Thursday, September 30, 2010

Great occasional tables 'at auction'

We use occasional tables all over the house - next to sofas and chairs, on either side of beds, against a wall in a dining room, or maybe just in a hallway to create a focal point and leave stuff! So it would follow that we can always use more!

I have these wonderful antique 'drum' tables that I inherited from my mother. I was with her when she bought them in an antique shop in Greenwich Village many years ago, and have loved them ever since. They were actually designed for bed pans, but who's telling! They would work in traditional or modern interiors because they're so simple.

New York Spaces Magazine - Designer: Susan Tully

Another style I love is the nesting table. It's so versatile, and can be deployed as extra table space for parties, or just like this for a more interesting look.

In this small New York City den, the designer Vincente Wold used a tiered Chinese table which is great for extra display, and an African stool next to the modern chair.

There are lots of opportunities at auctions to add an interesting and/or classic tables to your rooms.

These classic Charles and Ray Eames stools make great tables. They sold at the recent Doyle + Design auction in New York for $2,000. They do multiple duty as extra seating and table space. How perfect is that! Also they are classic, ethnic, and modern at the same time. 

Bonhams Los Angeles - 20th Century Decorative Arts Sale - Oct. 5th

I think these 1970's tables are cool. They were designed by Paul Laszio and are made of lucite, glass and brass. They are Lot 4187 in the Bonhams LA 20th century sale October 5th, and have an auction estimate of $2,500 - $3,500. I would love these in almost any decor style.

For something more traditional, these George III 'bedside cupboards' are a cousin to my drum tables. They would have been designed to hold your bed pans - very stylishly! They sold at the recent Stair Galleries auction in Hudson, NY for $1,800.

This pair of diminutive (30" tall) 'gentleman's chests' would make great end tables in a bedroom. Think of the extra storage for scarves and gloves! They are 19th century George III style, and made of walnut. They are included in the Dawson and Nye auction currently going on via I-gavel, ending October 5th. They are Lot 1940657 and have an estimate of $600 - $800 for the pair.

Finally, you might try adding something a bit different and unique.
Bonhams Los Angeles - 20th C. Decorative Arts - Oct. 5th

In the spirit of mixing it up, add an exotic element to your decor. These Moroccan tables (this is one of a pair) are quite special. They are silvered metal and bone, and a plexiglass top has been added. The star shape makes them stand out. These are Lot 4243 in the Oct. 5th Bonhams LA sale and have an estimate of $1,000 - $1,500.

The choices are almost endless, and auctions provide the opportunity to find something classic or unique. And you can always use another occasional table!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Mix it Modern 'at auction'

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you'll catch on to the theme that I believe that mixing styles is always more interesting than being a slave to one. I read something recently from Vincente Wolf where he said you should always put something 'primitive next to something refined'. I would take this a little further and say you can't miss if you juxtapose new with antique, rustic with refined, European with Asian, and traditional with modern.

Designer: Vincente Wolf

Looking carefully at this room will reveal what Vincente Wolf is talking about. There are Asian chairs along with modern ones around the dining table in a very comfortable loft living room with comfy sofas. 

Designer: Darryl Carter

This room by Darryl Carter is the perfect mix of antiques and modern. The wonderful round table with an interesting carved pedestal, along with the cool black leather chair work perfectly together.
Elle Decor - Designer: Jonathan Adler

Jonathan Adler uses in this room a traditional chesterfield leather sofa, along with a Moroccan poof and table, and  a Hans J. Wegener chair in a great orange upholstery that adds an exciting contrast to the brown walls and sofa.

Upcoming auctions are a great opportunity to add a modern piece to your decor. It might be an investment (ie pricey) or just a terrific piece of design.

These two chairs are both great pieces to give your decor some pop! Not only are they classics of modern design, but their colors are exciting and vibrant. Add them to a neutral or white room and they will stand out. They are both 'classic' enough in style to fit well even with a traditional room decor. 

Both chairs are being offered in the Los Angeles Modern auction on October 17th. We're getting a bit of a sneak preview of their catalogue! The orange chair at the top is Lot 164 and is a Florence Knoll lounge chair model no. 1205S designed in 1954. It has an auction estimate of $1,500 - $2,000. 

The purple chair is a Hans J. Wegener Papa chair model no. AP19 designed in 1951 (like the one in the Jonathan Adler room above). It's Lot 245 and has an auction estimate of $4,000 - $6,000. It's a take on a traditional wing chair, but a lot more fun.

Doyle New York has an auction September 28th that includes this sophisticated buffet table by Tommi Parzinger, circa 1960's. It's white lacquered wood would pop against a colored wall in a dining or living room. Add some decorative vases and lamps to give the room character and depth. This is Lot 107 and has an auction estimate of $3,000 - $5,000.

