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Sunday, November 8, 2009
People are often surprised to find out that I do not enjoy shopping for fabric, given my love for all things interior design related. I am fully aware of the beauty that a lovely fabric adds to a room, and think that the selection of the right fabrics with the right patterns, textures, and/or colors are essential elements in the design of a room. However, to me, shopping for fabric is like shopping for clothes - there are so many options, so many styles, my heart sinks every time I walk into a fabric showroom. I am definitely more of a fan of furniture.
I could look at furniture all day long. Sometimes I go to the Atlanta Design Center or Americas Mart for the sheer joy of looking at the most exquisite furniture you can imagine, all different styles and shapes and colors. To me, a well made piece of furniture is like a sculpture - so much care and consideration must be put into the scale and proportion in order for the furniture to 'work'. Then there is the matter of the finish, which can give a piece of furniture an entirely different look if it is created in a light or dark finish, a painted finish or stain.
The Nantucket table by Rose Tarlow-Melrose House is, without a doubt, my one of my favorite pieces of furniture. I love the curves of the legs and finials counterbalanced with the straight beam in the midde, and the decorative elements carved into the top. After reading 'The Private House' by Rose Tarlow recently, I have an even greater appreciation for this beautiful piece of furniture. Quotes from Tarlow perfectly describes her approach towards the furniture in her line: "I don't reproduce furniture, I simply adapt designs until I find them pleasing". I highly recommend this charming book; it is a book that is mainly text, in some ways more of an autobiography. I loved reading Tarlow's observations on a life well led; she is keenly observant and has a sincere appreciation for quality over quantity, for slowly collecting, and for giving a room an emotional layer that goes a bit beyond just decorating.
The Nantucket table has gained a fair amount of press because of its placement on the set of 'Something's Gotta Give' - it was used in the main character's bedroom.
One of my all time favorite designers, Lars Bolander, used the Nantucket table in my favorite home from his portfolio.
On rare occasions, I spot this table in my favorite design magazines. When I first saw this picture (image via Southern Accents, photo credit Tria Giovan), I noticed nothing but the Nantucket table. Now I am also appreciating some of the other details in the room - the contrast of the light finish of the table with the darkness of the built in cabinets. As a side note, I have recently noticed quite a few cabinets that are actually built into the wall - they look like furniture, but a recess in the wall has been created.
Rose Tarlow is represented by Ainsworth-Noah in Atlanta (to the trade). I must admit that I purposely seek out this table every time I go into the showroom. Earlier this year, the showroom displayed the table next to a bed.
Recently, it was paired with a sofa in a living room scene. Same lamp, though!
If I were to buy this table, I am not sure where I would put it. And, I wonder whether my dog Ben would knock this table over with his huge enthusiastic tail? He has decimated an antique table that belonged to my husband's grandmother as it has been knocked over so many times. This table, however, looks quite sturdy with its base with four legs. I keep thinking about Rose Tarlow's own recommendation in 'The Private House'- she is emphatic about buying what you love, and you will find a place for it. Does this philosophy work for you?
Please visit Rose Tarlow's newly relaunched web site for more inspiration. Also, for an excellent write up of the new location of Rose Tarlow's showroom in Los Angeles, see Velvet & Linen's post.
To purchase Rose Tarlow's wonderful book, The Private House, click here.
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Whimsical original crab and lobster paintings, as seen in House Beautiful, available here: