I had been wanting a tassel for the key of this painted chest for quite a while but just couldn’t find anything that was not trite. But over the weekend, while in a small junk store, I came across this ogee-shaped, galvanized tag on a jute string. I was instantly charmed by its unexpectedness and rather formal shape while being executed in such a humble material. The $1.50 price also helped seal the deal.
Photos by Joel Woodard
I’ve always been a fan of the beautiful furniture by George Smith, the venerable English home furnishings company. I love the way their classic styles can blend into any interior, be it traditional, modern or somewhere in between. Clean-lined and simple, George Smith’s offerings are available in your own fabrics or from lines which they carry.
I am fortunate to have two Smith sofas from the Sixties in the barn, shown in the top photo, and we upholstered them in simple, unbleached, hard-wearing painter’s canvas. It’s rustic, it’s chic, it’s George Smith. Be sure to check out their on-line catalog at www.georgesmith.com.
Top photo by John Bessler for Traditional Home. Other photos from www.georgesmith.com
I have always found this armchair, named for Charles Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, also known as Napoleon III, to be especially attractive. As a genre Napoleon III furniture is pretty much a dog’s breakfast of various styles culled from a myriad of periods. But there is something about this chair that I have always really liked. Perhaps it’s the combination of simple upholstery with those black turned legs, often on casters, that’s so appealing. This type of armchair fits easily into any rustic chic environment and is comfortably at home in dressed up or more casual interiors.
The reproduction Napoleon III chair shown above, from Suzanne Allen (www.suzanneallen.com,) takes a very historic approach with tufting and nailheads but the striped fabric keeps the chair snappy and young. The blue stried velvet antique armchair shown below is from 145 Antiques (www.145antiques.com), a wonderful shop in New York. 145 has long had an excellent selection of this type of Napoleon III armchair as well as some really wonderful chaise longue versions.
For more on Napoleon III (Charles Louis Napoleon Bonaparte), take a look at www.wikipedia.com.
New York designer Sheila Bridges (www.sheilabridges.com) often uses the Napoleon III armchair in her interiors.
A grand portrait of Napoleon III by Franz Xavier Winterhalter
Top image from www.suzanneallen.com. Blue chair images from www.145antiques.com. Interior photograph from www.sheilabridges.com. Portrait by Winterhalter from Wikipedia.
I’ve loved rocking chairs my whole life. My mom ways when I was a babe in arms, she could put me in a rocking chair and I would rock myself to sleep. I still gravitate to a rocking chair if I see one in a room and although I used to have them on the porch of my little Victorian house before we did the barn, I don’t currently own one. How did that happen?
Anyway if I could pick any rocking chair, it would have to be one of the rustic chic ones made by Sam Maloof. Mr. Maloof, who died in 2009 at the age of 93, was one of America’s most renowned woodworking artists.
He was particularly famous for his organic and sensuously curved rocking chairs but he crafted other furniture pieces as well. His work is represented in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Smithsonian. People magazine once dubbed him the “Hemingway of Hardwood”, a most befitting moniker.
A modest man, Mr. Maloof’s business card said “woodworker”, but he was so much more than that. He was a gifted artist of the highest caliber. Enjoy these images from one of America’s most rustic chic artists.
Tipping Point Chaise
While shopping for Rustic Chic last week at the Architectural Digest Home Show on Pier 94, I was stopped dead in my tracks by the chaise longue shown above at Peter Mann’s booth. I have to admit I was not familiar with Peter’s work, but I looked and got hooked on at all the interesting furniture he had on display.
Not only are his pieces constructed from a variety of rich hardwoods, leathers and metals but they are also sustainable and customizable. In trying to describe Peter’s furniture, the word “reductive” kept coming to mind – with their skeletal frames cleverly masking a strong structure. But their sleek, minimalist silhouettes in no way inhibited comfort – a must-have quality to be called Rustic Chic. To learn more about this Mann called Peter, see the images below and be sure to visit his web site (www.mannpeter.com). Well done!
DC Dining Chair
LC Side Chair
Uhuru is the Swahili word for “freedom”. It’s also the name of a design/build furniture company in the Red Hook section of Brooklyn, New York, which subscribes to the Amish principles of functionality plus a healthy dose of sustainability. Their creativity and novelty on the rustic chic scale is off the charts as well.
According to their website (www.uhurudesign.com), the company’s credo “believes that each piece conceived, designed and produced should add some greater good to the world. This is evident in their creative reuse and repurpose in their creation of fine furniture.”
Avant-garde, world-saving and rustic chic . . . what more could you ask of your furniture?
Uhuru's Bilge Lounge Chair
Uhuru's Chime Mirror is produced from antique barrels
Uhuru's Stoolen Lamp
Uhuru's Standard Chair
Uhuru's Moo Chair
Uhuru's Bowen Table
Groundwork Group, a custom furniture company showing at the NYIGF this week, specializes in rustic chic tables (www.4groundwork.com). Their offerings mix and match unusual tops and bases and incorporate vintage components, reclaimed wood and antique fittings that allow a piece to be easily customized. I was especially drawn to their pieces having painted bases and very rustic chic tops fashioned from large sheets of zinc.
All images from www.4groundwork.com