Enter your email address:

Designer Monthly Preview

The woman who helped usher the interior design industry into full flower in the United States was prolific in putting out ideas that will help freshen up today's interior design business. Look at our latest Designer Monthly, Interior Design: Look Forward by Looking Back to Dorothy Draper.

Did you ever have a problem designing small spaces?  Take a look at how top interior designers solved this common problem in our latest Designer Monthly, How to Design Small Spaces at the Kips Bay Decorator Show House.





Entries in 1st Dibs (4)


Antiques versus Reproductions

Dining room at Old Westbury Gardens

I’m frequently asked by budding interior design students – do I need to know about antique furniture? Many clients can’t afford it! Or another refrain:  I don’t understand the different styles of period furniture – help! To which I reply: Yes, you do need to know about antique furniture and yes, I can help you figure out the different nuances of the period styles. 

Antique furniture is very expensive – first, they are a limited supply, second, they’re usually made of rare (or even extinct) woods and finally because of their exquisite craftsmanship. Since antiques are limited but still sought after, furniture manufacturers have created reproductions of the popular styles. And this is where your expertise comes in handy. If you know how the original antiques looked like and how they were made, then you can better assess whether or not the furniture makers did a good job with the reproductions.

Let’s compare some originals and reproductions!

Louis XV Fauteuil from 1st DibsA popular French period style is the Louis XV style, also known as the Rococo style.  A Louis XV chair will feature a cabriole leg – an S-shaped leg – that is carved and decorated with shells or floral motifs.  The chair will also display the same carved motifs on its chair rail and seat rail. In the above photo, we have an original Louis XV antique fauteuil or armchair. Furniture of this period was made of expensive woods like walnut or oak. Chairs were typically upholstered in expensive silks.

Below we have a reproduction of the Louis XV style from Ethan Allen.  Their Chantel chair boasts of the same cabriole leg and the curved chair and seat rail but the details are simplified with none of the shell or floral motifs of the original. Also, the reproductions are made of a less expensive wood like maple or birch. In this case, the manufacturer did a wonderful job of recreating a Louis XV reproduction, albeit a simplified version.

Chantel chair from Ethan Allen

Stay tuned for next week's discussions on Antiques versus Reproductions!


Interested in learning more about antique furniture styles?  Take a look at Sheffield School's Complete Course in Interior Design.  At Sheffield, you will learn how to transform a space, create color schemes, and select furniture, lighting, and accessories.


New Sheffield Videos 

(Staged Family room in CT)

Yes, we finally have it – the new Sheffield School videos for the interior design course!  I know many of you have been anticipating its release so we’re going to give you a little preview here. The videos are jam-packed with design experts and tours of exclusive furniture and accessories showrooms, antique centers, fabric and lighting stores, and so much more. 

The DVDs feature top interior designers, including Architectural Digest icon Penny Drue Baird, Connecticut designer Catherine Cleare, South African designer Irwin Weiner and British designer Nicola Chernicoff.

Judy Sheridan, author of How to Work with an Interior Designer, reveals how designers work in the real world. Susan Slotkis, author of Foundations of Interior Design, shares design tips on color, fabric, and accessories.

Throughout the videos, our hosts Jay Johnson and Nicola Chernicoff will take you behind the scenes at major design centers – such as the famous New York Decoration & Design (the D&D) Building, antique showrooms such as 1st Dibs and Center 44, as well as the antique capital, Lambertville, NJ.  Learn staging tips from realtor Julia Brody, kitchen & bath design from kitchen consultant Dave Burcher of In-House KBH,and children's room design from interior designer Zoya Bograd.

Click above for a video peek into one of the new Sheffield interior design videos. For Sheffield students who are interested in the new videos, please contact your student advisor at the school for more information.


First Day of Winter: 5 Snowy Décor Favorites 

Snow Shoe Chairs, Early 20th Century (1st Dibs)
Despite global warming, we're optimistic here in the Northeastern United States that we will have snow for the Christmas-to-New-Years break! And with that spirit of optimism, and being the first day of winter, we're saluting our favorite interior design finds with a wintery, snowy  theme or look. Click on each item for more product information.
Paper Cloud sectional by Tokujin Yoshioka (Moroso)
Nanook chairs by Philippe Bestenheider (Moroso)
Heracleum II chandelier by Bertjan Pot (Moooi)
Crochet Table by Marcel Wanders (Moooi)


 Sheffield School began as an Interior Design school in 1985, and then expanded our course offerings to train people in other design-related fields, including Feng ShuiWedding and Event Planning, and Jewelry Design. With thousands of active students and more than 50,000 graduates, Sheffield has trained more design professionals than any school in the world.

  • Request a free Sheffield School catalog describing our distance education courses.
  • Subscribe to the Sheffield Designer newsletter.
  • Monday

    7 Interior Design Favorites from 1st Dibs

    Regency Japanned Side Cabinet, England, 19th Century

     If you aren't using or utilizing their extensive treasure-filled showroom at 200 Lexington in New York City, then you're missing out on a valuable interior design resource.
    Wagon Wheel Side Chairs by Wharton Esherick (signed), 1932

     Over 1,000 antique and collectibles dealers have been gathered together in a carefully curated online marketplace.
    Lizard vase by Jean-Jacques Lachenal, France, c. 1920

     It's easy to plug in any keywords - Robsjohn-Gibbings, Gustavian, chandelier, 18th century, lantern, skull - and come up with a host of merchandise to peruse.
    Disco Bar with LED programmable lights and sound system by Patrick Cox, England, 2008

     I've decided to select some of my favorites this month; click on each photo for more product information.
    Dining Table by Gio Ponti, Italy, c. 1970

     The really cool part about this service? There are always thousands of

    Click to read more ...