1. Larson-Juhl’s Water Gilded Chateau frame blends petite ornate details with traditional style and an embossed finish. Available at frame shops statewide.
2. Available in standard and custom sizes, Roma frames are crafted in Italy, and this one offers deep moulding for multiple layers of design. Available at Cantrell Gallery in Little Rock.
3. The Showroom in Little Rock affords clients a wide variety of framing options, including this elaborate wooden frame with bronze finish.
4. From Larson-Juhl by Jonathan Adler, the Meurice bamboo frame in lime green adds a definite pop of color. Available at frame shops statewide.
5. This golden frame catches the eye with its subtle swirl relief and depth of color. Available at M2 Gallery in Little Rock.
6. Roma’s Eleganza gilded silver frame offers a cool hue with sleek sophistication. Available at Hillcrest Gallery in Little Rock.
7. From A.P.F. Munn, this moulding is hand-carved and finished with 22-karat gold leaf for pure opulence. Available at Cantrell Gallery in Little Rock.
8. For an aged look with a touch of contemporary metal design, Larson-Juhl’s Lucerne in burgandy is just the choice. Available at frame shops statewide.
Crafted of a variety of materials, garden statuary has been a staple in grand homes over the centuries, and it makes a bold statement today as well, whether displayed inside the home or outside in the garden. An avid gardener herself, antiques dealer Debbie May, of D. May Antiques in Little Rock, relishes collecting the pieces for their architectural splendor and versatility. “Having a garden, I have always been more than a little partial to the garden pieces and have admired and collected them for the last twenty years,” she says. “I became very interested in antique architectural pieces during the mid eighties, when the architectural fragments were first being used to create furniture and as decorative additions in homes.”
An underlying classical style unifies the pieces she’s amassed, though they run the gamut of periods and materials. Carved of limestone, the quartet of European putti represent the four seasons and date to 1875, while the Italian carved marble statue of Bacchus is as recent as 1940. May has also chosen select reproductions of antiques, such as the Venus de Milo statue and fountain, which are made of incredibly durable cast stone and concrete, respectively. The terra cotta pieces, however, are more difficult to find, because the material fell out of vogue after concrete became readily available. Terra cotta was often used for architectural elements, like the urn with its removable cap and the oak leaf and acorn wreath, which was salvaged from a building in the northeastern United States and dates to 1890.
Despite their age, May encourages collectors to feel confident displaying the pieces outside. “They’re all fairly sturdy and don’t require any particular care,” she says. Because the designs share a timeless quality, they can be incorporated into almost any décor. “Any home, whether contemporary or traditional lends itself to architectural pieces,” she says. “They can be used as a work of art and admired for their uniqueness.” She loves the statuary tucked in a lush garden or used on a dining room console, while the architectural elements can be elevated as an artistic focus, displayed on a covered porch, or even applied to a home’s façade. “They are all easy to display in the home of today,” she says.
|(left to right): A bright orange, botanical-inspired motif runs along this table linen from Vintage Cargo in Eureka Springs.
Timeless and completely elegant, this white linen napkin with seed details is by Juliska. Available at Bear-Hill Interiors in Little Rock.
Make a bold statement with these colorfully striped Barbizon Garance linens from Yves Delorme in Little Rock.
Available at Cobblestone & Vine in Little Rock, a classic plaid print gets an update with the light blue color scheme and beautiful sheen of this textile.
Shelby’s in Harrison presents this lime green and blue striped napkin to add interest to any place setting.
|Perfect for a desk or bedside table, this petite orange vase is a lively touch. Available at Just T’s N in Conway. From Interior Expressions in Little Rock, this green trumpet vessel affords a beautiful glaze and wonderful design. This Briney chiseled longneck container is eye-catching with its blue and white horizontal lines. Available at Pazzaz in Little Rock. This yellow urn with an overall crackle finish and stately height is also available at Pazzaz. Delicate in shape, this orange bud vase from The Villa in Hot Springs will make any flower stand out. Pink and blue dots cover this cylindrical vase from III’s Company in Russellville.|
|This tall brown vase from Room To Room in Conway is available in a variety of sizes, and boasts a multi-tonal background with a textured circle motif. Hambuchen Home Furnishings in Conway offers this uniquely shaped, green vase with gilded details.|
|“We always look for the highest quality pieces that will bring the most joy to our clients,” Renée says. “It’s the attention to detail and the research we do that make us different.”|
|This cigar box, circa 1850, is from the Napoleon III period and is inlaid with mother of pearl and bronze. With a bottom drawer fashioned for cigar cutters and several top drawers with indentations for individual cigars, this is truly a gentleman’s piece.|
|This Art Deco bistro chair is paired with a Louis Philippe walnut chiffonier, a gentleman’s chest featuring a marble top. A buffet deux corps, translated a buffet with two parts, stands in the background.|
|Hand-carved Louis XIII chair, petite tray-top table, French Quarters, Fayetteville. Hand-painted screen, marble and bronze Bacchus bust, Marshall-Clements, Little Rock. Aubusson pillow, Antiques on Kavanaugh, Little Rock. Porcelain bowl with gilt bronze ormolu, The Antique Co., Little Rock.|
Offering a truly elegant collection of antique furnishings, the French styles from the 17th to the 19th centuries ranged from restrained looks to opulently adorned pieces. From Louis XIII to Louis XVI, the majority of wood furniture and accessories were crafted from oak and walnut, with popular techniques such as turned or twisted legs being used on chairs and tables, in addition to the classic cabriole leg style. Heavily carved accents, such as animal and nature motifs, could be found on chair backs and on case goods, and the art of marquetry—using wood veneers of various shapes to create often elaborate and geometric designs—frequently dominated large and small furnishings alike.
