A few months ago, the New York Times published an interesting article on Newport, Rhode Island society decorator John Peixinho. I was really quite curious about him as he counts the inimitable Oatsie Charles as a client. In fact, Peixinho upholstered Charles' late husband's Barcalounger in a Scalamandre Chinoiserie print. Now, how can you not like the decorator who adorns the 800 pound gorilla in the room in Scalamandre?
So it was interesting to see the recent article in House Beautiful (Jan. 08) about Peixinho's own home in Newport. The 1730 house is owned by the Newport Restoration Foundation, which strictly limits what Peixinho can do to the house (i.e.- no painting!). It seems, though, that Peixinho overcame these restrictions by filling the home with pieces that he loves, and this to me is what makes the home interesting. Amongst the Chinese export, the Hitchcock chairs, and other antiques are more modern pieces- a bright yellow Bungalow 5 coffee table, contemporary paintings, and mirrors from Ballard Designs.
It's this mix of the old and the new that I find inspiring. I've been fortunate enough to receive some early American antiques from my parents, and will inherit more some day. As much as I adore these antiques, I don't actively collect early American. But that's okay because they work with my other furniture. I'm here to suggest that with a little imagination and a critical eye, you can mix American antiques with Louis XV chairs or 1930s furniture for example. And really, isn't this the modern way of living?
The card room with the Ballard Design mirrors and newly painted Queen Anne Chairs.
Another view of the card room with a modern painting.