Antique furniture is starting to make a comeback, but for interior designer David Allen Edwards, it never really went out of style.
Edwards’ house in Spanish Town is full of fine 18th and 19th century antiques.
And, he advised, before everyone recognizes the beauty and finish of vintage furniture, you can still find treasures at bargain prices.
“I see French and English furniture skyrocketing. It’s on the rise,” he said, adding that with the Internet you can, like him, find “furniture anywhere in the world.”
Home and Garden at David Edwards’ home on Wednesday October 13, 2021 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Edwards has been in the interior design business for 50 years and said he was “happy to be the keeper of things that need to be passed on to other people.”
Over the years he has collected many beautiful pieces for his home, where the unassuming exterior is a counterpoint to the glorious furnishings.
The layout of his house is simple, with a narrow 44-foot-long hallway on the west side. The hall opens into a living room and two bedrooms and leads to a dining room at the rear of the house. Next to the dining area is an updated kitchen and bathroom.
The house has 12 foot ceilings, dark stained hardwood floors and Museum White colored walls.
âI grew up with white walls and I swore I would never have white walls, so here I am,â Edwards said. “This house lends itself to being one color.”
In the living room, under the feet is a period rug with diamond-shaped bay leaves centered on small medallions that echo the main colors that Edwards uses in the room.
In the center of the space is a table from the French Empire period. On it, Edwards has assembled a collection of coffee table books and a rare Rose Medallion punch bowl.
Above his head, where a ceiling fan once hummed, he hung a chandelier, which originally burned candles but was wired for electricity by William Evans of Lampshade Interiors.
Along one wall, a luxurious moss-green mohair velvet sofa stands in front of a large, intricately framed four-panel mirror, one of the earliest items Edwards collected. The room 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 coin, but decided to replace the silk panels with mirrors. The surviving silk panel, now framed, hangs in the room.
âThe mirror opens up the tightly held room,â Edwards said.
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The hall serves as another room, with old chests, tables, chairs and all kinds of fine collections.
âThe long hall was quite a challenge, but I filled it with all kinds of pretty ones,â he said.
Edwards said he found some of the items in the most unlikely places, like a New Orleans consignment store where his trained eye discovered an 18th-century loveseat and two matching chairs. Formerly covered with an orange checkered fabric, they are now upholstered in a fabric more appropriate to the era of the pieces.
At the entrance to the room is a game table attributed to Samuel McIntire, an American architect and craftsman who produced magnificent furniture in his shop in Salem, Massachusetts, in the late 18th century and early 19th century. Above it hangs a portrait of an elegant woman from the 1830s.
Although Edwards can seat a large number of people at his dining table, he primarily uses the dining room as his office. One of the finest pieces in the Edwards collection, an Adam sideboard in mahogany inlaid with satin wood, serves as a bar at the back of the dining room.
Luxury extends to the master bedroom, where antique tapestries drape the bed and the window, which has a covered cornice.
A favorite conversation piece hangs here as well – a double-sided painting done by Edwards’ great-uncle. On one side, a woman partially covered with a silk envelope and on the other a portrait of a man. Often at a cocktail party, Edwards has said that he secretly flips the painting upside down, leaving guests wondering if it was the painting they saw when they first entered the house.