Monday, March 1, 2010

My (Nearly) Lifelong Love Affair With Stanley's Ole Furniture

I honestly fell in love with this furniture when I was about twelve years old. I have written before about other furniture - wicker, etc., that I wanted when I was a kid - but THIS is what I REALLY wanted. I think I probably dreamed about it. It was an impossible dream and I knew it. I wrote about it in my journal numerous times- and even mentioned it in my poem "Things I Like". I had never forgotten about it, nor will I ever - but when I came across one of the advertisements in an old Better Homes and Gardens Magazine a few years ago, I just about flipped! (Made by the Stanley Furniture Company. That's Ole - with an accent on the "e".)
I was so excited to see it again that I became a woman on a mission: MustHaveEveryPictureOfItThatICanFind!
Like a crazy person, I mean it. These that I'm showing you today are all I have found so far. Above, you see it in yellow. I'm still looking for an actual full page advertisement showing it in yellow. I saved black and white images, too:

This nice gentleman is painting a pretty turned leg or bedpost. See the little pictures of some of the Ole pieces at the bottom?
I blew it up for you! An orange armoire and the desk (or vanity) in yellow with the mirror:

I love it in all colors- but back then, I think orange was my favorite. What a lucky little girl to have a room like this:

The desk, the chair, the bed:
I even spotted a piece of it in the Tom Hanks movie "Big" last time I watched it. And I also saw a piece (which had been painted - bummer) in the show "Find and Design" that used to be on A&E - I miss that show!
And this orange desk was for sale at Golightly's Antiques in North Richland Hills, Texas last year. If I could have driven to Texas and brought it home, believe me, I would have! Still in love....
Here it is in white with blue and green flowers. I cannot express how much I love this furniture. Do you think it is odd that I STILL love it today as much as I did then? I would gladly put it in my house RIGHT NOW. Anybody out there - if you have any old BHG magazines (or other home decorating magazines) from the late 60's or early 70's- and you see another advertisement - I am BEGGING you - I want it. PLEASE.
This is a very sad story. Believe it or not, I actually found a dresser and mirror a few years ago in a local thrift shop. I could NOT believe my eyes. It wasn't perfect, but it was only $35. Tina took this picture for me with her phone. I couldn't leave it without at least having picture to remember it by:
$35 isn't very much, but I didn't have it. And we can honestly not fit another piece of furniture into our house. Get rid of something else to make room for it? I didn't think my husband would do it. I didn't even ask. And so where would I have put it if I HAD taken it home? Not to mention the fact that I couldn't have brought it home without his help anyway. To this day, I am kicking myself in the ASS for not having just bought it anyway.
I don't want to talk about it anymore.

49 comments:

Tina Dawn said...

Great post, and I completely understand. I remember that day well. Is that thrift store still there? Come closer, I want to kick you in the ass too. LOL. Love T

yosemite faith said...

i can't believe it but i would kick you too - heidi!!! well at least you have the photo. i never was aware of the name of this furniture but so much of it i like too. heidi you should have spent the $35.....

Twyla and Lindsey said...

Oh Heidi, I am so sorry you didn't buy that piece. I have had more buyer's remorse over things I DIDN'T buy than things I did! I know just how you feel! Twyla

Midcenturymadam said...

I don't ever remember seeing that furniture but I love it! Maybe we will find a dresser here for you to buy and it will be under $5.00! I would personally carry it to your house for you.

Missa said...

Haha, odd? Maybe a little, but charmingly so! ;)

I think I may have an old BHG floating around from that time period. I'll dig it up and check.

Also, here's the link to the antiques store you inquired about:
http://railroadsquare.net/discover/whistlestop-antiques/

It's definitely not to be missed!

Anonymous said...

I grew up in Richmond, VA and I also had Ole' furniture and LOVED IT! Mine was red...(maybe what you are calling orange). I am like you; almost obsessed with the memories attached to my awesome, fun, whimsical bedroom of the 60's. I told my husband just this morning that if I ever found that furniture again I'd buy it in a second! Not that I need any more furniture...heck, I'm 56 years old and have way too much stuff. But I go to yard sales and cruise flea markets and antique shops in hopes of coming across even just one piece of Ole' furniture (in red.) Glad I saw your post...I was googling Ole'!
Patti Jo Knight

Anonymous said...

I had the hot pink ole set as a little girl and have 4 pieces in my mother's attic as I write. I painted the dresser but still have it.

