Collection: Found Objects for use in Interior Design

Studio Marchant's Found Objects

This collection includes a treasure trove of interesting objects for your collections–in Maison de Reve antiques. We’ve scoured Europe for one-of-a-kind rare objects and artifacts that are unique in the world and strong in their presence. Sourced from the centers of Europe, we acquired pieces with the design world in mind where keen collectors can imagine the stories behind each object and the journeys they've taken before finding their way to you.

The Fascinating World of Found Objects: Art and Design

Found objects, often referred to as "objets trouvés" in the art world, are everyday items that are discovered and repurposed to create something new and meaningful. These objects can range from discarded household items and natural elements to industrial artifacts. They hold a unique charm and historical context, making them a favorite medium for artists and designers alike. The concept of found objects blurs the lines between art and life, transforming the mundane into the extraordinary.

Historical and Artistic Significance

The use of found objects in art dates back to the early 20th century with movements such as Dada and Surrealism. Artists like Marcel Duchamp and Kurt Schwitters pioneered the use of everyday items in their works, challenging traditional notions of art and aesthetics. Duchamp's famous "readymades," such as the iconic urinal titled "Fountain," redefined what could be considered art. These pieces forced viewers to confront the role of context and intention in the creation of art.

One of the most renowned artists to utilize found objects was Joseph Cornell. Cornell's shadow boxes, intricate assemblages of found objects arranged in small, glass-fronted cases, are celebrated for their dreamlike quality and narrative depth. By incorporating items like old photographs, maps, and trinkets, Cornell created miniature worlds that evoke nostalgia and curiosity. His work exemplifies how found objects can be transformed into compelling storytelling devices.

Found Objects in Contemporary Art

In contemporary art, found objects continue to be a powerful medium. Artists like Louise Nevelson and Vik Muniz use discarded materials to explore themes of consumerism, waste, and identity. Nevelson's monochromatic assemblages of wood scraps and furniture parts create intricate, architectural compositions. Muniz, on the other hand, often arranges everyday items like garbage and recyclables to form large-scale portraits and landscapes, which he then photographs.

The appeal of found objects in art lies in their inherent history and character. Each item carries a unique past, and when combined thoughtfully, they create layers of meaning that resonate with viewers on a personal level. This process of recontextualization allows artists to comment on societal issues, personal memories, and the passage of time.

Found Objects in Interior Design

Beyond the realm of fine art, found objects play a significant role in interior design. Designers use them to add depth and personality to spaces, creating environments that feel curated and lived-in. A well-placed found object on a coffee table or bookshelf can serve as a conversation starter and a reflection of the homeowner's tastes and experiences.

Incorporating found objects into interior design involves a keen eye for balance and harmony. A vintage typewriter, an antique mirror, or a collection of seashells can be used to create focal points and add texture to a room. These items often contrast with contemporary furniture and decor, adding a sense of history and storytelling to the space.

Creating a Layered Environment

The key to successfully using found objects in design is layering. By combining items of different shapes, sizes, and origins, designers can create rich, multifaceted environments. This approach mirrors the technique used by artists like Joseph Cornell, who layered objects within his shadow boxes to build complex narratives.

For example, a coffee table might feature a mix of items such as an old book, a ceramic vase, a piece of driftwood, and a vintage camera. Each object contributes to the overall aesthetic, creating a visually stimulating arrangement that invites exploration. Similarly, a bookshelf adorned with found objects can transform a functional storage space into an artistic display.

Found objects hold a unique allure in both art and design. They challenge us to see beauty in the overlooked and the discarded, transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary. Artists like Joseph Cornell and interior designers alike harness the power of these objects to create works and spaces that are rich in history, meaning, and aesthetic appeal. Whether in a gallery or a living room, found objects invite us to reflect on the past and appreciate the stories embedded in the things we often take for granted.

Our Maison de Reve antiques collection contributes 50% of sales proceeds to the Caluna Foundation non-profit charity. Your purchase will support this worthy cause and directly contributes to improving the lives of children and families affected by childhood cancer in Africa. Find out more about the Caluna Foundation...