Favorite Furniture Websites

Outside the general catalogue sites we all have a favorite website to troll window shop for furniture and decorative accessories.  I thought I would I share some of the places I cruise to scope out new offerings of case pieces and decorative accessories ... This is not a comprehensive list, and if you have a favorite that is not here, please share!

1.  Tonic Home Tonic Home is a home furnishing online shop offering stylish home accessories, furniture, gifts and wall decor.
ART from Natural Curiosities

2.  Zinc Door -  A curated collection of furnishings and decor -- founded by the same folks who founded Layla Grace.

3.  Shop Candelabra - The focus of this store is lighting, but they also carry many of the better know casegoods brands (just like the other sites listed here).  They offer items at every price point, and I have a soft spot for them because they were founded in Charleston, SC., and I love that little city.

4.  Lala Grace - The alter ego of Zinc Door is Layla Grayce (shop known for its mix of traditional, cottage, European and coastal decor both founded by Wendy Rossiter Estes and Tiffany Grayce Harris. 

5.  Philmichael - This should be your first stop in your hunt for garden stools.

6. Circa Lighing - The retail source for Visual Comfort, this site has many of my favorite flush mount and wall sconce fixtures...

7. High Street Market - Love their accessories.

8. Etsy is a great place to find unusal and vitage finds...I always stop by the Pink Pagoda's shop to see what's new in her print and porcelain collections....



Aesthtic Movement Side table

It is the weekend, and I really should be hanging with my kids, but I have to share these lovely Aesthetic Movement tables.  I have been hunting high and low for a well priced one and I have yet to have any luck...Really, the ideal height would be around 21" rather than 30",  which is the more common height...

If you are interested, the Aesthetic Movement began in the late 1860s as an intellectual rally against the industrial revolution.  Its motto was "art for arts' sake." Designers looked to the East  for inspiration; Japanese art especially had a strong influence.  There is a great discussion on the Aesthetic Movement that you can read here.  Enjoy.



A Photo Shoot and Hotel Silver

Hôtel Silver at home designed by Meg Braff
This past week I have been up to my elbows in pillows, flowers and amazing accessories while helping out with three different photo shoots with my favorite decorator, Meg Braff.  The photographer on the shoot was the talented Josh Savage Gibson, an absolute professional who shared lots of interesting styling secrets.  For instance did you know that bed stylists actually hold bedding in place with duct tape (not us thou!)?  Or maybe you didn't even know there are people who only style beds? And lets not even talk about the neat trick with flowers and a bowl!  Ha.  Anyway, while exhausting, the shoots were exhilarating and a ton of fun.  

Among the terrific people I met was also one half of the Mother/Daughter team that runs the fabulous silver decorative accessory company -- Hôtel.    The silver was so beautiful that I had to share this wonderful source...

Hôtel silver is a collection of vintage european hotel silver re-silvered in London and sold to decorators and available for purchase at at Bergdorf Goodman on the 7th Floor in their Hotel Silver Boutique.   The pieces, originally made for the grand hotels, restaurants, cafes, railway and shipping lines of Europe, are nickel-based (for heft and durability) and silver-plated.  They look and feel fabulous in your hand -- they are like jewelry for your kitchen!  Meg Braff is not the only fan, other collectors include Martha Stewart and the Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten.  Hotel silver has also designed lines for Martha Stewart, Ralph Lauren Home and Williams Sonoma.  Check them out here...
Hôtel Silver
at home designed by Meg Braff

Hôtel Silver at home designed by Meg Braff

Hôtel Silver at home designed by Meg Braff


Sad News about Hickory Chair & Henredon

Last week I received some sad, but not shocking news. No, no one died, but after 8 years of decline, Furniture Brands International Inc., which owns companies such as Hickory Chair, Henredon, Maitland-Smith, Pearson, Drexel Heritage and Lane  (et al.)  filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

If you recall, Furniture Brands owned Lilly Pulitzer line of furniture that disappeared almost immediately after it made its appearance  -- in retrospect, a telltale sign of things to come.  The recession that we have seen over the past few years has really hit the American made home furnishings market hard -- as they scramble to compete against cheaply made furniture from overseas and fund their workers' pensions with less profit.

Don't worry if you have orders with any of Furniture Brands companies as it has obtained debtor financing to meet its obligations (that is, deliver the furniture you ordered).  Furniture Brands hopes to keep its Lane division but is selling off the rest of its assets a.k.a. Hickory Chair, Henredon, Maitland- Smith, La Barge and Pearson, etc. at auction that should result in a big bidding war. * 

Hickory Chair and Henredon/Maitland Smith make some of the nicest, well priced, upholstery and case pieces out there and this news may slow their business down further.  I have heard that the Highpoint Drexel store has closed its doors and the furniture is being sold at Furnitureland.  Yikes.  It would be a real blow to the decorating world to loose these companies and I hope they get sold and back in good fiscal health in short order.

