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Chinoiserie Chic • Mid Century Modern • Palm Beach Regency Vintage Sales & Rentals

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Filtering by Tag: French

Brilliant Bergeres, Barbara Barry Wannabees and Chinese Take-out

LeAnn Stephenson


As I've said many times before, I think custom furniture is like couture in the closet. Take this pair of beautiful vintage Bergere chairs, for instance, and have our studios reupholster it in a fabric of your choice and maybe jazz up the woodwork with a new stain or a painted effect.



These 1950s reproduction Bergere chairs would look marvelous re-worked in a heavy linen or maybe a rich velvet. The square upholstered back joins a padded arm above a down and duck feather cushion with a serpentine apron raised on graceful cabriole legs. These simply exceptional pieces would elevate the class and grace of any room. Their frames are sturdy but present fabric is worn and needs replacing - each chair will need 6 yards of a solid fabric and 7 yards of a fabric that is patterned. The leg can be either left with the original patina or can be re-stained or treated with a paint effect.



Second in line are these signature chairs that possess a back design that is composed of a couple of graceful wood ovals that create a beautifully intriguing form. There is something about these chairs that remind me of Barbara Barry's Bracelet chair. The clean lines and elegance of the back make them timeless pieces and the seat cushions can be revamped again and again. The wood can be left as is with its worn patina or can be re-stained or treated with a paint finish. I have three of these chairs available.



Last on the list of new inventory is this vintage reproduction Black Chinese Chippendale End Table is stunning! It has a removable rectangular lacquer tray with repetitive gilt border on a black lacquer stand. The faux bamboo turned legs have marvelous gilt accents and are connected with a second fixed black tray.






Hope you all have a marvelous weekend and if you get a moment, I hope you can check out my other new inventory listings here.

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Retro Redo: Master of My Domain

LeAnn Stephenson

Okay, have it your way, I'm a procrastinator.

You know how they say that procrastination is like masturbation because in the end you're just screwing yourself?  Well, the only thing I have to say to that, is at least I'm the master of something.

Now, to be fair and maybe a little less inappropriate, I did accomplish one or two things that I'd like to share with you.  So, in today's Retro Redo, I'd like to show the "before" and "afters" of a couple of vintage armchairs that our workroom has done.

I'll begin with this mid-century club chair that I had listed on my Etsy store.  This handsome mid-century piece has great scale with great pieced button tufts on the back that emphasize its tailored silhouette. Even in its original velvet fabric it made a marvelous statement.  But the fabric my client chose to re-upholster it in simply blew my mind.  The piece finished up beautifully and though I didn't think it was possible, it is more gorgeous than before!



Another piece that proves my theory that customization in the home is like couture in the closet, is this great vintage reproduction Louis XV Bergere chair from the 1940s that I had also listed on my Etsy.  It is a beautiful example of craftsmanship with its fantastic carving on the curvy french feet and arms. This client decided to guild the arms and feet and re-upholster in a lustrous chocolate pinstriped velvet.  I think the results are spectacular and it is a simply sensational piece!







See you tomorrow with a "Christmas-y-themed" Want It Wednesday.

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Casa Couture

LeAnn Stephenson

It is my own personal belief that customization in the home is like couture in the closet.  For example, you could take any of these chairs I just listed on my Etsy and have our studio reupholster it in a fabric of your choice.


One of the listings is this elegant reproduction French Louis XV carved armchair.  It has an arching crest above a cartouche-shaped upholstered back joining bowed padded arms above a down and duck feather cushion with a serpentine apron, raised on graceful cabriole legs.  I was thinking that you could take this beautiful vintage reproduction French Louis XV chair and have our studio reupholster it in a fabric of your choice. There is a tag on the bottom of the chair that states that it was made by the Charlotte Chair Company in Charlotte, Michigan. The Charlotte Chair Co was founded in Charlotte, MI in 1912. The company specialized in upholstered antique reproduction seating. At some point, I believe around 1973, the company changed its name to The Charlotte Co. Inc and is still in business making wooden upholstered seating and case goods for the institutional market in Belding, MI. It was formerly in an estate in Dallas, TX.



