Antiquing – Texas Style!

by Amitha Verma Interior Design,

We banished the mid-week blues last week with a little treat – an antiques hunt! With several projects to shop for in mind, the whole group plus the hubby trekked out to Round Top to check out the fall loot. Twice a year (in the spring and fall) antique dealers from all over the US come to Round Top and Marburger in Brenham, Texas to show off their wares, and there were thousands of others like us there, all looking for the perfect antique find.

You might be thinking, how do you know what to look for at a fair like this one, and even more importantly, how do you know what to invest in? For newcomers to the antiquing field, I always suggest starting with a small piece to get your feet wet. Start small, and then work your way up to your ‘antique comfort zone’. Antiques are a wonderful investment and the true quality pieces more often than not tend to retain their value.

With an eye out for really special pieces, I wandered around the fair. One of the first pieces that caught my attention was this lovely bench. I simply love the amazing carving, and the gorgeous green patina is just beautiful! This would be a great piece in an entry hall, at the end of a twin size bed, or in the midst of a seating arrangement.

Another great piece to start out with is a secretary. Oh, how I love secretaries! This was my first antique purchase, and I just adore this type of furniture. This is a great piece that can be used as dropzone or even as a substitute for a nightstand by a bedside.

I love that beautiful metal arcade around the top of this secretary! These are the kinds of details that I usually look for when hunting out a quality piece. (Note: Gatorade not vinage). I especially love the gilded chair that’s paired with this secretary. Oh and that stripe – so pretty, classic but a bit geometric.

I also really liked this elegant console with the matching tremeau (mirror)- just perfect for a sophisticated entry hall.

There were so many other pieces that I fell in love with at the fair… more details next time!

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The Art of Collecting – the Top Dog!

by Amitha Verma Interior Design,

Hi friends, sorry it’s been a few days, we’ve been working hard on a project and some new ideas at work. We’ve been looking for the perfect accessories for a great room project we’re designing. Whenever I look for accessories and objets d’art to put into shelves, I find myself drawn to similar kinds of design pieces. Objects that resonate tend to be those that mean something to me personally, and being a dog lover, I feel tempted to use a few animal objects and dog-inspired pieces in my work.

One of my crazes is for foo dogs, Chinese inspired figurines that symbolize guardians or protectors. They come from the original Chinese lions that traditionally stood guard outside temples, estates and grand homes or palaces. Nowadays they are much more attainable however, and should always be bought in pairs.

(Source: Circa Who)

My favorites include the Cloisonne foo dogs, which are made of beautiful decorative enamel and turquoise foo dogs. Though you might think the turquoise ones are only a passing fad – they can be seen just about everywhere right now – I really feel they are more of a design classic.

(Source: Carnaby Home)

Foo dogs are often designed with fairly frightening-looking faces, sometimes looking downright appalling, but that is really just a part of the beauty and appeal for me. They may be unconventional, but they really help to make a statement in an interior space, as in this entry hall.

(Source: Evie’s Independent Living)

But if foo dogs are too severe-looking for your taste, why not opt for alternative dog figurines with a little more homely charm? Staffordshire dogs, which originate in England, are definitely a cuter, more palatable kind of dog. These too started out as decorative pieces for upper class homes, but by the end of the nineteenth century they were amongst the most coveted of English-made porcelain figures. Today they are still a real collector’s item!

(Source: Old Sweetwater Cottage)

Another coloration that you might see around is the pretty red and white colored staffordshire pieces like the dogs in the center.

(Source: Cottone Auctions)

What do you think: would you decorate with dog-inspired figurines in your home? And which style would you prefer?

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