Cocktails at Christie’s
The House and Garden LIST is a directory of interior designers and providers. Yasmin Chopin Interior Design is proud to be on the list! Recently we all got together for a few drinkies and chatter at Christie’s auction house in London. Three interior designers were invited to design and build room sets using items that were on display and ready for the next sale. Intrigued by this idea and having seen the results I asked one of the participants, Georgina Cave of Cave Interiors, about the experience. The other two companies that exhibited on the evening were Maddux Creative (feature image) and Joanna Wood.
This video shows the preparation… I wonder which room set is your favourite?!
Now read my interview with Georgina Cave…
(Image via Cave Interiors)
- There were three room sets – did you get a choice of position and/or size of space? We were given a choice out of three spaces and I chose the one most suited to the pieces I’d selected, particularly the George I sofa which was the basis for everything. I was also able to specify the size I wanted it to be which was crucial, particularly as there was limited availability on the wood floor I wanted to use which was kindly loaned by Solid Floor.
- I understand you were able to pick items to use from the auction catalogue – were there any limits? We were told that we could use a minimum of five large items and ten small items and an overall maximum of 20 items from the interiors auction catalogue, which I felt was sensible to avoid the space becoming overly cluttered. We were also encouraged to include several modern pieces of furniture to demonstrate how well antique and/or vintage items can sit alongside modern pieces, so I included a couple of Tom Faulkner pieces one of which they kindly loaned us and the other which we sell through our shop. They worked so well in the scheme and achieved the balance between old and new as briefed.
- Did Christie’s help with the wall and floor coverings (prepare, pay for, suggest suppliers?) We were very much left to our own devices as these were to form the foundation and backdrops for our individual schemes. However, although we arranged our own installation of both the flooring and walling fabric, Christie’s kindly offered to pay for the latter which was very lovely.
- What other preparations took place in the run up to the event (did you design a mock up of the space for instance)? Once we received the catalogue I immediately chose the George I embroidered sofa and the rest of the items swiftly followed. To ensure these would all work well together spatially & visually we prepared a sketch layout on plan and several elevations as we would on any project. These, alongside a visual presentation that included all the key pieces, the walling, flooring and the accessories helped ensure the scheme was pretty much resolved ahead of the big day.
- How much did you change the design on the day? From a layout point of view not at all and in fact all the accessories we incorporated worked so well that they too were pretty much all used. I do like to work organically to avoid things looking over designed so there were a couple of things I planned to resolve fully on the day. Examples of these were the Rosi de Ruig marbled shade for the wonderful Japonisme lamp base which I simply had to use and the small embroidered silk foot stool made by my daughter to accompany the side chair as the colours weren’t very clear in the catalogue, but they worked beautifully too.
- Have you done anything like this before? No this was a first, but I hope not the last as it was such fun!
- What surprised you about the experience? How fun it was and how smoothly it all went.
- What memorable comments were given about it during the evening? We had so many that night, the next day and for the week following which was really lovely but my favourites were: “That sofa, that walling”, “It’s so pretty, I wish I could move in” and “so carefully curated, such a joy to behold”. We were also tagged in several lovely posts on Instagram.
- If you were to do it again what would you change about the process, or about this particular design? Nothing at all, I was thrilled to be involved and the team at Christie’s were a delight to work with as were my fellow designers. It was hard to leave behind.
While I was there it was possible to look around the auction house where all the items ready for the next sale were displayed. I picked out Lot 124; the coloured glass and hardstone beaded necklaces grabbed my attention. It’s from a collection, ‘Seward Kennedy’s Cabinet of Curiosities’ and the estimate on the Lot was £1-2000. It sold for £1375. My favourite item of the whole day however was the resin rhino head shown in the Maddux Creative roomset! I couldn’t help but get to know him better and take a photo!
If you’d like to buy something special for your home auctions can be a great place to look. If you need a scout or a guide, give me a call on 07831 231 664.