May 7, 2010

Wood Artistry at High Point

Filed under: Art and Culture, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — michaeldelicio @ 2:13 PM

I went to High Point for the market show this year. I saw a lot of very nice furniture, and some very mundane furniture.

Here’s something I saw that stood out, for it’s artistry, craftsmanship, and beauty

Austin Productions Studio A is introducing the S Chair as part of the Piagetto Collection.

The designer Alexander Estrada, first and foremost an architect, shows his true love for furniture design in the exquisite, undulating lines of this piece. Like all innovators, Estrada combines age old wood craftsmanship, with the newest available technology to create his designs. Each cut on this chair is made by two CNC Laser routers.

The finishes are gorgeous. A joy to behold!!…and a very comfortable reading chair too!



On the whole, the S Chair is really a piece of functional sculpture.

One of the fun things about going to High Point, is getting to see  the absolutely newest furniture pieces, some of which are not on the market yet.

As of now, this one isn’t even on the Austin web site, but I recommend visiting the site to see the work of the other established artists featured there.



October 29, 2009

First Guest Blog: Bargains from eBay

Filed under: Furniture, Interior Design, etageres — Tags: , , — michaeldelicio @ 10:54 AM

I’m no Leona when it comes to design, style, knowledge, verve…I could go on. But I DO know a bargain when I see one. I decided to hop onto eBay and see what bargains lurk there, being as though I’m searching just now for a pair of nice chairs and some occasional tables. Searching on eBay this way can be tedious, yes, but remember: all the professionals do it too!

First, the chairs. Searching for “bergère” used to offer up some great finds but now everyone’s onto it. You can’t find a nice pair of bergères for a decent price anymore. So instead, I searched “pair chairs”. This time I got over 400 “hits”, and then – as at Loehmann’s or TJMaxx – I had to pick through the morass to find the jewels. Here’s my first cut; the prices underneath reflect the starting bids unless otherwise noted:

Danish Chairs w/o cushions - $120.00

Danish Chairs w/o cushions - $120.00

Lucite Pair - $599.00 or best offer (OBO)

Lucite Pair - $599.00 or best offer (OBO)

Leopard Occasional Pair - $599.00 or best offer (OBO)

Leopard Occasional Pair - $599.00 or best offer (OBO)

Red Velvet Pair - $599.00 or best offer (OBO)

Red Velvet Pair - $599.00 or best offer (OBO)

Wassily Pair - $980.00

Wassily Pair - $980.00

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Now for the tables. I’m looking both for single tables and pairs, and when I typed “side table” I got 4,365 hits. Too many and mostly not what I’m looking for anyway. So I refined the search by choosing only the 738 items categorized as Antiques>Furniture. Here’s what I got:

Chrome Walnut Set - $675.00 or best offer (OBO)

Chrome Walnut Set - $675.00 or best offer (OBO)

Flame Mahogany Pair - $485.00

Flame Mahogany Pair - $485.00

Biedermeier Single - $590.00

Biedermeier Single - $590.00


There are a few things to bear in mind when shopping for household bargains this way, however. The first, most obvious hurdle is that because you can’t ogle – or touch – the pieces in person you’ll have to be very careful about measuring the destination in your space against the measurements provided for the piece. I have a friend who finds cushions in her home and puts them together in the room destination to approximate the size of items she’s considering. I use newspaper. The point is that, like at Loehmann’s, just because something’s a bargain doesn’t mean you should buy it if it doesn’t fit or isn’t flattering!

While we’re on the subject of fit, another important thing to keep in mind is that when buying furniture on eBay it’s helpful to have a local discount fabric store AND an upholsterer you trust and who makes it easy. My upholsterer is someone I’d definitely have a cup of tea with any time – he’s adorable. But he’s also willing to pick up and deliver anything, and he’ll go to the fabric store on the way. His prices are exceedingly reasonable and he does great work.

The final considerations with eBay bargain hunting have to do with calculating in shipping fees and evaluating the seller. To ensure you’re really getting a bargain, you’ll need to add in the shipping charges when determining your top bid. Some sellers offer flat shipping fees; some ship only via Greyhound for station pick-up; some require the buyer to make her/his own arrangements. Whatever the terms, the fees involved can be substantial, so calculate them up front before starting to bid. Regarding ease and comfort of buying, my policy is to shop only with top-rated sellers, and to check buyer comments before bidding.

