If you live in (or make frequent visits to) Los Angeles, California, you’ll want to place The Gate House on your list of must-see spots in the city. Owners Ann Porter and Ann Dietrich credit the success of their shop to fair pricing and their ability to come up with new uses for unused pieces – for example, they suggest making a decorative tray out of an antique picture frame. They also develop close relationships with their customers, keeping their eyes out for things a customer collects or has admired in the past. In fact, it isn’t uncommon for them to personally contact customers when a desirable mirror or a box of antique linens makes its way into the shop.
Porter and Dietrich find the items for their shop from many different sources, including estate sales, flea markets, salvage yards and trade shows. You’ll find just a little of everything in their shop, from books to picture frames, pottery to garden furniture. When you visit, be sure to allow yourself plenty of time to browse – surprises lurk in every inch of space in this charming shop.
Since both Porter and Dietrich are also interior designers, they have a knack for blending the well-worn and well-preserved with often quirky flea market finds and vintage fabrics to create a look that is romantic, charming, and above all, livable. One of the best features about antiques is that they can be used to personalize and accessorize spaces in your home. Here’s the chance to let your creativity and personal style abound. Are you stuck with coming up with ideas of your own? Thanks to Porter and Dietrich’s combined experience with creating pleasing designs that are functional as well as fun, they’ll be able to help you with those tricky design challenges.
Porter and Dietrich also enjoy taking pieces that are old yet have inherent character and giving them a new lease on life in the home or garden. Here are a few more suggestions they offer for creatively recycling time-softened pieces:
- House potted flowers in an antique iron crib.
- Hang a chandelier on a birdcage stand to create a unique lamp.
- Use several old trophy cups as vases, utensil holders, etc.
- Build a corner wall cabinet from an old painted door.
- Mix vintage fabrics with some new bedding and pillow shams.
- Use antique silver-plated serving pieces to make wind chimes.
- Frame mirrors with vintage ceiling tins.
Special thanks to Ann Porter and Ann Dietrich, owners, The Gate House, 8319 Kittyhawk Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90045, 310-417-9137