I’m pretty proud of the assortment of vintage and antique furniture I’ve built up in my life, but there’s one woman with a collection I don’t think I can beat. That’s Anna Brockway, the infectiously smiley and smart-as-a-tack co-founder of Chairish, the online marketplace for some of the best vintage pieces for your home. Anna used to run worldwide marketing at a little denim company you might know as Levi Strauss & Co., but her obsession with flea markets, and, as she puts it, “knocking down walls in my house” helped inform her leap into entrepreneurship. She’s also co-founder of DECASO, where you can shop from an edit of some of the top modernist and antiques dealers in the country.
As both companies’ Chief Marketing Officer, Anna makes sure that everyone and their well-heeled mother knows Chairish as a resource for Milo Baughman swivel chairs, children’s equestrian helmets, and enough Moroccan rugs to lose your afternoon to.
I love spending time with Anna because she’s fearless, hilarious, and knows that any good room is made better with some wicker. Ready for a taste of her style and wit? Come right this way…
When it comes to decorating “rules”: Is there such a thing and if so, is there one you constantly break?
I do think there a few rules, but they’re not so scary.
Rule #1. Home decorating is a creative adventure so have some fun. As my hero Auntie Mame said, “Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death.” When it comes to decorating, folks can get so timid and fearful. And while the decisions may seem big and risky, they really don’t have to be. Technology is making it easier than ever to feel confident about your choices. The revolutionary “view in your space” feature in the Chairish app lets you virtually preview what an item looks like in your actual space before you click the buy button. I hope this allows people to be less risk averse and more bold in their choices!
Rule #2. A room should never, ever, be decorated with pieces that are all from the same store. It’s just soulless. Who wants to live in a corporate showroom? A great room is like a great outfit that mixes timeless pieces with more on-trend elements, juxtaposes scale and color, and most importantly expresses your personal style.
Rule #3. A space is never done. Great rooms express your personal style and that changes over time. Nothing is more stifling than a hermetically sealed “stage set” of a space. Chairish lets you easily add unique accessories, original art, vintage pieces to keep things interesting and provides a venue for you to sell your lovely leftovers. This is what’s fun about decorating. It is never really done.
What is the most unexpected thing in your home?
I have a growing collection of jewel-colored champagne coupes and flutes. I love the way they make a bar sparkle during a party.
What does your dream house look like and where would it be?
I am dreaming of a one-story Contemporary in Sonoma with an H-shaped floor plan and olive trees. There’s a rectangular pool surrounded by lawn and a vine-covered pergola, where you’ll find a table that seats 24. Honestly, it’s already designed in my brain.
What’s your signature touch in your home or your personal style?
A pale color palette. My home is a mix of vintage pieces from many different periods – my mid-century mohair sofa next to a stately Gustavian cabinet, all topped with a clear Venetian chandelier, and my Nana’s old Baby Grand on the side! A unifying, calming color range pulls it all together.
What color/pattern/texture/style are you currently obsessed with?
I am pigging out on wicker right now. I just love its lightness and simplicity. And let’s face it, wicker is a reliable classic. A few of my favorites include wicker lamp shades, wicker tables with faux draping, and the wicker bull head that I just bought for my son Fitzie’s bedroom.
Lead photograph by Maria-Del-Rio; Anna’s salon photograph by Poppy Lynch; coupe collection by Anna; living room photograph by Poppy Lynch