Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tara Shaw MAISON Collection now at Eleish van Breems

"If you want a golden rule to live by, this is it; Have nothing in your house
that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful." - William Morris

It's hard to talk about beautiful, useful furniture and not mention Tara Shaw!
Rhonda and I have just returned from book signing events this past weekend at Tara Shaw's New Orleans and Houston stores. I couldn't wait for the professional photos so I am posting a few we snapped on our cell phones. (above: Rhonda, little Kari, Tara, and Edie at Tara's New Orleans store) What a wonderful time we had getting to know Tara and her crew as well as meeting so many of the guests who were aficianados of Swedish design.

The ever stylish Valorie Hart of the visual * vamp blog stopped in at the New Orleans event with Caroline Robert of Perch. ( just look at me there with Valorie...I was blog-star struck!!!) Among the attendees in Houston was Houston designer Jane Moore, whose work is featured in Swedish Country Interiors in the chapter titled White Wisteria. It was so fun to meet and catch up with both of these creative ladies.

Buffer Ergmann, (above) who is Rhonda's talented husband and one half of our book's photography team, mingled with Tara and guests. Seated on gigantic Italian armchairs, Rhonda and I felt like queens as we signed our books, a world away from the usual metal folding chairs we are used to sitting on at most bookstore signings! Tara and guests kept us busy for a while but by the end of the evening we were like kids in a candy store and had broken away to wander amongst all of the antiques.

A l'antiquaire extrordianiare, Tara (pictured here with her handsome whippet, Jack) is also a talented designer and contributing editor for Veranda magazine.We have long admired her bold pieces and serene cream palette. When we heard that she had a decided to take the plunge into manufacturing a reproduction line based on some of her best antiques we were on the phone to New Orleans immediately. Here was a concept for a line that we knew, given Tara's background, was going to be well executed and historically accurate. Actually seeing these pieces in person for the first time was such a treat. We were so impressed with the hand carvings and attention to detail and scale. Tara has done a remarkable job and we are proud to announce that Eleish van Breems is now representing the line!

Many people have covered the MAISON line on thier blogs before us but I just have to point out some of our favorite Swedish inspired pieces! This dropleaf table with demi-lune ends is dynamite. Based on an original Swedish antique slagboard and demi-lunes this is the height of good looks and practicality. The table can fold up entirely or you can keep one leaf up and use as a smaller work desk. The demi lunes look great in any room. When the time comes for an extra table for entertaing all the pieces come together to make for a long dining table. A versatile piece that is the essence of great Swedish traditional furniture design.

When I saw this large rococo mirror I could not tell it was a reproduction until I actualy looked behind it! The hand finishes are what make the difference here.

How easily this chair can mix with authentic antiques.

This is my personal favorite of the antique forms Tara has had manufactured.
The hand carvings on this Swedish Rococo style bench are really exceptional.

There is nothing quite as stunning as a Gustavian barrel back chair. Tara has chosen to have her reproduction barrel back simply uphostered in white canvas with large brass upholstery tacks. Note the delicate front legs and carvings.

For years Rhonda and I have searched for a reproduction Swedish tallcase

clock to carry for our clients but none that we found ever looked right. They were always too clunky, poorly made or the faces were just all wrong. At last perfection! It was worth the wait. Tara based this piece on an antique Swedish clock she had in her store. In real life this clock is breathtaking, perfectly proportioned and the clock face is well done. I particularly love the fact that Tara decided to leave the crack on the door of the original and had it incorporated into the new piece.

So what is next for Tara Shaw MAISON? We hear from Tara that there are always going to be new pieces in the works for the collection. Rhonda and I left New Orleans secretly hoping that this clock secretary from Tara's store there would be used as a model next. How fabulous would this be? What other pieces from her antiques collection would we like to see reproduced?

What about this bookshelf?

And here is a challenge. This staircase would be incredible..... and if Tara is

involved we know nothing is impossible!

For more information on how to buy Tara Shaw MAISON at Eleish van Breems, Ltd. just contact us at evbltd@gmail.com or look at our website http://www.evbantiques.com/. We are sooo excited to offer this amazing furniture to both retail and to the trade.

Congratulations to you, Tara, on a gorgeous collection and many, many thanks

for all of your hospitality!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

What ho! Swedish Exercises!

Happy Birthday to PG Wodehouse! Swedish exercises, Plum's own version of yoga, feature in almost every delightful book the man ever wrote.

Hugh Laurie as Bertie Wooster singing about the King of Sweden:


Monday, October 12, 2009

White on White Event

These little town blues, are melting away...We are back in Manhattan this week at the New York Design Center on Lexington Avenue! (Last week Rhonda and I were hosted at the D & D Building in New York City by Potterton Books and Country Swedish which we promise to cover in another blog post...great things are happening at both.)

The New York Design Center is home to the Swedish furniture company White on White which will be hosting a Swedish Country Interiors book signing and talk in their beautiful showroom. We had the pleasure to feature White on White founder Lena Kaplan's unique office retreat in our last book Swedish Interiors .

This is a photo from Swedish Interiors of Lena's office studio...we should all have a conference table so inviting! Her showrooms at White on White are of similar mood and design. We urge you all to come to the book signing event
this Wednesday, October 14 from 5 -7 p.m. to view the White on White showroom before Lena moves this month after her ten year store anniversary.

A force in the American Scandinavian Foundation and for all things culturally Nordic in Manhattan, Lena has turned her energies over the last few years towards a gallery in TriBeCa called More North.

The More North Gallery is just around the corner from Nobu on North Moore Street (yup. North Moore. More North. You will find it!). The gallery, opened by Lena with two other like-minded friends, is a veritable scandinavian oasis of light, cheer and good design. The focus here is on the Fine Arts with a rotating exhibit of major nordic painters and sculptors.

More North is currently exhibiting the work of Icelandic artist Hjortur Hjartarson from Oct 6 - Dec 6. "Heavily textural works evocative of Turner, Hjartarson's work is laden with precipitation. Each piece is composed of several layers of paint and glaze, inviting the viewer's impulse to scratch his/her way to the bottom layer in pursuit of uncovering secrets hidden beneath the surface. The landscapes possess an enchanting quality of organic decomposition. Several large scale and smaller canvases will be exhibited." For more information on Hjartarson go to http://www.morenorth.com/

The art gallery also carries decorative arts and a good selction of contemporary furniture. The upstairs gallery is punctuated by a dramatic staircase with birch trees seemingly growing through it. As designed by KOKO Architectural Design, you descend the stairs into a birch grove...

of carved out wooden panels. Utterly charming.

We think More North has one of the best playrooms in the city, too, with its wonderful selection of childrens furniture and toys!
Many thanks to Lena for having us to White on White this week and also to Marianne Thorsen, who's weekend retreat is profiled in our new book, for organzing this special event with White on White!
White on White, 200 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 212- 988-9194
(website temporarily out of service)
Rhonda and I look forward to seeing everyone at the Event!