having spent a significant amount of time in florence, italy, this yatzer article on the grand hotel villa cora brought me back. all of the details grand and minuscule have been revived, yet not necessarily with the intent to recreate what had once been. there is a sort of modern "polish" that has been applied that simplifies the forms, stream-lines the profiles and adds a couple extra flecks of pigment, rendering truly stunning spaces.
it can't be easy to shape metal into graceful curves or fashion individual pieces of wood snugly together and then wrap them with a perfectly polished band of nickel or chrome. azadeh shladovsky can do it and the final product looks like it was just meant to be. the ideas behind her work are simple and refined with the use of natural materials to form clean, uncomplicated shapes that result in a distilled elegance. each piece is a little jewel for the home. azadeh's tumblr is evidence of her astute attention to colors, textures and the tiny details that are so easily over-looked.
this happy bunny sums up the feeling i had yesterday as i wandered the local antique mall. i rarely buy but i love the search, imaging the former lives these items had, where they came from and who owned them. most of all, i love to imagine how they could make my house interesting. i like to hide little figures in with my books as a fun little surprise, and a big sculptural object can always stand at the center of attention on a table or guarding your front door.
images: wit + delight; éclat
in certain instances i love to see sofas paired with full height dining tables. i prefer it done in small spaces/homes when there's no formal eating area so you're "forced" to create a comfortable little place to eat and lounge. there is absolutely no reason this can't be glamourous. pairing a small vintage french sofa with some other period pieces can really do the trick.
Posted by éclat at 24.5.12
a couple things i'm interested in architecturally as well as in interior design are scale and mass. so many different elements are born from and feed off of them: spatial definition, optical illusion, the play of light and shadow, groundedness versus loftiness, and...drama. they are elements that i would like to explore more within my own work because i think they help to make spaces surprising and memorable.
images: pinterest; david hicks in LA; john lautner
images: pinterest; david hicks in LA; john lautner
it, however, was not love at first sight.
not for the sofa (or for wearstler's work but that's changed and is a story for another day). these pieces kind of puzzled me at first, i really wasn't sure i liked them - kind of bulbous and creature-like. were they cheesy? where they too much? probably definitely too much money. after having this image constantly pop back up on my computer, i became intrigued. they are really quite interesting pieces of furniture (i could go on about the lamps too but will spare you/me).
here are some details that give a little insight as to why these end up on sites like 1stdibs and in some of the swankiest auction houses:
defining characteristics: the frame of each piece is actually external, it appears between the front fold of the seat and base, and at the rear where it supports the back rest. around the same time period, tobia and afra were designing other pieces that utilized cold shaped polyurethane and injected materials to create shape [the coronado sofa for b&b italia]. i believe that the soriana set was born from ideas behind traditional methods for giving furniture shape [it's skeleton] and the capabilities of the new plastics and foams that were becoming available. the play between hiding or not hiding structure, the materiality of that structure and then the relationship between the hard steel and the soft billowing quality of the foam covered in leather. their goals were oriented towards developing "accessible luxury design" using the newest technology and a variety of fine materials to ultimately create the "essence of relaxation" - i could totally take a nap on that sofa.
produced: by cassina, a company that still puts out many iconic pieces from designers such as leCorbusier, charlotte perriand, and frank lloyd wright to name a few. cassina saw opportunity in shifting from hand-craft to serial production and in doing so they invited designers and architects in on the collaboration. the focus was on materiality and technology and how the latter could inform new ways of creating. more info here and here
designed: around 1970 by tobia scarpa and his wife afra. tobia is the son of carlo scarpa who was an absolutely amazing architect. if you are ever in venice definitely go to the querini stampalia foundation. tobia and his wife were in glassworks but branched into furniture design right around the time that italy was beginning to embrace and master industrial design practices.
the soriana set is no longer in production [that i have found] but they are available. these aren't pieces that you'll come across every day. they're not being churned out and sold in your local big box furniture showroom - while there is nothing particularly wrong with that furniture. these are pieces that people collect, pass down to their children, or recirculate to others with a discerning eye.