Creating Artisan Product in a Pre-Fab World

How many times have you heard, “it’s all about the mix?”  Well, in my world – both personally and professionally – I mix “high” and “low” every day.  I’ve been doing it so long that it’s more than just a catch phrase to me.  It’s how I live!

That’s why I specialize in creating beautiful interiors on a real person’s budget.  I know where and how to splurge … and when an eensy dose of DIY just might get the job done.  After all, we live in a world where it’s OK to wear Prada with H&M!   “Fast fashion” has its place, but so does handcrafted quality.  It’s becoming harder and harder to come by these days, but the popularity of Etsy shows that we truly value unique goods.

That’s what the name Maitland-Smith means to me.  For over thirty years, Maitland-Smith has created luxury, artisan-crafted goods.  In today’s pre-fab world, that’s a breath of fresh air!  This game table has a rosewood veneer and beige faux shagreen top.  Love!

At High Point Market, we designers try to visit as many showrooms as possible.  We always want to see our “regulars,” but it’s important to discover new favorites.  This market, I explored both Maitland-Smith and La Barge, and I came away in awe of the craftsmanship.



Maitland-Smith has been in the business of creating unique decorative accessories, lighting and accent furniture for over thirty years.  Using materials like leather, penshell and eggshell, Maitland-Smith’s artisans create treasures that are destined to become family heirlooms.  If you take a few minutes to watch their videos, you’ll be blown away by the skill their techniques – from detailed hand painting to beautiful inlaid marquetry and hand carved woodwork —  require.  It’s what you would have seen in a 17th or 18th century atelier!

Just as an example — are you familiar with lost wax casting?  It’s an incredibly complicated technique used by Maitland-Smith’s artisans to create custom hardware, fittings and decorative objects.

Oh, and verre églomisé? The term is French for “glass gilded.”  Because you paint on the reverse side of glass or mirror, you have to reverse the order in which you would ordinarily create a design.  Here, églomisé is used to create a faux tortoiseshell.

Maitland-Smith also loves a touch of whimsy, which keeps things from getting too serious!  Because everyone needs a brass clad turtle with rock crystals. I would name this guy, Don’t be Fooled by the Rocks That I Got!

Brass Art Easel:

As you can see from the photos, Maitland-Smith has products for everyone from the most traditional homes to a much more modern, yet still classic, environment.  Both Celerie Kemble and Henrietta Churchill-Spencer have lines with Maitland-Smith – several of the photos in this post were designd by Celerie – and it’s truly expanded the beautiful style in which Maitland-Smith operates.  To truly appreciate the detail in these products, I suggest you visit your local dealer!

Stay tuned for more about Labarge, but until then … what’s your favorite detail in casegoods (non-upholstered furniture)?


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