Argent Antiques in Homewood, Alabama started as an antique silver, tabletop, and antiques store almost 20 years ago. Today, owners Staci and Drew Parker continue to focus on the hallmarks of their business, but when Gabby furniture caught their eye, they decided it was the extra element they needed to create a fresh, well-blended look for their clients.
Drew, Argent Antiques: After a buying trip to France, I walked into our personal home and thought we definitely needed a fresh look. We began to look for some new lines that would blend well with country French antiques. At first, it was hard to find a new line that would complement the antiques. But on a trip to High Point Furniture Market, we stumbled into a Gabby showroom. Right away I knew that it was a line I needed to carry. William White, the founder of Gabby, told me that he initially designed a lot of the pieces to blend with antiques and many of the pieces were based on historical designs. That was a plus for us. It seemed the more new pieces we added, the more antiques we sold. Mixing antiques with new pieces gives a space the pop that is desperately needed for a transitional look in today’s interiors.
What are some personal favorite Gabby pieces? What are some customer favorites?
Argent Antiques: I think we have a new favorite after every market introduction. Currently, the Janice Chest is our go-to piece for a bedside table. We also love Gabby’s acrylic barstools because they can liven up a traditional home or blend right in to a contemporary space.
When shopping for antiques, are you drawn to a certain style, age, or provenance?
Argent Antiques: We are constantly on the hunt for new pieces to bring into Argent. We search for what we love and what we would place in our own home. That always starts with the color, patina, and the lines of the piece.
We love the antique cases full of gorgeous sterling silver in your shop! Everything is so perfectly polished and stunning. What is the most unusual piece you’ve ever come across?
Argent Antiques: We have bought and sold tons of silver over the past 20 years. It’s hard to pick a favorite. Right now we have a pair of three-light candelabra from a German silversmith that are fantastic. We also have a Francis 1st seven-piece service set with tray and kettle. We also carry fine new and estate jewelry.
Why do you have your business in Birmingham and in particular, Homewood?
Argent Antiques: Homewood is a destination for people from all over Birmingham and the surrounding areas. We also have a lot of customers who drive in from towns across Alabama as well as Mississippi, and Tennessee.
Do you have designers on staff?
Argent Antiques: Yes! We have one designer on staff who is able to help with design needs that range from lighting and pillows and custom upholstery to drapery panels and case goods. In addition to furniture, we also carry original art, accent pillows, tabletop, and gift items. Prices range from $14 to $4,000 depending on what you are looking for. Our inventory is constantly changing. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to see what is new.
How does your store change for each season? What do you do special during Christmas?
Argent Antiques: We are constantly changing and adding new inventory. We’ve recently added a new group of dining room tables, sideboards, and chairs because this is a season for entertaining.
Do Birmingham clients have a certain look?
Argent Antiques: Birmingham clients really represent every style. Years ago we always thought Birmingham would be a little slower than some of the bigger cities when it comes to design. But with the explosion of the internet, that is not the case anymore. Right now we are assisting a population of 40-plus ladies who are looking to update their look. They can definitely keep their traditional furniture, but mix in some lighting and/or a few pieces of transitional/contemporary furniture to give them a brand new feel.
If someone is on a budget, what pieces do you recommend buying first? Second? Third?
Argent Antiques: Pillows, lamps, and chandeliers. Gabby’s lighting is very popular. It’s always priced fair, well made, and offered in a multitude of shapes, styles, and sizes.
What’s on the horizon for Argent?
Argent Antiques: We just expanded the showroom and our furniture stock. We are also expanding our costume and fine jewelry selection. In the spring we are bringing in some Summer Classics outdoor pieces. Outdoor rooms are really hot right now. We have several customers seeking pieces that look great and can withstand the weather. We are really excited about what is ahead!
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