For as long as I can remember I have loved interior design. My mother was a designer and magazine editor and when I was just 12, I started helping out at Sarah Kaplan’s home furnishings store, Dovecote, in Westport, Connecticut.
Several years ago I joined her on a buying trip to an antique’s fair in the South of France, where I instantly fell in love with a pair of Louis XVI-style fauteuils with medallion backs (fauteuil is the French term for armchair). I have always loved 19th-century French armchairs but these were exceptional. They had such an unusual scale, extremely petite with a white washed finish. I loved their profile and envisioned reupholstering them in some velvet animal print (which I later found at Cowtan & Tout).
The chairs were the first antiques I ever bought for myself and luckily Sarah had a crate to fill for the store so getting them home didn’t cost a fortune. It would have been a nightmare otherwise! I stored them initially and then eventually used them in my first apartment. It might seem harder to work with something so petite, but I find that the unusually small scale gives me the freedom to really use them anywhere. Right now they flank the coffee table in my living room, but if I were to downsize they could easily be separated; one at the end of a long hallway would look so chic!
Needless to say, I’ve been going back to that antique fair ever since. The markets are held in different parts of the South of France each year, so there’s always something new to discover.
Can’t make it all the way to the South of France to find your first (of many) antiques? Check out our collection of fauteuils now on The HighBoy.
1. French Carved Directoire-Style Fauteuil | 2. Pair of 19th-Century French Walnut Caned Fauteuil
3. Pair of French Louis XV-Style Fauteuils
4. Louis XV-Style Fauteuil with Aubusson Upholstery | 5. Louis XV-Style Painted Fauteuil
6. Pair of French Antique Louis XV Style Fauteuils
Photos courtesy of Sam Allen.