By Christina Autry
Amitha Verma has created a space in the Spring Branch District for helping homeowners rejuvenate their homes with the timeless beauty of antiques. Through their European, “Marie Antoinette meets rustic” style, Village Antiques restores aged furniture and home décor to become one-of-a-kind treasures fit for modern homes.
Glass chandeliers, electric candle holders, and lamps of all kinds light your way past groupings of furniture which model ways to display the eclectic pieces. Hefty wooden tables, intricately carved cabinets, and delicate upholstered chairs can be seen repainted in neutral colors while still allowing the character of the piece to shine through. Eyeing these staged rooms with cream-colored couches, gray-blue accent pillows, and matching antique paintings help you brainstorm ideas for your own home.
Amitha takes pride in the practicality and durability of her antique furniture. By hand-picking the pieces that are displayed in her shop, Amitha can find formal, yet family-friendly items that fit customers’ design goals while also serving as the kids’ homework table.
“Sometimes antique shops feel fanciful; you might love an item but you don’t know how to use it. We have design coaches who can help you decide how it can fit into your home,” explains Amitha. “Your house doesn’t have to look like everybody else’s. Designing it within your own style helps you express your personality. It’s kind of like finding your furniture soulmate.” Most of the furniture in Village Antiques is refurbished and ready for display, while some is waiting for the right person to come along and see its potential.
“My staff is passionate about design and can’t wait to help you with your projects. Everything we do is meant to help people create ‘heart’ in their home. This passion sets us apart in the industry,” says Amitha.
Starting with free workshops offered by Village Antiques like “Fundamentals of Transforming Your Home,” will give you the tools you need to begin. From there, the shop teaches additional hands-on workshops like “Chalk Finish Paint Happy Hour,” and “Chalk Finish Painting, Sealing and Antiquing,” and seasonal workshops, allowing you to receive direct guidance from design coaches that will transform your home. “Everyone has a piece of furniture that’s an eyesore, but you want to keep it for sentimental value. We teach you how to keep the piece’s story and update it into a modern style,” says Amitha.
“The way to get from seeing a design and thinking, ‘I wish I had that’ to ‘I love it’ is by jumping in and making mistakes,” advises Amitha. She made her own daring jump into the world of business ownership, after leaving her previous career as an attorney. Despite her success as an attorney, Amitha knew that she was not happy. “My husband was instrumental in encouraging me to follow my passion, and pursue a career that I can be excited for every day,” she says.
“I left that career behind and never looked back,” Amitha says firmly. She completed design school and began working with clients to fashion styles suited to their individual preferences. “Of course, with any business, there are new challenges to figure out. It’s very exciting,” she says enthusiastically.
Amitha remembers watching the cartoon Cinderella as a child, and being fascinated not with Prince Charming or Cinderella’s ball-gown, but the antique, European style of furnishings depicted in the movie. This same style that grabbed her attention years ago still permeates into her business, and the design of her own home.
“Design is my love language,” Amitha remarked. Through Village Antiques, Amitha and her coaches can share knowledge of interior decoration with a wider audience who may not want to hire a full-time designer. “When people ask for help with their projects, I love being able to help them see what’s not visible. We have the tools to add warmth and comfort to homes, giving them a cozy, welcoming feel,” she emphasized.
“In my downtime, I’m constantly looking at new projects and ideas,” she says. “I am always on the hunt.” Inventory at Village Antiques is sourced from antique fairs in the United States and Europe, through networking, vendor contacts, and Amitha’s personal scouring of fairs such as the renowned Round Top fair between Houston and Austin. “For people who love the thrill of the hunt like I do, come to Village Antiques because our inventory is always changing,” says Amitha.
“Sales are not our core value. Our top priorities are passion, authenticity, and caring for people.” Customers at Village Antiques can’t be generalized. They see a huge range of people coming through their doors who love antiques, painted furniture, want to learn how to decorate their houses, or add more pieces to their homes. They come looking for this one stop shop for antiques, and rare, extraordinary items. “You feel like you’re a part of the family when you come to our shop and our workshops. We want to invite you into our world, meet our wonderful staff, and experience great things.”