by Marisa Marcantonio

The Avenue Show of Art and Antiques at The Armory recently had its run at 643 Park Avenue. On Friday, author and interior aficionado Susanna Salk moderated a panel of design luminaries including Richard Mishaan, Milly de Cabrol, Philip Gorrivan on the topic of living with antiques. The conversation kicked off with what is antique and what is vintage. The eras of the 1940's- 1970's were considered modern, and anything over 100 years old, antique. The group encouraged sharing the "story" of pieces with a clients, since if you know the provenance and period, you build a connection, in addition to an appreciation for the craft. Never forget that quality will last.

The panel: Nicki Field from Sotheby's International Realty, Richard Mishaan, Jennifer Post who is designing a room at this year's Kips Bay Showhouse, Susanna Salk, Milly de Cabrol, Philip Gorrivan, and Nina Morton of NVM Interiors

All designers agreed you have to love what you buy, and advise your client's to do the same. Thanks to the Internet we have become more educated, developing an eye and particular tastes along the way. Client's understand the language better, and know their Murano glass from their Baccarat. They also noted to the antiques and mix needs to best reflect a person's lifestyle. How do you know a piece is right? As Richard Mishaan stated, " Furniture and antiques have an energy, you get a vibe." How true.

The group pondered questions ranging from getting antiques restored or not, to creating a mix of old and new pieces to provide a sense of history. When mixing periods and styles, the panelists all agreed, it is about the scale, line and proportions of the pieces you are combining. For it to all work together, the diversity in pieces must balance their placement in a room. If one is working with an inherited piece or collection they cannot part with, either make it the focal point or diminish its importance in placement.

So what is this group looking towards-- what style is inspiring them now?
Nina Morton is looking to 18th Century Furniture and Karl Springer pieces, Philip Gorrivan is moved by the soft - edged Art Deco pieces of Leleu and Belgian design and Richard Mishaan is focused on his new collection for Bolier and Company which debuts at upcoming High Point Market.

In case you missed the show, I picked out some special pieces to show you. Fine estate jewelry from Camilla Dietz Bergeron, botanical paintings from Dinan and Chighine, antique silver from London's N. and I. Frankin, period pieces from Yew Tree House Antiques, and mid-century modern selects from Mantiques Modern were just some of the special vendors there. Here are some standouts:

Photographer and global get about Miguel Flores Vianna introduced me to Douglas and Rebecca of London-based French Country Living UK Ltd. Their selection of period 18th and 19th Century Swedish, Italian and French pieces with original painted finishes are quite something.

The knockout: A French tree of life screen depicting Theseus and Ariadne circa 1750 in the most beautiful colors.

A zinc planter sits on a farm table with parchment covered antique books

For something from a more current century, this piece from Gary Rubenstein Antiques stole my heart. A Rare Multifaceted Mahogany Bar Cabinet attributed Ico Parisi from Italy made in the 1950's is one of three created. Bill Blass had one, why shouldn't you? His was sold along with his impeccably edited collection at Sotheby's. This one is still available...

Three hinged doors reveal space for glasses in a circular layout.

Il Segno del Tempo from Milan displayed utilitarian goods in the "rough luxe" vein. Functional and fantastic, the pieces are industrial and aged.

Scientific instruments sit amongst canes, miniatures, industrial light fixtures and globes.

Connecticut's Dawn Hill Antiques displayed Gustavian and Swedish painted pieces.

The cool calm of light woods and white finishes make Gustavian a very livable choice.


by Marisa Marcantonio

A few weeks ago, interior designers went to Las Vegas Market. They went to be on the Ahead of the Curve panel, that for the past few years has been moderated by author and all around in the know Susanna Salk. Darryl Carter, Kishani Perrera and Mary McDonald toured the show followed by a camera crew, and then spoke about trends they saw emerging at market. I asked the uber - chic Mary to be my tour guide, and pick a few favorites. Here is what she came up with:

"We had a blast together on a two day laugh fest during our shoot. We are all so different that it fueled our jokes with each other as well as opening up our perspectives on new things. The Vegas Market is so enormous that you really have to have a plan and a focus to see things you want to see or you would never get through it. I would have to say the biggest trend in it's height right now is the weathered reclaimed wood mixed with industrial materials such as old wood tables with beat zinc tops etc.. It is all very Axel Vervoordt for the mainstream. Ikat and Suzani patterns are big and going strong still as well as a bunch of glitzy glam over the top stuff that is not really my thing, but it looks like people still want it."

My favorite showroom was a line called Noir. Absolutely everything in the showroom was chic-- especially this exaggerated upholstered chair which is actually a copy of a regency antique chair.

They had the copper hanging fixture which was so authentically vintage looking it was perfect and the use of copper instead of the expected silver made it even more stand out.

Of course, I also love my own vintage inspired 40's brass lamp with the black shade I designed for Robert Abbey . Here, I am visiting another lighting resource.

The chest with pulls had a pretty cerused finish for a very reasonable price point. It is from Global Views.

