Saturday, July 28, 2018


A few weeks ago, I purchased a charming early 18th c. French Regence Bibliotheque. Armoires are not selling very well, but the much rarer and more desirable bibliotheque is another matter.

I love this little guy--he's only about 78" high and about 15" deep and in very good condition for his age: he dates to c.1730-30 and appears to be all original. I do need to have a new key made. Sometime in the second half of the 20th c. he was lined in a French blue & (off) white toile which is also still in good condition. Here are a couple of detail shots

The simplicity of the shell carving and the carved outlined door panels plus the original patinated white oak make this country piece adaptable to almost any room--even a bathroom? Shoe collection? Or just books, as this was its original purpose. I love to find 18th c. pieces that have not been embellished by a 20th c. artistic impulse (ie., bleaching or other faux finishes)--there is nothing that equals the caress of a polished hard wax finish.
Well, it's off to bed--need to get Mr. Jones to the salon early tomorrow.
Blessings for the week.

Mary & Jones & Cole

Thursday, July 26, 2018


In November of last year, I purchased a pair of these very deteriorated French Art Deco Consoles. They were very sad.... 

These poor boys had lost their tops and were really scratched up......but I knew that their bones were good and  that they were macassar ebony. (One 6' x 4' sheet of macassar ebony sells for about $1200!!). And being the adventurer that I am, I knew that I (Camilo) could restore their beauty.
And here they are waiting to be picked up by the finish specialist

The consoles' surfaces will be refinished in a slightly lighter stain than the current very dark support structure. Yes! Camilo did a fantastic job. Now on to Rolando.

Mary & Jones & Cole

Sunday, July 22, 2018

BEFORE & AFTER --A little chair's journey

Lalo brought back the little 18th c. provincial French chairs yesterday......and they look so chic and of the  moment as opposed to the "bordello" red that they were dressed in at auction. Lalo can do an absolutely amazing job when he's focused (at other times--he's a little distracted. Insert unhappy face here.). He did a bang-up job on these guys....

From the outside, the chairs appeared to be very stable, but when he took off the old upholstery, the chairs needed to have the "blocks" and legs tightened/stabilized to get them ship-shape for another 200 years of life. 
Here is what these guys look like now. The putty-toned 100% raw Belgium linen has undertones of silver that bring out the deep natural patina of the frames. The original chair finish was a classic French greenish putty color which has turned into this amazing patinated suface.

Don't they look snappy? Patinated nail heads, too!! Love you--Lalo. (I'll be really sad when I use up all of this great fabric as it suits so many different style of furniture without being a boring simple linen.)
Lalo also brought back Gerry's pair of mid-century Venetian gilt "grotto" chairs. Here's what they looked like before Lalo (sorry about the poor quality of photo) (that fabric does nothing for the chairs)......

And here's what these iconic carved Gold Leafed Shell back "Grotto" chairs look like now

We had a length of very high-end Italian silk velvet in this deep blush tone. Lalo put nail heads on these guys, too--just a bit of extra pop!!
Well, it's going to be a scorching week and I'm not anticipating leaving the beach to work in LA and Pasadena....we're usually about 10 to 15 degrees cooler (sometimes more).
Jones is not doing that well--I'm taking him to a veterinary chiropractor next week. That pinched nerve is really slowing him down (but not when it comes to stealing cat food).

Sending blessing for the coming week.

(I hate mention mr. small t--but we need to get together to pray for our nation and the members of both the Senate and House to bring them to the level of patriots.)

Mary & Jones & Cole

Thursday, July 19, 2018


This large (20.5"h) Geode showed up on the Chinese altar table this week. It's truly spectacular--intense purple amethyst crystals with well-formed points. I'm not knowledgeable enough to know if the crystals are gem quality but they appear to be. It's the intensity of the purple that most calls to me.
Didn't go shopping this Thursday--enough is enough. Time to sell.
Sending blessings for the week-end--stay cool.

Mary & Jones & Cole

Monday, July 16, 2018


I have tried to stay away from politics and expressing my immense concern for our nation over the couple of months.
Today, I hope that we have reached the Tipping Point where no American citizen can remain quiet regarding mr. small t's display of disrespect for all of us and our institutions. (h)is lack of care regarding our national security and the security of all those who ascribe to the premises of democracy, personal freedom and unalienable rights is tantamount to treason.
I can only focus on the positive and the future, for if I focus on his words and actions as President of the United States, I sink.


I think that the photos will speak for themselves--there isn't a particular reason for the order of the photos, and no particular preference for the images...... Don't get me wrong, I love Hollywood Glamour and Glitz, but I love the soul of amazing old pieces more. Here are a few shots to relish (if you are like me)

                (I'm referring to the carved leg & column--old upholstery doesn't work for me)

Blessings for a cool week and summer fun.....hopefully a bit of a cool-down for LA.

Mary & Jones & Cole

Friday, July 13, 2018

IN WITH A LITTLE FUNKY.......and a little period French

In my new space things have gotten way too traditionally to honor my neighbor and bestie Angie, Bonita Interiors, who is a true master of the art of hip traditional, I'm going to mix it up a bit.
I grabbed a few photos from Angie's website: for a glimpse at Angie's artistry.
This is a pair of my favorite chairs--antique Victorian Eastlake chairs done in an energy-filled traditional stripe that takes the chairs out of traditional

Angie has taken a mid-century French style fauteuil and bleached and patinated the frame (she does all of the wood finish work) and upholstered it in a chinoiserie toile--pure traditional, but also Boho Chic.

This pair of ottomans is definitely mid-century minimal, but in Angie's hands they revert (just a bit) to 19th c. English stools with the indigo fabric and mitering. 

