Monday, August 5, 2019

Just For Fun: A Simpsons Makeover

Creative content consultancy firm NeoMam and interior design consultant Pat McNulty collaborated to give the cartoon family The Simpsons a much needed hone make over. They rendered the original house as well as the proposed spaces in photorealistic 3D and the results are superb.

The living room is done in a modern luxe style.

The kitchen got a smart-home makeover with appliances connected to the internet.

Homer and Marge's bedroom has an urban, industrial feel.

Maggie's nursery received a soothing, gender-neutral scheme with a bit of tradition.

Lisa, true to her character, got a biophilic bedroom that makes space for oxygen-giving plants.

Bart's bedroom is covered in patterns, colors, and designs from the Italian Memphis design movement from the 80s, previously seen here.

And the family bathroom now feels like a tranquil spa.

Happy designing!

Monday, July 22, 2019

Know Your Sofas: The Terrazza

I love the sofa we are examining for this installation of Know Your Sofas.

Made in 1973 for leather furniture manufacturer de Sede, the designer Ubald Klug conceived of it as a heap of sand that had been sat upon. But Klug's onetime collaborator Willi Glaeser said, "He had the idea to produce a kind of mountain. In the Alps the cows walk around leaving horizontal terraces. You see these patterns in this sofa." Hence the nickname for this sofa: "The Terrazza," or me, they have always resembled isobars. But the manufacturer of the sofa refers to it by its product name: the DS-1025.

Interior design by Claude Missir
Interior design by Kelly Wearstler
Interior design by Martyn Lawrence Bullard
Interior design by Yves Behar

It has an irresistible 1970s glamour about it. Mick Jagger was photographed lounging on a Terrazza, conjuring up images of Studio54-esque lollying and orgying. And like most famous pieces of furniture, it has taken its turn on the silver screen. It shows up in the 1976 sci-fi film "Logan's Run" with Michael York and Jenny Agutter. (Previously featured in film and television: the Elda chair and the Ribbon chair.)

While originals sell for steep prices at auction, you can buy a new Terrazza from de Sede in a wide variety of colors.

Happy designing!

Monday, July 8, 2019

The Deconstructed Chandeliers of Frida Fjellman

I am wild about the amazing work of Swedish glass artist Frida Fjellman. She has managed to invent a new style of light that is a post-modernist take on a traditional chandelier. Instead of a fixture with crystal drops, she magnifies the drop itself and fashions entire light fixtures out of clusters of these gigantic faceted objects. Her colors are gorgeous, and just look at them in actual rooms. Stunning. I can't wait to show these to clients and see who might love them as much as I do!

Happy designing!

Monday, June 24, 2019

History of Furniture: Art Nouveau

Often in  the world of art and design (or even in related arts like literature or dance), a color or shape or movement is a reaction to and rebellion against something that came directly before it. Take for example the wild curves and golden excess of the Louis XV style of furniture and compare it to the straight lines and stripped-down neo-classicism of the Louis XVI style which came right after, previously seen here.

Between 1890 and 1910, a style arose that was quite unique. Associated with a concurrent, similar style of architecture and furnishings from from England called Arts and Crafts, both these movements were reactions to unrealistic Romantic art and the industrialization of furniture and furnishings at the time.

Taking its name from the Maison de l'Art Nouveau (House of the New Art), an art gallery opened in 1895 by the Franco-German art dealer Siegfried Bing that featured the new style, Art Nouveau specifically concerned itself with sinuous, flowing designs from nature. This was originally inspired by the floral designs of English designer William Morris and his followers who developed the Arts and Crafts philosophy.

Entrance to the art gallery Maison de l'Art Nouveau
Wallcovering by William Morris

While the Art Nouveau style flourished around the globe, manifesting perhaps under different names, the general feeling was the same. Houses, hotels, wallcoverings, furniture, graphic arts, decorative textiles, light fixtures, jewelry, even Paris Metro stations...all were touched by the rounded fullness and loose organic lines of Art Nouveau.

Graphic for F. Champenois by Alfons Mucha
A bedroom by Louis Majorelle, 1903 - 1904 
Chair by Rupert Carabin, France,1895
"Dawn and Dusk" bed by Émile Gallé, France,1904
Dining room by Eugène Vallin, France, 1903
Doorway of the Lavirotte Building by Jules Lavirotte, 29 avenue Rapp, Paris,1901
Dragonfly Lady brooch by René Lalique, 1897 - 1898
Furniture set by Victor Horta in the Hôtel Aubeque in Brussels, 1902-1904
Interior of Hôtel Tassel by Victor Horta,1894
Lampe aux ombellesby Émile Gallé, France, about 1902
Light fixture by Victor Horta1903
Limoges enamel by Paul Bonnaud, France,1903
Poster by Theophile-Alexandre Steinlen for the cabaret Le Chat noir1896
Tulip candelabra by Fernand Dubois, 1899
Zodiac calendar by Alfons Mucha

Perhaps one of the most complete and famous examples of Art Nouveau architecture and interior design is James McNeil Whistler's glorious "Harmony in Blue and Gold," better known as The Peacock Room. Created for British shipping magnate Frederick Richards Leyland's home in Kensington, London, the room is a dazzling suite in the Anglo-Japanese style. The focal point is a painting by Whistler, Rose and Silver: The Princess from the Land of Porcelain. The room became so famous--not least for the reason that Whistler and Leyland fought bitterly over the design of the space--that American industrialist and art collector Charles Lang Freer anonymously purchased the entire room in 1904 from Leyland's heirs. Freer then had the contents of the Peacock Room installed in his Detroit mansion. After Freer's death in 1919, the Peacock Room was permanently installed in the Freer Gallery of Art at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.

Concurrent with Art Nouveau were other branches from other countries: Modern Style and Glasgow School in Britain, Jugendstil (or New Style) in Germany, Stile Liberty in Italy, Modernisme in Spain, Arte Nova in Portugal, Tiffany Style in the United States (from the works of Louis Comfort Tiffany), and most dramatically, Vienna Secession in Austria which we will explore in another installment.

Happy designing!