Monday, March 22, 2010

Is Restoration Hardware diluting the integrity of Belgian and Industrial design?

I received the new Restoration Hardware catalog the other day.  While flipping through, I noticed how  their new designs are heavily focused on swedish design with reclaimed wood and industrial designs.

As a designer, I am never happy when a unique design aesthetic becomes mainstream.  It waters the integrity of the design down AND lowers the value of the true antiques.

Here are some photos of some very talented designers and antiques dealers that have made their name from Swedish and French design.
Houstonian Designer Pam Pierce via Cote de Texas

Houstonian Designer Pam Pierce via Cote de Texas

Lars Bolander Designs

Lars Bolander Designs
Lars Bolander Designs
Suzanne Kassler Design

Tara Shaw Antiques

Brooke and Steve Gianetti's kitchen via Velvet and  Linen Blog
(notice the industrial stools - I believe they are vintage medical chairs)

Steve Gianetti office - Giannetti Home and Velvet and Linen Blog
(He collected industrial artifacts and gears)

Industrial Light from South of Market in Atlanta - photo via Velvet and Linen

Each one of these designers and/or architects has a very special gift in finding unusual antiques and a wonderful design aesthetic.  I think that Restoration Hardware has really taken something from them and other designers who specialize in this aesthetic.

Here are the Restoration Hardware items:

Belgian linen covered french chairs

Reclaimed wood trestle table
                            Reclaimed wood baker's shelves           Industrial stool
Reproduction Gears

Reclaimed wood kitchen island

Brickmaker's Table
(Velvet & Linen blog had a giveaway of this table several months back - not a restoration hardware one)

Reproduction French Feed Sack Pillows

Belgian Linen upholstered sofa, reclaimed wood mirror, industrial tripod lights....

I wonder how these designers feel?

 Once, we sold a home that I had designed and the person who purchased it took photos of everything I had designed in order to replicate it!  She even went so far as to bring a woodworker in to measure my antique dining room table to have it built.  Now, I would have sold her the items which were all antiques but she was trying to do it on the "cheap".   (This is extremely insulting to a feels like stealing.)

I would love to know your thoughts on the Restoration Hardware reproductions.

Au revoir for now!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Does Size Matter?, I mean chairs!

I was reading a great post on Visual Vamp about a Eames rocking chair she bought for a client and the scale was really small for her tall client. Go to syndrome.htmlttp:// to read the post.

It started me thinking about the scale of antique furniture vs. the size of Americans today.   I have two 19th century english fireside chairs that have moved to many different locations in houses that we have lived in.  Here are the fireside chairs in our family room.

These chairs were originally used by the gentlemen of a manor to take a "warm" by the fire.  Now, I got to tell you that these chairs are mine and my 12-year-old twin boys favorite chairs to sit in. They are the perfect size for us.  I am only 5' 3" and the twins  are rapidly catching up to me. These chairs are ergonomically correct for a 5'3" person and are super cozy BUT certainly not for my husband (or for most grown men, for that matter.

So I did some the 1800's, the average height of a man was or 5'2" and now is 5'10".  The height of an average woman in 1940's was 5'2 1/2" and now is 5' 4 1/2 to 5'5" (all info from wikipedia).
Boy, I feel short!

Visual Vamp Blog photo

The Eames rocking chair was designed in 1948.

Just to give a visual scale of club chairs today that men love to sit in because they are  big and hugging. 
Our living room

Wow, big difference!  Maybe that is why most men do not have an appreciation for antiques chairs and couches.


Au Revoir for now.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Where For Art Thou Spring?

This is looking out the door of our home in Connecticut!

I can not wait until spring.  It has been a hard winter in the Northeast.  To anyone living in California, Arizona and Florida, you are lucky ducks!  Seems like you are the only states that escaped the snow. Last weekend, the snow was falling like crazy and the flakes were the size of plates! 

I am so anxious for spring that when we had our first sunny 45 degree day on Monday, I took my camera out for a stroll in NYC in hopes of finding a sign of spring.  Here is what I found:
See the sad, little, dried hydrangea clinging on for dear life!  Yep, that was real wishful thinking!
See the tiny black thing in the snow? That is a bird looking for spring, too!

Oh well, I guess I will have to MINDFULLY WILL spring to come!  Here are the wonderful things I LOVE about Spring!

The signs of spring life begin with the emergence of the little leaves pushing through the ground to become beautiful tulips and crocuses.

Along with the blossoming trees, don't you love Cherry Blossom and Dogwood trees?
Love the fresh, baby blades of grass that get thicker and thicker to make a soft carpet to walk on barefoot!
Spring is a celebration of new babies of all kinds!

I also find that everyone is affected by "spring fever". You just feel more alive!!! Isn't this a gorgeous photo of Sophia Loren and her niece?

I actually feel that I peel a layer of protection off  when spring comes.  I have been shrouded  in coats for so many months....

Now, I can wear pretty florals and feel like a "girly" girl.

And finally, after long months in a house or apartment, it is time to dine al fresco!!

I hope these images inspire all my readers to WILL spring to come.  What do you love about spring?

Au Revoir for now!