Where Do Interior Designers Find their Treasures?

Shop Like an Interior Designer

Here’s Where They Find One-of-A-Kind Treasures

Usually, if it sounds too good to be true it probably is. But today I want to share a story that not only is true but happens everyday!

For over a decade, my go-to store for any home interior need is Decorator’s Resource, on US1 in Lake Park (near Palm Beach Gardens), Florida. If I’m driving between Georgia and South Florida, I always stop at Decorator’s Resource. My love affair with the shop began about a ten years ago when I lived in Palm Beach County.

First and foremost, my love of vintage fine furniture and home accents must not be underestimated.  It is my passionate pursuit and for a little while, I owned my own store and sold designer treasures too.  Palm Beach County is the winter home for many northerners who have had it with snow and ice.  I lived in the Philadelphia region for almost twenty years and get it! When I was younger I used to curse the snowbirds in my beloved South Florida but after life in the northeast…hello snowbirds.  I respect you.

The crazy thing about these winter residents is many of them only use their homes a few weeks out of the year. Many an interior designer from up north would be contracted to also create the interiors in winter homes under the Palm Beach sun.  What a treat for any designer – because there are  many options to find incredible buys up and down the county – especially in the West Palm and Palm Beach Gardens area.

Home in Palm Beach
Just another home in Palm Beach

Of course, Antique Row on Dixie Highway in West Palm Beach is a must.  During the season, the stores are filled to the core with eclectic and traditional finds.  Mid-Century is still in vogue and even Victorian pieces, so out of favor for so many years, are creeping back into the scene.  Summer shopping offers less inventory but better prices since it’s off season.  Always call to make sure these shops are open before you venture out during the off season, that’s when the owners go on vacation or buying trips.

There are maps of furniture consignment stores and antique stores available, a woodpecker trail of delights ~ but my all time favorite and go-to shop is Decorator’s Resource.  I felt compelled to write about them after my latest stop last week.  Designers shop this shop, and I am going to tell you why!

The owners of Decorator’s Resource purchase or consign entire estates – and not just any estates, they sell some of the finest furniture and home accents from homes in Palm Beach and the surrounding area.  Sometimes the home owner dies, and the children (who usually live up north)  must liquidate the furnishings. Sometimes, the owner is redecorating and wants to liquidate their furnishings, but almost always, their furniture is the best in the industry, barely used, sometimes brand new, and the antiques are fabulous.

When I walked through the door last week, the contents from the Palm Beach home of a  hedge fund trader  filled a good part of the 10,000 square foot store.  If I had a trailer hitched to  my car, more would have followed me home.  (and I have hitched a trailer to my car before!)

Let’s talk quality, Kravet Furniture and Fabrics is a favorite of mine, outstanding frames, beautiful fabrics – a favorite with interior designers too. These neutrals were below wholesale and basically new.  I couldn’t see any wear.  Click on each piece to see the prices!  Wow! But this story is just beginning. I am sure by now all are sold.

Bar Stools
Leather and Cane Back Bar Stools $199 each

We all know bar stools cost a fortune and are hard to find.   I forgot to find the manufacturer on these but the quality of the cane-back, nail-heads and leather say very expensive.   Usually, retail bar stools at $199 each are poorly made and not real leather. Not these – these are beauties!

Baker Dining Table and Chairs
Baker Double Pedestal Mahogany Dining Table with One Leaf plus Six Shield Back Dining Chairs $2500
Detail of Dining Chair Fabric

Are you swooning over this Baker Furniture Charleston Dining Table?  The details make the difference and that’s what makes Baker so special.  I promise, the chairs alone are more than the cost of the entire set, new.  Again, it looks like no one ever sat in these chairs or ate at this table.  Beautiful. I used to represent Baker Knapp and Tubbs in Philadelphia. I promise, this price is incredible.

Hancock and Moore Leather Sofa
Hunter Green Leather Hancock and Moore Sofa – Good Condition $695

When it comes to leather, Hancock and Moore is tops.  Outstanding construction, sumptuous leathers and made in the USA.  Clearly, this owner enjoyed this sofa and it is priced accordingly…but a new sofa like this is in the many thousands of dollars.  Recondition with leather cleaner and enjoy, it costs less than a fake leather sofa, new, and will last forever.

