Monday, June 6, 2011

Take Home: Bernd Goeckler

Foyer in home of antiques dealer Bernd Goeckler - Photo courtesy of NYSD

I hope everyone had a very nice weekend! So, today I want to do something a little different...

I saw this picture of Mr. Goeckler's home and thought it was so beautiful and unique: one of those spaces that, I fear, many people may look at and think, "I could never make my house look like that."

Well now, that just makes me sad! I think good design is available at any price point. Yes, sometimes it takes time and a lot of scrimping and saving, but it can happen. And that's exactly what I want to prove today!

So, let's take the foyer above as our first example. The main focus of this space, to me, is that enormous tapestry. Where can we find such a thing? I'll use 1stDibs to aide in our search....

Grand 17th C. Gobelin Tapestry from Ambiance Antiques on 1stDibs

Here we go! This is perfect: 17th century and Flemish, just like the one in the picture! And, at 9 by 14 feet, it's only $715 a square foot (aka, $90,000 total)!

Oh, too expensive, you say? Yeah, I hear you. I was going to use that money for my weekend on Necker Island anyway.

17c Flemish Tapestry from Balzac Antiques on 1stDibs 

Okay, here we go! This one is not quite as big (only 8 by 10 feet), but it fits the bill and is less than half the price of the other one!.... Only $32,750!

What? Still too pricey for you? Alright, alright, you strike a hard bargain, so I will show you one more....

French Aubusson tapestry from English Accent Antiques on 1stDibs 

So here it is! It's our smallest yet (6 by 9 feet) and French instead of Flemish, but the colors are perfect and, at only $17,500, you are surely going to want to snatch it right up.... right?

Ha ha! Okay, these are all amazingly beautiful pieces, but, all kidding aside, finding a true bargain - especially when you are attempting to translate fabulous interior design into accessible furnishings for your own home - is a real challenge!

But, I think I can help... Let's take a look at Mr. Goeckler's foyer once again...

So, I'm seeing five key components in this space: wall hanging, chairs, console, mirror, and lighting. (We'll take care of the accessories a bit later.)

Let's start, again, with the tapestry. Now, when looking for a bargain (as I'm sure you're all aware), you really have to make compromises. Here, we will have to compromise on color, quality/age, and, especially, size, but that does not mean we can't have a gorgeous finished product!

Vintage Tapestry from Etsy seller Allmndjy

Here is a lovely example of a tapestry that someone on a budget (isn't that everyone?) can afford. It is $110 and, at 2 by 4 1/2 feet, is an appropriate size for most entryways.

Now we need some chairs to go in front of our hanging...

I found these two Louis XVI-style chairs at the Home Goods here in Birmingham. They are a warm (but not too dark), wood finish and are upholstered in a really lovely linen fabric. At $149 each, they are not too hard on the pocketbook and are a similar style to those in our sample foyer. (For a comparison, Ballard Designs offers a similar chair, in a multitude of fabrics and finishes, starting at $329.)

Next, we need a console table...

Handpainted Balustrade Console by Wisteria

I really like the lines of this one by Wisteria (although I'm a little peeved that they upped the price $40 - to $229 - in the week or two since I've been looking at this item). The arching metal work below the apron mimics the shape of the one in the sample photo, and the dark, black finish gives it a stand-out, graphic look.

Now we need a mirror to hang over this pretty piece...

Art Deco Mirror by Ballard Designs

I like this one by Suzanne Kasler for Ballard Designs for $169. It has a clean, slightly rectangluar shape, a pretty mirrored mosaic surround, and, at 32 inches wide (when hung in landscape orientation), it is a good fit over our 44 inch wide console. (Plus it has that sort of French modern thing going for it too!)

Now for some lighting...

Nautical Mini Pendant Light by Hampton Bay for Home Depot

I am a big fan of brass. It's not a material you see much anymore, but I see a comeback soon!

This little pendant light would be so neat in an entryway, a sort of unexpected use for this style, and it is only $40! Speaking of unexpected, I think our sconces for either side of the mirror really need to pack a style punch...

Pair of Brass "Beehive" Mid-Century Modern Sconces from RetroReality on Etsy

So here you go! Punchy and modern and totally fun, these sconces weigh in at only $50 (for the pair) and give the space a happy, mod twist. 

So, these items take care of the basics for the space. Now we need all those finishing touches that will add polish to the design.

First, we need to find a curtain like the one in the background of the photo.

West Elm Luxe Curtain in Zinc

I just adore the color and shimmer of this one by West Elm, and the way they did the pole pocket with hidden tabs gives it the look of expensive pleating at the top. It is only $59 for the 48 by 96 inch panel, which can cover your front door, closet, or hallway while adding a ton of drama to the space.

If you own your home (or are allowed to paint in your rental), I would go for a crisp, neutral backdrop as Mr. Goeckler did, and use white paint for the walls.

I would use White Dove by Benjamin Moore. I know, white is white, right? Well, sort of. Some whites come off very bright, some almost blue, while some have pink or yellow undertones. (You could paint a bunch of swatches side-by-side, or you could just take my word for it!) White Dove has some warmth to it, so it wouldn't be too glaring. I think the style of this foyer dictates the need for softness.

Okay, what now?.... Oh, books!

A variety of design and garden books from discount book seller, 2nd and Charles

Well, let me back up: I would hang the tapestry about 6 inches down from the ceiling (if you have 8 foot ceilings) so that the bottom would hang just a little bit behind the back of the chairs. Then, instead of putting the chairs on either side of the tapestry, mix it up a bit, and put them side by side (about 3 or 4 inches apart), slightly off center of the tapestry. Then you can take your little stack of books (the stack shown above was $120) and sit them on the floor next to one of the chairs. How casually elegant!

Next, we will find some accessories for that console!

***To be continued in the next post***

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