These two were artfully paired.

Husband and wife duo Sean Wynn and Kim Kalnes have been bringing vintage pieces back to life since 2003, when Kalnes launched Artful RetiQues, a reclaimed furniture and art enterprise. Here Wynn – who repairs and repurposes what his wife finds – talks sourcing vintage treasures, how to determine the age of a piece, and more.


Where do you typically find the items you repurpose or restore?

You go to garage sales, estate sales, auctions; you watch online. It’s almost a constant pursuit – trying to find the right pieces. You have to keep your eyes open all the time.


How can you tell if something is authentically vintage?

You can look for certain signs, especially with a piece of furniture. If there are no labels or maker or anything, you look for some of the intricate details in the piece – the dovetailing of the drawers, the type of wood that was used, the construction of the piece.


What’s next for Artful RetiQues?

We’re opening a shop in Brodhead (in south central Wisconsin). We’re hoping to be open before the holiday season. Our daughter and son-in-law bought an old factory right on Exchange Square in Brodhead. … We’re converting it over to a workshop for all of our metal-cutting and woodworking stuff, and then the front of the store is going to have a shop.


Artful RetiQues will be selling its wares at re:Craft and Relic – a sprawling indoor shopping extravaganza held at the Milwaukee County Sports Complex in Franklin – Nov. 9-10.


“Artfully Paired” appears in the November 2019 issue of Milwaukee Magazine.

Find it on newsstands or buy a copy at milwaukeemag.com/shop.

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