My friend, George Champion, is a mid-century furniture and accessories dealer extraordinaire and a perfectionist. We have purchased many vintage credenzas, chairs and tables from him during the past few years. He is also the source of very special gifts for my sons. His shop, in Woodbury, CT, is a perfectly proportioned small white building that is the right scale for his artful displays of icons of modern design and his slightly quirky assortment of Italian objects often purchased when he travels to Milan for the Salone de Moblii.
Next door to his shop sits a house that has been in a dreadful state of repair for many years. When it came on the market some months ago, George purchased it. He originally intended to take it down. However, the town would not give him a permit to remove the building. While waiting for the permit that would eventually not come, it became a place to store the overflow items that did not fit in his small shop.
Over time, George realized that the house had great bones and before he knew it, he launched a rather massive restoration project. It was just the kind of painstaking project at which he excels. He started by thinking he would just clean it up and paint; that transitioned to the restoration of inlay on the original floors, a fabulous selection of colors on the walls, replacing missing moldings, cleaning and polishing hardware, retro fitting a bathroom, replacing the roof with wood shingles and restoring the exterior with a landscape plan in the works.
This is a project after my own heart, and I have watched enviously as he has proceeded through various stages. It is about 75% done now and on a recent trip he showed me the newly polished original hardware. The designs are quite fabulous and I thought you might enjoy seeing a small part of the project before we reveal the finished result.
In addition, I have taken photos of the original tiles on the fireplaces. They were from the J & G Low Tile works in Trenton, NJ from the 1880’s. The colors are so rich and the designs so well executed. We cannot imagine how they survived completely unharmed. A little warm water and they looked brilliant. The house has such a livable scale and sunlight fills the rooms at all time of the day. It will be returned to its original country house without any obvious modern embellishments. What a great project!!
Thank you, George!!
George Champion Company
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