Blogs

Tailor-Made

The bespoke ambience of a tailor's workroom inspires our setting this month at Haunt.
With exacting attention to detail and enviable patience a tailor artfully creates beautiful garments that are coveted and worn by an appreciative audience. It is undeniably satisfying to wear a luxurious garment and it is equally enjoyable to distinctively dress our homes !
The mannequin is the indispensable tool of the tailor and a French 19th century mannequin is a quirky and stylish accessory for any room. The Spanish painted counter with it's original marble top is new into the showroom this week. Although originally from a tapas bar in Barcelona this charming little counter looks comfortably at home in our drapery setting - the perfect piece for a kitchen island or a characterful boutique shop counter. The glorious French cheval mirror dates from the mid 19th century and is in the Régence style. The original glass is still intact and it's delightful painted finish is layered like the years. A large and gorgeous alabaster lamp glows alluringly in the background and a late 19th century, Italian baroque styled settee provides elegant seating for clients awaiting a fitting.
The mood in the workroom is casual luxury . In the words of the infamous modiste Coco Chanel,
" Luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it is not luxury. "
 

Tailor-made

La Marseillaise

Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité

The rallying cry of the French revolution and the ideal that is the proud foundation of modern France.
On the 14 July 1789 the Parisien stronghold of La Bastille was overthrown, the power was firmly in the hands of the people and the aristocracy were left in tatters. Centuries of French history had been violently turned upside down. The future belonged to the citizens -" le jour de gloire " had finally arrived . . . . that is until Napoleon, with an eye for the main chance, ceremoniously crowned himself Emperor of France and embarked on his autocratic albeit stylish dictatorship. " plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose. "
Today living in 21 st century New Zealand we so often take for granted the basic tenets of freedom, equality and fraternity.
At Haunt this month we pay homage to the lofty ideals of the French revolution with a setting inspired by  the pomp and ceremony of French patriotism.
A pair of deconstructed, 19th century, Louis 15 style bergères are stripped back to a patchwork of red, white and blue ticking. These chairs could have been plucked from the set of Les Miserables, their faded grandeur echoing the ransacked chateaux and the devastation of the nobility.
 The industrial pieces remind us of the gritty reality and pragmatic motivations of the revolution. Centre stage is a mid 20th century industrial sideboard from Marseille. The sideboard is awash with industrial charm, the peacock blue paint and steel top are original. The large industrial steel pendant light is one of six and is finished in a deep, dusky, midnight blue enamel with a white interior. These lights originally hung in a textile factory in Lyon.
Above the sideboard hangs an unknown amateur's copy of Delacroix's painting - Liberty leading the people. This image refers to the revolution of 1830 - another century, another revolution.  The personification of Liberty is also symbolic of France herself and she leads the people forward brandishing the tricolour towards a hopeful and glorious future - an imagined free and equal society, somewhere like contemporary New Zealand perhaps.

La Marseillaise

La Vie En Rose

Pink is a hue adored by the French throughout the centuries. The iridescent pink of Lyon silks accented the salons of Versailles, the smoky art nouveau pink of Parisian parlours was the backdrop for the heady soirées of the late 19th century intelligentsia and more recently pink was embraced with glamorous élan by that infamous icon of French chic - Christian Lacroix.
Pink is the colour of sun ripened figs, the winter blush of pomegranate, La Durée macaroons, a flute of champagne rosé and sugar dusted turkish delight. It is the colour of temptation. Pink is indulgent yet comforting and undeniably feminine.
At Haunt this month we have donned our rose tinted glasses and our feature setting celebrates the colour pink.
A mid 19th century, Louis 16th style bergère looks as if it has been borrowed from the boudoir of Marie Antoinette. It is upholstered in a deep salmon pink velvet exquisitely contrasted by it's original and patinated dusky blue and grey paint. The Louis 15th style fauteuil on the right is one of a pair. The fauteuils date from the early 20th century and hail from the south of France. The beautiful late 19th century glass beaded, floral garland is delicately decorative and a faded, painted, dove grey and marble Provençale washstand displays an art nouveau plaster bust of une belle dame. She is reflected in a pretty and petite painted mirror with original mercury glass and an ebullient, belle époque standard lamp provides a warm glow. An early 20th century art naif candlestick adds a touch of whimsy while a comport of rose macaroons wait to be savored in the soft evening light.
Voilà, la vie en rose .....

La Vie En Rose

The Warm Tones of Autumn

As the days shorten and it begins to feel like winter our focus naturally shifts indoors. Flurries of fiery coloured leaves fall to the ground like a memorial to the summer sun and we turn to our homes for warmth.
The warm tones of Autumn provide a harmonious palette for interior inspiration. Squirrel browns, leafy rusts and earthy tans accented by black detail and subtle lighting create a warm and soothing environment in which to hibernate on a wintery evening.
At Haunt we are always focused on creating personalised interiors by mixing interesting and unexpected pieces.
A pair of 19th century, Louis 16 style fauteuils are just back from the upholsterer and re covered in a neutral linen to highlight the exquisitely carved and patinated wooden frames. A fabulously distressed 19th century mirror adds texture and warmth as light flickers across the traces of gilt and softly reflects in the original speckled glass. A late 19th century French cast iron and marble bistro table is placed indoors, playing a new role as a console table while it awaits the first signs of spring and will once again creep out onto the terrace to provide the perfect sunny spot for morning coffee. Unusual and decorative accent lighting is furnished by Spanish scrolled sconces and a chic, equine themed, 20th century ceramic lamp provides a whimsical and stylish centerpiece.
 

