Lauren Rissmiller of Potomac West: What got you into the business of selling antique/vintage furniture and accessories?
Ginger Rodriguez of WestBay Interiors: My clients want “eccentric”, “one-of-a-kind” pieces. Maybe not the entire room, but, at least an accent piece or two. So, I am constantly hunting and searching for the “unique antique”, or the vintage treasure. It was a natural progression to begin dealing in these, in addition to my regular interior design work.
Iron Sun Mirror available 7/10
Lauren: What is your favorite piece that you have sold?
Ginger: I would have to say that my “favorite” changes – about every week! Right now, it would be a vintage piece of art I found at an auction. It’s a portrait of a woman, painted in wild, crazy colors… very amusing and energetic! And, actually, it became the Inspiration Piece for the entire room.
Lauren: Where do you typically shop for pieces?
Ginger: To do this correctly, you must circulate a lot. Sources tend to gravitate to acquiring a certain genre, or style. So, to have a mix on hand, I need to keep my eye on many dealers – all the time. I buy pieces from different places to create a look that feels like it’s been achieved over time. Last week’s major find was an interesting glass sculpture from a vintage shop in Soho NY.
Lauren: Do you enjoy the process of sourcing your inventory? Have you hired a picker or do you do it yourself?
Ginger: Oh, no…. I LOVE the Sprit of the Quest! It’s one of the most fun parts of my profession. If I happen to be over-loaded with projects, I use an assistant for the searching, but not usually. Gathering the perfect items is part of the very personal service approach that I pride myself on providing to my clients.
Pillow Sham - 15” x 30” available 7/10
Lauren: Are their certain pieces that always strike your fancy?
Ginger: In a general way, I would say yes. Big, bold colorful statement accessories with antiques tends to be what I gravitate to. There’s just nothing like the unexpected combination to create a dramatic room.
Lauren: Favorite color?
Ginger: A creamy, buttery yellow. Just enough warmth but just close enough to white – to give the fresh “sparkle” to a space and lift my mood.
Lauren: Where do you keep your excess inventory?
Ginger: When first purchased, many items “park” in my garage for a while. Then some go directly to the client, some get stored in a warehouse, some go to the new store.
Burlap curtains available now
Lauren: Does your style of merchandise reflect your personal style?
Ginger: I try to have a variety. My style tends to be a mix of eclectic items, that cover a wide range of time periods. That is a very broad category… and that is what you find in my merchandise.
Lauren: If I walked into your house, what is the first piece/element I would notice?
Ginger: Right now, that would probably be “Tulip”. She is a huge, ceramic peacock imported from Italy at my fireplace hearth. Overall, you would notice that my home feels comfortable and lived-in. Or, to be more specific… you would notice that, although it looks very stylish and pulled-together, the fabrics and furnishings can all stand-up to an actual family – actually living in the home!
Lauren: What influences your “eye”?
Ginger: New discoveries – constantly learning about different people, places and cultures. There is always something new to be excited by… this is why a LOVE doing what I do!
Visit WestBay Interiors at Potomac West
1517 Mt. Vernon Avenue
Alexandria, Virginia 22301
Tuesday – Saturday: 10am – 6pm
Sunday: 11am – 5pm