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Archive for March 2014

The Most Expensive Furniture Ever Sold At Auction

Good quality furniture or a piece that has an impeccable provenance will always yield a high price at auction. In recent years there have been a number of desks, cabinets and tables that have commanded eye-watering prices from bidders and here are some of the most expensive to ever go under the hammer.

1. The Badminton Cabinet

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This astoundingly ornate cabinet was sold by the descendants of the 3rd Duke of Beaufort for an incredible $36.7 million and currently sits in the Liechtenstein Museum. The cabinet was sold in 2004 and was constructed in Florence. Inlayed with precious stones, this is more a work of art than a functional piece of furniture.


2. The Dragon’s Chair

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Showing that provenance and craftsmanship will always be popular, the Dragon’s Chair made spectators gasp at the price it garnered at a Christie’s auction.

This early 20th century chair was once the property of Yves St Laurent and when the iconic piece of furniture was auctioned in 2009, it fetched a stunning  £19.million. Art deco designer, Eileen Gray is responsible for the chair’s creation.


3. Goddard and Townsend Desk

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If you wanted to invest in a real statement piece, then the Goddard and Townsend secretary desk might appeal. The desk was made in the 1760s and was sold at a Christie’s auction in 1989 for $11,480,675.

This is said to be the highest price ever paid for a piece of American furniture. Only 9 of the desks were ever made, which might be one of the reasons for the high auction price. 


4. The Harrington Commode

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The superb 18th century English furniture craftsman, Thomas Chippendale, is always popular at auction. As the centuries progress, his work is more difficult to source and any piece which comes up at auction it’s sure to be snapped up.

Sotheby’s sold this Harrington Commode in 2010 at an impressive £3,793,250. The marquetry and design of the Commode is exquisite so it’s hardly surprising it attracted such attention.


5. George II Parcel Gilt Padouk Cabinet

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Beautifully created furniture made by a respected designer can only increase in value. Christie’s recorded a price of £2,729,250 for the George II Parcel Gilt Padouk Cabinet when it sold in 2008, putting it firmly in our list of most expensive furniture sold at auction.

At the time of the sale, Christie’s Head of furniture, Henry House, said “the final price demonstrates true demand in the market for items of real quality.”


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Pretty Pastels

Over the last year Grey took over from Magnolia as our fall back colour of choice for interiors, but this is set to be challenged.  Pastel shades such as muted greens, powdery blues, buttercup yellows and soft pinks are beginning to fill interior design mags and blogs, so you may be surprised at how modern and versatile this look can be.


Offsetting pastel shades with neutrals colours, metallic accessories and crisp clean lines gives this look a much more sophisticated and modern edge than the sugary sweet images people envisage when you say pastels.

Lilac Wall

The lilac in this image is a much fresher take on the colour of the year Radiant Orchid, especially when teamed with this cool teal striped fabric and matching accessories.  Mixing pastels with different textures and materials will add warmth and balance to the overall look.

 Yellow Chair

Crisp white walls can act as the perfect backdrop to pastel accents, creating a calm and serene space.  The natural twigs in this simple vase contrast with the soft cool colours of the modern furniture.


By mixing different pastel shades the look becomes much more playful.  These paper poms poms are an inexpensive and great way to add a focal point to large rooms, or a child’s bedroom.   


Pastel shades can easily be incorporated to other trends such as geometric patterns. 

Multicoloured Pastel Wall

This touch of pastels doesn’t have to end in the living room; bedrooms are a great place to clash pastel colours, especially when contrasted with the pale wooden accessories such as this beautiful retro chair.

Pastel colours are a stylish alternative to the bolder colour schemes we’ve seen this year, so whether you choose add a splash with accessories or go all out with a new a brand new look you sure to be bang on trend for 2014.


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How to Introduce Patterns and Printed Fabrics into Your Home

In today’s fast-moving world, there are no hard and fast rules regarding interior design. The key is to develop your own style.

Here we look at how to use prints or bold colours, taking inspiration from designers and design publications.


Ways to introduce patterns

Before you can start deciding how to use patterns in your home, you need to understand what options are available to you. Introducing prints into your interior design is relatively easy and products you can opt for include:

  • Reupholstered sofas, settees, chairs and other furniture
  • Patterned or printed cushions
  • Patterned or printed curtains, furnishings and decorations

Once you’ve decided which products are best suited for your home, start to think about the best way to introduce them.

Introduce your new design stage by stage

Rather than rushing in like a bull in a china shop, give your new style time to grow by introducing patterns stage by stage.

Start by colour matching a small piece of fabric with your colour scheme and having a single item of furniture reupholstered with a complimentary pattern. Alternatively, introduce patterned curtains and see how they look before taking the style further.

 Chelsea Velvet Chelsea Velvet - Rose & Balmoral - Aubergine

Consider the size of the room

You must take the size of your room into consideration when introducing patterns and printed fabrics. Smaller prints will suit a smaller room while a bold approach can be taken in larger rooms.

To experiment, you could always just recover a few cushions with a vibrant colour to place on plain sofas or chairs. Try and co-ordinate your colour scheme so that a range of plain and busier shades are used; too much colour can be very distracting.

Ensure that the background colour of your new upholstery blends with your overall room décor so that your changes don’t stand out like a sore thumb and remember to keep everything in proportion to the room.

 Macintosh                                                           Macintosh - Cream

Colour and design is vital

If you are still unsure about changing from a neutral design to one of pattern, then why not opt for something subtle? Patterns and prints come in all styles and designs so you’re sure to find something that suits your needs.

Starting with subtler patterns can help you get used to the new look and feel of the design, giving you the confidence to experiment with bolder options in the future.


Zari - Natural


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Spring Fabric Launch

Spring has just arrived, the awful weather is hopefully behind us, and glimmers of sunshine are slowly pushing through the dark clouds.  To prepare for brighter weather we’ve added over a 100 fabulous new fabrics and colourways to our range.

The additions to our range will include fabrics from well-known Design Houses such as Ross Fabrics, Linwood, Warwick, Sanderson, William Morris and Jim Dickens.  These new fabrics will extend all areas of our range from loose covers and reupholstery to curtains and scatter cushions.    

The new collection will hopefully have something for everyone including stripes, florals, checks, and bold geometric prints.  Here are a few examples of our most exciting additions…

Mtt Rap P1

The ottoman has been reupholstered in the stunning Picasso - Raspberry fabric, and the sofa has been reupholstered in a pretty Montartre also in Raspberry.  Both of these fabrics are from Warwick Fabrics.


These stunning geometric prints are from Linwood fabrics in the colourway Currant/Gold.


This bold and vibrant fabric is called Liberti – Aubergine, and will take centre stage in any home.  Let the print stand out by co-ordinating with simple coloured scatters.

Lci Mnk P2

If you prefer more neutral tones we’ve also added some new colourways to existing fabrics in the Plumbs range.  This sofa is reupholstered in Luciano – Mink, and the chair and footstool is reupholstered in Ricco – Mink.  These fabrics are available in the same colourways to create stunning co-ordinating looks.

To see more fabrics in the Plumbs range click through to ou fabric range.  For a FREE no obligation quotation on any of these fabrics or any others in the Plumbs range contact Plumbs today.


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