Thursday, September 29, 2011

Stylish sofas 'at auction'

Sofas come in all sort of styles from formal to casual, from wood framed to upholstered. They also reflect styles of certain periods and countries.

Both photos Lars Bolander

In two Lars Bolander interiors he uses wood framed sofas typical of Swedish and French furniture. They are delicate and feminine in feel. The are probably a bit more formal than many prefer, but create a lovely entertaining ambiance.

Very popular just now is mid-century design, and this squared off sofa in Rue Magazine is a great example of the mid-century vibe. It's a cool modern space. 

House Beautiful - Designer: Kathryn Scott

In this Hudson Valley home, the designer Kathryn Scott uses two curved back wood frame sofas to create a comfortable sitting area designed for conversation. 

I could, of course, find many more examples, but let's see what catches the eye at auction. 

Wright in Chicago has a Modern Design auction October 6th. There are many fabulous mid-century pieces. This sofa is Lot 218. It was designed by Giovanni Zoncada for Cassina in 1951. It measures 77 inches wide. I particularly love the curve of the arms. I prefer some curves to my sofas, while many mid-century pieces can be pretty squared. This has an auction estimate of $3,000 - $5,000.

Another sofa in the Wright auction is this Vladimir Kagan designed piece. This is Lot 284, measures 87 inches wide, and was designed in 1950. Again, I like the curved shape. This has an auction estimate of $3,000 - $5,000. 

This example of a mid-19th century mahogany wood framed sofa is being offered in the next Christie's Interiors sale in New York on October 4th and 5th. This is Lot 913, measures 100 inches wide, and has an auction estimate of $1,000 - $1,500. This style sofa can work in a traditional or modern interior because the wood frame is almost sculptural. I would polish the frame a bit and reupholster is a bold stripe, or a white linen.

The Christie's sale includes this French fruitwood sofa in the Louis XV style. It is 19th century and measures 80 inches wide. This would approximate the look Lars Bolander creates. This is Lot 749 and has an auction estimate of $1,500 - $2,000.
I had to include this lovely refined sofa from the Christie's sale. It's a Regency parcel gilt carved frame sofa with caned back, sides and seat. It s described as probably Northern European early 19th century. This is Lot 367 in the sale tilted 500 Years: Decorative Arts in Europe. This is a regular sale of higher end antiques. This has an auction estimate of $10,000 - $15,000 - an investment, and beautiful. 

Auctions have every style of sofa available - even somewhat used comfy stuffed ones. I like the idea of picking something with a bit more of a design statement than an IKEA style to set the tone of the room. It is the biggest piece of furniture in a room after all. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A fireplace (surround) and a mirror - cozy and glamorous!

A fireplace is a wonderful focal point in any room. Add a fabulous mirror above it and you've created an instantly cozy and glamorous room. Not everyone has a fireplace, but you can still create the look with a great fireplace surround, and add candles or a gas fireplace insert. Or just fill the space with flowers!

Lonny Magazine - Interior by Alistair and Blair Clarke

In this Manhattan home the owners and designers Alistair and Blair Clarke are blessed with a beautiful fireplace. They added a wonderfully decorative Georgian style mirror that reflects back in to the room and makes it feel larger and lighter. Check out the entire Lonny spread for lots of ideas on how to mix contemporary collections with antiques.

House Beautiful - Designer: Todd Klein

Another fabulous mirror hanging over a black marble fireplace really pops in this black, white and red color scheme. The furniture is simple, and the mirror has a very rococo. Great contrast.

Auctions are a great place to find a fireplace mantel and a mirror that suits your style. 

The recent Stair Galleries auction in Hudson, NY included this American Georgian blue painted pine fireplace paneling and surround. It measures 82" x 94" and would add great architecture and color to a room. This had an auction estimate of $1,000 - $2,000, and sold for $150! A simple Federal style mirror above would make a great look.

The Stair auction also included this refined Georgian style carved pine mantelpiece. This measures 56" x 56", and has lovely classic carving. This had an auction estimate of $400 - $800 and sold for $350.

This mirror caught my eye. It's simple and elegant. It's Italian rococo style carved, painted and gilt. It's a great size at 73" tall and 47" wide. This was in the Stair auction with an estimate of $200 - $400, and sold for $650.

This lovely George III style marble mantelpiece sold at a Doyle New York auction for $6,500 off an auction estimate of $2,000 - $3,000. It's 19th century. Clearly it's very desirable. The carved decoration is chic and classic, and white marble is very elegant. 

Both the photos at the top include elaborate mirrors. This one in the September 27th Doyle New York Belle Epoque auction would be a great way to recreate the look. This is Lot 458 and measures 64" x 38". It's described as transitional Louis XV/XI style gilt wood. It has an auction estimate of $1,500 - $2,500.

