2013 was a banner year for Kaminski Auctions. We are very proud to have been the auctioneers of the Oprah Winfrey Collection in Santa Barbara, California on November 2nd 2013.

The idea of an auction of the Oprah Winfrey collection started in March 2013 when Oprah revealed she was planning a top to bottom remodel of her homes in Chicago, Maui, Santa Barbara, and Indiana. Previously decorated by the late Anthony P. Brown, Oprah had employed the services of Rose Tarlow of Melrose House in Los Angeles, California to redcorate her homes more in keeping with the way she lives today.

Oprah's decision to redo her homes is the catalyst for a huge auction of her belongings !

Oprah’s decision to redo her homes is the catalyst for a huge auction of her belongings !

The grand staircase in the Montecito foyer.

The grand staircase in the Montecito foyer.

The famous green plaid sofa !

The famous green plaid sofa !

The lovely library.

The lovely library.

With our Santa Barbara representative and offices in Los Angeles and Beverly Hills, Kaminski Auctions was selected to organize “The mother of all yard sales “as Oprah liked to call it.  And as always, it would all be for a good cause.  All proceeds would benefit the Oprah Winfrey Leadership College Fund providing scholarships for graduates to continue their education at some of the finest universities in the United States.

Oprah with the girls from The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls- South Africa.

Oprah with the girls from The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls- South Africa.

We had prepared for this tweet by backing up our servers, as our website saw over 36,000 views that first day alone.

Working closely with Oprah’s  team at Own-TV and Hearst Publications it was also decided to shoot the cover of the March issue of O Magazine at the auction and to feature the auction in the publication.

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Our staff at Kaminski immediately started planning for this fantastic event.  We sent a team of catalogers and photographers out to Santa Barbara to start organizing the items that were stored in a nearby warehouse.  Most were  hand selected by Oprah and many were signed pieces of memorabilia that would be auctioned off.

We designed a wonderful color catalog, tickets to the event, and an  Oprah website.  It was decided to hold the event outside under tents at the Santa Barbara Polo Club close to Oprah’s Montecito home.  We also organized organized a fantastic VIP party for the night before the auction.

The Oprah Winfrey Collection catalog cover.

The Oprah Winfrey Collection catalog cover.

The VIP invitation and ticket

The VIP invitation and ticket

We had endless meetings planning for every detail of the auction, publicity, customer registration, security, tents, catering, catalog sales, parking, and on and on….

We planned for the cover shoot on Tuesday, a three-day preview starting on Wednesday, a VIP preview party on Friday night and the auction starting at 10:00am PT on Saturday, November 2nd.

Setting up the many tents at the Santa Barbara Polo Club

Setting up the many tents at the Santa Barbara Polo Club

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The grounds looked beautiful !

The grounds looked beautiful !

And so did the inside of the tents!

And so did the inside of the tents!

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Oprah’ star power certainly attracts the crowds.  Each preview day was incredibly well attended, over 300 people bought tickets for the VIP preview party and over 7,500 people signed up to bid online from every state and over 150 countries……

One of the many interviews Oprah did at the event.

One of the many interviews Oprah did at the event.

Fans lining up the day of the auction.

Fans lining up the day of the auction.

Preview days included interviews with the local affiliates of CBS and NBC/Fox in addition to numerous local and Los Angeles area media.

Oprah smiling for the cameras.

Oprah smiling for the cameras.

An elegant VIP party for over 300 guests was held on Friday night prior to the auction with food by Tammy Kronen, music by Peter Clark and his orchestra and a performance by a talented group of young aspiring singers from the Janet Adderley School for the Performing Arts who sang an amazing rendition of songs from the musical “The Color Purple”especially written to entertain Oprah.

Oprah with The Janice Adderley School for the Performing Arts Singers.

Oprah with The Janice Adderley School for the Performing Arts Singers.

Peter Clark and his orchestra provided the music for the VIP party.

Peter Clark and his orchestra provided the music for the VIP party.

To our surprise Oprah made an appearance each day as well, giving interviews, signing autographs, delighting in the children’s’ performance at the VIP party and even kicking off the day by auctioning off the first 10 items of the sale.

