Studio MRS Talks Antiques

by Liza Laserow

Studio+Mrs+Michelle+Smith+striking+welcoming+hy8l0OBtNIplMichelle Smith of Studio MRS at her house in Sag Harbour, New York.

Studio+Mrs+Brass+coat+hooks+pillar+like+umbrella+9XZzYb3bshXlEntry Hall in “Sag”. Stacked blue and white fajance tiles, MRS canvas totes and a column shaped umbrella stand from the Gustavian period.

Studio+Mrs+White+fabrics+varied+textures+four+T3gtPGsiQsSlIn the guest bedroom a mahogany canopy bed with a mix of new and vintage bedding. Copper print in a gilt wood frame and gray stone bust.

Michelle konsollbord jpegVintage console table. Gilded candlesticks from the Empire period and marble bust in front of “Woman of War” by Sebastiano Tomada Piccolomini. Swedish Gustavian stools in gilt wood upholstered in candy pink velvet.

michelle porch jpegMichelle’s screened porch with rustic wooden table, rattan chairs and a French Neoclassical pewter urn on a red marble base (one of a pair).

Interior Design by Studio MRS.  Pictures by Genevieve Garuppo.

Screenshot 2014-08-08 12.13.23
Shop Michelle’s picks:

1. Stone bust

2. Pair of Neoclassical urns

3. Gustavian umbrella stand

4. Pair of Gustavian stools

5. Pair of gilded candlesticks from the Empire period. 

1. Why interior design?  

– Since childhood, interior design was always my “dream job.”  I redecorated my room once a year, every year, even into college.  Then, when I finally got an adult apartment, and bought nicer pieces that I loved, I couldn’t keep redecorating my own space so I started redecorating my coworkers’ and friends’ apartments on the side, until one day, it became a job.

2. Interest for antiques – where did it come from?

 -I always went to flea markets around the south with my mom.  It started out with us just buying what we loved, never knowing the provenance.  Then 1stdibs came around, and you could learn a lot more about what you were buying… Also, I always prefer the piece no one can have to the one someone can order from a catalog.

3. Favorite mix of periods / styles in a room? 

-I really like to mix it all, but currently, if I had to choose, I’d say Swedish Gustavian mixed with heavy and creepy pieces of Louis XIII furniture, and then throw in some polished marble or high gloss lacquer pieces.

4. How do you convince a client to purchase antiques instead of a new piece? 

-Beg them?!

Some clients only want antiques.  Some only want new furniture.  I think it’s about convincing clients that there is a need for a balance.  I love antiques, but I room filled with nothing but antiques can start to feel a little stuffy.  By educating clients on how to mix old & new, and the necessity of the mix, then they get it when you send those key antique pieces they need to complete the room.

5. As a resource: Auctions vs. dealers vs. flee markets vs. 1st Dibs? 

1stdibs, definitely.  It’s so easy to send items to clients.  Flea markets & auctions – there’s that ‘buy it now’ thing – it just doesn’t work unless your client lets go of control completely.

6. Inspiration sources on how to use antiques? 

I actually just started using Pinterest last week.  They have some really amazing images out there.  It’s really a ‘non-source’ because people pull from magazines, books, blogs, their own photos.  And then one thing leads to another, and I don’t even know how I got there.  Though I’m too selfish to Pin my own favorite inspiration images … that’s like a window into my soul.

7. What style / period do think will be the next trend? 

Let’s say striped sofas?