Posts tagged #Antiques

"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!

IMG_3181.jpg

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.

Exploring the Marché aux Puces

Have you ever imagined yourself wandering through the lengendary markets of the Marche Aux Puces de Saint Ouen, visiting sites made famous in countless movies and other media - and in PARIS???  Like so much of the City of Light, it's a pinch-me-I'm-dreaming kind of place but also a spectacular shopping experience - full of objects with provenance for real homes and businesses.  Join me on a virtual tour.....

A delightful showroom in Marché Vernaison

A delightful showroom in Marché Vernaison

We have a saying in our family, "It's good to be a regular!"  And of course I would add, "...in Paris!!!"  After a wonderful trip to Italy and France in 2014 to celebrate my 60th birthday, we returned to France last month and spent one blissful, languorous week in the sun at Hotel Le Hameau in St Paul de Vence and 3 active (!) weeks in Paris, in accomodations through Guest Apartment Services.    We traveled to Paris (and France, generally) to assess trends at Maison et Objet (see my post on that here), shop at the Marché aux Puces and also the Village St Paul in the Marais, and - certainly not least - celebrate our 30th Anniversary....! 

Ile St Louis is a perfect location - halfway between St Germain and le Marais

Ile St Louis is a perfect location - halfway between St Germain and le Marais

This year, we rented an apartment on l'ile St Louis and were found regularly at the cafe St Regis, on the northern tip (northwestern?) of the island.  It's a grand place to while away the time watching people from all over the world discover Paris for the first time and try to pick out the locals, while sipping an extremely pale rosé or a chilled Chablis.  The food there is very good, too....

We were regulars at the  Cafe St Regis  on Ile St Louis

We were regulars at the Cafe St Regis on Ile St Louis

Just a few step from  Cafe St Regis  is a pedestrian-only bridge accross the Seine leading to Ile de la Cité and Notre Dame.  There are always musicians of one genre or another performing.   Ahhhhh......

Just a few step from Cafe St Regis is a pedestrian-only bridge accross the Seine leading to Ile de la Cité and Notre Dame.  There are always musicians of one genre or another performing.   Ahhhhh......

OK, on to the Flea Market.....

Having shopped at the Marché aux Puces last year, and now again this year, I guess we're almost regulars! There is really so much to see - it's over 20 acres of dealers' showrooms/stalls so it entails a huge amount of walking, though, being Paris, there are plenty of places to take a break for a meal and wine.  But be sure to wear comfortable shoes anyway!

Here are some of my favorite images from our day this year:

Bachelier Antiquités   never disappoints

Bachelier Antiquités  never disappoints

Fun industrial chic 

Fun industrial chic 

LOVE the juxtaposition of the retro motorbike and amethyst, amber and jade green glass bottles

LOVE the juxtaposition of the retro motorbike and amethyst, amber and jade green glass bottles

I think I've found something interesting...

I think I've found something interesting...

The coolest vintage clothing and jewelry

The coolest vintage clothing and jewelry

Guess who loved this dealer's place?  I love the little Paris photo prop behind....

Guess who loved this dealer's place?  I love the little Paris photo prop behind....

Those seltzer bottles!

Those seltzer bottles!

....and these chairs

....and these chairs

Sort of what you'd expect in the way of French furniture, though the white is unusual.  (Does that wrinkled rug bother anyone else??) 

Sort of what you'd expect in the way of French furniture, though the white is unusual.  (Does that wrinkled rug bother anyone else??) 

Looks like a little village but is just one of the Marchés

Looks like a little village but is just one of the Marchés

A private restroom for vendors.....don't tell

A private restroom for vendors.....don't tell

Francois Bachelier et moi

Francois Bachelier et moi

While in Bachelier Antiquités, I found these wine box remnants and was given a super price, I guess because I bought so much there last year - or maybe it's because Bob made friends with Maman Bachelier....  Anyway, yes, it's good to be a regular!

Posted on October 15, 2015 and filed under Paris, Marche aux Puces st Ouen.

Really cool discoveries.....

I was researching some European antiques for a project recently and came across a treasure trove of absolutely fantastic resources!  It all started with the March issue of

House Beautiful

.....and the article "Blue as a Titian", featuring the exquisite work of Babs Watkins, Julie Watkins Baker and the amazing Eleanor Cummings, above.

I researched Ms Cummings (who is very difficult to find, by the way) and, in the process, came across a great Houston home decor store and wonderfully amusing blog: 

Indulge Decor

, (check it out) which, capturing my attention like solving a good mystery, led me to some mouthwatering antique sites:

Kay O'Toole Antiques

has some gorgeous, to die-for pieces like the items, above.  (Check out the

Indulge Decor

blog posting on Kay O'Toole's home!)

Tara Shaw

has fabulous things  - true antiques as well as Tara Shaw Maison, a line of reproductions that I lust after.

Then there's

Watkins Culver

, which had this cabinet published in the April issue of

Veranda :

And, also

Robuck and Co

.......and

Jacqueline Adams

Makes me want to take a trip down South to go antiquing!

Posted on May 18, 2010 and filed under Design.