Oprah kicking off the bidding on the first few lots.

Oprah kicking off the bidding on the first few lots.

She really seemed to enjoy it.

She really seemed to enjoy it.

Oprah signed many of the pieces she auctioned to the delight of the crowd.

Oprah signed many of the pieces she auctioned to the delight of the crowd.

Gayle King from CBS Good Morning America got into the spirit as well.

Gayle King from CBS Good Morning America got into the spirit as well.

The hardworking crew from UCSB.

The hardworking crew from UCSB.

All that planning paid off and the culmination of all our hard work is evident in this months issue of “O Magazine.

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We were delighted and honored to be a part of this important event for an incredibly good cause.  We hope you enjoy seeing this  issue of O Magazine,  for a complete recap on the auction visit http://www.kaminskiauctions.com and look for tips for “De-Cluttering Your Life in 2014 in the March issue of Oprah Magazine!

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I was fortunate to spend a lot of time on Nantucket this summer. Nantucket is an island 30 miles out to sea,south of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. It is known for its beautiful beaches, grey shingle houses covered in roses, it’s historic whaling tradition and hand woven “Nantucket” baskets.

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My New Dawn roses in full bloom !

My New Dawn roses in full bloom !

There is a Historic District Commission on the island that dictates every aspect of the design and construction of the houses, and has kept any and all chain stores (with the exception of Ralph Lauren) and fast food franchises from reaching our shores.

Photo by: follow pics.net

Photo by: follow pics.net

Traditionally homes on the island were decorated in nautical or casual chic beachy style. Think white walls, sea grass carpets, and overstuffed upholstered furniture in any shade of blue or sea green or simply slipcovered in white duck.

Photo: nauticalcottageblog.com

Photo: nauticalcottageblog.com

Photo: living.msn.com

Photo: living.msn.com

More formal homes along Main Street and in the downtown area, reflected the islands whaling tradition and were decorated in 19th century antiques with mahogany furniture, gilded mirrors and oriental carpets.

Photo: bummersaheadyay.blogspot.com

Photo: bummersaheadyay.blogspot.com

Thanks to the Historic District Commission all the homes look the same on the outside, but oh how things have changed on the inside! The young families building on the island now, have embraced the 20th Century and modern design trend that is popular today and have redefined island chic.

I was fortunate to be invited to tour a fabulous new house designed by the architectural firm BPC Architecture, and decorated as a collaborative project with Jennifer Palumbo doing the soft furnishings, Joel Olson designing the bathrooms, stone, tile and lighting and built by Joe Gamberoni of Cross Rip Builders. The original house was torn down and a wonderfully traditional shingle home was built in its place.

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Apart from the grey shingles and white trim nothing is traditional about this house. The minute I entered the front door the design features in this house” wow” you. I was so impressed with the clean white linear elements of the walls and glass staircases.  As you enter the front door a fabulous curved wall creates the foyer and distinguishes the living room from the entrance.

A fantastic light fixture in the entry.  The free standing curved wall creates the divide between the living room and foyer.

A fantastic light fixture in the entry and the free standing curved wall creates the divide between the living room and foyer.

Glass, wood and chrome staircase.

The glass, wood and chrome staircase.

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The more formal living area.

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The fireplace serves as a room divide as well.

A floating fireplace serves as the divide between the kitchen, family room and more formal living area. The light fixtures are modern white spheres or wonderful glass globes with a simple bulb that complement the modern clean lines of the house design.

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The bedroom furniture is built into the walls and closets, so no need for dressers or armoires.  Platform beds with upholstered headboards and side tables that float from the walls are an integral part of the clean crisp design.

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Everything is white, glass and chrome or natural wood with just pops of color in each room. The August issue of N magazine of Nantucket featured a similarly modern new home built on Squam road, by a London couple that summers on the island.  The article titled “Starting Fresh” shows some amazing interior and exterior shots of the new pool, pool house, and glass stairways that connect the different areas of the home. The original house on the property was owned by the infamous former CEO of Tyco International.

It is hard to believe these modern design concepts have reached the shores of this old whaling island, but as you can see it has!  One can see from opening any decorating magazine that modern and 20th century design is the fashion just now.