Wright auctions in Chicago specializes in modern, and their next Modern Design auction is October 12th. This spare but beautiful chaise longue was designed by Jean Prouve. This would be a wonderful modern design element in a living room, especially in a large room to divide the space in to two. This is Lot 105 and has an auction estimate of $7,000 - $9,000.

These two sets of chairs are included in the Bonham's Los Angeles 20th Century Decorative Arts sale October 5th. The oak and cord chairs on the right above are by Hans J. Wegener, and have an auction estimate of $700 - $900. I love the clean look, and think they would fit in almost anywhere. They are Lot 4165.

The chairs above on the left are wonderful classic Arne Jacobsen Swan chairs. They are upholstered in great colors, and would stand out in the room. I could also see them especially in a bedroom, den, or kitchen. These are Lot 4162 and have an auction estimate in the Bonham's sale of $2,500 - $3,000.

All of these auctions have lots of other fun pieces of modern design. Just add one to your room to 'mix it modern!'

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Rustic Tables Rock!

I love rustic tables! They look great in traditional to modern settings, and in dining rooms, kitchens and work areas. Somehow you can't go wrong, and they are reasonably priced too!

Elle Decor - Designer: Vincente Wolf

Vincente Wolf uses a wonderful Spanish trestle table with modern chairs. The warmth of the wood contrasts with the otherwise all white room. You really appreciate the shape of the table trestle against the white background. 

House Beautiful - Designer: Cathy Kincaid

This classic French inspired interior is how I often imagine farmhouse style tables. 

House Beautiful - Designer: Ann Wolf

This simple rustic X frame table is made more formal by the upholstered chairs and the chandelier. 

You can make a rustic table work in almost any setting with a little imagination - modern chairs, a chandelier, and the artwork on the walls will set the tone.

Here are some ideas coming up at auction. 

This American oak and pine saw buck table is a wonderful, simple rustic design. This will work in a dining room or kitchen. Match it with modern chairs for the Vincente Wolf look. It has an auction estimate of $300 - $600 at the Stair Galleries auction in Hudson, NY September 25th and 26th. 

This oak refectory table has wonderful details and a warm wood color. It's being offered in the Christie's Interiors sale in New York at the end of the month. It has an auction estimate of $500 - $700.

These two tables are in the next St. Charles Gallery auction in New Orleans taking place September 25th and 26th. The table on the left is Lot 288 and is described as a Provincial fruitwood table, late 19th century. It has an estimate of $800 - $1,200. The fact that it has nice big drawers lend itself to being a very good work desk. 

The table on the right is Lot 1172 and is described as an American 'vernacular' 20th century poplar farm table. It has an estimate of $200 - $400. I like the light color of the wood.  

 Copake Auction - Sept. 25th - Lot 100

The next auction September 25th at Copake Auction in Copake, NY includes this wonderful farm table. The green painted base is a wonderful contrast to the simple wood top. It is Lot 100 and is described as a benchmade farm table with an estimate of $250 - $450. It's just different enough to make it really interesting. 

So dress them up or dress them down with chairs and ceiling light to set the decorating tone that is your own. Rustic tables will always work!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Chic little consoles for small entryways

So many apartments or small houses have little or no defined entrance hall. You walk right into the living space. But an entry way should make a statement, and you can create one even when there is none.

This photo, by way of Apartment Therapy, demonstrates the idea perfectly. The entry space is defined by the small rug, a wonderful wall mounted console table, statement mirror and bell lantern. 

In my own New York apartment I used a small demi-lune table, the painting, and the antique light fixture bought in England to create my entry. The table is small enough not to take up too much space, but defines the area. It's a place to leave mail and keys too!

Here are some ideas to create your entry space from upcoming auctions. 

This elegant Continental neoclassical style mahogany demi-lune console table with a marble top is perfect. It has lovely curved detail and would tuck away nicely in the smallest of spaces. It's 40" tall and 33" wide. It has an estimate of $300 - $500 and is included in the St. Charles Gallery auction in New Orleans later this month. 

Stair Galleries - Auction Sept. 25th and 26th - Lot 1033

For something a bit more dramatic, this Empire painted parcel gilt bronze and marble console table definitely fits the bill. The bronze caryatid and the carved circle decoration make this very chic. This is included in the Stair Galleries auction Sept. 25th and 26th in Hudson, NY. It is 33.5" tall, and 23.5" wide. It has an estimate of $800 - $1,200.

For a more modern profile, this pair of wrought iron marble topped console tables have clean lines, and a smart look. They are 39" tall and 23.75" wide. You could use one or both in a small entry way. If you use both, have something decorative sit between them like a chair, or a tall vase.  They are included in the Christie's Interiors sale at the end of the month in New York, and have an estimate of $1,500 - $2,000.

