Decorating Dictionary - Part Two
Renowned San Francisco designer Suzanne Tucker is often asked for decorating tips and tricks. Here's one of her go-to responses: one should always have at least one piece with some age in a room. It does not have to be over-the-top expensive, but antiques resonate with history's silent voices. The appeal resides in a patina only achievable with time: their very imperfections speak to me of soul and character and life lived. Remember, you don't want to be the oldest thing in your house :).
I could not agree more, and I'd like to add the following: pair those vintage pieces with high-quality basic textiles in a mostly neutral color palette, think linen textures and rustic weaves. Let the graceful lines and precious materials of your antiques speak for themselves by off-setting with unassuming, natural fabrics. This design juxtaposition feels fresh and new and will work within a wide variety of design vocabularies. With that being said, I wanted to expand my original decorating dictionary with the following terms:
A tall, narrow cupboard with a single door used to store the elaborate bonnets favored by ladies in the Normandy and Brittany regions in the 17th and 18th centuries.
A banneton is a type of woven basket, sometimes lined with linen, used to provide structure for shaped loaves of bread during proofing. Banneton baskets are also known as brotform or proofing baskets. They are normally used for doughs that are too soft or wet to maintain their shape while rising.
A guéridon is a small, often circular-top, table supported by one or more columns, or sculptural human or mythological figures. This kind of furniture originated in France towards the middle of the 17th century. The supports for early guéridons were often modeled on ancient Egyptian and Greek as well as various African traditional figures. While often serving humble purposes, such as to hold a candlestick or vase, the guéridon could be a high-style decorative piece of court furniture - by the death of Louis XIV there were several hundred of them at the Versailles palace.
A type of furniture specifically made to fit in a corner of a room. In French, the word coin means the angle, or return, formed by the junction of two walls.
A torchière or torchère is a tall floor lamp with a bowl-shaped top that diffuses the light or directs it upward.
The caquetoire, or conversation chair, was an armchair style with a trapezoidal seat which emerged during the European Renaissance. It was largely used in France, and is one of the most well-known pieces of furniture from the French Renaissance.
An athénienne is a small, decorative pedestal stand supported by a tripod base, often created in pairs and used especially in France in the Louis XVI and Empire periods. It was a multi-functional piece that could function as a sculpture pedestal, a wash stand, a candelabrum, a perfume burner, or even a brazier for keeping soup warm. Bon Appétit!