Our love for family, community, travel, and our planet are the roots of our business. We actively and carefully curate all our goods. It is the stories in the old wood and stitching that we find so compelling; behind every piece is a story. And, we believe those stories not only bring a unique energy to each space – they also help connect us to each other.
The blog posts below include the stories from our bi-weekly newsletter, called The Caravan. The aim of this newsletter is to take you on a journey: sharing some of our favorite treasures and inviting you to experience the history behind them.  And several times a year, we deliver an expanded version called The Bazaar.  Much like the old bazaars along The Silk Road served as a trading post for caravans, this larger digest serves as an intersection of goods, places, and artisans, spotlighting local artists; chronicling our travels; and providing an inside scoop on new arrivals! To receive our newsletters directly, click the button to sign up below. 

Featuring New Arrivals from India!

We are pleased and excited to share that just a few days ago we welcomed a long-awaited shipment from India! As you can see, we’ve been quite busy unloading, unwrapping, and unpacking these new (antique) treasures from the Old Silk Road.

Back to School

It’s been a very long time since I was a student in a classroom. Well…since I was a student in what you might consider a “typical” classroom: the kind with four walls, desks, no screens, and a chalkboard (there were chalkboards back in my day!). Throughout my life, I’ve always enjoyed learning. And much of this has occurred outside of the confines of a classroom. I have grown simply by being open to experiencing new things, people, cultures, and ways of thinking and being. And I’m not done yet!

The Little Things

We are in the height of summer, and what a summer it has been! In June, I travelled throughout Spain and Morocco. I returned with more rugs than photos! We also started unloading our (very big!) shipment from India, full of treasures in my favorite color, blue. In July, Sunnyside reached our fifth year at Foundy Street, which is located in the heart of Asheville’s River Arts District. Here we are pictured celebrating with our friends at the Asheville Chamber of Commerce!

Special Issue: Sneak Peek New Arrivals from India

By the time that you receive this newsletter, I will be a few days into my sojourn in Morocco. While I am away visiting one part of the Old Silk Road, the staff at Sunnyside are busy preparing new (antique) arrivals from another part, India! I am especially excited about all the beautiful blue items! We have blue shelves, doors, mandirs, kitchen cupboards, armoires and bookcases! By the way, if blue is not your color, we have the others covered, too! This shipment also has some really unique items, including what it is depicted in the pictures above, incorporating vintage tile, bright and bold colors, intricate craftsmanship, and ornate carvings.

Time for Adventure!

Change, in and of itself, can get a bad rap, disrupting routines, forcing new patterns, and taking us outside of our comfort zone. However, not all change is inherently bad. Embracing this time of seasonal change, what shifts might you have been considering? Have you (also) had that itch to explore? To seek a new path or passion? To experiment with something new? To tap into your creative spirit?  Are you ready for (new) adventures? If Spring has been about planting and tending to our seeds, then Summer is time for adventure, creativity and fun.

Special Issue: New Chinese Shipment

I'm often asked if it is hard to let go of the Old Silk Road treasures at Sunnyside, and take them all home. Each piece is truly one-of-a-kind, with its own history. I confess that I do have my favorites, but I rarely buy any item that I would not be happy to have in my home. The thrill for me is in the "hunt" and I find it much more fulfilling to find their forever homes, often with buyers who become Sunnyside friends (of our 6 staff members, 2 were clients before working here). And because of all the time spent with our large inventory, I get to live with many of these items daily at work. These antique items have stories to tell, you just have to listen closely.

Garden Gifts

Being outside is a good thing. And, it is good for us. In fact, research shows that there are multiple positive benefits to simply being outside - for our emotional and physical health. Walking or even just looking at trees has been shown to lower blood pressure and reduce stress-related hormones. Being in nature improves our mood, lowering anxiety and depression symptoms. Spending time outside can also make us heal faster from illness or surgery. And, these are just a few examples! For those who follow the stars, we've entered the season of Taurus, which is all about slowing down and savoring the little things - pausing to soak in the experience with all of our senses. And to literally ground ourselves in nature.

Special Issue: Antique Chinese Garden Gates & Compound Doors

Whenever we are on buying trips in northern China, we search out these wonderful elm and pine compound doors, which are usually sourced from Shanxi province and date back to the nineteenth century. They originally served as the security opening along a wall which circled a residential compound. Once these massive "gates" were opened, you would encounter a courtyard before reaching the residential structure.

Spring Intentions

Spring is finally here in western North Carolina! We are getting warmer, brighter days and with them, glimpses of gorgeous flowers and blooming trees. One of my favorite things to do, and for most of the folks who live around here, is hike, and there is no shortage of trails in this area. This is a picture of me at Craggy Gardens, which has trails that I visit quite often.

What are you waiting for?

Last summer I was fortunate enough to spend a few days on an isolated beach in South Carolina. In the evenings, I would take a walk through the marshland’s barrier to the beach and one evening I noticed a plump frog sitting on the edge of the walkway. Almost mistaking the frog for a statue, I stopped to stare from a distance that did not alarm the frog. This frog was incredibly still. In fact, it looked to me as if it was doing nothing but sitting. After a few minutes of further, intense observation, I went on about my business. An hour later I returned, and the frog was still there. Same place, same position, same frog. I sidled a little closer to confirm that this was, in fact, a real frog. And, then, I realized something: this frog was waiting.

