A Search Engine for Stylish Finds

(By Len Spoden For The Washington Post)
Thursday, November 8, 2007

Anna Applegate and Kathryn Ivey, longtime friends who live in Alexandria's Del Ray neighborhood, have turned their love of finding and refurbishing vintage furnishings into a blossoming business. This summer, they started Refined ( http://www.refinedstyle.blogspot.com), a venture that they run via a blog.

After scouring secondhand resources for "pieces with potential," they paint and reupholster, turning the furnishings and accessories into one-of-a-kind finds. Items are posted for sale on their blog and on Craigslist. Before-and-after pictures are featured on their site.

Their first listing, a pair of faux bamboo chairs found at a flea market, repainted in glossy white and reupholstered in a solid green fabric, sold in a matter of days. They also will search for specific items by request and customize pieces to fit a client's home.

They describe their style as a mix of Hollywood glamour, vintage Palm Beach and Southern traditional elegance: "Classic pieces that are updated to fit into young, chic interiors," Ivey says. "Our customers are those who love the look but don't have the time to hunt."

Terri Sapienza

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