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The Cathedral Antiques Show: Tips for decor and tablescapes


Attachments to antiques can be powerful.

Author Julia Reed, a speaker at the 2016 Cathedral Antiques Show, needed to recover an heirloom Chinese Chippendale sofa when she lived in New York. The sofa was one of the items passed down from her great-grandmother and grandmother. Even its color brought back memories.

“We found this green silk that was almost exactly the same thing that had been on it,” said Reed, who now has the sofa in her home in New Orleans. “We have sentimental attachments.”

At the show, she will preview her book, “Julia Reed’s South: Spirited Entertaining and High-Style Fun All Year Long,” which will be released in May. A growing trend in entertaining, she said, is that people are paying more attention to table settings. For example, some of her favorite tablescape items include 19th-century glassware and heavy French linens and damask napkins.

“It’s a joy to dine with those kinds of things,” she said. “I think a table setting is almost as important as what you’re putting on the plate.”

The Cathedral Antiques Show, which runs from Jan. 31-Feb. 7, will feature more than two dozen furniture, art, accessories and jewelry dealers, talks with designers and authors, a flower festival and two home tours. Two experts attending the annual decorative arts event offered decorating and entertaining tips.

Suzanne Rheinstein, interior designer and author of “Rooms for Living” and “At Home: A Style for Today with Things from the Past”

Decorating tip: “I think a look that feels very good to me now, no matter what kind of house it is in, is one that combines pieces from different eras,” she said. In a 1950s home for empty-nester clients, Rheinstein used a 19th-century kilim rug from Afghanistan with orange, purple and deep yellow in a room with light floors and off-white walls. Then she added a 19th-century Japanese tansu, a storage chest, in a more mellow dark red lacquer finish and a 17th-century English oak chair upholstered in linen next to the tansu. Above the tansu, she placed a colorful painting by Cuban artist Cundo Bermudez. “These are four different objects from four different countries, but the way they’re put together seems more for the way we live now. It’s a little more graphic,” she said.


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