Friday, July 30, 2010

Faux Bamboo Chic

Faux bamboo furniture was popular in the late 19th century, and it can be very chic today. It has a lightness about it that will not overwhelm the room it's in. It also has that chinoiserie feel that works in almost any design style.

This Flikr find has a wonderful faux bamboo chair painted in an electric blue. Painting can make a piece pop out in a room, and faux bamboo is usually inexpensive enough to allow you to spray paint without guilt.

This faux bamboo set also found on Flikr would make a good garden room. Like almost any decorating element, too much of a good thing can be too much. I would add a piece here and there. Here are some ideas from recent auctions.

This 6 foot long faux bamboo and mahogany server was sold for $1,063 at the recent Doyle@Home auction in New York.The sale price was higher than the estimate.

This faux bamboo and lacquer hall stand sold at the Christie's Interiors auction last week in New York for $438, which was below it's estimate.

The Christie's sale also included this faux bamboo and marble wash stand. This would make a wonderful drinks table. This sold for $938 which was below it's estimate.

Add a faux bamboo piece to a room for some chinoiserie interest. Paint it electric blue and it will pop out in the decor!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Upcoming Auctions and Fall Preview

The rest of the Summer is a bit slow for the auction schedule, but not dead! It might be that if other potential bidder are lounging around at the beach, maybe you can snap something up at a great price!

No pictures available yet!

Bonham's US

Bonhams remains active at their California locations in August. Neither has an pn-line catalogue available as yet. 
  • 'SoMa' Estate auction in San Francisco August 15th
  • 'Sunset' Estate auction in Los Angeles August 22nd.
Brunk Auctions, Asheville, NC

I found this auction house in an article in Traditional Home magazine. It looks like they have a regular selection of traditional antiques.
  • Next auction is September 11 and 12. On-line catalogue available August 23rd
Christie's, NY
  • Christie's Interiors - August 31st. This auction is usually full of good decorating finds. 
Doyle New York
  • End of Summer Sale - August 18th. This sounds promising for bargains!
Los Angeles Modern
  • For the modern furniture collector this auction house usually has a good selection. Their next auction is in October. 
Stair Galleries, Hudson, NY
  • Stair has an 'Exposition' auction scheduled for August 28th. This is an auction without reserves and usually full of potential bargains. This one will be of English and Continental furniture and decoration. 
Wright 21, Chicago, IL
  • Post-War and Contemporary Art - September 14th
There are four other auction houses I follow that don't have schedules posted as yet. Just keep checking because they generally have an auction every month.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Mirror Mirror (not on the wall) in Decoration

I was reading a blog I follow, Dovecote Decor, and they profiled a decorator Phoebe Howard. I was glad to see the use of mirrored furniture as accents to follow up on my blog Mirror Mirror of July 16th which highlighted a number of mirrored items from the Doyle@Home sale in New York last week.

This dresser makes a lovely accent to this elegant bedroom.

This bedroom features a mirrored desk on the right.

This mirrored top coffee table adds a lightness to the decoration of the sitting room.

The use of mirrors on this trunk used as a coffee table makes this a much lighter version than the usual trunk.
These dressers sold at the Doyle@Home auction last week for $1,188 for the pair.

And this Art Deco style cabinet sold for $875.

Mirrored furniture will not be for everyone, but it can be chic as an accent. You can find bargains at auction!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Industrial Chic

I'll bet you've noticed that there's more and more use of former industrial and commercial pieces in decorating. I've seen all sorts of re-uses showing up in decorators and antiques shops - wheels turned in to tables, shovels turned in to wall decor...

I picked a few photos from Flikr that tell the story, then we just need to see what we can find at auction.

Decorating with industrial or commercial pieces may stretch your imagination sometimes, or it may require some re-work from a crafts person to make it useful.  But this could be a great creative outlet! Certainly antiques dealers seem to be on to something.

Copake Auction July 24th - Lot 48

Wouldn't this vintage French Coco-cola cooler make a terrific credenza in a living room or entry? This is included in the Copake Auction July 24th in Copake, NY. It has an estimate of $200 - $300. 

Copake Auction Lot 316

This is a wonderful eyeglass store sign included in the same Copake Auction. It would make great wall decor. It's 34" long and has an estimate of $100 - $200. 

Stair Galleries Auction July 24th - Lot 506

I would use this set of iron door handles from the Reliance Building in Chicago as wall decoration lined up exactly as they're shown. These have an estimate of $30 - $50 at the Stair Galleries auction July 24th. 

Doyle @Home Auction July 22nd - Lot 96

This Barrister's bookcase adds a twist to the usual book shelf. It's included in the Doyle@Home auction in New York on July 22nd. It has an estimate of $200 - $300.

