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Our Favorite Place to Buy Reproduction Lighting for Old Houses

Nestled behind a cornfield, in rural Vermont, is a magical place!

As seen on episode 1 of our HGTV show
Who’s Afraid of a Cheap Old House?

Stepping into Authentic Designs, family-owned lighting designers for three generations, in West Rupert, VT, you’re overwhelmed by the absolutely beautiful pieces that Michael Krauss and his team have created. This has been our go-to spot for years in restoring houses locally (and yes, we most certainly shopped there for our own farmhouse!) In episode 1 of Who’s Afraid of a Cheap Old House?, we took America on a tour of the showroom and workshop with a purpose: to find a statement piece, informed by historical designs, to anchor the new dining room in Bill and Joe’s home, a former firehouse.

As I said in the show, “You have a very visceral reaction when you walk into a place like this. And that’s because this is a family business that has now been operating for generations. Places like this are so rare now.”

If these pieces look and feel more ‘quality’” than most of what one finds on the market today, it’s because they are. Each chandelier, sconce, and pendant from Authentic Designs is made by hand. For Bill and Joe’s incredible firehouse in Whitehall, NY, the team was drawn to the Metropolitan chandelier — so named because Michael replicated the design from a historic c. 1750 original found in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. And wouldn’t you know it, he had the design book to prove it!

We work diligently to save money when we restore cheap old houses. Doing so gives us the ability — when a truly special, can’t-stop-obsessing piece comes our way — to splurge a bit, knowing that by investing in a pricier piece also means supporting a small business and supporting craftspeople committed to high-quality pieces that are destined to become new family heirlooms.

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