Posts tagged: Interior design

Featured: San Francisco Chronicle – Home & Design

By , January 27, 2012

Fair Paris richly inspired California interior designer Jane Antonacci, resulting in a gilded private retreat for an avid lover of contemporary art.  Ample window coverings dominate the soft and open room, filled with creative pieces selected by both designer and homeowner.

This is the introduction to “Unique Finds Inspire Creative Interiors,” an article by Allison Brophy Champion, a writer for the San Francisco Chronicle.  This article focuses on the unique designs of Jane Antonacci and was featured on the cover of the Home & Garden section of yesterday’s feature, as well as being featured on the online edition, SF Gate.

It is an honor to be on the front page of the Home section of the Chronicle, with a full page photo of our project and total of 3 photos in the article.  The online article only showed one photo so here is another one for your enjoyment.

To read the article in it’s entirety, please click here.

Magnificent Brazilian Sculptures from Hugo Franca

By , October 19, 2011

 

Hugo Franca : New Work

 

Recently, I was looking for a very organic wooden bowl for a client’s coffee table on the screened in porch.  I came across an amazing artist that made me forget all about wooden bowls.  I saw a couple of his sofa-style root carvings and fell in love.  I contacted the  R20th Century Gallery  in New York which represents him. It turns out that they are having a show of his work right now.

The extraordinary artist is  Hugo França  from Brazil, and his new exhibit is a series of carved Casulos, or “cocoons,” from Pequi and Imbuia coarse woody debris and roots that he scavenges from the felled trees of the  Brazilian forest.

Hugo França’s sculptures showcase his deep connection with the organic, fluid shapes of the tree. This admiration undoubtedly stems from the fifteen years he spent in the jungles of northeastern Brazil, where he learned woodworking techniques from the indigenous people of Bahia.

 

Casulo Cariru" in pequi wood.
“Casulo Cariru” in pequi wood.
"Casulo Cariru" in pequi wood.
The inside view of “Casulo Cariru” in pequi wood.

 

“For me, it is an exercise of directing my eye,” França says, “trying to recognize and work with the forms already outlined there, and finding a functionality in those forms.”

His work reveals a powerful appreciation for the cycles of nature, by uniting the natural elements of the tree with his creative process, and presenting it back into the human environment. Take a look at this video of the progression from tree to organic sculpture.

 

 

 

França’s pieces encompass the observer, forcing us to experience the aliveness and natural energy of Brazil’s exquisite natural resource. França brings the viewer inside these intriguing massive “cocoons” so we may experience directly the textures and natural designs of the tree, to “create an organic space of retreat and contemplation.”

 

 

“The temperature is different, the sounds are different, the smell and texture are unique,” says França. “This direct contact generates empathy and encourages a bonding experience between man and nature.”

 

 

 

If you are in New York,  visit his exhibition where it will be featured from October 5th – November 5th.  Until then, I will curb my craving with these pictures of his striking furniture. I can just imagine the gorgeous natural colors and contours of the wood bringing warmth and texture into a scenic lakeside cabin.

And more good news about Franca, he still makes very large (36″ across)  and wonderful wooden bowls.

 

Book Review: “Today” – Alberto Pinto

By , March 8, 2011

A  recently published design book  “Alberto Pinto Today” is one of the season’s best.   This is the latest book by the renown designer from Paris.  His interior architecture and his graphic backgrounds contribute a masculine style characteristic to his work that is “at once classic and modern”.  He was born in Morocco and the Middle Eastern aesthetic touches his designs as well.

Interplay of the curving handrail line with the severe sawtooth stairs

Isn’t this striking?  The strength and the simplicity work to dramatic effect.

Hotellerie de Plaisance, Saint-Emilion, France

Another place on my list where I’d like to spend a weekend imbibing in the beauty of it all!

Detail of embroidered curtains and custom furniture

It’s all in the details, isn’t it?

Classically Modern details

I love this look, clean and strong.  Right now, I am working on a mantle design that is inspired by this photo.  I like it that much.

Perforated suede leather panels in a bedroom and abstract art

Elegant, comfortable, unique and chic.  4 favorite design descriptives.

A graphic flourish of black squares on a white gold ground

These strong lines in combination with very thin lines and added with the bronze ellipses work very well together.

And this, my friend, is why Alberto Pinto is my new, not-so-secret,  mad crush.  I’ve warned my husband that, for right now,  I am in love with another man (and his amazing designs!).

Amazing Deals on 20th Century Decorative Arts

By , February 22, 2011

At Bonhams, our local favorite auction house, a good sale is coming up next week for 20th century pieces.

Click here for the auction & details.

Here is a taste for you:

Here is a pair of Art Deco style walnut pedestals,  executed in a classical fluted column shape of book-matched walnut.   The highly polished finish would freshen up your foyer, wouldn’t it?  The hammer price is listed at $500-$700.  The pair looks great in the catalog.  Please remember to go to the preview days to see a piece you are considering buying at auction to check the condition.  But even if they need a bit of work, they qualify as a terrific Design Value.

