NINE SELF-IMPORTANT SOUNDING DESIGN CREDOS: HOME

12Jun09

Diamond 01Inspired by the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York City we put together NINE SELF-IMPORTANT SOUNDING CREDOS to consider when creating a brilliant interior.  I am joined by Michelle Barge, my partner with a passion for classic decor, a solid Sotheby’s background, and endless examples of Living The Nnnth Degree Life! and together we suggest the ultimate rooms and accessories to surround the furniture that caught my attention and imagination at the show. Her mix of Niceness and Naughtiness is where boring ends… and we begin.

ONE: DO YOU.  Classic advice, but applicable to EVERYTHING!

Here is Us: Me, Jade.

Jade Dressler

OK, so you can see the “Cute! Anything Goes Mentality” from this pic. My actual criteria?  Furniture or Interiors are the same as people…I seek what inspires desire and honor of the highest qualities of a life well-lived, a sensibility or timelessness that penetrates strangely and whisks you away immediately to the Landscape of Dream or Hmm, To Be Explored Further. It sounds haute and mightily but really…in the end…spontaneous, free and simple is a huge part.

Now. Michelle.

Michelle Barge

As much as my Mother would like, I don’t wear earrings, I get pedicures but my fingernails are left bare, my standard pieces of jewelry are a stainless steel vintage Rolex and big hair does not look good on me.  I crave refinement and elegance and often my dreams go to an afternoon lazed away at the sleak and swanky Connaught Hotel’s bar in London.  But when I shed the black and am not drinking fabu wines in an English drawing room, the ocean is where I really feel at home.  Surfing and horseback riding, flip-flops, no tweeting and cooking on an open fire on the shore — this is my true lover.  The inspiration from this lifestyle fuels it all.

and now…here are our NINE SELF-IMPORTANT SOUNDING CREDOS

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TWO: THE HIPPO IN THE ROOM.  ONE STELLAR UNAVOIDABLE PIECE OR EXTREME COLOR CAN MAKE A ROOM.

Jade:

From Boco do Lobo in Portugal (here it is again…unforgettable…) comes the above unavoidable, purple grape, ombre lacquer crystal-shaped credenza for which a double take is necessary. Thankfully not modern or design cred-saturated as sometimes ICFF offerings can be, it stood out in the show like an ungainly girl in a loud purple satin dress, an amusing heirloom piece that would be in a family for years and likely to be woven into its memories and imagination.  The matte golden felt interior with asymetrical shelves continues the mystery like the wardrobe entry into Narnia.

Michelle:

If you really want to go for madness in color and actually live with it, I always turn to Jamie Drake’s madcap style — mix of extreme color but classic lines and arrangements. The words “afraid” are just not in his vocabulary.

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Jade:

I spied another credenza from the same company, this time white lacquer with a silly and surreal but well-crafted mish-mash of drawers, pulls and interior drawer fabrics.

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Michelle intones:

…And if one were to juxtaposition Sir Drake’s fuschia room with the purple Bilbao-esqed “storage unit” (let’s hope the cabinets are deep and it is actually functional) to a room belonging to our muse, Coco Chanel, she would have had this white lacquer cabinet as a complement snuck in a long hall way atopped with huge white camelias. See a very rich video of  Ms. Coco’s apartment here with all her influences, lions, wheat for prosperity, crystal balls and chandeliers with number 5’s throughout. She Did Her. And if Ms. Coco wasn’t having it, Jacques Tati would have used this white credenza in one of his films.

THREE:  INTO THE WILD GREEN YONDER.  BLUR THE LINES OF INSIDE AND OUT.

deck-rain-dryer_SMALL

Jade:

Not everyone is considering designs for useful and perhaps mandatory objects for the home that may be commonplace again five years hence from now… and that is exactly what made these two pieces a stand-out. Best of show! I thought so and was pleased to know that Metropolis magazine did as well!  These green-friendly garden necessary objects are from Canadian designers, Jenny Lemieux and Leo Corrales of The Hero Design Lab. (note: the site is very lemon-y) The rainwater collector, at a great price of $525., holds 45 gallons of water.  The collector and the drying rack are recyclable, rust-proof aluminum powder coated and come in many colors.

Michelle! How ya like these curve balls?

Michelle:

I like, but I’ll take my greening up and uptown.  What if every rooftop in NYC and major city were green?  What joy, what breathable air, what wildlife.  Talk about A Great Room.

MINI-ROOFTOP-NYC

FOUR: NO WALLFLOWERS!  MAKE THE WALLS TALK!

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Jade:

Talking walls may be five years down the road as well but for now it’s quite cool to contemplate custom designed glass floor and wall tiles and wall paper from Rollout Custom Wallpaper.

Clients have used images of themselves or patterns combining their own iconography or worked with the artisans at the company.  Extending even to giftwrap paper, families can preppily brand themselves like Republics. This is Monogram-beyond, but I’m sure Michelle will find a historic example to inspire rather than repulse. Take the helm, Michelle!

