Furniture & Objects of Art
MIX INTERPRETIVE NEW WORK WITH REISSUED AND ANTIQUE PIECES.
Today’s furnishings interpretations are the heart of the ongoing revival, with influences from Native American to Jugendstil.
m ANY PEOPLE AREuncomfortable buying furniture—and not only because of the cost. Here is some basic advice: (1) Embrace what you love and can live with long-term. (2) Buy good furniture, even if it means living with folding chairs and patio wicker while you save to buy one high-quality piece a year. Later on, you can move the wicker from the living room to the porch. (3) Take cues from the age and style of the house.
You may not want to live in a museum, but furnishing in sync with the date and design vocabulary of the house is a shortcut to non-faddish rooms that “look right.” Your house is giving you clues, so you might as well start there.
A period classic—a Morris chair, a spindle daybed— can anchor a room. Do mix in antiques to avoid the boring, matched-set look of some contemporary interiors. Antiques add history and personality to a room, but many times they are not practical—as with chairs that are used every day, for example. “The majority of collectors we know
are happy buying new objects to put alongside their antiques,” says Aminy Audi, president and owner of Stickley, a company of the original Craftsman period, which the Audis revived. Reproductions are great for hardworking rooms and when you need a full set. Seek out specialty suppliers and artisans who do reproduction or adapted styles.
Arts & Crafts-period homes are forgiving of an eclectic approach. Right from the beginning, the house probably mixed Craftsman and Colonial Revival motifs in woodwork, and certainly in the furniture. Sturdy colonial-era classics (like benches and Windsor chairs), rustic furnishings, wicker, iron, and more typical Arts & Crafts styles work together. Rectilinear Stickley-type furniture also marries well with Modern furniture.
To get an integrated, usable room at reasonable cost, many people mix good-enough pieces with reissues of classic designs, future heirlooms, and antiques.
The oak sideboard reproduces a Gustav Stickley design of 1902; from today’s Stickley. below
An original Gustav Stickley Morris chair in fumed oak at Craftsman Farms, Stickley’s home in New Jersey. A Rohlfsinspired tabouret holds a jardinière with a lily-of-the-valley motif; both represent new work available at Nest & Co. right top