You will need a nice mirror over the console table. People love to check how they look arriving and departing!

 Stair Gallery - Auction Sept. 25th and 26th - Lot 908

I would probably pick something with clean lines for a small space. This Queen Anne style walnut pier mirror would go with anything. It's offered in the Stair Gallery auction later in the month in Hudson, NY. It's 37.5" x 17", and has an estimate of $400 - $800. It's elegant and simple.

Find other ways to define the space such as painting the wall behind the console table a slightly darker or complementary color to the rest of the room. Add a small rug and a ceiling light fixture. And if you have the room, add a 'hall' chair (see Chairs as decorative objects for more).

If you have more space, then a full size console table will look terrific. Check my Decorating with console tables for more.

Whatever you do, find a way to create an entry that expresses who you are to anyone coming to visit your home! If you have any photos of how you tackled this challenge, send them in.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Auction decorating from the 'trade'

Commercial and industrial pieces are increasingly being re-purposed for decorating. These can be vintage trade signs, commercial displays, or work tables re-purposed for your home. They bring a fun decorating element into a room, and a bit of the unexpected.

I was drawn to these vintage commercial displays at Stair Galleries in Hudson, NY that are part of their next auction September 25th and 26th. They're colorful and fun. They got me looking around for more ideas.

This fabulous French brass and iron baker's rack would make a terrific display case or book shelf. It's included in the next St. Charles Gallery auction (New Orleans) Sept. 25th and 26th. It's 83.5"tall  x 73" wide. The scroll work is wonderful. It has an auction estimate of $800 - $1,200.

Advertising signs make wonderful wall art at very reasonable prices. 

Copake Auction in Copake, NY includes this cigarette sign (17" x 26.5") in their Sept. 25th auction. Not only are they graphic, the slogans can be a bit quaint. The tin sign of cows on the right is in the Stair Galleries auction, Lot 840 (28" x 20"). Farm animals are quite cute, I think! This sign has an estimate of $100 - $200. If you've been a bit nervous to make an absentee bid on a piece of art, these might be in the lowest risk category.

Old trade signs are always interesting and make great wall art. The locksmith's sign on the left is included in the Copake auction (Lot 92) with an estimate of $200 - $300. The farrier (horse shoeing) sign on the right is included in the Stair Galleries auction (Lot 788) with an estimate of $400 - $800. Anything horsey is always desirable.

Stair Galleries - Lot 820

This papier mache advertising model is adorable. It stands 17" tall and is 31" long. I can see this peeking out from a corner in any room. It has an auction estimate of $700 - $900 in the Stair Galleries auction.

St. Charles Gallery - Lot 1214

Finally, for an unexpected end table try this Coca-Cola cooler. This would be fun in a family room or kid's bedroom. This is being offered in the St. Charles Gallery auction in New Orleans with an estimate of $75 - $125.

In the spirit of adding an element of the unexpected to your decorating, try a piece from the 'trade'!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Inspiring rooms and recreating the look at auction

I've been keeping some photos I like of rooms that make me feel good. Not always sure why, but I'm sure you've looked through a magazine and something just clicked for you.

I love the classic bench with a backdrop of the graphic modern painting, also echoed in the cushions. There's something about the soft gold of the bench upholstery and frame against the black and white. Classic and modern mix again!

This room by Sheila Bridges has that Scandinavian influence with the light colored wood frame classic furniture, but with an overall fresh feeling. A more modern coffee table and lamps break the decor from feeling too all of one period.

This living room by Pappas - Miron Interior Design again mixes modern art work with a classic day bed. The day bed is quite a stylish look, but may not be as comfortable as a couch. The lamps repeat the blue in the big graphic painting and add a nice contrast to the warm beige upholstery, orange pillows and yellow patterned rug.

As always, can we see if we can re-create some of these looks at upcoming auctions?

I think this adorable Italian Walnut bench is a good option for beginning the look in the Landon Collis photo. It has a lovely wood color and the lyre like decoration in the frame adds interest. This has an auction estimate of $400 - $600. Now we need a big graphic painting behind it. 

Christie's Interiors Sale - Lot 2

This painting by a French artist, Christian Perrais, would be a great backdrop behind the bench and bring lots of color options to the room. Pick one color and build from that with lamps and cushions. It's 62" x 96", so big enough to make an impact. It has an auction estimate of $1,500 - $2,000.

For the Sheila Bridges look you might check out my blog Scandinavian Style at Auction, and add this wonderful piece. 

Christie's Interiors - Lot 679

In the Sheila Bridges room there is a tall cabinet in the back corner. It fills a space elegantly, and this piece would do the same, but with even more warmth given the color of the wood. This is described as a 19th century Northern European parcel-ebonized burr birch semanier (a tall thin chest). It has an auction estimate of $700 - $900.

