July 14, 2012 |
To Ben McBrien, carpentry gigs used to be something to supplement a professional surfing career. After graduating from high school, the Manahawkin native didn't go to college. He went to Hawaii. "I moved backward," he says, "through the typical path of a designer. " McBrien learned the mechanics of carpentry from his father, a former home-builder. "I've been making stuff since I was old enough to carry wood," he says. On a surfing trip to California, he tagged along to estate sales with a friend obsessed with vintage modern.
June 9, 2012 |
In the online catalog for its "town and country" sale Saturday, Kamelot Auctions candidly describes one of the 800 lots to be offered as "bizarre. " While not going to that extreme in their sales descriptions, at least three other auction houses will offer items over the next few days that could be called "distinctive. " Kamelot's explicitly bizarre item is "an antique horn-and-brass dresser, smoke or pen stand," about 11 by 13 inches, with what appears to be a small mirror hung between the two horns.
March 25, 2012 |
Here's something I do that might be crazy: I rearrange the furniture. Often. Blind people don't stand a chance in my house. And most of the time, neither do I. Rearranging the furniture is one of my favorite bad habits. My most favorite bad habit is eating chocolate cake, and my least favorite bad habit is marrying badly. It all began with an ottoman, which somehow expanded into the Ottoman Empire. Let me explain. I was sitting on my couch in the family room, working on my laptop with the TV on. I went to put my feet up on the coffee table, and my foot knocked over a mug of coffee.
March 23, 2012 |
Bold, dramatic, and invigorating, tangerine tango is dancing its way into home-decor trends in 2012 with a punch of reddish-orange panache. The hue is a vivacious alternative to last year's honeysuckle, and design experts say it's easy to incorporate. Pillows, bedspreads, and tabletop accessories in this high-impact color can add spice to any room. Or add tangerine appliances and personal electronics for an unexpected pop of color, says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Institute, the research arm of Pantone Inc. of Carlstadt, N.J., which sets color standards for the home and fashion industries.
March 16, 2012 |
Once upon a time, furniture purchases, like marriages, were supposed to last forever. You know what's happened to the latter. As to the former, a growing movement's afoot to breathe new life into tables, chairs, and breakfronts that were once landfill-bound, or destined for eternity beneath a sheet in Aunt Ethel's attic. If cynics think these pieces land in flea markets waiting for the down and out, think again. Jeffrey Cofsky, owner of Consignment Furniture Gallery in Cherry Hill, says his customers have high incomes.
March 16, 2012 |
Upholstery is a dying field - or at least that's what everyone always told John Price, a 44-year-old Mayfair resident who has been in the business since graduating from high school. After he lost his job at Old City's Regent Upholstery, where the owner retired last year after more than half a century, he almost started to believe it. So Price was surprised to get a phone call from Portside Arts Center, where students had been clamoring for several months for someone to teach them the not-quite-lost art. "I never thought there was much interest," he said.
February 17, 2012 |
Designer furniture from throughout the 20th century and related decorative arts will be featured at sales this weekend and next. Another sale next week will offer lesser known treasures of the 1900s. The first designer furniture event will take place on Saturday when Kamelot Auctions will offer more than 700 lots of furniture, lighting, statuary, Asian art, and glassware, notably two rare pieces of Lalique, at a sale beginning at 10 a.m. at its gallery in the office complex at 4700 Wissahickon Ave. Online bidding and an auction catalog with presale price estimates are available at www.kamelotauctions.com . The Lalique pieces are both opalescent glass vases just over 9 inches high, depicting frenzied Bacchantes.
February 13, 2012 |
In the few years when she had her own interior-design business, Beth Baker redid dozens of swank Bucks County homes, and, in the process, saw truckloads of castoff furniture consigned to dumps and thrift shops. She loved the decorating, hated the discarding. Surely, she thought, there were struggling families whose lives could be made more comfortable, and their spirits buoyed, by a gently used sofa or dining table, a like-new lamp, or a chest of drawers. Baker resolved to find those families.
January 22, 2012 |
It's not a pairing that automatically comes to mind - the prints of Picasso and the furniture of Wendell Castle - but the cofounder of cubism and the art-furniture patriarch look as if they were made for each other in Wexler Gallery's current exhibition, "The Abstract Forms of Pablo Picasso and Wendell Castle. " Picasso's curved and voluptuous lines on paper echo in Castle's three-dimensional forms, and vice versa. That the 13 Picasso works are predominantly black- or brown-on-white and the six Castles are monochromatic emphasizes the relationships between forms.
January 15, 2012 |
When the Pine Valley Covered Bridge in central Bucks County was refurbished last year, the discarded timbers would have ended up as kindling were it not for John Cressman's ingenuity. Give the historic oak remnants to woodworking students to craft into furniture that they then could sell, he suggested. Could any lover of local heritage, or of covered bridges everywhere, resist such provenance? The answer was just as Cressman suspected. As trestle and side tables emerge from piles of worn wood at the Upper Bucks County Technical School, students already have 40 orders from near and from as far as Pittsburgh and Erie.