Wednesday, March 17, 2010
High Point, North Carolina is an elusive, and surreal locale. It is loaded with trash and treasure, and has endured some thorny transitions. The recent painful shift of furniture manufacturing to Asia, was cataclysmic. Yes, prices declined, but scale, finish, and style, were “lost in translation” for many years. Some of the savvier boutique companies, started exporting containers from the antique fairs in Europe, along with renowned restoration experts, guiding production processes. To our complete elation, new collections emerged completely indistinguishable from their antique inspirations.
Elm, marble and brass bistro serving cabinet, re-produced from a cafe in Paris
Wonderful, quirky pieces from the Paris Flea Market were identical, down to the paint drips, and without the terrible excesses of “over distressing” that ironically made furniture appear artificial.
CFC Reclaimed Lumber Spanish Console
Today, a good reproduction looks old because smart designers have started using old wood, water based finishes, and traditional scaling.
Barclay Butera Bel Air Bench
The giant “McMansion,” baronial pieces that are simply offensive, are auspiciously fading. We have observed, over the years, that upholstery trends mimic footwear design. Sofas and chairs have morphed from clunky Steve Madden’s to sleek Manolo Blahnik’s.
Alex Papachristidis and Milly de Cabrol with screens by Hudson Furniture and Arteriors Home, from April 2010 Elle DECOR
Mid-century modern aesthetic is everywhere, and makes wonderful eclectic accents. The most important paradigm shift traces its origins from the conventional downside-up model. Boutique designers became almost curatorial in their devotion to authenticity, with double-digit sales increases in the face of drastic losses experienced by the big, brand name manufacturers.
From Carlton Varney’s Houses in my Heart, Joan Crawford’s New York living room
The old guard’s motto of: “Never underestimate the bad taste of the American public,” has been trumped by the value that: good-taste is not subjective. It exists as one end of the spectrum within every genre, and the public is voting with their wallets!