Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Small Space Solution: Try a daybed

Keeping with the theme of how to decorate a small home, my next suggestion is a daybed. It's a couch for entertaining, and serves as a spare place to put a guest (or in a very small space, even yourself!). An antique can be very chic, and all you need to do is pile it high with beautiful pillows.

Elle Decor - Home of Christopher Knight and Carlos Aponte

This room in the home of Christopher Knight and Carlos Aponte is loaded with style. They use an Empire daybed as a couch,  and the room can serve as a guest room as well. 
 Elle Decor - Designer: John Dransfield & Geoffrey Ross

In this living room, the designers demonstrate so well how antiques can be so perfect in a modern space.  Here they use a Charles X daybed as a chic couch, accented by the wonderfully blue painted Regency style chairs. The display of art on the wall creates a dramatic effect. 

This classic Louis XVI style fruitwood daybed serves the role perfectly. I like that both ends are the same height because pushed against the wall with pillows at the back, it works well as a couch. But when the time comes for it to be a bed, it converts easily. This sold at a New Orleans Auction for $492 off an auction estimate of $500 - $800.

For a modern aesthetic this sleek 'recamier' in the style of Tommi Parzinger would be very smart. This is included in the next Christie's Interiors auction in New York February 28th and 29th. It's Lot 742 and has an auction estimate of $800 - $1,200. I love the shape, but I would need some color which can easily be added with a few pillows.

When searching at auction there are a number of terms that you might find as descriptions - day bed, recamier, and chaise longue. 

Now this is cool. This is a circa 1980 copper clad chaise longue with riveting detail.  This is terribly chic and would fit in a classic or modern decor. This sold at a Kamelot Auction in Philadelphia for $1,600 off an auction estimate of $1,500 - $2,500.

There is nothing like a Biedermeier style or Regency recamier for high style. Just look at the curves in the back and the legs. It's very sexy! The lovely color of the fruitwood lightens it up, and the striped upholstery is perfect. This sold at a Brunk Auction in Asheville, North Carolina for $1,400 off an auction estimate of $800 - $1,200. 

There all sorts of styles of day bed from classic to modern. Depending on your taste and how you want to use it in your small space, you'll have fun finding the right one for you at auction.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Small Space Solution: Get a secretary!

In a small home, the best furniture serves multiple purposes. Also, you need not give up style! In fact, in a small space, buying a few pieces of furniture with maximum style impact will make the room.

A 'secretaire a abbatant', or secretary, is the perfect fit.  Think of all the things it can do - it's a dresser, it's a display shelf, and it's a desk. This one sold at a recent Stair Galleries auction in Hudson, NY for $1,250 off an auction estimate of $600 - $800. It's a Louis XVI mahogany secretary with a marble top.  I love the curves in the interior shelves. Use your imagination as to what you put on display. Don't forget the top where you might add some beautiful Chinese vases.

This beautiful Biedermeier secretaire would work wonderfully in a small space. The birch wood would keep it light and avoid too much dark furniture. It is very smart looking. This is included in the next Christie's Interiors sale in New York February 28th and 29th. This is Lot 878, and is described as second half of the 19th century. It has an auction estimate of $2,000 - $3,000.

For a more decorative look I love this Chinoiserie secretary. It has lots of storage, and looks so very chic. The red adds a pop of color to the room too! This is Lot 317 in a Kamelot Auction in Philadelphia February 18th. It is described as 18th century and has an auction estimate of $2,500 - $3,500.

House and Home Magazine (Canada)

A secretaire can be three pieces of furniture in one. When shopping for one at auction and setting your top bid, add up individual pieces in your head and you may find that you have a bargain! It's so much more chic in any event.
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