In response to this trend Kaminski  Auctions now holds 3-4 modern auctions a year .  This weekend on Sunday September 22, 2013 Kaminski will hold its fall 20th Century and Decorative Arts sale starting at 10:00am. Curated by our new 20th century specialist Kathryn Wilkins formerly of Treadway-Toomey Galleries in Cincinnati, Ohio. If you are a modern enthusiast check out this fabulous sale at our website http://www.kaminskiauctions.com today!

The new Restoration Hardware store on Newbury street opened in the month of March with great fanfare. It was accompanied with what seemed like the largest catalog mailing in history, that left us wondering “how did they afford to mail that”. Four books arrived to most Massachusetts zip codes, shrink wrapped in plastic, titled RH Interiors, RH Outdoor and Garden, RH Objects of Curiosity, and RH Tableware.

RH, as they now wish to be known, opened in the 40,000 square foot landmark Back Bay building that was once the home of Louis Boston, the high-end men’s retailer. The building itself was designed by architect William Preston in 1862, and was only the second building erected in Back Bay. At one time it housed the New England Museum of Natural History.

Restoration Hardware has completely renovated and restored the building to its former glory, with a spectacular glass elevator and a welcoming glass atrium outside on Newbury Street.

RH Boston Photo Courtesy of www.Boston.com

RH Boston
Photo Courtesy of http://www.Boston.com

The company is trying to reinvent itself from the original success story that started in 1980 as a niche business selling door knobs, hooks and hard to find hardware, to an up scale home furniture store selling an eclectic line of luxury home furnishings.

A visit to the new Boston store for RH is definitely worth the trip. It is truly an “eye candy” experience for anyone interested in design or decorating. The showrooms dazzle with multiple crystal chandeliers, and everything is monochromatic with oversized furniture in leather, linen, natural wood,and chrome.

RH Boston Interior photo-www.architecturaldigest.com

RH Boston Interior
photo-www.architecturaldigest.com

The store is truly beautiful and the merchandising excites and enthralls the visitor. Smartly dressed sales consultants walk around with IPads looking up your every question, as to dimensions, what other fabrics the furniture comes in and when it is available to ship.

Plush towels are stacked by graduating color hues in faux french armoires and there are home accessories everywhere,  but everything is by mail order, nothing is available to purchase and walk out of the store with. For those of us who like instant gratification, this is not the shopping experience for you…..or me.

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The furniture on display is so over scale, you have to wonder who can fit these pieces in their apartments or homes. Along with the over scale size comes a huge price tag.

Each week I see  the original antique furniture that have inspired these RH designs at our auctions, only more authentic, more interesting and with the wonderful patina that only comes with age.   Like purchasing a new car, the minute these pieces leave the showroom, they are worth a fraction of their original price.

With a bit of research in the past/sold items at Kaminski Auctions I want to share with you the Kaminski original and what it sold for and the RH reproduction, and you can decide for yourself.

The RH Interiors tome that arrived shows The RH Kensington leather sofa starting at $3795.

98" Kensington Leather Sofa  $3795 - $4615

98″ Kensington Leather Sofa
$3795 – $4615

This a wonderful old Chesterfield leather  sofa that sold at Kaminski Auctions DéCoR sale for        $1500.same beautiful shape, with the real patina of an old sofa.

Vintage Leather Chesterfield Sofa

Vintage Leather Chesterfield Sofa

84" RH Lancaster  Leather Sofa $3495 - $4285

84″ RH Lancaster Leather Sofa
$3495 – $4285

Brown leather 3 seater sofa $1300

Kaminski leather 3 seater sofa $1300

The same hold true for this wonderful old club chair .  The RH Lowell chair ..

RH Lowell Club Chair $1595-$1865

RH Lowell Club Chair $1595-$1865

and the comparison piece at Kaminski Auctions that sold for a fraction of the RH price.

English Style Leather Club Chair

English Style Leather Club Chair $850

The RH vintage french side chair.  just a copy of the french style side chairs at Kaminski    Auctions.

RH Vintage French Side Chair - $299.00

RH Vintage French Side Chair – $299.00

Recovered in a natural linen these chairs will give you the same look.

