“David Flatt at Circa Battersea sources the best 20th century designs and has been wonderful at spotting the right pieces for us. These days, he’s so attuned to my taste that he’ll see a piece on a buying trip and know it’s perfect for our home.” Christina Reti.
Christina Reti recently restored a London townhouse, previously converted into bedsits, back into a family home. Not only is Christina a specialist in fine art and identifying forgeries, she is a mid century modern design enthusiast and a valued client of ours, so we were delighted to see so many of our pieces in her recent article for “Homes & Gardens”.
Pictured in the sitting and dining room are a pair of large, bespoke, Victorian Carrara marble surrounds, each with a cast iron arch interior, and a pair of 1970’s Kalmar ice glass chandeliers – chosen for Christina’s love of their texture and refracted light – can be seen hanging in the sitting room and over the dining table.
The highly polished black and chrome sideboard by Willy Rizzo for Mario Sabot is a very handsome addition to this supremely tasteful living space and is well complemented by one of a pair of brass topped circular occasional tables – actually a cafe table – and a small French bar cart in brass and glass.
The whole area is fitted with double smoked, white oiled chevron which continues throughout the kitchen and hallway and, in the guest bedroom – where Christina wanted to recreate a Canadian feel reminiscent of her family’s log cabin – we fitted the walls with Yaccona oak. Both were taken from Marmorea’s exclusive range of wood flooring.
When speaking of the moulded glass 60’s sputnik chandeliers in the bedroom and bathroom, Christina says that it was worth waiting for the right pieces to come along, and we can see that this ethos is echoed throughout her “stylishly individual but eminently practical home”.
It is always a pleasure to see our pieces integrated into their new homes, and never more so than when they become part of a beautifully designed residence such as this Holland Park town house where we recently installed a diverse selection of mid century lighting.
Hanging in the drawing room are two drum chandeliers by Zero Quattro, a little known but innovative Italian design house that produced sought after work of the highest quality from the 1950’s to the 1970’s.
With an inner ring of clear, Murano glass prisms and an outer ring of amber prisms, the chandeliers reflect the light from the bay window and make a fine addition to this effortlessly elegant space.
Moving to the reception we see a large, brass chandelier attributed to Arredoluce. With 18 gracefully curved arms and ivory painted bulb holders it creates a very pleasing aesthetic with the understated ceiling rose and is an ideal choice for the classic style of the room.
Lastly, we have a 1960’s Italian, three arm pendant attributed to Cristal Arte. In brass with green glass diffusers, its modernist design and bright but soft light is perfect for this large hallway.
We look forward to installing more Circa lighting in this tastefully appointed home very soon.
Following on from one of our recent Marmorea blogs featuring installations in two Belgravia apartments, here are some images of lighting we supplied to the same residencies along with mid century furniture throughout.
Our first chandelier is by renowned Italian entrepreneur and designer, Gaetano Sciolari.
In brass and chrome, the sculptural, modernist piece has eight columns acting as bulb holders and zig zag arms that complement the apposing wall whilst creating a pleasing contrast between the symmetry of the chandelier and the ornate ceiling rose.
Although it is not uncommon to see brass and chrome together these days, it was Sciolari who broke the rules of tradition by introducing the combination in the late 1960’s, and futuristic, edgy creations such as this became synonymous with his name.
The next room is home to another Italian chandelier, this time a typical mid century design in brass and black with elegantly curved arms, each supporting two white tubular glass diffusers.
It is a graceful piece of lighting that casts a bright but warm glow creating an atmosphere of tranquility and style.
Circa, in conjunction with sister company Marmorea, have recently undertaken the installation of wood flooring, fire surrounds, furniture, lighting and artwork in five Belgravia apartments.
All the flooring is from our exclusive range produced in the Netherlands and, for this project, we chose Pale Grey, Black Forest and also some herringbone.
Three of the apartments have been fitted with original Louis XVI fire surrounds, and two with Louis XV surrounds in either marble or, as pictured above, French limestone.
In the large living room of one of the flats, an 18 arm sputnik style, brass sputnik chandelier by Stilnovo, Italy, hangs alongside a beautiful and unusual lead crystal Murano prism chandelier; the contrast creating an individual and appealing aspect.
The entrance to the penthouse flat is home to yet another style of lighting – this time an elegant French, bronze cast lantern with a decorative balustrade and a four tree light within – which adds a finishing touch to the already superb combination of tiles, brick wall and glass.
Also in the penthouse is the shot of a vintage, Los Angeles optician sign by renowned photographer, Jack English. Very much in keeping with the New York industrial style, it is a perfect complement for both the decor and the Louis XVI limestone surround it hangs above.
