I’m working on my next big idea in 2010, a line of custom home furnishings that reflect my signature style. I’m still passionate about Asian artifacts and antiques but this collection also embodies a 40s French Moderne aesthetic. Every piece is designed to be the focal point that inspires the look and feel of the rest of your room.
You can seat up to ten people comfortably at the dining room table that I’ve named the Hillcrest. It’s made from a solid piece of walnut veneered in a starburst pattern and edged with an egg-and-dart detail.
I clipped the corners because it’s more graceful in a small room. One of the great things about the table is there aren’t any legs to get in your dinner guests’ way. You can also add additional chairs.
The pedestals are flamed mahogany with antique gold leaf. The wood trim is an extra detail and you’ll see more gold leaf. It’s a red clay base, with a layer of gold that is rubbed down so it’s not too bright and then it’s sealed with a layer of varnish.
The Empire Period was the inspiration for the gently scrolled back of my Hillcrest Dining Chair. The black crackle finish compliments the black leather I selected for the upholstery. The front legs have custom cast bronze sabots that I designed specifically for the chair.
The carved details and rosettes are finished in antique gold and I’ve added a Chinoiserie design on the sides in gold and silver.
Chinoiserie is a French word that means “in the Chinese taste”. The style was hugely popular in the 17th and 18th centuries but what most people don’t realize is that it doesn’t come from China at all. Cultures from Persia all the way to China were called “Oriental” by the Europeans and designers, reading descriptions of “Chinese” scenes, interpreted them into designs that were pure fantasy and romance. They’re whimsical and sometimes silly, and that’s what makes them so appealing.
The challenge in designing a chair is getting the pitch correct so you can sit comfortably for long periods of time. The arm is pulled back from the front of the chair so that it clears the table or desk apron. This chair works as a dining room chair, a desk chair or simply as a beautiful accent piece. It’s comfortable, elegant and timeless.