Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Arts and Crafts style decor 'at auction'

I was inspired to do a blog about Arts and Crafts style in decor after having gone to a Stair Galleries auction preview in Hudson, NY. They have an auction coming up September 7th with Arts and Crafts and Aesthetic Movement items from the collection of John Alexander LTD of Philadelphia.

 Designer: Ruard Veltman - House Beautiful

This living room has the feeling of Arts and Crafts without being a slave to the style. The designer adds elements, like the three legged stool by the fireplace, that evoke Arts and Crafts, along with the architecture of the room.

From Houzz

This photo illustrate nice Arts and Crafts details such as the fabric on the cushion and the vase on the mantel. 

You can have fun adding some Arts and Crafts elements to your decor at auction! 

All these items are from the Stair auction. We can start with this wonderful serving table. It has clean lines and is made from a wonderful, warn ash. It's English, circa 1924, and measures 51 inches long and is 21 inches deep. It's Lot 178 and has an auction estimate of $1,000 - $1,500. This would go with anything!

As an alternative to a bench in your hallway, try a church pew! This English carved oak pew (Lot96) measures 64 inches long and has an  auction estimate of $400 - $600. It's so much more interesting than the ordinary bench, and would be a great place to sit and put on your boots before going outside.

There nothing like a decorative chair to add an element of a style to a room without going all the way.  I love this chair. It has everything - beautiful inlay, fabulous carved arms, and a warm patina to the mahogany. This is Lot 22, circa 1895, and has an auction estimate of $500 - $700.

For a different shape, this lovely English circa 1895 mahogany chair would fit nicely into the conversation grouping, or be happy to sit filling a corner with decoration. It would also serve nicely in an entryway. It has a wonderful inlay decoration, and carved arms and legs giving it a lot of decorative interest. This is Lot 35 and has an auction estimate of $300 - $500.

Of course, another way to add a style element without it being a piece of furniture is to use mirrors. These brass mounted Arts and Crafts mirrors have a wonderful simplicity about them. The warmth of the brass and the subtle design at the corners would work well in even the most modern decors. Imagine these in an entryway against a white wall! These are Lot 51and have an auction estimate of $600 - $800.

I love objects for adding character to a room. I am taken by this iron mounted copper coal bucket with all its decorative statements. Notice the sun rising at the base, the delicate hammered design along the middle, and the iron appliqued design along the upper edge. This is English circa 1900 (Lot 23), with an auction estimate of $250 - $350. Use it as a waste basket, a short umbrella stand, or as just another piece of decoration in the room.

I couldn't do a whole room in Arts and Crafts, but I would be happy to add any of these items to my rooms for design interest, character, and fun!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Vintage suitcases and trunks as furniture 'at auction'

Every time I run by a photograph of a suitcase or trunk being used as furniture or decoration, I am struck by the character it adds. It evokes travel and romance - all in an old suitcase! Somehow the older and more beat up it is the better because you know it's been well used.

Designer: Darryl Carter

The Louis Vuitton luggage is always a good choice, but usually the more expensive. Here Darryl Carter just stacks two suitcases under a table for character. 

Via Pinterest

This tableau is wonderful in so many respects. The use of rustic furniture is artfully arranged, and the void below the table is filled with two simple old suitcases. Takes some courage, but with great result!

Apartment Therapy

This is a good example of how mismatched suitcases become a plant stand!

Via Pinterest

A substantial Louis Vuitton trunk makes a perfect console table - just add decorative objects on top, and you have a wonderful tableau. 

There are numerous options at auction, and I will give just a few to give an idea of styles and prices. The first three are from Christies. The classic Louis Vuitton trunk commands the highest prices. This one sold for $8,500 off an auction estimate of $7,500 to $12,000. It is 22 inches tall and 43 inches wide. It makes a great console or coffee table. 

This late 19th century Chinese export wooden and bras bound trunk has the warmth of age. This sold for $2,300 off an auction estimate of $1,800 to $2,800. It is 20 inches tall and 41 inches wide. We have a Chinese trunk that we had a stand built for making it a great coffee or side table.

Stacking suitcases makes for very smart looking decoration. They can serve as a plant stand, or just sit under a console table for added interest. This 20th century group sold for $580 off an auction estimate of $750 to $1,200.

Doyle New York often has luggage and trunks available at their auctions. For another Louis Vuitton example I like the shape of this one. It is 22 inches tall and 30 inches wide. This sold for $5,938 off an auction estimate of $3,000 to $5,000. I love the description of the condition: "broken handles, scuffs, small tears and scratches". All the better - you know it's well traveled. It was from the estate of Consuelo Vanderbilt Earl giving it added cache.

This was also from her estate, and would make a good base for stacking other luggage on top. This is a Goyard leather trunk measuring 13 inches tall and 39 inches wide. This sold at Doyle for $2,500 off an auction estimate of $2,000 to $4,000. You can be sure that this also saw some exotic travel!

