Tag Archives | Antique Furniture

Design Reveal :: California Casual Chic Living Room

Open to the kitchen with a view of the backyard, my client envisioned a casual retreat that could stand up to all the kids’ play, yet still be chic. The result is an inviting, kid-friendly space that incorporates a fresh twist on traditional, mixes the old with new and features worldly accents. I’m thrilled to give you a tour of this California casual chic living room.

California casual-chic interior design - simplified bee

The color palette, of blues and gold was predetermined by the room’s wall color and roman shades. A pair of existing skirted sofas were reupholstered in woven golden fabric – although still a tailored look, they have a warm beachy feel. The seating area is anchored by a steel blue rug with a fresh pattern inspired by ancient Aztec tile.

California casual-chic interior design - simplified beerococo-style antique chair in schumacher fabric - simplified bee

A demilune table found at a local consignment store was placed behind the sofa and is flanked by a pair of elegant Rococo style chairs. The heirloom antique chairs were reupholstered in the beautiful Sinhala Linen (stone) by Martyn Lawrence Bullard for Schumacher. The traditional tree of life pattern really complements the chair’s ornate pierced splat back and curvy cabriole legs.

california chic living room // cristin priest of simplified bee

Between the sofas I placed a Moroccan inspired octagonal side table topped with a beautiful brass ring lamp, turquoise foo dog and a succulent that brings the outside in.  The sofas’ custom throw pillows in Sikar Embroidery (flax) also by Martyn Lawrence Bullard features an exotic ikat pattern that pulls together the color palette beautifully.

oval marble coffee table // california chic living room // simplified bee

Avoiding sharp corners, an oval coffee table with a gilded base and marble top was selected. The table was back-ordered forever, but worth the wait!

Stylish Built-in Bookcase - Simplified Bee

Remember this styled built-in bookcase? Here it is again with a few new accessories.

stylish bookshelves // cristin priest of simplified bee

I’m so happy with the way this space came together and so is my client. Love that!

Happy decorating,


*photo credit: Jennifer Jacobson

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Read full story By on January 6, 2014 in antiques, bookshelves, chairs, chinoiserie, console tables, contemporary decor, curated look, home accessories, interior design, Interiors, Living Room, living rooms, simplified bee portfolio, throw pillows

Book Review :: Classical Chinese Furniture

My love for classical Chinese furniture grew while living in San Francisco. Like many, I’m naturally drawn to the innovation, beautiful lines and iconic forms of Chinese antique furniture. It’s some of the finest furniture ever made and can make a ho-hum room come alive. And best yet, it’s a timeless look.

Classical Chinese Furniture by Marcus Flacks

In the new book, Classical Chinese Furniture by Marcus Flacks, the art of Chinese furniture of the 16th-18th centuries is explored and celebrated.  He begins by giving a brief history of Chinese furniture starting with the Han dynasty (206 BCE – 220 CE). He discusses how the Ming period (14th-16th centuries) directly influenced the “golden age” spanning the late 16th to the early 18th century. Like the furniture itself, the book is simple in nature. Flacks showcases 52 masterpieces – all exemplary, exquisite and rare.

Antique Chinese Furniture - Table Detail

“I have tried to avoid the predictable as much as possible, focusing on the pieces that I felt took the designs or concepts under-lying classical Chinese Furniture that little step further; pieces that surprised me for their innovation, rarity, quality, antiquity or sometimes their sheer beauty.” explains Flacks.

Chinese Rose Chair with S Shaped Spindles

After discussing trends in collecting Chinese furniture (dating, materials, condition, etc.), Flacks launches into the first piece of furniture: the Rose Chair with ‘S’ – Shaped Spindles (Huanghuali wood, 17 – early 18th century). He describes the extraordinary spindle chair as “one of the most surprising and exciting” pieces he has ever handled.

Chinese Root Stool Ming Style

One of my favorite pieces, the Root Stool (18th century) caught me by surprise. Perhaps it’s because the rich tradition of Chinese root furniture is often overlooked by historians. In it’s most natural form, the root stool (this one in the Ming style)  is a beautiful marriage of craftsmanship and nature.

Chinese Drum Stools in White Marble

In the appendices, Flacks continues to share invaluable information by diving a little deeper into the secrets of timber, joinery, regional production and the art of restoration.

Design experts will apprecite Classical Chinese Furniture’s rich content the most. However it’s a book all can enjoy and would make a wonderful addition to any coffee table or design library.

- Cristin

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Read full story By on December 3, 2012 in antiques, book review, chinoiserie, Features, furniture