Sunday, September 27, 2015


Well, I don't know him; so I can't really really love him...........but I do know his aesthetic, his encyclopedic knowledge, his focus on living well, his fearless stance (who would buy a Chateau in France and renovate it from top to bottom---we know the French "petit fonctionaire") and the fact that he is always photographed with a smile on his face.
This morning up pops an email notice that Timothy Corrigan is featured in a OKL article.......Although I am quite a bit ticked off with OKL (and their attitude towards their vintage dealers), I just had to run to read this article.
I'm going to pull out a couple of quotes and photos from the OKL feature..........I agree with most of what Mr. Corrigan says, but with a couple of major exceptions........

"Research has shown that when you live in a symmetrical space, you feel more at ease than when you live in an asymmetrical one." Notice that the emphasis is on SYMMETRICAL.  Not once does TC mention pairs. It would be so much easier to provide symmetry by simply using pairs of chairs or tables or pairs of lamps---but the interest comes with finding just the perfect mate--one that pulls out the details and interest of its new partner. When you study this room, there is only one pair (the chairs), while there is symmetry throughout.....the wall console vs. the French Empire bouillote  table; the large marble column lamp & shade together with the marble pedestal & bust vs. the large 18th c. painting. The symmetry isn't blatant--it's very subtle and PERFECT.
The above room also demonstrates another TC precept: "The furniture has to be comfortable to sit on, but the use of scale and flow are equally important." "If you go into a room with ceilings that are 16 ft tall and the sofa or coffee table is 12" off the floor, that does not feel comfortable in the context of that space."
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU. As some of you may have noticed I love it all: period antiques and mid-century modern; rustic Americana and ethnic, a great mix--but the scale of the room needs to be appropriate to each piece. Just because a piece was designed by a famous and desirable individual, does NOT mean that it will work in your space. A finely lacquered Japanese Edo period low table will simply not work with a French 18th sofa or daybed--the scale is off and it becomes very uncomfortable to even reach the table from the sofa...the same can be said for certain mid-century pieces when combined with period furniture. But when the mid-century piece is equal in scale and quality and inspiration, to the 18th c. piece then the energy between the elements starts to sing.

TC: "I think that when you have disparate items in very different styles, there's a tension that is created. Whether you are mixing new and old, or expensive and inexpensive, or ornate and simple, I love the exchange that happens whenever you put two very different pieces together."
The breakfast room above, perfectly balanced and symmetrical demonstrates this concept of one period playing off another--take a look at the glass and metal table--2nd half of the 20th c. But the chairs derive from an early 18th c. French form. The feel of the room is French, but the painted cabinet is 20th c., with English inspiration. The light fixture is a rustic 18th c. style piece which one would not instinctively pair with the high-style glass table--yet, all of the elements of the room work to bring a sense of balance to the room.

Now I do have a couple of bones to pick with TC: being a seller of fine and unique lamps, I do not agree with his design theory: "You don't have to spend a lot of money on lamps, if you have good shades. I paid about $100 for these and then spent the money on the shades."

I, personally, would love to see a pair of period (these are my Louis XV brass candlesticks) electrified and then paired with those great silk shades!!! TC's shades probably cost close to $400 (or more) for the you make the calculations.
I'm also pretty well-know for my vintage and antique lamps and I personally think that a great lamp speaks volumes. Especially Chinese export porcelain lamps in a traditional interior and Chinese porcelain monochromes: sang de boeuf (ox blood), celadon, black, intense blue or robin's egg blue or that gorgeous Chinese chromatic yellow for modern 20th c. interiors.
(That is what inspires Christopher Spitzmiller)

I worship at TC's feet for espousing this belief: "SAVE MONEY: BUY ANTIQUES"...........Of course I'm in total agreement. TC goes on: "an antique has already depreciated. But if you buy a table from Pottery Barn (or Restoration Hardware) and you try to sell it tomorrow, it's nothing more than used furniture." Yep!! That just about says it all. THANK YOU.

BUT I DO HAVE ONE FINAL LITTLE BONE TO PICK WITH TC: He mentions shopping all over at auction houses around the US for great deals---and that is true there are great deals. But the flip side is that it is the knowledgeable person who gets the great deals--and it is always buyer beware. THAT IS WHY YOU SHOP FROM REPUTABLE ANTIQUES DEALERS (like me) WHO HAVE EARNED THEIR STRIPES.....
Example: a client came in yesterday who had requested that Angie and I find her a long mid-century credenza. She found one herself, then had to have it restored (natch). Well the restorer (she had had no prior experience with restorations) did a really bad job on the credenza which she did not notice until the piece was delivered and paid for ($800+ in restorations/delivery). She's not really happy with it (and she is a perfectionist), and she definitely did not save the money she thought she would by doing it herself.
Moral of story: I LOVE TIMOTHY CORRIGAN--but please consider patronizing reputable and knowledgeable (as in "me") antiques dealers.

Thank you to Timothy Corrigan for staying true to timeless beauty and quality while adding in your personal style and soul.




  1. Mary what a great article and discourse really on weighing these design elements!
    I also admire Tim Corrigan immensely and the design work he has accomplished; your points are very well taken and you ARE very Reputable and Know your business, period pieces and antiques!!

    The Arts by Karena

    1. Hi Karena............Thank you, dear friend. Hope that all is well. xoxo Mary