An Exclusive Sneak Peak at Joyce Horn Antiques’ Newest Shipment and a chat with Joyce!!!

Mar 18, 2011

This Tuesday, March 22, at 10 a.m., Joyce Horn Antiques will open its doors to unveil their newest shipment of French antiques!!!  I had so much fun visiting with Joyce, Reid and Chris on Friday and getting a quick preview of their latest finds.  The recent shipment reflects a wide variety of French 18th and 19th century pieces – everything from armoires, tables, light fixtures, jam pots, chaise longues, buffets and, of course, a wonderful selection of mirrors.


Late 17th century French Aubusson tapestry mounted over a 19th century French cabinet reclaimed from a townhouse in Paris.  Painted Louis XVI chairs, circa 1900, and a provincial gateleg table, circa 1820, from Normandy.

Going to a new shipment at Joyce Horn Antiques is always so exciting!  The shutters are shut and close off the section where the new items will be displayed until it’s time for the reveal…  people line up for the 10 am opening! There’s such a thrill in running around and trying to pull the tickets of your favorite items before someone else gets to them. I have gotten some of my favorite pieces there!  I am always so amazed how beautiful and put together the room looks, with flowers and candles, and always wondered how they do this.

A pair of Louis XVI style bergere with matching taboret, circa 1900, a pair of custom painted commodes, a provincial bonnetiere, circa 1880, and a Louis XV style painted canape’, circa 1890.

Joyce has a great team! She has help running the business from her husband Will, daughter Reid and long-time manager Chris Prewitt. They also have a very knowledgeable staff of three that cleans, oils and waxes the pieces – they can restore just about anything.   In an effort to keep new things coming in and have fresh inventory, Joyce – now accompanied by Reid – makes the trip to France at least five times a year and open a new shipment every two months or so.

One of four 19th century French, Louis XVI style fauteuil with original finishes, a Louis XV style commode, circa 1900, in distressed paint finish with faux marble top, a mirror whose frame is composed of old boiserie paneling and antique wood carvings.

Before the unveiling, they all work together behind closed doors, moving out the old and bringing in the new Each piece must be displayed, priced and cleaned. Three days later, there is a whole new look and hundreds of new pieces.  Seeing this grouping makes me want to purchase the whole set together! I always get inspiration on how to make new cabinetry and furnishings look aged by looking at all the wonderful finishes on her authentically old pieces.

I think it would be difficult to know what to buy, but Joyce has so much experience! She made her first buying trip to France 30 years ago and uses the basic principles in buying that she guides her customers to use. How do you buy a piece that you will love for years to come? She says, “What goes around comes around – styles change, slightly altering what has already been done and disguised as an update.  The fact is that there is little to change if good, basic design is present in the pieces selected for your home.  You should be realistic when appraising a piece. It doesn’t have to be museum quality, but should be of a quality and design that can stand the test of time. Adhere to the classics – any country’s best interpretation – and your selections will be more likely to meld with the current trends and life’s changing circumstances.”

A sampling of the large inventory of 19th century French mirrors.

I have three children, and one’s interested in design. I’ve always had the secret hope that she will join me in my business one day! It has been wonderful seeing Reid join the team and contribute so much.  I really got to know the family well when I painted the Horn’s home. Reid was then in college! I know Joyce finds Reid to be a great help – “Her presence provides a new set of eyes with a younger viewpoint… She actually likes some Art Deco pieces. Imagine that!”

Reid has spearheaded the company website and the promotional side of the business. But even as we go kicking into the 21st century, Joyce still enjoys hand-writing the hundreds of tickets that go with each shipment!

In front of a commode with Louis XVI style trophy design, is a painted Louis XV style chaise longue, circa. 1890.

With the changing trends, Joyce has changed her buying habits a bit. With her special interest in antiques has always been in provincial interpretations of classic French furniture designs, these items are a constant in the store and can always be classic! But the current trend in interior design has shifted north and south of Paris – “south toward a more Mediterranean style like Spanish and Italian designs and north toward the sparseness of Swedish design and a touch of Belgian style, which is mostly French but with less ‘fluff’.” The store now integrates pieces into the primarily French inventory from Italy, Spain and Sweden to reflect these new design trends.


 A selection of beautiful French jam pots.

When I asked Joyce what the hardest thing about incorporating antiques into your home’s design, she said “It’s hard to convince husbands that it’s okay to show that something’s lived!”

I had to chuckle, because in putting an aged finish in one of the rooms of my own home my husband said in disbelief, “That looks old–people pay you for that?”

Any last advise for the readers?  “There really is nothing new under the sun when classic design is involved in furniture selection.” It’s always best to pick what you like – the pieces you think you might cherish for many more years!

Even with so many beautiful pieces, I knew Joyce had to have favorite. What could it be, but an oil painting of a cornfield with pumpkins by Nicholas Richard Brewer, an American artist from Minnesota, born 1857, died 1949.  “You never know what will turn up in a Parisian attic!  Although not in great condition, I feel as though I’m returning the painting home.”

I love seeing all the new pieces, but they always seem to shift the items around the store, and I discover things that I missed before!  I noticed all these wonderful, old plaster pieces on my visit to the store. They would make interesting architectural accessories for the home!

Here’s the team, including Beemer, who is always there bright and early at the shop to greet customers!  Sweet Will must be taking the picture.  It’s amazing how they look so put together on a Saturday afternoon after moving furniture around all day!

Joyce Horn Antiques is located in the West 10 Business Center at 1022 Wirt Road, Suite 326. If you’d like to contact them and find even more out about Tuesday’s opening, you can call 713-688-0507 or visit

Segreto Secrets publishes a new blog entry every Monday morning.  To be notified of new entries go to subscribe on the top of the page and register.  Hope you enjoyed reading this as much As I enjoyed writing it!!

  • Lillian Lehman
    Posted at 23:58h, 21 March Reply


    I have just splurged away the past hour, reading your blog site with delight – studying photographs, reading your comments, and flitting back and forth over each entry. Today is my birthday – and you just gave me a wonderful visual birthday gift! Thank you for your work in compliling these photos, writing your comments, and posting this for us all to enjoy. As always, we learn from you Leslie, and you are so willing to share with others. Thank you for the inspiration. And I want that book!! I just signed up!!

    Lillian Lehman

  • Love Where You LIve
    Posted at 03:38h, 22 March Reply

    I want. I want. I want!


  • Antique Intalian Buffets
    Posted at 06:22h, 02 July Reply

    You blog is one of the best for information about antiques. I especially liked your collection of jam pots. The collection has many different types of jam pots in lovely shades of earthen colors that appeal to the antique collector in you.

Leave A Comment