Sold at Stair Galleries for $175

Finally to re-create the photo look above, this zinc bath tub sold at a Stair Galleries auction earlier this year for $175! Bargain. 

Finding industrial chic pieces at auction takes a bit of looking. You might also check out salvage places for more selection. It's still worth checking out the on-line catalogues for potential bargains.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Instant collections

Decorative collections add layers of interest to the decor of any room. You can build your collections over time one by one, or if you don't have the patience or want a head start, just buy it at auction!

Veranda - Designer: George Cameron Nash

In this room in Veranda Magazine designed by George Cameron Nash in a Dallas apartment, the collections on an open set of shelves adds interest and color. 

Homes and Gardens, UK

In this photo from the UK magazine Homes and Gardens the wall decoration is made up of Victorian breadboards. Collections need not be expensive to have an impact. In this case it's a matter of having enough of them to make the statement. You wouldn't want just one or two. Plates are a a very good way of adding display at low cost (unless you want to make the investment in something more special). 

Homes and Gardens, UK

In this example there is a simple mix of white china and sea side finds to make the display. 

Collections make a home look lived in. If you've just redecorated or moved into a new place, it makes the place feel more like a home. 

Collecting can be a job in itself if you are building it piece by piece, which can be lots of fun. But to get a head start, try finding high and low collections at auctions. Here are some finds at upcoming auctions I follow.

Christie's Interiors Sale, NY - July 22 & 23 - Lot 178

These match strikers are incredibly decorative. Great color, varying sizes, and there are 13 of them! They'd look great on a shelf or table top. They are included in the Christie's Interiors Sale of July 22 & 23. They are glass and silver and were made between 1898 and 1909. They have an estimate of $2,000 to $3,000.

Christie's Interiors Sale - Lot 240

Another lot in the Christie's sale are these 6 Czech glass vases. Great color and interesting designs. They are 20th century and have an estimate of $600 - $800. 

Stair Galleries Sale July 24th - Lot 36

Stair Galleries in Hudson, NY has an upcoming auction that includes pieces from the Millbrook home of Lawrence Salander (convicted of fraud and ordered to dispose property). Lot 36 are these very interesting plates described as Hispano-Moresque copper lustre charges (15.5" diameter) with an estimate of $500 - $700. Very smart looking. 

I love these American wooden game boards (approx. 23") as a collection that are coming up in the Copake Auction of July 24th in Copake, NY. They are Lots 539 and 540 and have an estimate of $40 - $60 and $50 - $75 respectively. I'd buy both lots (and there are 2 more in another lot). They would add interest and color on a wall. The can look very modern and graphic.

Finally if you want to have some fun, try gnomes!

Stair Galleries July 24th - Lot 470

These cast stone garden gnomes make me giggle, and could just be the thing to lighten up a room. They stand 14.5" tall and have an estimate of $50 - $100. 

Auctions are loaded with instant collections, and you just need to keep an eye out. Also, you can add lots of interest very inexpensively if you keep your mind open to objects that make a statement as a large group that may not do it alone.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Mirror Mirror (not on the wall)

I was struck by all the mirrored furniture coming up in the Doyle@Home auction July 22nd. They must have saved pieces to sell all at once. It's not for the faint of heart, and not for a whole room (unless you are hopelessly vain!), but a piece here and there can add glamour.

Let's start with the living room.

The Louis XVI style mirrored console tables on the left are rather smart looking. I love pairs and they would look great either side of something. These are Lot 357 and have an estimate of $1,000 - $1,500.

The occasional tables on the right would look glam next to a sofa or paired with two chairs. They are Lot 358 and have an estimate of $500 - $700.

Cabinets can be used in a dining room, entry, bedroom, or living room. Great for setting up your drinks bar, or just placing a vase of flowers.

The Neoclassical style pair of mirrored commodes on the left make a statement. They have simple enough lines to let the mirrors speak for themselves! These are Lot 247 and have an estimate of $1,500 - $2,000.

I like the Art Deco style cabinet on the right as a drinks cabinet. Adds style and the photo seems to show a bit more interesting surround to the doors. This is Lot 318 and has an estimate of $800 - $1,200.

Bedrooms can use lots of glamour and mirrors too!

These two lots would work as bedside tables. Wouldn't overwhelm a room to have mirrored tables either side of a bed. The pair on the left are Lot 116 and have an estimate of $500 - $700. The tables on the right are Lot 123 and have an estimate of $400 - $600.

For old Hollywood glamour a vanity is a must.

The vanity on the left is a real statement piece. Perhaps a bit large and maybe not so graceful. This is Lot 122 and has an estimate of $500 - $700.

On the other hand the vanity and stool on the right have nice proportions and I like the curved legs on the table. The mirror effect is broken up a bit on this piece by gold painted wood and the cushion on the stool. Note the mirrored legs of the stool! This is Lot 135 and has an estimate of $400 - $600.

