Entertaining Edna: a designer's obsession with table top and barware

This week started off with a bang. I found out that I will be visiting the table top and barware showroom at 41 Madison and shooting a video with the folks at Editor-At-Large discussing my favorites of table top and barware. Thinking about visiting some of the most amazing table top showrooms got me all hot and bothered. Hermes and Christofle and Waterford oh my! I am pumped. 

As you know, as a designer I am obsessed with everything for the home. And table top decor and bar ware is one of those magical things I can't get enough of. I always picture myself and a brown version of Betty Draper sipping martinis in my favorite sitting room. Or a 70's goddess in a Mrs. Roper-esque kaftan sipping on a cuba libre in a room with palm frond wallpaper. From classic porcelain and etched crystal to vintage colored glass, table top and bar speaks to the pure glamour in all of us. And as a design, I try to infuse some of this elegance in my clients spaces.  Regardless, of what areas I design the table and bar always comes into play. Call me an inebriated romantic if you will. 

My Collection

My own collection consists of mostly inherited pieces. I grew up with an amazing array of dishes and glassware in my mom's breakfront that now have a home in my apartment. My incredibly stylish grandparents had some truly amazing pieces. 24 carat gold plated plates anyone? Twist my rubber arm. And the incredible tea cups and saucers from my grandmother's extensive tea cup collection. Ever since I can remember people would always buy her a tea cup and matching saucer during their travels. It was her prized possession. I also have some dynamite glassware. Gold rimmed vintage martini glasses, 70's era smokey tumblers and ornate glass decanters and ice buckets. It is from this legacy of great design that my love of table top and barware grew. 

My kitchen pantry. Photo by James Ransom.

My kitchen pantry. Photo by James Ransom.

Client Work: A Bar in every home! 

For my clients I always focus on the bar. I love this notion of creating spaces fit for entertaining. I like to carve out little spaces that encourage them to live with some grandeur in their lives. And nothing achieves that better than a well stocked bar. 

Park avenue deco bar cabinet. Photo by Patrick Cline.

Park avenue deco bar cabinet. Photo by Patrick Cline.

I found this incredible bar at High Style Deco in the Flatiron. This black lacquer piece oozes vintage charm. The clients already had an amazing collection of bar ware and I was able to give them a great place to display it. This practical vignette was a highlight of the project for me. 

New Rochelle Basement bar area. Photo by Patrick Cline.

New Rochelle Basement bar area. Photo by Patrick Cline.

The renovation of this basement bar room was part of a basement overhaul. We installed a brand new floor, stained all of the paneling, wallpapered, and painted the counter in a black lacquer paint. We kept the vintage style bar in place but added bronze mirror behind the shelves to give us some much needed reflected light in the room. I purchased several sets of vintage and moroccan glasses for the back bar shelving in tones of green. In the foreground, the decanter and tray are from Arteriors Home. The glasses I found at Crate & Barrel. Whether at a big box store or a local flea market, you never know where you will the next gem. 

Chelsea Law firm. Photo by James Ransom. 

Chelsea Law firm. Photo by James Ransom. 

When designing my friends office in an entertainment law firm, I knew we needed a small bar area. It is an entertainment law firm after all. So I used a shelf in his etagere to stage a small bar area. What I love about this simple approach is that all you need are a few key items: Stylish bar ware, in this case some smokey glass tumblers; Coasters, always on my accessory list for every project; a decorative tray, here the options are limitless; And of course some of your favorite hooch! 

I am so beyond excited to tour 41 Madison next week and promise to share some of my favorite finds from that trip. In the meantime Salut, Skal, Proost, Cheers, Chin-Chin, Sante and all that good stuff. 

Until next week…. 

x

d