Art Deco Desks

…and in yours?

No surprise that my own home, as written in a recent blog, Chinese Country Antiques in my Maine Country Home, Chinese Antiques are prevalent…due in part to our near decade living in Asia and further encouraged by my love for the genre of furniture I’ve been selling for the last 12 years….and, per the prevalence of Chinese Antiques in Show Houses, shelter magazines, and the portfolios of more than just a handful of designers,  many who I proudly can call my customers, Meg Braff’s work shown on left here. I feel secure in the future of my business…ie, it is not a passing trend. A touch of Chinese works just as well with modern as it does with traditional, or, of course, stands well enough on it’s own.

And below a few examples of that “touch” as seen in the rooms at the Hampton show house.

It was Kat Burki‘s usage of two non matching consoles, purchased from yours truly, that admittedly first drew me to visit the Hampton Designer Showhouse in 2009. So elegantly presented in this powder room, wouldn’t you agree?

That same year Carole Reed used a red lacquer console/desk in the library.

Last year Tilton Fenwick added an accent by way of over sized Chinese porcelain stools.

And this year would be no different with the sitting room as appointed by Old Town Crossing, who used a black lacquer console table and complementary kang coffee table.

I would LOVE to see how you have put a touch of Asian , or more, in YOUR home….and would love to share such. And if inclined to include a quip about what you love about your Chinese infusion, or how you came to love Chinese antiques, please include.


P.S. See how some of my Antiques by Zaar customers have  placed thier Asian infusion in their homes, as they have shared and allowed me to post in my Home Gallery.

ALSO, the Hampton Show House is still open until September 2, if you are inclined to take a visit.


I have been struggling with how to capsulize the many wonderful things that transpired during the recent High Point Market, and have finally come to terms that it will simply have to come out in driblets as one posting simply would not suffice….and would be way too long for a single blog.

I choose to launch this by honing on  the absolute staying power of my little  Art Deco Desks, in particular the lime green version,  for they held as much impact in 2012 as they did back in 2006, when   featured  in this 2006  Home Accents Cover, continuing to make an impression, by the fact that not only was it “Style Spotted” this year, but also chosen as an accent piece in the C.R. Laine Showroom…

….and similarly showcased in Shane’s Collection store at 201 N Main, also in High Point. Yes, they were everywhere!

It is also popular with, ZAAR Design Center member, Designer Kat Burki, who also has a bath, body,fragrance and candle line, as she used a non matching pair so elegantly in her Southampton show house dressing room….which later were showcased in a  2010 Traditional Home article featuring  Kat and her work.

…and Antiques by Zaar customer Babette Glauner, added this pop of green when revamping her bathroom.

Similarly, would it be any surprise that in my own home, one of these fresh treasures can be found in my daughter’s bedroom, show casing her Disney globe collection?

Traci Zeller, who “Style Spotted” the art deco desk, also spoke to an audience of 40 people, on Sunday, @ ZAAR…sharing her insight and expertise on what a Social Media presence can mean for your business. How appropriate that I gifted her one  of my art deco desks, and she chose, what color, but green!

Thank you Traci. And thank you to all who continue to find charm, as there is ALWAYS space (my daughter has one in her 390 square foot studio apt in Toronto!) in the addition of my kang chest/converted to art deco desk…read about said transformation here.

This morning I received what was Tobi’s 2nd  blog posting on her love for the color combo of pink and green….a combo she plans on featuring all month in her blog.  Anyways, I simply  couldn’t resist adding my own, and my daughter’s, delight in this combo that reminds me of watermelon. Yes, her bedroom was painted in this fresh combination….and yes, a little Chinese Antiques by Zaar green art deco desk, works it’s way in ever so well 🙂

   …and this color  combo also  works so very well in this little wall plaque I bought for my daughter’s dorm room…wouldn’t you say? Plus the words are just what a mother wants to remind her daughter of daily


P.S. Have been following Tobi’s blog ever since I met her back in February 2009….and if you don’t follow her, you might want to consider such, as there is lots to learn by doing so. She has certainly created a niche in the Designer blogging world.

….in Pinehurst North Carolina… that place where Babette Glauner  found herself setting up the couples “retirement” home following a 5 year stint as expatriates in Japan….and in need of “one more piece”, that being black sideboard shown here,  for her dining room.

Yes, she found the perfect sideboard, with us at Antiques by Zaar, and more…

She expounds so well on why she thinks this works perfectly  in her schema and her general decorating philosophy. ..please read on.

The simple lines of the black buffet across the great room don’t jump out and say “Chinese” but I think it seems to blend with the Japanese screen hung above it and the French armoire not too far away.  The tilt-top table and cherry and walnut side tables in the room are definitely earlier American pieces, but somehow the mix seems to work.

I am using a Tibetan painted cabinet as a large-screen television console, and many of my visitors don’t know anything about its origin but they love it.  The blended colors and pattern really draw the eye down from that big black screen that I had been a little reluctant to have in the room.


      I thought that might conclude my Asian furniture shopping, but some remodeling left a gap in a powder room, a space that needed something special.  For the 2nd time, I made the trek to High Point, to visit my new friends at Antiques by Zaar,  and a 10″ deep, three drawer desk in acid green seemed like it would be perfect, and it was. 

I like to think that my home is a reflection of our interests and experiences, and in that way the Asian pieces fit in very well, but I don’t think you have to have lived or traveled to Asia to appreciate Chinese antiques.

Eclectic to me equates interesting….. I read once that every room needs some black and also that no matter the nationality, if your wood furniture pieces are of a similar hue, they will work together – that’s my decorating credo and I am sticking to it!