Anonymous said...

I have a headboard, the sweetest chair and a dresser from that collection in hot pink...with lime green and yellow accents.

Anonymous said...

Just ran across your post while searching for pictures of Ole'! My sister and I had a whole room full of the white version with blue and green trim like you saw in the thrift shop. From what I remember, the red finish was called paprika.

Anonymous said...

I just picked up a whole set of the Ole collection at an estate sale my wife it and loved it for our daughters room. Didn't know the name of the collection till now, knew it was stanley as the name is stamped in the drawer. Thanks for the little history of the set...

Anonymous said...

wow-- was searching for the value of the set when I ran across your blog. I am actually picking up my set from my mother;s in LA for the same reason. I had all the pieces but she did give away the dresser a few years back. I even have the original ad from the magazine. Not sure what it is but I loved the set also.

horseydella said...

My parents bought me the red set when I graduated from Junior High in 1969. I have always loved it, but had 2 boys, and red just wasn't their color. I found a yellow armoire in a used furniture store a few years back and bought. I currently have my red set listed on Craigslist (Sacramento area), but will hang onto the yellow piece.

P.S., My grandparents lived on Hwy 88, about 5 miles beyond Buckhorn. Spent many summers there -- and remember them fondly.

Debra Zeller said...

My mother bought three pieces of the yellow at Steinfeld's in Tucson in '67. I still have them. I found two twin head and foot boards at Goodwill, then I found a chest of drawers, table and little hutch, small and large dresser with mirror and chair at a house that was being sold. I have it all, I use it in a big guest room. I love this stuff as much as you. I would buy more if I ever find it.

Lisa H. Taylor said...

I had a set as a girl, and my parents kept it in their spare bedroom. Last year, my 11-yr-old daughter decided she wanted it in her room...she loves the 1960s-'70s retro look. My set is white w/; the blue and green. I'd love to find additional pieces: we have the daybed, desk, chair, mirror and lowboy chest of drawers. I'm in So. Calif.

elfridabeetle said...

If anyone happens to have had drawerpulls recast, I would be interested to know how that turned out. I need a bunch for my red set. As I remember, they were rather fragile. Thanks. I still love my Olé!

Anonymous said...

I was looking up ti see if i can find the value i found this site i'm 45 i have the orangeish red set we moved in 73 and it set in my grand parents house in 1986 then my daughter use it for a few years i have 5 peices in my closet i was thinking of selling it but i dont know what to ask and i have the ole book of the set. melisapt@aol.com

Anonymous said...

I have been looking for the Ole collection desk in red for years,and was just curious what that antique shop in Texas was selling it for.I was told that these items are very expensive. I cant find it anywhere!

Anonymous said...

I have the full OLe set in red -- original owner, needs some repainting, but otherwise good condition. Willing to sell as it is just sitting in my garage anyone interested????

Anonymous said...

Hi Anonymous: Which pieces do you have, and, more importantly, where do you live? What is your asking price? I'm in Orange County, but will be going up to Monterey Bay area in late Jan. to move my son up there for college. Are you in central/northern CA?

Anonymous said...

Hi--
I have the bed, nightstand, armoire, desk with hutch, desk chair (kinda of banana shaped and the full length mirror. I am located in northern california (sonoma County) Have no idea of the value. Let me do some research. If still interested, email me at tbaker0208@sbcglobal.net and we can talk.
I actually moved it from Los Angels (at my moms house last summer) she had it her spare bedroom all these years.

Anonymous said...

Hi Anonymous: please email if interested in the bedroom set. I have the desk, desk chair, armoire, bed, mirror and nightstand. located in sonoma county
tbaker0208@sbcglobal.net

Debra Zeller said...

This is great! To see the interest in this furniture is a lot of fun. There were five pieces in white: table, chair, lamp, standing mirror and bed which sold for $150 on Craigslist here in Tucson. I still need some drawer pulls so let me know there are any out there, please.

lauramay said...

Wow Thanks for posting all these great retro pics.I also belong to the club of "I'm obessed with finding pictures or the real furniture that i saw as a kid.I feel ridiculous that at 52 years old ,I'm still searching.At least i know now that i'm not the only one.Thanks so much for the memories.Laura

Anonymous said...