Other ornamental hallmarks of French furniture design include the use of gilt bronze, or ormolu, on the knees of cabriole legs, chair backs and mounted on the corners of desks, chests and other large pieces of furniture, architecturally inspired mouldings on case goods, and marble tops on console tables and desks.
|Hand-carved Louis XVI table de milieu topped with miniature Louis XVI chest and 19th-century bronze doré grandiole with Baccarat crystals and malachite base. Hand-carved walnut Louis XV-style chair with green velvet upholstery. All from French Metro Antiques, Fayetteville.|
|Oak and tiger oak 19th-century smoking chair, tea caddy set, Morris Antiques, Keo. Leather-topped Chippendale console with matching bench, part of a pair, D. May Antiques, Little Rock.|
Perhaps the name most synonymous with English furniture is that of Thomas Chippendale. The epitome of classic British design, Chippendale’s works have been replicated since their debut in the early 18th century, and are still copied today. And although Chippendale is primarily known for his chairs, the cabinet maker turned furniture designer created everything from Asian-inspired suites of furnishings to heavily decorated desks and chests to simple chairs and tables. Hallmarks of such designs include cabriole legs with decorated “knees” and ball-and-claw feet on chairs and tables, the use of woods such as oak and maple, and intricately designed splats and stretchers on chairs.
|Tibetan chest, Chinese rice bucket and leather Geisha shoes, Pacific Rim Imports, Little Rock. Red jade teapot and low elm wood bench, Indigo Home, Little Rock.|
Wooden furniture has been a staple in Asian culture since ancient times. An excavation of a site dating back to 250 BC revealed wooden furniture with the popular lacquerware decoration that is still sought-after today. The use of lacquer was not only a decorative accent, but it also had a practical application, as the all-over covering made the furniture more resistant to insects. Other hallmarks of Asian furnishings include the frequently lightweight nature of the items, which allows for easy transporting. Native woods, such as elm wood, rosewood and sandalwood, were prized mediums for cabinet and furniture makers, while bamboo was typically reserved for nonessential pieces. And although lacquerware and other means of ornamentation helped create decidedly opulent and colorful furnishings, the underlying design remained clean and simple, with occasional curves and flourishes.
|1. M. Bagwell’s Happy Together plate has eye-catching dots and a cool blue rim. Available at Rose Cottage in Conway.
2. Deep blue affords a dramatic touch to the Blue Canton collection from Mottahedeh, a reproduction of an 18th-century Chinese porcelain work. Available at Fifth Season in Little Rock.
3. The subtle swirl of Vietri’s Sorrento line is lighthearted, while the handmade quality is unmistakable. Available at Full Moon in Little Rock.
4. The amazing collection of Gien china is known all over the world, and this faience earthenware plate features the Campagne D’Italie. Available at French Quarters in Fayetteville.
5. From Herend, this charger offers an all-white center with a decorative rim of 24-karat gold and deep blue. Available at Fifth Season.
6. The Italian architecture and landscape scenes encompassed in Spode’s Blue Italian tableware will intrigue guests. Available at Copper Pig in Fayetteville.
7. Mix and match your favorite blues with salad plates from Vietri’s Sorrento line, available at Full Moon.
8. Peacocks and botanicals abound on this archetypal pattern by Biltons. Available at Interiors Galleria in Rogers.
9. All-white dinnerware never goes out of style, and Vietri’s Bianco salad plate is a great example. Available at Vintage Cargo in Eureka Springs.
10. Available at French Quarters, this Gien plate is stately and historic.
11. The Spode Blue Room Collection English Countryside Hay Barn dinner plate boasts a bucolic scene and blooming flowers. Available at Interiors Galleria.
12. This hand-painted Chinese Bouquet dinner plate by Herend is extraordinary, with uniquely scalloped edges and 24-karat gold details. Available at Fifth Season.
13. From mertindykehome in Little Rock, the Emma arm chair from Hickory Chair is a blend of Continental and English details with intricate carved motifs running along the back, arms and legs.