or Round Top. This market is our biggest annual event, but we do also have a smaller, monthly flea market on the Lucketts Store grounds on the same schedule as our Design House.

is there an item that you can never pass up, something you always buy?

Old, chunky white ironstone - bowls, pitchers, platters.  Clocks, leather-bound books, good architectural pieces, pretty vintage baskets, pine, pieces with original paint especially in blue or green. I'm a sucker for an old folky end stand - I love placing them by a chair for a cup of coffee.  

Why, why do people want to paint beautiful brown antiques white or some such thing? I'm so grateful to have my grandmother's 1912 Mission Oak dining room table, and a beautiful mahogany tea table from 1860-ish from a great-grandmother. If you don't like "brown furniture," but it's quality stuff, please sell it to someone who appreciates it, take the money and go shopping for something that suits your taste. Don't ruin that beautiful old stuff.

Thanks for your opinion!

Our house is looking a bit tired - the paint is old, furniture worn down, etc. But we have guests coming over. Any ideas how to freshen up in a hurry, without undertaking a top-to-bottom overhaul?

Get yourself some new throw pillows - they freshen up a room.  Also throws, flowers and a candle will bring instant freshness and charm!

Do you have any tips for getting those old smells out of the old fabric? I love buying old tablecloths and such, but sometimes they have a funk that a washing on delicate doesn't quite get rid of. Thanks!

Soak them in vinegar and baking soda in water.  About a half cup of each to two gallons of water should do the trick.  

I have a rather large armoire/craft closet thing that needs some love. I can't move it from its location (on the carpet), so although I plan to take the doors off and do those outside, the rest of it will have to be done on a dropcloth. Any tips for containing mess from sanding, staining/painting, etc. inside and on carpet? Also, this will be my first time refinishing a piece this large--how do I decide what to do with it? I haven't made up my mind, other than knowing something has to be done.

Make sure you're heavily armed with lots of dropcloths, be careful not to step on your drips, skip the sanding and use a liquid de-glosser and use a great paint like Amy Howard which only requires cleaning with soap and water for prep.  We offer Amy Howard paint classes at the Lucketts Store.  Go on Pinterest - it's a great resource for getting visuals and ideas for deciding what to do.

Don't most dealers price items up a certain percentage because they know they will be bargaining with customers?

Not necessarily - we try to put our best price on the piece.  At an antique market the vendors are hoping for a sale within the three days so they're going to put their best price forward!

I have a fair amount of green in the room already - in the pattern on my duvet cover, on the corner plant stand, on plants, on wall hangings - so I don't want to over-do it by going too green on the walls. Is there a light shade of green that's still warm? My other colors in the room are white, cream, and a touch of gold, and I have some distressed furniture pieces.

I would go with a white wall it's a fresh, crisp compliment to green! 

Thanks for being with us Suzanne and Amy. Next week I'll have Donna Garlaugh author of "Your Home Your Style". Have a great weekend everyone.

Thanks for all your great questions! If you haven't gotten your tickets yet for Spring Market please go to We look forward to seeing you next weekend!


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Jura Koncius
Jura Koncius is a Washington Post staff writer who specializes in home and design. Read her daily twitter feed @jurakoncius or follow her on Instagram @jurakoncius for the latest in decorating trends, shopping, decluttering and organizing.

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