At least once a year we visit Paris for an antique excursion in the famous marchés aux puces, or flea markets. We stroll the vast acres of stalls located on the edge of the city, rummaging through piles of junk and antiques alike — and finding delight in all it. There’s no telling what might catch our eye: the crackled texture of a finish worn with time, the marvelous detail of a framed mirror or the great bones of a classical antique. Without fail, we return home bearing treasures from our trip to fuel our creative fires.
The original Laurent Console was one such treasure we shipped home from Clignancourt at Porte St-Ouen. We saw its potential immediately: a timeworn patina, beautiful hardware, fluted and lobed corner details, recessed panel doors with hidden storage, and elegantly turned feet. It had all the things we want in a console!
With no immediate plans to reproduce the piece, we placed it in the front entry of our office where we enjoyed its presence for years. But, of course, that’s not where this antique’s story ends.
During a serendipitous visit from our Italian furniture makers last year, a light bulb went off: If anyone could recreate our antique with exacting detail — and get the finish just right — it’s the master craftsmen of our Casa Florentina line. We showed them the piece, they took tons of photos for their team of artisans back home and that was that.
Over the course of a year, we went back and forth, adjusting the design and perfecting the details. The fixed shelves of the original became adjustable in our reproduction. We beefed up the turned feet ever so slightly to reinforce its strength. And we had hardware custom made to match the original while doing away with the keyholes on the drawers for a cleaner look. All of the beautiful details that caught our attention on the original were faithfully recreated, right down to its burnished, honeyed finish.
The details do make the piece, but what we love most about this console is its versatility. We can see it going literally anywhere: use it as a dining room buffet, station it in the entry or office or put your TV on top for an elegant media solution. This is the kind of piece you keep forever and shift from room to room as your needs change. (Psssst…reinventing our favorite furniture pieces is our secret to decorating on a budget.)
We’re thrilled to finally introduce a piece we’ve loved for so long. And as for the original, it’s still keeping us company in the office!