Friday, June 26, 2009

Marston Luce "Humble Elegance"

Photo from southern

The new issue of Southern Accents just came out and is, as usual, chock full of great houses. The story about Washington, D.C. shop owner and antique dealer, Marston Luce, and his to die for 18th century farmhouse in France, is my favorite.

I had the pleasure and the disappointment of finding his shop one day a few years back, while strolling down Wisconsin Avenue in Georgetown. So happy to find it, only to peer into the windows longingly, as the shop was closed. The window shopping was good, though, really good.

While I would not claim to be a complete Francophile like some other popular bloggers, I do love antiques of many sorts. Visiting the Southern Accents website, I found it quite interesting that Mr. Luce likes to mix periods and styles . In the photo above, he mixes a Louis XV fauteuil, an 1800 Danish painted chest, a pigeon ornament from southern France, and a pair of Spanish candlesticks. This is a man after my heart.

I love too many things and often berate myself for not being more focused. At the end of the day, though, I live with what I love and it makes me happy.

Of course, it is affirming to read about someone like Marston Luce who , as he says, likes to create "humble elegance". There you go - that's what I like, too - I just didn't know what to call it!

"I like opposites. I am attracted to earthy, simple things, as well as elegant ones". Well said, Mr. Luce.

One thing I love is old paint. ( I mean old, as in original - not newly painted, scuffed up to look old, paint. ) I have three chests with the original paint still intact in my home and a variety of treasures sit upon each of them.

The one pictured is my favorite. It holds my stone book collection, a wooden lamb sitting on a wooden carved book from an old church in Iowa, a small painted stool from the Round Top antiques fair, a couple of old Mexican ceramic sheep, some painted shells from a shop in Seaside, Florida and a pair of reproduction candlesticks.

Hmmmm......... my own version of "humble elegance". I like it.


  1. I love your version of humble elegance! It's wonderful - and so is that chest!

    Please don't berate yourself for not being more focused... What you believe to be as "not focused" is what many strive to have. What you put together is lovely AND more importantly, what you have are things that you truly love and cherish. I can't think of anything more boring and sad than having beautiful things but no story or meaning to them.

  2. * I TOTALLY agree with "LAVENDER CHICK", my friend~~~ TOTALLY~~~ on EVERYTHING!!!

    And BTW, those DOG PICS Joni showed???... Well, um... yeah... I WANT THEM, TOO!!! (Uh-uh! Wadda we do NOW???)~

    Enjoyed reading your blog just now~~~ I'll be back!!!

    Big smiles,
    Linda in AZ *

  3. Love that chest. Was just looking at Southern Accents too. My favorite part of this post is your saying is "I live with what I love and it makes me happy".

  4. I love this! I am so on this side of the board when it comes to design, do what makes you happy. I thought your own photos was one of his... gf, you are good. Thanks for visiting , I alway love come here.

  5. I love peeking in your house! Love the painted chest, your stone books and THAT chain!!! Oh, and how about that gorgeous wall?!!

  6. I like that phrase, "humble elegance". I would like to think that is what I do and I am with you on the being more focussed. I like too many different styles and so I decided to make each of my bedrooms a different one! You do beautiful need to apologize at all!

  7. Hill Country- I agree completely with live with what you love credo- I love you chest too. thanks for visiting my blog- I wanted to let you know you won the Hepburn book from my Summer reads series. email me your address and I will get it out to you soon! la

  8. So glad you liked Marston's house. Sounds like you two are kindred spirits!

  9. Last week, while I was in DC, I visited Marston Luce's store in Georgetown, not even realizing that it ML was featured in Southern Accents this month (although I had just read the Southern Accents cover to cover on the airplane up to DC). The issue was on the desk, and I pointed it out to my sister and said there were a lot of great articles. The shopkeeper made the connection for me!

    What a beautiful store. Last week they had THE most incredible Swedish settee in the window - I have a picture if you would like for me to email it to you. They also had some lovely Mora clocks and a gorgeous old Danish chair, among other things.

  10. I have a heart-filled relationship with stone and when I opened that story about Marston Luce, my heart, too, went to my throat! A lovely story about the way a house informs your innermost soul. I embrace the live with with you love, and humble elegance. This devotion of the ENDLESS NEW is a sure fire way to fill a home with clutter and no soul. Great post !

  11. Home before dark - thank you so much for your comment. I love the interior stone in my house, too. Your comment so beautifully describes what I try to express so often.



Related Posts with Thumbnails