Monday, February 28, 2011

Glamorous Venetian mirrors

Venetian mirrors are so very decorative. They can be clean and handsome, or elaborate and romantic. The simple one color etched glass type can be very modern looking. While those with blue glass have an added interest and style. I have a pair of oval Venetian glass mirrors that I have used separately and together, and they immediately dress up the place where they hang.

House Beautiful

Elle Decor - Designer: Peggy Braswell Design
Elle Decor - Designer: Cynthia Rowley
A Venetian mirror works equally well in a hallway, dining room, bedroom, or bathroom. It dresses up the space, and adds a bit of glamor.

This Venetian Rococo style mirror is very smart looking. I love the elaborate design and the blue details. This would be quite a statement in an entry hall, or in a fabulous powder room. You wouldn't need much more in the way of decoration. This would do it all. This is 40" tall and sold at a Bonhams auction in Los Angeles for $366.

This Venetian mirror is much more subtle. The simple rectangular shape allows the eye to focus on the etching in the glass and the decorative details. This would work well in a modern space, and would add style without shouting at you. This sold at a Christie's auction in New York for $3,840 off an auction estimate of $1,000 - $1,500. It measures almost 60" tall, and would be terrific in a living or dining room.

This version takes the glam factor up a notch with the crest detail at the top. It's simple, but highly decorative. Imagine this in your bathroom, or over your dresser in your bedroom. This sold at a Doyle New York auction for $563 off an auction estimate of $800 - $1,200. It's 68" tall. 

This mirror looks like a beautiful sapphire and diamond ring! The blue accentuates the gorgeous etching in the glass. The shape is wonderful and the crest finishes it off. This is 39.5" tall, and sold at a Christie's auction in New York for $1,625 off an estimate of $1,500 - $2,000. I would love to see this in a living room over a simple console table with a vase full of flowers on top!

For something a bit different in terms of Venetian mirrors, this pair of oval mirrors with  scalloped amber glass border are quite elegant. They have subtle styling, but make a statement. I also love pairs of anything. Put these on either side of a painting to set it off. These sold at a New Orleans auction for $1,722 off an estimate of $1,200 - $1,800. They are 37" tall.

This Venetian mirror has it all! It's a great shape, has fantastically detailed etching, and a wonderful crest. This is 49" tall and sold at a Doyle New York auction for $938 off an estimate of $700 - $900.

Designer: Nicky Haslam

Designer Nicky Haslam used a large Venetian mirror over a mantle where it's simple shape allows the etching in the glass to be the design statement. 

There are Venetian mirror styles to suit any taste from glamorous and flamboyant to elegant and refined. They can be lots of fun, and will dress up whichever room you hang them.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Modernism @Auction

There are a number of auctions coming up focused on Modernism that have me quite excited and get the creative juices flowing.

We went to the Stair Galleries preview in Hudson, NY for their February 25th Modernism auction. I love the room scenes they staged. I could easily move in to the 'room' in the top photo, and sit down in one of those comfy looking chairs. The second photo has the look of a 1930s movie set.

For the look in the first photo, this pair of Art Deco black lacquer bergeres are Lot 37, and have an auction estimate of $600 - $800.

The low table is Art Deco-style, and is Lot 38. It's made of black lacquer and chrome and has an auction estimate of $500 - $800.

The Art Deco 3 piece parlor set are Lot 67 and have an auction estimate of $800 - $1,200. Instant Art Deco chic for your living room!

We know Everyone needs a tea cart! This one sitting between the two chairs was designed by Alvar Aalto for Artek. It's a laminated and bent birch tea cart with black laminate panels. It's Lot 45 and has an auction estimate of $300 - $500. A tea cart is so versatile and this one works as an end table, or just might be your bar when you have a party.

Sotheby's New York has a 20th Century Design auction coming up March 10th. It is full of big name designers, including this settee and armchairs attributed to Josef Hoffmann. Hoffman was a co-founder of the Wiener Werkstatte, and I love the clean styling. This set is Lot 33, and has an auction estimate of $2,000 - $3,000.

If you like this style, check out the current exhibition at the Neue Galerie in New York titled Vienna 1900, which includes works by Hoffmann, among others.

Los Angeles Modern Auctions (LAMA) has a sale March 6th titled Modern Art and Design. You could easily furnish your modernist room at this auction. I picked three pieces for my imaginary modernist living room. This pair of Edward Wormley for Dunbar (circa 1950) slipper benches caught my eye for their wonderful size and clean lines. They're bigger than a chair, but not quite as big as a love seat.  These are Lot 37 and have an auction estimate of $2,500 - $3,500.

