cat thrasher photography

Inside the warehouse: antique, vintage, and a little French

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It’s hard to believe, sometimes, that just 12 months ago, my studio was used as a storage space for large machinery.

I’ve always loved interior decorating but hated getting dressed. Interior design has always seemed much more pleasant to me than picking out what clothes I’m going to wear in a given day. Yet, similar to shopping for good clothing, my style requires that I regularly look out for the right furniture by going to yard sales, scouring Craigslist, and digging into dark basements. The result is what you see in my studio: antique frames, vintage dressers, and Louis XVI sofas. There is nothing new in my studio – everything is a little aged.

The four frames on the outside in the photo below were made by local artists, and the one in the center is truly antique, pulled out of the basement of this very warehouse. If you see it in person, it is actually three frames put together to form a thick border, each laden with ornate detail. It’s still got some dust on it from the basement, but I think it adds character. As for the sofa, I believe that it is a Louis XVI-esque design, but I’m not sure. It’s covered in a tattered man-made material that I cannot wait to replace with something softer and silkier! Until then, I put it to use by covering it in pleasant fabrics for intimate portrait clients.

I have had this table (photo, lower left) for a long time. This was the only piece of furniture in my original “studio” in the Sophie House on Wertland St., back during my last semester at UVa.. When I first got it, I had some leftover Rustoleum paint from another project, so I slapped it on, and it turned out to be perfect! The high-gloss makes it look lacquered, and in combination with the modest lighting setup I had at the time, it yielded very dramatic portraits for some of my first clients.

This lamp and mahogany dresser/mirror set were both acquired in the front yards of Charlottesvillians trying to rid their houses of extra stuff. I was so lucky! Check out the wavy front on that dresser! If they even make furniture like this anymore, I’d be interested to know.

And who could forget this settee? I believe this one is a Louis XV canapé sofa, but again, I’m no furniture expert. This piece is currently at my mother’s house, waiting patiently to be reupholstered with new, red, silky Italian fabric laden in gold dragonflies. (Thanks mom!)

Written by catthrasher

December 17, 2009 at 5:06 am

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