Friday, January 3, 2014

Decorating a Holiday Dessert Buffet

Since the Twelve Days of Christmas aren’t quite though yet we thought we’d share a buffet table decorated for a holiday dessert party.

Intricate antique sterling and silver-plated serving pieces with vintage china sit awaiting the sweets and treats.

Flanking the buffet are a pair of trees crafted from wire and crystal, while a line of pinecones and votives along the top is punctuated with a few select pieces of white porcelain.

The display has a sort of fantasy winter woodland theme as shown by this vignette of vintage brass deer and crystal and mineral specimens that lend an icy sparkle.

A trio of charming German incense burners, or “smokers” as they’re called because the smoke curls from their mouths, make happy inhabitants of this winter woodland. 

The unusual centerpiece is a golden bonsai Christmas tree trimmed with miniature vintage ornaments and topped with a plump red-feathered bird. When the bonsai tree featured in our houseplant post took a turn for the worst a spray of gold paint gave it a second life as an unexpected Chinoiserie Christmas decoration.

Be sure to see Knickerbocker Antiques and Vintage for any of the serving pieces seen here as well as many many more!

Photos and styling by KS&D.

Monday, December 2, 2013

An Elegant Nature-Inspired Christmas Tree

As we hinted in our previous post we’ve taken a different approach to holiday decorating this year, trading the vintage inspired tinsel trees of years past for a more understated theme inspired by nature.

While the chosen materials may be simple, even humble on their own, they certainly combine to make quite the statement en mass.

In place of garlands we’ve entwined the tree with swirling grapevines collected from the woods to give an authentic woodland feel, as if the tree were found that way in the forest.

Instead of the traditional balls and bells are a profusion of pinecones in a variety of sizes, as well as fruits including apples, pears, and pomegranates. Fruits in fact were some of the earliest Christmas decorations dating back through the Renaissance to the Medieval era.

Also tucked amongst the vines, fruit, and pinecones is a galaxy of subtle stars woven from grapevine. Tucking is key to decorating a tree like this, as opposed to hanging ornaments on hooks this tree is more like one enormous floral arrangement.

In lieu of thousands of tinsel icicles are thousands of vibrant red berries for an elegantly abundant finishing touch.

Finally the crowning tree topper is a pair of naturally shed deer antlers clustered among a profusion of bare branches and berries to complete the woodland fantasy theme.

While the previous years retro snow village made an ideal scene around our vintage themed trees, a traditional nativity scene makes a more fitting base for this elegant nature inspired tree.

The elaborate nativity features Italian figures dramatically posed in a miniature landscape of moss, gnarled roots, and stones.

Just like the tree that towers above them the humble elements beneath combine en mass to form a rich and exuberant display.

We hope you’ve enjoyed seeing our elegant natural woodland Christmas tree as much as we enjoyed creating it. Wishing a very happy holiday season to all!

As always for unique and eclectic gifts for table and home be sure to shop the antique and vintage treasures at Knickerbocker.

Photos and Styling by KS&D.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Holiday's Are Almost Here!

It’s that time of year again to start thinking about trimming the house for the holidays!

Although here at Knickerbocker Style and Design our readers seem to have Christmas on their minds all year long as our annual Christmas tree posts have become among our most popular.

This year we’ve decided to take a break from the vintage inspired tinsel avalanches of the past few years in favor of a more natural look.

The vignette here gives a hint to the decorative elements and color schemes we have in mind.

Be sure to check back it the coming weeks for our version of a nature inspired holiday!

Photos and styling by KS&D.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Jack-o’-lantern Inspiration

What better way to get into the Halloween spirit than with this craftily carved patch of pumpkins. 

These charmingly spooky Jack-o’-lanterns all hail from the annual Carve competition hosted by Lambertville’s historic Inn of the Hawke, the perfect venue for a haunted Halloween event given its legendary retinue of resident ghosts.










Happy Halloween!

