Antiquing: The Neoclassic Style

In the recent couple of years I have become more interested in incorporating antiques into my designs and my home.  And with that I have noticed some trends in the styles and periods I find myself most drawn to and thought I’d share some of the knowledge I’ve picked up in my antiquing travels.

The most broad term for the types of furniture and accents I find myself buying lately is Neoclassical, which is a sort of umbrella term that includes the sub-styles of Louis XVI, Directoire and Empire styles from France and the Federal and Empire styles in America during the late 18th century.  Based on the historical, classic architecture and design of Greece and Rome– these styles favor straight, rectilinear lines and pure geometric shapes (unlike the more curvy and ornate styles of the Rococo period before it).

Side note: Look Ma! My college degree is being used right now!!!!

OK, just had to call out my use of my (rusty) art history knowledge. Anyway, I love this style, especially when mixed with modern accents to really create an  interesting and tension-filled juxtaposition. Darryl Carter is the master of this look, in my opinion:

Look how that coffee table makes all the antique pieces look so fresh and modern! LOVE!

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Live Like Jackie O (For A Price)

It was announced this week that Jackie O’s childhood home, Merrywood in McLean, Virginia, is up for sale. For a cool $49.5 million (seriously, who has that much money???)  And while that price makes this home insanely, insanely unattainable short of Jeff Bezos (P.S. Amazon is taking over the WORLD)- it’s so fun to look at, no? Even Andrew sent me the link to this as a blog suggestion!

Now THIS is an entry! If I were in charge of the redesign, I’d keep that wallpaper. And that mirror. (Barry Dixon did the home as shown)

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Shopping Vintage on Etsy (Tips & Tricks Too!)

On a whim I bought this concrete bust of David on Etsy (from this shop) without any idea where it was going to go in our new studio. He now holds a place on our front console that is getting a great linen skirt made for it.

As designers, we shop on Etsy A LOT.  Not only for newly made or custom items (as detailed in this post), but for antique and vintage items too.  Etsy has become a bit of a “normal budget” 1stDibs in that there is some high end antique dealers, but mostly its small shops with decent prices for interesting goods.  You just have to dig a bit more as it is a bit less curated, but in the best way possible! You can still find amazing deals on lots of things on Etsy, where as some other online vintage shops you cannot.

A good example of this was when we were looking for a pair of vintage x-benches for a great project below (you only get a sneak peek here as we are pitching it to magazine right now).  We found the perfect set from an expensive vendor but perused Etsy to see if anyone else had a pair we could refinish.  And we found the EXACT pair we loved for about 1/4 of the price.  We had them repainted and reupholstered and they came out perfect and added that patina we were looking for in the space.

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Our Perfect Country Weekend

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Last weekend Andrew and I took a whole weekend away. Alone. We have not been away for more than one night from Henry since he was born and it was about time.  We needed to relax and be alone and focus on us as a couple for a little bit. But I didn’t want to be TOO far from Henry quite yet, so we chose to go to a part of Connecticut I had not been to but had read and heard a lot about- Litchfield County near New York.  And we got to stay at The Mayflower Grace, which I had blogged about wanting to go to FOREVER ago (in 2009 to be exact) and is 2.5 hours from Boston and just over an hour from NYC.   The images that caught my eye and heart specifically were of the spa (above, which met every expectation).  I adore how this property mixes old New England charm and modern sensibilities.

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It’s All In the Details…

I cam across this incredible Parisian real estate/ renovation and design site A+B Kasha and fell MADLY, MADLY in love with everything I saw. Of course, as with most things, the French just do it better. And that goes for architecture too. Don’t get me wrong, a love a good, old New England Greek Revival- but the details found in the old apartment buildings in Paris are hard to beat. And I adore seeing a development company like this really celebrating all the gorgeous historical millwork, hardware and small accents that really make these spaces works of art. And seeing them empty and pristine like this just shows how much potential is there for decorating!

Get ready to SQUEAL.

Look at all that detailed crown and millwork. And the FLOOR! And windows. And the LIGHT! The light in Paris is just special.
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