Q: What Are Good Starting Places for Art & Accessories?
Art and accessories are like the jewelry of a room. Furniture, rugs, and window treatments are the basic outfits. You need art and accessories, thoughtfully added to your interiors, to complete the design ensemble. The end result will be a great "finished" look. Bottom line: you aren't done decorating until you accessorize. This episode of Design2Share Q&A covers Nicola and Irwin's tips and advice on how to select special pieces, what to do with scale in any room, tips for buying art with your design scheme in mind, changing outdated picture frames and lampshades, the importance of David Hicks' concept of "tablescapes" for arranging accessories, where and how to buy artwork, and tips to keep in mind when purchasing art.
Southhampton-based Mecox Gardens has spread its kingdom of home design stores to seven locations, including Manhattan's sleek Upper East Side, toney Southampton, and their latest upscale Houston store. These stores do an artful job of combining interior and exterior design, blending in reeditions of their favorite furnishings with one-of-a-kind antiques and accessories that their skilled-eyed buyers pounce on with aplomb. These stores are, in our humble opinion, your best bets for getting furniture, art, and accessories for your home.
We like the mix of items in this store, and admire their sometimes kooky decor choices. Check out these huge overscale prints like this Lord Denver Horse Tryptich (what a great solution for a huge wall, and what a gutsy way to carve up a horse!). We think this tryptich would look great over their own stunning, yet casual Banana Leaf High Back Settee (and we love the white twill cushions and the way this piece can bring a flavor of outdoor, colonial casualness into an interior design scheme).
There are zillions of great items in each of their stores, and their backbone of reedition furniture, like this heavenly Medicine Cabinet, offers abundant options for space-starved New York apartments and condos. This large steel and glass cabinet is a perfect way to display curios, collections, books, and other items, but imagine using it in your kitchen or dining room area as a functional storage piece for collections of dishes and serving pieces; put it in the hallway or inside a large bathroom to provide perfect storage for piles of sparkling white, thirsty bath towels, hand towels, and washcloths.
And how about this incredible Zinc Top Belgian Potting Bench! It’s raised back and sides and graceful legs make it the perfect work surface. You could use this for food prep in the kitchen or for craft projects and scrapbooking. Imagine it as a desk in a home office. Or, if you’d like to be completely humorless and literal, use it outside as a potting workstation.
Mecox has “new arrivals” every week, and you can either schlep to your closest store location, or go to the Mecox Gardens online store to check out their latest discoveries. Here are some of our favorites from the Manhattan store.
This Vellum Topped Oak Console (vellum is goat skin) is a curvy and practical table. The limed wood is light and gives a Hollywood Regency stylishness to any hallway, entryway, or dining room. It’s tabletop can serve many functions, from mounting an impromptu buffet for your party guests to displaying family photos amidst a collection of cool cachepots.
This Rue de Lille Library Chair is gorgeously worn antiqued leather with nail heads galore and a large single nailhead on each arm. Studly, masculine, and outrageously comfortable, when we think of seating for any home, we think of interesting and unusual pieces like this, adding much warmth and character to the décor.
Finally, we're cuckoo over this antique English Curved Metal Bench (see bottom photo). Not only is it a likely suspect for any garden, patio, or deck, but bring it indoors and make it pull it up to a breakfast table, dining table, or banquette along with a few chairs to add informal sass to your seating arrangements. Make a custom seat cushion for added comfort and throw pillows against the back and you have a regal way to seat three at any table—and believe us, your guests will all fight to sit here!
Check out Mecox Gardens:
- Their Manhattan location is at 962 Lexington Avenue (70th & Lex).
- Store hours are Monday thru Saturday 10am to 6pm and Sunday Noon to 5pm
- Stock is not limited to what’s on display; many catalog items are available on a custom-order basis.