Lee Stanton Blog



Apartamento Magazine

François Halard via Apartmento Magazine

Comfort has come a long way from wooden and stone benches in the Middle Ages when it was thought that the body was diametrically opposed to the soul and that the body pulled us toward the sinful, sensual and earthly ways rather than the godly, spiritual and divine ways. The Renaissance was not only a fervent period of cultural, artistic, political and economic rebirth. It was also a period when we began to embrace the body in addition to the soul and the concept of comforting our body led to the development of comfort in the home. We started to see pillows on those hard benches in the 1600’s and eventually the concept of integrating comfort into a functional piece of furniture ie. upholstered furniture during the Elizabethan period in England and the Louis XIV period in France. Needless to say, it didn’t take long until the upholstered chair, settees, chaise lounges, canapes, daybeds and not to mention love seats became proliferate in Europe as well in England.

Needless to say comfort evolved and we saw entire rooms dedicated to comfort. ie. living or drawing rooms with the sofa as the mainstay. Sofas complete with designs that integrated carved wood frames integrated with upholstery were common in these earlier eras until the chesterfield in England retired the carved frames and introduced a fully cushioned yet still tailored sofa.

The delicate carved wood frames with swirls, stars, animals and angel wings were replaced with straight lines and geometric carved frames until the wood frame completely disappeared into the simplicity of the fully upholstered sofa as we know it today.

Ok enough about the evolution of the sofa. You are probably wondering about couches and how they fit into this story. It is said that sofas evolved from chairs with backs and arms to sit on whereas couches evolved from daybeds and chaise lounges. They did not have traditional arms and backs and were intended to lay on. Sofas are typically larger than couches and accommodate more
people to sit in a social setting where people congregate such as a sitting room, living room and family room. Couches are smaller and usually more comfy for you to lay on alone or more intimately with another usually in a more private area of the house such as a lounge or bedroom. Simply speaking, I like to think of them as a sofa for social or a couch to slouch.

Tufted Sofa, England circa 1880 via Lee Stanton 

1st Photo:François Halard via @ApartamentoMagazine Instagram
2nd Photo: WRJ Design via @RushJenkins Instagram
3rd Photo: Clements Design via Architectural Digest




The Kennels at Goodwood, Sussex 

I would venture to say that when you are asked what comes to mind when you think French, your answer would be French wine, food, fashion and romance. Likewise, when you think Italian it will probably be pasta, clothing, leather goods, opera and drama.  When it comes to English it definitely won’t be food, probably not fashion or clothing, maybe literature but more often than not it will be English furniture, architecture and perhaps nobility.  This is not to say that the French or Italians did not have their impact on architecture and furniture.  In fact, their bold designs in various periods over time have emotionally influenced design in furniture and architecture more than any other country in the world.   So why do we relate the Brits to architecture and furniture?   Their designs were not bold.  They were not emotional. And they certainly were not romantic.

I believe that it is the safe, steady and consistent nature of British furniture or architecture that stands out over time.  It is humble but makes a statement.  It is strong but not dismissive. It is elegant but not gauche. If you were to relate British furniture to people, you would say they are stable, straightforward and someone you can rely on.  They don’t stand in your way and they definitely get along with others. They can be very proper but they know how to have fun.

Brandon Schubert via House & GardenWhen you look at the various styles and periods of French and to some extent Italian furniture, as beautiful as they are, they do not translate or flow into other styles or periods as smoothly as a Georgian piece into Regency or Victorian.  Or even more so another culture or style.  A nice Georgian piece goes nicely with an industrial piece from France or Belgium.  A Regency piece will probably flow nicely with an abstract painting from Eastern Europe.  But you probably would not mix a Louis XVI piece with industrial desk or abstract art.

So why is British furniture such a foundation in design while at the same time so versatile?   It all boils down to form and function.  As I mentioned it is straightforward. For the most part the lines are straight. You know what you are going to get and that it’s going to go well with and allow other pieces to standout.  It embraces and takes inspiration from other styles and periods yet stays true to itself.  It translates well and is also functional Think of drop leaf or extending tables, bookcases, servers, chests of drawers and comfy lounge chairs. They serve a purpose and make our life more comfortable.  

