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.


by Marisa Marcantonio

When the summer beckons, it is natural to spend a great deal of time thinking about gardening and outdoor spaces. Getting those outdoor areas in summer-ready shape is no easy feat, as furniture, outdoor fabrics and accessory options abound. If you are in the market for some new wood or metal outdoor furniture, there is just so much to choose from. I ended up finding most of the exciting design was really happening in metal and wood, not as much in wicker and teak. So,  I decided to round up some of the most beautiful garden furniture out there, just to make your decision process that much easier. Stay tuned, as my blog panel conversation and fair at the Chicago Botanic Garden will yield new discoveries.

 Photo courtesy of McKinnon and Harris

The Gilliam Tray Table being made McKinnon and Harris is one of my favorite companies. They are very old world in their dedication to creating some of the best high quality outdoor furniture  out there. Their classic furniture, meant to be left in the elements all year long, is handcrafted out of meticulously crafted high grade aluminum in Richmond, Virginia. Their pieces are guaranteed, and their classical detailing make it a good choice for traditional architecture.

Photos courtesy of McKinnon and Harris

Du Val Double Sun Chaise

A tete a tete for lounge luxury.

Large Pavillion Sofa

Fretwork sides and a tapered leg bring 1950' details and current style together

Otey Three Seater Sofa

It doesn't get more classic than this over sized lattice back.

Scaisbrooke Ottoman

A newer design, the bobbin leg, looks very English but also very modern in metal. I look forward to seeing chairs and chaises in this design.

Beaufort Dining Side Chair

Little chairs are always needed

Graves Dining Arm and Side Chair

The nice thing about this design is it looks like it could be inside, but is reinterpreted to be out of doors.

Tangier Dining Tables

Pushed together or used for 2 tables of 4, this design has line and ball detailing that is just detailed enough.

Scaisbrooke Coffee Table with Square Adams Top 

So gorgeous. Who can say no to red?

Albermarle Dining Table

Concentric circles with a trad base merge modern and antique.

The Perrow Tray Table serves up style with slat design.

 Photos courtesy of Accents of France

Goulaine Chair and Bench with a custom paint finish

I have known Accents of France's founder Philippe Le Manache since he showed at his first gift show, back in the mid 2000's, when he started his standardized and custom tailored treillage creations, based on French 18th Century designs. Since then, his hand created lattice walls have graced many a garden large and small around the globe. He's pretty amazing at what he does. I was pleased to see his recent foray into furniture, so now the seating options can be as beautiful as the greenery. Taken from the great benches around France, his detailed wood lattice details include a pattern to suit a variety of settings.

 Malmaison Chair and Bench in White Oak has a Chinoiserie feel

Chantilly Bench and Table in a custom color with a double lattice pattern

Nozay Chair and Bench in White Oak of interlocking squares for a graphic detail

 Photo courtesy of Brown Jordan

You can't think outdoor furniture without thinking Brown Jordan.  Both my interior designer mother and sister got outdoor furniture recently, and they went with Brown Jordan. Their assortment is endless, and every style is represented. They tend to do something new to hit every style trend, so expect to see innovations first with them.  When I walked into their High Point Market showroom last market, the killer new Kantan II vied for my attention. Updating a 1956 design classic by Tadao Inoye, the new version has a cool brushed metal frame and cloth instead of vinyl straps.  It's sexy, low and inviting.

Photo courtesy of David Sutherland

You too can own one of the iconic 1960's designs of San Francisco designer John Dickinson. David Sutherland carries an assortment of the playful small reproduction pieces, created out of a glass fiber resin concrete composite.

Photo courtesy of Janus et Cie

Made of lightweight fiberglass, Janus et Cie's Totum table comes in a zippy orange or soothing white

Photo courtesy of Janus

Janus et Cie's Janice Feldman has had a passion for gardens and what goes in them for forever. Her dedication to finding, creating and designing the most gorgeous elements is unsurpassed. She appreciates outdoor spaces in all their variety- and herself lives with a pretty splendid garden. Light in feeling, the Lucy collection from Janus et Cie is durable resin wicker and aluminum and easygoing.

Photo courtesy of Soane

It is not a secret how much I adore what Soane Britain does. Lulu Lytle is kind of a genius. She's young, super-knowledgeable and has make her English furniture and decorative accessories company a place that is full of stunning design surprises. From reviving a Victorian era wicker manufacturer to finding detailed metalwork artisans, she designs true antiques of tomorrow, by looking back in history to innovate for today. Here, her Schooner Oak Daybed with scroll arm has curves in all the right places.