Tuesday, January 26, 2010

THE WELL-APPOINTED ROOM


Photo Courtesy Doyle Gallery

   Last night, I had the pleasure of attending the opening reception for Jeffrey Bilhuber's Well-Appointed Room at the Doyle Gallery.  I had acquired an auction catalog earlier in the week, which was filled with a carefully edited collection of eclectic and sophisticated furniture, art and decorations.  The 200 piece collection is based on the well-appointed room, a phrase first used by the author Edith Wharton to describe the stylish decor featured in her character's homes. The well-appointed drawing rooms in her novels showcased quality pieces that were timeless and expressive.

    I am a devotee of Bilhuber's work and keep a copy of his classic book,  Design Basics, on my nightstand, which I flip through constantly for inspiration. This book is filled with wonderful anecdotes from the designer, gorgeous design and helpful advice-a must read for Interior Designers and enthusiasts of design.  I knew Bilhuber's interpertation of Wharton's salon would encompass a thoughtful and fresh attitude and I was not disappointed. 

    The Well-Apointed Room is an artfully arranged and sophisticated collection of classic and modern pieces which evoke a feeling of grand style without being ostentatious. I was impressed with the  intelligent mix of styles from several historical periods, which together,  produced a carefully layered, striking room. Pieces for The Well-Appointed Room were culled from the collection of furniture and decorations from Jonathan Burden, Inc. and John J. Gredler Works of Art,  and globes from George Glazer Gallery.

   The room was a visual feast for the eyes; I circled the collection three or four times, discovering new and intriguing pieces on each pass through. Some of my favorites include:

Italian Neoclassical gilt wood mirror, Rome late 18th century





Pair of Italian painted Toile Lanterns, possible Venetian, 19th century





George III painted Chest on Chest, late 18th century


 Bilhuber on what makes a well-appointed room-
"A Levels of things, levels of surface and of age. Things that are antique and modern. I don’t like clutter. Things have to have space around them as well; you can’t just shove everything into a room. Things need a chance of light to hit something. A well-appointed room includes objects and sculpture, idiosyncratic things, conversation pieces. You want someone to walk into a room and say, WOW! I never would have thought hat works and it works well. If you can do that, you have got a well-appointed room."  from Doyle.







I spoke with the charming and talented designer and took home a signed copy of his new book, Defining Luxury-more on our conversation and his fabulous new book on Thursday! 



Pair of Italian Neoclassical Marble Portrait Relief Plaques, 18th century





Italian Rococo Gilt wood folding stool 18th century

Pair of Cambodian Glazed Earthenware Urns, 19th century



Pair of Mid Century Blonde Wood Stools



Pair of Regency Style Painted Klismos Side Chairs



Anglo-Indian Ebonized Mahogany and Hardwood Tester Bed, Mid 19th century








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