It just takes a little time and research, but you too can find great pieces for your home online. You’re helping the environment – “reduce, reuse, recycle” – and joining the ranks of proud design aficionados everywhere who are loath to pay retail.

Happy shopping!


September 10, 2009

Furniture Carved By Nature

The organic movement is developing some very deep roots, some of which are being polished up, and turned into furniture!!


Godzilla Table from Chista

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Double Tier Root Table from


Burl Bowls, from



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Grove Root Desk from


nantucket driftwood side table arteriors

Nantucket Driftwood Side Table, available through Gaita Interiors fallen branch table

Fallen Branch Table from


In other cases, fallen branches, barely modified are being bundled together and turned into tables.  Pieces of driftwood are being put to practical use, for the first time in their long…drifting… existence.

Driftwood Mirror from

Driftwood Mirror from


Tree trunks are sliced, legs added and used as is, with all of the natural ridges and bumps left just as they were when the tree stood in the forest.

hudson furniture

Hudson Furniture

landscape dyptych chista

Landscape Dyptych from Chista


I think these tables by Chista are wonderful sculptural works; The brilliance of Nature joined with human ingenuity combined to create something completely new and beautiful.

At the heart of this movement is the understanding that Nature is an artist…and you don’t mess with Mother Nature!! You just polish her up, step back, and marvel at her magnificence!

August 11, 2009

The Cool Brilliance of Chrome in Interior Design

Nickel is nice, but chrome is cooler! Nickel has a high end cache.  It’s true that in general nickel is more expensive, and has a softer  warmer glow.  But I guess I’m an all or nothing kind of designer.  If metal is going to be bright and shiny, I prefer it VERY bright , VERY shiny and VERY cool in tone.  That’s why I LOVE chrome, and of course, I’m not alone.

(below:Artimede Mercury Ceiling light fixture) lsiepj;soejfsljdflsihslkndflsiehfslhdf;lakjfpsiefhkshflsihfoih

Mercry Ceiling light  Artemide62Lincoln142836814670.PICT00196a00d83452989a69e20105360b9e38970c-800wi477875348_0856da50b2
Chrome has been the favored metal finish for furniture, ever since Marcel Breuer first fashioned the Wassily Chair in 1925, and continues to be so in the new century. The development of chrome in furniture runs parallel, and has often been reflective of  its use in the car and motorcycle industries. Above and beyond its obvious practical applications, chrome denotes speed, modernity,technology, and a forward looking optimism. Zuo modern carbon accent chairThe Zuo Chair (above) is from LIVINGINCOMFORT.COM ZUO CHAIRlkjfowifosjfosieufsknfoisehfsikhfoi;ajli

david jimenez

Design by David Jimenez

This bedroom by David Jimenez uses generous doses of chrome, and is nothing if not cheerful and optimistic!  Wouldn’t you love to wake up in a room like this?5-21-platner-tableThe Platner Table (above) is available through Design Within Reach

I love the relationship here, between the spiroscope patterns in the art, and the similar effect in the chrome table base

Image via designsponge

Image via designsponge


Here’s a question I’m often asked:  Is it OK to mix styles and periods? Let this eclectic, pretty room be the final answer to that question!  What could provide a more elegant, yet neutral link between the wide ranging looks in this room, than the classic chrome Brno Chair,(1930) by Mies Van der Rohe.

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The Brno Chair is available through Knoll Studio

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I can’t resist comparing the chairs in this airy inviting dining room to good old fashioned diner chairs like this one from Why not use diner chairs with a light neutral covering, in a slightly more formal way?  The cost is low,  the comfort is excellent, and the look would be very original.



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Here the chrome of the classic Wassily chair mixes beautifully with a warm earthy color scheme, adding a little glitter and shine.  The Wassily Chair is available through Knoll Studio Designed in the Bauhaus Studio in 1925 by Marcel Breuer, then only an apprentice, it was the very first steel tubular chair.