Since green is the fashion color of the year, check out this beautiful Russian style malachite box, formed to look like a book.  Put this on your coffee table in your all-beige room,  and your  room will become instantly chic!  This is listed with a hammer price of  $800-1000, so go for it!

If you haven’t purchased at auction before, check out my previous post  (“Designers Secret Source for Great Values”) to get to know all the secret steps.

Here is a fun little piece for all the DIY people out there:

Isn’t this piece charming?  I can see it in a California bungalow with some new bright and lovely floral prints.  With a hammer price of only $300, you can believe it is going to need some repairs, but even so, what fun this piece could be!

Design Value of the Week

By , January 12, 2010

As predicted, I’ve already received several auction catalogues this week.  Here is an item from  Bonham’s London “Period Design sale that happened earlier this week.    

                 

Lot No: 336  A 19th century Anglo-Indian teak, bone inlaid and brass travelling writing / dressing box, the hinged lid enclosing a fitted interior including a mirror and hidden secret drawers, distressed(18.5″ wide, 9.5″ deep, 6.5″ high). 

This is listed at $750-1200, with fees.  Remember what we talked about in the last post? “The hammer price is not the price you pay”.   There are always those pesky fees added. And don’t forget customs and shipping.   Guessing that the New Year auction prices will be as soft generally soft as last years,   my estimate for it would have been at the low end of the scale.   Anglo-Indian items are still very hot, but it just sold for $550,including fees.   Still, in a lovely retail environment, the cost would be around $3500.  See what I mean about great values?

Domestically, Bonhams has an item in the New York “American Furniture” sale coming up in late January that I am dreaming about using  to create an  amazing guestroom.                                                                                                                                                                                                          

                                            

                                                      

Lot #  1213:      An American Aesthetic inlaid and ebonized cherrywood bedroom suite
Herter Brothers, New York  circa 1880

OMG!  This is exceptional.  Herter Brothers pieces rarely come on the market.  Their work is in major collections in Europe and the US, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Imagine it in a bright white bedroom, painted white floors, with bedding and curtains of the finest, pure white, 100%  Italian linen.  A pure white, Barcelona leather chair and ottoman would be by the fireplace and white lacquered nightstands would complete the set.  The final touch would be overscaled heavily carved giltwood 18th c.  mirror over the fireplace, and, while we are dreaming,  a set of Franz Kline  paintings. A serene and stunning heaven would be the outcome. 

Given the estimated hammer price of $20-30,000,  this suite would be at least $95,000 in a gallery setting.  If this goes at the low end and you complete the design, you’d have a very chic, million dollar look for a small fraction of that.  At least you could make a down payment on the Franz Kline with the money you saved at auction!

If you need a single room done, I’d suggest you keep an open mind and start watching the auctions.  You’ll come up with something you never would have dreamed of and feel very proud of yourself for your smart thriftiness and your contribution to sustainable design!

Designers Secret Source for Great Values:

By , January 7, 2010

As a professional designer who is hired to design and  furnish an entire estate, top to bottom, draperies to dishes, I have to have a very wide variety of sources to be able to come up with that perfect item to fit that perfect location in that perfect home.  So I am always on the lookout for new and sustainable sources to add to my mental menu of great resources. After so many years in the industry, my mental menu is a very busy place.

There is a place that is very often filled with fabulous pieces at amazing prices, available immediately.  This place took me years and years to master, as it was initially intimidating.  I needed to know exactly what I wanted, be able to recognize the good deal, make sure my client would be happy with it (often sight unseen!), recognize if it was real or fake,  calculate what the price should be,  estimate what repairs might be required and make a very quick decision.  What obscure resource is this??

AUCTIONS!

Auctions are frequented primarily by dealers, designers and private collectors. All those great things in your favorite antique store?  Probably came primarily from auctions.   Local, national and international auctions are available to everyone today.  But unless you are an expert, do not buy that item in the Milan auction sight unseen!

As your blogger, slavishly dedicated to providing expertise in every area of interior design, I will periodically be bringing you information on special pieces that will be available and keep you informed of the upcoming auctions.  Over the course of small posts, you can learn to take advantage of this sustainable resource, too.

But first, a few rules to remember:

1.  Know the source.   The auctions I follow are with auction houses that have, over the years, been consistently reliable with their descriptions, authentications, and valuations.  There are many different houses out there.  Do not be fooled.  Check in to the process they use to determine value and do lots of research before you raise that paddle!

2. Don’t be fooled.  Ask your private, trusted,  expert advisor to evaluate a piece for authentication, repairs required, etc so you know what you are buying. This could be your interior designer, antiques dealer, rug dealer for antique carpets, furniture repair expert, etc.

3.  Understand the terminology.  Attend auctions when you are not planning to bid to get a feel for how they work.

4.  Understand all the fees that will be levied on the piece.   Especially the “Hammer price”.  That is the last price that is bid before the auctioneer says “sold”.  That is NOT the price you will be paying.  Fees will be added for the “house”, the expertise provided, taxes if applicable, storage if required, etc.  Know the terms and conditions.  If your bid is accepted, you are bound to those terms.

