VISITING VINTAGE DEALER LIZ O'BRIEN'S WORLD

by Marisa Marcantonio

By the way, have you seen the newly updated Architectural Digest website? I spent some time on it this past weekend, and I have to say, I really like the clean layout, the streamlined font, round-up lists, and in-depth European coverage. And thank you AD for adding Stylebeat to The Daily AD blog roll! While hunting, I came across this:

 Photos courtesy of Architectural Digest

And what a chic world it is. In her pastoral home that she shares with her husband, built in 1939 by Joseph H. Cassone in one of the prettiest areas of rural Pennsylvania, dealer Liz O'Brien escapes New York. The "Streamline Moderne" modernist architecture and interiors, as seen in the October issue of Architectural Digest are so fitting for O'Brien, author and long-time leading voice in vintage furnishings, decorative accessories and all-around chicness. She is the reason for the comeback, appreciation and devout following of some of the biggest 20th Century furniture designers across Europe and the US. Her laser-like vision picked diamonds in the rough twenty years ago, and her dedication to discovering the best has never wavered. Even her own line of furnishings, Editions is to die for. It is great to see what she chooses to surround herself with, and what styles she wants around. I know she loves color, because the seating area of her gallery is a vibrant display, with a purple on purple faux bois Madeline Castiang rug with deep purple felt walls punctuated by stark white bookcases. But her house is grounded in sweeping neutral schemes. What a spot to come home to.

 Modernist perfection with an orange door

 The floor length  gray drapes with caterpillar-like mole fringe around the softly curving window are out of a movie set. So is that view.

 A white living room, punctuated by touches of red and leopard.

A high drama bedroom with a painting depicting a sweeping Chinese mountain view.

The rich lacquer nighstands are just the thing to off-set the neutral backdrop.

LOB+Bath.jpg

The statuesque silhouettes of the minimal Albert Hadley etagere and John Dickinson plaster x-bench against this multi-paned window are magnified.

The fluting and lines of her kitchen remind me of the older, pre-renovation areas of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Every piece speaks for itself. The Queen Anne chair she designed for her Editions collections sits tucked behind her glass-topped leggy desk.

The view from the pool shot during magic hour.

Photo by Kevin Sharkey, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia

In the back of her gallery space where the work gets done, she has created a chic cocoon of color.

STYLISH SHOPPING IN CT: MONTAGE MODERN VINTAGE OF WESTPORT

by Marisa Marcantonio

Photos courtesy of Montage
 The catchy sign 


When I was in Fairfield one weekend over the summer, a friend of mine said I really needed to check out Montage Modern Vintage in Westport, Connecticut. I had passed it many times while running errands on the Post Road, and really wanted to stop in. The catchy striped sign out front of 1276 Post Road East and fresh colorful assortment paired with a modern chandelier in the window looked great. I had always wanted to go in, so I took my friend Kim's advice and went over to the pale yellow building with tailored boxwoods out front.  From the minute I walked in, I was taken with the amazing merchandising, a cross-over between vintage finds and great new stuff.  Owners Robin Babbin and Tom Roth, both longtime Westport residents, hunt for unique finds that are special and have a story to tell.  Some pieces have an amazing historic provenance, like turquoise glass starburst mirrors by Paul Lazlo for the Algonquin. Other newer pieces, just mix really well with the mid-century modern, 1960's and 1970's designs by iconic designers. Their inventory of lighting, upholstery, tables, storage, accessories and original artwork by local artists is updated regularly, so check their website or visit for new additions.  There is just something really refreshing in the mix they have culled, and it is nice to know there is someone with a great eye out there finding design classics and bringing them back to life. Connecticut shopping for home furnishings has always been good, and with the addition of Montage, it is even better.

Vignettes like this are displayed around the shop, making "I'll take the whole thing, as is" an easy thing to say.

Bright pops of color, fresh accessories and a brass and chrome mix integrate seamlessly.

Glitzy bar accessories are ready for holiday entertaining and gifts.

A collection of modern artwork provides an energized, dynamic backdrop for pieces with interesting silhouettes.

A nice mix of prices and pieces mean there is something for design fans looking to redo everything in their home, and those looking for a hostess gift.

Mixing styles of varying periods works with pieces that have great lines.