SUPPORTING CAST: 10 STARK WHITE PLASTER PIECES

by Marisa Marcantonio

Plaster, and a supporting cast of look-alike materials are everywhere these days. The crisp look of a matte white finish is appealing, for it puts the spotlight on the clean silhouette of the object, be it cast or carved, resin, alabaster or plaster. Bringing a classic art form from the past into the present, the results are stunning.  A diverse array of pieces exist out there,  here are several standouts.

Photo courtesy of Oly

With whimsical hoof feet, the dramatic Faline four poster bed from Oly can enhance a winter woodlands or lodge locale interior.

Photo courtesy of Cuff Home

The Stacked Entry Table from Cuff Home is giant slabs stacked at angles for dramatic effect. Very raw, very pre-masterpiece-Michelangelo-goes-to-the-quarry.

Photo courtesy of Porta Romana

A composite material covering a metal frame makes up the branch-like legs of Porta Romana's Twig Console with a stained wood top.

Photo courtesy of David Sutherland

One of my favorite pieces of all time, the re-editioned small tables designed by John Dickenson from David Sutherland. With a middle cinched with a rope, this tiny wonder is made of glass fiber mixed with concrete, providing a more durable material than the originals.

Photo courtesy of Stephen Antonson

Brooklyn-based artist Stephen Antonson creates amazing plaster pieces inspired by French masters Giacometti and Jean-Michel Frank. His Hex Table, with interlocking legs is a work of art. You can find it at Dessin Fournir showrooms.

Photo courtesy of Baker

With a round base and sweeping lines, Baker's Linea Table Light designed by the Pagani's is a pared-down beauty.

Photo courtesy of Karen Robertson

With retro flair, Karen Robertson's Clamshell Sconce of cast resin is perfect for seaside homes. A lot of designers have asked me where to find this, and voila!

Photo courtesy of Made Goods

A reinterpreted sunburst made of spiky, milk-white resin, Made Goods Serrat Mirror.

Photo courtesy of Stephen Antonson

Overlapping spheres of white plaster make for a curvaceous dimensional above a console or dresser. Another ethereal piece designed by artisan Stephen Antonson, through Dessin Fournir.

Photo courtesy of Made Goods

With the flair of a Serge Roche piece, Made Goods captures the essence of a French Palm circa 1930's Baroque Torchere.

2012 FALL HIGH POINT ROUND-UP PART I: WRAPPED AND READY TO GO

by Marisa Marcantonio

I have been off the grid so to speak for the past few days, doing a deep dive into furniture land in High Point, North Carolina. Sponsored by Bassett Furniture and the new HGTV Furniture Collection, fellow design bloggers and I hit the ground running and I have not come up for air till just now.  I uncovered great new design finds, interesting silhouettes and reinterpreted and refreshed vintage classics. I noticed linen, faux shagreen and shell and rope-wrapped pieces in a variety of traditional shapes that bring fresh, light  perspective. Here is sampling of my design finds, with more to come on upholstery, tables, decorative accessories in gorgeously styled showrooms soon.

An HGTV Home Dresser wrapped in natural raffia with nickel inlay and classic circle pulls on a nickel foot.

A Parson-style raffia-wrapped desk with single square nickel pull also at at HGTV Home. This is a piece that's easy to love. I think my apartment would agree.

Next to a sofa, these raffia-wrapped HGTV Home nesting tables are the perfect place to rest a drink and place a lamp.

Enrobed in burgundy Penn shell, this diminutive dresser at Century Furniture has style by the mile.

Now this is a creative way to use a printed fabric! Hickory wrapped a large cabinet in Hable Construction's Marble fabric for Hickory Chair.

A sweet little round topped pull-up table by Hickory has a faux-shagreen wrapped base that compliments the rich polished mahogany.

An Art Deco inspired waterfall coffee table from Bassett wrapped in capiz shell has two handy drawers for storage of remote controls and extra stuff.

A veneer of agate makes the top of this tiny table at Century truly glamorous.

Bernhardt blew everyone away this market.  With the appointment of Ron Fiore as their creative director, he refreshed the brand in exciting new ways. He was brought over from Hickory Chair, where his styling and innovative eye ensured the showroom always looked divine. Hickory has tapped Skip Rumley as their new creative director, luring him away from Edward Ferrell Lewis Mittman. Having had Foire as a mentor, Rumley is bringing his own unique brand of chic to the hundred year-old iconic company. The rope-wrapped arch table above is an example of Fiore's taking a classic and adapting it for today in a unique material.

Citrus hues on a stripey Oggetti drum table is zippy and great for tropical climes.

 Oggetti has done rope-wrapped pieces before, but the tri-color variation looks great on a little drum table.

Tres French, their tapered leg round topped bulls eye table in greys and browns is oh-so-chic.

A small seagrass table from Bernhardt in a wavy design looks as though it is covered in a drapey skirt yet it is actually a stiff material.