Hickory Chair Boyd Sofa
Hickory Chair MacDonald Sofa

Henredon Karl Coffee Table (from Celerie Kemble)

Henredon Zinnia Cocktail Table (from Celerie Kemble)
* This is a bit of an oversimplified explanation, but this is it in an approximate nutshell.


Mario Buatta's New Book

Courtesy of the New York Times

In design school I had a teacher who loved Mario Buatta and used to talk about the "king of chinz" constantly -- this teacher had come to know him briefly in the gogo 1980s and to him, Mr. Buatta personified everything a refined decorator should be.   I have to agree that Mr. Buatta is extremely talented, that is why I was thrilled to see a new book celebrating his 50-year (and counting) career.  It seems everyone has a book these days, even decorators that don't decorate much!  That is why it was so shocking to realize that  this was Mr. Buatta's first and (probably only) book.  I am sure you know his work, but if you do not, he is well known for his love of chinz  as well as his mix of luxurious fabrics, well chosen antiques and divine color schemes that create a lived in luxury that is nothing short of opulent.  This anglofile decorator reinvented the English Country House style  for clients such as Henry Ford II, Barbara Walters, Malcolm Forbes, and Mariah Carey.    Check out this interesting article in the New York Times about his career...and after that head on over to amazon to purchase his book.

You can purchase his book here
Mr. Buatta's book. is apparently over 400 pages long and is like an encyclopedia if his work.

Mario Buatta

Mario Buatta

Mario Buatta

I met Mr. Buatta at a Showhouse event last year, and although I am an absolute nobody, he was a lovely, engaging individual who was full of life and funny as could be...a real gentleman.


Simple Low Profile Counter Stool, Hi-Lo

Simple counter stools  are so difficult to find, that is why I really like this versatile Vanguard counter stool with a fabulous low profile.  Customization is great:  the leg finish can be changed and, while they have their own array of fabric choices, you can also go COM (your own fabric).  Usually they run about $800 each before custom fabric.  On the low end, West Elm makes a low profile stool (about an inch or so higher), but your finish and fabric choices are very limited. Still, a nice looking substitute if it works (a pair for $578).
Vangaurd Barstool

West Elm Porter Counter stool, pair $578


Summer's swan song

I find the end of summer so sad, the end of carefree days...The kids go back to school and I am back at work.  Anyway, I adore these two coastal views -- the top one is by Joseph DeCamp the bottom is fauvist painter, André Derain, a fitting way to bid farewell to the summer.

Joseph Rodefer DeCamp (November 5, 1858 - February 11, 1923) was an American impressionist painter, painted landscapes and portraits. In 1904 he lost most of his landscape paintings in a fire. 

André Derain (June  10,1880 - September 8, 1954) was a French artist, painter, sculptor and co-founder of Fauvism with Henri Matisse.



Wheat Sconces - and the Post Elle Decor Photos


Wheat sconces flank the fireplace in Candace Bushnell (of Sex and the City fame) former (?) Manhattan Apartment via Elle Decor, photos by William Waldron

This post is two fold: First, I love these brass wheat sconces -- they are placed perfectly in Candace Bushnell's apartment, and second, check out the Elle Decor photos of Ms. Bushnell's apartment verses the ones that were listed a few years later on a real estate site.

First, those wheat sconces are great, but one caveat: you need to give them a lot of space to breath or they can look too busy and overwhelming.  They are placed perfectly in Candace Bushnell's Manhattan apartment flanking the fireplace above -- just enough room all the way around.    Below are some sources for these little treasures (the non-electrified variety)...

On a side note: What do you think of the bookshelves?  They are almost too perfect and too decorated for me, but I do love pink.

Wheat sconces  in Candace Bushnell's  Apartment via Elle Decor, photos by William Waldron

High Street Market Wheat Sconce $145

Wheat Sconce from Chesea House $220.

Second, Images from during a photo shoot and later, from a real estate site looking to sell Ms. Bushnell's apartment. Photo for Elle Decor on top, Photos for the listing agent below.  Interestingly enough, Ms. Bushnell put her apartment on the market for $2.8m in the fall of 2012. I should have called this post the before and after photo shoot because the listing pictures are very different from the Elle Decor spread.   The top two Elle Decor photos show the opposite wall from in her living room with  different seating options (settees), and sans table, floor lamp, flowers and screen. The following two photos show the post Elle Decor photos which include chesterfield sofas -- also missing those finishing layers that made the space so appealing...which do you prefer?

ED Spread is very different from the listing photos below
Candace Bushell's Apartment in RE listing website is missing those layers that made it look so fabulous in the ED spread
opposite view