THANK YOU Babette, for sharing a philosophy that I tend to agree to myself, AND for the accompanying photos.


P.S. Babette also provided a lovely testimonial for Antiques by Zaar which I look forward to including in a separate post…

The earthquake of January 2010 brought to our living rooms, in the rawest of terms, the plight of a poverty stricken nation that was now dealing with a natural disaster of the greatest magnitude…and at the time it incited me to share with my world my own history with Haiti, which I wrote in the form of a letter to Haiti,  which began at the impressionable age of 12, and in some form or nother continues on to this day.

Jack Wall, FIDA founder, flanked by family members that participated in the 2010 event...

Yes, my parents enlightened and awakened, in each of their children, a sense of outreach, that went beyond what they already experienced as the off spring of parents that opened up the family home to serve as a group home for countless teens that needed refuge and a place to feel safe and loved. You can read in greater detail, in this past blog post, my history.

My contribution to this year’s golf tournament was nominal…donating a Chinese ” art deco desk” for the auction and offering my time to help, wherever needed, as the event unfolded…which by the way, was expertly executed by my niece Alexis.

Close to 120 people paid to golf that day and just as many stayed on for what was

Founder Jack Wall/Granddaughter Alexis

a sumptuous buffet, including amazing dessert, so proud of myself for not going back for 2nds!, and participated in a silent auction with over 60 items, and a live auction. The event raised more than 30,000 for the work of FIDA in Haiti, which in and of itself is phenomenal.

This is the 2nd year that I’ve been able to attend/participate in this fundraiser and, as before, I left feeling humbled and touched by the growing numbers of people that are drawn to support the continued development work of FIDA in Haiti…and like so many that attended that day, wanting to contribute in some form or another.

And as humble as this may be, I offer this missive as my personal testament to what I know to be a committed vision to “help the Haitians help themselves”….to work WITH them, to empower them, to UPLIFT them, and to do this in the context of their very real HOPE and FAITH that God will not abandon them as they contribute to improving their own lot in this life they have been given.

FIDA continues to gain international recognition for the model of development they insist on, drawing in and partnering with other organizations that want to make an impact that really and truly counts for a people that have been “helped” beyond measure, and to do so in a way in which they can maintain their dignity.

Grateful for this recent opportunity, to share with the many supporters of FIDA, a day that was fun yet purposeful.


P.S. If you are interested in learning more about the work of FIDA in Haiti, do visit their website, and drop them a line…they’d love to hear from you and would many suggestions on how you could help…


Designer Kat Burki is in the company of many in her profession that like to use these colorful consoles in a variety of settings. Yours truly poised in front of a pair in South Hampton showhouse, where a non matching pair served as dressing tables.

For years we have offered a wide array of colors (but not excluding traditional natural wood tone as well) of what we have coined as “art deco desks”. They are moderately priced (975.00), easy to ship and fit quite nicely into a variety of niches and working with an array of decorating styles. Yes, a versatile piece that adds a flavor of China to your home.

As the colors offered are not classic Chinese…shades of blue, yellow, green  and bone, it is obvious that we have added a modern touch to a traditional piece. But what most people don’t know is that these chic little consoles have evolved from being what the Chinese call a kang chest.

For those of you familiar with Chinese antiques, you would think of a Kang chest as what we have termed as low sideboards or vaults, as catagorized on our website.  The Kang chests which our innovative friends are transforming (thanks to the directives/influence of the French) into what we have coined as art deco desks, are of a rather specific size that has been popular with those in Northern China (in particular) for generations, and thus, the stock of such pieces for us to continually have at our hands to transform, is plentiful.

Your basic Kang chest, to which legs are added, cupboards adjusted and finished, per our specifications, and voila...

As our own stock of such has recently all but depleted I’m thrilled to advise that we have prepared more than 20 kang chests come art deco desks, to add to our offerings. You can see them (and the rest of the inventory on this container) by clicking here…. all which has just left China this week and is due to arrive in our NC warehouse early August.

Our colorful collection of art deco desks have served as a great draw in our High Point showrooms, here in Market Square, 2006.

Should you want to secure one of these treasures (or anything else for that matter) I am happy to do so with a 30% deposit…balance due once container lands and we’re ready to ship to you. With that the item would be taken out of circualtion and noted as SOLD.

NOTE: Kat Burki’s South Hampton showhouse dressing room (where per chance were a pair of Antiques by Zaar art deco desks) caught the attention of Traditional Home and thus featured in the April 2010 issue.

up close and personal, as seen in April 2010 Traditional Home


Ruth checking out the dressing room herself.

Ruth checking out the dressing room herself.

 In addition to the duties of getting my kids settled back into their respective institutes of higher learning; Avery for 2nd year at McGill in Montreal,  and Arianna for her 3rd year at the University of Western Ontario in London Ontario. (Son spent summer in Montreal so was already “situated”), and helping set up my husband’s apartment in NY, I wanted to sneak in a small side trip to visit the Hampton’s Showhouse.  Aside from the obvious benefit from seeing the work of a wide range of designers showcased, I had particular interest in seeing the Antiques by Zaar contribution in the dressing room as designed by Kat Burki.

And, the icing on my cake was sharing this experience with my daughter, who, after visiting the mansion determined that although she liked living in large spaces that she didn’t think she needed something quite as expansive as the lovely house we had just toured. Yes, a great little sidetrip.

Ari dutifully posing for her mother in front of the Showhouse

Ari dutifully posing for her mother in front of the Showhouse

For other blogs, articles and photos on the showhouse please visit this previous blog posting.


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