Thursday, February 10, 2011

Create a grand entrance with a few key pieces!

I am in the midst of downsizing our New York apartment and moving to a one bedroom rental with my husband. I am excited by the new decorating challenge! One of the biggest is that there is no entryway to speak of. You just walk right in to the living room. But an entrance of some kind is so important. There are three critical elements - table (to put things on), mirror (to check appearance coming and going), and lighting (to brighten the area).

The interiors firm of James Michael Howard designed all of these entryways. They illustrate what I view as the key elements. If you can add seating, like in the top two photos, even better. It's great to have a place to take off your shoes! Then just add decorative items on the table and walls, and you have a a grand entrance. 

For an Art Deco look in your entry, try these three pieces. The Art Deco style parcel gilt wrought iron and glass console table is offered in the Bonhams LA February 27th auction (Lot 7363). It's very smart looking, and will work in a modern or more traditional decor style. It has an auction estimate of $1,500 - $2,000. 

Put this fabulous Art Deco wrought iron mirror over the table, and you have a design statement. This has such wonderful design detail. I love the curly cues! This is offered in the Christie's Interiors sale in New York March 1st and 2nd (Lot 583). It's 45" tall, and has an auction estimate of $1,200 - $1,800. 
Sconces on either side of the mirror will complete the look. This pair of Italian gold glass sconces are perfect. They are simple and stylish - just enough decorative detail in the glass to make them really interesting. These are also offered in the Christie's Interiors sale in March (Lot 838). These have an auction estimate of $800 - $1,200.

I always love Asian. This Chinese hardwood altar table is beautifully carved. The detailed fretwork and curved sides are fabulous. This table is included in the next Christie's Interiors sale in New York (Lot 411). It has an auction estimate of $1,500 - $2,000.

You don't need to make your entry all Asian objects to go with this table. I like this Anglo-Indian mirror, also in the Christie's sale (Lot 761). It's an interesting and unusual shape (25.5" high and 41" wide). It's mahogany inlaid with ivory details. It has an auction estimate of $800 - $1,200.

There are all sorts of lamp options, but these Chinese vases would be lovely. Blue and white is crisp and would enhance the overall look. These sold at a Doyle New York Belle Epoque sale for $500 for the pair.

Finally for a more formal style that would make for a truly grand entrance, this Northern European giltwood console table with marble top is fabulous. It's described as 'possibly assembled using 18th/19th century elements. It's offered in the Christie's Interiors sale (Lot 746), and has an auction estimate of $3,000 - $5,000. Think of this in your small entryway to make that big design statement!

I adore this mirror. It's actually a pair of pier mirrors that are 73.5" tall. You might use one in your entry and the other in your living or dining room. The shape is terrific, and is embellishment enough. The frame is simple and allows the curves to make the statement. These are in the Christie's sale (Lot 879), and would be an investment at an auction estimate of $4,000 - $6,000. Go in on it with a friend and each take one!

For the third key piece in this grand entrance, top your table with this pair of Venetian glass lamps that seem to go with the mirror. These are Lot 835 in the Christie's sale, with an auction estimate of $1,000 - $1,500.
House Beautiful - Designer: Ashley Whittaker
An entryway is a wonderful small decorating challenge. It takes just a few key pieces to make a grand entrance: console table, mirror and lighting. Over time add layers of decorations with vases, pictures, and small collections. It's about the statement upon entering. Check out some auction sites for ideas, and then see what you can get to create your grand entrance!

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