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Robb Design Portfolio: All Dressed Up

Sheila Gibson Stoodley

The craftspeople at Cote France know how to keep a secret. In the 120 years since it invented the technique, the company never has revealed how it achieves the finishes that characterize its furniture, including the Louis XV com-modes shown here. "It's done in a way that makes it look like the commode has experienced wear and tear over time," says Eileen Samet, U.S. managing director for Cote France. "Under the handles, the paint is a little browner, so that it looks as if fingers have been touching them for years."


The company, which is based in Bour-en-Bresse, France, also offers the Louis XV com-mode in green, orange, black, turquoise, and a black-and-white harlequin pattern for $24,500. (A wood finish version costs $17,600.) Samet says the brightly painted exteriors are based on the natural hues of roses, lilies, and other flowers. But, she adds, "artistic license is used where the colors may be enhanced. "Each piece is made from aged French cherrywood that can be as much as a century old.

Cote France

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