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Helping Decorate Homes of the Rich & Famous

by Laura Trueman (07/07/12).

French porcelain baby baths, circa 1940s, is a hot item among the celebrity set, so be used as an ice bath for Champaign and beer poolside.

In general, people have a strange misconception of what the homes of the rich and famous should and do look like. Through our many years of contacts within the movie and television industry, we have had the pleasure in helping to decorate homes of such notables as Anne Heche, Mark Goodson, Dustin Hoffman and Paul Reubens (Pee Wee Herman), to name a few. We have worked directly with their interior designers to bring a peaceful, harmonious look to each and every home we have been commissioned to help supply furniture and accessories for. We also have been able to do a lot of fun stuff, such as work with designers for the homes of rappers and rock stars, whose tastes trend to the off-beat, incorporating interesting but sophisticated pieces into their homes.

For instance, one of the more popular items among famous musicians are French porcelain baby baths from the 1940s. I have been told that instead of using them for flowers, they are used to fill up with ice to chill champagne and beer around their pools when having parties! Hey, P. Diddy, I will have some Cristal, please!

Indeed, rich and famous love to party, and their designers love to mix and match. Equally popular is our huge galvanized wash tubs that are also often used poolside with the baby baths. For the older set, interests run the gamut from our tea tables to our French-German bistro tables. They make for an interesting array, when you look at the variety of different items people purchase to make their houses homey.

Tea tables are often a request from the older set of celebrities who are decorating their homes.

Then we have had our more difficult clients to please. Everybody has some. For instance, they may want an item, but want it to fit a certain space, all the while maintaining the authenticity of a piece. I have tried to explain numerous times that you cannot maintain a piece’s authenticity once you altered it, this fact always falls on deaf ears. I once had an order from a very well-known actress who wanted a set of antique bar stools from the 1930scut down to a certain height. I repeatedly told her (and her designer) that because of the way the stools were built and because of the age of the wood, we could not possibly alter the piece as requested. To do so would splinter the wood and destroy the stools. They bought them anyway and quickly found out, after they took them to a carpenter, that their proposed work could not be done. All six stools were ruined, and we had to replace them with a new set of replica antique stools. As with all hand-made individual primitives, they are all a little different, and none of the stools would ever look as good as the originals that were selected.

Pee Wee harmonicas, made in Occupied Japan in the 1950s, was a special request from Pee Wee Herman.

Of all the notables we have done over the years, Pee Wee Herman’s was indeed one of the happiest to do. At the completion of his project, his assistant told us he required one more item; one luckily, we had on hand. The requested item was old Pee Wee Occupied Japan Harmonicas from the 1950s. What he did with them, we will never know, but he bought up the entire stock, and was happy as a clam!

What notables have you had the pleasure of assisting? I would be curious to know. Send me a line on my Facebook page. If you have pictures, I would love to have them ;posted as well.

Laura Trueman is a dealer on the GoAntiques Mall Network, operating Truetiques, Inc. and RVT’s Primitives. You can also follow her on Twitter @rvt01 and Facebook ( www.facebook.com/truetiques). If you would like to be placed on the company’s vendor call list, contact Laura directly at customerservice@truetiques.com.

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