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.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

An Abstract Art Series

 As we’ve said before nothing brings more interest to an eclectic interior than pairing modern abstract art with traditional antique and vintage pieces.

 Contemporary artist Nicholas Adamko has recently completed this exciting series of six beautiful abstract oil paintings to be offered individually online through Knickerbocker Antiques and Vintage.

 At once calming and chaotic the energy and movement of the art creates endless levels of depth and dimension to entertain the viewer.

 A generous use of paint creates depth and texture when applied in the artists trademark free-form grid pattern of bold north-south and east-west brushstrokes that brings order amidst chaos.

 The artist originally developed this signature style over a decade ago while still an art student at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, and has continued to explore the myriad effects it can achieve.

 Paintings in the series span the saturation spectrum from a rainbow kaleidoscope of deep bold hues to more muted shades of grey and white.

 The heavy use of off-white paint mixing through and over the other colors creates an overall neutral effect that allows these works to complement and enliven any interior.

 The paintings also offer a variety of textures with some flowing more smoothly from hue to hue while others are especially rough and course, an effect controlled by the drying time allowed between layers.

 The time consuming process may take three or even four layers with each subsequent layer nearly covering the one beneath until the desired texture is achieved.

 Each work is rendered in oil on a canvas measuring 16” by 20”, the perfect size to display alone or in groups for added drama as seen here.

 Be sure to visit Knickerbocker’s online art gallery to see larger sofa-sized works by the artist as well as some of his more impressionist style landscapes.

Photos by KS&D.
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