Posts Tagged: Natural Curiosities


11,500,000 square feet of exhibition space,  2000 vendors representing 100 countries, and 180 buildings in 4 days…

See what caught my eye at High Point Market.

Catherine M. Austin Interior Design/ 214 Modern Vintage

Every spring and fall, the design industry makes its bi-annual pilgrimage to High Point Furniture Market. This year marked my 25th trip to the furniture mecca and this market certainly did not disappoint!  My first stop is always 214 Modern Vintage, a collection of great dealers with incredible eyes for everything from fine art and lighting to mid century furnishings and accessories. I could linger here for hours and it is always inspiring to see the authentic pieces in person before heading out into the world of furniture market interpreting these designs.

Catherine M. Austin Interior Design/ 214 Modern Vintage





Natural Curiosities blew my mind at this market! All of their introductions looked incredible in the new exhibition space complete with its own “ArtBar” where you could watch the artists at work on site. These silkscreens from the Planetary are created by mixing colors during the screening process, resulting in abstract, blended forms. The simple shape and coloration evoke the image of distant planets and no two are alike allowing the viewer to create their own unique universe.



Natural Curiosities also introduced a gorgeous furniture line consisting of luxe shapes in stunning colors to complement their art collection. Specimen art has always been a specialty for this company.  The past few collections have been exploring the power and journey of flight with various compilations of feathers. This work entitled “Daedelus” is made of 3000 hand painted feathers that are gathered into a unified form, creating maximum impact. They describe the shape as “a shield and channels the intrinsic magic and awe of nature.” According to Greek mythology, Daedelus built the labyrinth for King Minos and then was imprisoned in a tower to prevent his knowledge of the labyrinth from spreading to the public. His only way to escape was in the air so he fabricated his own set of wings.  He also created a pair for his son Icarus, but warned him not to fly too high because the heat of the son would melt the wax on their wings, nor too low because the sea would soak their feathers.


This beautiful specimen circle is made of naturally colored magnificent pink shells…


Taken from French textile designs, the Pignier series is a mix of botanicals, patterns and handwritten details.

Athens based artist Carol John’s work brilliantly adorned the new Hickory Chair showroom. Her work expresses her love of color, language and pop graphics. It was a such a pleasant surprise to meet the artist in person…she is just as delightful as her paintings!

Trowbridge Gallery featured a gorgeous collection of vintage Gudri jackets using 1930s Parisian designs. Each handmade work is one of a kind and floated in a shadow box frame.


Alexis Walter’s space sang with all of her ethereal new paintings.  Her pastel palette of abstract works and smaller watercolors possess her distinctive look layered, tactile, and beyond extraordinary.


A new find this market was the handmade works by Crystal Brooke McCann. Known as a “creative visonary extraordinaire,” her collection includes hand painted silks and leathers, hides, as well as hand made paper and furnishings.  This paper mural is 11 feet long and the delicate detail is divine.



Hunt Slonem debuted his wallpaper and fabric collection at the new Kravet showroom. Using multiplicity as a motif, Slonem has created an iconic body of work that is sought after around the globe. The much anitcipated collection will allow everyone to have a little piece of the world of this enigmatic artist.


For the neutralists, the work of Carol Benson-Cobb was breathtaking. According to the artist, her work “reflects a feeling created within a color palette with an emphasis on the way the colors touch, layer and affect one another…My intentions are never to fully define a scene but to lead viewers in the use of their imagination and own life experiences to fill in the gaps.” In the work below, she has taken a detail from one of her original paintings and book matched and repeated the pattern.


Trowbridge Gallery used the power of scale to take a fingerprint, an everyday yet unique image, and elevated it to a work of abstract art in metallic inks.


This series from Thom Felicia’s collection for Soicher Marin perfectly illustrates his design aesthetic…”classic simplicity with an unexpected, modern flair.” 12 different abstract sketches would make a great graphic punch on any gallery wall.


Please contact the design studio if you are interested in design services or any of the works seen here…Please check back this week for more High Point Highlights on trends, lighting, accessories and furnishings.

For more of my design inspiration, please follow along on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter  and subscribe to Bespoke Banter….Thanks for reading!



So much to see and so little time!  I broke my market record this year for covering the maximum amount of ground in the least amount of time…12 hours to be exact. In that precious amount of time, I was able to hear some amazing speakers, catch up with old friends, and discover some divine new finds for future projects. Take a peek at what caught me eye…

Ashley Childers of Emporium Home blew me away once again with her gorgeous collection.The collection glowed against a radiant orchid background decorated with watercolors executed by Ashley herself.  Her combined use of brass with stones in her lighting is both unexpected and glamorous. The sleek lines of her new introductions such as the side chair above would add a polished yet edgy touch to any interior.

