Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Soaring 60's Styles are starting to emerge!

This will be our High Point wrap up. Gray scale showrooms still dominate the labyrinth of halls. Flour Sack pillows and upholstery, destination signs and calligraphy patterns saturate the city. Accessories I might have gravitated towards in shops, now fatigue me. I remember one market where it seemed like every showroom had identical majolica fish pitchers. I loved the first one I saw, yet after the 1,000th, I had to turn away.

Don't get me wrong. I have enjoyed this trend and think its useful in small doses, but after you've followed the herd for a couple of hours, you feel like the sled dog at the end of the pack. We felt like the lost Dorothy in the black and white world,  when we wandered towards color.

Hail Britannia, is a theme I'm still enjoying. I love to mix a bit of tongue in cheek throughout the house. 

We followed this candy strewn path. And found ourselves back in the devil may care 60's, on the other side of the rainbow. 

Hello Lilly Pulitzer! HF Brands and Lee Jofa brought us a soaring 60's visual break from recession griege. 

I was looking for this guy!

Over 200 pieces comprise this retro collection of mid-century lacquer and painted furniture. Granted, I don't want a house, or even an entire room in Lilly Pulitzer, but there are wonderful pieces that would work anywhere.

This shade of blue is all over town. 

We are seeing inlay and marquetry in bright 60's shades. If you think its just me, look at this chic new space in London. 

This is the new 5th Floor bar at Harvey Nichols flagship store in London. It was inspired by  Emile Gallé's iconic 1902 anemone design for the Cuvée Belle Époque Champagne bottle. 

I see the motif on the ceiling, but the pink and green is pure Palm Beach.

Paul Smith Rug

There's that shade of blue again. Bold swirly graphics are every where. 

Bold ethnic prints have been the mainstay at Quadrille. 

Vintage ethnic clothing was a fantastic new addition within the new antiques center.  This is a traditional Afghan woman's tunic, representing centuries of textile work that is sadly becoming a thing of the past, now that the Taliban has mandated the Burka!

These fabulous traditional costumes could have come from the pages of a Look Magazine trend report. I hope we are in for a light hearted, revival of all things creative, rather than a faint stab at a trend prediction. Speaking of trend predictions, I'll leave you with a humorous quote: 

"We don't like their sound. Groups of guitars are on the way out." - Decca executive, 1962, after turning down the Beatles.

Robert Indiana
Sending Love to all our wonderful readers, followers and commenters. We love each and every visit!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

TheHigh Point Social Diary/Page Six

High Point was a glitter with the luminaries of the design world, thanks to both the Market Authority and manufacturers like Hickory Chair , Baker, and Century. The High Point Market Authority had wonderful designer guest lectures, in the old Noble's (100 High Street). Eddie Ross and Jaithan Kochar gave a fantastic discussion on creating buzz with social media. I was late due to posting as usual, but ran into Eddie and Jaithan in the IHFC and had a nice visit.  I always find them incredibly generous, and Jaithan remembered my blog, and sent me a comment, which to any blogger is like a sweet kiss.

We are looking forward to shopping with them in Charlotte during the next Metrolina flea market and you can read a great review of their discussion in High Point in this wonderful post by Life in a Vente Cup. 

The irreverent and often hilarious Vincente Wolfe signs Benji's book. He gave a provocative talk about the process of his work beginning with an extremely detailed questionnaire to the client.  In this discovery process he is able to give the client a highly targeted and more effective presentation of the space in total. Working with the client's existing pieces, and discarding the items that will detract from the total vision, the installation includes every detail from linen to candles. Vincente got a big laugh when he quipped: "I love it when they cry...Its better than sex!" I was fascinated by the raw creativity of this designer, who did not complete high school and has no formal training. Often drawing inspiration from travel and other cultures, he has created a clean aesthetic that is throughly fresh and unique. 

The bloggy girls got together and were sweet enough to include little me. Steve Giannetti took this picture of us and Brooke thoughtfully posted it with links to each of our posts. Lauren Liess from Pure Style Home, Brooke Giannetti from Velvet and Linen, Traci Zeller , Maria Killam from Colour me Happy and I pose to commemorate our fun evening. The virtual world unites us, but the real people behind each post become actual friends. We shattered the fun barrier! 

Look who we picked up at the bar! Yes, friends to my right is Sir Bobby, who I have knighted. The illustrious and non technological Bobby McAlpine was surprised to have a room full of bloggers paying tribute. He has never read a blog, although his partner Greg Tankersley has assured me that he will see that he reads our last post on his remarkable contribution to architecture and influence upon the lives of so many people. If you can imagine listening in on his conversation with Steve Giannetti, Brooke's architect husband, (who is taking the picture), it was heady stuff to say the least. Memorably, Sir Bobby's  (the equivalent of Sir Paul in musical circles) comment on second homes really struck a chord with me. He said that people build their first homes with other people in mind, and then design their second home around how their family interacts and actually lives. People should build all their homes like they were second homes. I liked that. 