I love the pairing of the traditional with the mid-century sculpture and carved lamp.
Angie is not only a master of furniture and upholstery, she is an accomplished artist, working mainly with abstract paintings.

I am more of a purest, but I'm breaking through to coloring outside-the-lines a bit more.
Yesterday I bought this pair of ottomans--I had spied them on Wednesday at Preview and wondered. I thought that they were pretty interesting, but wasn't sure. By Thursday I knew what I wanted to do with them..........(yes, I know they are upside-down but that's they way they showed at auction)

When I got the benches into the Explorer (who became ill this week), I could really check them out--yippee--they were manufactured by the renown furniture maker, Karges, in the mid-1960s. I have the ivory linen in my stash--what's new is going to be a bright lime green welt and cushion piping.
Remember the pair of little footstools from last month

These little guys definitely fit into my high/low design parameters: Period stools and mid-century upholstery.
I have a period 18th c. Bergere in inventory that compares decoratively with Angie's chinoiserie fauteuil.  However, the surface of the bergere was acquired over 240 years and the toil fabric is an early 

19th century period toile.
My late 19th/early 20th c. painted Italian fauteuil is similar stylistically to Angie's fauteuil; but I toned it down with simple top-notch linen and the painted finish has a naturally acquired patina.

Unfortunately, I do not have any painterly talents (at least as far as I know). However, both Angie and I are passionate about art and paintings and the effects that these media have on culture.

18th c. FINDS
I love living with my feet in two eras---the now and 18th c. France or Spain and England has a little bit of a draw.
We bought this great 19th c. French gilt mirror--it measures at least 7.5 ft and is surmounted by a carved and gilt putti.

I think the mirror dates to c.1860-70--not what I usually buy--My eye went to this mid-century French Sunburst or Sorcier mirror. It is phenomenal--but it's been current

for a long time and the 19th c. mirror is begging to come back to the forefront.
I couldn't pass up this late 18th/early 19th c. French rosewood poudreuse or vanity.

The condition of the center panel marquetry is not good, but Roberto is a magician with projects like this.
And, of course, considering my addiction to period chairs, I couldn't pass up this pair of adorable little Louis XVI chairs dating to the late 18th c. The painted surface is heavily degraded; so I'll leave it like that. The chairs will be upholstered in a heavily textured natural Belgium linen
Two ways to distinguish period chairs from older reproductions: (1) doweled legs and (2) a center back support (both evident on these chairs).

I also check the smoothness/roughness on the unfinished wood on the underside of the seat--if it's rough or if I can feel ridges caused by hand planing, then the piece is pre-1830 (or so).

Friday, July 6, 2018


I can't think of anything more refreshing during a long hot summer day than a tall glass of not-too-sweet lemonade....unfortunately, these lemons aren't very juicy, but they look pretty. I think they are late 20th c., but don't know what country they are from--but they are big--24" high.

We could carefully take our lemonade for a cool soak in a lily pond--This rug is truly phenomenal--an Edward Fields custom rug dating to the 1970s in overall very good to excellent condition. And it's big: 12' x 20'.

After a nice cooling dip in the lily pond, we could dry off on an English cast iron faux bois bench and spend the rest of the day with a great book (no smart phones or laptops, etc.) and more lemonade.

There has been record breaking heat around the world this summer--please pray for cooling temperatures and inspire neighbors to help neighbors stay cool and hydrated.

My 4th of July celebration was the best--the entire crew came for dinner and fireworks and Jones & Cole are both taking Gabopentin for arthritis, which took the edge off their terror of fireworks just enough to keep them out of my lap. (Jones can't tolerate doggie downers)

Mary & Jones & Cole

Tuesday, July 3, 2018


G brought in these amazing mid-century chairs last week and I didn't faint in horror. I actually like them; and I really love those sexy front legs. (Note to self: I will never love avocado green) The chairs are in fantastic original condition--the crushed velvet shows some wear, but it's still acceptable (cushion insert is new). 
The profile is very cool

Plus these guys are super comfortable (although they don't fit my 5 ft. body). I'm not sure who the manufacturer/designer is, but they are well designed.
I'm itching to get my hands on the upholstery, but that's not going to happen.....I guess they match the Edward Fields rug pretty well. Why did anyone ever think that avocado green was cool?

Blessing for the week. Please let us all contribute to the effort to reunited immigrant children with their families. The stories that are slowly escaping the confines of some of the detention facilities are truly horrific. What have we become?


Sunday, July 1, 2018


The foundation is all in for the new space. Sometimes it's difficult for me to figure out where to start when pulling a new space together. It seems that if I manage to be somewhat content with the first vignette, then the rest just seems to unfold. I wanted this new space to have strong counterpoints of fine antiques offset with late 20th c. decorative furnishings. Hollywood Regency seems to be making a come back; so I brought in quite a bit of that time frame. The gold chair is going out to be upholstered in a pink or strong blush velvet. Over the gilt chair is a set of three 18th c. French Eglomise pictures that retain their original 18th c. frames.
Here are a couple additional vignettes--they are not quite as finished as the first one, but we're making progress.

The Buddhas are sitting pretty on the 10 ft. altar table--the wall still looks pretty bare--hmmmmm. I love the little Anglo/Portuguese-Indian chair acting as the protector of the mid-century green velvet chairs. The rug is pretty amazing. A couple of dealers think that it's an Edward Fields rug, but I really don't know where it's from; I just know that I love it.

The 18th c. Swedish chairs work pretty well with the bronze console with dog supports......and so it starts.
Wish me luck with this new space and I'm trying to show a different part of me.
Blessing for the week.
Prayers that all of the children that were separated from their mothers and fathers are returned within the next two weeks before the traitor-in-chief changes his mind.

Mary & Jones & Cole