Watch out for another blog featuring more mid-century furniture, lighting, and artwork throughout these prestigious apartments.
It’s all been happening at Circa and Marmorea recently, with two Circa pieces featured in this months edition of ‘Livingetc’ and an interview in ‘Homes & Antiques’.
When you are passionate about a subject it is wonderful to have the opportunity to discuss it, so our interview about mid-century modern lighting with ‘Homes & Antiques’ magazine was a pleasure as well as welcome exposure for our three showrooms.
Our featured pieces in ‘Livingetc’ were on loan to the magazine as part of two stylish, dressed room shots.
The life size bronze cast whippet, and the palm tree lamp by Maison Jansen are two very different but equally pleasing pieces, and it is great to see how harmoniously they integrate into the themes of both rooms.
You can find the whippet on our products page but the lamp has now been sold.
Our Circa showroom has recently been revamped – fresh and new, but keeping to our usual grey and gold theme – and we are showcasing some interesting recent acquisitions alongside those already in our inventory.
The large Italian curved sofa, reupholstered in red velvet, along with the salon of Paola Buffa lounge furniture provide the perfect centrepiece to demonstrate how lighting, tables and seating could look when put together in a home environment, and to show how a diverse mix of styles can be such an inspiration for interior design ideas.
The lighting on show ranges from a colourful and quirky Italian ‘Triennale’ floor lamp to a pair of elegant Cristal Arte chandeliers that make for a wonderful complement to the large brass framed 1960’s Italian mirror; a very stylish piece with an inset faceted geometric design in gold and ruby. We have hung it landscape to fit with our decor but it looks equally appealing hung portrait or floor standing as in the picture on our website.
A range of cocktail, coffee and side tables – including a sleek, octagonal Romeo Rega design – are on display, and the dark stained oak flooring has been provided by our sister company, Marmorea.
We think it has a certain panache, but don’t take our word for it, come along and take a look for yourself.
We would love to see you!
And keep your eyes on the Marmorea site for an upcoming blog about our superior quality, Dutch wood flooring.
Circa is delighted to announce a recent collaboration with Empire development as part of the refurbishment plan for this stylish Pimlico flat which is to be sold as furnished.
It was fantastic to be involved in creating such a stunning living space incorporating the eclectic mix of styles that is such a big part of our ethos at Circa, and we look forward to updating you with more images soon.
For now though, let’s start in the living room where the classic 1950’s Italian armchairs – reupholstered in a sumptuous charcoal velvet – are a great complement for the more modern feel of the settee and an excellent choice of colour to go with the pale walls and flooring.
The 1970’s two tiered Lucite and Nickel coffee table – featured in one of our recent blogs and now part of this chic room – is a really great addition to a light and airy space such as this. The clean lines and contemporary edge create a centrepiece that makes a statement without dominating, and epitomises the kind of French elegance that can have a quiet but very powerful impact on interior design.
Moving on to the bedroom we have a pair of sculptural wall lights by Poliarte, Italy. Poliarte are known for their innovative and unique designs and these 1960’s wall lights bear testament to that. Crafted from clear and amber glass pieces they cast a soft glow on to the blue wall and flank the central piece of artwork to great effect.
Watch this space for more news.
Lighting is a crucial element in the design of any room and, with this in mind, we would like to show you three very different pieces of lighting from our Circa inventory.
American table lamps.
Robert Sonneman’s award winning creations have been at the forefront of the design world for over four decades and these glass and steel table lamps – by Sonneman for George Kovacs – reflect the sleek functionalist pieces of the 60s and 70’s that became classics of the modern era.
With lacquered gold columns, and thick glass illuminated by a dimmer switch on the base, the clean lines and simplicity are typical of the designs that sealed Sonneman’s reputation as a pioneer of lighting as an art form.
Lumi pendant light
Here we have a large pendant light by Pia Guidetta Crippa for Lumi, Italy.
The opaque white glass dome, faceted domed glass and aluminium fittings give this light an ultra modern, almost futuristic feel which is in keeping with many of Pia Guidetta Crippa’s designs.
This chandelier is an example of Italian craftsmanship at its best.
In the style of Fontana Arte, with green and grey smoke tinted glass panels attached to a rectangular brass boxed frame, the elements of almost industrial type brass fittings and smooth glass combine to create a very unusual piece with a pleasing syntax of ordered chaos.
Superb from every angle, it would make a statement wherever it was placed.
All lights can be seen on our website.
