One way to create design interest and achieve a timeless look in your home is to mix antiques with more modern pieces. One of the places we love visiting is Joyce Horn Antiques. They have incredible pieces and today we're excited to introduce you to Joyce and let her share a bit about her store.
How did you get started in the business?
Being an art major made it easy to transition from fine art to the decorative arts. Love of art and design, especially anything French, has been part of my psyche for a long time. I think I was a Francophile before I knew the meaning! I was delivered from teaching in the public school system when my husband was transferred to Houston from Louisiana. I realized very quickly that if I wanted to specialize in French furniture, I needed to go to the source. That was in 1980 and we have been making multiple trips every year to France since then.
What questions do you ask before you begin a project? What is the most important information that you need?
A lot of our sales are to designers who usually have an idea of what is needed for a job. Of course, it is great when we have the perfect piece on the floor for their project or can obtain it on the next trip. Whether for a designer or individual, it is always easier if we have an idea about the project or can engage the customer to determine what they like: curves or straight lines, painted or not?
How would you describe your design approach? Who are some of your favorite brands/lines/designers/vendors?
Keep it classic, but with a sense of humor. Over the years, I have developed invaluable contacts in France who have a idea of what I'm looking for and from whom I can rely on for value and authenticity.
Leslie Sinclair of Segreto has a wonderful series of books featuring great interiors. Since Leslie and her company does so much excellent plaster and faux work for designers and homeowners, she has entree to the best. As a result, the majority of interiors pictured in her books are of fabulous Houston homes by our own Houston designers.
And our Houston designers are the best with many being longtime customers! I am especially proud of the success of Houston's own Pam Pierce, and her magazine, Milieu, which has expanded in a few short years to an international audience.
How do you stay on top of current design trends?
The design industry is much like the fashion industry, changing every year...something "new" in color or style. Revising and tweaking equal sales. Currently, a more modern aesthetic seems to be the look. Most every ad in the home magazines are showing adaptations of "mid-century" or very sleek contemporary styles. The furniture manufacturers all seem to have scrambled to meet the new trend. For us, customer requests are very telling: straight lines are more popular and of course, everything painted just the right tone of blue-grey-green!
What is the one piece in your home that you can't live without?
Tough question! There are paintings around which typically have a figure or is a portrait...the lady with a cat in her muff is a favorite. There are three "animal heads" that someone in France improvised from knotted branches that make me smile. And, of course there are photos of my daughter and her two children...prized possessions!
What do you think will be the next "big thing" for the industry?
Could be big for the paint companies as more color is creeping back in after deluge of greige. Also, there seems to be a resurgence in new wallpaper interpretations. I do think we Houstonians are basically Southeers with more traditional attitudes toward decorating. We are less likely to throw out good pieces just to be replaced with the first new thing without careful consideration.
What advice do you have for someone who is looking for antiques?
Look for pieces that are pure representations of classically designed furniture. Even though we all enjoy seeing new and innovative products and interiors, try not to commit to the latest trend lightly. You might have a problem living long-term with that new sofa shaped like a banana or the "dinette set" sold as mid- century.
Good design will always fit in. Update with color and maybe with that coffee table in acrylic that is not one of a kind and could be changed when you tire of it or the next trend comes along. The most interesting and beautiful interiors are those that retain antique pieces along with a touch of the "latest". This mix will be more likely to stand the test of time and say that somebody lives here and has a history of life and love.
Thank you so much Joyce for being a part of our series and if you have any questions for her, please leave them in the comments below.