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Archive for October, 2011

In the Entryway?
Perfect for hats and scarves, keys and keeping other clutter out of view, this iron strap isho dansu is mixed with other Asian antiques and objects in this elegant entry by Vincente Wolf.

Even shoes or rainboots can fit if the tansu is big enough. Love the similarity between the spare Shaker-like English rush-seat chairs and the simple mizuya tansu.

In the Living Room?
The gilded doors and elaborately grained wood on this early 20th century tansu dresses up a corner of Chris Barrett’s tiny home.

In the Dining Room?
Designer and blogger Lauren Liess uses the bottom half of a tansu as a sideboard in her dining room. The big sliding doors and deep cabinet make storage easy.

In the Kitchen?
I know I’ve shown this Michael Smith photo before, but I love it so much I’ll show it again. He is a master at using Japanese antique furniture in his designs. For more great examples from him click here.

In the Family Room?
This example is a bit of a cheat as it actually a Korean bandaji (blanket chest), a family heirloom of Ally’s of From the Right Bank.

In the Bedroom?
A big tansu, perfect for clothes, blankets and pillows in the Chelsea bedroom of Ray Booth and John Shea…

or a small one on raised metal legs, making a perfect nightstand in this gorgeous Madeline Stuart designed bedroom.

Smaller chigai dana with their open staggered shelves, often laquered and decorative, are incredibly versatile too. Besides the most famous one residing in the White House, you can find them tucked in numerous interesting spaces. Check out the one in the left corner of this Markham Roberts designed living room…

…and another hidden in the left corner of Celerie Kemble‘s bedroom.

I’ve had a few questions lately from readers on how to blend Japanese antique furniture into Western interiors, so this post proves my adage that a tansu can work in almost any design style, whether modern, traditional or eclectic. Perpetually underused in the design world, tansu are great for storage and display as well as gorgeous in their own right.

So friends and readers, where do you tansu? I’d love to do a follow-up post showing photos of tansu in your rooms! Get out your cameras, do a little styling if you want and send me photos of tansu in your homes!

Related Posts:
What’s Cooking? Tansu in the Kitchen
Sourcing Antiques for Michael Smith Interiors
A Masterful Modern Mixmaster…John F. Saladino
An Artistic Reflection…The 1860 Japanese Envoy to America and Yokohama-e

Image credits: 1. Metropolitan Home November/December 1995, photo credit: Simon Watson, 2. credit unknown, perhaps Kelly Hoppen, 3. House Beautiful July/August 2011, photo credit: Victoria Pearson, 4. via Pure Style Home, 5. via Chinoiserie Chic, 6. via From the Right Bank, 7. Elle Decor September 2007, photo credit: Eric Piasecki, 8. Elle Decor January 2007, photo credit: unknown, 9. House Beautiful May 2011, photo credit: Thomas Loof, 10. Lonny October/November 2010, photo credit: Patrick Cline

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Maybe it is the change in weather, or perhaps I am missing my beach cottage, or most likely worrying that I have not made any new progress on it and it is already October, but these photos of stylist Megan Morton‘s home in Australia from The Design Files have left me utterly drooling.

No matter how many times I see a Saarinen tulip table with bentwood chairs, I never tire of the combo. And I love that slipcovered corner chair!

The room is so quintessentially Aussie to me – the combination of sunny open space, found objects and modern upholstered furniture.

I would kill for this console at my beach house – perfect for under the stairs. And her display is so natural and organic.

Ah, the lockers….

One of my summer regrets is not buying a set of giant keys up in the Red Bank antique stores. This photo is really rubbing it in.

Is that a tiny Boston fern I spy in the all white bathroom, tiled in penny rounds and subway tiles?

The house is on the market and the industrial lockers are staying, so if you are looking for a place in Sydney, I say go for it. Oops, it has sold already, so you’ll just have to enjoy the photos…More of them found at The Design Files.

And for good measure, I am adding this photo from Riviera Interiors spotted over at Delight by Design

Note the marble-topped rusty cast iron table in the back corner. Still dreaming of one of those too…

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After my butterfly finds post last week, I have had a little voice in my head whispering to me over that small detail about the stuffed peacock in the Celerie Kemble designed apartment in the newest Lonny magazine. I had mentioned that taxidermy peacocks have been all the rage for some time now, but as trends go, they don’t do it for me quite the way butterflies do. Here’s the aforementioned bird in the dining room.

But why did it all feel so familiar? The article mentioned that Kemble had designed this space previously as a model apartment for the building’s developer, but that wasn’t it. I knew Kemble herself had a peacock on the wall in her living room, but it was definitely a different one.

She can’t be credited with starting the trend - for instance, here is Anna Sui’s NYC apartment resplendent with pattern and peacock from an autumn 2009 Elle Decor issue…

…and prior to that I can recall the one in Jeffrey Bilhuber‘s gorgeous place, featured in the New York Social Diary.

The recent September Elle Decor featured the San Francisco home of Alexis and Trevor Traina with their peacock filled dining room, which I was also decorated some time ago and shown earlier elsewhere. But I am getting off tangent and I don’t really mean to be writing a post about the trend of dead birds in decorating! If I was really planning on doing that, I’d need to get all historical on you…

Then it finally hit me! Kemble’s dining room, which I had featured in a previous post, was basically the same room. Maybe her clients live in the same building in a similarly laid out apartment?  After all, it is a big new building. And Kemble’s dining room had quite unusual display items too – a pair of samurai warrior armor. Do you remember these?

At the time of that post, I asked what you thought of the armor. So I guess today’s question is which do you prefer? Stuffed birds or stuffed suits?

And while we are talking about peacocks anyway, I simply cannot avoid getting all historical on you. I have to put in a pitch for the most extraordinary peacock related place in the world – James McNeill Whistler’s Peacock Room – the showpiece of the Freer Gallery in Washington D.C. Recently restored to its original splendor…

…the curators have taken yet a further step by temporarily taking down the blue and white style porcelain that Frederick R. Leyland originally displayed in there and installing Charles Lang Freer’s (who later purchased the room and brought it to America) original collection of ancient Asian ceramics. In effect, the room has been rewound to 1908. Furthermore, on the third Thursday of each month, the shutters on the windows will be opened, allowing visitors to view the room in natural light. This is truly a special opportunity and not to be missed! The full history and further information can be found here and here.

Courtney mentioned it this summer and a few friends from the D.C. area wrote to me about it as well. I plan on making a pilgrimage (and when talking about the Peacock Room, that is the correct word) there this summer with the girls. Anyone want to join me?

Related Posts:
Thumbs Up or Down? Samurai Armor in the Home
Artist Spotlight…A Final Dose of Japonisme for the New Year
Artist Spotlight…Whistler, Hiroshige and the Best Coffee table Book of All Time

Photo credits: 1. Lonny September/October 2011, photo credit: Patrick Cline, 2 & 6. Lonny October/November 2010, photo credit: Patrick Cline, 3. Elle Decor September 2009, photo credit: Eric Bowman, 4. New York Social Diary July 13, 2007, photo credit: Jeffrey Hirsch, 5. Elle Decor September 2011, photo credit: Simon Upton, 7-8. Freer/Sackler website

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