Monday, June 27, 2016

History of Furniture: The Eileen Gray Side Table

For this installment of The History of Furniture, let's take a look back at a staple of modernist design, the Eileen Gray Side Table.

Between 1926 and 1929, Irish interior and furniture designer and architect Eileen Gray (above) collaborated on the design and construction of a modernist villa with her lover, the French architect Jean Badovici. Located in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin in the south of France, the house was very forward-looking with a flat roof and floor to ceiling glass windows to take advantage of the views of the Mediterranean. Gray named it the E-1027 “Maison en bord de mer” house, a name which contained a secret code: E for Eileen, 10 for Jean (J is the tenth letter of the alphabet), 2 for Badovici and 7 for Gray.

For this home, Gray designed the interiors and pieces of furniture as well. And one of the most enduring of her designs is the iconic side table she created for her sister, who liked to have breakfast in bed. The table has an open circular base that allows it to slip under a bedside or sofa, letting the user bring it as close as possible. For maximum function, the table itself adjusts up and down. Featuring a tempered glass top, the body is made of stainless steel, inspired by some of the tubular steel experiments of Marcel Breuer at the Bauhaus (previously here).

Here is an archival photo of the table in situ at the E-1027 house in 1929!

As you can see, the design, while minimal and streamlined, is timeless and can go with furnishings from the 1930s, the 1960s or 70s, or with any current styles. It is a perfect accent or occasional table.

The table is now produced by ClassiCon, under authorization of The World Licence Holder Aram Designs Ltd, London. Design Within Reach is an authorized dealer as well.

Happy designing!

Monday, June 20, 2016

A Malachite Moment

Malachite is an exquisite saturated green mineral that is considered a semi-precious gemstone. Its circular pattern is fascinating and designers from Tony Duquette to Kelly Wearstler have loved using this mineral for furniture, tile, or printed on textiles. It is a rich, luxurious accent in any room.

Below is a shot from a corner of The Garden Room at designer Tony Duquette's Shangri-la-esque estate Dawnridge. The malachite wallcovering is paired with the same pattern in lapis lazuli for drapery panels. The fabric is available through Jim Thompson.

Here is the malachite fabric in drapery panels...

As I mentioned, Kelly Wearstler used malachite to great effect in the lobby of The Viceroy Hotel in Miami.

Wisteria has a series of mineral prints and this pair of malachite close-ups makes a dramatic statement over a console table.

Italian porcelain manufacturer Fiandre make a wonderful large format malachite-looking wall tile which adds a sumptuous feeling to any space, especially the bathroom seen below.

Designer Shelley Johnstone put a malachite-patterned wallcovering on a ceiling.

Whether it's a piece of furniture, a mirror frame, or on a wall, malachite adds a touch of glamour and sophistication to any space.

Happy designing!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Urban Fabric Rugs Go Around The World!

I'm always on the look out for that special product or accessory that will turn a room into a work of art. And I recently discovered a rug company with a very special product!

Urban Fabric Rugs make cut pile rugs with relief plan views of major world cities! Urban Fabric Rugs say that their products can come in any color and they will create rugs in custom dimensions. I'm itching to put one in a living room or sitting room for a client.

Here we see a view of Dublin in a gorgeous watery blue with the River Liffey cutting through it...

...or perhaps you fancy a saturated fuchsia map of London on your wall?

The geometry of Paris is cooly subtle in a neutral tone...

...while Shanghai practically vibrates off the floor in red!

A recent addition to the city roster is an ancient one...The Forbidden City in Beijing.

They also make a map of Manhattan which, due to the elongated nature of the island itself, would make a fantastic runner in a hallway.

There's also a great view of Los Angeles.

And if you don't see the city of your choice or can't choose, they make a marvelous, conversation piece rug of the time zones of the globe!

Happy designing!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Celebrating 10 Years of Fiorito Interior Design!

This month I'm very pleased and proud to be celebrating 10 years of business as Fiorito Interior Design! I want to thank all my past clients...I have been lucky enough to have a roster of fantastic, kind, wonderful homeowners. It is a true privilege and honor to be allowed into your homes and to share your lives.

And to all my future clients, what are we waiting for? Let's make your house the home you've always wanted. I'll be thrilled to help!

Happy designing!