I found a red stack dresser about 15 years ago at a Salvation Army in Skid Row (DTLA). I remember it was love at First sight! There were several pieces, night stands, tables, an armoire, chairs etc. Since I was looking for furniture for my first aparment, which was small and I was broke, I only got the one piece. Now years later not knowing anything about this line I decided to Google it. I was pleasantly surprised to see all the pics u posted. I've been fighting my fiance for years to keep it. He absolutely HATES it...but now I can show him this page and maybe he'll stop pestering me. Thanks for the wonderful pics.

Julie said...

I still have my yellow full size headboard, vanity, and end table. I too, didn't know the name of it except that it was Stanley. Got it when in Jr. high. WHenever I show people-they love it!

Cheryl said...

I saw a set of Stanley Ole Red furniture on Craiglist. I fell in love with it, and so I googled it to find more info. about it. That's how I came about your site. I see we have the same great taste. I am going to buy the desk and hutch for my newly painted yellow dining room. It will go perfectly with the strawberries in my kitchen!

Anonymous said...

My sister and I grew up with the red set. I only have the desk and hutch left. Desperatly seeking other pieces. If anyone has any for sale please let me know.
homevalue4u@aol.com

OLE love said...

I have had the RED bedroom furniture for 45 years! Only a few pieces. I've searched online for a number of years, but failed to find. I contacted Stanley Furniture and discovered they discontinued the collection in 1976. I will buy RED pieces or mix and match just to have it again. I noticed the most recent post is April 2013....YAY1 So people are still talking about it. Anyone with info please email me: cmessick1221@msn.com. Thanks!

Ruben Guillen said...

I still have the set of Red Ole my parents bought for me back in the 60's. I am ready to sell the set. I have the bed, mirror, desk, chair, hutch, and dresser. C

Annalise Staudt said...

I'm in Yucaipa, CA and I'm thinking of selling my Orange Twin Bed, dresser, mirror, and hutch. Email me at annalise.staudt@gmail.com.

Carol said...

I have the yellow set, purchased in 1972. I have the desk and hutch, the dressing table, mirror and bench, the full-sized headboard, the dresser and end table. I loved it then, and I still love it! I always got a kick out of watching Rosanne because her sister Jackie had that furniture. Different pieces in different houses/apartments that she lived in.

Anonymous said...

I have a red Stanley desk and hutch from the Ole collection. If anyone is interested email me at kendra.Jefferies@yahoo.com. I am located in So.Il

Anonymous said...

I own a store in Northern California and next week we are going to be consigning a hot pink tall chest, long dresser, desk with hutch and twin bed.
It is in perfect condition and the original owner states its approx 45 yrs old.
My store is Funk Shui in Arcata CA and we will be posting pics on our FB page if anyone is interested in purchasing, its being sold seperately.

CarShar said...

The furniture was featured in Episode 3 of "Better Call Saul"

I had an entire bedroom set in yellow. I've been slowly selling pieces here and there.

Heidi Ann said...

CarShar - Thank you for letting me know! I will try to catch that episode next week. I want to see it!
What pieces do you have, and where in the country do you live? You can e-mail me directly from my profile if you like - just click on my name HeidiAnn along the right side of the blog.

CarShar said...

Hi Heidi Ann,
I had the twin bed, nightstand, vanity and mirror, dresser with bookcase, and desk with bookcase.

I only have the dresser and vanity and mirror left. I live in Orange County, California.

My sister had the white set with blue&green trim. She had additional pieces like the corner piece and bookcase, and standing swivel mirror. I believe she still has some pieces as well. So hard to let go of.

Madeline Gianatasio said...

I love hearing these stories. I have an entire set in yellow. It was mine as a child, my daughter used it until she was in college, and we have kept it for "her daughter". Well, she has a little boy and the bedroom set has been safely stored for years. I am hoping to sell it. I have the bed, dresser, desk with the hutch, chair, end table, telephone table and another small, curved chair. I am hoping to post the pictures soon.

Heidi Ann said...

Madeline - I would love to see pictures of your Ole! Where will you post them?
I have no way to contact you; all I could do was publish your comment here on my blog.

Fran said...

I grew up with with the Ole set (red). My parents bought it for me and my sister in the early 70s. We loved the set, especially the desk and dresser. About twenty years ago, I made two quilts using the colors of the furniture (red, green, and yellow) to go on the beds. Sadly, neither my sister or I have girls of our own so we are selling the set. I ran across this post when researching the set before posting it. I'm glad to hear there is such love for it.

