In the last post we followed the inspiration suggested by Syracuse, a Haviland & Parlon dinnerware pattern, to arrive at an interior design concept. I pointed to the Daphne pattern as another trigger of inspiration, which we will quickly unfold in order to proceed to the next stage: selecting furnishings. These are purely examples to show a process. The key to your design scheme lies in whatever opens your imagination.
First, this pattern calls up the artwork of Alexander Calder, specifically the mobiles. The visual connection is clear and graphic. Calder’s work shares its playful mood. While Calder began developing mobiles in the nineteen thirties, by the nineteen sixties he was the subject of documentaries, making appearances at the retrospectives of his paintings and sculptures in major European and American art institutions and creating large public pieces.
I was working with the Daphne line of development when music appeared. I woke out of a dream at 3:30 am bringing a melody with me that compelled me to turn on the light and search for it. I had the feeling it was either a Beethoven Bagatelle or a Schumann. After ten or fifteen minutes of clicking on piano music links I found it, Schumann’s Prophet Bird, a delightful encore piece from the Forest Scenes cycle.
Daphne and the Calder mobiles reflect the separated motifs and airiness of our Prophet Bird melody beautifully. Composed music and fine art are vital to our emotional health and enthusiasm. Interior design also surrounds us with beauty, but before we get too serious let’s note that Daphne also invokes the freedom-loving sixties and Emilio Pucci prints!
How do we move now from our motifs to the design? By collecting a portfolio of furniture images. Let’s let the stem-to-leaf lines and shapes lead us to furniture that shows its structure in metal frameworks on the outside of cushions. The metal outline and the cushion shapes have our open airy mood. The cushions can be thinly sculpted like the dining chair, counter stool and settee from Klaus design.
Or the cushions can be voluminous and sink-in-comfortable like this lounge chair from Galotti e Radicce (right). The Fortuny chair jumped out as a good fit for all its perkiness. Lines and lightness lead us to small tables that are placed about the room leaving spaces between like our Prophet Bird’s separated scoops of sound.
Circular plates and organic forms suggest the rounded sofas that are making a strong appearance in design forecasts. Young and sophisticated, an elongated fluid shape balances our light and leggy pieces. The structuring of mobiles inherently engages exact equipoise, reminding us to balance full sofa shapes with light linear companion pieces. These tables and chairs pull into place where conversations or refreshments require.
There are many examples of globes, bulbs and shades on stems in the overhead lighting marketplace. A standout for catching the spirit of our theme is Columbier from Vaughan Lighting at Primavera.
For floor lamps, I am drawn to the long stem with a small platonic form perched at the top. There are new angles for overarching metal lamps with a pendant glass globe. Giacometti style plaster lamps are joyful and energetic in the same way as the Daphne graphic.
Carpets with quiet scattered patterns work well. A few silk dots on a wool ground of the Paola Lenti carpet, shown with the sofa above, create both a light heart and weighted elegance. I love the generous 9 foot circles like this one from Brabbu and this one from Christian Lacroix.
Is this getting too glamorous for your husband’s room? Chrome with leather upholstery is the answer. His den is in keeping with the whole residence and he’s confident in knowing he’s sharp and au courant. I’d try the painted dots of Matrice wallpaper for design-style background music and add a high-coloured tribal mask or mineral specimen for detail.
While we’re talking paper, the music led me to Porter Teleo’s Taking Flight wallpaper. This image shows a full wall of the hand-painted paper. It would form a striking but not overwhelming backscape to sparse furnishings and ensure warmth and cohesion.
We humans have rich, complex emotional lives that connect in all directions. A fine intellect unites details into patterns of logic. It follows that a disjointed meaningless and jumbled environment sets the stage for confused thoughts and feelings and my experience finds it to be true. A lack of clarity is the biggest shortfall when ‘switching-up’ is the basis for room designs.
By holding this little connection of ideas in our mind while we scan furniture options, we have produced a file of trends and favourites that promise an exuberant environment. We have a file. We have even begun to combine the pieces in a fun mix that has the solid ground of design cohesion behind it.
Tune in next time to explore a surefire way to combine furnishings into refreshing age-inclusive rooms in which to find peace!
A long standing member of the American Society of Interior Designers, Lois Macaulay holds a 1st place award for residential design 2018, 2nd place for 2017 and 2 presidential citations for contributions to the profession from ASID. “I love creating beautiful settings for extraordinary women--and men,” she says. The strong fashion/design connection in these posts owes its source to her first career as a fashion designer, coordinator and national fashion magazine editor.