Friday, September 12, 2008

Objects of Lust: Everything Michael Bruno Owns

Another highlight of yesterday's SF20 show was the keynote address by 1stdibs founder and president Michael Bruno.

If you're not familiar with the site, Bruno jokingly describes it as "eBay for rich people." Looking for an absolutely mindblowing assortment of pedigreed, pristine antiques and pieces of vintage modern design culled from top dealers in the U.S. and France -- and have, say, $12,000, budgeted for a writing desk or armchair? Then report to 1stdibs posthaste. The rest of us will simply have to content ourselves with surfing and drooling.

Anyway, the address was billed as "how you can do the planet a favor by buying vintage," but it was really just Bruno talking about how the idea for 1stdibs germinated. Basically, he was an unemployed expat living in Paris and decided, somewhat randomly, to "put the Paris flea market on the internet." The idea met with almost immediate success, and today 1stdibs is a powerhouse in the design world, with top designers regularly sourcing items there.

I had no complaints about the talk being somewhat different than advertised. It was thoroughly entertaining, and the blue-blooded and well-connected Bruno charmed the pants off everyone in the room. (By the way, taken together, the pants and shoes in that room probably cost more than the down payment on our house.)

The best part, though, was the slideshow of images from Bruno's incredibly chic homes on Paris's Left Bank and in Sagaponack, New York. I'm not ashamed to admit it: I had lust in my heart.

First, the Paris apartment:

Bruno says he furnished the place almost entirely with pieces from the Paris flea market -- and that at first, he was 1stdibs best -- and only -- customer.

Now, the Hamptons "farmhouse":

Oh, and here's Bruno's former home in San Francisco:

A charmed life, indeed.

(All photos except the bad, blurry one at top by Tim Street-Porter, Sally Bruno, and Mary Nichols. Some image scans borrowed from this post by my blogging buddy, 1stdibs profilee and Sacramento interior designer Katiedid, aka Katie Denham.)


C. said...

The electric blue of that sofa is beyond wonderful... I hate rich people a little bit.

Grace@PoeticHome said...

What a lovely series! I love seeing the different styles across the various homes.

kristen at said...

clearly all brunos have impeccable taste!

Freshly Found said...

So interesting. Would love to have been there!

Leah said...


Clearly! ;-)

Topsy Turvy said...

Great post and photos! I love his style.


jesyca said...

What a wonderful blog to stumble on. Your collection of images is a bit too inspiring and I may have to throw out even more furniture this weekend! If you have a moment please have fun playing on my passion project It is FREE and a place for the interior designer in everyone to have fun. I know you would prefer the Campion Platt Beach House but that will be available in about a month. But please check out our Dream Victorian or take a look at the real Victorian our office is in at Best Wishes, Jesyca


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