Friday, January 22, 2016


I was tickled to get these photos from my client of her recently completed home office and to see everyone in the family is enjoying the new furniture!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016


I am very excited to share my latest completed furniture restoration project, in particular because I worked with an amazing upholsterer who documents all stages of restoration offering a rarely seen view into this little-acknowledged art.

This wonderful sofa had great bones and great sentimental value for my clients who live just outside Kansas City.  They very much wanted to keep the piece, but were unsure of how to use it in their home in its current state.

It needed repairs to the frame, new stuffing to the cushion and desperately needed a new upholstery job.

After a broad review of fabrics, we kept coming back to one of the first we selected from Magnolia Fabrics.  It was bold and unexpected for this piece, but just felt right for the client and would completely reinvent this heirloom.  We decided to go for it.

So we consulted with the wonderfully knowledgeable Kansas City Upholstery who did a full and comprehensive restoration, completely taking the frame apart and re-gluing it, and documenting the process.

After all this tender loving care, I was desperate to see the final result!  And it was no let-down, that is for sure.  This piece now lives happily in an eclectic, modern home and will be in top-notch condition for many years to come.  Thanks to my wonderful client and the expert services at Kansas City Upholstery!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016


I find the magazine The Economist to be highly informative and generally pretty spot-on about world events.  So when I picked up the December 19th issue, I was quite surprised to see, not only an article on the antiques business, but one that was quite negative about the state of the industry, and industry they claim is dying.  So I of course told everyone I knew about this article and what I thought.  After a few days, I realized I should tell The Economist what I thought as well.  So I did, and amazingly enough they published my letter in the print edition, a place usually reserved for diplomats or CEO's letters.  I suspect I was the only one, probably ever, to write a letter to the editor at The Economist about old brown furniture.

"I disagree with your take on the antiques trade (“Out with the old”, December 19th). It is not dying, merely changing, and its future is bright. The traditional definition of an “antique” being at least 100 years old is restrictive and outmoded. The New York Armory Winter Antique Show now allows items from as late as 1969.

You implied that the popularity of Mid-Century Modernism explains why antiques are out of fashion. However, one may see in this a sign that the younger generation still appreciates old things, just different things than their parents appreciated. Thirty-somethings are expanding their tastes; the heavy hand of Mid-Century is lifting and early 20th Century Modernism and Art Deco styles are creeping in. 

A more eclectic use of styles in interiors is indeed returning. In the Architectural Digest 2016 forecast, several interior designers noted a trend away from Mid-Century period rooms towards more traditional styles mixed with the modern. Robert Stilin, a designer, even used the term “brown furniture” in a positive light. Not quite the definitive death that many old-guard dealers are predicting. 

Christa Pirl Interiors & Furniture"