Turn your dining room into a Waldorf Astoria suite on the cheap

A glided statue of liberty sits atop the clock in the main lobby of of the Waldorf Astoria hotel on Park Avenue, Manhattan
Photo: Epics (Getty Images)

If you ever looked around your dining room and thought, “This place could stand to look more like a luxury hotel,” you’re in luck. The storied Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York City recently underwent a $1 billion renovation, and it’s now auctioning off many thousands of the iconic pieces that furnished the rooms of everyone from Cole Porter to Winston Churchill. Plus some less interesting pieces, like TVs and lampshades from the more run-of-the-mill suites. But hey, a used Phillips flatscreen is still cheaper than new!

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The auction has already opened for online bidding, and the live auction will kick off on October 17. According to the New York Post, the items filled 88 tractor trailers and took months of cataloguing, hence why the auction is opening nearly a year after the Waldorf Astoria reopened its doors after a lengthy renovation. The lots can be viewed here; most of the items look pretty much like hotel furniture, and it’s unlikely that you’d want them decorating your house except to say that you own a piece of posh history. But some of the dishware is really special; the Post points to a tea set used by the Duke and Duchess of Windsor in the 1940s, valued at $800-$1,200. Haven’t you always wanted to serve high tea to your honored guests?

Some items have opened for bidding at relatively affordable prices, such as this lot of seven dinner plates from the Cole Porter suite (a 6,000-square-foot apartment where, the Post notes, Porter lived for 30 years from 1934-1964). The minimum bid is $35, and the auction house’s estimate for the lot is $100-200. Or maybe you want to outfit your dining room with some stately seating, in which case we highly recommend these Louis XV style carved dining chairs from the Douglas MacArthur suite—yours for approximately $700. (Imposing, to say the least.)

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If you want any historically significant cookware, though, you’re probably out of luck, since it’s unlikely that these esteemed guests did much of their own meal prep.

Marnie Shure is editor in chief of The Takeout.

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carved dining chairs from the Douglas MacArthur suite

All sales final unless you write “I shall return” on the receipt.