I need to devote an entire post to Hickory Chair, but had to include the incredibly vibrant work of Carol John that adorned the showroom. Based in Athens, Georgia, this artist/designer expresses her love of color, language and pop graphics in her work. She was educated at the School of Visual Arts and her work has been exhibited in Atlanta and New York. Musician Michael Stipe describes her work, “Carol works from a vehemently and profoundly intuitive place, which is-in my opinion, after all these years as a musical artist-what we are really looking for. Her dialect is sophisticated, alarming, humorous, simple and complex all at once.  Her eye is superb.” 
Showing for the very first time at market was Miami-based Hide and Seek Collection by B. Pila Designs. A unique mix of multi-colored acrylics, gorgeous Edelman hides, and jewelry like hardware make the possibilities of customization with these pieces infinite. The designer envisioned a collection of pieces that she always wanted but could not find: “the iconic chair, the perfectly scaled coffee table for an oversized room… a statement chair that complements all other styles, a glamorous bench to put in front of the bed, furniture with just the right blend of classic ornateness and modern edge.” 
I always look forward to a visit at 214 Modern Vintage while in High Point.  After looking at a LOT of reproduction furniture and accessories, it is downright cleansing to look at the authentic vintage pieces on which many works were based. The eclectic mix of dealers in the space is very impressive with each having their own distinctive eye . I would have loved to have taken the whole family of giraffe home with me, but only had space for the baby to add to my vintage brass menagerie.

I fell in love with this diminutive Pierre-Cardin inspired lamp by Dunes and Duchess.   They brilliantly reinvented their Wave sconce by literally turning it on its side and voila….a table lamp is born!  The growing collection from the dynamic duo of Stacy Kunstel and Micahel Partenio is not to be missed. All works are made in the USA, come in a variety of colors, completely customizable and are beyond chic!  Be sure to check out the most instagrammed coat of High Point below on Stacy from Jules Reid.

Stray Dog Designs is always one of the most vibrant booths at market.  The team of Jane Gray and Bill Pritchard began their creative journey after a move to San Miguel d’Allende after they had married only after a brief engagement.  Their first project was a stray dog named La Princessa who inspired their working relationship and a brilliant business was born exporting Mexican pottery and other artifacts. This led to making their own lamps and furniture out of iron and tin based on Jane’s designs. When Jane began applying bright colors to her creations, their work escalated to another level. They have a fascinating story and business model based on giving back to the community.

Natural Curiosities is one of my favorite sources for large scale artwork of all kinds. The company is always pushing the creative envelope coming up with new specimen art and recoloring and resizing historic prints. Taking an old idea and reinterpreting it a fresh new way has become the company’s trademark.  Chrsitopher Wilcox and his team of artists work in a “modern-day Warhol-esque factory that constantly beats with creativity.”

Sklo is a product of a modern American design studio and a 400 year old European craft tradition. They work with glassmakers in the Czech Republic to create modern designs based on their ancient craft.The clarity of the crystal, vibrancy of the colors, cutting and polishing skills, along with the ability to blow large complex shapes sets these artisans apart. The lighting line was new this market. Illuminating the crystal from within showcases another side of its pure beauty.  The crystal spheres can be used as pendants or placed on a surface as an art glass installation.

World’s Away‘s merchandising is always one of the best at market. Set against a background of blown up greenery, their white lacquered, gilt and brass furniture sparkled in the windows drawing visitors like a bee to a bloom.

The new location of the permanent Mr. Brown showroom was simply stunning.  This Brutalist inspired light fixture stole the show in the window.
Charlotte Moss’s new collection for Century Furniture was not only thoughtfully designed, but beautifully displayed as well. Charlotte’s passion for detail is evident in everything she undertakes.  This gilt bamboo slipper chair is no exception. The seductive lines of the chair and ottoman are matched by the perfect proportion and scale.
Anything resembling a quartz, geode, agate or other semi precious stone always grabs my attention. Times Two Design drew me in immediately! Lauren Renfrow’s background in environmental  studies, botany and florals provides her with a profound expertise for her line of lamps, boxes and tabletop accessories with her beloved stones. All products are handmade, limited edition, and made in the US.
Once again, Tommy Mitchell did not disappoint. This large scale 4 part gilded flower can be created on a variety of linen backgrounds in either gilt, silver or white. It is the perfect sculptural complement to update an interior.

I loved meeting the talented Louise Gaskill based upon the suggestion of Julia Buckinghan Edelmann. Louise’s passion for antique Murano glass and her gift for transforming them into contemporary light fixtures is captivating. She is seen here lovely in lavender next to a pair of rare Murano vases she had converted into lamps and updated further with sleek drum shades.

When I saw this wallpaper based on the Chrysler Building above I literally squealed! It has always been my favorite work of architecture before, during,  and after living in NYC. Once I was lured into their booth, the Detroit Wallpaper Company completely sold me on their fabulous line. All of their bold graphic patterns can be recolored in a myriad of palettes that completely change the look, feel and mood of the wallpaper. In addition to their wallpaper line, they have also recently expanded into a rug line that replicates the designs of the wallpapers and a collaboration with Taylor Burke to incorporate their designs into their furniture line.

