Thursday, December 29, 2011

Add This to the Permanent Collection: Dealer's Choice


How was your Christmas/Hanukkah haul this year? So that question is probably in bad taste, but I'd just like to share with you how over the moon I am with one gift I received in particular. My ever-prescient sister really hit the nail on the head when she gave me Michael Bruno and Craig Kellogg's new-ish coffee table book, Dealer's Choice: At Home With Purveyors of Antique and Vintage Furnishings. This book is - very un-ironically - the dream I've been waiting to come true. It profiles in 384 big, bold, beautifully executed pages the homes and apartments of 32 of the world's top dealers and shop owners specializing in antique and vintage furnishings. Even as I write this I'm thinking they can definitely do a second volume since there are SO MANY great shops out there, but these 32 interiors are truly the best of the best. If you like Apartment Therapy house tours, take note - this book is undoubtedly the heroin of house tours.

Aside from the fact that I want EVERYTHING in this book, there's also a refreshingly blunt foreword from 1stDibs founder Michael Bruno, and an equally candid introduction about the vintage business from Craig Kellogg: the astronomical prices the market can create around a piece, the importance of building a brand/mystique to enhance perceived value, the waxing and waning of styles... it's brief, but it's all there. Still, the real stars of the book are the homes.

Screen shot 2011-12-28 at 11.19.56 PM
Home of Richard Wright (Wright Auctions)
Architecture/Interiors Press, Inc.

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Home of David Cruz (Blackman/Cruz)
Architecture/Interiors Press, Inc.

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Home of David Serrano and Robert Willson (Downtown)
Architecture/Interiors Press, Inc.

The one complaint I've read about in reviews of the book are that the spaces are too sparse, and that many people who deal in vintage furnishings have way more stuff. Well, to that I say bah! This isn't the vintage hoarders coffee table book. The dealer's profiled here aren't just shopkeeps, or hobbyists: they're also curators and tastemakers. I'd argue that every person's home should be a reflection of who they are, but this is especially true of people who deal in the business of interiors.

Home of Todd Merrill (Todd Merrill Antiques/20th Century)
Architecture/Interiors Press, Inc.

Home of David Cruz (Blackman/Cruz)
Architecture/Interiors Press, Inc.

And since my own vintage business is called STUDY, the most important lesson I took away is that no matter how esteemed you are in the echelons of the vintage business, your personal collection is never really off-limits in terms of what you sell. This, honestly, was very eye-opening for me since I've always held a mark of true success as a vintage dealer to be that you have your stuff and then the store's stuff. Well lo and behold, people like Adam Blackman (Blackman/Cruz) and Richard Wright (Wright Auctions) are swapping out pieces on a regular basis.

So if you're in the vintage business, have ever bought a piece of vintage furniture, or just love seeing how other people live... go buy this book.

Dealer's Choice: At Home With Purveyors of Antique and Vintage Furnishings is published by Architecture/Interiors Press, Inc.