Here are some of my favorite interior design CHROME INSPIRATIONS:

furnitureinfashion.netEdge 5 light table lamp form Fabbianbarcelona-pavilion-tableamericanchairs_2061_3641810sam flaxmylivingspaceco.uk10198b

GET NAMES OF DESIGNERS FOR ROOMS lkdjperod;ljperjgp;ojgpojg;sldjps9upsodjgpsodugp9rutpdojfgpsdjf;sljdgpsougpsouposufpsodufpso
candice Olsen


chista-natural-wood-coffee-tables-1Designed by Candace Olsen, this room has both a modern sensibility and a warm rusticity.  This approach is embodied in the coffee table which  combines a hand hewn rugged wood top, with machine age chrome legs.  The open leg notches on the top enhance the effect of nature-plus-technology.  It’s almost sculptural, and very forward looking.  The table to the left from Chista, and the others below from Century and Hudson Furniture Inc. are very much in the same vein.  In fact, once I started looking around, I saw enough in this general style to pronounce it a trend! These furnishings display a reverence for the beauty of the natural world, combined with a use of high tech man made materials.  What a great metaphor for the future, if you’re an optimist, like me!


Century Furniture

Century Furniture

Hudson Furniture Inc.

Hudson Furniture Inc.


We have enough history with chrome interior furnishings to look back on some of it with affectionate nostalgia. Meanwhile, many early examples remain as relevant and cutting edge as ever, and far more popular and available than when they were first created…And, the market place is filled with current, new examples of beautiful chrome furniture, from the innovators of today. It will be very exciting to see what  forms in chromed metal will appear next!


Long may you run.
Long may you run.
Although these changes have come
With your chrome heart shining in the sun
Long may you run.

-Neil Young

June 5, 2009

Larchmont-Mamaroneck is a Gold Mine for Vintage Lovers!

If you love VINTAGE GOODIES and BARGAINS, you need to visit my charming Town of Mamaroneck and it’s equally charming Village of Larchmont. We have some real treasure troves here, and all are in walking distance to each other, or to the Larchmont or Mamaroneck train stations. (about 35 minutes from Grand Central) Hey, NEW YORK INTERIOR DESIGNERS, GET OVER HERE!

Cobalt Net

Lumonosov China pattern Cobalt Net, part of the June 15 auction to take place at the C&C Auction Gallery in Larchmont.

Lumonosov Set

This Lumonosov set is unbelievable! There are pieces of every description, napkin rings, soup tureens, coffee pot, tea pot etc, etc...It never ends!

Did you know we have our very own genuine auction house? C&C Auction Gallery, tucked away on North St in Larchmont, it’s an interior designer or collector’s HEAVEN! There are bargains galore on really beautiful pieces of every description, like this HUGE set of blue and white dishes to die for! If you’ve never participated in an auction, you’re in for a thrill. Over 150 pieces will be auctioned off at their upcoming event on June 15, 2009. Here are a few things that caught my eye:

OMG! The expected selling price for this classic piece is $300 to $500!!

OMG! The expected selling price for this classic piece is $300 to $500!!

Teacups and saucers

A pretty collecton of teacups and saucers.

This exquisite etagere is expected to sell for $200 to $300!!

This exquisite etagere is expected to sell for $200 to $300!!

Here in Lower Westchester and the Mamaroneck-Larchmont area, Chatsworth Used Furniture has been a well known and loved staple for generations. It’s been owned and run by the Lightbody Family, since 1924. Mamaroneck just wouldn’t be Mamaroneck without it! There are 4 huge floors to explore, so give yourself plenty of time! I’ve spent many happy hours wandering their aisles. If you’re an interior designer, you could really get stuff done here! Vintage dining sets, china, lighting, bedroom pieces,upholstery,rugs, the works! If you’re a collector of Vintage, you’ll have a blast! Just remember they’re closed on Sunday and Monday, and check for their week off in August.


OK, I need the pair of flame stitch Bergere Chairs

Oh, where to begin!

Oh, where to begin! Dishes anyone?

More stuff

I have just the spot for the blanket chest.