I guess if I see a theme in my room photos, it's the big paintings. The two abstracts set the tone and colors for the rooms, and could easily be paired with simpler sofas and chairs. Just add great lamps and colored cushions. Maybe it's a great graphic painting that should be the 'investment' to re-create the looks.

I like this painting by Willy Heeks painted in 1984 offered in the Doyle New York sale at the end of the month. Abstract paintings just need to hit you, and this one does it for me! It's a nice big 36" x 30" and you could easily build on the colors. I would use the green and red. It has an auction estimate of $1,500 - $2,500. 

Pappas - Miron use a glass topped coffee table, and here is a bargain. 

Copake Auction in Copake, NY always has bargains on offer. This glass topped coffee table has a very decorative base, and has an auction estimate of $100 - $200! It probably will cost that to ship it (which they can arrange), but still cheaper than buying new, and more interesting looking than most.

Finally, we need a dramatic pair of lamps. I had hoped for a colored porcelain, but I think these will do very nicely. 

These lamps are a real statement. Graphic and a wonderful 31.5" tall. They are made of ebonized wood and brass, and have an auction estimate at the Doyle + Design sale of $500 - $700.

I'm sure many of you have a file of magazine tear outs of rooms that inspire you ( I do!). Take a look through your file and see what themes you can find. Then consider the auction options to start to build the room that will inspire you when you come home.

Friday, September 10, 2010

What's the budget for my next auction living room?

I was looking at NY Spaces Magazine on line. They often have lots of cool modern apartments.

Interior Design: William Diamond and Anthony Baratta

Great shapes and colors in this room. The coffee tables have real interest and they mirror the shapes of the white chairs. I like the abstract painting above the fireplace to pull the blues in the room together. 

Interior Design: Daniel Barsanti

The credenzas flanking the doorway with the wonderful abstract graphic paintings in black and white are very cool. The dark woods are offset by the blue upholstery on the sofa and chair.

I am excited by the next Doyle + Design auction September 28th. This auction is usually packed with modern designs, and this time does not disappoint. I thought I'd try to create a living room in a modern style and see what I would need for a budget. 

I know it's an auction, and one can't completely predict the final cost, but some items will come in under the estimates and some will come in higher, so I chose the middle. Could actually be reasonable setting an overall budget. Anyway, here goes!
Start with a sofa and side tables:
Lot 182

Lot 153

The sofa is designed by Terence Harold Robsjohn-Gibbings circa 1950. It has an estimate of $4,000 - $5,000. Thus this is $5,000 of our budget. A big chunk, and I might consider buying a Room and Board sofa for $1,800. 

The pair of tables are very reminiscent of the ones in the photo at the top. These are art deco style and made of mahogany. They have an estimate of $700 - $1,000. Thus we will spend $850 on these. 

Let's add some lamps on the tables:
Lot 108

I love these 20th century alabaster lamps on an ebonized wood base. Obviously we will need shades. These have an estimate of $600 - $900, and thus our budget is $750. 

Let's add two chairs to balance the sofa:

The chair on the left above is Lot 101. It was designed by Terence Harold Robsjohn-Gibbings circa 1950 - the same as our sofa. I like the sleek lines. The estimate of $800 - $1,200. Our budget is $1,000.

The chair on the right is a modern classic. Lot 179 is a Charles and Ray Eames design from 1956. The ottomon adds flexibility and can be used as additional seating. This has an estimate of $2,000 - $3,000. Thus our budget is $2,500.

Add this table between the chairs that is similar art deco style as the side tables. It's French 20th century and has an estimate of $600 - $900. It adds $750 to our budget.

So far we've 'spent' $10,850. If we buy another sofa, we can lower this to $7,650. 

But we need more decoration.

We need a good abstract painting. I like this one by Armando Villegas painted in 1966. This will add color and a wonderful focal point. It's 36.25" x 40" and has an estimate of $1,500 - $2,500. Thus it's $2,000 on our budget. 

I would then add an etagere to display my collections. This one will look great against a wall behind the chairs. This is a 20th century design and is brass and walnut. This is Lot 104 and has an estimate of $800 - $1,200 and thus will add $1,000 to our budget.

Now we need an 'instant collection' for our etagere. This is a group of five earthenware vases by Ka Kwong Hui (1922 - 2003) and has an estimate of $800 - $1,200. I think these are very interesting a graphic. They are chic earth tones, and you just need to add a few books and photos to your etagere and you're set to go! These add $1,000 to our budget. 

We've now 'spent' another $4,000. It's critical to think through the decoration as well as the furniture. It add color and personality. So depending on what we decide about the sofa, we've 'spent $11,650 - $14,850.

I think this budget would buy us a wonderful modern living room with a number of interesting and unique pieces and wonderful art work. What do you think?
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