5.  Do your Homework.   Discover everything you can about the period, the artist, the production house, etc.  so that you really know what you are buying.

6.  Set your maximum Hammer Price and stick to it.  Sometimes the excitement of the auction gets to a buyer and they keep bidding, especially if they are trying to beat that annoying bidder up in front who already bought everything!

With all of that out of the way, I will bring you items from the auctions I follow so that you can follow them too.

The first sale of the year here in the United States for Bonhams & Butterfields (www.bonhams.com), our top local auction house, is the Sunset Estate Auction in Los Angeles.  This particular auction is for their least expensive items.  A couple of items worth considering are:

A sterling covered box in the form of an apple Tiffany & Co., London, 1991  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The expected Hammer price is listed at $600-800.  So if it sells for that, what would your price be?   Between $732-1176, plus tax, depending on the hammer price, taxes in the state purchased, expert’s fee, etc.  My guess on what this will go for?  Around $550, all inclusive.  My guess is based on my accumulated knowledge from years of auction shopping, plus a sense of today’s market.

But I could be wrong!  Most auctions are now international, with bidders online, on the phone, etc.  You never know who you are bidding against, because they are often not in the room.  Part of the fun of the auction is that you never know what it is going to go for.  When the bid is accepted, I often feel like I WON something for my client!  It is thrilling, because I KNOW I got a good deal and my client will think I am brilliant.

Check out these chairs:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 A set of six Art Deco mahogany and suede upholstered dining chairs

These look very stylish and the finish looks like it was good at one time.  If these were available new and perfect, the set would run about $9000 and up. But with a hammer price of $500-700 for all six, they probably are pretty beat up.  If they are really “Art Deco” they may be diminutive in scale.   If they are Art Deco-Style  from the recent past, they will be more of a size we are use to.  If you are planning to use these regularly, you definitely want to have your advisor sit in them and examine them.  They probably need a lot of repair.  On the other hand, they cost next t0 nothing here, so go ahead and buy them for your daughter’s first apartment and have your carpenter slap some glue on them.  She will be thrilled and her friends will think she is very sophisticated. And you got a steal!

My favorite property in this auction is this pair of lamps:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A pair of Art Deco Palisandre lamps: $1,500 – 2,000. 

Now these look interesting and like they are in good condition.  Palisandre wood was usually from Brazil rainforests, so isn’t a good idea to specify today.  But finding it in a vintage piece, at a great price for a pair of 50” high lamps with shades  really is a good deal.  These would look great either as floor/reading lamps at the end of a sofa, of in a grand entry  table with high ceilings.  If we could find these new, they would run about $8500 for the pair. My guess on what these would cost you from your advisor?  About $1700.   Are you convinced about the value?

Since I read the catalogues regularly and they seem to arrive in the mail every week, I will be bringing you highlights of the auctions.  If you are able to make quick decisions and have an advisor that you can trust, you can get a tremendous value at auction.  Stayed tuned……

Art Underfoot

By , September 8, 2009

I am interested in products that are created using new technologies but that still have strong ties to the traditional origins of the craft. I love it when the product has a contemporary edge, yet still retains the warmth and refined sensibility of the classics. Looking at the latest Italian Architectural Digest, I noticed an unusual hardwood floor inlaid with marble.  Continue reading 'Art Underfoot'»

The Beauty and Wonder of Rainforest Baskets

By , August 18, 2009

I first read about Wounaan handmade Hösig Di™ basketry from Panama, in ARTNews. I was immediately taken with the beauty and geometry of their graphic patterns. I had been looking for something unique for a project I was finishing and I felt that the baskets could be perfect. Overall, the home was very traditional but the media room was to be a more contemporary space. I had the opportunity to bring in something more rustic and handmade. We had already done the entire estate with refined decorative arts and had used almost every type of beautiful accessory imaginable.  I was searching for something truly unique that worked well with the color scheme of red, olive and pale gold. Continue reading 'The Beauty and Wonder of Rainforest Baskets'»

JAID in Apartment Therapy!

By , July 27, 2009

Apartment Therapy recently did a piece on California Home and Design’s May 2009, Reader’s Choice Dining Room Contest. We were excited to make their list of top favorites! If you would like the opportunity to vote in any upcoming competitions that we are in, simply drop us a line and we will ensure that you stay updated on our latest happenings.

All the best to you,
Jane

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Jane on Decorati.com

By , June 30, 2009

I’m so pleased to share with you our newest press coverage at Decorati.com, the #1 decorating blog in the country. The site offers a wealth of great information, such as “shop this picture,” where one click lets you shop the online stores that carry all of the items in the photographed room. When I am looking for a special item at a low price I check out the sample sale where I often get lucky enough to find it! Continue reading 'Jane on Decorati.com'»

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