Raleigh-based interior designer Anne Wagoner has a talent for using exceptional antiques as both the foundation and the highlight of a room. Growing up in Greensboro, North Carolina, she was introduced to the world of antiques at her grandmother's antique shop. She honed her interest on trips to Europe and apprenticeships with several of the southeast's prestigious interior design firms. She established her own firm, Anne Wagoner Interiors, in 2010.
Anne turned her keen eye on our March Gallery Auction, picking out the pieces that spoke to her, and answering our questions about her style and process.
Where do you start to find inspiration for a project?
I start each project with a comprehensive survey that analyzes the client's design aesthetic and lifestyle. Through this, I'm able to interpret and establish a creative direction for the project. I usually select one concept or element as the starting point for the design. This may be a beautiful rug, a specific color palette the client is drawn to or an antique portrait the client inherited from a family member. This starting element becomes the catalyst for the rest of the design, which then evolves organically.
You do a beautiful job in your design work of incorporating antiques
in a way that feels fresh, never stuffy. What's the trick?
Don't think too hard or subscribe to any formulas when designing with antiques. Find pieces you love and don't worry if they match. In fact, I prefer mixing periods and finishes within a space. Trust your gut and invest in pieces that make your heart skip a beat. A collection of antiques you love will always be beautiful.
Are there particular time periods or styles that you think meld well
into contemporary traditional interiors?
The easiest way to test this is to envision an abstract painting over an antique you're considering. For me, I love the harmony created when contemporary art is paired with the following periods: Biedermeier, Georgian, Louis XV, Louis XVI, Empire, Louis Philippe, Neoclassical, Rococo and Gustavian.
How do you approach an auction from a design perspective?
I love auctions because of the direct access to one-of-a-kind pieces. There's nothing like the thrill of the hunt and in design, these unique jewels are what make the best designs. Anyone can 'point and click' their way to a furnished space but it's in curating these original items that ordinary designs become special.
Is there anything you look for in particular in auction items?
If you attend an auction with case goods or larger items on your list, be sure to measure the spaces in your home where these pieces would live. There's nothing worse than falling in love with an antique, bringing it home and realizing it doesn't fit. If you don't have time to measure before an auction, it's easy to justify art or smalls.
How did you choose the pieces you did from the March Gallery Auction?
How and where would you use them?
When selecting antiques, I go by instinct. The items I chose are all pieces I love and would use both personally and in client projects. You'll find that I included a mixture of styles, periods, finishes and degrees of formality. Any of these pieces would mix beautifully with traditional or contemporary elements.