There is nothing like the history, quality, and craftsmanship behind an original piece of furniture. While original pieces are of the highest regards, it is not always possible to get your hands on one and a reproduction just might be the perfect replacement. Reproductions versus Originals has been an ongoing topic in the high-end interior design business – and while many think that reproductions are mere copies of the work of true artists, I believe there is a time and place for them. Here are some instances where it is fitting to purchase a reproduction and some where it is more gratifying and beneficial to spring for the original.

High-End Art Reproductions

There are many reasons to have professional reproductions of celebrated pieces of art. A dear friend of mine, and very talented reproduction artist, Chris Hartunian reproduces paintings for clients whose original art works are on loan to museums or clients who want renowned works that are not for sale. In 2011 I used her reproduction of The Three Graces by Kees Van Dongen in my window display for Legends of La Cienega in West Hollywood. Unable to get my hands on the original, I reached out to a former client of mine that commissioned Hartunian for this piece of art. It’s a perfect example of an instance where using a reproduction was more fitting and feasible than the original, and it introduced an exciting back-story to the display!

Donna Livingston Legends of La Cienega

The 2011 window display for Legends of La Cienega, featuring the reproduction of The Three Graces by Kees Van Dongen. Interior design by Donna Livingston Design in the Gray Morell showroom.

Guaranteed Return on Investment

As a luxury interior designer I often purchase high-end furniture and accessories that double as investment pieces. When purchasing furniture that you may decide to sell later, it is important to keep in mind that you will only be happy with the return if the pieces are original. Used reproductions and knock-offs can be hard to sell, but originals with history are almost always guaranteed to get the same return on investment – or even a profit, in many cases.

Original Biedermeier Sofa

This unique German Beidermeier Sofa, circa early 1820’s, is sold exclusively through Ritter Antik in New York City. Ritter Antik has specialized in original Beidermeier antiques for over 40 years and have a stunning collection of these renowned pieces. 

Working with a Limited Budget

I have had the pleasure to work with some amazing clients and equally amazing budgets, but that is not always the case. When working with a limited budget, I will mix a few high-end reproductions in with original pieces. Locating historical originals in pristine condition can be challenging and expensive, often being out of the client’s budget. With many years in the interior design business I have found the best sources for both originals and skillfully built reproductions. Quatrain, in Los Angeles, is a wonderful source for period reproductions.

Andre Arbus Style Reproduction

Naturally, I fell in love with this Andre Arbus Style Reproduction from Quatrain. The attention to detail that their craftsmen have is impeccable.  

What are your thoughts on Reproductions versus Originals? Do you feel there are instances to incorporate reproductions into your interior design or do you prefer the history behind originals?

Contact Donna Livingston Design to assist you in finding the perfect originals or reproductions for your home or office.