Blue and White French Chair
The prettiest little french chair made by Hickory Chair $250

This chair needed to come home with me.  So pretty in blue and white, and outstanding quality by Hickory Chair  .  I really fell hard but alas, no blue and white for me ( I keep thinking I will change everything to blue and white but I love my reds and oranges…just can’t pull the trigger.)  Seriously, this is an adorable chair at another ridiculous price.

Maitland-Smith Cocktail Table $525
Maitland-Smith Cocktail Table $525. Like new.

I know, I know, I keep saying the same thing over but seriously…$525 for a like- new Maitland-Smith cocktail table?  Check out the brass feet and crotch veneers.  Lovely.

Baker Sectional – like new $4995

This Baker Sectional could sell new, depending on fabric, for over $10,000.  Wish I had a trailer on my car, it needed to come home with me!  Now you see why I say this is where the designers shop – it’s their secret favorite place.  Are you looking at the other items in each picture?  This store is packed with many home decor items that need to turn over fast for the newer inventory coming in the door.   Decorator’s Resource, like all of the other incredible stores in Palm Beach County turn over inventory fast.  “Pickers” come and sometimes wait for the trucks to unload to buy furniture and home accents, to grab the best before anyone else can get them.

Did I buy anything?  I had no choice…I had to.   I’ve been eyeing this Mackenzie-Childs set of dishes for years, but again, I couldn’t pull the trigger.  $400 for the entire set?  Sold!  Merry Christmas to me.

Mackenzie-Childs Dining Set
Took the entire table setting of Mackenzie-Childs dishes, place mats and serving bowls home $400. Merry Christmas to me!

If you’d love to see what else Decorators Resource has for sale, check out their inventory on Chairish.com or their Instagram page.  Usually though,  their inventory sells so fast, it is online for a minute and then it’s gone.  They do ship and just sold a Karges partner desk for $7000 to a home in Virginia   If you know Karges, you know it is hand-made, and very special.  It sold within an hour of posting on Chairish.

Shop like the designers.  Take a road trip to Palm Beach County and enjoy the hunt for designer furniture and antiques, at crazy low prices!  Bring a truck.

Why the Current Women’s Art Movement is Missing the Point

Women’s art cannot have a future without a history



Helen Frankenthaler like Malvina Hoffman an important 20th Century Artist
20th Century artist Helen Frankenthaler in her studio


The women’s art scene is heating up, along with a movement to promote LGBTQ and women-of-color artists. When I say artists, I mean creatives of every kind.    Bravo, I say, but, a question.  What happened to the former women who paved the path over the past centuries for our present-day movement? Read Why Buying Women’s Art A Good Investment I’ve been told these women were irrelevant, that they slept with their teachers and that gave them fame.  I was told this to my face.  Unless their names are  Georgia O’Keeffe or Frida Kahlo, there seems an incredible lack of interest to learn the stories of the other women who battled it out in the all-male trenches to provide contemporary creative women opportunity. Surely, we know more than a handful of women artists who are worthy of recognition in history? But, can you name them?   Give me twenty, I bet you cannot.  Now give me twenty men…snap.

At the turn of the 20th century, and throughout mid century, women artists were still an unusual sight.  Until marriage, a woman might study art, but it was mainly for refinement and most were subjugated to home and family after marriage – an important and worthy place, but with the expectancy to give up any dreams of a life in the arts.

Mary Cassatt one of the few early 20th century women artists remembered today
By Mary Cassatt. Commenting in American Artist, Gemma Newman noted that Mary Cassatt’s objective was to achieve force, not sweetness; truth, not sentimentality or romance. Her father objected to Cassatt living the bohemian life of an artist and would not support her education in art.

Which brings me to this story.  Women talk the talk about equality, but they don’t live it. I follow museum and gallery exhibitions, read digital marketing posts of creative women on the rise and can say, there is a lot of looking in the mirror and self-congratulatory rhetoric, but no contextual understanding of the authentic 360 degrees of reality. No history. Where do these emerging artists stand in the present tense in relation to those who came before them?  How are they honoring the past, while forging a new future? Or is the past dead and irrelevant, as I was told on several occasions?