Photos by KS&D.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Collecting Antique Leather-Bound Books

  Of all the antiques that cross our path there is none more evocative than the venerable gilt lettered spine of a well-worn leather-bound book.

We’ve collected fine antique bindings for years, ever enamored by the texture and romance they bring a vignette whenever a dose of timeworn patina is called for.

It could be the fragile nature of their components, feather edged pages crisp with age, cracked jewel-toned leathers embossed with gold gilt lettering, and those richly marbleized endpapers that bespeak of romance.

Or perhaps it’s the intimate nature of a well-loved volume, an instant link to the past and those who owned, read, and cherished these delicate little gems that makes them unique among other antique collectibles.

After all, how many personal items are so ritualistically branded as a genuinely treasured tome? In fact, reading and researching the sometimes centuries worth of ‘ex libris’ bookplates is one of the unique pleasures of collecting antiquarian books.

For instance the rich ruby-red spines of the six volumes of the works of Alexandre Dumas display the neatly printed bookplates of one Doris Fletcher Ryer, later Nixon. Dating to 1906, the same year Miss Ryer was sent to school in Paris, where this set of French classics was purchased and elegantly embossed with her monogram in tiny gold gilt letters on each spin.

A simple internet search reveals Miss Ryer to be a fascinating character with her own wikipedia page touting an impressive resume of civic works including founder and president of Guide Dogs for the Blind, Inc., state commander of the California Cancer Society, and national vice-president of the American Women’s Voluntary Services during the Second World War.

Before assuming her role as a civil leader, the privileged young Miss Ryer freshly returned from what would prove to be a well-utilized European education, took up residence with her mother at Beachmond. The elegant Colonial Revival cottage in Newport, Rhode Island pictured above where she made her debut to society in 1915 before marrying the wealthy industrialist Stanhope Wood Nixon two years later.

The story doesn’t end there, as Doris and Stanhope’s first-born son Lewis Nixon III would become probably the most celebrated member of the family for his part in the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment during World War II as chronicled by historian Stephen Ambrose in his book later produced by Stephen Spielberg as the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers. As you can see, some books have more tales to tell than those merely inscribed on their pages.

Styling and photos 1-5 by KS&D.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Filling in the Gaps

It’s been sometime since we first posted about our ever-growing staircase gallery wall and as you can see it’s really starting to fill out.

Brooke Astor’s dog portrait still holds pride of place at the base of the stairs but plenty of other pieces have come and gone in this ever-changing display.

Many smaller pieces have been added above and below the larger ones to help fill in the gaps and emphasize the stepped diagonal lines of the total composition.

Among the little jewels that help to strengthen the visual diagonal are a small collection of handcrafted collages inspired by the decoupage panels we created to adorn our antique cabinet last year.

The collages include intricately hand cut illustrations and advertising imagery mixed with poetry and even sheet music, all taken directly from antique Harper’s Magazines dating from the 1860’s to 1880’s and decoupaged directly to the backside of the glass.

These completely one-of-a-kind works of art, reminiscent of the scrap folk art so popular in the Victorian era from which the magazines date, are currently available here in our eclectic online shop Knickerbocker Antiques and Vintage along with many other items seen along our gallery wall.

Photos by KS&D.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

One of the Prettiest Towns in America!

Regular readers of this blog will know how much we love our town, so it was no surprise to us to see select Lambertville as one of the fifteen prettiest towns in the America.

A panel that included travel experts from Frommer’s, Fodor’s, and even National Geographic said:

            “Tiny Lambertville on the shores of the Delaware River in western New Jersey, packs a lot of small-town punch, welcoming visitors with some of the best antique shopping in the Northeast, as well as with its selection of galleries, shops, and restaurants. “It’s quaint as heck, with a lot of old Atlantic flare.””

If a trip to Lambertville isn’t in your future you can always enjoy browsing our carefully curated selection of art and antiques HERE at Knickerbocker!

Photos by KS&D.
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