These Chinese style trunks would be very chic stacked or each set on frames as end tables. These sold at Doyle for $219 for the pair off an auction estimate of $300 - $500. They measure 15 inches tall and are 30 inches wide. 

No matter how much you have to invest in a vintage trunk or luggage, they will add style and character to your decor.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Decorating a garden room 'at auction'

Whatever outdoor space you have - a grand garden or a small balcony - in the nice weather you enjoy it for living and dining as much as your indoor rooms - so why not decorate it with as much care! Of course, auctions are a great way to add character and create a wonderful outdoor 'room'.

 Wonderful weathered benches and table.

Classic bistro chairs, but painted white and distressed, always works and so simple. 

I love this small space. If you can add an arbor it really makes a room. An arbor gives you something to hang a lantern from as well. They even have a rug. 

This is a wonderful rustic table and vintage chairs set under an arbor - so welcoming. I could see a my friends and me having a meal and hanging out all afternoon. 
All photos via Pinterest

Kamelot Auctions in Philadelphia regularly has garden themed auctions, so I didn't need to go further for this post to find some great examples of how you can decorate your outdoor room with pieces with terrific character and patina. 

This Hollywood Regency dining set is the perfect place to start. I love the green paint and the  baby blue cushions. This is circa 1960, and sold for $600 for the set off an auction estimate of $600 - $900.

This Philadelphia circa 1910 wrought iron table with marble top (43" diameter) is fabulous. The base is so decorative and only needs some simple bistro chairs to sit down to a meal. This sold at Kamelot for $1,600 off an auction estimate of $1,500 - $2,500.

These Italian wrought iron chairs (above), circa 1980, have that sleek Italian chic. The set of 8 sold for $800 off an auction estimate of $800 - $2,400. 

For lounging try these cast iron armchairs with a fern pattern. They are so decorative, and just call for a small table in between to set a drink down! These sold for $500 off an auction estimate of $200 - $400.

For your 'sofa', with added cushions, or as dining seating, this classical bench (48 " long) with urn and garlands decoration on the back is very stylish. It's circa 1900 so has the antique cred that really adds character to the space. This sold for $1,000 off an auction estimate of $700 - $900.

I just live this French chaise lounge for outdoor resting and reading. This is circa 1910, and makes for a welcome garden look. This sold for $900 off an estimate of $400 - $700.
We need some decoration as well. This planter is perfect. It has chinoiserie decoration along the front, and wonderful paw feet. It's 46 inches wide, and would be wonderful filled with flowers or small bushes. It's circa 1940, and sold for $200 off an auction estimate of $300 - $600.

Outdoor spaces seem particularly conducive to using rustic pieces. They automatically give the space that lived in weathered look, that you would have to wait for with anything new!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Mix it modern! Dining chairs

Mixing old and new is so fresh and modern. An old table with classics of modern design chairs make a dining area with edge and interest.

From Pinterest

Eames chairs are a great option, and in this dining room the old and new is mixed to perfection. I love the use of different colored chairs, a classically shaped table, and a big, bold antique mirror. 

Rue Magazine

More Eames chairs! They look great at this French farmhouse table, along with their funky flowered cushions. The moody dark blues walls are a wonderful foil for the white chairs too!

 Via Pinterest

Wonderful streamlined chairs surrounding a glass topped table. More deep blue walls creating a moody, sexy atmosphere. 

The next auction July 13th at Stair Galleries has the theme of Modernism and is full of fun pieces! This set of 6 lucite champagne chairs designed by Erwine and Estelle Laverne make a perfect dining set. Place them around a warm wood table for a great mix of modern and old. These  are Lot 9 and have an auction estimate of $2,000 - $3,000.

This group of four lucite chairs on casters would work well in a small dining area around a round or square table. I would pick a warm wood to serve as a contrast to the clear lucite. These are Lot 41 in the Stair auction, and have an auction estimate of $1,000 - $1,500.

The Stair auction includes a group of 7 laminate and chrome Eames design chairs for Herman Miller. This design will always give you the cool design vibe around any table design. These are Lot 69 in the Stair auction, and have an estimate of $800 - $1,200. 

Wright Auctions in Chicago focuses solely on modern design. On July 13th they have a Mass Modern sale, which generally has the more affordable selections. This set of 5 enameled steel chairs designed by Harry Bertoia for Knoll (1952) would be a cool dining set. These are Lot 161 with an auction estimate of $1,000 - $1,500.

To recreate theelook of the top photo with Eames chairs of differnt colors, this auction would be a good place to start. They have a number of Eames chairs including this pair, and the following singles. These are Lot 213 and have an auction estimate of $500 - $700. They are for Herman Miller, 1951.

This orange Eames is Lot 213 with an auction estimate of $300 - $500. These are Herman Miller 1951. 

Add a yellow Eames version with this Lot 218 which has an auction estimate of $100 - $150. This is Herman Miller, 1958.

