Monday, August 27, 2018

Now You Can Sleep On A Masterpiece!

A collaboration between London's National Gallery and English bed-maker Savoir Beds (first created for The Savoy Hotel in London in 1905) has yielded the possibility of sleeping on any piece of artwork in The National Gallery's collection!

Savoir Beds says:
"Adorn a Savoir bed with one of the world’s finest paintings from the prestigious National Gallery in London. In an exclusive collaboration, Savoir Beds and The National Gallery have joined forces to deliver an inspiring approach that takes art in interiors to another level.

Housing over 2300 pieces of art dating from the mid-13th century to the 1900s, The National Gallery showcases paintings by the world’s greatest masters, including Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt, Monet and Van Gogh. Now Savoir’s clients can create their own masterpiece to treasure. Working closely with our design and upholstery specialists, we can incorporate and customise any National Gallery owned painting.

Once commissioned, the design is specially printed in the UK, by Andrew Martin, using the latest technology on a selection of three fabrics – lustrous velvet, textured linen viscose and versatile cotton. Finished with a bespoke plaque detailing the portrait and artist, every commission will be personally approved by The National Gallery to guarantee the design preserves the essence and integrity of one of the greatest art institutes in the world. The fine art of sleeping beautifully.

A design from our collaboration with one of the world’s greatest art institutes, The National Gallery, this Harlech No 2 features Claude Monet’s, Water-Lilies, Setting Sun. With the vast number of paintings in the National Gallery to consider, Monet was a destined choice, considering our historic connection to the iconic artist. In 1899, 1900 and 1901, he stayed at The Savoy, on a Savoir bed and it is from the fifth floor he would spend his mornings painting the sun rising over London. We’ve worked with the National Gallery closely to apply the artwork to the design, with the calming water lilies in the sunset, flowing from the headboard down to the base in a beautiful velvet specially printed in the UK, by Andrew Martin. The detail is incredible with the brushstrokes in a range of deep purple and rich pink hues, complemented by the simple bed design. Finished with a bespoke plaque detailing the portrait and artist, this bed has been personally approved by The National Gallery.

A design from our collaboration with the prestigious National Gallery, the Felix No 4 features Gherardo di Giovanni del Fora’s, The Combat of Love and Chastity. Part of a series illustrating the ‘Triumphs’ by the poet Petrarch, our design and upholstery specialists worked closely to perfectly incorporate and position the painting on the Savoir Felix design to create maximum impact. This commission is specially printed in the UK, by Andrew Martin, using the latest technology on a luxurious cotton fabric. In this exclusive collaboration, we’ve joined forces with The National Gallery to deliver an inspiring approach that takes art in interiors to another level.

The Felix No 4 with Van de Cappelle’s, A Shipping Scene with Dutch Yacht firing a Salute, is a design from our collaboration with The National Gallery. A painting that is a notable example of a calm seascape with billowing clouds is the perfect scene to be upholstered on to a Savoir bed. Savoir’s skilled design team worked closely with The National Gallery to carefully take elements of the painting and incorporated them in to the Felix design, ensuring the headboard revealed the mood of the scene and the base featuring the calming clouds. The painting has been specially printed in the UK, by Andrew Martin, in a cotton fabric, which shows the minute detail of the painting. Our skilled craftsmen then being their magic, upholstering the headboard, ensuring the exactly placement and hand tapping every nail.

Happy designing!

Monday, August 20, 2018

A Bronze Sheep In Sheep's Clothing

There are many items that are icons or legends in terms of interior design: Pedro Friedeberg's Hand Chair is one, along with the Thonet Chair, the Fornasetti etching of opera singer Lina Cavalieri’s face, and a host of others...but one of the most whimsical and inventive iconic design items is the Lalanne Sheep, created in 1965 by French sculptor François-Xavier Lalanne for the Salon de la Jeune Peinture in Paris.

Although they are now known as the Moutons de Laine, François-Xavier’s bronze sheep sculptures were presented at the Salon de la Jeune Peinture with the title Pour Polytheme, a reference to a passage in Homer’s Odyssey which recounts how Ulysses and his comrades blind the cyclops Polyphemus, and escape from his cave by clinging to the bellies of his giant sheep. Lalanne's work is highly sculptural, owing a debt to Surrealism in its whimsy, and highly functional. His moutons serve as either seats or foot stools! Below you can see Lalanne with his wife Claude, also a sculptress whose surreal whimsical work focuses on the botanical instead of the animal world, lounging on a flock. Claude has been quoted as saying, playfully, "They are not furniture, they are not sculpture--call them 'Lalannes.'"

The realistic cast bronze sheep are covered in sheep skin but Lalanne created outdoor versions where the "wool" is cream colored stone epoxy.

Yves Saint-Laurent was an early patron of Lalanne and collected a flock of sheep to populate his library in the home he shared with his partner Pierre Bergé.

Other designers have collected the sheep over the years. Valentino invested in a flock...

...and a Lalanne sheep can be spotted in this image of Marc Jacobs' home.

If you keep your eyes peeled, you can spot them grazing peacefully in so many homes in shelter magazines.

In case you're wondering, a flock of the outdoor Lalanne sheep went for a record $7.5 million at a Christie's auction in 2011...and original sheep go for just under a million. Just sayin'.

Happy designing!

Monday, August 13, 2018

Tillys: Bespoke Drapery Hardware

This line of sleek, modern drapery hardware is made by Tillys of England and includes some pieces that are more like sculpture! Started in 1800 by Mr. G. Tilly, the company was originally a Naval Outfitters in Portsmouth Harbour.  Mr. Tilly's tailoring skills led him to branch out into civilian clothing including hats and gloves. It wasn't until the 1970s that Tillys branched out into the interior design industry, creating soft goods and window treatments.

Today, they continue their bespoke interior design business by making a gorgeous line of both traditional and modern drapery hardware. I was particularly impressed with their Modern Wood line with its dovetail detailing as well as the Barre Couture line. Both would make a wonderful addition to any contemporary space.

Happy designing!

Monday, August 6, 2018

Know Your Chairs: The Zig Zag Chair

Just when you thought we might be running out of chairs for this continuing series of posts "Know Your Chairs," we come to the delightfully simplistic Zig Zag Chair by Gerrit Reitveld (previously here).

Reitveld, who was associated with the De Stijl and Bauhaus movements of the early 20th century, designed the Zig Zag chair as a commission by Dutch department store Metz & Co. (founded in 1740 which closed in 2013) who wanted to sell a well-crafted chair but on a mass produced scale. He dreamt up this amazing sculptural creation of four flat wooden tiles merged in a Z-shape using Dovetail joints.

Rietveld at Utrecht’s Centraal Museum in 1958. 2018 Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York Pictoright/Amsterdam

The stark lines and slim profile make it perfect for modern or contemporary, starkly minimalist homes, but it also offers a fantastic contrast in transitional settings or paired with traditional furnishings.

While original and vintage chairs can fetch a very steep price, you can have one of these iconic chairs for yourself. Only the Italian furniture manufacturer Cassina is authorized and licensed to make the Zig Zag Chair.

Happy designing!