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Dianne Reynolds-Cane relaxes at her home in Midlothian.
CUBE CHAIR: A pair of Midcentury modern Milo Baughman chairs anchors the symmetrical décor in the family room. (Photos by Sarah Walor)
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FAMILY TIME: Reynolds-Cane’s son, James, made this clock when he was a student at St. Christopher’s School about 20 years ago. (Photo by Sarah Walor)
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EXOTIC TABLE: A Moroccan table inlaid with ivory is a treasure from a friend’s antique shop. The piece’s paddle legs are engraved with a tree of life motif. (Photo by Sarah Walor)
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FAMILY ARTWORK: Her daughter, also named Dianne, painted a bold piece to match the family room. The painting is reminiscent of abstract expressionist works by Mark Rothko. (Photo by Sarah Walor)
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DAILY GUIDANCE: Reynolds-Cane reads a Scofield Bible daily. Her vintage collection includes a Ten Eyck family Bible she bought at an estate sale. The Ten Eycks were instrumental in settling New York. (Photo by Sarah Walor)
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MIN PIN: Matheo originally was Reynolds-Cane’s grand-dog. But after keeping him for her daughter for an extended period, she couldn’t bear to let him go. (Photo by Sarah Walor)
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SPIRITUAL STITCHES: Reynolds-Cane collects early schoolgirl needlework, many examples depicting biblical scenes. The pieces, crafted by children, have intricate details and muted colors. (Photo by Sarah Walor)
Dianne Reynolds-Cane was about 8 years old when she developed an appreciation for antiques and a knack for frugality — two qualities that wouldn’t seem to be compatible.
But, growing up in an impoverished Michigan neighborhood full of immigrant shops, she learned that beautiful craftsmanship doesn’t always carry a hefty price tag. “The key is finding things before they become popular,” says Reynolds-Cane, whose most prized collection is early schoolgirl needlework. “My pieces were purchased before they became popular, although mine are still not as popular because they have religious themes.”
From the mid-18th through the mid-19th century, young girls were almost expected to create an ornamental needlework sampler. Reynolds-Cane’s biblical scenes, which she’s collected since the early 2000s, are displayed in ornate frames in her bedroom and on her stairway landing. Many were stitched in England.
Virtually every object in her Chesterfield County home has a story. Furniture, artwork, dishes, lamps and even her bedding are treasures she plucked from antique shops, estate and yard sales, and flea markets. If a coveted item seems overpriced, she waits out the markdown.
Reynolds-Cane had been living in an apartment, busy with a medical career, until 2010. True to form, she held off buying a home until the housing market recovered and her agent found a bargain — a spacious new craftsman in RounTrey subdivision with enough guest spaces for her three children, their spouses and four grandchildren.
Apartment life hadn’t given her enough square footage to explore interior design, one of her passions. She also had little time for homemaking while running a family practice on West Grace Street and serving as medical director for the Henrico County Sheriff’s Office.
She retired last fall and has enjoyed having the freedom to tap into her interests — decorating in a clean elegant style, growing herbs, even mowing the lawn. Reynolds-Cane also serves on boards at Randolph-Macon College, Drive-To-Work, the Instructive Visiting Nurses Association and The Jenkins Foundation, which strives to improve health care in Richmond.
But if she could do only one thing? “If I had the choice of doing anything and making money at it, I’d be a picker of fine antiques,” she says. “You get to shop or look all the time, sell to antique dealers, appreciate the wonderful composition and craftsmanship.”