Kishani and I both liked the pattern on the Global Views coral and ivory rug and could see it in other colors being pretty. We saw a lot of coral.


by Marisa Marcantonio

Creating the perfect room for a child takes creativity, imagination and yes, color! Whether you go for a theme, a dream or channel a remote location, there are so many great ways to make it happen these days. Some great ideas are brought together by Susanna Salk in her newest book, Room For Children: Stylish Spaces for Sleep and Play from Rizzoli. The book was feted in the new children's department at Bergdorf Goodman with mini burgers.
I recently talked with Susanna about her process. Choosing from tons of photos, she found creative examples of how kids live and play today. She shared what it was like:

What is your favorite space in the book?

I love the 3 girls who have silver bunk beds, white butterflies hanging from the ceiling and a huge black and white photo of themselves framed like art declaring that this space is uniquely about THEM. That room I'm sure cost nothing to decorate and yet it so completely comfortable and creative. There's another shot in that same space- which we didn't use- where they have swings and hammocks hanging from the ceiling. Divine.

What is the most creative use of space you have seen from all work you went through?

All the many amazing ways bunk beds are shown. Forget about the Brady Bunch days: once you've seen all these incredibly creative choices you'll never look at communal living the same way again!

Did you shoot projects that proved challenging at the time but had a great outcome?

I mostly culled existing images from all the top designers and shelter photogs across the country (and world) THAT was the most challenging: keeping track of who had what and where and then making sure the families were excited about being in the book. I must say that the design world as a while is one of the most generous and supportive network! The rooms we shot were actually my own children's rooms. It was strange propping your own house to look as strong as possible on camera. I wanted my kids' style to shine through but I also had to be objective.

Why this book now?

It was about time! There's never before been a glamorous, imaginative coffee table book celebrating children's spaces. We needed something for first-time parents, designers and the kids themselves to draw inspiration from!

What do you wish was around for kids that was not when you had your twin boys?

The CHOICES: at all different price points, styles and colors. I wish someone had told me not to be afraid to break the rules and color outside the lines.

Vary pattern scale for a playful feel. By sticking to a few bright colors, Jonathan Adler created a fun room with over sized pink and white checks and a playful animal print paper. Used creatively, the check makes the shade, bed skirt and hangings come together.

More often children's rooms are designed in a sophisticated way to take them into their teenage years. The color choices are what keep the young sophisticated details fresh. Here, New York based Amanda Nisbet works with purple and navy, coordinating a tailored and trimmed bed skirt, headboard and roman shade that tie the room together. A classic traditional chandelier, leather slipper chair and bookcase mean the space will transition nicely, looking fresh for years to come.

Jennifer Delonghi incorporated brights through a graphic David Hicks print on the daybed, chartreuse garden seat and valance trim for a more sophisticated take on a nursery.

Pieter Estersonn, an interiors photographer, created a nursery with a stellar view. The digital imagery on the walls is that of his childhood room. He grew up near Udaipur in India at the Maharami of Deogarh's palace. What a view!

Charlotte Moss created a neutral haven with classic elements. A tented daybed of alphabet fabric and a check play off the graphic geometric carpet. A stuffed frog and green toys add a touch of childhood to the space that looks more grown up.

Chicago-based Alessandra Branca, very adept at creating poppy bright kids spaces has created a light- filled playroom with a beach club awning tented ceiling, built-ins for storage galore and curtains that close for easy movie nights.


by Marisa Marcantonio

A getaway provides a change of scene and a chance to recharge. This is the season to take advantage of the gorgeous weather and escape for the weekend. Susanna Salk's newest book with Rizzoli, Weekend Getaways, shows country escapes of all kinds. Readers are invited into rustic, seaside, minimal, modern barn, federal and Greek Revival homes, experiencing their relaxing benefits. The appeal of the homes lie in their location, but also in their personality. Home owners bring personal touches to every surface of their spaces, providing a peek into what moves and inspires them.

Photos Courtesy of Rizzoli USA
This red guest cottage was originally a school. The Unionville, PA property includes a main house and a barn, creating a country compound. Staying true to the historical details, the designer owners imported floorboards for the house from a farm nearby, and used local antiques and glass.

A plaster bust by the front door welcomes guests and serves as a makeshift hat rack.

A Stanfordville, NY modern barn sits tucked away in a wooded area. The home was influenced by the owner's Dutch and French design sensibilities, showcasing their take on classic barn living.

Their mudroom with closets and hooks for Barbour rain jackets and mud boots to survive a rainy weekend.

Designer Tricia Foley's Long Island living room in all white warmed with wide wood floor boards and beams. Placing accessories just so, her stylist's eye is evident in her selection.

The white on white kitchen has open shelving for ease and all white serving pieces in great shapes.

A Newport home with stone detailing resembling a castle's turrets is eclectic and unexpected in this seaside resort, where massive cottages abound.

The upstairs living room has brightly colored accessories and casual slip covered upholstery. Easy living and entertaining are key here.

Painted walls, floors and patterned steps bring warmth to a foyer in an 18th Century Greek Revival retreat in New Preston,CT.

The sun room combines rustic antiques in natural tones from local antique shops, making the spot a soothing place to escape to. A focal point of an elaborate bird cage is a conversation starter for sure.