Time Traveling Interior Design – Robert Anderson and Sedge Meadow Antiques

Hidden away in the tiny town of Alden, Illinois, is my favorite antique shop,  Sedge Meadow Antiques. I have  wanted to write a post about my friend Robert Anderson’s building  for some time. Finally,  he asked  me if I would like to come over and photograph his place to create a small time capsule of his project. This project, this work of art, this creation.  It took more than a decade to complete. Though Robert says it still isn’t quite finished. Robert will do something as interesting in the future. But, for now, this building is going on the market.

Most of the antique components of the building were brought in and installed after the electrical, utilities, and plumbing were updated to today’s standard. From city and county, Robert found the architectural elements during a 30 year career as an antique dealer.

The exterior hasn’t changed since the 19th century when the building was, I think, the general store and the interior looks like it is original. That is the art. That is the magic of this place. It is like stepping into another age with all the modern components that make it comfortable and convenient.

Robert’s Apartment Above the Shop

In the entire universe this is my favorite ceiling.

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A view into one of the baths illustrates the workmanship that went into creating it with its knock-your-socks-off cabinets. I particularly like the piece of tin from a pie safe hangin in the window. No need for a curtain when the light comes in through all the air vents pierced through the tin.

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Dining Room and Living Room

Behind one of the French doors, the wainscoting deserves a longer look.

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 A peek inside one of the three or four bedrooms.  People raised large families in the upstairs of these buildings.

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Visualize how cozy this room looks in the glow of three oil lamps on the coffee table. I hope I’m there some night when the electricity goes out. One of the things that Robert does so well is meld styles from many decades together in a way that makes them seem at home together.  It is the way a house would be if families stayed in the same spot for generations.

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The apartment wooden floor came from  a tobacco barn. I love the worn part from the chair leg at Robert’s desk.  Did you notice the laptop? It is covered with an interesting textile.

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Beautiful 19th Century decorative curtain rod knobs kept the drapes from slipping off the poles. Shown in the above three photographs, people who admire the craftsmanship and design that went into making something that was functional is what this love affair with antiques is all about.

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The living room wool carpet is circa 1930.

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The Porch

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An antique velveteen elephant is now more folk art than toy.

 

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And everywhere there are original framed pieces of art.

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Now to the back of the building, past the tenant’s downstairs apartment…

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Robert’s downstairs back tenant is  an artist.

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Robert’s friend and ground level tenant has created a magical garden outside her back doors. I knew I would like this woman before I met her after viewing the joie de vivre held within her small garden and hearing the birds sing inside her apartment.

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Near the barn, a Victorian planter rests.

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Robert’s folk art wooden cats climb the barn wall.

 A glimpse into Robert’s shop….

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The packing crate walls in one of the rooms are original to the building. Probably put up to keep the building warmer; 100+ years later, we admire them for their cheerful, warm color and make-do attitude.

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Customers, who let their gaze linger for a moment, notice that each piece was carefully selected with appreciation for its beauty and craftsmanship.

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This cupboard boasts of six spice drawers. Perfection!

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Patina, Patina, Patina

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A handmade iron exterior lantern holder with pulley to raise and lower now hoists a bird-cage.Street Lamps

This European photograph shows how the bracket was probably used. The lanterns in the photo were probably converted from gas to electric. I think the one in Robert’s shop was lowered and lit by the lamplighter each evening. Robert would know if kerosene or some other fuel was used with this lantern.

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A fabulous 1920s original pastel drawing.

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Perhaps someone who worked for the circus in nearby Wisconsin made this for a lucky child.

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Everything is art when viewed with the discerning eye.

Happy Days,

Ginene Nagel

Fox and Finch Antiques

Published by

Ginene Nagel

Fox and Finch Antiques is my 16-year-old shop housed in a 1890 bank building in Richmond, Illinois. I live above the shop in a space with 11 foot ceilings, big windows and a 17 stair daily commute. Richmond is a pretty little town 16 miles south of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. There are charming historic houses, a wooden bridge and the wonderful Prairie Trail runs just past my back door.

22 thoughts on “Time Traveling Interior Design – Robert Anderson and Sedge Meadow Antiques”

  1. Wow, Ginene, just wow. From the ceilings to the walls to the floors, and all the details you pointed out (the wear from the chair’s leg, the computer cover, the photo in relation to the lamp bracket….I love the pastel pastoral. The garden reminds me of two friends’ – one is my sister-in-law, who is a sculpting artist (among other artistic talents), and the other is a pottery artist. Both have whimsical creatures in their gardens, a delight to stroll. Robert’s home and shop are wonderful. That 1930s carpet looks as modern today as it did nearly a century ago, and I love the primitive hooked rabbit too. Thank you for this tour. No wonder it’s your favorite shop! I hope the new owner honors all the details in this structure without ripping them out or demolishing the building for something new.

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  2. Where to begin? How to choose and keep my comment to a minimum of words…? :) My favorite item is the fantabulous wood cabinet in the upstairs apartment. Love the comfortable design and the well-worn patina. A close second is the beautiful rabbit hooked rug. The packing crate walls are so charming. Handwriting in yesteryear’s beautiful script and Wishawaka! Ginene, once again, I’ve enjoyed my tea with your descriptions and images. Have a good day! – Joanne

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    1. Like you, I like the authentic objects from where today’s trends originated. When the man first put up the packing crate paneling, he would never have dreams that it would be so in style 100 years later. My friend Robert couldn’t care less what the trend is, but I get a kick out of it. I love the life written on the surfaces of time worn finishes, too.

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  3. What a tour! Everything is just fabulous. I absolutely adore Robert’s upstairs living space. Those ceilings, doors and that stove – swoon! His shop looks like it’s filled with amazing treasures, too.

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  4. There are so many beautiful components to this tour. Obviously your friend has lovingly and painstakingly restored, collected, and taken care of things. I don’t blame him one bit for wanting you to record all of it with photos.

    Thank you so much for sharing this with us at Thoughts of Home on Thursday. :)

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  5. I try and figure out what is it that draws me to this era. My eyes go right to that big, beautiful stove and I just imagine pulling that door open and taking out a loaf of hot, fresh bread! Then, it’s the doors. I love the French doors and the bowl of door knobs that give you just a great sense of what the style was. And it all comes down to one thing…. being at home surrounded by comfort. Love it!

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  6. Wonderful tour inside and out as well as Robert’s shop. I fell in love with the gorgeous stove and oven—I love to cook after all! So many gorgeous antiques and pieces and its just so great that he has an immense talent for displaying these treasures to their advantage.

    Thanks, Ginene.

    Jane

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    1. Hi Jane, I wonder where he found one in such beautiful condition. I must ask him if that is a food warmer or a cooker hanging from below the shelf. There is so much to see that I didn’t get to ask.

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  7. Jane,
    Good morning and thank you for sharing these priceless and beautiful treasurers and tour with us at TOHOT.
    Robert has such talent for restoring and loving these collections.
    Have a lovely weekend,
    Jemma

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  8. Ginene, this was by far one of the best tours.. your friend has exquisite taste. His artistic flare is stupendous..everything is placed like it’s in a magazine photo shoot.. and you my lady- did an awesome job at photographing him. you should submit to a Home Decor magazine..definitely a winner post. and yes, I saw the laptop. i didn’t know what it was..I like how he gave it his signature look. My eyes were all over the metal wall hangings.. he definitely needs a feature in a magazine. I concur what you said about the beauty of antiques..

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    1. Thank you, Kim. I’ll tell Robert what you said and he will appreciate it. The pictures B3erkshire Hathaway took put mine to shame. I’m saying it is because he had better equipment!

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