Mid 18th Century French Side Chairs

Mid 18th Century French Side Chairs $400

The RH French style bergère…

The RH Lorraine Chair $595-$710

The RH Lorraine Chair $595-$710

And again, a French bergère at auction covered in natural linen will give you the same look.

19th century, French Bergere armchair

19th century, French Bergere armchair $300

The Rh catalog states “Our Chandelier mixes the opulent sparkle of crystal with the rustic    restraint of a bronze finished frame.”

RH Florian Chandelier $1695.00

RH Florian Chandelier $1695.00

The chandeliers at Kaminski Auctions have the same opulent sparkle at a fraction of  the price.

French Style Iron and Crystal Chandelier

French Style Iron and Crystal Chandelier $300

RH Rococo Chandelier $1495-$2795

RH Rococo Chandelier $1495-$2795

French StyleCrystal Chandelier

Kaminski French Style Crystal Chandelier $500

French Empire Chandelier

RH French Empire Chandelier $1875

French Empire Crystal Chandelier $425

Kaminski French Empire Crystal Chandelier $425

If modern furniture is your thing.  We have that as well at our 20th Century Modern sales ! You will always find great modern design pieces from famous names like Mies van der Rohe, Nakashima, Sven Eriksson, Hans Wegner and many more.

Cantilevered Armchair $625

RH Cantilevered Armchair $625

Modern Sofa

Modern sofa

A CB2  leather Sofa from  our 20th Century Modern sale !

Mayfair Trunk $1595-$1895

RH Mayfair Trunk
$1595-$1895

The real thing from E. Goyard, Paris !

Antique Labeled French Trunk E.Goyard, Paris

Antique Labeled French Trunk E.Goyard, Paris $2,200

From their RH Objects of curiosity Catalog..

"A Meticulous Reproduction"

RH Vintage Paris Map $1695-$2495

Bowen Early Map of World

Bowen Early Map of World $225

Trophy Urn $449

RH Trophy Urn $449

Art Nouveau Silver-Plated Trophy                                                Art Nouveau Silver Plated Urn Estimate – $200-$300

I could go on and on with the comparisons, but you get the idea.  I do wonder who is buying this furniture.  Is it people who have no imagination, or just those to whom money is no object.  The experience left me very uninspired and I thought,  give me the thrill and excitement of  a good auction any day !



I bought a home on the North Shore of Boston twenty years ago this spring.  Everyone, including my husband, thought I was CRAZY !!!  It was an old turn-of-the-century Mediterranean style stucco villa, with a spectacular loggia and an old world style ballroom.  The house had been abandoned for years and gone into foreclosure.

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I have spent years redoing each and every room in the house, and have collected  antiques at auction and from local dealers to furnish it. It has been forever, a work in progress.

I had no shortage of ideas for every room in the house except the formal dining room. It is an odd-shaped room with three low squat windows, totally out of proportion to the room and four doors, one being a double sliding pocket door, so there is very little wall space.

Initially, I had the walls faux painted (at great expense) a very boring beige.   Everything neutral was the fashion at the time, so beige walls, beige Stark carpet, brown furniture–when I look at it now it was just as boring as could be.  Even with all the silver pieces on the side board and crystal in the room, nothing stood out.

Original Boring Beige Dining Room

Original Boring Beige Dining Room

Beige Stark Carpet

Beige Stark Carpet

I had the feeling I wanted an italian theme to  the room, as I had purchased a lovely 18th century Italian corner cabinet that was hand painted in a Venetian style. With the  house being a Mediterranean style villa, it just seemed to go with the house.

We purchased two oversize sepia photographs by the photographer Michael Kahn, which depicted details of sculptures outside the Uffizi palace in Florence.  The subject matter kept the Italian theme alive, but the sepia coloration just meant more boring beige in the room.  Continuing with the Venetian theme, I bought a huge Murano chandelier at auction which arrived in a million pieces and had to be assembled before it was installed. Miraculously, we figured out how it went together and hung it up successfully.

Murano Chandelier

Murano Chandelier


The room looked better, but still boring. I went on to other decorating projects, as I still did not have a clear sense of how I wanted the room to look.  I had no shortage of ideas for the kitchen and other rooms in the house but the dining room was another story.