It’s no reason we relate to English furniture like we do to Italian pasta or French wine.  It’s a staple. It’s always been there and it’s always going to be there for us to enjoy.
                                   Designer Rose Uniacke takes us through

                                     her neo-Georgian home via Nowness

1st Photo: The Kennels at Kennwood 
2nd Photo: House & Garden UK 
3rd Photo: @RoseUniacke Instagram


About Face

About Face

William McLure Interior Designer Classical Looks
Photo by Marta Xochilt Perez for The Maryn

Simplistic and artistic with a touch of Neo-Classical. William McLure does it again with this interior design project. We are particularly drawn to this one because it gives us an insight into the designers own home in Alabama. And, as expected, we love all the art! He is an artist, as well as a designer, which is why we always enjoy seeing his projects. All in all, this neo-classical look has us head over heels.


William McLure Lookbook
Terra Cotta Bust of Man with Cement Remnants | France, 1940 (BJ6)
Abstract Oil Painting by artist Andre Lapiere titled "COMPOSITION"  | Germany, 1960 (BD155)
English Regency Upholstered Mahogany Chair | 
England, 1820 (BJ161

Up in Arms

Up in Arms

Château de Sully the French Home of Duchesse de Magenta
Photo by Paul Massey 

Check out this embroidered upholstered chair layered in front of a tapestry at Château de Sully, the French Home of Duchesse de Magenta. This takes print on print to a grand level. The grandiose chateau was originally featured in the October 2015 issue of UK House & Garden.


Château de Sully the French Home of Duchesse de Magenta
18th Century Armchair with Upholstered Tapestry | France, 1760 (AY170)
A brass jardiniere | England, 1890 (BF190)
Early 20th Century Leather Tufted Footstool or Bench | England, 1900 (BD95)

Music to our Eyes

Music to our Eyes

John Mellencamp House by Monique Gibson

A musical artist studio captured by photographer William Abranowicz.

This interior design project by Monique Gibson for musician John Mellencamp in South Carolina is a serious yet playful studio. It is no wonder why the “Little Bastard” is known for his heartland brand of rock. The home first appeared in the March 2014 issue of Architectural Digest and is now featured in American Originals which highlights the interiors photography portfolio of Abranowicz. 


Lookbook John Mellencamp _ Monique Gibson Design _ Photo by William Abranowicz

Marble Top Coffee Table with Iron Legs and Studded Trim | France, 1940 (BF63)
Pair of Blue Art Nouveau Vases | England, 1910 (BF184)
An Artist Easel | France, 1940 (BF36)

American Originals the Book by William Abranowicz.

American Originals / Published by Vendome





A Mat Finish

A Mat Finish

Isabel Lopez-Quesada
Photo by Miguel Flores-Vianna for AD España - October 2018

A french countryside retreat, designed by the Spanish Interior Designer Isabel López-Quesada, has us feeling anything but bored. In typical Spanish style, Isabel has finished off this this country kitchen (furnished in antiques) by adding a splash of color with the bold use of a blue patterned mat.  

A bamboo slated country bench | England, 1920 (BE49)
A set of three graduated sized bread pans | Germany, 1920 (BE25)
Dinning table on ring-turned legs joined with a stretcher and raised on ball feet | France, 1870 (AW146)

Bedtime Stories

Bedtime Stories

James Huniford New York Elle Decor 2015

Photo by William Waldron for Elle Decor.

 The country elegance of this bedroom by James Ford Huniford featured in Elle Decor in 2015 is timeless. At this farmhouse in Woodstock, New York, James chose a beautiful Sheraton field bed to fill the high ceilings of this room. I like the old world feeling this gives to the room, alongside the various portraits and landscape paintings. It's like a good dream.

 Elle Decor James Huniford Lookbook Lee Stanton

A canopy twin bed with satin wood stringing and urn finials | England, 1880 (R245)
Tall chest of drawers with ebonized side columns and knobs | France, 1840 (AX164)
Landscape painting in gilt frame | Italy, 1880 (AN141)


Map it Out

Map it Out

Photo via The Future Kept

As an antiquarian, I've had the opportunity to travel throughout the globe shopping for treasures. The English Countryside is always a favorite destination of mine. Great properties such as The Goodwood Estate in West Sussex and The Pennard House in Somerset offer a grand but humble opportunity to experience the British country lifestyle. I find that The Future Kept has done a beautiful job capturing the natural ease of the English country lifestyle in their journal entries.

Lee Stanton Lookbook English Countryside

Four reproduction vintage panels of Air France World Map (LSE20)
French Tailor's Chest of Drawers with Brass Handles | France, 1880 (BD156)
Three Tier Bamboo Table | England, 1900 (BD143)

Photo  via The Future Kept

A reproduction of antique map of Rome mounted on venetian panels (LSE21)
Writing Table with Double Lift_Top Compartments | France, 1860 (AX187)
Deconstructed Upholstered Arm Chair | France, 1880 (BC136)