These chairs are also designed by Edward Wormley for Dunbar, circa 1968. I think they'd go quite well in the room with the slipper benches. The backs make them more interesting than other chairs of this style. These are Lot 35 in the LAMA auction, and have an auction estimate of $700 - $900.
The LAMA sale includes this Paul McCobb cabinet made in 1962 for the Delineator Group. It stands 78" tall, is Lot 38, and has an auction estimate of $2,000 - $3,000. The design makes this great for storage and display. I think this would look great in our living room decor, and we can just add some colorful vases to finish the look.

The 20th century brought in fabulous modern design. In this selection from upcoming auctions we span 1905 to 1968. Have fun mixing something from all the design periods in the 20th century for a cool Modernist vibe.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Lighting the way with Lanterns

Lanterns are a wonderful way to add ceiling light to a room. They are crisp and not too dressy like many chandeliers, and thus work with many, if not all, decorating styles.

Canadian House & Home

Both of these photos come from Canadian House & Home. The top photo is a good example of a small entryway with a simple bell jar lantern. In the second photo designer Karla Amadatsu used a bell jar lantern to define a dining space in an open plan living/dining room.

Bell jar is probably the most common style lantern, and while I like the style a lot, I thought I'd look at auctions for something different. 

The next Doyle @Home auction on February 23rd includes this wrought iron 4 light lantern (Lot 251). It's 37" tall, and is a classic hall lantern. It's very smart looking and  has an auction estimate of $800 - $1,200. This would look very chic in a large entryway or library.

This Neoclassical style gilt metal and glass lantern is also included in the Doyle auction (Lot 244). It's 23" tall and has an auction estimate of $200 - $300. It has a delicate style, and would look wonderful in a small entryway or bathroom.

This is a very smart pair of frosted glass and metal octagonal lanterns. These are Lot 556 in the next Christie's Interiors sale in New York March 1st and 2nd.  I think having a pair would be great for a hallway or spread to two rooms! These have an auction estimate $800 - $1,200 and are 37" tall.

I think this pair of French hexagonal lanterns have just enough extra style to make them stand apart from the crowd. These are also in the Christie's sale (Lot 830), and are made of patinated and parcel gilt wrought iron with 3 lights in each. They are 47" tall, so rather big. This would limit them to rooms with pretty tall ceilings. These would dress up an open plan family room or a loft. They have an auction estimate of $3,000 - $5,000.

It's always helpful to see some past actual pricing examples and here are three that are quite different in style and price. This first one was sold at Christie's in new York. It's an hexagonal tole peinte hall lantern, first half of the 20th century. It sold for $3,120 off an auction estimate of $1,500 - $2,000. It's very  chic, and the green makes it a bit different. This would be fabulous in an entryway.

This cute copper lantern started off as a candle lantern, and was electrified later. This sold at a Brunk auction in Asheville, NC for $90. It measure 21" tall, and I could see this in a boys room over a desk, or in a small bathroom.

This fantastic modern example was designed by Andre Dubreuil in 1988. It sold at a Wright 'Important Design' auction in Chicago for $12,500 off an auction estimate of $10,00 - $15,000. The style is sophisticated and delicate. Put this over a dining table or in an entryway for elegant lighting.

Homes & Garden Magazine, UK

A wonderful ceiling fixture adds elegance, and draws your eye in to the space. A lantern is a sophisticated choice, and you can find one at auction that will make your design statement.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Scrumptious Screens

As I look through the upcoming auctions, a number of decorative screens caught my eye, so I thought this would be a good time to revisit the versatile screen. It may not be the first decorative element you might think of as you plan your room decor, but think again!

In this example of a room designed by the firm Mrs. Howard, a beautiful screen is mounted on the wall and defines this dining area within a larger room.

In this sitting area designed by Suzanne Kasler a wood screen  makes an interesting decoration along the wall, and gives it additional architectural interest. 

In this room designed by Darren Henault, a see through screen is used as a smart looking space divider which can be moved around depending on how the room is being used.

Doyle New York is holding an auction February 23rd of the Estate of Lena Horne. This beautiful Japanese painted silk screen is Lot 1044. It measures 34.5" tall and 70" long. It has an auction estimate of $150 - $250. This would fabulous mounted on a wall. 

I was taken by this Indian wood four panel screen. It is so interesting and delicate. This is also in the Doyle New York Lena Horne sale (Lot 1015). It has an auction estimate of $200 - $300, and measures 6'2" tall, and each panel is 20" wide.  This would make a great room divider, entry hall decor, or placed in a corner to add an architectural element.