Two years ago I  designed and installed  a spectacular Poggenpohl work area and created an open plan eat-in kitchen that could seat 10 comfortably for dinner.

Poggenpohl Brushed Aluminum Work Area with Marble Counter Top

Poggenpohl Brushed Aluminum Work Area with Marble Counter Top

We live in that kitchen and adjoining family room and our old formal dining room is used only for Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas and a sometimes a formal New Year’s Eve sit down dinner. In other words, it was the  forgotten room.

New Eat-In Kitcen

New Eat-In Kitchen



We moved to  London for several years and I was inspired with how the English were decorating old stately houses with modern furniture, fabrics, and wallpapers.  When I came back from London, there was so much to do to freshen other rooms in the house the dining room remained the same for several more years.

In London designers would pair traditional mahogany dining chairs with a modern glass and chrome table.   I have a beautiful triple pedestal mahogany dining room table in the room and mahogany ribbon back chairs. I wanted a fresh modern looking room, but I was married to my traditional mahogany furniture.

It wasn’t until I recently found a beautiful raspberry fabric with a gold fleur-de-lis pattern that gave me the inspiration to change the room. The fabric has a decidedly Venetian flavor to it, and the huge scale of design I need for a room this large .  It reminded me of Fortuny design fabric from Venice and I knew it would work perfectly with the Murano chandelier.

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I started by painting the room a raspberry color to match the background of the Venetian style fabric.  Every stock paint color I tried was either too red or too pink.  I finally had a custom color mixed that worked perfectly!

Paint swatches to choose the color!

Paint swatches to choose the color!

Everything raspberry!
Everything raspberry!

As you can see everything pops against the new bright raspberry color, even the traditional mahogany side board looks great !

George III Mahogany sideboard stands out against the fresh, new color!

George III Mahogany sideboard stands out against the fresh, new color!

There is much more to come as I have the curtains made out of that fabulous Venetian style fabric and chairs covered in a modern pink and green animal print to really give some new life to the old dining room but I will save that for another post !

Animal print fabric in raspberry and lime green for  chair seats !

Animal print fabric in raspberry and lime green for chair seats !

To be continued!!!!!!! Read the rest of this entry »

dianeriva1:

Sorry forgot all my links so I am reposting! Diane

Originally posted on DéCoR:

Our Sunday night obsession is back and I, for one, could not be happier.  Written by Julian Fellows of Gosford Park fame, the award winning “Downton Abbey” series is addictive.  The compelling tale centers upon a British aristocratic family living in a spectacular manor house refrered to only as “Downton.”  The story begins in the Edwardian years 0f 1901-1910 before the first World War and follows the family and their staff through harrowing years of the war and beyond.

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The series has a” downstairs upstairs” aspect to it as well.  While we watch the family interact at formal dinners served by liveried footmen in white tie, we also follow the conversation of the loyal staff as they take their meals around the kitchen table downstairs.  All of them are proud to be in service to the Lord and Lady Grantham and their three daughters, Lady Mary, Lady Edith…

View original 630 more words

Our Sunday night obsession is back and I, for one, could not be happier.  Written by Julian Fellows of Gosford Park fame, the award winning “Downton Abbey” series is addictive.  The compelling tale centers upon a British aristocratic family living in a spectacular manor house refrered to only as “Downton.”  The story begins in the Edwardian years 0f 1901-1910 before the first World War and follows the family and their staff through harrowing years of the war and beyond.

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The series has a” downstairs upstairs” aspect to it as well.  While we watch the family interact at formal dinners served by liveried footmen in white tie, we also follow the conversation of the loyal staff as they take their meals around the kitchen table downstairs.  All of them are proud to be in service to the Lord and Lady Grantham and their three daughters, Lady Mary, Lady Edith, and Lady Sybil.

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The real life Downton Abbey is Highclere Castle in Berkshire, and the elegant interior and exterior shots of the manor house and parkland setting are enough to keep you coming back for more.  Throw in the handsome Matthew Crawley, the fantastic fashion costumes worn by Lady Grantham and her three daughters, and the amazing Dame Maggie Smith as Violet, the Dowager Countess, and you have all the ingredients for the most successful British period drama of all time.


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The aristocratic style of Downton Abbey has apparently influenced everything from spending habits, to fashion, home furnishings and interior design. The Today Show,reported that sales of World War I history books and etiquette books are way up due to the shows popularity. In the world of fashion you see the “Downton” influence in the emergence of empire waistlines, ladylike lingerie (all the women in the series take breakfast in bed wearing amazing lingerie), elbow length gloves, maxi dresses, fur stoles, and elaborate “Edwardian” style jewelry with filigree and faceted stones.

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The  runway trends inspired by  “Downton” this year were influenced by equestrian and British hunting party chic.  The classic formal fox hunting attire that showed up on the runway included impeccably tailored hunting coats and starched white stock ties, as well as proper tweed shooting ensembles influenced by the formal English pheasant shooting scenes.

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The Edwardian period started a new century: there was a new king, and along with him, a new style.  The heavy furniture and cluttered rooms of the Victorian years gave way to a lighter and more cheerful interior.  Furniture styles were influenced by Sheraton, Chippendale, and Queen Anne.  There were Baroque, Rococo, and Empire influences as well.

Think wing chairs covered in chintz or pale colored damasks, feminine flowery patterns, and colors like light blue, greens and yellows.  White or cream walls and pale covered furniture were accented with formal flower arrangements in every room.  Dinner tables were set formally with all of the the family’s fine china, crystal and silver.  It was a time to show off your finery and your wealth.

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Downton showcases “A romantic time of gracious living” and like everything we are exposed to in pop culture and on television, it influences our style, tastes, and spending choices.  For over 25 years Kaminski Auctions has provided our customers with wonderful estate silver, china, porcelain, furniture, and decorative pieces that epitomize “Downton” style and gracious living.

At our monthly estate and DéCoR auctions you will find everything you need to create your own “Downton Style.”  Imagine yourself as Lady Grantham sitting at this wonderful Edwardian fancy ladies dressing table with mirror (Lot #8074)  in our February Estate sale.

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Or putting on this beautiful gold, pearl and ruby necklace (Lot# 9161),

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or this 14k gold aquamarine and diamond pendant (Lot #8055 ) before you go down to dinner.
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Imagine Carson overseeing the dining room set for a formal dinner.  The long mahogany table surrounded with shield back dining chairs (Lot #9167),

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and the table gleaming with silver candlesticks and other table accessories, (Lot #8232) and (Lot#8156).

8232_18156_1A Wedgewood dinner service ( Lot #8023),

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and lovely Stuben crystal stemware,  (Lot#9070), complete the picture perfect dinner table.

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The sideboard (Lot#9171)  is brimming with silver trays of  Mrs. Patmore’s food

and decanters (Lot #9319) of wine.

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We here at Kaminski Auctions embrace this return to  gracious living and our offerings each month can help you bring a little bit of “Downton style” into your modern decor. Sign up for our monthly emails and Décor blog at http://www.kaminskiauctions.com so you don’t miss a sale and tune in every Sunday evening to Masterpiece Classics’ Downton Abbey. (All lots shown available in our February Estate Sale, Sunday, February 10th starting at 10:00 am. For more information go http://www.kaminskiauctions.com.

Your foyer is the entry into your home and your world. A well decorated foyer can speak volumes about who you are, and what you are interested in. It is a reflection of your home, your style,and the welcoming point for friends and guests. It is the first impression you make on anyone, so make a great first impression and decorate your foyer as you would any room in your home. It’s fun to make an impact! Be sure to consider scale, paint color, furniture and decorative objects to style your foyer.

House Beautiful Magazine Fantastic Designer Foyers by Jonathan Berger

Traditionally a foyer holds your coat closet, and maybe a place to hang a hat or an umbrella stand. It is a often a furnished with a small table, and mirror for a last minute look as you rush out the door, and or a bench to sit and put on shoes. You can also incorporate wonderful old antiques for storage or just interest in your foyer.

Fantastic Designer Foyers House Beautiful by Jonathan Adler

Having a theme for your foyer can be a reflection of your personal tastes and interests.  A nautical theme reflects a families interest in sailing or boating, equestrian prints say “we are into horses”, contemporary art shows your interest in modern artwork… etc. Whatever your interest its fun to decorate the foyer as a window into your home and your life .

The foyer is also a great place to showcase a collection . Such as these wonderful black and white photographs artfully displayed with stacks of photography themed books.

Marilyn Hutchings via Luann Lang from Entryways on Pinterest

There is always a great selection of mirrors and side tables at our monthly estate auctions, but its those one of a kind pieces, that really add the decorating sparkle.  Our auctions are all about finding those wonderful pieces, and buying at auction is such a fun way to acquire them.

From Pinterst via House Beautiful Magazine

Be to sure to shop our website monthly at http://www.kaminskiauctions.com  to find wonderful blue and white chinese ginger jars, like those pictured here or wonderful original contemporary artwork ,like these Dennis Akervik Coehlo’s featured in our October 20th Century Decorative Arts Sale.

Dennis Akervik Coehlo (American, b. 1968), “Sunset over Provincetown”, oil on canvas

If sailing is your thing, or you live by the ocean, be sure to check out our Ocean Liner Memorabilia and Nautical sale on October 21st for amazing nautical themed finds!!

Raffaele Corsini (Turkish), “Southerner of Greenock, Captain James Grant Entering Smyrna 1864″, oil on board

Model of Nantucket Lightship

Decorate your foyer to set just the right tone for the rest of your home at Kaminski Auctions!

Your classic mahogany dining table, whether it be Regency or Sheraton style, is out of fashion… just now.  There was a time 15-20 years ago when these superbly crafted tables, many with intricate banded inlay around the edge or beautifully swirled inlay patterns in the wood, sold for $1000.00 or upwards a foot.  That is a ten foot mahogany table sells for a minimum of $10,000, a twelve foot started at $12,000 and so on.  Nowadays as mid century modern and just plain modern is the fashion, these wonderful old tables are a fantastic value at Kaminski Auctions.

Mahogany itself is a beautiful hardwood often used indoors and outside as well. It has amazing grain, gleaming color and adds warmth to any room it is used in.  Its natural color deepens as it ages and brings richness to your decor.  A saber legged mahogany table in any room, reads gracious dining takes place here.

Think out of the box and follow the trend of many well known decorators today that mix laid back with formal.  In your new all white modern kitchen, use a classic formal mahogany dining table and the contrast of old and new makes the new “white kitchen” so much more interesting.  For a more traditional look, pair it with a crystal chandelier or use a stark modern light fixture to really mix it up.

Adding white modern upholstered chairs to pair with the traditional dark wood tables creates some real glamor in the room!

William Hefner Architecture Interiors & Landscape http://www.houzz.com/photos/119584/William-Hefner-Architecture-Interiors—Landscape-traditional-dining-room-los-angeles

One of the best uses of these gorgeous mahogany tables is this… A good friend of mine had her dining room table mirrored by a professional. This is such an inspirational idea and I love how she has updated the piece to fit inside her room. It is a twist on the traditional. The mirror adds an element of interest to the space (not to mention an instant conversation starter), illuminating and opening up the room just as it would if it were hanging on the wall. Everything on the table from the floral centerpiece, to the stemware, to the china, is reflected in this beautiful mirrored surface, making it so much more dramatic.

Because mahogany tables are such a classic piece, they can be easily incorporated into your existing décor–dressed up or down as you see fit–and you have the exciting opportunity to get creative with how you incorporate them into your home. Kaminski Auctions will offer several mahogany tables at an on-site auction in Gloucester, Massachusetts, September 22nd. Here are some examples of tables we offered in our July onsite auction in Nahant:

Lot 8440

Lot 8464

I am always looking for new and exciting ways to use furniture. Often, I fall in love with a particular piece, but don’t have the space or the need for it. Pinterest is a wonderful place to get inspiration (and first-timers beware…it is highly addictive!), and I stumbled upon the fabulous idea of converting beds, chairs, sideboards and dressers into benches.

These ideas are so incredible, and something I certainly never would have thought to do. Depending on your level of competency with power tools, you may need to enlist outside help for some of these ideas. Still, these are easy projects that are sure to transform your space and add a point of interest to your décor.

