When it comes to design, the thrill of the hunt is second only to finding a soulmate (though furniture will never let you down). Shopping for goods has only recently become interesting, thanks in part to New York creatives like David Alhadeff of The Future Perfect and Vanessa Traina, the force behind The Apartment by The Line. Their concepts go further than simply pricing items and posing them on sales floors. They’ve both mastered the art of experience in New York and Los Angeles, where browsing now feels less like a supervised visit and more like an invitation to hang out in a cool friend’s house, lounge on the sofa, and maybe buy something.
Traina, a well-known fashion stylist who’s also the executive creative director of Assembled Brands, owes her cult following to good taste and a clear point of view. She and the online design platform Decorative Arts Society (DECASO) have collaborated on a special limited-edition sale, DECASO X Vanessa Traina, featuring exclusively curated antique and modernist discoveries from nearly 20 L.A.-based dealers until October 19. Purveyors include Antique Rug Co., Den Mobler, East Meets West Antiques, Gallery Girasole, Paul Marra, Reform, Robert Kuo, Susanne Hollis, and UnHeim. Part pop-up, part online event, the collaboration puts nearly 60 pieces in the spotlight and ranks as one of the more high-profile design happenings this fall.
DECASO, founded by the team that created Chairish, has been a go-to design marketplace since its launch last year. Specialized and vetted, DECASO is a familiar bookmark for those looking to outfit their spaces in big ways (iconic, collectible designers and fine art) and small (Art Deco ice buckets and quirky bookends). Of the match, Traina says, “I had wanted to partner with DECASO for some time. They work with some of the best vintage dealers and curators, and their website has been a source of inspiration when thinking of what to purchase for The Line as well as for my own home.”
While the overlap between fashion and interior design is a constant, this project captures the current interest in vintage décor with some of the flash-sale exhilaration of yore. “Our mission is similar, so it was a natural fit—the site puts pieces in context to inspire and evoke a deep appreciation for the truly special selection,” says Traina. “I see myself as a collector of sorts in both fashion and design. When I invest in the collection, I like to imagine that I could live with the piece for years to come. My home and wardrobe are constantly changing with new additions to the collection, but it is rooted in those timeless items.”
A proponent of the mix, Traina made selections that lean toward a few mid-century classics, like Marcel Bruer’s B35 rattan chair for Thonet ($2,600) and an outdoor Walter Lamb armchair and ottoman set ($5,000), both from Den Mobler. She was keen to add less familiar finds like vessels from dealer Dana John and pieces from Reform, a dealer that specializes in California modernism.
It’s not all Mad Men–era flaunting and smooth operators. “The Antique Persian Bakshaish rug from Antiques Rug Co. is exquisite,” says Traina of the circa-1880 find. “The weave is timeless and classic, but there’s a charm that sets it apart from many of the vintage rugs I’ve seen over the years. It’s definitively an awe-inspiring piece.” She also names a Cartier Paris black enamel lighter as another standout.
For Traina, assembling looks from such a vast inventory does come with a few painful decisions—namely, giving up pieces she wishes she could set aside for herself. “Some collectors had a number of pieces I loved for the store, and some had one special or unique standalone piece that made a statement, like the Robert Kuo’s repoussé pear,” she says.
Now they’re yours for the taking—for the moment.