Nailhead trim and clean lines in Bernhardt's Parsons-style square coffee table with a storage shelf underneath is a boon to book lovers. Hello storage!

EJ Victor also had it wrapped with many simple silhouettes covered in raffia or linen or for a lighter look and feel.

The finish fan at EJ Victor.

A wrapped side table with inset drawer on top.

A round two table with simple leg and lower shelf.

With a removable tray top and metal x-base materials co-mingle.

They even have a Ming-style card table which I can never get enough of!

Oggetti's red shagreen-wrapped French Deco-inspired side table was a stunner.

On a raised gold base, Regina Andrews Jean Michel Frank-inspired raspberry faux-shagreen dresser left me agog.

The companion mirror with pointed geometric surround was also to beyond stylish.

Baker Furniture artisans hand finish this small drum side table to resemble marble. Glam alert.

WHERE DO I PUT MY DRINK DOWN? WHY A DRINKS TABLE OF COURSE!

by Marisa Marcantonio

You often hear interior designers talk about drinks tables. These are easy to access at the ready chair - side spots that serve as the perfect place to plant a drink, book or reading glasses. Here is a round up of diverse drinks tables that serve a purpose and look great while doing it.
Photo courtesy of Century
The influence of horns, be it antlers hung from the wall or horn inlay, seems to be sticking around. Warm antique brass and creative use of the antlers in the Chairside Table from Century makes the popular motif seem fresh again.

Rich complex glazes and unique garden stool forms keep Emissary ahead of the curve. This new ovoid silhouette with a raised top is a nice new addition.

Photo courtesy of Arteriors
A brass tabouret table that resembles a drum with x-detailing looks incredibly chic, like an antique find.

Photo courtesy of Arteriors
The three legged Sanibel table with a slim gold leaf base and beveled black marble top has sleek French 1940 lines. From Arteriors.

Based on an 18th century naturalized rocaille style table with a tree base, Beeline Home's Albero Drinks Table is the perfect perch for a cold one. Williams is known for her drinks tables and has an appreciation for their functional qualities.

Available in a zingy green lacquer or (fire engine red), this ribbed Column Drinks Table is a diminutive darling from Beeline Home.

I always love anything wrapped in lacquered linen, so no wonder this coral Festoni zig zag table grabbed my attention!

Currey and Company debuted their highly anticipated Marjorie Skouras collection at market with these sexy shell inlay Bix side tables in a blue green mother of pearl with silverleaf legs. Ooh lala.

Global Views introduced a round marble side table called the Arabesque with Moorish cut out details.

Artesia was feeling the same thing, with their hand carved sandstone version called Soraya. It seems this is the sincerest form of flattery, since both these pieces were influenced by Stephanie Odegard's marble classic in the same vein.

Like a slick of shiny red lipstick, this red laquer Flip side table from Currey and Company is all dressed up, ready for any occasion.

Taking it's cue from 1950's bamboo outdoor furniture, this small cerused side table with a glass top from Gabby has an interesting circular composition.

Photo courtesy of Made Goods
The Enzo side table is a solid companion from Made Goods that is available in a chic tortoise looking Penn shell or lighter Kabibe shell finish.

Photo courtesy of Made Goods
With a lot of shimmer, the Bea ceramic side table in a glazed gold finish from Made Goods adds quiet glamour.

IT GETS BETTER WITH AGE: LEATHER UPHOLSTERY

by Marisa Marcantonio

As I walked around High Point Market over the past few days, I was taken by how many great leather pieces I saw. Color is infiltrating upholstery, and when it comes to leather, the patina gets better with age. From sleek black to on trend peacock blue, there is a gorgeous leather to add some zing to your rooms. A few scratches and spills give leather lived-in personality, making it well worth the investment.

Regina Andrews had a deep seated Chesterfield-inspired sofa with tufted back and loose seat cushion.

A classic Chesterfield in black leather with a smaller footprint from Century makes this an ideal piece for apartment dwellers.

An arts and crafts Eliza settee from Thomas O'Brien for Hickory Chair, upholstered in a rich brown leather.

A cream leather sofa, The Brigitte, from Global Views in a slightly midcentury modern silhouette.

Wesley Hall's tufted leather sofa with high back and sides and bolster pillows for a more tailored look.

Chic! Instead of an antique, try a tortoise finished side chair with woven rattan back, chocolate brown leather seat and personality from Century.

A lush natural suede - covered chair with tight seat and tight back from Century.

Cherry red leather on an English reading chair with button tufting from Wesley Hall.

Global Views gets into color with vivid orange leather on a Louis XVI chair, The Marilyn.

A caramel hued leather on a modified French 1930's silhouette in The 9th Street Chair from Hickory Chair.

Lee Industries diminutive chair with small wings in a gorgeous french blue leather.

Andres Arbus designed the now iconic French 1930's furniture being reproduced by Baker. Here, the Paquebot Chair with sleek lines and reclining pitch brings sexy back.

Cherry red leather is cheery as well as chic on Baker's Plymouth side chair.