Thursday, February 2, 2012

Decorating with Antiques

I am headed out today to do an install in one of my favorite clients homes. Installs are a lot of fun when it gets to the point that we are hanging paintings, putting in lamps and antique accessories. Everything starts coming together.   The pieces I select have a story and a patina and are out of the ordinary. Frankly, the idea of a lot of chotskies everywhere is down right scary to me. This particular  antiques dealer in Marche Paul Bert caught my eye with these fabulous angel wings. They are early 18th Century hand carved wings. We promised to give them a good home in Memphis if he let us buy them. 

I love paper mache and want to try my hand at this idea. The artist took paper mache and laid paper pulp  over an antique fragment to  create this relief statue. Then she hand painted it with just the right colors. It is hanging on this iron rod. I can see doing acanthus leaf fragments, column fragments... the list goes on.

I adore barometers!!!!!!!!!  Anytime you see a barometer  with blue and it has the original glass tubing and mercury still in it. BUY IT. This one was in pristine condition. The wooden back was still on it as well. There were no visible repairs and the gilt was 23kt water gilt. Barometers such as this one can cost quite a bit. This one was 3800 euros. I did find some at the flea market for less. However, they were not nearly as nice.

These sweet mirrors are harder and harder to find. The detail and water gilding was just divine on this one. This particular one was 8500 euros. The dollar right now to Euros was $1.30 to 1 Euro. I hope I don't bore you with costs etc.. I just know that the more I am aware of what things cost the more appreciation I have for them.

Fabulous 16th Century Italian mirror. Imagine this behind a backless sofa!

This trumeau wins the prize for my favorite! We are happy to say she is coming home with us. The detail on the little girl and the classical design was all me. The dead French gray was divine too. I love using trumeaus such as this one, in a powder room . The trumeau will be the focal point. I plan on using 2 small Italian iron and crystal sconces on either side of it.

These great 18th Century French urns were the most unusual  pink color. I just had to get them. I love working with dark graphite colors right now and these will be just the right touch. I have to have live flowers in our home all the time. I prefer to use white orchids. They last for weeks and are relatively inexpensive considering how long they last. I see these filled with white orchids.

Last but not least. I love it when these 18th Century French trumeaus that were once bright shiny water gilded mirrors have had all their gold leaf worn off. All we have left is the first application of gesso under the red bole. This dead flat gesso finish is so in right now. Especially with reclaimed woods and graphite and chocolate rooms. I encourage you to try our Parisian paint and redo one of your rescued pieces of furniture. This would be a great look on an old piece that you are redoing.


  1. Please tell me you brought home that fabulous paper mache angel and the Italian mirror, I love them! I know what those treasures cost and that's why I don't own sometimes isn't fair...;)


  2. What a fabulous selection. I wish I were there.

  3. Stunning antiques. Truly amazing. I want some of these. The clock blow my mind.

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