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Big Daddy's Antiques moves to a big new L.A. space

November 23, 2011 |  8:59 am

Big Daddy's Antiques L.A.
Packed with old-timey home furnishings and industrial objects, Big Daddy's Antiques has the look that certain chain stores are trying to emulate. Think tables made from salvaged wood and lighting fabricated from metal machine parts. But here the vintage pieces are unusual and authentic -- not reproductions.

The business has been around for two decades, starting out as a warehouse for stone and iron garden goods on an obscure corner south of downtown Los Angeles. Now owner Shane Brown has moved Big Daddy's to a somewhat easier-to-find L.A. location near Culver City, one block west of La Cienega Boulevard just north of Jefferson Boulevard. It has more than 16,000 square feet of furnishings and a 15,000-square-foot garden annex, all imaginatively staged by Brown in a former film sound stage with a soaring bow-truss ceiling, above. 

"The displays at Big Daddy's are always inspiring," said Peter Dunham, interior designer and owner of the Hollywood at Home stores, who was shopping for industrial light shades during my visit. "And the furniture has so much personality, texture, wear-and-tear."

Big Daddy's Antiques lightPrices vary from flea-market reasonable ($40 for a vintage seltzer bottle and $125 for Spanish terra cotta olive jars) to antique-store expensive ($8,600 for the pair of leather club chairs pictured above).

Custom zinc, steel and reclaimed wood tables start at $1,650. Big Daddy's also creates elaborate bird cages, priced upon request. The abundance of decorative accessories from Brown's travels across the world are for sale along with a vast collection of 17th and 18th century vellum books, $150 to $1,500 each.

Big Daddy's also exhibits at antique shows and flea markets; check the website for show schedules.

Brown is something of a savant when it comes to creating light fixtures. In a Richard Serra-meets-Martha Stewart moment, he turned aged baking pans, right, into architectural sconces, $375 each.

He also used them as candle holders. See them on the back wall next to an installation of fan grilles in the photo below, a clever trick that could easily be imitated at home.

Big Daddy's Antiques
The drafting table, left, is $2,200. Keep reading to see more of the store ...

Big Daddy's Antiques
In the front room of Big Daddy's Antiques, decorative objects such as metal boxes ($75 and up) and cast metal dog figurines ($250) line shelves made from steel pipes and aged wood.


Big Daddy's Antiques lamps
A lighting fixture made from factory pulleys is $1,400.

Big Daddy's Antiques is at 3334 S. La Cienega Place, Los Angeles.



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-- David A. Keeps

Photo credits: David A. Keeps