Monday, April 28, 2008


Last night I had the pleasure of speaking with Lizzie from Design Watcher. She interviewed me about the antique "biz" and how I got started. You can read it here on her blog. It was informational for me as well. Great speaking with someone much younger than myself (yes, I'm the middle-aged sect...a Baby Boomer) and getting her opinion on trends, blogs and design. Thanks Lizzie!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Picturesque Postcards

Tiny Postcard /Business Card (above) from the Old Poodle Dog Hotel & Restaurant in San Francisco, c. 1849-1900

I love collecting antique and vintage hand-tinted postcards, especially of old hotel interiors and anything French. These Victorian linen postcards are interspersed throughout my home. One of my favorites is the "morning afternoon tea" at the Hotel Oakland with its elegant hotel silver. And as many of you know, I include vintage French postcards with purchases on my website. I just love them framed or sitting amongst a collection!

Serving Afternoon Tea at the Hotel Oakland, Calif. c. 1900

Portola-Louvre Restaurant, Powell and Market Sts., San Francisco, c. 1900

Ballroom, Fairmont Hotel, San Francisco, CA c. 1900

Picturesque Costumes, Chinatown, San Francisco, CA c. 1930

All photos courtesy of Paris Hotel Boutique Journal

1960's New York Fashion Designer's Apartments

John Moore, once a designer for Marilyn Monroe, was devoted to the cool glitter of crystal. Moore's Apartment (above) is lined with mirrors, a zebra rug and a black and white glass screen painting of a jazz band. The model wears Moore's white crepe evening dress.

Recently I was thumbing through an old 1963 Life Magazine that my friend had given me featuring fashion designer's homes. I thought I'd share these terrific photos! The three top New York designers at the time were Arnold Scaasi, Bill Blass and John Moore. Take a close look or click to enlarge the photos. Does anyone see a resemblance to today's decor?

Arnold Scaasi's living room (above) was two stories high with views overlooking Central Park. A rich melange of color and texture combining blue velvet banquettes, gilded chairs shaped like hands and an enormous wolf rug. The model in the photo has a strapless dress and stole make of a thousand silk petals.

Bill Blass's bedroom (above) is small but luxurious. Carpeted with fake ocelot fabric with a real leopard rug. The stool by the bed is covered with zebra. The pillows are a mixture of tapestry and print. On the table are owl figurines which Blass collected. There is a scenic wallpaper panel used in the place of a headboard.

Blass's living room (above) is predominantly beige to match the linen-covered sofa, and is surrounded by a terrace. He was a collector of paintings and the living room was dominated by the bold color of Andre Brasilier's paintings of jockeys, a perfect foil for the Blass-designed lime and white high-waisted evening dress worn by the model.

All photos courtesy of Life Magazine, May 24, 1963

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Photo from

I just love anything displayed a grouping. Vintage paintings, trophies, hotel silver, china, the list goes on and on...I had fun taking photos (below) of some of the oil paintings on my website and grouping them all together. They make so much of a statement as a vignette. What are some of your favorite vignettes?

Photo from

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Your Opinion, Please

I am in a bit of a quandary. I have had my website, for almost 6 years now. I am contemplating changing the background wallpaper. I have inundated my friends with e-mails to select their favorite. I thought it may be fun to do a survey
so you can select your favorite. There is the current background or two versions of solid. Any comments would be appreciated. Please vote (on the right) too!

#1 Current wallpaper - Click Here
#2 Wallpaper - Click Here
#3 Wallpaper - Click Here

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Serge Roche Sconce?

The other day I posted about the work of Serge Roche and low and behold, I may have discovered a wall sconce of his! It's available here on my website and there is an identical pair on 1st Dibs. I'm hoping it's the real thing!

Friday, April 04, 2008

The Venerable Serge Roche

Since I recently posted about Maison Jansen, I must mention the amazing Serge Roche. Roche's designs are among my favorites. Around 1930, Roche designed and produced furniture/objets d' art with a "baroque" influence. He used stucco and mirrors and created over-the-top consoles, obelisks, fireplaces and decorative objects that are quite rare and highly sought after today. These photos are from the out of print book, Serge Roche by Patrick Mauries. The book is in French with English translations. Definitely worth purchasing if you can locate a copy. Pure eye candy and a good read as well. The work in the book accompanies an exhibition by the Chastel Marechal Gallery in 2006 which was the first to trace the entire career of Serge Roche. Beautiful. Insane! Also visit The House of Beauty and Culture for a recent post on Serge Roche.

Pair of Large Stools in Wood, White Stucco and Patinated Mirror Glass, From the Residence of Elsie de Wolfe, 1934

Pair of Gilt Glass Obelisks, 1935

Obelisks in Oxidized Glass, Gilt Glass and Blue Glass, 1936-1938

Palm Tree Pedestal Table in Stuccoed Wood and Oxidized Glass, c. 1934

A Variation on the "Palm Tree" Pedestal Table with Gold Plated Feet

"Medicis" Vase in Oxidized Mirror Glass, 1934. One of these vases belonged to the Princess Aga Khan

Table Center Piece, Patinated Mirror Glass and Rock Crystal

Table Center Piece in Green Gilt Glass and Rock Crystal

Pedestal Table Supported by Three Dolphins

All photos courtesy of Serge Roche, Patrick Mauries, 2006

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

The Magnificent Maison Jansen

I love Maison Jansen and thrilled to see the resurgence of Jansen decor in the vintage world. One of the 20th century’s most influential decorating house, Maison Jansen produced a client list from the Duke and Duchess of Windsor to Jackie Kennedy. “Maison Jansen designed custom furnishings for interiors that celebrated the firm’s lavish aesthetic of Bourbon historicism combined with Hollywood-style glamour.”The latest book, Jansen Furniture, available at, showcases over 600 photos of chairs, lighting, tables, sofas, and decorative objects. It’s absolutely beautiful to look through and a "must have" for the decorator/antiques enthusiast.

Amazing shell-adorned sconces (above) c. 1950-1965
Photos courtesy of Jansen Furniture

Contemporary Red Painted Cast Iron Occasional Table c. 1965-70

Pair of Empire-Style Ormolu and Cut-glass Chandeliers, c. 1965

Pair of Louis XV Style Ormolu Mounted Red Lacquer Side Cabinets, c. 1910

The books forward; “Jansen Furniture, the companion volume to Acanthus Press 2006 Jansen, presents over 600 photographs and illustrations from the archives of the celebrated firms workrooms. For the first time unique furniture designs have been identified with specific commissions and are presented here both as individual pieces and in situ, revealing the firms gift for translating the personalities and ambitions of its clients into a vocabulary of silks, mirrors and pedigreed woodwork. Jansen Furniture is an elegant design resource that affords the 21st century designer and furniture collector an inspiring look an authentic and revival furnishings designed to transform any period, modern, and eclectic interior.”
Mirrored Glass Veneered Dressing Table, c. 1940

Empire Style Parcel Gilt Gueridon c. 1965

Set of Louis XVI-Style Banquettes and Tabourets, c. 1965
All photos above courtesy of Jansen Furniture