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’Slightly Demented’ Curiosities Abound at Los Angeles Home Furnishings Shop

Monday May 23, 2011

LOS ANGELES - Since 2006, voila! Art for the Modern Eye has provided design-savvy customers with an extraordinary collection of wonderfully eccentric home furnishings, accessories, lighting, frames and more.

Belgian-born owner, Katrien Van der Schueren, began importing European antique treasures shortly after arriving in the United States in 2002, specializing as a wholesaler of antique prints and vintage posters. From there her business quickly expanded to her current store, chock full of quirky vintage pieces, unusual one-of-a-kind creations and contemporary art.

"There are too many serious things already in the world," noted Katrien. "I love it when designs fulfills all its functions, but also surprises you, makes you smile."

Voila! is an ever-changing cabinet of curiosities. Katrien finds her inventory from private collections, auctions, flea markets or estate sales in Belgium, France and throughout the United States.

Katrien brings her findings back to voila! where an onsite studio of artisans refashions them and brings them to life in a whole new way: an airplane engine becomes a bar; vintage mannequin hands become a sconce; the inner workings of many clocks become one.

"When I'm looking for pieces, I don't limit myself to a style or period," said Katrien. "I'm attracted to the exceptional and unexpected. And, so, we are constantly mixing styles and uses, fine art with objects."

Curiosities from voila! can be found in some of the country's hottest hangouts from Soho House (Miami and Los Angeles) to The Cosmopolitan (Las Vegas) as well as in the homes of such notable names as Sir Elton John, Cher and the Osbournes.

"We like to think of it as a slightly demented upholstery line," noted Jo.

Earlier this year, Katrien teamed up with UK-based designer Jo Laurie to create voici!, an exciting, eccentric and unique line of handcrafted upholstered pieces and textiles, currently sold exclusively at voila! From Victorianesque dome chairs with silk=screened skeletons to verbose accent pillows and cabinets reupholstered in vintage fabrics, each piece in the voici! line is handcrafted by local artisans, applying traditional skills with a sustainable use of materials.

"We like to think of it as a slightly demented upholstery line," noted Jo. "We reimagine vintage furniture with modified shapes or interesting fabrics and give them a fresh look."

The artisans at voila! have been developing their highly customized approach to framing for over 30 years, offering extensive experience working with a wide variety of art mediums, specific design needs and budgets. Thus, the possibilities at voila! are limitless.

In addition to a large selection of framing options and picture mouldings, voila! offers exclusive designs and customized finishes crafted by the artisans in their on-site studio.

voila! Art for the Modern Eye is located at 518 North La Brea Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90036.

LINK: voila! Art for the Modern Eye