Many women are online promoting themselves, “look at me,” but have no interest in supporting those who came before them.  Museum curators want youth, fresh ideas, new ways of seeing the world, and that is only right.  It feels many in the contemporary art scene, including the popular critics, don’t care to know the women who lived extraordinary lives or realize why or how  they changed everything.  These founding mothers of art have been pushed aside, thrown into museum’s forgotten, dark basement, archives.  It only takes one generation for an artist to be forgotten, and most of them are, with the intention of the mostly male gallery owners and curators, women.

Artists learn their craft from teachers first, through those who came before them. In the past, women mainly sought male teachers who generally viewed women as frivolous, problematic and sexual fodder. Many had to leave their families to pursue their dreams.  There were very few female mentors and teachers.   It is said, to become great, one must first work 10,000 hours learning under those who have mastered their craft.  Part of the 10,000 hours is time with experienced teachers, who provide technique and basic skills. Only after these skills are mastered then, true genius emerges. Many of our female founders had to learn the basics while fending off sexual advances of their teachers or learning from a master who had little interest in them as students.

Malvina Hoffman completes one of many great commissions
Malvina Hoffman spent weeks 90′ above the ground to finish her colossal sculpture for the Bush House (BBC for years) in London. She wanted to make sure the lighting was perfect on the faces. She tea stained the entire sculpture so the stones would be the same the same color.  MASTHEAD ABOVE: Malvina Hoffman’s sculpture graces the Epinal Memorial in Vosages, France, honoring WW2 soldiers lost in battle.

Perhaps I sound bitter, but it is really sorrow. How many interviews have I listened to where women want to talk about women who matter… or rather, women who matter right now.  The women who came before the great birth of feminine creativity in the 21st century never had the platforms available today. They are not found in history books and their talent is buried.   They were silenced simply for being born female.  Our creative, young women today  need to stop and take a moment to learn their story.

Now is a great time to be a woman artist, the barriers are being torn down.  I challenge female artists and critics to listen to the stories of the unknown women who shattered the art world before them, died, were buried, and forgotten.  This will happen to today’s artists if they don’t build a historic thread.  Like the song from the play Hamilton  Who Will Tell Yours Story, who will tell your story if no one is writing the history? Today’s Instagram post will be buried and forgotten tomorrow.

For women artists to survive over the generations, we must share the entire history and keep playing it forward. For contemporary artists I say, share the treasured stories of the pioneers in feminine art history. It’s the only way to make sure, long after your gone, someone will tell your story. If  you are the only one selling yourself, when you are gone, you will be forgotten, even if you change everything.  Let’s not forget, Georgia O’Keeffe’s husband was Alfred Stieglitz, the greatest art promoter of the 20th century. He made sure someone told her story.  Every artist needs a storyteller besides themselves and the best storyteller is the history of women’s art.  Start honoring the women who are forgotten, who brought you here… so future generations will be able to name at least twenty female artists without hesitation.

Rant over.

Why Did the Great Southern Writers Call Sculptor Malvina Hoffman Friend?

How did the famous New York sculptor Malvina Hoffman (1885-1966), wind up with close ties to the far away  Mississippi Delta?  In the early 20th century, many great southern writers liked to hang out at the home and garden of Greenville, Mississippi native William Alexander Percy. His was the arts and letters salon of the region.  In the August/ September  issue of Delta Magazine writer Hank Burdine calls Percy   “… a poet, planter, lawyer and world traveler.  He was a mentor host and friend to artists and intellectuals and even a few vagabonds and bohemians.  William Faulkner, Ben Wasson, Carl Sandburg, Vachel Lindsey, Shelby Foote Stephen Vicente Benet, Langston Hughes and  the Hodding Carters were a part of Percy’s close circle of friends.”

We know what happened when these great southern minds came together, great writing prevailed. But how did  sculptor Malvina Hoffman fit into their story? Her world was Auguste Rodin, Anna Pavlova, Paris, New York,  The Metropolitan Museum of Art, not the Mississippi Delta.

The well-traveled William Percy came to New York to meet  Hoffman in February 1930. He wanted to create a bronze for his father, Senator Leroy Percy’s grave site and he only wanted the best. His artist sensibilities knew his father was worthy of this honor.  Hoffman and Percy connected, as artists of the same mindset often do.  He visited her studio, and to the tune of $13,000, Percy commissioned Hoffman to create The Patriot. In today’s dollars, almost half a million, a fortune.

The Patriot by Sculptor Malvina Hoffman, Greenville, Mississippi
Hoffman created The Patriot for William Alexander Percy in memory of his father Senator Leroy Percy. He remains steady and calm always protecting the Greenville Cemetery Grave.

