"Haute Brocante" Style at Home

I adore interiors that have been lovingly and beautifully gathered, added to, edited, and maintained over the years.  There’s a sense of the space almost taking on a life of its own.  It’s possible to create an environment from scratch that appears to have been collected over time, but it takes a great deal of talent and knowledge - not to mention the likelihood of costing a lot of money!  It’s wonderful to have decades to source the perfect antiques, art, or new, hip furniture and accessories - but what if you want it all done NOW? Fare spese!  (Italian for "go shopping")

An enormous part of my job as an interior designer consists of shopping.  Fun, huh?  But it’s shopping with purpose.  I love what I call “Haute Brocante” (aka The Mix: Price (High/Low), Age (Old/New), Style (ie: mixing Louis 16th/Industrial). Brocante means "Flea Market" and haute means "high" (as in Haute Couture = High Fashion), so it's "Elevated Flea Market" style.  It takes a LOT of shopping and amazing vendors to successfully - and quickly - create an interior space (or garden) that evokes a collected-over-time aesthetic.  Haute Brocante to the rescue!

 This room's decor WAS collected over time: inherited pieces, antiques added over the years, antique reproductions that are new, Paris flea market finds.

This room's decor WAS collected over time: inherited pieces, antiques added over the years, antique reproductions that are new, Paris flea market finds.

A few months before we moved to Italy, a new client called me and asked for help creating a Tuscan atmosphere in her 1928 Seattle home.  She and her husband had just married in a blissful setting near Florence, and she wanted her home's ambience to remind her of the joyful experience on a daily basis.  We started from scratch and this is the 80% finished result.  Unfortunately, I moved to Italy before it was 100% complete and before I could have professional photos taken….  Please take a look at my website for more photos.

 We sourced from various vendors for everything!  Note oriental rug atop sisal rug; a great way to make the rug larger.   

We sourced from various vendors for everything!  Note oriental rug atop sisal rug; a great way to make the rug larger.   

Since I’ve been living in Florence for a year, I’ve had the opportunity to shop some local flea markets as well as small negozi (shops) and, also, the monthly antiques market in Arrezo.  Take a look at some of the amazing items I’ve discovered since living in Florence!

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This spring I found this wonderfully Florentine chandelier from the 1950's at a swap meet - right across the street from our apartment. 

 Here it is after being repaired and installed.

Here it is after being repaired and installed.

 At our local flea market, adjacent to Mercato Sant'Ambrogio

At our local flea market, adjacent to Mercato Sant'Ambrogio

 Sant'Ambrogio

Sant'Ambrogio

 At the monthly big flea market in Sant'Ambrogio (the dog is not a found object - ha!)

At the monthly big flea market in Sant'Ambrogio (the dog is not a found object - ha!)

 At the monthly Sant'Ambrogio flea market

At the monthly Sant'Ambrogio flea market

 We found this at a shop owned by one of the Sant'Ambrogio flea market vendors....

We found this at a shop owned by one of the Sant'Ambrogio flea market vendors....

 ...and here it is cleaned up and with a bit of decorative painting by moi!

...and here it is cleaned up and with a bit of decorative painting by moi!

 At the monthly antiques market in Arezzo

At the monthly antiques market in Arezzo

 Cabinet hardware and visual art on a side street in Arezzo

Cabinet hardware and visual art on a side street in Arezzo

 The monthly market in Arezzo

The monthly market in Arezzo

.....and then, seen in a store front in Florence, south of the Arno...

 Near Santo Spirito

Near Santo Spirito

It's so satisfying to discover and then give another life to items from earlier periods!  If you'd like me to look for something, just ask! 

Posted on August 6, 2018 and filed under Design.