The Warm Tones of Autumn

A Provençale Easter

A Provençale Easter is the mood this month at Haunt inspired by one of our most ancient western festivals. A captivating French plaster and polychrome Virgin and child takes centre stage atop a rustic, almost monastic, 18th century coffer. An array of candlesticks create a ceremonial atmosphere and a pretty mid 19th century, Provençale bergère adds a botanical note.
The tradition of offering eggs at Easter dates back to antiquity when the egyptians and romans would gift eggs in the springtime to celebrate life and rebirth. A very apt symbol for Christchurch at the moment perhaps as we look forward to rebuilding and renewal.

A Provençale Easter

Autumn Cooking

With Autumn just around the corner it feels like time to get cooking !
Having uncluttered time to immerse oneself in the kitchen is one of the great pleasures of life and it is always exciting to change and improve our culinary interiors. A sensitive blend of antique and contemporary pieces bring authenticity and warmth to the heart of the home .  Antique pieces add charm and beauty but are also practical - the process of cooking has not changed that much after all ! A 19th century chopping block can provide a decorative and useful work surface , freestanding or cleverly placed adjoining an existing bench. Vintage industrial shelving serves as characterful storage for plates and serving dishes or pots and pans. If you are lucky enough to have space for a kitchen table there are a large array of French café tables  amongst the collection at Haunt - the perfect setting for your morning coffee !
 

Antiques for the modern kitchen

Merry Christmas

 Wishing everybody a happy and festive Christmas and a relaxing summer break.

The Christmas break is always the ideal time to dream up new Haunt ideas and this summer will be no exception. I am looking forward to the coming year at Haunt with many new pieces waiting to be showcased and my little notebook brimming full of summer inspiration to begin the year ! Most of all it is always a pleasure finding others with a shared fascination for the antique in our modern world - thank you very much for your continuing support and interest in Haunt.

Haunt will be closed from the 22 December until the end of January but please do keep in touch via the website and if you have any enquiries over the holiday period please do call, text or email.

 

Merry Christmas fro Haunt

French Rustic Chic

Urban rusticity is a contemporary look which brings a casual charm and warmth to any interior. The raw aesthetic of industrial pieces coupled with the cosiness of vintage leather is a delightful combination which is easy to live with and compatible with so many other styles. Simply add a modernist lamp, an abstract painting or at Haunt we like to accent the look with a hint of 18th century !
The gorgeous French workbench featured here has just come into the showroom and is the perfect choice for a feature storage piece with that covetable rustic appeal.

This is the very last large workbench from the latest shipment so be sure to pop in to have a look if you happened to miss out on the recently sold workbenches !

French Rustic Chic

Haunt Opening Week

We have had a fabulous opening week at Haunt . After an enjoyable, festive and thankfully sunny opening day last Saturday we have been busy with an enthusiastic stream of visitors all week . Thank you all so much for your continued support and interest in Haunt. I thought I would post a few photos of the new space for those who have been unable to visit in person yet and we look forward to seeing you all back at Haunt soon. Keep an eye on the website as I will be loading new pieces as they come into the showroom and if you are in Sydenham don't forget to pop in -  to be absolutely sure that we will be there just text before you plan a visit.

showroom images

Haunt - A New Beginning

Welcome to the Haunt blog.
Heartened by the enthusiastic encouragement from those around me and my longstanding resistance finally eroded, I find myself entering into the curious activity of blogging ! A blog - the silly sound of the word itself exudes a reassuring casualness that allows one to produce simple musings on this and that rather than a body of fully fledged and formal thought . This blog will meander in a day to day manner through my idiosyncratic world of antiques and interiors in the hope of providing detail and context for those interested. It will be the et cetera, the footnotes to Haunt.
What better place to start than at a beginning ! After a very long period of interim flux with Haunt leading quite the boho existence moving from one broken down warehouse to the next after each large quake we have finally found a permanent home. Permanence is something that those of us interested in history and the antique are rather fond of , so it is with a great sense of relief that I welcome you all to the new Haunt gallery space at 80 Coleridge Street , Sydenham.
Haunt as always will strive to showcase a collection of unique antique pieces with a contemporary spirit. Fine furniture and objects from the past that compliment the modern interior. French antiques form the core of the collection but not exclusively as we cast our eye globally to find unique pieces that have that indefinable je ne sais quoi.
80 Coleridge Street is suitably tucked away in the back streets of Sydenham. As we are somewhat hidden and we do have the luxury of mobile phones and email for easy contact Haunt will be adopting a fluid approach to opening times. This is our workspace as well as our showroom space so we will be there often and you are always welcome ! If you are in the vicinity just pop in - we will have an open sign out whenever we are there. If you wish to check that we will be there at a specific time or to make a time convenient for you please text, phone or email. We will be opening every Saturday from 11 am - 4 pm so that you can safely plan a visit knowing that Haunt will be open.
Today the showroom is still looking like chaos , pieces thrown together haphazardly as they are stored safely from the pathway of electricians , the walls of wet paint , the new french doors being fitted and so forth. As I shudder with the anxiety of arranging an entire showroom before next Saturday I notice how charming an empire gilt mirror looks casually placed against a rustic butcher's table ;  the unexpected placing of antique pieces never fails to inspire me.  Each pairing is so exquisitely unique . Not unlike human relationships in a way, as separate and distinct personalities come together to make an extraordinary whole. We will spend this week carefully hanging mirrors, chandeliers and arranging furniture. We will agonize over the placement and pairing of each piece and coax the Haunt showroom into shape. By the end of the week we will have created a space of magic and beauty and look forward to welcoming you all on Saturday afternoon or in the very near future.
 

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