Monday, August 08, 2011

Cane and T-Abel

How could that photo above not capture one's attention, what with the Lichtenstein and the shocking red walls and bed. There's a lot going there ("there" being the New York bedroom of designer Arthur Smith, c. 1982), but what really made me sit up and take notice were the Bielecky Brothers side tables. This photo served as a (cruel) reminder that I have yet to get the Bielecky Brothers side table that I so covet. In fact, one of their cane wrapped tables would look perfect in my study with its Albert Hadley for Hinson "Trixie" wallpaper, its gray sisal carpet, and my black lacquered Parsons console. I like to think of the room as looking very Van Day Truex meets Albert Hadley with a dash of Jennifer Boles thrown in. At least, that's what I think.

According to Adam Lewis'
Billy Baldwin: The Great American Decorator, we have Billy Baldwin and Van Day Truex to thank for the Bielecky Brothers' iconic cane wrapped chair, a design that was inspired by a Jean-Michel Frank piece. The two men commissioned Bielecky Brothers to make the chairs for use in various Tiffany & Co. salons, although I would venture to say that most of us probably associate the cane wrapped pieces with Baldwin's glossy chocolate brown studio apartment. Since that first chair, the line has evolved into cane wrapped tables, bookcases, and chests. One could say that these are investment pieces as they don't come cheap. But what's important to note is that they wear like iron. Atlanta designer Stan Topol has Bielecky Brothers' chairs and tables that are 30+ years old and they look good as new. You would think that he bought them yesterday!

I'm hoping that my table will look that good thirty years from now. I just need to get my hands on one first.

Van Day Truex used Bielecky Brothers chairs in his last apartment.

Mrs. Harding Lawrence (Mary Wells Lawrence) incorporated the chairs into this table setting for the book The New Tiffany Table Settings.

Angelo Donghia was an ardent fan of the line. Here, in his New York town house, he used two different styles of the Bielecky cane table.

I could have shown the Bielecky Brothers pieces in Billy Baldwin's Manhattan apartment, but I've featured those photos so many times before that I wanted to show something different. Here, in the games room of the S.I. Newhouse Jr. townhouse, Baldwin used both the chairs and the game table.

In this New York Social Diary photo of Adam Lewis' beautiful New York apartment, you can see that he too has the classic Bielecky Brothers' chairs. Fitting for the author of books on Van Day Truex and Billy Baldwin! Seeing that I admire all three men greatly (that is including Lewis), it's fitting that I want a cane wrapped piece too.

Stan Topol has Bielecky Brothers galore in his Atlanta office that recently appeared in the May issue of House Beautiful.

Top photo from House & Garden, January 1982; photo #2 from Van Day Truex: The Man Who Defined Twentieth-Century Taste and Style by Adam Lewis; #3 from The New Tiffany Table Settings; #4 from New York Interior Design, 1935-1985, Vol. 2: Masters of Modernism by Judith Gura; #5 from Billy Baldwin: The Great American Decorator; #6 from New York Social Diary, Jeff Hirsch photographer; #7 from House Beautiful, May 2011, Thomas Loof photographer.


  1. Would so love a set of Billy's slipper chairs. classic~ timeless and oh so elegant!

  2. The shots of these rooms are beautiful. They show just what interior design was all about long B4 HG TV...Thanks for showing us these.

  3. Thanks for pointing them out - I hadn't "noticed" them before. (Your den sounds terrific.)

  4. The chairs and your new table are fabulous.....but I bet no one had cats anywhere near that cane work. Have a great week. Mary

  5. lovely !
    so pretty!
    happy week,

  6. Who knew!! LOL!!

    I've seen the chairs, I thought they were JMF knockoffs!!

    I will certainly pick them up next time, good research!!