25 April 2008

p.s. i love you (new retail crush)

last sunday, maison21 and his friends took an early morning stroll down palm canyon drive in palm springs (ok, it was around 11:00 am, but for m21, that's early! especially on a sunday). and boy, is he ever glad he was dragged out of the house for that early bird walk! otherwise he never would have wandered into the wonderland that is house 849, his newest palm springs retail crush!
m21 had driven past the house 849 building scores of times while zipping from one consignment shop to the next, and he had always studiously ignored it. he saw the large scale stainless steel sculptures out front and assumed it was one of those resort town art galleries- you know stores that fancy themselves "galleries", and sell over-priced "art" to over-privileged tourists with more cash than taste. well, this just goes to show that you can't judge a book by it's cover, or a store by the sculpture out front, because the minute he crossed the threshold into house 849 and saw the ginormous cascading crystal chandelier hung over a table piled with buffalo horn obelisks, well, maison21 knew this was a store for him!
his initial shock and awe grew, rather than faded, as maison21 explored the mammoth store- it is truly a modern day version of ali baba's cave- treasure stacked upon treasure, as far as the eye can see! literally, room after room, all bursting with pretty things.
the owners have amassed a stockpile of antique, vintage and brand new pieces in a variety of styles- styles so diverse that there should be no way they can meld together, but somehow house 849 has made it all work...
look at the above picture with the pair of super glammy 1970's lucite lamps on top of a dark wood antique italian commode. then check out the 4 foot porcelain greyhounds peeking behind it, who flank a giant concrete grecian statue. all this in front of silver-leaf chinoiserie wallpaper screen, which in turn is in front of a wall of antique paintings. this mish-mash of over-abundance shouldn't look good at all, but it does...maison21 fell for these black lacquer klismos chairs- and the black lacquer deco console behind the chair and the cast aluminum grape vine candelabras on the console, and on and on... this polished steel mirror with a horn frame is spectacular...
a pair of chic parchment chests- maison21 doesn't know if they are vintage pieces, or newly made reproductions, and he doesn't care. he just wants them...

m21's favorite items were probably these vintage phyllis morris-esque gilt and carved stools, which house 849 has updated by covering them with antelope hide- from gaudy to fabulous with one simple animal hide! (of course, it helps if you don't think of bambi while looking at them- cruella de maison21 wants a pair anyway. sorry, bambi). oh yeah- loving the lacquered goatskin console the stool is perched under, too!
this giant porcelain tiger is part of a pair- maison21 LOVES them (the pair- flanking an entry? perfect!). he also thinks they would be ideal for his good friend anonymous' home! we know how anonymous loves an animal figurine! should maison21 place them on hold for you, anon?last photo- this is just one room in the store, of which there are many- 8 rooms? 10 rooms?- all overflowing with finds. much too much muchness! really, house 849 is rather overwhelming, but then, maison21 lives to be overwhelmed by fabulousness, and can't wait for a return visit on his next trip to the desert!

9 comments:

the original anti-cheetah anon said...

Thanks but I'll pass on the faaaaaaaabulous puddycats. Cool place though! One of these days I have to get out there. The prices drop when the temperature rises, right?

maison21 said...

you are correct, toa-ca- the warmer the temp, the cooler the deals...

shame about the kitties- i'll tell house 849 to release the hold i put on them for you! :)

Suzy said...

OMG! I so need to come over...and I'm with you on the parchment dressers, they are incredible!

Alkemie said...

What an AMAZing STore!! WOw! I'm so glad you dragged yourself out of bed for this and shared it with us all lol. My favorite item has got to be those black lacquered Klismo chairs. Wow.

maison21 said...

suzy, if memory serves (and it may not- i'm the worst) the chests were very reasonably priced.

alkemie- those klismos chars were HOT. doesn't hurt that i'm LOVING a black lacquered chair right now- just looks fresh.

Topsy Turvy said...

Christian, great stuff! Do you ever just lose time when you walk into a wonderful store like this, and at some point realize you've been there over an hour? (or is that just me?) Thanks for sharing.
-Lana

Jennifer said...

I love that place, except they need to cool it with the room spray. (See also, Trina Turk store). I want to go shopping with Maison21 next time I'm in the Springs!

morrismore said...

I, too had driven by the building, thinking it might have resort-type art, poorly framed. I'm amazed.

maison21 said...

lana- normally i'm a power/speed shopper, in and out in a matter of minutes, but in a store like this, i can wander for hours. i actually go into a trance-like state, and have a weird compulsion to touch or pick-up everything i think is pretty. the employees must be scared of the weird zombieman shuffling thru their store, fingering the merchandise. i'm surprised the police have never been called!

jennifer- you are welcome to come with if you are in the neighborhood- but you have to be able to keep up AND have endurance! i like to hit as many stores as i can a day, and i speed walk through each and everyone! 'cept when i'm in a trance state (see above).

morrismore- i'm glad i'm not the only one who mistakenly avoided the place- i was feeling guilty!