Also listed is this pair of reproduction French slipper chairs.  They has a classic frame and sleek silhouette - Just the thing to glam-up any room - think Mad Men decor! You could take this pair of beautiful vintage slipper chairs and have our studio reupholster it in a fabric of your choice, too. There is a label on the bottom of each chair that reads Kaufmann's in Pittsburgh, PA. Kaufmann's was a department store that originated in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It was owned in the early 20th century by Edgar J. Kaufmann. In the the post-war years, the store became a regional chain in the eastern United States and was last owned by Federated Department Stores. At the height of its existence, it had some 59 stores in 5 states. The former flagship Kaufmann's is in downtown Pittsburgh. Formerly part of May Department Stores prior to that company's acquisition by Federated on Aug. 30, 2005, Kaufmann's operated as part of the Filene's organization in Boston, Massachusetts.



And finally, is this pair of handsome sling club chairs with attached cushions. They have sleek chrome frames in the manner of  Milo Baughman.  You could take this pair of beautiful vintage mid-century chairs and have our studio reupholster it in a fabric of your choice, as well.  There is a tag on the seat cushion of the chair that states that it was made by Landes Mfg. Co.  The Los Angeles-based company was founded in 1953 and had a constant presence in the California Design exhibition from 1961 through to 1976, and I believe is still in operation today.

I've listed them on the site here, here and here - so, make sure and go check them out!

Francoise Nielly: A Treat for the Senses

LeAnn Stephenson


You know I live on the edge here in my little world. For example, sometimes I've been spotted wearing white well after Labor Day. Occasionally, I might even go swimming right after I've eaten. I've even been known to run with scissors and other sharp objects.

Simply scandalous, I know . . . I'm clearly in need of an intervention! But, I thought I'd pull myself away from the adrenaline pumped rave that is my life, and share an amazing treat for the senses.

I stand in awe of this woman and her abilities. French painter Francoise Nielly is no stranger to the grand scale, her works regularly spanning six feet in length. Her massive, colorful portraits are simply delicious and the size only intensifies the captivating quality.



As an illustrator and a painter myself, it is particularly humbling to those of us who take ages to choose subject matter and execute the actual painting, to watch her create them. You must watch this marvelous video, here. As you will see, she maneuvers her palette knife carving beautiful faces out of the canvas, like a highly paid plastic surgeon. Her interpretation of light, shadow, hue, and tone is masterful and seems to come as easy as breathing! Her paintings have a great sense of humor and an explosively sensual feel to them, it seems to me.

I aspire to have her sense of celebration and love of life! But, for the moment, I'll settle for the reckless abandon of opening an umbrella inside the house or sitting to close to the television.

I know, I'm a rebel like that!







Photos and artwork courtesy Francoise Nielly

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The Project

LeAnn Stephenson


I shot bolt up right in bed this morning and spouted my favorite expletive. My husband jumped and offered his sympathy for my newly acquired, extra-crispy, sunburned body parts. He mistakenly took my profanity as an indication that my "4th-of-July-can't-get-no-sunscreen" sunburn was paining me, when in reality, the matter was more like "anticipation-excitement-holy-crap-Stan's-visit-is-only-a-week-away" sort of realization punctuated with a mild stream of four-letter words.

If you've been reading my posts lately, you're aware that my friend, Stan Williams, and author of The Find, is coming to Austin to see friends and attend a book signing at my other friend, Jean Heath's store, Uptown Modern on July 14th beginning at 7 p.m. Since this whole deal was my idea, I get to host this affair, and I'm so appreciative to Stan and Jean for playing along.

So, as the "hostess-with-the-most-est", I began to prepare. At first I thought that I would just cook lots of great dessert-y type things and serve on paper plates, along with wine and punch in plastic cups. Stan, it seems to me, is not a man of pretense, but then I realized that this would be the perfect occasion to demonstrate the idea of a party produced with thrifted, vintage, mix-matched pieces. Taking a cue from the book and stylist Joe Maer, I decided to run with cobalt blue glassware and linen cocktail napkins, giving a sort of French ruff-hewn feel to this shindig.