Mirrored furniture is not for everyone, but a piece here and there can add a lot of interest. Keep an eye out at auction!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Quilts as Graphic Design

I am not really and Americana person, while admiring certain things from time to time (love weathervanes, but can't afford them!). However, I ws taken by an episode on the HGTV show Sarah's House in which she started with a quilt as a design object and built the bedroom decor around it.

HGTV - Sarah's House

She found this yellow and white star patterned quilt at an antiques fair, and it reminded me how graphic old quilts can be. They can almost be abstract art.

Traditional Home - Designer: Suzanne Kasler

The owners of the home profiled in this Traditional Home spread are collectors of quilts. But you can see how just one quilt could lend itself to a decorative statement. I don't think the decor needs to be traditional to use a quilt for it's graphic qualities.

I confess to knowing very little about quilts, and would thus not want to spend too much unless I learned more. Copake Auction in Copake, NY usually has quilts in their estate auctions, so I thought I'd go there to see what they might cost, and whether I could find some graphic designs.

For those of us that like black and white as a graphic statement, these two fit the bill. The 19th century quilt on the left above sold for $650. The coverlet on the right is actually signed and dated 1850. It sold for $500.

If you'd like more color in your room, these two quilts have wonderful designs and could easily serve as a basis for an overall color scheme. I'd pick up the green in the one on the left and build around it. It's a 19th century quilt and sold for $275. The quilt on the right is a great abstract design and would be terrific art on a wall. Red works with so many colors - go all white with shots of red, or soften it with yellow. This one sold for $160. 

These last two examples are more multi-colored. They were both made in the 1930's. The one on the right sold for $125. It's not quite as 'graphic' as the other examples, but is quite pretty. The one on the right sold for $100, and has some good colors from which to build a decorating. 

Quilts are quintessentially American (while quilts are made in other countries), and can be surprisingly modern graphic art.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Mixing Antiques with Modern

Having done several blogs on decorating with a modern aesthetic, I am reminded that I love antiques too! Can antiques be blended successfully with a modern decorating scheme? Of course!

The Veranda magazine web site has a wonderful house profile that demonstrates that mixing antiques with modern can be very modern!

The decorators, Michael and Alexandra Misczynski, have designed a beautiful home with spare modern lines loaded with antiques. I think part of the success has been to choose pieces with simple lines and beautiful woods that contrast with lots of white fabrics. The dining room above uses a 16th century English trestle table and a George III mahogany cabinet.

The living room has two 18th century Italian console tables that flank a Louis XIV fireplace. The Giacometti chairs are a lot of fun too. The mirrors also compliment the design with the simple wood frames.

The vestibule features a 16th century Italian table, topped with a 1930's lamp.

The bedroom uses a French 17th century table as a desk, an 18th century mirror, and antique Khmer vases on display. At the base of the bed is a rustic antique trunk.

I looked at (and limited myself to) upcoming auctions for antiques that would fit with a modern decorating scheme, focusing on pieces that have simple lines and beautiful wood, and perhaps interesting design elements. I couldn't recreate the look of the house above, but found pieces with character that would add interest to a modern interior.

Stair Galleries July 24th Auction - Lot 138

This Directoire cherry draw leaf dining table that's included in the July 24th Stair Galleries auction has simple lines, warm wood, and an interesting system of extending leaves. This is Lot 138 and has an estimate of $1,000 - $1,500. 

New Orleans Auction July 17th & 18th - Lot 249

This Danish mahogany settee is described as 4th quarter 18th century. It's has spare lines and would look great upholstered in white or an off-white canvas. This is included in the July 17th and 18th New Orleans Auction. It's Lot 249 and has an estimate of $3,000 - $5,000. 

Stair Galleries July 24th auction - Lot 257

This table included in the Stair Galleries auction has wonderful lines that are almost graphic, and is made of a beautiful mahogany wood. It's described as Late classical and has an estimate of $150 - $250. This would make a wonderful console table in a living room or entrance hall.

Finally two pieces that caught my eye for their design character.

The Provincial Northern European tallcase clock has a wonderful shape and looks like a piece of sculpture. It's included in the New Orleans auction July 17th and 18th and is Lot 248. It's mid-19th century and has an estimate of $1,200 - $1,800. Can't you see this against a light colored wall where it would just pop out!

The credenza on the right above is in the Stair Galleries auction July 24th and is Lot 81. It's described as Spanish baroque and is made of walnut, with an estimate of $1,500 - $3,000. While it may not fit the 'spare lines' description, it does has great wood patina and interesting carvings. This would easily fit in a living or dining room, or greet your guests in the entry way. Put a modern lamp on top for contrast. 

Combining stylistic periods can be so much more interesting than being a slave to one. It also give you lots more opportunities to be creative in your auction selections!

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