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ANTIQUES SPELL ‘HOME’. Plus…Shiree’s Salmon and Artichoke Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette!

Maybe its just me, but something that seems to be missing from many designer works today is the use of antiques.

Don’t misunderstand. I love the new modern with its bright colors and shiny surfaces and it can be perfectly livable…to a certain extent.  However, I think a number of my readers will agree the monochromatic rooms with bright pinks, bright blues, and all white furniture will be over the bell curve of style in five years or less. 

And then what will you have?

A house full of one style of furniture that doesn’t go with anything, requiring you to begin from scratch, furnishing your house all over again.  This is great for designers because we get to start your project with a clean slate.  But what about you?  Can you afford to replace all your furnishings in five years?

And more importantly, do you really want to?  I have long been reporting to any and all who will listen that to have an interior that will evolve with you over the course of your lifetime, you must invest in different styles and eras of furnishings.  Whether costly or moderately affordable, the quality must be the best you can buy.  

I don’t claim to be Lee Stanton or Axel Vervoordt but I have done this long enough to know their styles are timeless.  They are experts in the field of antiques.  Mixing the old with the new gives a personal, well rounded interior that will age gracefully and will “take well to” occasional updates like new accessories and fabric treatments.

 Lee, a noted antiquarian, has been collecting antiques for about 30 years. Lee had a wonderful store in San Juan Capistrano for many years and recently opened a new showroom in Los Angeles on trendy La Cienega Blvd.  Lee says he attributes his success to his passion for antiques, finding the right combination of form, function, style, and integrity. Lee says, “my showrooms are a reflection of my lifestyle. They are an extension of my home and my life.”

It has been a joy inheriting and living with our family antiques. The vintage Gump’s cigarette holder was given to me by my mother-in-law Mary Etta Segerstrom. Mary Etta has also given me numerous antique and vintage linens including an exquisite butter yellow organza applique’ tablecloth and 12 matching napkins.  The set is very special to me.

My great grandmother’s dresser now sits in the living room and houses many antique books and extra serving pieces that wouldn’t fit in the dining room hutch.  The  over sized oak cabinet that was once part of my father-in-laws tungsten laboratory now houses many of our hard bound books, a small television, and stereo.

My favorite designers who use antiques in their projects are Nancy Braithwaite of Atlanta, Suzanne Rheinstein of Los Angeles, previously of New Orleans, and Michael Smith, of Santa Monica.

A humble European hutch houses my business books and some of my fabric samples.

My late husband’s extensive soldier and military collection spans some 55 years of collecting from the US, Britain, and France.  This set hung on his bedroom wall as a child.

I created a salmon salad from the leftovers of an outdoor dinner from last Friday night for good friends Kathleen Dunagan and John Deaver. We had a bottle of Acacia Chardonnay, fresh picked white corn on the cob, and a delicious rotelli pasta salad with poached chicken, sun dried tomatoes, toasted walnuts, sauteed yellow bell pepper, and sage-balsamic vinaigrette. The latter is one of my favorite recipes and is courtesy of friend Jennifer Stoicheff formerly of Alchemy and currently Wren Catering of Murphy’s, California.  For the party, I did pale pink hydrangea floral arrangements.

Shiree’s Wild Salmon and Artichoke Heart Salad with
Dijon Vinaigrette

Grilled wild salmon, barely reheated
marinated artichoke hearts
mixed wild greens with arugula (or rocket for you east coast readers)
red onion
Dijon vinaigrette
fresh squeezed Meyer lemon juice (Meyers are a cross
between a lemon and a tangerine and wonderfully flavorful)
extra virgin olive oil

Scatter greens on a large dinner plate. Top greens with artichoke hearts, thinly sliced red onion, and reheated, shredded, and deboned wild salmon. Whisk together lemon juice, Dijon, freshly ground sea salt and pepper, and slowly dribble in olive oil.

Pour over salad greens and enjoy with a glass of chilled Pinot Gris.  Bon Apetit.