Monogram

Michelle:

Well, a front door wallpapered with a family monogram or stenciled initials with black trim could be quite chic — especially in an apartment building where you own the floor.  WORD!

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And for the modernist, I think the above example above, gold on white in a foyer or leading to a dining area is very smart, especially as it just looks geometric from afar.

And then, on the flip side, one can get one’s island on with tranquil but powerful wallpaper to create a personal retreat in a bathroom.  Case in point:

SA_JulyAug08

FIVE: THE GOLD STANDARD… UNSTANDARD.

Goldfingers Twitter and flop into this Chair listening to Goldfrappe in The Bronze Age of Consent.

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Jade:

Using gold or classic decor standards in unconventional ways always works.  Tufted stuffed chairs are classic design speak but to do it up in metallic leather…hello!  Back at the ICFF show, two lab coated dandies with clipboards and goggles presided over a Bond-esque booth at the show where this bronze leather chair rotated slowly and mesmerized me as I walked by. A futuristic seedpod, I can saw a whole intergalactic porn scene in this chair unfold in my little mind!  Inxdesign designers, Christian Motta and Duane Dibartolomeo, told me that three upolsterers died while making this impossible custom chair. With the range of futuristic and the over the top offerings from these former film and TV costume and set designers at Inxdesign, one could make a whole lot of mischief within a classic room set-up.

Michelle?  Will intergalactic porn work with my Scalamandre drapes?

Michelle counters:

Agree that the only place for a chair like this is a boudoir and given the choice of fabrics from Inxdesign, I would go for a mint green or pale pink silk tufted chaise as my film backdrop!

alexissmith

SIX: SIMPLE ALWAYS WORKS.  The Tela-tubbie Scandilicious World of Ikea.

ikea red chair

Jade:

After my own over-saturation from dramatic furnishings here on the blog…and as I finished my round at the show…the Island Of Ikea felt so simply smart, I didn’t know for five minutes that it was even Ikea! Repentant, puritan-simple strong design felt easy and comforting and I could picture classic pieces like this red chair punctuating a room as a respite from the boudoir activities next door.

Michelle:

Well, in this recession, this is a wise and prudent choice for Ikea. The Scans still own well-made, inexpensive and aesthetically non-combative home furnishings.

Jade:

SEVEN: STREW GLASS BOWLS OF GOODIES LAVISHLY AROUND.

Danish Toppers.

glass bowl ikea

Jade:

I love shiny glass chandeliers, cut Baccarat, antique thrift or $5000 goblets from Murray Moss in cabinets and groupings of big and small glass bowls.  This bowl has presence and personality and I could imagine it…well I couldn’t, I’ll let Michelle do that.

Michelle:

Oh, this bowl is filled with Meyer lemons in the summer or persimmons in the fall on a black matte slate counter-top or it becomes a mini-world of very proper goldfish — in a child-proof and feline-free home, of course.

EIGHT: PLAY WITH EIGHT SCALES OF TEXTURE… TO MAKE INTERIOR MUSIC.

Jade:

Ikea’s crown basket was inspired by Yule Crowns made in Scandia for the holidays. Put some metallic and glitter frosted 1950’s Christmas balls or coconuts or black feather boas in that crown basket, put on the Sinatra and make up some matching dirty martinis!

ikea crown basket

I found this old watercolor image of a room with intriguing black walls where the above action could unfold.

green couches

NINE:  TO BE IN THE NINES…BE INSPIRED BY A PLACE OR TIME.

Jade:

Do try this at home!

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Kenneth Cobonpue‘s furniture is found in luxury resorts all over the world, the kind of places where you sink into the furniture and wish you could bring it back with you to have it in your home.

Michelle:

A beach is only as thrilling as the rest of the locale and the room you can repair to after sunning all day. My ultimate room changes via locale.  But the locale where the ultimate room will be — at least for today — is in Cadaques, Costa Brava, Spain.

cadaques

And for you analytical, Type-A, list-makers…here are the Top NINE SELF-IMPORTANT SOUNDING DESIGN CREDOS for the Nnnnth Degree Life in one tidy list:

ONE: DO YOU.  Classic advice, but applicable to EVERYTHING!

TWO: THE HIPPO IN THE ROOM.  ONE STELLAR UNAVOIDABLE PIECE CAN MAKE A ROOM.

THREE: INTO THE WILD GREEN YONDER.  BLUR THE LINES OF INSIDE AND OUT.

FOUR: NO WALLFLOWERS!  MAKE THE WALLS TALK!

FIVE: USE THE GOLD STANDARD… UNSTANDARD.

SIX: SIMPLE ALWAYS WORKS.

SEVEN: STREW GLASS BOWLS OF GOODIES LAVISHLY AROUND.

EIGHT: PLAY WITH EIGHT SCALES OF TEXTURE…TO MAKE INTERIOR MUSIC.

NINE:  TO BE IN THE NINES…BE INSPIRED BY A PLACE OR TIME.

and I leave you with several of our favorite decor blogs: Peak of Chic, Habitually Chic…and The Selby.

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written by Jade Dressler and Michelle Barge




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