Tuesday, March 31, 2020



In these days of trouble and confinement I sometimes wish I were one of "the sailors three"--Wynken, Blynken and Nod. I wish I could sail the seas in a wooden shoe casting my net into the deepest seas. But, since I can't, lets just pretend.
I grabbed these photos from Architectural Digest Online......Pick your favorite island to spend the remainder of our "social distancing" adventure.
Can you guess my first choice? Better yet, pick an island hide-away and then imagine how you would decorate your space using antiques and art to suit the island and the culture. Or imagine how a 19th c. British Colonial would choose to decorate..........
Here are some of the less-traveled islands in which to seek refuge.
This island looks pretty posh!

It's a little too structured for me. But that hasn't stopped me from imagining a few of my newer items furnishing a suite:

I'd place this great mid-century tropical bench at the foot of a luxurious bed--bedding in a Madeline Wienrib textile and abstract rug. I am positioning these two antique walnut chests on either side of the bed

I can imagine the rich patina of the walnut complementing a carved Anglo-Raj carved headboard. 
Now for a pair of lamps for the chests......

Some parrots for the walls

A faux coral chandelier....

A pair of mid-century faux bamboo barrel back chairs in a tropical green (sorry about the photo--these guys didn't make it to shop before we were shut down)

A Mastercraft Brass garden stool/drinks table between the chairs for the Mai Tai's (I'd rather have a martini/Bombay Sapphire gin, please)...

A Regency mahogany tray to serve as a very chic bar (for the Bombay Sapphire)

Placed on the sculptural root table--which could serve as a desk for a luxurious remote office

OK, now it's your turn--here are the Architectural Digest island photos--all less-traveled islands

I hope I've taken you to far-away places and provided a few minutes of day dreaming fun.

Sending blessings,
Mary & Cole

Wednesday, March 25, 2020


         This is my new attitude for the foreseeable future:

                               TAKE NO PRISONERS

We need to band together to support each other--that includes landlords, mortgage holders, credit card companies, etc. Yes, apparently The Senate is going to sign the Emergency Relief Act (or whatever it will be called....), but each of us, standing in the foot steps of our friends and neighbors, clients and service providers, will be the positive force to move us forward.

I have added an additional layer to my attitude adjustment:

If you don't support community----------

       ******** YOU WILL BE EATEN********

Sending blessings...stay safe.

Mary & Cole

***Fine Early Edo Period Tiger Scroll***
Source: 1stdibs.com

Sunday, March 22, 2020

AND HERE WE ARE........... + +CHIC.SEATS.COM Fine Chairs, Daybeds, Benches, Ottomans, etc.

Like just about everyone else, I'm home "social distancing". Praying for those that are ill and praying that this scourge will not reach the worst-case scenarios that are being put forward. Thank you to all who are heeding the mandates to stay at home and stay safe. We are all doing our best to fight off the worst-case scenarios. My heart breaks for Italy and Spain, where I lived for seven years. These are countries where people are intimately connected with one another; where hugging and kissing is the cornerstone of friendship--so missed in our more distanced culture--which is exactly what has spread the virus so effectively.
It ain't pretty in my corner---fortunately, I have a pile of books that were waiting to be opened. And I have a lot of website work to distract me from the fact that business--like for many millions--has come to a standstill. Our collective, Pasadena Antique Center, closed on Monday ahead of governmental mandates--Chairish and 1stdibs have quieted, too, but I'm hopeful that when the stock market stabilizes--online sales will pick up at bit (happy face). As for so many small business owners, the prospect of a delayed recovery is daunting. 
Of course, not knowing what exactly was roiling towards us, we bought a lot last month. In this business, we can't simply order when stock runs low; we have a "buy it when you see it" perspective.
Despite the fact that we were buying blind........I always feel blessed whenever God drops unique inventory in my lap. And we were definitely given many gifts. In my last post (and it was too long ago) I showcased the amazing large Italian ceramic hippo, the large Italian Baltic-style chandelier and the large 19th century terra cotta shi-shis (we definitely need their protection now).
I finally was able to get some good shots of a 1990s Steuben vase entitled "Equinox"--when I took this photo, I had no idea that once I had manipulated the lighting on the computer, I had captured the essence of the sculpture.

The shadow captured by the refracted light is truly spectacular. (I wish I knew what I had done when I shot the image???) It was simply luck.
We also acquired quite a few less important pieces:
This is a terrible image (taken just after they left the auction block) of a pair of "A Rudin" Napoleon III-style chairs. (A. Rudin is one of the best-of-the-best upholstered furniture companies) 

Best of all, the button tufted upholstery is in a subtle grisaille chinoiserie pattern and the upholstery is in near mint condition.
Next up: A mid-century pair of barrel-back club chairs in near-perfect rich minty green silk upholstery, which is also tufted.

We bought two long upholstered benches. The blue (53") is going out to be upholstered in an ethnic Clarence House woven fabric called "Gazelle" (after we get back to business). I think I'll have Lalo tuft this bench.

I like the 60" long mid-century bench just as it is in a Palm Beach "Lily Pulitzer"-type cotton. 

I love the little balls at the tips of the bench's legs. 
Both of these benches would make perfect end-of-the-bed pieces. The blue bench would be a great fireside piece. Hall bench? Window bench?

I bet you are wondering what I plan to do with the 110+ seating elements that we have in inventory?? I was, too!! Gerry has persisted in buying all sorts of seating elements---I haven't listed even half of the new ones (we also have a pair of period 18th c. Louis XV footstools (to be upholstered in Scalamandre "Le Tigre" silk velvet) and a sweet little Directoire footstool (to be upholstered in a deep cerulean blue silk velvet).
I am definitely a "make lemonade" type of person. As I was pondering (obsessing?), I wrote down all of my assets and talents: Gerry (Partner's great eye), Roberto (great restorer), Lalo (great upholsterer), Me (my knowledge of design, textiles, techniques and current trends), My Auction Company (inventory source), my fabric sources and plenty of inventory--  I DON'T NEED ANY MORE CHAIRS--on hand. Obviously, this popped up before my eyes.


I immediately purchased the domain name and one similar to it for good measure.
While hibernating (I have a severely compromised immune system--so I'm stuck), I'm going to design a website for CHIC.SEATS.COM. I also need a new site for mjhdesignarts.com.......we'll see what I come up with.

Thanks for letting me spout. Please send blessings for this new little venture and for my sales to open up.......we do need to keep flow open, even if its just a trickle.

Forgot to add photos of my newest pillows. 1 pair of Scalamandre "Le Tigre" and 1 pair of Scalamandre "Il Leopardo" Silk velvet pillows backed and micro-welted in a high-end fine strie silk. The custom filler is composed of 35% goose down to 65% goose feather, creating the perfect firmness for the heavy silk velvet.

It goes without saying that I'm doing AMAZING deals for the foreseeable future; so either call me (714-401-0556) or email (mjhdesignarts@gmail.com) me if anything strikes your fancy.
My most complete inventory listing is on 1stdibs.com,
but please contact me directly for more information or pricing.

Please stay safe. Blessings for the week.

Mary & Cole