It’s Time to Play!

Do you remember what it’s like to play with finger paints? Perhaps your particular memories involved playing in the mud, as did many a kid who spent significant time outdoors. Regardless, there’s something magical about that activity – being able to absolutely lose yourself in play. For those moments, the only world that existed was you and your paint. This is essentially the definition of the verb “to play:” engaging in an activity “for enjoyment and recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose.” Our sole purpose is pleasure. And, as an outcome, we experience joy. Why, then, as adults do we shy away from play?

Why Wait for Joy?

In Asheville, North Carolina, February starts the final leg of winter. With long cold days and (what seems like) long cold nights, we’ve been cooped up since November, waiting for the first glimpses of Spring. Winter can be a hard season, for many reasons. For one, as the outside world is resting up for Spring, our lives shift indoors. Perhaps we are forced to slow down for a little bit. I find this to be especially hard in our fast-paced world that calls us constantly to the next thing. Before long, we are back to absent-mindedly running from task to task and jumping ahead to our Spring Break plans and summer adventures. I wonder, though, what we might lose by not simply savoring what is right in front of us in the present moment?

Stillness Stored in a Blanket Chest

If your January has been anything like mine, it’s been off to the races from Day 1. Sunnyside has been busy preparing for the arrival our new Chinese shipment (it’s finally here!) and we hauled a truckload of Sunnyside treasures to the 2023 Winter Market in Atlanta, Georgia. That’s just like January, though: New Year resolutions begin; the to-do lists are developed; and new routines are mapped out. And off we go. We get busy. However, I’d like to propose that January has much more to offer us than busyness.

New Year, New Arrivals

It is hard to believe we are just a couple of days away from the start of (another) new year. This means that we are also just a couple of days short of successfully completing (another) full year. As an old saying goes, “out with the old, in with the new.” We know this pattern well at Sunnyside: we find ourselves sending pieces to their new homes, thereby making space to welcome new inventory, like ones from the recent Indian shipment that we are spotlighting in this newsletter.

Slow Furniture That Lasts

You may have seen the recent article from the New York Times about “fast furniture.” Similar to the concept of “fast fashion,” this typology of furniture is characterized by the following: it is easy to get; easy to get rid of; typically mass-produced; and relatively inexpensive. Typically, some assembly is often required on the part of the buyer, or a handy friend or family member. On the one hand, fast furniture enables the acquisition of household items at an affordable price point. On the other hand, “fast furniture” tends to be made from cheap, non-biogradeable materials.

The Table Connection

Tables are perhaps one of the most practical pieces of furniture that exists in a home. Fittingly, tables are found in every room. They hold things, such as family photos or memories of a special meal. And, this time of year especially, they host holiday decorations, food, and presents. Beyond their practical use, tables also facilitate connection. To ourselves and each other. Have you ever noticed that where there is good conversation and cheerful gathering, or peaceful study and reflection, a table is usually involved? Think about it: although the usage may change with the type of table involved, the connection charm applies to all types of tables, from dining room table to coffee; side; writing; hall; and consoles.

The Enchantment of a Bench

Despite its rigid exterior, there’s something magical about a bench. It invites us to rest. Entryway benches offer a place to sit down (and set all of your stuff) when you get home. Park benches provide a refuge for our feet (and our minds), even if for a minute. A bench placed outside, on a porch or in a garden, beckons us to pause from the busyness of our day. This invitation is especially intriguing because benches aren’t typically associated with comfort. Think about that: while it’s unlikely you’ll find benches as living room furniture, they have the uncanny ability to facilitate mental and physical rest.

Whimsy & Delight at Sunnyside

Halfway through October, we find ourselves in the middle of multiple transitions: our days are growing shorter, leaves are changing colors, and the cold air is creeping in, just to name a few. We find ourselves holding on to the last bits of our summer adventures while looking ahead to the festive season. Pumpkin spice has already settled in, and soon, the advent of warm, wooly sweaters and hot cocoa. Mindful of our tendency to jump ahead to the next thing, Sunnyside has decided to settle in for a bit in this enchanting middle moment, focusing the first of our expanded newsletters, The Bazaar, on the theme of whimsy and delight.

The Door to Happiness, Thoughtfully Curated

What comes to mind when you think about the word “curate?” A museum? A collector? A priest? To “curate” stems from the noun, “curator,” which dates to the 14th century. Believe it or not, “curate” in verb form didn’t appear until the second half of the 19th century. And since then, both parts of speech have evolved in their meaning and use. Today, the verb “to curate” generally refers to the thoughtful collection, organization, or arrangement of something. We often think about the act of curating artwork in a museum or as a part of a private collection. The idea of curation has recently expanded in scope, and now references not only what we have, but how we dress and what we read. So, when you think about it, anyone can curate. But why should you?

Changing Leaves, Hidden Treasure

Changing seasons offer a time for reflection and introspection. What do I want to do more of? Where do I want to invest my time? What matters to me? Changing of the seasons also means the chance to change up our everyday setup, whether it is the addition of a new piece or simply switching around what we already have. And we can't forget all the cozy blankets, fall-scented candles, and pumpkins galore.

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