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The Magic of Mario Buatta

The Magic of Mario Buatta

On this day October 20, 1935, the history of Interior Design would be changed forever.

The Magic of Mario Buatta

Mario Standing on his desk in his office in New York

I was first introduced to Mario in New York in 1988 to discuss the development of his first signature furniture collection for John Widdicomb, in Grand Rapids.  My colleague Diane Granda and I stood nervously at the entrance to his townhouse on E.80th St.  We rang the buzzer and garbled speaker blared who is it?  Who!  Don’t let anybody in it sounded again. The door latch snapped open.  Mario’s office was overflowing, working with one assistant across the desk from him we looked at each other for a place to sit down. There wasn’t!  That was the start of a wonderful collection of English 18th and 19c. furniture in Marios’s casual English country house style that would run for 10 years.

The Magic of Mario Buatta

Mario Buatta. Living Room E.80St. NYC 1980’s

The Magic of Mario Buatta









The apartment was amazing with the living room dressed in signature Buatta yellow with a swirl of coral and floral chintz. The famous Red Lacquer Secretaire with its pigeonholes stuffed with glazed cabbage ornaments. Black lacquer export furniture spread throughout. Culminating with the magnificent English Regency lacquer four poster bed with its twin in the Royal Pavilion at Brighton. Many years later I would study its history while I was working in England.  The kitchen was big enough to make a cup of tea.


The Magic of Mario Buatta

Mario Buatta for John Widdicomb Co. 1989

The first furniture collection in 1989 in High Point was an immediate success. With Mario working with Diane on both the showroom design and new furniture pieces.  Mario who I consider to have one of the worlds greatest sense of color captivated the throng of press and John Widdicombs clients.  His extraordinary talent for interior design second only to his irreverent sense of humor on full display.

Mario and I would continue to meet when I was in New York. We would frequent  Park Avenue sweet shops, client homes, bookstores, antique shops, fairs, and showhouses.  I learned so much from him about furniture, fakes, and friendship.


Mario Buatta

Mario with his wonderful book of interior designs.

Mario loves to tease me about my Russian Furniture Collection that I designed for John Widdicomb, “Chad that Russian Furniture is just rushing down the river”.  I really don’t think I would have designed my British India Collection for John Widdicomb if I was not steeped in his influence of English furniture and interior decoration.

When I moved to England in 1998 to work for Arthur Brett as Director of Design we would meet up in London and visit Fairs and Antiques Shop. I remember one time going thru a fair with him and being enthralled with a piece of furniture and he whispers it’s a fake. What an education! We visited Stephens Long’s Antique Shop on Fulham road which was a haunt  I believe for John Fowler.  It was quintessential Mario, decorative rabbits, cabbage plates and quirky small pieces of painted furniture.

Most notably we visited the famous and now I think renovated  Colefax & Fowler premises on Brook Street.  The famous “Yellow Room” with the interior designed by John Fowler which has been a huge influence on Mario’s work and his signature color. What a treasure it is to have visited it with you!

I just want to wish you the very best of Birthdays.

I will call first before I visit. So you can be out of town.


Great video about Mario’s work from 1981







Ernest Boiceau Furniture to Inspire

Ernest Boiceau Furniture to Inspire

Ernest Boiceau created furniture to inspire his sophisticated clients in Paris in the 1920’s and 1930.s   Today his work continues to inspire the worlds great Interior Designers.   His superbly detailed designs crafted by his Parisian workshops with their glamours selection of materials stand out in the ultra high-end world of  Interior Designers and Auction markets.

Ernest Boiceau. Furniture to inspire.

Ernest Boiceau Commode Circa.1928. Exhibited by Gallerie Eric Phillipe Paris, Collection #12 in 2007.

Rare Jean Prouve Table

A Rare Table by the French Architect Jean Prouve.

A rare table by the visionary French Architect Jean Prouve (1901- 1984 ) and Architect Jacques Andre (1901-1985) is set for Auction at Christie’s London October 3rd, 2017. Lot # 38.  The Christie’s Sale ” Masterpieces of Design” is an interesting combination of Furniture and Photography.

Jean Prouve Table

Garden Table by Jean Prouve circa 1937. Christies Sale Est. $80,000 to $120.000

The Missing Finn Juhl Coffee Table

The Missing Finn Juhl Coffee Table

A virtually unknown “unique” table designed by Danish Architect/ Furniture Designer Finn Juhl (1912-1989) is coming up for Auction after remaining in a private collection for 70 years. The table by Finn Juhl is being sold by the Danish Auction House Brunn Rasmussen on Sept 25, 2017.  The  “Dream Table” is the star of the Nordic Masters Sale #873 Lot 1006 with an estimate of $32,000 to $64,000.

Finn Juhl coffee table

Please click on the images to enlarge.

Fairy Tale Furniture for Grandma’s Mashup

Fairy Tail Furniture for Grandma’s Mashup

Stomps chair

Stomps chair

What a great chair to read to read your lovely little terrors a very scary bed time story. I was helping my great friend Tim Donn of TC Woodcrafers pick up some furniture for his restoration business and this blew me away.  Satyr mask on the top rail, American Empire scrolled arm that turns into an Egyptian hoof back leg.  Queen Anne Seat and Cabriole legs and leg stretcher that could have inspired Finn Juhl. Probably made by the Stomps Burkhard Chair Company of Dayton Ohio. 1859-1928.