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January, 2009:

Fantastic Reproductions

When I can’t find the right antique for a client or when I need a matching companion to a piece, I turn to a select group of artisans like those at the Italian company Pozzoli represented at the Roubini showroom in New York City. They have been in business for over 100 years making fantastic reproductions of period antiques using traditional 18th century methods.

I am especially fond of this wonderful console – with its chalky white finish, carved palm leaf detail, lions paw feet with and antiqued marble top, it would be hard pressed to tell this from an antique original. I love this side chair as well – a Louis XVI style chair that has been modified to give it a more luxurious modernist feel. You may see a pair of these consoles in one of my upcoming interiors and perhaps a few of these chairs around a dining table.

I am wearing a mix of black and brown – black cashmere topcoat by Gucci, a heavy knit brown wool sweater with button front and epalets, Russian floral print brown and black silk/cotton shirt by Gucci, Michael Kors cashmere thermal weave undershirt, black wool flannel pant by Gucci, brown leather “Chelsea” boots by Gucci, brown suede gloves by Sermoneta and a document folder by Louis Vuitton.

A Desk with History

Founded in 1472, the Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena is the oldest bank still in operation. As would be expected, they have had a few renovations since then – some of the most elegant of which took place during the 1950’s, when the bank hired architects and industrial designers from within the Gio Ponti circle to revamp the the interiors with a new modernist eye. Many of these new designs were created within pre-existing Renaissance palazzos which heightened the sense of sophistication, refinement, and historical context. The gallery L’art de Vivre (978 Lexington Avenue 212-734-3510) is known for their exquisite selection of 20th century design for 21st century living. They buy what they love with an eye for high quality beautiful pieces. Made for the Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena in the 1950s from mixed pale woods combined with bronze and steel accents and shaped like the then innovative Gio Ponti Pirelli building in Milan (which inspired the Pan Am/MetLIfe building here in NYC) this handsome desk (pictured below) is a perfect example of the high caliber furniture one can find at L’art de Vivre.

Seated on this gorgeous desk, I am wearing a Gucci cognac corduroy suit, vintage Dior pocket square, Russian floral print silk/cotton shirt by Gucci, Paul Smith wool scarf, brown python belt with silver double horse head buckle, and python loafers – both by Gucci.

The Exceptional Piece

I often develop the concept for the design of a room based on a single exceptional piece. My friends at super chic Frederick P Victoria have been making fine re-creations of period antiques using time tested traditional methods for several generations, and the pictured 18th century Regence style commode here is one of their finest – its arabalette front, pierced legs, cloven hoof feet, and outrageous turquoise blue trompe-l’Å“il ground make this the perfect element upon which to build an absolutely gorgeous room!

I am wearing a navy velvet jacket by Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent silk paisley pocket square, Turnbull and Asser navy cotton shirt with contrast white collar and cuffs, Seaman Schepps black pearl cuff links, black hounds tooth wool pants by Gucci, navy blue leather belt with silver buckle by Hermes, and navy blue leather cap toe shoes by Gucci.