As the months passed, the two began to write letters to one another.  When Percy wrote to Hoffman, he wrote as a poet about his beloved southern town, “I wish you could see our country now. It is lovely with the  Judas trees in bloom and the weeping willows that look like fountains.”

Hoffman came to Greenville in the summer of 1930 to complete the commission. The heat was wilting for the Yankee, but she prevailed.  Together, she and Percy picked out the landscaping, which still stands today.  She also became acquainted with the great southern writers of the day at Percy’s home.  They felt a kindred spirit in the sculptor and she was drawn to their great intellectual banter and talent. Throughout the years Percy kept in touch and later, he insisted his Greenville friend, sculptor Leon Koury move to New York and immerse himself in Malvina Hoffman.  Koury did just that and Hoffman shared with him the wisdom passed down to her  from her teacher, Auguste Rodin.

When you visit The Patriot in the Greenville, Mississippi cemetery, look beyond the incredible bronze statue, one that Percy called the greatest gift in his life.  There is so much more to the story than a great tribute to a local hero.  It’s the story of a man, William Percy who shared his love of arts and letters in a small town, in the very deep south. This sanctuary for the intellectuals of the time  gave rise to many of our great literary heroes today, heroes who accepted Malvina Hoffman as a member of their club.


The Patriot by Malvina Hoffman, 1930  Greenville, Mississippi


My Muse Made Me Do It

Sculptor Malvina Hoffman (1885-1966) Writes Her Fourth Book –  Through Me


I know, this headline sounds crazy, but it’s true! I was captured by a muse and oh, what a ride it’s been! Sculptor Malvina Hoffman first found me at the home of her great nephew Chip. We began dating in 2008, and he invited me to his beautiful condo overlooking the St. John’s River in Jacksonville, Florida. When I first entered his home I was struck by an unusually large number of incredible sculptures. “Who is the artist?” I asked. He told me it was his great aunt Malvina, and then shared a few stories of her life.  Words like Rodin, Paris, around- the-world, largest commission history of bronze, were mentioned, but I couldn’t hear him, because I was love struck. My muse grabbed my heart and that was it.

No doubt, Chip brought me back to his apartment as a move to seduce.  It worked, I fell hard, I fell hard for Malvina Hoffman.  The good news is Chip and I also later fell in love and married in 2013!

But, Malvina – I was an amateur collector and art lover. I  traveled and visited enough museums to know many different artists in history and today, but I never heard of Malvina Hoffman. This made me mad, she was magnificent. At that moment, Malvina picked me to tell her story and bring her back to her rightful place in history, art history and American history. I had no choice.  My destiny was fated.

Over the past six years I studied, researched, wrote and rewrote her story.  My first draft was in first person, I didn’t like it. I took the 70,000 words and rewrote them into third person.  Malvina’s  bronze self portrait still sits on my desk and she watches over me, even now as I write this blog. While I wrote she pushed me, prodded me and demanded I tell her story well.

Malvina did leave me once.  She simply disappeared.  I was shattered and went to a famous medium to find out why (desperate people do desperate things).   My mother first came through, but I told my mother I didn’t have much time and needed to talk to my muse.  Malvina made herself known, she was a very successful businesswoman, an intellectual and artist – she did not play games.  “Stop writing about my love life,”  was the general message I received through the medium, who relayed this message  via the fourth dimension.  I was writing about her love life, my title was ‘Love Letters to Malvina.’ I took this message very seriously and promised to not go there.  Malvina came back to me and I didn’t  betray her trust.  Five years later my book (co written by the muse herself) Beautiful Bodies – The Adventures of Malvina Hoffman, found it ‘s way into the literary world.   My hope is you will fall in love with Malvina as I have.  Her story is Forrest Gump – like, in that she knew everyone and was in the middle of everything in early 20th century history.  Not only that, but she was one hell of a sculptor.  She was awarded a front page obituary in the New York Times, such was her fame.  Malvina is now forgotten, like most women artists.  It’s time to bring her back to her rightful place in art history, to the head of the class, remembered as when she died  “America’s Rodin.”

Order Malvina’s Story – Click Here




The Biography of Malvina Hoffman
2013-01-12 20.58.38
Self Portrait of Malvina Hoffman