This is what Sir Bobby was working on when I walked up to him at the bar. He works completely by hand. How do you draw to scale with no grid, or ruler? I asked him if I could photograph his notes, and he said to be sure to get the martini glass in the picture. 

In case you didn't see our last post, we were thrilled to welcome Bunny Williams BeeLine Home to High Point.  I wish Bunny has been a part of the lecture series, as we are huge fans of her work.

Alexa Hampton is always fun for a bit of banter, and a blast of her wonderful sense of humor, keeps us on our toes. Her elegant line of furniture for Hickory Chair, and her beautiful new book: Alexa Hampton: The Language of Interior Design, will all be collector's items. Benji and I pose with Kathleen McMahan of KM interiors of Charlotte. We are new BFF's. 

We wanted to meet Mary McDonald, as we love her range of work. Her new book is on our wish list, but visit her website and look at her colorful interiors, and masterful use of bold blacks. 

Do you see what I mean? We couldn't see all the fabulous designers and bloggers who come to High Point, but it is our Superbowl! We had to look at furniture. Our website is up and running. That is a good place to see our favorite treasures. More Later! 

Monday, October 18, 2010

High Point trend prediction: Color will come back.

On the first day of market, Benji and I continued on our path through the Hamilton district. Hickory Chair's new space was our primary destination. Jay Reardon, president of the company, discussed his passion for making furniture in North Carolina, designed by the luminaries of home decor.  Alexa Hampton, Albert Sack, Thomas O'Brien, Mariette Himes Gomez, and Suzanne Kasler, create and define their aesthetic with the vocabulary of wood, stone, marble and fabric. We are posing with Kathleen of High Cotton.

This Alexa Hampton girl cave, is a bedroom any man would be happy to share. 

Or perhaps you'd rather take your morning coffee here? This is Suzanne Kasler's vignette.

Alexa Hampton continues the family tradition of classic elegance. What could be better than going to the source, to learn balance, harmony and color combinations. Alexa discussed inspirations for her line, and we couldn't wait to page through her new book: The Language of Interior Design.

Wesley Hall, who also manufacturers in North Carolina and creates the Bunny Williams line of furniture,   demonstrates this new, fearless use of color, in their own, beautifully proportioned line. It is a wonderful antidote to the miles of grey scale seen in InterHall. 

We love a bit of it, as it has been a welcome respite from the sea of mahogany, and brown stains that was the single paradigm for case goods for many years.

However, I predict that color is returning to the home. 

I am starting to crave clutter, colors and layers. I feel the warmth of generations in my friend's happy summer refuge. What do you think? Is the new old world of color returning? 

Saturday, October 16, 2010

High Point Day 0

High Point actually opens before the published date.  Permanent show rooms have already been buzzing for a couple of days, so we sallied forth to see new vendors and venues. The Hamilton district is completely rearranged with the new Hickory Chair relocation, which is a good thing since we got slightly lost, but bumped into...

Bunny Williams, new BeeLine Homes space.  We were welcomed with her Charlottesville, Virginia  charm, while she multi-tasked between clients, show room fluffs, and posing for a picture with Liz and Viive (pronounced Viva), for Dovecote Decor. I can only say, High Point is thrilled to welcome BeeLine Homes. I will say, nobody has more beautiful upholstery.  God is in the details. 

It is a treat for High Point to have Bunny and BeeLine Homes. The next grand addition, is the new Antique and Design Center at 229 Russell Avenue. There are 55, one of a kind exhibitors, with 37 shops completely new to High Point. 

A spectacular 17th century chandelier has migrated from a wonderful palazzo, finding its way to Karen Luisana's, brain child design center. Tonight was opening night, and we were dazzled. This chandelier is the exuberant, joie-de-vivre piece, dialed down to a single theme--crystals. It dances, yet stays on point. 

Marquetry and inlay are a huge trend, but this dresser to the left is unique. The design is hand cut lemon wood, inlaid in walnut, from Damascus, Syria. It is one of a kind. Think about the perfect repetitive hand cuts of the design motif on the drawers.  

High Point can be a disaster, it can be weird, but then again, it can take my breath away,  uplifting my soul with the hand of the artisan. More tomorrow!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

We are guest posting again today with Brooke Giannetti at Velvet and Linen

We've done a second guest post for Brooke Giannetti of Velvet and Linen, on navigating High Point, showing our favorite artisanal vendors, and hand touched furniture, accessories and lighting. Click Here to read our post at Velvet and Linen, and Click Here for a treat if you are visiting from Velvet and Linen. For those of you who have not met the talented inimitable, Brooke and Steve Giannetti, I recommend you visit their eclectic shop and train your eye, while perusing their enviable design portfolio.

