challenge: interior design

On January 5, 2015 by theseventhsphinx

Modani, a furniture store specializing in contemporary designs, recently invited me to design a living room infused with my style. The idea is to begin with one of their modern sofas and build out from there, using their accessories or any others. This kind of thought experiment always interests me, underscoring the fluid, plastic nature of style and the sense of the word style that is universal, not limited to clothing or the presentation of the body but inclusive of the entire environment surrounding or belonging to the self.

When you begin to think about style in this expansive way, intimations of one’s style start popping up left and right, its influence revealing itself in every aspect of life. Even if you are not consciously thinking about it this is the case, even if you think you do not have a style, you do. Like an accent. If you do think about it, though, the number of variables up for consideration…endless. The potential for harmony and expression, endless. I have long thought about style in this broad way, a certain way of approaching the world that reflects a bank of principles I am acting on (not so easy to identify these) regardless of the application. That said, I seem often to be contradictory, both minimal and baroque, rustic and modern.

It’s almost more entertaining to design a theoretical living room than a real one as with interior design I always have difficulty making final decisions. They are more final and lasting (and expensive) than most fashion decisions, and not so many of us get to have multiple houses to design.

In the absence of an oxblood leather tufted sofa, I would perhaps go for something completely impractical, like this:

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Modani phantom sofa

Having determined a white base (white walls, definitely, large windows), cream and pale wood accents seem inevitable, and texture becomes critical, the presence of interesting textures to balance the absence of color. Hardwood floors in a pale oaky shade (or whitewashed, even!) and a cream shag rug, say.

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Modani Mateo rug

A few white leather footstools dotted about.

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Modani Tedo stool

I completely fail to get the mania for throw pillows. I can see them being useful for certain lounging positions but the kind that are only for show and actually cannot be used (i.e. are uncomfortable to use)…I don’t get it. Art I get, certain tchotchkes I get, purely decorative throw pillows I do not get. That said there could be some cream brocade pillows on the sofa as well. I guess. And one of these Brahms Mount alpaca cotton throws.

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Brahms Mount Alpaca/Cotton Herringbone throw

A low reclaimed wood coffee table with a simple silhouette, the contemporary sofa contrasting with the raw wood.

J. W. Atlas reclaimed wood coffee table

A grand spalted maple bowl wouldn’t go amiss here.
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Spencer Peterman oval spalted maple bowl

Bookcases, surely. Perhaps something like this, or perhaps one wall custom built with shelves in some useful geometric configuration like this.
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Modani Lugano Library case

So, one wall of books, one wall of windows, one wall mostly a generous passage into the kitchen, and perhaps above the sofa a large brush painting of plum blossoms. Something like this, but I am going to try to paint my own.

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OR, the painting alone on a blank wall, and a large mirror above the sofa instead. Perhaps with a simple wood frame or perhaps with no frame, just clean edges.

A vase with some rotation of my favorite blooms, preferences for white and rosy shades. Peonies, snapdragons, tulips, ranunculus, orchids…

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Simon Pearce Anemone vase

Hm, something to put the vase on…a vintage pedestal table along these lines. I like the idea of some elaborate touch that isn’t quite intuitive but that is still tied in with one of the thematic threads of the room.

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This is a good beginning, I think. Now I’m thinking about the kitchen…

Modani images provided, other vendor images link to vendor pages

distraction: Blue Eagle Pottery

On October 25, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

Recently stumbled across and have not been able to get out of my mind this pottery outfit, Blue Eagle Pottery, based in Woodstock, IL. [You have no idea how much time I spend thinking about tableware, partly occupational, partly eccentric.] They have two main glaze styles, one of which has completely captured my attention.

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How beautiful? I often like the warmth of pottery, the organic, slightly irregular quality it can have, especially at the artisan level.  A lot of the allure is due to glazes, and this one is just what I am always hoping to find. Jagged layers of color like cross-sections of sediment deposits or ancient cliff faces. Also, in a stroke of genius, they make a silhouette called a popcorn bowl. MUST.

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Popcorn bowl!

Available on their retail site and a few other specialized vendors. I purchased directly through them, as the prices were better (and quite reasonable). I just picked up a few pieces to use as peripheral touches, serving dishes, whatever I please. I am always weak in the face of cute little bowls, and was in the market for a little vase, and cannot have too many charming ceramic mugs. And popcorn: major food group.

Actually I didn’t get the plate. I am still thinking about that. They have other lovely pieces as well, and the other main glaze is a stunning, deep indigo with speckled texture. Worth a look.

images via Mociun and Blue Eagle Pottery

 

 

bikini of the day: the bold bandeau

On August 8, 2013 by theseventhsphinx

IMG_4642This is the suit I was wearing in the bandeau/pencil skirt post. This design is by the Finnish brand Marimekko via Anthropologie (thrifted). I am often drawn to bold, rustic stripes in varied widths like the pattern featured here. I find them somehow more approachable than a bold, bright solid, more eye-catching, too; a pattern that invites attentiveness, gives you something to look at. Leave it to the Scandinavians. Also really like brown mixed with pastels. This is reminding me how I want some of those beautiful little Scandinavian-inspired bowls in Anthropologie – the size and style of a small Japanese rice bowl (and in fact made in Japan, evidently. I don’t know why but – usefulness entirely aside, though I do find them useful – I just love dainty porcelain bowls like this), with many different patterns to mix and match. I feel an urge to acquire a random selection that is not unlike what I experienced with the eggcups

This was another instant, effortless, yes-this-is-the-one kind of acquisition, I think largely because of this brilliant color combination + ratio of light tones to dark tones situation.

Doesn’t it seem like one might wear a turban with this suit?

[More on turbans soon…I got some fabric.]

I like hiphugger style bottoms, too. The silhouette they give seems pleasantly sleek and sporty to me, like you ought to be playing beach volleyball (which is probably true), or wearing them with a tank top in one of those Olympic runner get-ups. Sleek is a prominent keyword in my style, I would say. Or, at least, I want it to be.

Hm. I want to go swimming.