ELEMENTS OF STYLE: NEUTRAL TERRITORY

OCTOBER 2, 2015

ELEMENTS OF STYLE: NEUTRAL TERRITORY

 

Dux leather sofa, Navajo weaving, Henning Norgaard Rosewood coffee table, Italian Mid-Century bentwood bookcase

I love all of the aspects of helping people create a home. However, a favorite part of the job for me is sourcing. Eventhough it can be one of the most time consuming aspects, I really enjoy finding unique pieces for my clients - and new homes and contexts in which these pieces can live. I do use contemporary items, but I also tend to mix in a fair amount of vintage or antiques - be it classic, rustic, traditional or modern, so I always have my eyes peeled for interesting things. Some weeks I feel like I could fill an entire home from one or two auctions and have to hold myself back from bidding on everything.

Rustic twig table, Cassina leather chairs, cerused oak deer hide bench, Dansk Fjord flatware

I also enjoy being creatively pushed by clients who have different styles, needs and homes, but one of my personal favorite looks is a mix of black, white and neutrals with natural woods, textures and leather. Limiting your palette can also make it easier to mix in a variety of pieces from different periods. Don't get me wrong, I love color - I just did five rooms of a home where nary a black item could be found, but I find I am personally drawn to living with a neutral base.

Folding campaign chairs, abstract sculpture, John Stuart chest of drawers, Anatolian kilim

I thought I would share some of my neutral palette auction finds here today to show some examples of what is out there. These are just the (mostly) modern finds, but rest assured, there is a ton of variety available.

Ida Ozonoff abstract painting, Jacques Adnet floor lamp, love seat, kuba cloth throw and pillow, quote lettering by A Pair of Pears

These items are typically marked up by designers and dealers to account for the time and energy in not only sourcing them, but managing the purchase, delivery and overhead, but even with mark up, auction items can still be a good value. A brand new purchase tends to lose its value by fifty percent the minute it leaves the store, but antiques often retain their value and may even become more valuable over time. If you have the time and enjoy the hunt, you can find some really good deals at auctions yourself. I take a relaxed approach and don't get too caught up in being outbid. Being in this line of work makes you realize that another fabulous piece is likely to be found just around the corner. I think you also have to be pretty ruthless with yourself (and your clients) and stick to your vision. There is no sense in getting a great deal on a fabulous piece if it doesn't work for you or your space. At the end of the day, it is less about the deals and more about finding things with integrity and character that can add some joy and soul to your home.

/JD

 

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