Industrial lamps and wooden work tables provide character against a distressed backdrop.
When Melinda Ritz saw the Italian leather sofa, she couldn't help but share her thoughts.
Italy circa 1950 large sofa in buffalo leather (BB71a)"When I saw this Italian Buffalo covered sofa it was love at first sight! I like my Italian sofas as much as I like my Italian men. They are both well built, handsome and stylish, and moreover, they grow more handsome over the years. This guy, I mean sofa, is getting up there at around 65 years old with the look and feel of a well worn suitcase that has travelled the world and seen it all. Yes, Italy wins the prize for the best in design as far as Im concerned. This fabulous and timeless looking leather sofa will mix well with a home filled with antiques from Europe as well as stand on its own in a very contemporary setting. You can throw this guy into any room and it will add warmth and personality to every setting. This Italian three seater speaks very little English, gets better with age and mixes well with old and new. Just the way I like my men..." - Melinda Ritz
Amy Kehoe from design firm Nickey Kehoe tells us what her top picks from the showroom are.
Visit Nickey Kehoe to see their incredible work and shop
As we unpacked our container last week from a recent buying trip to France, Belgium and England, I couldn’t help think of it as a time capsule. This shipment contains items spanning three centuries. It represents the best examples from various periods covering 300 years. When I speak of periods, I am referring not only to style, but also the social, economical and political climates that shaped the styles from each era.
Consider the straight lines of a table or bookcase from the Georgian period as opposed to the heavy and carved furniture from the Queen Anne period. This was an era that political rule in England changed from the monarchy to a political party system of elected leaders. The weight and power of the monarchy was shed at the same time the heavy carvings were shed from dark furniture into more graceful and straighter lines with lighter woods of the Georgian period.
The Georgian era was prosperous and expansive. It is when the grand houses popped up in the English countryside with the tea sipping lifestyle we all picture from those Jane Austin novels. It was also an era of territorial expansion overseas. To put it in perspective, the tables and bookcases in our shipment were built… and the boxes we are unwrapping stored tea under lock and key at the same time our forefathers revolted and our country gained independence from England. How about that Boston tea party? In sharp contrast, lets skip forward 100 years to the next century and another prosperous period known as the industrial revolution.
This is the time when Queen Victoria reigned in England and when we see the glorious linen factories pop up in Belgium and the north of France. It is the period from which all the chic metal industrial furniture we love today evolved. Finally, amongst our treasures are the comfy leather sofas and chairs that were enjoyed 100 years later during another prosperous and rebellious period…. the 1950s and 1960s. Picture the Beatles lounging around on a casual leather sofa while JFK makes his famous speech asking what you can do for your country.
I hope you understand why I refer to our container as a time capsule. Antiques encompass a rich vein of social history and a direct reference to a way of living from the past. They add a sense of instant character, an element of rarity and a humble sophistication to any home. The pursuit of objects from the past excites our aesthetic and indulges our historical curiosities. The mysteries of their provenance are alluring. Furthermore, they are as visually satisfying today as they were decades or centuries ago.
Foley & Cox Top Picks
BA100 – these sophisticated Bergere’s would add a refined, gentlemanly touch to the corner of a living room or library. The combination of cane, leather, and mahogany make them a timeless classic that evokes an English sensibility that is both relaxed and elegant.
AR10 – this fantastic light would add just the right amount of industrial age and strength over a kitchen island. The scale and clean lines of the fixture make it a focal point and enables the piece to be the central “character” for a transitional room.
Foley & Cox is an international design firm with incredible taste. We loved hearing what their favorite pieces are. You can learn more about them on their website - Foleyandcox.com
Cliff Fong's love for mixing antiques into his interiors has drawn his eye to a few of our items. He describes how he loves the period two seater sofa from England and the metal desk lamp from France.
Visit Cliff Fong's website Matt Black Inc
One of Schuyler Samperton's favorite pieces is our Vintage Wallpaper. As she describes "I adore the colors in this chinoiserie-inspired print – so modern and unexpected. It has a bit of a louche elegance that reminds me of something that Anita Pallenberg would have in her dressing room."
Visit her website to learn more www.samperton.com
Almost over, this buying trip has been anything but boring; I came across beautiful pieces ranging from 16th cent. tapestries to art deco sofas. I cannot wait to share what we have found.
To draw from some inspiration of mixing classical antiquity with modern design, check out the exhibition "Make yourself comfortable at Chatsworth" hosted by The Duke and Duchess of Devonshire.
Photo: Wallpaper Magazine
Wallpaper Magazine gives us a sneak preview. Words by Wallpaper Magazine:
Photo: Wallpaper Magazine
Photo: Wallpaper Magazine
‘Through this exhibition we are trying to share with visitors our experience of the place and the reality of it,’ says Hannah Obee, who for 12 years has been working as the curator of Chatsworth. ‘It is not just a stately home, but a layered collection of contemporary arts.’ The Cavendish family has over the centuries been keen to collect contemporary art and objects, so the house’s displays range from 18th and 19th century British and French painting and frescos to a collection of paintings by Lucian Freud, site-specific installations and objects that vary from stones and quartz to contemporary ceramics. Information : 'Make Yourself Comfortable' at Chatsworth runs beetween 28 March - 23 October 2015; www.chatsworth.org
Read the entire article on wallpaper magazine here
Follow us on the buying trip through instagram – @leestantonla