Via Pinterest

One of the fun things about collecting Eames chairs of different colors is that you can be opportunistic at auctions. Start with one, and add to your 'set' over time. They will make almost any table look modern and fresh. Your guests will have a fun time choosing one to sit in!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Seating as decoration 'at auction'

I went to an auction preview at Stair Galleries in Hudson NY this past weekend for the sale they have coming up June 21st and 22nd. They had fun seating options that marry decoration with the practical. I love the way chairs can some times be just a decorative object, and not really something you'd want to sit on.

This is one of a pair of whimsical carved side chairs (Lot 516) at the Stair auction. Not something I'd want to sit in, but a conversation piece! These have an auction estimate of $600 - $800.

This is a room designed by Lorenzo Castillo in Madrid. The fabulous decorative chair on the right has an interesting shape, and decoration. Not sure how great it would be to sit in for any period of time! The daybed is always a wonderful choice for added interest - and seating!

The designer Rose Uniacke uses a wonderful mix of high and low. The chair is a simple metal garden chair dressed up with a cushion. probably not used very much. 

The daybed in this Ojai, California house (via MarthaStewart.com) is smart looking and a place to lounge by the fire. It creates a focal point in the room.

These daybeds are like magical boats that will whisk you away to some far off dream place. This is from Domino. This room is more about decoration than practicality, but fun to look at! Love the bright yellow walls too.

This Italian Neoclassical walnut window bench has a fabulous shape. The winged arms make it magical. This is Lot 502 in the Stair auction, and has an auction estimate of $800 - $1,200. It would add instant character to a living room, entryway, or wherever it fits!

The shape of the backs of these French petite canapes are what makes them special. I would think about reupholstering them in a black or a black and white stripe for a real statement. These are Lot 492, and each is 52 inches wide. They are from the collection of Jeanne Van Waveren, and have an auction estimate of $2,000 - $3,000.

For a statement decorative chair, the winged arms of this Italian Neoclassical chair would do the trick. It might be sacrilege, but I would also reupholster this is a dark color to make the wings pop. This is Lot 503, and has an auction estimate of $1,200 - $1,800.

Finally, for something rustic and barely practical, I love garden furniture like this. It's worn and just looks great. This would be fun in an entryway or just sitting against the wall like the one in Rose Uniacke's London home. I wouldn't put a cushion on it though - it would lose some of its charm!

Every room could use a piece of furniture that's more conversation piece than practical. It's just another form of decoration. Keeping this in mind, you can really have fun looking through auction for unusual and fun pieces.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Seating flexibilty - the stool 'at auction'

Everyone needs a few stools around. They are extra, easy to move around seating. They can be a table in a pinch. And they can be a place to rest your feet! They fit neatly away under a console table, or pushed in to a corner waiting to be deployed.

The designer, Isabel Lopez Quesada, flanks a classically arranged console table with two chic stools. In an entryway they can be a great place to sit to put on your shoes, or easily moved in to a room where they're needed.

Via Pinterest

Here a simple, but elegant, stool serves as seating at a drop down desk, and as a samml table next to a chair when needed. 

Elle Decor

The designer, Thom Felicia, uses two upholstered cube stools for seating in a small library to expand the seating. 

From Elle Decor

The living room in Cristina Azario’s renovated brownstone in East Harlem, New York has chic taupe walls, fun kilim covered chairs, and an orange upholstered stool for a pop of color. 

Cakebread Designer Auctions is a new venture of New Orleans Auctions. In their first auction June 8th and 9th they include these two stools. The one on the left is a stylish George III style mahogany stool with very smart upholstery. It's early 20th century and the seat measures 23 x 18 inches. It's Lot 4 and has an auction estimate of $75 - $125.

This ottomon on casters is quite cute. It has lovely crewel upholstery, and would be very versatile and easy to move around. It's 19th century, and the seat is 23 inches in diameter. It is Lot 3 and has an auction estimate of $125 - $250.

There are many stool style options, and I rather like this Thebes stool. It has a rustic and modern feel at the same time. This sold at a Doyle New York auction for $219 off an auction estimate of $300 - $500.

For something much dressier, this Regency style stool would add a decorative element to the room. This sold at a Doyle New York auction for $375 off an auction estimate of $600 - $900.

I need to include some modern examples for those of you with a modern design bent, or for those of you who like to mix modern and antique, as I do! My go-to for modern is Wright Auctions in Chicago.They always have the big names in modern furniture design. The steel and leather stool on the left was designed by Poul Kjaerholm (Danish, circa 1961). It's a PK 91 style, and sold for $3,500 off an auction estimate of $3,000 - $5,000.

This teak and leather stool was designed by Poul Hundevad who was also Danish, circa 1948. It's a 'Guldhoj' folding stool and sold at Wright for $875 off an estimate of $1,000 - $1,500. I love the shape of the legs - such design interest in something so simple.

Whatever your style, a stool will always find a place in your home, and maybe move around as needs arise. If you are like me, you might just want to re-decorate every once in a while, so the stool in the living room might become a great place to lay towels in the guest bath.
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