Stepping the glam factor up a notch further, I love this Chippendale style mirror from the 1st quarter of the 20th century. The Chinoiserie elements are fabulous. It measure 57" x 34" and would be an impressive addition above your mantelpiece. This sold at a New Orleans auction fro $2,460 off an auction estimate of $700 - $1,000.

This substantial cherry wood Aesthetic movement fireplace mantel is impressive. It commands attention. This sold at a new orleans auction for $1,722 off an auction estimate of $1,500 - $2,500. It measures 47" tall and 54" wide. A gilt wood mirror above this mantel would make a wonderful pairing.

There are many options in terms of style and price range for both mantels and mirrors available at auction. When choosing, they need not match in terms of period, but should just form a fabulous focal point for a room. The more elaborate they are, you might choose simpler furniture for the rest of the room. The fireplace and mirror will set the style.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Entry way mini blog ' at auction'

I was at the Stair Galleries auction preview for the September 23rd auction in Hudson NY and took this photo.

It incorporates a number of my favorite elements for an entryway - just bid on it all and instant entry! See Three easy pieces for a perfect entryway, and More on hall chairs.

The console table is terribly elegant.  This is a Regency carved mahogany table measuring 50 inches wide. It has an auction estimate of $300 - $00, and is Lot 7.

The giltwood overmantel mirror is Napolean III, and looks terrific with the console table. It's 62 inches wide and tall, and has an auction estimate of $1,000 - $2,000. It's Lot 24.

The sconces are very smart looking. These are Federal style amd made of brass and carved wood. They are 42 inches tall, and have an auction estimate of $200 - $400.

Finally the hall chairs! What is it about hall chairs that I love? I think they are such elegant entry elements, and more practical than you might think. These are William IV style mahogany, and have a wonderfully shaped back, which is what makes a stylish hall chair. These are Lot 28, and have an auction estimate of $600 - $800.

If you don't have time to bid at the auction (absentee or in person), take inspiration and keep your eye out for a similar look at auction!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Pretty little chairs

My mother had the loveliest little chair with dainty legs and a lyre design for the back. The antique upholstered cushion was the perfect blue, with just a bit of fraying for character. It always had pride of place near the entry way. Obviously it was not meant to be sat on at all (or you might end up on your bum on the floor!) - it was just a lovely design object. As a result, I have a soft spot for small impractical pretty chairs.

 Elle Decor

The Paris apartment of fashion designer Andrew Gn is profiled in the October issue of Elle Decor. The rooms are opulent and full of layered details, and he has some wonderful dainty chairs. These are two photos from his apartment. He was his own decorator.

Livingetc (UK)

The October issue of the UK magazine Livingetc. features the Copenhagen home of the creative director of the fashion brand Day Birger et Mikkelsen, Peter Ingwersen. His rooms have a modern aesthetic, and show a wonderful sense of how to combine antiques along with the new. This wonderful little chair forms part of a decorative design along a wall with a rococo style mirror and modern lamp.

Stair Galleries in Hudson, NY has an auction coming up September 23rd that has lots of wonderful antiques. I was there today to see the preview, and there was this chair that inspired me to write this blog. This is Lot 131 and is described as French Japonisme carved giltwood side chair, attributed to Gabriel Viardot, Paris with an auction estimate  of $200 - $300. It has enough style, and even a quirky combination of European and Asian design to make one take notice. This would be a wonderful little chair to add decoration anywhere!

New Orleans Auction Galleries includes this pair of Edwardian, circa 1900, brass salon chairs. They look quite dainty, but as they are metal, perhaps not so much. I like the somewhat over tall backs which add style. These are Lot 1173 in the next auction to be held over three days, September 30 and October 1st and 2nd. They have an auction estimate of $300 - $500. Put these on either side of a console table in your entry way for some glamour.

Christie's New York sold this pair of 19th century Iberian polychrome paint decorated chairs for $250, off an auction estimate of $500 - $700. The decoration of these chairs is very interesting, and the upholstered seats look like a rich velvet. Very smart looking!

Bonhams sold this classic lyre back chair described as a Louis XVI style gilt bronze mounted mahogany side chair, probably François Linke, circa 1900. The back is the design statement, and reminds me of my mother's chair. This sold for $1,342.

The next Belle Epoque sale at Doyle New York is September 27th. It includes this sweet Victorian black painted and mother-of-pearl inlaid diminutive side chair (Lot 173). They have the chair in a lot with a writing table that doesn't really seem to go with it. The lot has an auction estimate of $600 - $900. I like the chair on it's own, but could probably deploy the desk as well. I would like this in a hall somewhere looking it's own cute self!

Pretty little chairs are probably an indulgence for our feminine side, but they can grab your attention and be wonderfully decorative! They are usually not for sitting. 

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