eye on: azadeh shladovsky

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.

via azadehshladovsky.tumblr.com 


friday finds

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


dining...in style

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.


designed to be memorable

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


tobia & afra scarpa: the soriana sofa

via kwid
i had no real knowledge of the above sofa and chair set prior to my obsession with this room by kelly wearstler.
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:
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.

via artnet
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
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.

via 1stdibs
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.  


we have to ask...why?

why does furniture cost so much money? after skimming the "top 10" list in ell decor i'm always a little put off - by the lists they come up with and occasionally by the two proud designers who are credited with finding the best-ofs.  on plenty of occasions i've looked at that list and thought i just saw a chair like that at ikea last weekend and it only cost $39.99…why does this one coast $7,011?  and why are these two grinning at me like that?  are you seriously suggesting that these are the best choices…that one table you picked looks like my grandpa's work bench!  But, on the other hand i get it.  not all the time, but i do get it.  there are designers, styles, and pieces that have truly become iconic for a variety of reasons, and it's not to say that their popularity hasn't been influenced by trends or even celebrity.  i'm interested in some of the more tangible reasons as to why, when you read the captions in an editorial, a piece is usually called out with a designers name attached - "an edward wormley table is paired with a palshus lamp".  There are interesting reasons as to why certain designers and specific pieces end up in the interior design hall of fame.  i'm not really looking to give history lessons, but (and this is primarily for myself because i have no real idea if anyone out there even looks at this thing/blog) i'd like to keep learning and on some level i feel like i need to remind myself that design is important.  in my opinion, spaces become a whole lot more interesting when a little knowledge and history are layered in.  so, i want to (occasionally) use this blog to shed a little light on this topic.  if anything, i'll learn something.


wedding wishes

a friend of mine is getting married this coming fall so of course this has gotten me thinking about the perfect gift.  aside from choosing an item off of the ol registry, i like to include something hand-picked and special.  i'm loving the little salt and pepper shakers from michael aram, especially the pears or the figs.  we received a set of monogrammed totes for our wedding and they have really come in handy for trips to the beach and weekend get-aways.  the bride-to-be lives by the sea so i've included some ocean-themed items as well.  here are some thoughts...

items: pears by michael aram; woven totes at jason home; turkish towels at lekker home; and crab canape set at michael c fina
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