B eau Kimball, an Illinois native, had one of those fathers that felt the weight of his honey-do list. It would inspire his dad to “get creative” with home repairs—reaching for what was fast and convenient: the odd duck tape, any old screw, or a few scrap wood blocks. Perhaps it was this laissez-faire attitude toward fixing things that drove Beau, an Architectural and Garden Antiques Expert, to rally against such workmanship and later inform his own business. “When I get fresh antique items in my shop, I am compelled to repair them properly using historic fasteners and methods of that time period—undoing all the years of bad repair,” explains Beau. But, Kimball does not reserve his zeal for repairs only; he uses the same principles when creating “future garden antiques”. “Perhaps it is being from a long line of Mid-westerners, or my love of history and antiques but, I truly believe that things must be made to last for generations.”
Kimball, a twenty-five year veteran of the antiques industry, spent the first ten years of his career working his way up to partner in the largest architectural salvage company in the US. But, in 2000, Beau and his wife Nancy decided to follow their own dream of owning an old farmstead in Woodstock, Illinois—Kimball and Bean Architectural and Garden Antiques was born.
Beau and Nancy travel extensively, showing their wares around the globe. “I am one of a handful of people who have been privileged to handle so many of the world’s best architectural and garden antiques,” he continues, “But, it is the people we meet along the way that means the most to us—more than money, or fine things, we collect memories—good food and good company are our most valuable treasures.”
It is this open spirit toward others that started Beau collaborating with top architects, interior designers, and landscape designers. “We were approached by a top designer, whose clients wanted to have replicas of hard-to-find Orangery planter boxes like the ones at Versailles, France. What is amazing is that the company that made the original cast iron planter boxes for Versailles, still make them.” But, in cast iron, the price with shipping is astronomical, even for the wealthy and elite. It was this moment that the designer and Beau, and his passion for proper construction, researched and developed his now signature Versailles Box with in cedar, bolted, or pinned sides. “Over the years, we refined them for easier American production,” says Kimball. Locally, small talented shops work in unison to create the boxes. Beau explains, “We produce the boxes with equal or more quality than the original Versailles boxes and make them in the US for almost half of what it would cost to import them.” Larger architectural planter boxes are hard to find in America. Either they are “poor quality reproductions or so expensive, as to be unobtainable by most,” says Kimball. We have developed our boxes to be the highest quality and the fairest price.
The Versailles Boxes can be made in Cedar ($805 each) or with bolted ($1,650 each) or pinned sides ($2,295 each) in the sizes 24 x 24 x 32 inches. A custom made galvanized metal liner is available for an extra charge of $145-165 each (depending on make and size). Some designs have two finial choices but all styles have custom color matching along with hidden Teflon feet to protect floor surfaces. They are made to order and take two to four weeks to build.
THEY REALLY LIKE MEBeau and Nancy have been featured in HGTV’s ‘The Good Life’, The Chicago Tribune, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Philadelphia Enquirer, The Los Angeles Times, Garden Design, Better Homes and Gardens, Country Living, The Robb Report, Chicago Home and Garden, Midwest Living, ‘Home Again with Bob Vila’, ‘This Old House’, National Public Radio and Chicago Magazine.
VERSAILLES PLANTER BOXES
VERSAILLES PLANTER BOXES