Fran said...

My sister and I had the Ole collection (red) growing up (two twin beds, desk, writing table, and dresser). I found this blog when researching the history of the set. It was such a treat to have a desk with all the fun drawers. About 20 years ago, I embroidered and pieced quilts for each bed to match the set and had them hand-quilted. My mother was so proud that us girls had a complete bedroom set. Sadly, neither my sister or I have daughters now to use the set so we are selling it. The set brings back great memories, as did this blog. Thanks for sharing.

Marsha Milovich said...

I have several pieces of the white w/blue and green trim bedroom set and would love to sell them. The paint on the top of the dressers and desk is wearing off, plus my daughters painted over the blue/green with different colors. What price would you ask for this set? It is a large "L" shaped set with about 10 pieces. I have the Paprika vanity in my bathroom. I've had it since high school. I also live in California and would be willing to work something out if I could sell the set. I can be reached at marshmilov@gmail.com

Marsha

Heidi Ann said...

Hi Marsha, Thank you for writing to comment.
I'm afraid I really have no idea on pricing for the furniture.
I only know that I love it.
For me, the fact that the original finish is painted over would make a big difference in how much I might be willing to pay, or whether I would wish to purchase it.
But, you just never know. I'd say figure out what you'd really like to get for it,set your price, and then just try on Craig's List,(or wherever), and see if someone bites.
If my husband was agreeable, and if money was no object, I would probably happily fill my entire home with sets in all three of the different colors!
But: he isn't, and it IS.
So, there you have it.

Sls said...

I have an 8-piece yellow Olé suite that includes a queen size headboard, metal mattress frame on casters, single drawer, single shelf bedside table, side cabinet/3-drawer dresser with mirror, chest of drawers with book hutch, and a student's desk. Some light flaking of the paint occurs in some areas when rubbed with sponge or cloth, and a bit of water damage has affected a back corner of the desk. I consulted the proprietor of of the furniture store, in Wisconsin where the suite was originally purchased in 1970, as to its appraisal value (I submitted photos and mentioned the areas of wearing.) I was advised that a reasonable asking price for the suite would be $900, as the overall condition of the set is good and, as we all know, the Olé line limited. For photos or questions, I may be contacted at sls52157@gmail.com

PS: I queried a Stanley Furniture archivist as to what the value of the pieces might be. Although very kind and responsive, I was informed that after searching their collection of catalogs they were not able to locate anything on the Olé line, and seemed to suggest that they don't save catalogs as far back as the 1960s-70s. I may have to try again!

Anonymous said...

Didn't realize so many loved this furniture. I have 6 pieces of the yellow and there are at least 4 pieces of the red at my father's home. I might even consider selling... we are in the southeast US.

Jill

Lisa H. Taylor said...

Has anyone tried to spruce up Ole? I have the white set that I gave to my daughter, who had done things to the tops that I would have been punished for. It seems like it might be really difficult to paint, then get the splatter effect to match other parts of the furniture. I'd love to hear if anyone has done this.

Anonymous said...

I have refinished the tops of my red set and I was able to match it beautifully. It is a multi-step process, but well worth it. I brought a drawer to my local paint store and they were able to match the base color. After your surface is prepared, paint the base color (low lustre enamel). Once it's dry put a black aging glaze on a rag and rub over the surface you just painted. Next, dip a 1-2" wide paintbrush in a black low lustre latex enamel and splatter it across the surface (practice on cardboard first). Lastly, paint entire surface with a clear acrylic polyurethane.

I am looking for one draw pull and also wondering if anyone has come up with the value of these pieces? I have 7 pieces of the red bedroom set and would like to sell it.

Debbie said...

I have a lot of the red pieces too, and I have had some of them refinished flawlessly as you have. When I sell the entire set, I will include the paints which were used along with upholstery canvas. I have some pulls but there are two sizes so please let me know what you need. I have an idea of what each piece is worth. It will take someone who loves this furniture as much as we all do to want it. It was great in '68 and it still is!

Debbie Farnsworth said...

I have the hot pick Ole Stanley Furniture! I'm presently redoing a bedroom of which i will be using my beautiful teenage years furniture! I am looking for a dresser to buy! I live in Georgia. debbiecolstonfarns@gmail.com
Thanks!

Kaye Fields said...

Looking to buy chest or dresser