When Rivers Spencer is not busy sourcing and selling antique and vintage pieces, or designing her own collection of locally-made furniture, she is running her full-service design studio. Her carefully-curated store in New Orleans is filled with gorgeous 18th- and 19th-century European antiques and elegant contemporary pieces. We sat down with the Southern belle to talk shop:
What inspired you to get into the design industry?
I taught myself how to faux-finish furniture in my grandmother’s garage as a stress reliever while I was studying for the LSAT. I realized I loved doing something creative and decided to open a store on Magazine Street in August of 2012. I began doing design work also, and 2 years later I moved the store to a larger showroom space. I started my furniture collection and things have grown from there.
How would you describe your own style?
I get asked this question a lot so we developed a tag line to describe it: timeless, elegant, tailored, fresh. In addition to that I would say my style is distinctly Southern and sophisticated, with clean-lined upholstery and antiques mixed in.
What do people find at your store?
My store is a curated collection of antique and vintage items in addition to my Rivers Spencer Collection furniture made in the city of New Orleans. I really like rugs, particularly oushak rugs. I also carry Verellen upholstery, Visual Comfort, Ralph Lauren lighting, and Aerin accessories.
What inspires you in your process of curating and designing pieces?
I am inspired by the history of pieces and the stories behind them. I often pick pieces for their shape and finish. I also tend to like things with curvier lines.
What is it about antique furniture and objects that you love so much?
I love the patina and the look of warm woods mixed in with lighter more modern pieces. Patina on a Biedermeier chest can make a room because of the depth and warmth it provides.
And if you can’t easily swing through New Orleans, you can shop Rivers’ timeless style right here on The HighBoy: