Archives for posts with tag: antique

I often walk through our 1850’s barn or auction gallery to get inspiration for a new blog post.  Sadly I noticed  several beautiful old grandfather clocks lined up like forgotten soldiers against the back wall of the barn.  These amazing pieces are elaborately carved of mahogany or other wood, some with intricately handpainted dials or faces and all with wonderful brass pendulum movements.

Though seemingly out of style in todays modern decor, I decided to research the long case clocks or grandfather clocks as they came to be known, to see how they can be used in the way we live today .

Developed around 1670 by an  English clockmaker named William Clement and originally called a long case clock. It is a freestanding clock with a weight driven movement.  Most grandfather clocks sound the time on each hour,  or fraction of an hour  and are known as striking clocks.  The grandfather clock is supposedly named after “My Grandfather’s Clock”, a song written in 1876 by  Henry Clay Work.

From Witt Construction
Saratoga Springs, NY

Today most people use their cell phones to tell the time but these wonderful old timepieces can still serve as the focal point of a highly trafficked hallway or foyer.  It is the perfect spot for an antique grandfather clock, as a hallway or foyer  serves as the welcoming point for guests to the rest of the house.  It also sets the tone of the house, and  is the perfect place to display a family heirloom or heirloom you just purchased at auction .

It is also the perfect piece to emphasize a wonderful arched nook or wall recess or just the thing to give a low ceilinged room some height.  It is also just the thing to add architectural interest to a room that has little or  no moldings or architectural features, while at the same time, adding some old world charm to the decor.

Treat a hallway as you would any other room in the house and develop a theme and decorate to that theme. Such as this wonderfully decorated Spanish Colonial entrance way featuring an 1920’s long case clock from Barker Brothers in Los Angeles gracing the Adamson House in Malibu, California.

Late 18th/early 19th century American tall clock, flame maple, broken arch pediment. Lot-#8113 July 14th, 2012

20th Century Peary United States Marine Corps tall clock with mahogany case- Lot# 8184 July14th, 2012

English Stonehouse, Leeds tall clock, mixed woods, mahogany and oak –
Lot #8283- July 14th, 2012

Perhaps one of these forgotten soldiers will find it’s way into your foyer or hallway !

Antique Steamer trunks evoke the images of long transatlantic voyages or the British and European nobility embarking on the “Grand Tour”.   Though out of fashion as a form of luggage, they are fabulous and versatile as pieces of decorative furniture in today’s décor.

We recently sold this Louis Vuitton Steamer  Trunk with Tray in our June Estate sale for $6500.00 !  It would serve as a fabulous coffee table with a piece of glass on top and a wonderful conversation piece!

Louis Vuitton Steamer Trunk with Tray

And this other E. Goyard steamer trunk from our June Auction, sold for  $850.00 ! It is the perfect shape for a fabulous end table.

Used primarily in place of the traditional coffee table by decorators today, a fabulous trunk can  also serve as an ottoman at the foot of the bed providing wonderful storage for duvets, pillows and  off season storage of heavier blankets and quilts.

Or stacked in a corner for storage of heavy winter sweaters and coats and switched to summer clothes and lightweight linens as the seasons change!
In a more modern decor they can serve as an interesting platform for your flat screen television with one or two trunks stacked to the appropriate height.



Two vintage suitcases stacked in a corner to the perfect height next to a bed make a wonderful and interesting nightstand and you could always spray a trunk white to update it’s look or match your color scheme !


An 18th or 19th  century steamer trunk can have a surprisingly modern feel used in this way! Check out our monthly estate sales on our website for Louis Vuitton trunks, suitcases and much, much more for a truly inspired decor!

Who doesn’t love a fabulous chandelier? I recently found this post from a fellow blogger that introduces an interesting new way to incorporate ornate light fixtures into your décor: Painted Chandeliers!

It’s a little adventurous but why not try it? Beautiful and elegant chandeliers are always featured in our monthly estate auctions, and at reasonable prices. More importantly, the items we offer at Kaminski Auctions are more unique than any object you will find at a big-name catalogue store.

Here are a few examples from recent sales:

As this blogger suggests, try spray-painting the chandelier to add a pop of color to any interior space. And if you are looking for something subtler, you can certainly achieve a similar effect without making the chandelier the centerpiece of the room.

Try a fresh white or another soft neutral color and experiment with different lampshades. Or, choose a shade within the room’s color family to tie your décor together. Chandeliers are a fun thing to incorporate into any room in your home—and think beyond the living room or dining room! Put one in your bedroom or make a statement with a wonderful painted chandelier in your front hall.

And if a chandelier is just a little too much for your space but you still think a colorful light fixture would be perfect, you could even spray paint a pair of simple metal sconces, like these that we sold at our June Estate sale:

Be creative: lighting doesn’t have to be just functional, it can be exciting and whimsical too.

Decorating a seaside home this year ….be sure to check out our yearly Nautical sale which takes place every summer in July.  It features wonderful, and affordable decorative objects and paintings with a nautical theme…the perfect time to acquire a marine painting . A wonderful antique nautical painting of a sailboat or a schooner in a gilt framed over the mantel can set the tone of the entire room.

From blog, “for the love of the house” (

I love an all white interior in a beach house  with the fresh clean look of  navy blue or marine blue as the primary accent color.   Add other nautical touches like an antique brass telescope or a ship model and you can almost feel the ocean breeze off the water….

A modern way to include these old paintings in todays decor is to use them in a non traditional way, such as an accents over twin beds, a nautical chart as wallpaper for a childs room or a study, or as the focal point of a modern wall display. It is always so much more interesting to mix an antique piece with other modern wall objects to create the juxtaposition of old and new in a your decor.

I love how this designer has placed this painting over the kitchen sink, again using it in a non traditional context.

And see how this ship model under glass becomes the focal point of a very minimally decorated modern dining room.  Always consider scale when trying to make a statement in a room.  This oversize ship model is the only decorative object you need for this dining room to shout “nautical” .

The following lots are just a few of the amazing nautical items on offer at our next auction taking place July 14th at the beautiful Devereaux Family Estate at 291 Nahant Road starting at 10:00 Am.   Preview for this exciting sale is Thursday and Friday, July 12th from 10:00 am- 5:00pm and July 13th from 10:00am -7:00pm and day of sale beginning at 8:00am.   Be sure to stay tuned to in the next few days  when we post our July 14th  On-Site Auction in Nahant. There, you can preview lots for the sale–and you are sure to find some amazing nautical antiques to include in your own décor.

I saw this wonderful chair at the North Shore Design Show and it gave me the idea to research how to use beautiful, old mahogany furniture in a modern home:


This is a great updated look for an antique shield back mahogany chair with a wonderful plaid upholstered seat cover !

(source : Eric M. Haydel Design, INC- seen at the North Shore Design Show, 2012)

An easy change is adding a modern fabric to the chair. But now, people are going so far as to strip the chairs and paint the wood. Although it is surprising, the brown furniture market is very depressed right now due to the strength of the mid-century modern aesthetic.


I love this look I found online of a refurbished Hepplewhite chair with a wonderful Jonathan Adler type fabric …such a clean, fresh way to update this centennial chair.

(source: Your Modern Couple Blog,

Painted mahogany chairs with a country pine table, a sideboard painted a different color with a fabulous antique chandelier that dresses up the whole room…what an inspired décor !

(source: Morgan Harrison Home, from

At Kaminski Auctions, we always have an incredible selection of chairs and dining room sets that you can purchase for reasonable prices.

Lot # 7118- Eight oak Chippendale style chairs -June 16th Estate Auction

Lot #7126: 6 Mid 18th Century French Chairs- June 16th Estate Auction

Why not bid on a timeless set of antique mahogany chairs and personalize them for your own home’s décor? I love the idea of painting chairs for your dining room, but you could also do the same for accent furniture in any other room of your home.

Lot # 7234: 3 Mahogany Chairs- June 16th Estate Auction

There was a time many years ago when mahogany chairs would sell for several hundreds of dollars per chair …today with the interest in modern design, you can purchase a complete set of chairs for the same price!

With all the Snow White movies hitting the nation’s cinemas, it reminded me of what an important role mirrors play in our home decor. Mirrors can make a small room appear larger, reflect and spread light, highlight the view, and add a lovely decorative touch to any living space.

We always have a large selection of mirrors available in our monthly Estate Auctions. From neoclassical to French trumeau to modern, and everything in between. We usually have a large selection and they go for very reasonable prices.

Imagine some of these objects in your own home. Perhaps above a small table in your entryway, above a mantel, or in a dining room:


Lot #6118: 18th Century Italian Baroque Hand Painted Mirror (98.5″h x 48.5″w)


Lot #6127: Late 19th Century Giltwood over mantle mirror (26″ x 62″)


Lot #6177: 19th Century Italian Carved Giltwood Mirror (35″ x 27″)


Lot #6228: Black and Gold Painted Mirror with Garland Element (40″h x 31″w)

Think outside the box of all the ways mirrors can be used to complete or update a room. All of the above mirrors will be up for sale in our June 16th Estate Auction. We invite you to join us at this, or any one of our sales, to discover an inspiring mirror to incorporate into your interior decor.

I love the idea of putting an oversized mirror behind a bath tub:

Have you ever wondered how you can incorporate an interesting piece of antique furniture for use in your own home?

Take this lovely early 19th century Salem federal mahogany upholstered sofa (32.5″ h x 83″ l x 29″d) that recently arrived in our gallery as an example. This particular piece will be up for sale at our June Estate Auction on the 16th (lot #6024).


With just a few easy updates, you can personalize this antique to match your unique decorating taste. Try adding a simple slip cover in a soft color, then use accent pillows to personalize. Mix and match solids and patterns, and have fun with different textures and fabrics!

On a recent trip to the North Shore Design Show, Diane was inspired by this look:


We love the use of a slip cover with ties, as it allows you to highlight the beautiful antique mahogany while also giving you the opportunity to modernize the sofa–better yet, you can easily remove and wash it!