{A Few Bold Pretties} Interior Inspiration: 1stdibs Wishlist and Indiscreet (1958)

14/03/2011 § 5 Comments

I have been finding interior inspiration in all sorts of places lately.  I am loving dramatic lines, bright colors, luxurious fabrics and exotic hides, cherie, and I have been thinking about one of my favorite films, Indiscreet (1958), starring Ingrid Bergman and Cary Grant.  Indiscreet is a lovely film about a famous actress (Bergman) who has given up on the hope of finding and marrying her true love.  She then completely falls in love with a suave American business man (Grant) who leads her to believe he is married, when he in fact is not.  The truth is discovered and hi-jinks result.  It’s a completely lovely film, but the reason my bold interior inclinations have reminded me of Indiscreet is because of the gorgeous living room of Bergman’s London apartment.

Completely in love with the mixing of modern art, bright colors, classic shapes and obvious luxury.  You can see a wonderful little clip of Grant and Bergman in white tie attire engage in a bit of witty repartee in the darling living room here. (Bergman’s best quote: “I like a man with a glass in his hand, it’s becoming.“)

I’ll also include the following clip, not only because you can see a good deal of the living room, but mainly for the following quotes:  “Oh, shut up!” “How dare he make love to me and not be a married man!” And of course, “Daaaamn!”

My mind is being drawn on a colorful, glamorous safari and I’ve got a bad case of spring fever, most definitely!  I think some bold pretty things are essential for le maison, and I have been stalking the treasures on 1stdibs for ideas.  Yes, the beauties below are definitely spendy — hence I’ve placed them in my inspiration files and not on my shopping list — but I’ve also included some less expensive “real life alternatives” alongside my finds below to help kick start your creative flow.

All images via 1stdibs

Vintage dream: Hollywood Regency chairs in gorgeous striped silk

Real life alternative: Reupholster a Craigslist find

Vintage dream: Bronze sea horse from the front of a Venetian gondola

Real life alternative: Cast iron horse bust


Vintage dream: Billy Haines faux-bamboo mirror

Real life alternative: Vintage faux-bamboo mirror

Vintage dream: Zebra ottoman

Real life alternative: Zebra stenciled cowhide rug

Vintage dream: Pineapple lamps

Real life alternative: Shiny chrome lamp base


Vintage dream: Art Deco clock

Real life alternative: Art Deco clock

Vintage dream: Antique crocodile trunk

Real life alternative: Vintage steamer trunk

Vintage dream: 19th century Chinese porcelain vases

Real life alternative: Hand painted Chinese vase

Do you have a few bold pretties?  Where did you find yours?

Park Avenue Armory: 2011 Winter Antiques Show {also, Inspired: Liz O’Brien}

26/01/2011 § Leave a comment

Park Avenue Armory

I am hunting for interior decor inspiration!  I have pledged to entirely redo my apartment and last weekend, my inspiration quest took me to the 2011 Winter Antiques Show at the Park Avenue Armory on the Upper East Side.  This year, the show is in its 57th year and has 75 exhibitors offering items that hail from antiquity through the 1960s.  Not a flea market with picked-over bins of well-loved bric-a-brac (my, that was quite a few hyphens), the show is a treasure trove of museum quality pieces for only the deepest of pockets.

Aside from the antiques, I was interested in seeing the stately Armory itself.  Not very far from where I used to live on the Upper East Side, I have always wondered what the building might look like on the inside.  Completed in 1881, the Armory is notable for both the construction and size of its soaring hall and its collection of 19th century interiors — but unfortunately the show took up the majority of the hall and the interiors were not on display.  Also unfortunate (but understandable) was the “no photography” policy, but luckily most of the exhibitors can be found online.

I had an excellent time viewing the antique arms and armor exhibited by UK dealer Peter Finer — question: does anyone know why most daggers are left handed? — and the New England and marine antiques of Hyannis Port dealer Hyland Granby Antiques.  There were oil paintings and ornate silver tea sets and eyes from an ancient Egyptian relief and a petrified walrus skull, complete with huge ivory tusks.  I watched darling older ladies try on magnificent jewels as they murmured all of the fabulous places they could wear them.  All interesting and wonderful to look at, but I was not finding the inspiration to feather my own nest.

Until I spied a perfect pair of table lamps…

Image via Liz O’Brien

Gleaming silver in a happy, modern-looking boutique, I knew I had finally found something to love.  These silver palm trees were created in the 1930s – art deco? perhaps Hollywood regency? – and they are fabulous!  I had Liz O’Brien to thank for my decor epiphany.  Her gallery, on the Upper East Side, focuses on design from the 1940s through the 1970s, as evidenced by all of the beautiful pieces she had available – but the lamps stole my heart!  Don’t they look like something Greta Garbo would have?  Can’t you just see her disappearing into the darkness as she turns them off in the dusky evening light?  I’m not confident I will be able to exactly replicate them, but I am definitely feeling more inspired!  If you are able to stop by Liz O’Brien’s exhibit at the Winter Antiques Show, or her gallery on the Upper East Side, you definitely must!  Especially if you are as in love with these darling lamps as I!

Liz O’Brien
306 East 61st Street, between 1st and 2nd Avenues
New York, NY 10065

If you are too far away from New York, she also has a virtual shop on 1stdibs.  Find it here.

Vintage Inspiration: 1stdibs Wishlist

23/01/2011 § Leave a comment

A bit of vintage inspiration for our frosty weekend!  I’m gearing up to visit the Winter Antiques Show at the Park Avenue Armory, so I did a little (a lot) of perusing of the virtual offerings on 1stdibs. Not your average corner flea market, both the show and 1stdibs showcase items so amazing and extravagant that I can only use them for inspiration purposes at the present time.  But a girl can dream of the future.  If only I could make all these beautiful things mine!

All images courtesy of 1stdibs.com
Not a smoker, but I am obsessed lately with cigarette holders!
Here is a beautiful one from the 1920s by Cartier.
This spring I am obsessed with elegant statement brooches.
A seahorse in malachite with gold and diamonds? J’adore!
This beautifully ornate (and rare) Gripoix Chanel pendant brooch,
designed by Coco herself, dates to the 1920s.
Currently on the hunt for objet d’art perfect for a ladylike desk.
This glamourous 14K Dunhill desk lighter is parfait!
(Perhaps we should discuss my growing interest in smoking accessories,
considering how much I loathe the habit?)
Eternally lusting after LV to put my own initials on,
this Courier Steamer from the 19th century is gorgeous.
I love that it is in Damier, and not Monogram.  Love the crown.
Spring into spring in a delightful frock by Christian Dior, dating from the 1960s.
Until this wretched weather lets up, I would wear this around the clock at home.
Fashion as therapy for seasonal depression!  J’adore!
I need more Foo Dogs in my life. I want to make Dorothy Draper proud.
I am on a mission to find some doggies like these in Chinatown...

I was especially excited about the news this week that 1stdibs will be setting up shop at the New York Design Center on Feb 1!  Promise to follow up with a report of the beautiful things at the show this weekend!

Bises, M.

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