The Local Vault: Interview with Amy Hirsch

I recently sat down with Local Vault for an interview and as a guest curator.

The Local Vault is a really cool marketplace in Greenwich that buys and sells pre-owned local decor while also showcasing the talent of area artists and vendors.  They specialize in bespoke furniture as well as unique vintage finds, all of which is carefully curated by an expert staff.  I recently sat down with Local Vault for an interview and as a guest curator.  Here is that interview along with my curated product choices.  Hope you enjoy!

Interview with Amy Hirsch

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Here at the Local Vault we have been so inspired by the surge of fabulous items we have in stock this Summer, that to showcase them, we have a brand new website we couldn’t be more excited to share!

To celebrate the launch of our new site, we sat down with one of our all time favorite interior designers, Amy Hirsh, to talk personal style, the zen element of her office that she can’t live without and find out her must have item this Summer.

But we couldn’t just stick to talking when we could be shopping with Amy! We invited her to shop our current collection and here she shares her top picks. From chic silver modern lamps in the Bauhaus style to a stunning rare pair of vintage Edward Wormley for Drexel Lounge Chairs circa 1947, we think you will love Amy’s selections as much as we do.

Antique Sofa with Wood Frame

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Crackled Celadon Gourd Lamp

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Jax Cocktail Table by Lucy Smith

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TLV: What is the best piece of advice that has impacted your life as a designer?

AH: Total communication and transparency with a client.  It’s important to have a healthy understanding between the two parties. The more information a client can convey allows for a better design journey.  As well for myself and my team to be realistic with the expectations of the client. You never want to kill the spirit of design, it’s an intimate process so the more open and as much information provided is best.

Verellen Dark Grey Suede Ottoman with Wood Base

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Quadrille Pillows Set of 2

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Niermann Weeks Beaton Mirror

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TLV: What architect or style of architecture are you most drawn to?

AH: Lately, I find myself looking at Australian architecture – the architecture is more modern, streamlined yet still holding core traditional roots. Urban, open spacial plans connecting the land to the interior of the house.

Vintage Art Deco Klismos Style Black Chair Pair

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The Rug Company Karsan Sui Taupe Wool Rug

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Decorative Box Set of 3

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TLV: What is the essential element of any room?

AH: The foundation of a room – especially with well executed architecture, even in the simplest form.  The backdrop is so critical for making a room work properly. We provide so many layers to a room it is important to understand scale, proportion and circulation of the spaces.

Leather Dessin Fournir Barrel Chair Set

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Bauhaus Style Silver Plate Floor Lamp Pair

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Wool Overdyed Rug

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TLV: What are some ways people can quickly update their houses for summer?

AH: I love inserting light cashmere throws – they are great for cool nights. Plus, it is a good way to add color without feeling as if you have to keep it.  Pillows are the other easy fix – a light weight linen for the summer can change the mood completely. For the kitchen, new table settings, wine glass or pool bar ware – let me tell you the things you will find at home goods! I absolutely love my new lavender wine glasses!

Rare Vintage Edward Wormley for Drexel Lounge Chairs

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Chin Hua Ordos Cocktail Table from Century Furniture

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Circle 1 by Martin Pelenur

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TLV: What item or element of design in your home makes you most happy?

AH: At this moment I am in a temporary situation so the thought of a new home makes me happy.  When I am at my studio, I have a beautiful accent wall of 10” wide walnut planks. They are bare with a hint of stain applied and nothing is hung on top of them, they are a true form of art and always bring me peace.

Niedermaier Tiffany Chair

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Christian Liaigre for Holly Hunt Dining Table

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Round Zebra Mirror

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TLV: How would you describe your personal style?

AH: I like to think that I am very simple, tailored but with a bit of an edge. Personally, I am influenced by Alexander McQueen and Helmut Lang on the fashion front.

TLV: Do you have any design rules you follow?

AH: There is no true formula or rule I follow.  To be honest, I always follow my intuition and gut instinct – it never fails. When something is unsettling with in, it just means I have to keep working on the space or selections.

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Greenwich based Amy Hirsch of Amy Aidinis Hirsch Interior Design is known for her innovative take on furnishings and materials and her understanding and expert execution of architectural detail.






Vintage Finds: Chairs

Vintage chairs are an amazing way to add spunk and interest to your interior.

I love vintage chairs.  They are an amazing way to add spunk and interest to your interior.  When you source vintage furnishings, it makes the space special, like a piece of sculpture in the room.  A sofa from a catalog, though customizable, doesn’t have the same presence as a Milo Baughman or Jean-Michel Frank chair.  The history behind these designers gives their work that authentic feeling and brings so much more value to a space.  Whether there are many of a particular chair out there or not, they have beauty, detail, and form.

Wood and Brass Lounge Chairs, circa 1950s.
Wood and Brass Lounge Chairs, circa 1950s.
1960s  Italian Armchair
1960s Italian Armchair
Paolo Buffa Style Armchairs
Paolo Buffa Style Armchairs
Mid-Century Modern Inca Chair by Arne Norell.
Mid-Century Modern Inca Chair by Arne Norell.

Often, I make a vintage chair more appropriate for a client by reupholstering it to suit the space.  I’ll consider color or a contrasting element.  You can take something from the original design and build on it.  The finished result is a truly unique piece.

Pair of 1950s French cocktail chairs from Osi Modern.
Pair of 1950s French cocktail chairs from Osi Modern.
1960s Swivel Tub Chairs
1960s Swivel Tub Chairs
1950s Armchair
1950s Armchair

I’ve been looking out for chairs for my office and saw that my friend Amy Vischio had a great pair of vintage chairs through her company Mixit Inc.  Unfortunately, she’d just sold them.  She promised to do what she could, however, and in only two days called me back to say she found this amazing pair of Milo Baughman chairs and had them delivered to me.  My plan is to pull them apart and reupholster them, a project I am really looking forward to!

My very own Milo Baughmans!
My very own Milo Baughmans!

What are your thoughts on vintage chairs?



The End of History

A few days ago while shopping for fabric in NYC, I found myself stopped short by a window display in the D&D building.

A few days ago while shopping for fabric in NYC, I found myself stopped short by a window display in the D&D building.  The display included a stunning arrangement of vintage glassware and I had to know more about it.  I learned that the display featured items from a shop on Hudson Street called The End of History.

The End of History

The End of History opened in 1997.  Since then, owner Stephen Saunders has amassed an amazing international collection of mid-century glass and ceramic ware.  In fact, The End of History boasts the world’s largest collection of 50’s and 60’s glass in the world.  Hand blown glass and rare ceramics  All this vintage glassware is beautifully categorized by color, making shopping here a real experience.   The store is impressively curated and staffed by friendly people who are more than happy to welcome shoppers drawn in by those glowing window displays.

In addition to the store, the End of History maintains a blog to showcase their glassware and describe where each piece originates.  The blog features writing and photography by Daniel Petix with input from store proprietor Stephen Saunders.  It’s a great way to browse the store’s offerings and learn about the history and styles of various glassware.  The pieces range from funky to stunning, from unusual to sophisticated.

If you’re in New York, you can stop by The End of History at 548 1/2 Hudson Street or call them at (212)647-7598 to inquire about hours.