Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Canberra's Parisian secret

Written by Emma Davidson

And it has nothing to do with lacy lingerie or blue movies... Kate Sandford from Histoires has a lovely range of French provincial antiques on display at Artforge in Collie Street, Fyshwick. These are not your usual “look but don't touch” expensive pieces. Histoires brings home unique French antiques that have a story to tell, so they can be used in your everyday home life instead of being kept for Sunday best.

Kate first got into farmhouse antiques while living in Switzerland. She and her husband would go on recon missions to France, coming back with their treasures strapped to the roof rack (usually via back roads with unattended border controls). When they moved back to Canberra in 2006, there was nothing to fill that void in her life. So last September, she went back to Paris to buy her first shipment for Histoires. Her Parisian antiques buyer, Jean-Pierre, helped her find some unique pieces at great prices.

For those of us who can't afford a house full of antiques, having one feature piece among more affordable reproduction or vintage-style furniture can really lift the modèle (that's French for “style”) of the room, and is a great conversation starter when you have guests. “Yes, I found that gorgeous old table under several layers of mud in the back of a barn near Avignon... champagne and canapes, anyone?”

Although Kate says her weakness is outdoor garden settings, she also came home with some lovely occasional tables, buffets, and dining tables. She also loved finding decorative pieces like mirrors, candelabras, and crystal chandeliers. Although a select few pieces are on display at Artforge, the rest can be viewed at Kate's home. Kate can be contacted on 0431 499 356 anytime to make a time for a viewing.


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