Saturday, December 25, 2010

Seasons Eatings!

Wishing a very happy holiday season to all!

We have some great posts planned for the new year but until then we hope you'll enjoy this entirely edible edifice we created complete with caramel block chimneys, shaved coconut snow, and windows of caramelized sugar.

Gingerbread house and photo by KS&D.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Holiday Hospitality

This holiday season welcome your guests with a cup of cheer served from the finest European cut crystal by Waterford, Val St. Lambert, and Baccarat.

Our barware rests on a romantic inlayed wood tray depicting an elegant lady courted by rival cavaliers. Along the back are placed inverted gold gilt wall corbels to tie in with the opulent golden frame on the dramatic angel painting in an exuberant Spanish Colonial folk art style.

This bold and imaginative work of art is flanked by hand painted tole cachepots brimming with burgundy hydrangea and gilded floral wall swags. Along the top hangs a round Chinese wood carving of horses framed by a pair of intricate Persian miniature horse paintings.

Adding height and drama are large scaled accessories including a matched pair of large sang de boeuf porcelain jars along with two unique armillary sundials. The vintage holiday magazines under the little suit of armor date from the 1940’s and 50’s and are a great source for retro Christmas cookie recipes and holiday decorating ideas. Scattered under an antique French music box are several charming vintage German Christmas cards featuring cozy holiday scenes.

All photos and styling by KS&D.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Trimming the Tinsel Tree

As promised in an earlier post, here are some of our eclectic holiday decorations including our over the top ultimate aluminum Christmas tree.

This year we went with a full on metallic color scheme ranging from silver through the whole spectrum of golds to copper and deep bronze. To keep the focus on the tree we’ve placed it against an original abstract oil painting flanked by Limoges china, antique Chinese silk embroideries, and gilded shadowboxes holding classical plaster medallions.

More than 50 years since they first debuted, vintage aluminum trees are now popular collectibles for their nostalgic charm and clever design. This small bundle of brown paper packages is quickly transformed into a glimmering pine by giving simply primping the branches and tucking them into the trunk. All branches are the same length with the angle of the hole creating the conical shape. We’re using a vintage cast iron tree stand for added strength and stability.

To fill the tree out we’ve wrapped the trunk generously with silver tinsel being careful to choose a wide thick tinsel that closely matches the needles of the tree. We wound the tinsel around the stand filling the entire table, after all what better skirt for a tinsel tree than yet more tinsel!

We’ve added beaded garland by hanging it from the branches on ornament hooks so as not to damage the aluminum needles. Since the branches on these old artificial trees don’t click into place the way the way modern ones do it’s important to hang decorations carefully to avoid accidentally pulling out the branch.

Finally we’ve filled the branches to capacity with European blown glass ornaments mixed with inexpensive discount store finds in multiple finishes including satin, shiny, and glittered. The deep spaces are great for displaying large ornaments or tall slender icicles and the long branches are capable of holding many ornaments with this tree taking over 200 to fill it.

If the cool blue and green color scheme from last year was more your style you might enjoy this white feather tree for another festive yet dreamy twist on holiday decor.

All decorations and photos by KS&D.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Shop New Arrivals Now!

Browse the most eclectic mix of unique antique and vintage home accessories from the comfort and convenience of home. Enhance the design of any interior with Knickerbocker’s carefully curated collection of American, European, Asian, and African fine and decorative arts. Our ever-changing inventory features an array of objects and artifacts from Victorian to Mid-Century Modern including lamps, sconces, art pottery, fine china, porcelain, crystal, art glass, prints, oil paintings, sculpture, folk art, primitives, nautical d├ęcor, and much more!

Click HERE to shop our newest arrivals now!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Russian Romantic

It’s been awhile since our last Interests post when our examples of Hollywood at Chatsworth reminded us of our love for period movies, particularly as sources of design inspiration. While the sets for Pride and Prejudice, especially the Bennett’s charmingly derelict Longbourn House, are certainly among the most beautiful, there is one lesser known film that has always captivated us.

In the 1999 film Onegin, based on Alexander Puskin’s mid-nineteenth century novel in verse, the title character trades the glittering palaces of St. Petersburg for the glistening snows of his Russian country estate. As the jaded Onegin (Ralph Fiennes) engages with the provincial nobility he is introduced to our heroine Tatiana (Liv Tyler), who resides in this rustic wooden manor house with dream-like interiors.

The main living space is a grand white neo-classical hall with banks of white gauze curtained windows, rows of double columns, and a gleaming parquet floor. Arranged around this airy interior are seating areas, a dining area, and even a grand piano.

Throughout the film we see the space transformed from an elegant living room to an intimate supper room from banquet hall to whirling ballroom. As lovely as this space is however it’s the next one you enter that really caught our imagination.

Through the elegant double doors we leave the Grecian temple behind and find ourselves in something like a giant humidor paneled entirely with raw wooden planks. Similar to a modern family room, such a space would have been known as a divan room for the long cushion backed sofas that dominate the walls.

The stark contrast between these two completely different environments is unexpected yet makes perfect sense considering in the long Russian winter it would be ideal to spend the few daylight hours in a bright airy space before retreating to a warm cozy den for the long dark evening.

According to Priscilla Roosevelt, author of the fascinating book Life on the Russian Country Estate, neo-classical architecture and rough plank walls contrasted with intricate parquet floors were common to manor houses of the period, most of which were lost to history following the Russian Revolution. Onegin recreates this lost world down to unique touches like the one-of-a-kind divans and these wonderful wooden floor-standing candelabra that represent the type of provincial furnishings that would have been produced on the estate by local serf craftsmen.

For a decidedly modern take on the divan room look no further than the April 2010 cover of House Beautiful touting "the new look of wood”. We’ve even seen a new lounge open in the neighborhood sporting an interior clad in planks of wood recycled from old shipping palates for a uniquely green twist on the trend.

Click HERE to view the Onegin movie trailer.

Images #1-6 from Onegin, #7 from April 2010 House Beautiful.
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