A love of antiques and interiors has spearheaded the opening of Secolo Art & Antiques in Nelson by David Matulovich and Grant McCauley and their new showroom is attracting clients from all over the country. QT Magazine asked them about their new venture.
What inspired the establishment of Secolo Art & Antiques? Antiques have been a lifelong passion and we have been collecting and importing pieces for over 30 years. We found we couldn’t find what we wanted locally to furnish our new home, so sourcing from Europe was the only option. We loved the process so much that we decided to come out of retirement and built a showroom attached to our house in Nelson, which allows us to be more competitive in our pricing and to see clients outside work hours. We chose to call our business Secolo, which in Italian means ‘century.’
We mainly import Italian and French art and antiques from the 17thto 19thcenturies as this period represents the epitome of European style. We source throughout Italy and France however France being such a large country means there’s more on offer. Italian antiques are usually more decorative and desirable and held in higher regard amongst designers.
What sets your antiques apart? We stock all types of furniture but our passion is for unique and decorative items like mirrors, chandeliers, art and sculpture. We buy antiques that we love and hope our clients love too.
What sets us apart, other than the Italian antiques, is our selection of 17thto 19thcentury paintings. Most are portraits of noblemen and women or landscapes. Even more exceptional are our French tapestries of the late 17thand early 18thcenturies. These are handwoven wall-hangings that generally fall into two types, verdure ( forests and landscapes ) or historical and mythological scenes.
We currently have some marble and stone sculptures on our website however we are expanding this collection particularly for the garden. Our next container will provide more outdoor furniture, pots and sculpture.
How would you describe your personal interior style? We have a background in interior and landscape design and enjoy helping clients in the sourcing and placing of items.
Our taste is very layered, with back drops of leather-bound books, tapestries or a collage of paintings and decorative items on commodes and consoles. Although this is our style, we completely understand the modern interior and believe an antique piece can complement any interior.
The trend for the next decade is known as Grandmillennial. Although only just catching on in New Zealand, our stock falls exactly into this style. White farmhouse/shabby chic has been a popular style for the last 20 years but traditional interiors are back in fashion after many decades. Antiques, portraits, chandeliers, chinoiserie, blue & white, floral fabrics and trims are all the new must-haves.
Where do your clients come from? We have clients around the country and in many cases if they’ve seen something on the website, they prefer to see it in person. Our clients enjoy visiting and it helps that we live in such a beautiful part of the country.