Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Profile (1): Auction decorating

One of my step-daughters bought a mid-19th century Italianate-style house in New York State. She plans it to be her home and a bed and breakfast. She searched for the right house for a few years, and purchased furniture along the way with this in mind. This includes buying a number of items at auction. I thought several of her purchases could serve as a good profile for auction decorating.

This antique table was purchased at Doyle's in New York a year or so ago, and now serves as a focal point for the dining room. She had attended the auction preview and fell in love with the table. The blue and white decoration set the decorating scheme for the dining room (the table was temporarily out of the dining room for this photo).


Her only disappointment at the auction process was that she was not successful bidding on a set of chairs that went with the table. She subsequently bought chairs that go very well, in my opinion. I happen to love this table and we subsequently bought a chandelier at a local antique shop that is painted wood that will look great over this table.

She also bought this fireplace fan at Doyle's. This is an example of something she is not that happy with. She saw this only on-line and bid absentee. She says that when she saw it in person it did not meet her expectations from the on-line photo, and it needs some repairs. 

Finally, this 19th century linen press was purchased at Lots Road auctions in London. She came to visit us when we still lived in London about two years ago, and we wandered over to view the sale preview. She made a successful absentee bid, and we arranged for shipping back to the US. The shipping probably cost as much as the linen press.


We probably hadn't done our homework on the shipping costs before she bought this, but I'm still convinced it was not a bad deal with all costs included. I've done some quick on-line searching and have found antique linen presses ranging from $4,500 to $9,000.  Besides it's a wonderful focal point in her parlor!

I think all in all my step-daughter has found some wonderful antiques at auction to decorate her terrific old house. She loves auctions as much as we do, and she will no doubt have more opportunities to find great pieces to bid on and hopefully win the ones she wants most!

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