I began by taking an accounting of the glassware, pottery, silver plate and linens I already had. From there, I became giddy with anticipation with the notion that I would need to supplement my existing collection with a few trips to my favorite thrift stores - and for a degenerate thrift-aholic like me, this was a dream come true - not just a shopping opportunity but a divinely sanctioned mandate. I could actually indulge my addiction without the bitter aftertaste of shame and guilt, which to be honest, I can't really even muster up much anymore.

My thought was that I would need containers for some lovely flowers that would accent the goody tables. I would also need some more glasses and flatware plus a few other serving pieces. Well, BINGO!, as they say, I hit the jackpot. I happened upon 15 cobalt, blue jelly jar type glasses, 2 huge turquoise mason jars (sans the lids,) 20 or so silver plated forks, a heavy apothecary jar and a great English Ironstone transfer ware platter, along with a great black and turquoise tole tray - all vintage, all thrifted and all for the grand total of twelve dollars and twenty cents!

I made my way home, the whole time my mind reeling with ideas on what and how to set up the tables with the goodies and drink. Thinking also that the only thing that could make this day any better was to return home with my haul and be greeted by the delivery of Stan's books and the event poster that his publicist, Courtney, had sent me. And again, this wonderful day kept getting better, because there on my stoop between the Geraniums and the Hydrangea was one slender, poster-shaped box leaning against two other "had-to-be-Stan's-books" boxes. It was like Christmas, only hotter and the fellow I was expecting weighed a lot less and his affinity for elves was not as pronounced!

So, I think in closing, I will warn you that the week's posts will probably be more like, "hey look what I found", instead of hey check out Stan's book The Find. Posts will be me thinking out loud, more like one woman's self-imposed quest to create a fun, beautiful, budget conscious event for her new found friend and kindred spirit, Stan.

7 days. Lots of vintage stuff. One woman with a nasty shopaholic issue. Vintage boutique owner by day, irreverent blogger by night. Too cheap for catering, too vain to use paper plates, and too excited for anything else!

Can I do it?

The "Holy-Crap-Stan's-Party-Is-Only-A-Week-Away" Project. Coming soon to a computer near you.

Grey Gardens

LeAnn Stephenson


For your amusement, here's a list of items I have painted in the past 24 hours.

1) My Golden Retriever, A.J. - his tail swished across the freshly primed leg of a shield back chair

2) My black Chuck Taylor's - apparently depth perception is not my forte'

3) A.J., . . . again - he's slowly turning into 100 lb Grey Schnauzer

4) A pair of vintage Louis chairs, 2 benches, 1 chandelier, 1 shield back chair, 1 Mid Century side chest, 1 Asian side chest

5) Our deck, my neck

6) My inner thigh, A.J.s inner thigh

7) My nails

8) A pretty picture


Primed pieces waiting for their paint color. Some will need upholstery - some may need some mirror or new drawer pulls.

If I ranked my least favorite ways to pass a day, painting my latest vintage finds out in the blazing Texas sun would fall somewhere between a visit to the "snatch doctor" and watching a 4-year-old with too much hair product in her extensions with a flaming baton compete in the talent portion of the "Ain't She Sweet Beauty Pageant" down at the Wash & Lube. In the past few weeks a string of vintage furniture pieces with exceptional design pedigrees have come into my possession. So, in the spirit of reuse, repurpose, and rework, I had no choice but to strap on my low VOC paint drenched brush and give these vintage beauties a new life.

To be honest, the eco-friendly agenda isn't my main concern. My real motive is far more selfish and shallow. You see, I need to produce some cash flow so that I can maintain my degenerate shopaholic status and dig up and purchase more vintage treasures. So, to indulge my thrifting addiction (and it truly is an illness) sans the bitter aftertaste of shame and guilt, I will be listing these pieces on my website and Etsy store in the next few days.

And like "Big Edie" and "Little Edie" Bouvier Beale, from the Grey Garden story, these charming vintage furniture pieces have a glamour that will never fade.