There are few furniture styles that I do not like. Indeed, style in furniture is what makes it great although there is a caveat. It has to function to a reasonable degree if I am either going to own or sell it. My Bugatti secreatire and chair barely make the cut in that regard. I have to say that some architect designed furniture leaves me a little cold although I love the Greene and Greene furnitre. Gaudi deserves a pass for his overall work, but Frank LLoyd Wright fails in my estimation, at least as regards furniture design. I could go on giving thumbs up or down about much more, but I will leave that to another time.

Of course, English furniture qualifies differently from the aforementioned furniture. When you come across something in good condition, with great color, wonderfully made of great materials and the design has that extra fillip of imagination, you know you have found a great piece of English furniture.  It has extraordinary warmth and is very liveable. Try it, you will probably like it.

I thought I should finish up talking about taste in regards to style. Style is not always in good taste, but good taste always has style.

It always amuses me to see Sean Combs dressed like Rex Harrison in “My Fair Lady”. A promoter of the gangsta style, he could not be further from it now. Tom Wolfe, an excellent writer in my opinion, has kept alive the fop in his manner of dress. It is amusing and very stylish.

Function also has a place in determining whether style works. Does Frank Gehry’s museum in Bilbao work? I have been there and found the exhibition spaces perfunctory. Maybe I was there too soon after it opened.

Taste and style are two different things. Choosing to be stylish is always bold as it requires thought and gumption. Choosing to be tasteful can be boring. Designing for function alone can be boring–think of the post war British architecture in London. And yet combining all the elements is what great taste makers/designers try to achieve. It is no easy feat.

The trouble with creating a brand is the time that is involved in getting that brand known. Advertising is the quickest method, but a phenomenal product usually helps–except in the antique business.

There is always some savant who thinks he knows your product better than you. At the Palm Beach Fair last week, a young French upholsterer came onto my booth and pronounced some English chairs of mine as new, because, he said, the stiles (back legs) should embrace the crest rail. He was dead certain he was right, but English chairs are not built that way. The crest rails in English chairs rest on the stiles. Any fool could tell you this was so.

A dealer informed me at the fair in Palm Beach that someone had crabbed a piece of mine at the Winter Antiques Show. This is one of the problems any dealer has in creating a brand. The agents who advise clients talk as if they knew every piece of furniture on the market. No brand is immune from such chutzpah. Their talk might even be considered slanderous.