For a casual antique hunter, walking into a shop with unique vintage finds can be somewhat intimidating. Kim Needham at Bluedoor Antiques and Elements takes out the fear and replaces it with romantic wonder for the past.
Walking into Bluedoor, located at 946 Fulton Street E in Grand Rapids, is much like walking into a fairy tale. Chandeliers canopy the ceiling like illuminated moss in a woodland forest and grand interior doors are propped along walls accompanying old world maps and elegant mirrors. Needham, who has owned the shop for two of the fourteen years it has been a Midtown fixture, feels lucky to be among such beautiful, historic pieces.
“It’s an honor to be around these things!”she commented in regards to the beautiful pieces artfully placed around her shop. Bluedoor consists of a conglomerate of sellers, although one might think each item is the brainchild of the owner herself, as they all seem to flow into the patina-ed idealism that is so prevalent in the peaceful shop.
With a range of large home fixtures like dining room tables and nightstands to terra cotta pots and unique wearable art, Bluedoor has something for the weekend explorer to the full on antique lover. Many of the items have been carefully restored, maintaining their magical essence, and some are simply left loved the way they have been for years.
A lover of the history of each piece, she simply makes sure the restoration, if any, has been respectful to the piece’s history, and lets the rest fall into place. As long as the seller is careful not to destroy the foundation laid by history, she is eager to add it to the Bluedoor collection. Her favorite antique in the store right now is a gorgeous 1880s gold painted gas chandelier, with its gas keys still attached. “You will not find another like it,”she says.
Make a quick sweep through Bluedoor and you’ll find more than just the average run of the mill items-each piece is evidently thought out and cared for. Needham does a lot of the work herself, filling the store with beautiful dressers, tables, and various focal points for any house. Many quality dressers dating back to before the 1950s can be found with a fresh coat of paint and stunning new pulls added for under $500, which if you are not familiar with quality dresser prices, is quite a bargain for the quality!
Such a curated collection means that Bluedoor is a great place to go when you are looking for inspiration on how to decorate any room, but it is also an excellent source for salvaged materials; like hooks, old doors, and other
materials. An entire section of their basement is dedicated to salvageable materials, most pulled from the beautiful, but crumbling, buildings of Detroit, bought at auction, and sold at Bluedoor for repurposing in the most unique of ways. This is an excellent resource to add a punch to any DIY project.
So whether you are looking for inspiration for a living room remodel or have a few extra minutes before an appointment, make sure you pop in to Bluedoor, and give yourself ample time to feel the love and appreciation that is crafted into each piece. As Needham puts it,”I can’t think of a place I’d rather be!”
–Ashlyn Oswalt, Contributing Writer