bra stool featured

Artisanal Furniture From a Less Likely Source

bra stool featured

I don’t see why we should hang a painting on the wall and then just not think of it anymore because it’s there like a piece of furniture. Minoru Yamasaki (the American architect best known for his design of the twin towers of the World Trade Center).

No threat of taking this furniture for granted!

Peoria Emporium, with stores in Bronxville, Tannersville and on East 20th Street, started carrying furniture when partners Patricia Stevens and Elena Agostinis came across local upstate artisan, Shane Manning, who creates twig furniture. “We’re an emporium,” comments Elena, “We always wanted to have all kinds of things that work together in a home.” She imagined his pieces would look entirely different painted and so they do. Wedding the natural look and materials to color created a completely original style. These two are 19’ x 19” x 32”h $395.00 (left) and 19” x 19” x 22” h $245 (right). Color can be customized.

Upholstered Furniture (Fiber) was added when a fan of the bags, jewelry, and clothing they carry made from recycled materials, asked the ladies to take part in an exhibition titled “Hanging By A Thread” in White Plains, New York. Elena, an artist in her own rite, had upholstered a piece in her home with red bubble fur (fake.) Discovering a sample of the pink and lime color, she found the pizzazz irresistible. As the fabric was being discontinued, a special order was placed. Peoria Emporium now has a couch, an armchair $795.00 (legs are natural dark wood,) and a stool $295.00 (30” h 24” dia. Hand painted in pink, aqua and lime) covered in the indomitably cheery, incredibly soft fabric. Toontown anyone? Cocteau and Dali would both have bought these.

I have been black and blue in some spot, somewhere, almost all my life from too intimate contacts with my own furniture. Frank Lloyd Wright

Not with these pieces!

Looking for unique, colorful and textured fiber, Elena found herself drawn to gaily patterned bras. She swears there’s no inherent political comment. The lingerie was padded – it indents and pops right back up!- and sewn onto a base fabric then used to upholster a low 18”x 22” x 18”h stool. Sides were hand painted; puffy legs created with the use of recycled, black plastic garbage bags cut into strips. The stool looks as if it should be petted. One of a kind, aesthetically pleasing, feminine whimsy. $825.00

The 22” h 24” dia. tuffet (as in Miss Muffet sat on her…) was a much more involved project. Each rounded hillock is created out of three bra cups, padded and stitched onto a canvas grid. Fabric strips were then pulled throughout the grid around them to form tufted areas created from recycled cotton rugs. Sewing the fibrous rugs onto a base was extremely labor intensive but assures that the various materials hold fast to one another and the seat itself. Sides are separately covered in two different patterns. An unforgettable boudoir/dressing room piece. $1195.00

Printed fabric for the Obama Stool was discovered in South Africa. “I was astonished,” Elena recalls, “Obama is a hero.” Yardage was bought in both treated and untreated cotton and can be separately purchased in 2 meter panels-roughly the size of a table for 6. (One woman made café curtains out of her yardage.) The piece is covered in easy-wipe oilcloth. Its base is hand painted, the feet covered with green plastic grass. Like the prior stool, this is 16” x 18.” Talk about politically correct chic! A definite conversation piece. Or ultimate democratic gift. $395.00

This Victorian Chair was in such perfect condition, all the ladies had to do was to stain it and marry styles. An East Indian quilt was used to upholster. There are several distinctively different samples in the shop. Imagine two as incidental seating or four or six, all different for dining. Artisanal to the nth degree. You won’t see these elsewhere. They’ll ask who decorated. $1695.00

No animal should ever jump up on dining-room furniture unless absolutely certain that he can hold his own in the conversation. Fran Lebowitz.

The Equipale (chair) common and indigenous to Mexico, is made from leather stretched over wood with a wood lattice base. An extra high back makes it throne-like, casual, and a bit decadent like something from the set of “The Night of the Iguana” (Ava Gardner & Richard Burton 1964-Netflix it-great film.) Color and pattern are just to elicit fiesta smiles. $395.00

There are 18-24” felt cushions with colorful giant blossoms, ottomans covered in shredded, recycled plastic bags, the occasional interesting lamp, footstools from India, hand hooked rugs…one never knows, really. While you’re there peruse the unique clothing, artisan jewelry, accessories and playthings. Never less than intriguing.

Peoria Emporium
25 East 20th Street 212-777-3140
10 Park Place, Bronxville 914-337-1823
6005 Main St., Tannersville 518-589-5908 (Open May-October)

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