This is the first one that caught my eye. This person took the headboard and footboard of an antique bed, and cut the footboard in half to make a bench:

To check out this blogger’s step-by-step instructions visit: http://www.addicted2decorating.com/d-i-y-project-turning-a-headboard-and-footboard-into-a-bench.html.

This conversion will create a substantial-sized bench. Imagine it as additional seating in a breakfast nook. Paint it an eye-catching color, add a cushion and some bold throw pillows and place it in your entryway. Or wouldn’t it be the perfect seating for a mudroom? Place and label a storage bin for each member of your family underneath to conceal snow boots in the winter and sandals in the summer. Why not also try using weather-proof paint or top-coat and putting in your backyard or on your porch.

Another fun idea is taking the frame of antique chairs and converting it into a bench.

As you can see, this is a smaller scale final product and would look great as a piece of accent furniture in any room of your house. I love the idea of putting a bench at the foot of the bed, like this:

This is another twist on the same idea. You could paint every chair the same color to keep some uniformity, but don’t be afraid to mix and match!

I saved the project with the least amount of labor for last! This is a great way to gain both seating and storage in one piece of furniture:

This is a converted sideboard, but it would also work with a small dresser. The only updates you would need to make would be removing the legs, painting it your desired color or restoring the wood, and adding a cushion and pillows. Adding more decorative hardware would certainly brighten up the piece even more.

You can find the beds, chairs, sideboards, or dressers to create any of the above pieces at our monthly estate auctions. We always offer beautiful antiques and they often sell for reasonable prices. Last Saturday we held an on-site auction at the beautiful Devereaux Estate in Nahant, Massachusetts. The 700 lot sale was full of items such as this, just waiting to be updated and given a creative touch.

These would have been the perfect items to create benches, and they were all included in our last sale:

Lot #8201: Pair of early American maple twin rope beds

Lot #8202: 18th/19th century American maple rope bed

Lot #8342: 19th Century mahogany side chairs

Lot #8455: Three miscellaneous mahogany chairs.

Lot #8509: Pair of 20th Century chinoiserie decorated chairs

Lot #8549: Early 20th Century Hepplewhite-style mahogany sideboard

I am extremely fortunate to spend part of my summers on Nantucket Island.  As I shop around the amazing design stores downtown, I am constantly inspired by the talented artisans that sell their work in these small boutique shops.

One inspiration that I see constantly, is that anything “old ” or “vintage” can look modern when displayed in a Lucite box.  From nautical signal flags and sea shells, to vintage button collections or any collection for that matter, when framed in this way immediately puts a modern spin on it.

The red, white and blue, patriotic theme is a favorite in Nantucket and I often see old vintage American flags or even fragments of old flags artfully displayed in a oversized lucite box .

from gretchenjonesnyc.tumblr.com

The flag immediately becomes a focal point or anchor in the room and gives the room it’s theme or thread that you can carry into other objects, decorative pillows or coordinating fabric.  In our July Nahant auction we offered a wonderful American flag and folk art  plaque that would be perfect displayed in this manner.

20th Century Folk Art Sign and Flag- Lot # 8677
Kaminski Auctions July 14th Nautical and American Sale

Antique Signal Flag as seen at Nantucket Looms, Nantucket, Massachusetts

You can customize the boxes with background lighting, coordinating wallpaper or colored background to complement your design scheme or collection.  Such as a Chinese snuff  bottle collection displayed with  rice paper as a background in lighted lucite boxes.  A collection displayed in this manner becomes the only art you need in the room .

From Houzz.com

A series of Lucite boxes displaying your vintage collection can make a huge difference within your décor and is a fantastic way to display your collection for maximium visual impact.

by La Fabrika on Houzz.com

Using framed Lucite shadow boxes is also a fantastic way to preserve  your collection. Grouping them  together in this way, gives the collection order and organization.

I cannot emphasize enough how important the ” how ” is when displaying your possessions within a room.  You need to style them just as you would your furniture or paintings.  So the next time you see some fantastic vintage find to add to your collection or as the feature of a new one you are starting, consider displaying it in a lucite box to give it a wonderful  modern spin .

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