Antiques, Art, and Craft: Sourcing the Perfect Piece - CB Exclusive
In the world of interiors and collecting, there's an art to finding, appreciating, and presenting unique items that tell a story and breathe life into spaces.
Whether you're a designer or homeowner or an art enthusiast the approach does not differ. It’s important to listen to your gut and follow your own eye. The hunt for timeless statement pieces is a journey filled with excitement, think of it as an energetic treasure hunt. I have been fortunate enough to travel the world looking for pieces that complete a project. Now I am going to give you an exclusive guide to the finest destinations and techniques for uncovering exceptional antiques, art, and craft works.
Art and antique fairs are veritable treasure troves for collectors and designers alike. These events offer a curated selection of antique furniture, fine art, ceramics, and vintage curiosities, all carefully vetted by experts in the field. With many renowned fairs around the world, each boasting its unique charm and offering.
My first destination on the list is the Paris Flea Market officially known as Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen.
As the world's largest antiques and vintage market, the Paris Flea is a true mecca. Stroll through the labyrinthine alleys and discover everything from 18th-century furniture to mid-century modern marvels. The Paris Flea never fails to surprise me. It's a goldmine for sourcing eclectic pieces with character, it’s also a living time capsule of sorts. I’ve found incredible rare French mid-century ceramics, a Picasso print and even a even a coffee table by Yves Boucard.
My second recommendation to put on your bucket list is art specific and one of the most important events for art in the United States.
Art Basel Miami Beach is an extension of the art fair that started in Basel, Switzerland some twenty years ago.
This year will be the 21st edition of the fair that opens the second week of December. There are so many adjacent events that week in Miami but if it’s your first time, just buy a ticket for the opening on Thursday. You will be swept into Miami’s gigantic convention center with galleries and artworks from all over the world.
It’s like exploring a maze of some of the most beautiful objects you have ever seen.There are big ticket items but also lots to discover and more reasonable priced pieces in the emerging gallery section called positions.
Let your eye wonder and get lost in the beauty, around every corner is something that inspires.
Each booth will have a team of dealers and specialists so don’t be afraid to ask questions. These conversations are always educational and will help you immerse more deeply into the nature of a given piece. Learning about the artists is one of the most important things you can do to connect to the sometimes-intimidating modern art scene.
My next essential destination is the The Round Top Antique Market in Round Top, Texas. This is a biannual event renowned for its diverse collection of antiques, attracting collectors and enthusiasts nationwide.
Spread along Highway 237, this market offers a wide range of vintage items, from furniture and decor to clothing and jewelry. What sets it apart is not just the shopping but the communal spirit it fosters. Visitors can engage with passionate dealers who share stories and knowledge about their treasures. I recommend committing at least three days to the event, so you can really give yourself a chance to explore and immerse.
The Mauberger Farm antique show that opens in the middle of the fair is a standout of antique excellence. I have my favorite dealers that I revisit each year, Eneby always installs a gorgeous showroom, Amelia Tarbet and Architectural Anarchy both bring the most extraordinary collectables that have been the cherry on top for many of my clients. The event's picturesque setting in the Texas Hill Country adds to its allure, inviting people to explore Round Top's charming streets, local restaurants, and bars. Don’t be afraid to have a margarita before you set out to explore!
The entire event is more than just a market; it's a social gathering where conversations flow as freely as the Texas sunshine.
Whether you're a seasoned collector seeking rare finds or a newcomer looking for unique pieces, the Round Top Antique Market promises an unforgettable experience. Remember Hotels are limited so look for a house to Airbnb months before or check out the Proper hotel in Austin, one of my go-to’s.
The practice of sourcing extends beyond the acquisition of individual pieces. To create a curated collection with a cohesive narrative, one must have a keen eye for detail, a passion for storytelling, and the ability to appreciate the interplay of styles and eras. When traveling to these events and thinking about how to best serve your overall design goals my approach is to blend antique and vintage items with contemporary pieces.
The tension between the old and the new creates a captivating visual dialogue in the spaces I design.
In the world of antiques, art, and craft, there's an inherent responsibility to preserve the legacy of these treasures for future generations. When you acquire a piece with a rich history, you become its custodian, ensuring it continues to captivate and inspire. Make sure you are thoughtful about installation and shipping and research and learn as much as you can from your dealer because every piece has its own history and story that you can use. It's not just about aesthetics; it's about respecting the craftsmanship, the artists, and the stories behind each object. By carefully curating and presenting your finds, you ensure that their beauty endures for generations to come.
As interior designers and collectors, it's our privilege to bring these exceptional pieces into the spotlight, preserving their history and sharing their beauty with the world, have fun and bring a sense of adventure to your travels and antiques!