At a Glance
Owners: Eric and Dani Davis
Location: 1001 41st Ave., Santa Cruz
Hours: Open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, closed Monday
Container sale: Opens 9 a.m. Saturday, May 30, 10 a.m. on Sunday, May 31. European antiques will be available at wholesale prices.
Flea markets: The couple’s Euro-Linens line can also be found at the Alameda Point Antiques Faire and Rose Bowl Flea Market.
Shopping dags: Patine carries Apolis bags, a global fair trade project. The sturdy “Pleasure Point” market bags ($68) are made by 21 Bangladeshi women who receive fair salaries and have good working conditions.
Details: www.patinedecor.com, euro-linens.com, Facebook
PLEASURE POINT >> Eric and Dani Davis open Patine in La Selva Beach six years ago to have a showroom for designers to experience Euro-Linens, the couple’s line of luxury pillows made from antique European fabric.
But the vintage home-decor shop quickly developed its own following, a mix of locals who would stop on the way to the beach and devotees who traveled hours to select from the French tickling pillows, Euro shams and the ever-changing array of European farm and kitchen antiques.
“We didn’t think it would work out to have a little shop there, but it was great,” Eric Davis, 44, said.
Patine relocated to Pleasure Point earlier this month. It’s a neighborhood where the Davises long wanted to be. Fortuitously, they found a space just as their rent in La Selva Beach became untenable.
The new location, formerly a medical marijuana dispensary, has been transformed to a serene space filled with vintage treasures Eric finds in Europe and packs into a shipping container during his three or four annual trips to the continent.
Patine has a French farmhouse feel with a touch of elegance — think shabby chic blended with Old World antiques. Butcher tables worn with deep chop marks serve as displays for delicate wraps, aromatic candles and eye-catching jewelry. Racks of old milk bottles sit on the floor and aged preserve jars fill the front window. The down-filled pillows Eric sews from reclaimed fabric are piled into small wooden boat and heaped on shelves.
None of the antiques are reproductions. Most are the vintage pieces Eric brings back from Europe, sold as-is, or restored and repurposed.
“They’re all the real deal,” Dani, 50, said.
Dani complements the old with a few new items: antler candlestick holders cast in recycled aluminum from real antlers then burnished to a high shine ($85-$105), art deco champagne flutes ($24) and handmade soap from a La Selva Beach artisan ($10-$15).
“I like a little modern with the old,” she said. “I think it goes well with the farm-style designs.”
The beginnings of Patine — and the couple’s marriage — started at a Watsonville warehouse space more than a decade ago.
Eric, a La Selva Beach native, began working in used textiles 20 years ago. Dani, originally from Germany, worked for a vintage clothing company in Miami. She was transferred to a new sorting warehouse in Watsonville — a climate change she didn’t love — that happened to be next door to Eric’s warehouse. They partnered for love and business, and now have been married 12 years.
The Davises have long sold antique textiles and vintage clothing at the Alameda Point Antiques Faire, Rose Bowl Flea Market and other weekend shows. At one market, Eric asked a woman what she planned to do with the old fabric she purchased.
“Make pillows,” he recalled her saying.
When he saw her the next month, he asked if she had sewn pillows yet. She hadn’t, and that conversation sparked an idea: Eric bought an industrial sewing machine and taught himself to sew.
Antique Hungarian grain sacks soon became pillow cases, placemats and table runners. A fluffy Flokati wool rug was transformed into stylish boudoir pillows. Scandinavian curtains with bright, geometric designs were repurposed into modern pillows.
“Even though they’re so simple, the pillows, they really can go either way, traditional or modern, rustic or elegant,” Dani said.
The white linen looks luxurious, while the pillows made with patches from antique cloth books feel homey and are one-of-a-kind ($90-$300).
Eric can explain the origin of each piece of fabric he uses. The gray-and-white striped pillows are made of the linings of old French mattresses. He cut out the rust stains caused by deteriorating springs, and cleaned the fabric numerous times before sewing. The grain sack pillows, a rougher fabric, have stripes that tell stories long forgotten. The stripe color indicated the type of grain in the sack or the farmer it had come from, so the miller could keep track of his accounts.
Well, the immaculate grain sacks became body pillows with a simple button closure at the top; less-perfect sacks were cut into a variety of sizes and closed with a hidden zipper.
Eric finds other treasures on his European buying trips that simply need to be cleaned and cast in a new light. Turkish bath towels — some pure cotton, some cotton and silk — are repurposed into shawls, wraps, blankets and tablecloths. White linen French farm shirts from the 1800s and men’s undershirts made from wool and cotton from 1950s’ Germany are offered as women’s attire ($40-$250).
“Women love to wear them,” Dani said, holding the long, white shirt up against herself. “I wear them with jeans, boots and a scarf. The beauty is you can really bring it into this time, but it is antique fabric.
Dani keeps two photo albums on the Patine Facebook page of customer-contributed photos of the shop’s products.
“They just show how they use it,” she explained. “It’s for inspiration.”
A woman uses old grain sacks to make washable doggie jackets. Pillows find their way to couches, beds, kids’ rooms and patio furniture. Hungarian dough bowls ($90-$300) — oblong, worn wooden pieces often patched with small pieces of metal — are repurposed into flower planters, table centerpieces, even a baby bassinet.
“It’s really very different styles,” Dani said.
The shop’s inventory changes as shipping containers arrive. A new one cleared customs earlier this month, bringing with it linens for new pillows and an eclectic collection of antiques.
Patine hosts a container sale each time a shipment comes in; the next one is set for May 30-31 in the parking lot of the store at 1001 41st Ave. It will feature textiles, bottles, baby bath tubs, benches, wood bowls, galvanized tubs, jars, tables, wheelbarrows, cutting boards, washstands, bread peels and more.