willowbrook farm

historic yellow springs

How We Get to Here

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Thank you

We want to send a huge thank you with a million hugs to our attendees of our Fall Barn Sale! We saw our biggest turnout thus far and for that we are thrilled! We had several people who we had meetings with, come into the barn the couple of weeks before the sale and each ones’ eyes darted back and forth across the piles of product, furniture and tools that littered the area. Almost all of them asked upon viewing the assortment of unplaced goods, sanders, power cords, paint brushes and the likes, “Isn’t the sale next week?” We have an uncanny ability to work hard until the very last moment to pull it all together. The effort is huge and my husband often comments, “Where do you get the energy?”

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The purpose of this post is to both answer that question and to show you  “behind the scenes” snippets of a Life’s Patina Barn Sale. Fascinating info for some… a yawn inducing piece for others. We start our prep for all of our Sales back at the International Home and Gift Show in Atlanta in January. Here we are able to use our senses to see, touch and assess all the latest trends, products and lines and what they have that we would like to work into our barn offerings or design projects.


The product offerings are huge but we manage to come away from this show ordering products that we feel will create the mood and work with the larger furniture pieces that we have or are looking for. Soon after, we start to greet the merchandise on 18 wheelers which is typically not supposed to be on 18 wheelers. Have you ever been down our driveway?

2015-01-15 10.16.27They either kindly leave the pallets at the gate of the farm, to our surprise, (good thing they left THIS one in the grass) we meet them in a neighborhood or office park to unload those pallets


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the trucks get stuck in our driveway and I use all the cat litter, sand and hay that we have to try to get traction so the driver can get out. We are usually successful. Any way you slice it, the deliveries always cause me a great bit of trepidation. For most certainly they occur when a million other things are happening and running back and forth to the house and garage to bring forth various objects (tree trimmers, cat liter, straw, cutting objects and children)  to either try and get dropped shipments out of the way, tree branches cut that are impending incoming trucks or trucks unstuck, can be a little nerve racking.

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Whatever method we use to get the merchandise off the trucks, we then unpack and inspect it for damages.

After inspecting and reporting all damages, the merchandise is spread out on any open surface to begin the pricing of it all.

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This is a pleasant task during some times of the year and a bone chilling one in others.

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After pricing, all of it has to be stashed or shuffled from surface to surface as we move the larger pieces into place to form our “rooms.” We call this, “putting the backbone of the sale into place.” All hands are on deck for this one, husband, kids and anyone who walks into the barn at that time might be recruited, for sometimes it takes 4 to 6 of us to move a piece. Sorry, no photos on this one for it is quite difficult to take a photo and lift at the same time!

While we are ordering, unpacking, pricing and moving,  we are also hunting the East Coast, from Massachusetts to Virginia, to find our salvage pieces and items that I feel will complete the “rooms” that we create in the barn. It has been noted that I can get through an antique store or field of goodies whilst leaving my shopping partners in the dust.

Deconstructed Lampshade 1d

“this one or this one…like there really is a difference”


“does this drain work?”


“what are the possibilities?”

and other such stimulating questions are asked before we haul the goods home in either our open trailer or a rented U- Haul.

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THIS is my most favorite part of the whole process! Finding that needle in a haystack or to see the promise in an object…LOVE it!


I think this trailer is almost full,


as well as the back of my trusty Suburban.


We are known for using very accurate methods of measurement such as, ” Can you eyeball this to see if this roof rack is long enough to fit this shutter?” which often results in the brilliant one who asked that question to sit sandwiched in the only available space in the car. Notice that the measurement offender has been banished to eating her lunch in said tight space.


Luxury is not a part of any of our road trips and motels are the order of the day which bring back memories of traveling when I was young.

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When we are not eating in the backs of cars, under a bucket, we usually splurge on Cracker Barrels,

2015-07-17 21.19.54gotta love those rocking chairs!)

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or on Chia Seed Fruit Packets while sitting in front of antique mirrors. You had to have been there…Any way you look at it, it takes a considerable amount of time finding and bringing the unique and fun pieces back to the barn. When we get them back, our whole team turns it on with all sorts of tasks, consisting of …

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touch up painting,

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cleaning dirt,

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patching holes and

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Once this work is done, it is time to move everything back in the barn and into its proper spot. That is the really tough part…where is the proper spot?

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Add to the rehabbed pieces and furniture all of the “smalls”  and it really is a puzzle!

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This is the part where the team steps back and lets the crazy lady do her thing. It really can be quite amusing to watch my visual antics and 10 miles a day clocked by walking items from area to area to see where they best fit in while holding the questionable piece in the air in front of me so I can “eyeball” it.

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Once the goods are piled in front of the correct “setting up zone” I begin the arranging to best show off the attributes of the items or piece.

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This area is almost finished in this photo but you will no longer see this piece for it went to its new home at the past sale. Along with the setting up of the barn comes other tasks that also come into play towards creating a sale. There is menu planning and setting up to be done for the Preview Party…

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Graphics and promo pieces to be created and printed,

Fall Events

that depict our upcoming events and the charity we are benefitting…

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Goat herding…


Baby holding…

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and to be frankly honest with you…a little bit of everything but the kitchen sink!

Maggie, our new addition in April, stated upon our trip to the New York Home and Gift Show in August that she loved her job! That was while she was pushing a cart though Ikea as we detoured through to pick up a dresser for my daughter’s apartment that we were to deliver on our way up there, while balancing her lunch of chicken nuggets and fries on the cart. An important element upon interviewing for the position that was open was not only her experience but her ability to roll up her sleeves and do whatever is needed, a quality that we all posses.

So, this is in essence, what it takes to put together and bring to you the environment that you feel when you step into the barn. We appreciate all of you who visit and Love it when you enjoy yourself and find a goodie or two to take home with you.

YOU give us our energy and we hope that you enjoy visiting as much as we enjoy creating it!

The wheels are in motion and have been for the last couple of months on bringing to you the magic of the upcoming Holidays. Stay tuned and hope to see you all soon!


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  1. Jennifer Grobe says:

    You always produce amazing pieces. We are so Blessed to have such a wonderful shopping experience here on the Mainline. Please continue to be AWESOME! I certainly love it!
    Admirer of all things old,

    • Meg Veno says:

      Jennifer, thank you so much for your comment! I truly appreciate it and the fact that you love coming here!! Old things speak to the soul, do they not? So glad I have another lover of them in the area! I look forward to seeing you at the Holiday sale! xx