Vintage and Vines – Where Something Old Becomes Something New

It’s an unusual talent to look at a piece of vintage furniture and be able to picture it as something completely different in your mind. Lynda Gemme, owner of Vintage and Vines, has this ability. To her, nothing has to remain as it is, and everything has the potential for new life.

Gemme was the CFO of a machine shop in her previous life, where she worked for seven years, when the owner of the company passed away. “I thought it was best to move on after that,” she said. “I had always thought of having my own business because I love making things. While I was between jobs I was making things in my basement and selling them on Etsy.”

Her husband is a builder by trade. He’s a finish carpenter who has does high-end finish work all over the Cape. “We were living at my parents’ beach house at the time. My brother was driving by this property one day and said I should buy it and open a shop to sell all the cool stuff I make.” The property holds several buildings – the home the couple lives in, the building that is now her store, and a smaller storage building.

Her favorite part of her job is to meet people in person and let them ask her questions and wander around her shop. “People like to come into the shop and ask me about furniture,” she said. “When they find out that I built that table or that bench myself, it surprises them.”

Gemme won’t buy just anything from anyone. She goes to auctions, estate sales and antique shops, but stays away from yard sales. She will look for brand-name furniture because it’s typically made to last. “It has to be made of solid wood, it has to have dovetail joints, and it has to have character,” she said. “If I can’t see it finished in my mind as something else, I won’t buy it. I’ll look at something and already even imagine the paint color I’ll use on it. Nothing is left as it is.”

For example, a lot of people lack storage in their little cottages, she added, and dressers make great storage pieces, but not just in a bedroom. You can put it behind a sofa and use it as a buffet because it has all those drawers. You have to be able to think outside the box.

People come from far and wide to have Gemme breathe new life into an old piece of furniture that was left to them by a parent or grandparent. She helps them see her vision for it, and then recreates something beautiful and functional as a result. “I do repairs on furniture, replace pieces that are broken or missing, clean them if they’re covered in mold, find hinges or legs or whatever they need, and I create something new.”

Her shop, which was named Vintage and Vines in part by her mother, carries not only furniture but unusual gifts, lovely paintings, easy hostess gifts, and unique garden décor, such as china teacups attached to the top white posts, which serve as decorative birdfeeders. She carries rope hammocks and mirrors with nautical frames, and almost anything you really didn’t know you needed until you see it. She does have a small, set group of local artists whose work she carries, as well.

Vintage and Vines, which is located at 1661 Route 6A in East Dennis, has two floors, full of wonderful surprises. The items that decorate the floor and shelves and walls are set apart so that nothing feels crowded, but there is something to see no matter where you turn. The furniture is one-of-a-kind and re-made by Gemme’s own two capable hands.

Vintage and Vines is located at 1661 Route-6A, East Dennis, and you can reach the store at 508-385-5328.

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About Ann Luongo

Ann Luongo is the Marketing Writer and Lifestyle Reporter for CapeCod.com, and has been writing for Cape Cod and South Shore publications for over 15 years.



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