Lights and lamps are a huge part of an overall design scheme, and well chosen lighting not only illuminates but gives life and ambience to a space.
In this five story Victorian town house, the first light we see is the chandelier in the hallway. Crafted from Murano glass, it is made up of mottled tubular glass pieces on two tiers and is a great choice for high ceilinged entrances such as this.
Lighting, as well as being beautiful, must be functional and these two elements are brought together seamlessly in the Scandinavian cascading pendant lamp hanging from the top floor staircase.
Made up of three blown smoked glass spheres in ascending sizes, it displays the combination of simplicity and sophistication that goes to create an elegant and timeless piece.
In the living room, taking pride of place on an Italian brass console table – also supplied by Circa – is a Charles Maison pomegranate lamp. The pomegranate lamp is part of an iconic range of 50’s nature-inspired designs and really complements the clean lines and contemporary edge of the console table.
The Hungarian point bespoke flooring and Victorian marble corbel fireplace in the living room were supplied by Circa’s sister company, Marmorea.
Lighting plays a major role in interior design, and lights such as these three very different chandeliers – installed and pictured in customers’ homes – are also a focal point, so the placement of each individual style is of the utmost importance.
In the adjoining rooms of the first house (top picture) we have a pair of matching brass, white steel and lucite “snowball” sputnik chandeliers – circa 1950’s – designed by Emil Stejnar for Rupert Nikoll Vienna.
A pair of statement lights is always a great way to integrate large adjoining rooms and these sputniks also work in complete harmony with the brass framed mirror, carved ceiling roses and ornate coving, creating concinnity within the rooms.
In our second property (see bottom pictures) the existing light in the bedroom – a 70’s sputnik, German in origin – was an earlier purchase from Circa by our client and we sourced another, very similar one for the adjoining bathroom.
Both made from moulded amber-coloured glass, one set of six spheres is designed as if in orbit and the other set of eight mounted on a spiral brass frame in a more asymmetrical form.
Our final drawing room is home to a 1950’s Italian twelve arm burnished brass chandelier with black bulb holders and accents which – against the plain walls – creates a sense of drama and style. The light is bright yet subtle and the overall effect one of studied elegance.
At Circa we strive to find the unusual, and when we manage to acquire a piece such this, we really have to share it.
At over 2.5 metres high and 2.5 metres wide this palm tree floor lamp is a truly imposing and dramatic piece of design. Hand made to the highest of standards by specialist craftsman using only the finest of materials, one can easily see why this is such a rare and sought after vintage piece.
The pinnate arrangement of leaves – pinnate from the latin word ‘pinna’ for feather – sits on top of a perfectly arched stem with an intricate bark formation that bears testament to the immense artistry put into this creation. The four bulbs are set amongst a cluster of brass berries and cast a beautiful light, reflecting the varying golden hues of the tree.
Owning a piece like this would put you in good company as Maison Jansen have fashionable clientele worldwide and provided design services for European royalty and the redecoration of the White House during the Kennedy period.
Although Maison Jansen was not originally equipped with its own workrooms, by the early 1890s it had established its own manufacturing capacity producing furniture of contemporary design, and fantastic pieces like this.
These safari chairs by iconic designer Arne Norell are being used on a photoshoot for the letting of an exclusive furnished property in Kensington.
There can be no denying how handsome they look coupled with the wood flooring and natural light showing the fine quality leather and solid rosewood.
Arne Norell, a Swedish furniture designer who founded his company Möbel AB Arne Norell in 1958, was posthumously awarded British Furniture Manufacturer’s ‘Showpiece of the year’ award in 1973.
The company – today known as Norell Möbel AB – still manufactures many of his original designs which goes to prove that while fashions may change, style is eternal.
Murano chandeliers never fail to please and with such a variety of styles to choose from there will always be one to suit any room.
As seen here, this lovely chandelier made of hanging prisms on gold waterfall frames gives a beautiful soft light and, although it certainly makes a statement, it doesn’t dominate the room, allowing space to other features such as the picture and table lamp.
This chandelier is one of a pair and, if you could see through the wall, you would find it’s twin in a mirror image room in the property next door.
Murano chandeliers are made from soda crystal, famed for it’s extraordinary lightness and a unique property which allows the glassmaker to work at it for a longer period of time allowing the graceful shapes to be skilfully crafted.
Murano glass hails from the Venetian Island of Murano which has specialised in fancy glassware for centuries, and so guarded was the secret of their beautiful work that the master glassmakers – although given status as the Island’s most prominent citizens and immunity from prosecution by the Venetian state – were not allowed to leave the Republic. Exportation of professional secrets was punished by death.