The next Christie's Interiors sale in New York March 1st and 2nd includes this late Victorian faux bamboo and etched glass 3 panel screen. It's 70" tall and each panel is 27.75" wide. It's Lot 434 and has an auction estimate of $2,000 - $3,000. This would make a great room divider. It would allow the light to come through, and think how beautiful the shadow would be with sun shining through the etched glass. 

This is a very decorative Chinese style screen! It would brighten up a room, and might be good for a dark corner. Or think of this mounted on a wall for a fantastic effect. This is Lot 747 in the Christie's sale and measures 84.25" tall and has 6 panels each measuring 20". It has an auction estimate of $1,000 - $1,500.

For the Hollywood style look, this Italian limed oak and engraved mirrored screen is very glamorous. This would look great anywhere, and would add drama as it reflects light from your lamps. This is in the Christie's sale (Lot 843) with and auction estimate of $800 - $1,200. It has three panels measuring 72" tall and each panel is 18".

To give an idea of actual sale prices I picked two examples from New Orleans Auction. This very smart Louis XVI style 2 panel screen is decorated with gilt brass mounted on mahogany with marquetry and glass. It measures 61" x 47".  It sold for $2,460 off an auction estimate of $2,500 - $4,000. This is quite classic in style and the 2 panels make it very easy to squeeze in to a corner in any room.

This striking Chinese gold ground polychromed lacquer screen has 4 panels measuring 72" tall and each panel is 16". It sold for $400 off an auction estimate of $300 - $500. The flying cranes on the gold ground just jump off the screen. I think this is absolutely beautiful, and wouldn't bust your budget. This would be a fabulous statement.

House Beautiful - Designer: Jonathan Adler

Think of a decorative screen as a way to add art to your decor in a big way, or to define a space within a space. They can be an investment piece, or a bold statement on a budget. Auctions have lots of options to consider.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Cool Coffee Tables 'at auction'

When choosing a coffee table to set in front of your sofa, you can choose something unobtrusive, like a simple glass topped table, or you can add more of a design element.

I picked a Chinese trunk in the top photo, and a mahogany Chinese table that I just bought at a Stair Galleries auction for $250 in the bottom photo. I wanted to juxtapose the modern metal framed and leather sofa with something a bit more traditional. 

In this design by Eve Robinson Associates they used two low tables, which gives a lot of flexibility to move them around, and adapt to the seating arrangements.

Elle Decor

In the home of Pat Steir and Joost Elffers they used a Guatemalan workbench as their coffee table. I love the mix of rustic with the more elaborate mirror over the fireplace. 

Doyle New York  has an auction on February 23rd of the Estate of Lena Horne. There are lots of interesting pieces in the sale. I like this small trunk as a coffee table. This is Indian silver colored metal repousse and wood, and measures 17.5" tall and is 22" x 16" wide. The silver is very chic and would work well in a smaller room. This is Lot 1142, and has an auction estimate of $15 - $250.

Louis Vuitton luggage is always in demand. This trunk in the Doyle sale measures17.5" tall by 39.5" x 23" wide. It's Lot 1017 and has an auction estimate of $800 - $1,200. This would make a great coffee table in a family room. It's sturdy enough to allow people to put their feet up and relax while watching the game. 

The Chinese trunk is always a smart coffee table option. It is simple in design, and usually has an interesting mount for the closure. This one is in the Lena Horne sale at Doyle, Lot 1048. It's made of wood and has a brass mount. I like that it has a stand as well. This measures 23" tall by 36" x 19.5". It has an auction estimate of $200 - $300.

For a sleeker look, I like this Art Deco inlaid mahogany coffee table, circa 1930. This is Lot 7390 in the Bonhams Los Angeles being held February 27th. It measure 23" tall and is 29.5" in diameter, and has an auction estimate of $400 - $600. The design is so simple and elegant, and the interest in the wood speaks for itself. 

This rustic Asian coffee table sold at a Copake Auction in Copake, NY for $130. This is smart looking and simple. This would be great in a family home where you don't want to worry about the kids using it for coloring, or putting glasses on it without coasters!

For a modern option this Don Shoemaker coffee table is circa 1970, and is made of rosewood and leather. It went unsold at a Wright 21 auction in Chicago, IL last year. It had an auction estimate of $2,000 - $3,000. The overall design gives this table lots of interest. 

When choosing your coffee table think about how your family and guests will use it. Will kids be using it for playing and studying? Will you be worried that people will be putting their drinks down on the table without remembering the coaster? You don't need to give up great design if your coffee table will get tough use. Just balance style and price, and check out your options at auctions for some good values!

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