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Mill Valley Couple Bring New Life to Old Antiques at Home Furnishing Store 'Revelation'

Michelle Bevilacqua and Robert Alan Clink re-purpose antiques to create modern designs from vintage objects for an eclectic, timeless feel at Revelation, which opened on Miller Ave. in September.

Walking into Revelation is like time traveling across the globe to decorate your home.

From the 200-year-old paper mache molds of owls from Indonesia acquired by Michelle Bevilacqua, to the light fixture that Robert Alan Clink crafted out of a centrifuge from an old creamery, the couple’s new interior design store at 401 F Miller Ave., which opened in September, takes repurposing to a whole new level. 

“I like to curate and collect one of a kind interesting artifacts with a story,” said Bevilacqua, who comes from a fashion background and draws from her experience living in France for five years. She scours antique stores and picks up objects from her travels around the world. Her husband, Clink, drives across the country visiting auctions and flea markets, looking for unique items and thinking ‘what can I do with this?’

“Sometimes it’s a coffee table, sometimes it’s a chandelier,” he said.

Clink grew up on a 120-acre dairy farm in Michigan, where he developed a do-it-yourself philosophy.

“If you needed a table, you built it,” said. “It’s a wonderful resource because I was always taught to just try it.”

They've merged their talents and put them on display at Revelation to create an eclectic, vintage chic boutique. Up until now Clink has sold his lights fixtures and other object through Etsy, while promoting on the Revelation Facebook page, but is the first time the company has had a physical storefront, with Bevilacqua adding a design and decorating element to the business. Clink spends a good part of the day in his outdoor workshop at the back of the store, while Bevilacqua is out on the floor talking with customers.

There's a Restoration Hardware sort of feel, but every object is one-of-a-kind and either picked out or crafted with great care.The furnishings also include a private collection by Bay area designer Jonathan Rachman, who made headlines at the 2012 San Francisco Decorator Showcase.

When Clink takes apart a piece to create something new, he usually keeps the original in tact and tries not to waste anything.

"If I'm going to destroy something, I do my research," he said.

Bevilacqua also values craftsmanship, and has an eye for mixing items of different colors, patterns, fabrics and time periods.

"I want to be able to show you that you can honor the old stuff, and not have it feel like Grandma's antiques," she said.

When it comes to designing a space, she encourages people to not be afraid to experiment, and to have fun. But don't get too crazy. The trick is establishing a continuinity through the house "otherwise it will look like a clown threw up," she said." 

They also stress that it's not about how much you're spending, but rather making sure you're spending where it counts by buying quality items that add depth and character to a space. For instance, Clink suggests picking out something that speaks to you and putting it on, say, and IKEA table.

"It can then become an object that's a centerpeice," he said. 

Click and Bevilacqua hope that people will be inspired by the repurposed antiques to create a space that's personal to them.

"These are things that have been around for so long, and passed through so many hands," Bevilacqua said. "Life has been breathed into these pieces, and they all could tell stories. 

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leah aaron November 01, 2012 at 03:12 PM
This shop is fantastic. Very different than anything we have in Marin. Michelle has a great eye.

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