Also take a peak at our new shop, we are just beginning our soft launch of 

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Wind Rose: 17th and 18th century European antiques at High Point

High Point has a bad rap. I completely understand. To High Point's credit, they try to organize vendors in locations by category, yet proximity is impossible to maintain with 10 million square feet of space. A city that constitutes the largest furniture market in the world is also the largest money making event in the U.S.  It is a city where there is too much to be seen, and focus requires ritalin and comfortable shoes.  The budding Ralph Laurens and Martha Stewarts of their fields, are scattered, amongst barcalounger showrooms. I want to tempt you to visit,  focusing on an outstanding resource, representative of many artisans you will find only at the High Point market. 

The Wind Rose has been my favorite antique resource for 25 years. Antiques are not associated with High Point and the Wind Rose, a trade only business,  does the best job of marrying old world craftsmanship with excellent price points. I have known Ned White and Cary Wright for 25 years, and their knowledge of provenance, and European vendors, has trained my eye and translated beauty.

The year round showroom in Greensboro has been a go-to resource for thirty years for antique dealers.   Their showroom in market square is worthy of your first stop. The showroom sells out quickly, and is constantly replenished. You can also go to the warehouse on 701 Hill St. in Greensboro. Their showroom in High Point is Space 246-250 Market Square, Telephone: 336.327.5306. From the transportation center in front of the massive IHFC (with the entrance behind you) walk left down commerce. You will see the gigantic brick market suites. You will take the first escalator to the second floor and pass through the suites into market square. To the right rear, you will find information services at podiums for all entrances. Ask directions, you are close.

It is fascinating to see the process in the restoration studios. Ned and Cary shop their vendors in Britain, France and Belgium, sending home containers of beautiful antiques and interesting accessories in need of sensitive restoration. This striking French provincial vaisselier dating from the late 17th century, is one of the  finest examples Ned and Cary have found. They date this antique through analysis of both the hinges and detail of the carving. Northern pieces are more ornate than southern provincial examples.  The wood is cherry and the marquetry and carving are exquisitely executed and balanced. 

Chris, a master of restoration surveys his work and of course the Wind Rose had to have it with their motif featured between the two top drawers. This is the buffet component of the vaisselier ( dishrack).

Mike Northuis works on the dish rack. The overhanging bonnet is to keep dust from the dishes. It is currently serving to hold the remains of Mike's lunch! The shelves are narrow, since they function to tilt the dishes forward to additionally protect them. Beyond his mastery of finish and restoration, Mike creates patterns and new finishes, for completely redesigned vintage pieces and bespoke furniture.

The Wind Rose is in great demand for custom work. The bold graphic is chippendale in origin with an art deco mood. 

This chest was designed for Cary's twin grand nephews' nursery in Manhattan. When they outgrow the changing table, the tray can be removed and repurposed as a beautiful coffee table, or a bar. Note the Trompe-l'oeil detailing in the design. 

Kevin created this finish plan for a piece Ned and Cary found in Brussels, although it is Scandinavian in origin. It was red in its most recent incarnation, with many layers beneath accumulating since 1870. While the finish looks like faux graining, the look was achieved by streaking the gray wash over the paint layers. Sanding back over the new paint adds complexity to the piece as the different color strata emerge subtly using an uneven depth of the sanding. After this stage, we watched as Mike applied a flat, oil based varnish to add more depth. If you get to the showroom early, you can see the final product. 

The Wind Rose has created hundreds of bespoke card tables suited to different locations and styles. While painted furniture is very popular right now, nobody executes it with their expertise and price point. Their accessories range from transfer ware platters, majolica plates, to gigantic copper cooking pots from the grand kitchens of large British and French estates. My clients and I have accumulated these unique and tenderly restored antiques at every single market I have ever attended, one or two lovely pieces at a time. 

Tole containers come in all styles, colors and themes. They have invented hundreds of them, over the years, but these repurposed flower buckets, hat boxes, and even grape hods are on my wish list, big time. 

Walking from room to room at The Wind Rose warehouse is like unpacking the trunks of 20 grand tours. We heartily recommend this as a first stop.

The High Point showroom transports us to a gentler time and place. These antiques and custom furniture are truly sturdy, everyday pieces. Our  next post will be a "How To" navigate High Point, mapping a path to our other, unique artisanal, hand touched goods, unique to this city. Thank You Brooke for inviting your readers to learn about the many diamonds in the rough to be discovered here.

Tess and Minnie are ready for market, I hope you are!