Antique furniture is starting to make a comeback, but for interior designer David Allen Edwards, it never really went out of style.
Edwards’ home in Spanish Town is overflowing with fine 18th- and 19th-century antiques.
And, he advised, before everyone recognizes the beauty and workmanship of vintage furniture, you can still find treasures at bargain prices.
“I do see French and English furniture escalating. It’s on the way back up,” he said, adding, that with the internet, you, like him, can find “furniture all over the globe.”
The home of David Edwards
Edwards has been in the interior design business for 50 years, and said he is “happy to be the caretaker of things that need to be handed down to other people.”
Over the years he has collected many fine pieces for his home, where the unassuming exterior is a counterpoint to the glorious furnishings.
The layout of his home is simple, with a narrow, 44-foot-long hall along the west side. The hall opens to a parlor and two bedrooms and leads to a dining room along the back of the house. Off the dining room is an updated kitchen and a bath.
The home has 12-foot ceilings, dark-stained hardwood floors and walls colored in Museum White.
“I grew up with white walls, and I swore I would never have white walls, so here I am,” Edwards said. “This house lends itself to being all one color.”
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In the parlor, underfoot is a carpet of period design with diamond-shaped laurel leaves centered with small medallions which pick up the major colors Edwards uses in the room.
Centered in the space is a period French Empire table. On it, Edwards has assembled a collection of coffee table books and a rare Rose Medallion punch bowl.
Overhead, where a ceiling fan once whirred, he hung a chandelier, which originally burned candles but was wired for electricity by William Evans, of Abat-Jour Interiors.
Along one wall, a luxurious mohair velvet sofa in moss green stands before a tall, intricately framed four-panel mirror, one of the first items Edwards collected. The piece originally had four silk panels, three of which were damaged in a fire years ago.
Edwards said he thought he might have to throw out the piece, but decided to replace the silk panels with mirrors. The surviving silk panel, now framed, hangs in the room.
“The mirror opens up the closely held room,” Edwards said.
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The hall serves as another room, with antique chests, tables, chairs and all sorts of fine collections.
“The long hall was quite a challenge, but I filled it with all sorts of pretties,” he said.
Edwards said he found some of the items in the most unlikely places, like a New Orleans consignment shop where his trained eye discovered an 18th century loveseat and two matching chairs. Once covered in an orange plaid fabric, they are now upholstered in a fabric more appropriate to the period of the pieces.
At the entrance to the hall is a games table attributed to Samuel McIntire, an America architect and craftsman who produced magnificent furniture in his shop in Salem, Massachusetts, at the end of the 18th century and early part of the 19th century. Above it hangs the portrait of a stylish woman from the 1830s.
Even though Edwards can seat a large number of people at his dining table, he mainly uses the dining room as his office. One of the nicest pieces in Edwards’ collection, an Adam sideboard of mahogany inlaid in satinwood, is used as a bar in the back of the dining room.
The luxury extends to the master bedroom, where antique tapestries drape the bed and the window, which has a covered cornice.
A favorite conversation piece also hangs here — a two-sided painting done by Edwards’ great-uncle. On one side is a woman partially covered in a silk wrap, and on the other side is a portrait of a man. Often during an evening of cocktails, Edwards said he secretly reverses the painting leaving guests to wonder if that was the painting they saw when they first came into the house.