In Larchmont,( just a few steps from Larchmont train station), at Carol Charney, you’ll find a very different experience. In her polished and perfumed showroom, Charney’s vintage pieces are lovingly restored and displayed. Here’s a small sampling:

The vintage jewelry eye candy!

Vintage eye candy!


Vintage mirror, pristine, and ready to hang.

Designer’s Corner in Larchmont is another one of those fun places for exploring. You never know what you’ll find! For me, it’s THE place for vintage light fixtures. Other Larchmont-Mamaroneck spots have them, but Designer’s Corner has their own on site lighting restoration specialist. And the collection is expansive. Here’s a small colorful selection:


They don't make 'em like this any more!

Turquoise glass vintage chandelier

Turquoise glass vintage chandelier



I'd love to see this sconce in a powder room.


This vintage blue lamp is very on-trend.


This is just the tip of the iceberg, there’s much more! In fact, Mamaroneck – Larchmont is a little hot-spot of vintage and antique resources.

There are LOTS of great restaurants too. Let me know when you’re coming, we’ll do lunch!


March 12, 2009

Paint Something Old, Create Something Brand New or…

Filed under: Furniture, Paint — Tags: , — Leona Gaita @ 12:50 PM

Top 10 reasons you should roll up your sleeves, and paint some old dilapidated furniture.


10- The look is beautiful, versatile, original and unique.

9- You can breathe new life into something old, and save it from the land fill.

8- You can maintain a connection to the past by saving the old, instead of replacing it.

7- Used furniture stores are overflowing with inexpensive old wood furniture pieces of every size and type.

6- It’s totally customizable! You can make unmatched pieces match with a common paint color……or you can use several colors from the palette of your room and paint each of several pieces differently. For example a cluster of three small painted tables, instead of one large coffee table.

5- You can give an old piece of furniture a sleek modern update, or lend it an antiquated look, using various paint techniques.

4- It’s fun to be green by recycling old furniture, instead of buying new.

3- We’re in a recession, and it’s cheap.

2- It will make you feel good about your self.

The NUMBER ONE REASON you should paint some old furniture is:

1-It’s the weekend, and you have nothing to do!!


Some things to keep in mind:

  • Do paint an old piece of furniture. Never paint a fine antique…..know the difference!
  • Make sure to prepare the surface well . Good preparation is half the effort, and will get you the best long lasting results.
  • You can further change the appearance of a piece by changing the hardware. This is a good way to modernize an old piece, or add a bit of whimsy to the style.
  • You can choose a semi gloss paint finish for a sleek soft sheen, or you can use an eggshell paint for an almost flat finish. The shinier the finish, the sturdier.
  • It’s OK to hire your painter to paint some furniture for you. It’s still relatively inexpensive, and much easier on your manicure. I won’t tell any one!


Some fancier techniques (but still for beginners)

  • Once you’ve painted a piece, you can add a textured glaze finish. Use semi gloss paint, if you’re planning to add a glaze finish.
  • Choose a pretty wallpaper that co-ordinates with your paint color, (or matches your walls) and apply it to smooth drawer fronts of a bureau, the back panel of bookcase or a table top. You can then apply a coat or two of clear polyurethane for protection.
  • Paint two coats of a very bright color (like apple green) Once it’s thoroughly dry, add a good coat of black paint (two if necessary). Sand and distress the surface so that the bright green peaks through here and there. Finish it off with a coat of satin polyurethane.


  • Paint the drawers a contrasting color. Or the top, or both. A beige chest of drawers with light aqua drawer fronts and top is serene and classic. Trim it up with crystal knobs.


  • You can add stripes (or other imaginative motifs, like the tree design on the bureau above) by using blue painters tape to block off the background color.
  • A simple floral design can be stenciled on, using craft paints and ready made stencils
  • Be daring, you can’t do wrong!

An updated take on the Swedish style of painted furniture.

Here are some excellent books devoted to painted furniture which will offer both inspiration, and instruction:

  • Painted Furniture: Simple Techniques for Fresh NewLooks by Diane Weave
  • Painting and Decorating Furniture by Sheila McGraw
  • Painted Furniture: From Simple Scandinavian to Modern Country by Virginia Patterson


A Chinese game table , painted, which leads me to:

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