For the client who has everything, B.D. Collection has created the ultimate extravagance…a crystal pool table. The Italian company also makes exquisite billiards table and Foosball tables.  Prices start at $30,000.

If you are interested in any of the products here or design services, please do not hesitate to contact us at the design studio.


Sublime Shagreen

For the first timer going to Maison & Objet (like myself), it can be incredibly overwhelming!!! The show is comprised of 8 different themed pavilions covering everything from textiles and kitchen items to furniture and ethnic chic accessories. As an enthusiastic design observer, it was pure heaven to wander from pavilion to pavilion taking in the best of international design, identifying trends and seeing those same trends also appear in High Point furniture market just this week.

Below are some of my favorite accessories that stood out at the fair….

Gorgeous Graphic Pillows
JuJu Rainbow
Multi-Colored JuJu
atop JuJu Table-Brilliant!
Precious Parisian Pachyderm
The Creations of Marisa Meijeurs


More of Marisa’s Accessories
Holding Court in Black and White
Cabinet of Curiosities
Mohair Madness
Malachite & Brass Objets
Bronze and Rock Crystal King Neptune
Mid Century Brass Palms

If you are interested in any additional information on any of the objects seen here, please do not hesitate to contact us at the design studio.

Next post….Fabulous French Furniture!!



Here are a few favorites from High Point’s Fall Furniture Market.  Any of these can add some much needed flair to any interior…

Gossip Chair by Oomph

1. Oomph was one of our favorite lines at High Point. Along with the Gossip Chair above, all of their tables, mirrors, and lanterns in lacquered finishes would give any room an extra punch of personality.

Wallpapers by Jonathan Adler

2. Anything by Jonathan Adler  puts a smile on my face.  His new line of wallpapers does not disappoint. You gotta love a designer that has his own Manifesto including such truisms like “We believe that when it comes to decorating, the wife is ALWAYS right, unless the husband is gay.” and  “We believe in Palm Beach Style: Louis chairs, Chinoiserie, Lilly Pulitzer, The Breakers circa ’72.”

Cocktail Table by Chelsea Editions Furniture

3.Chelsea Textiles  has always been known for their embroidered fabrics and needlework pillows.  Now they have introduced a Mid Century Modern Furniture line that includes side tables, desks, chairs and cocktail tables like the one pictured above.  The colors range from teal to raspberry and everything in between.

Zig Zag Side Table by Festoni

4.  We discovered Festoni for the first time a couple of years ago in High Point.  Since then, their booth is always a must see every time we visit. Their linen wrapped and lacquered pieces come in a range of colors from chocolate to poppy.  They have cocktail, bedside and game tables along with chests and consoles.

Color Palette for Lilly Pulitzer for HFI Brands

5. Speaking of Lilly Pulitzer, HFI Brands launched her eponymous furniture line this summer.  The palette of colors is above and the pieces themselves are stunning. Even though the pieces have a retro flair about them, they would work in almost any interior with the appropriate finish and fabric.

Wing chair by Lilly Pulitzer for HFI Brands
Scroll Cocktail Table by Lilly Pulitzer for HFI Brands
Mirrored Console by Bungalow 5

6. Bungalow 5 ‘s booth gets “Best in Show” for styling.  All of their pieces looked fabulous against the cerulean blue walls.  Their new mirrored furniture line included Asian inspired consoles and vanities.

Diego Bed by Oly Studio

7. Oly Studio was another beautifully styled showroom. After looking at booth after booth of merchandise crammed into small spaces, it was heavenly to walk into their ethereal showroom. The murals on their walls should be featured in one of their upcoming ads. They set a beautiful backdrop for their furniture.  This bed above caught my eye.  It can come in a gilt, silver or bronze finish and reminded me of  a Giacometti sculpture.

Duffy Table by Made Goods

8. Madegoods has always been a favorite resource for mirrors and accessories.  This ceramic side table called “Duffy” reminded me of the Pierre Cardin furniture from the 1970s.


Turot prints from Natural Curiosities

9. One of my favorite designers from LA introduced me to Natural Curiosities last year.  I adore all of their Specimen, Graphic and Abstract Art.  For this collection, they took one of their Turot Geometric pieces(which used to be a Swiss educational aid)  and added color to the diagonals. These were introduced at market this Fall.


Etagere from BeeLine Home

10. This etagere was created by one my all time favorite designers and inspired by another.  Bunny Williams of  added this etagere her collection at BeeLine Home this year. It was inspired by a piece that Albert Hadley has in his New York apartment. Hadley’s bookcase was built in 1936 to commemorate the Olympics being held in Berlin.