More fabulous inspiration from design icons.
Happy New Year. After a much needed vacation and wonderful holiday I am excited to be back with this blog showcasing the work of some of the top architects and designers at the forefront of global design today that are in Architectural Digest’s AD100.
Their work is based on classically inspired details, proportions and principles of scale and harmony with 21st century comfort and style. You will see a lot of bold colors, eye catching art, beautiful wall panels, craftsmanship and artistry. Enjoy.
This firm specializes in Orientalism.
Just bought a great book on the Empire Period Empire by Madeleine Deschamps. Here is some food for thought from the Introduction. “The end of the eighteenth century was a tumultuous and remarkably rich period that laid the foundations of modern times.” This can be said of our times, the end of the twentieth century laying the foundations of the new age. “In the course of the century the philosophy of Enlightenment had opened minds to realities veiled until then, and it had awakened hopes of social and political change in many lands.” Once again, this can be said of our times with the expansion of knowledge, technology and physics all contributing to powers we could not have imagined just 30 years ago. “In France this new consciousness culminated in a major cultural rupture, the Revolution. The fall of the Bastille in 1789 and the death of Louis XVI in 1793 marked the end of a monarchy that had shaped France, its society, and its economy for ten centuries.”
It goes on to establish that the Revolution did not immediately find a language to express the social order they were striving to establish. So there was no real break in the styles and art forms that characterized the reign of Louis XVI and the subsequent Directoire, Consulat and Empire Styles. The Empire style was a natural development of the neoclassical art born in the preceding decades, which explains why Empire also includes styles that predate the coronation of Napoleon. “Despite a strong connection to its stylistic preedecessors, the Empire style was highly influenced by the personality of one man, Napoleon Bonaparte. Once in power he not only wished to dominate European countries but also to control their trade. “He also wished to give grandeur and splendor to his reign, a purpose best served by the arts. Thus the short years of his rule were a period of extraordinary development for arts and crafts in France and in the countries he controlled.”
What will be said of this time in terms of the development of the arts and crafts. The decorative arts business had products and technologies which will enable today’s artists, artisans, architects and designers to surpass anything that has been created. Hopefully there will always be patrons to support today’s masterpieces and with the advantage of technology the middle class will be able to create interiors rich with artistry.
“When Napoleon came to power he found a country that had been torn apart by civil war and lay in partial ruin. He also inherited royal residences that had been stripped bare by the Revolution. Today’s interiors are in a sense are stripped bare with large expanses of drywall. In his ten years as emperor he not only refurbished palaces and chateaux throughout France and Europe but also gave France one of its most superb collections of decorative arts. To accomplish this he provided massive help to workshops and nascent industries, encouraged and publicized technical inventions, and instituted schools, competitions and prizes. No one since Louis XIV’s minister Jean-Baptiste Colbert had been so concerned with the economic status of France and the international image of its arts and crafts. Just as Napoleon knew how to surround himself with the best political and military counselors, so too did he call some of the best artists in Europe to his service.”
Let’s look at the glory of the Empire Period and dream about our expression of the decorative arts in the 21st Century.
The Chateau de Malmaison, Paris is a country house in the city of Rueil-Malmaison about 12 km from Paris. It was formerly the residence of Joséphine de Beauharnais, and with the Tuileries, was from 1800 to 1802 the headquarters of the French government.
Mythological Frieze, Chateau de Malmaison
Today’s Mansion - The Enchanted Home
Hotel de Beauharnais, Paris
Salon of the Four Seasons – The paintings of the four seasons were formerly attributed to Pierre-Paul Prud’hon and now to Anne-Louis Girodet, who painted works on the same theme for the Platinum Study in the Casa del Labrador in Aranjuez, Spain.
Bathroom at Hotel de Beauharmais
The Turkish bath in the Hotel de Beauharnais
Beaux-Artes designed and executed this Powder Room using technology to create the pietre dure design on the vanity and reproduce it below the chair rail with venetian plaster.
Empire has a section on wallpaper since it was becoming a convenient and attractive way to decorate an interior. Manufacturers as Jacquemart et Benard, Dufour and Zuber made papers of great artistic and technical quality in lavish colors. It was a young industry when the Revolution broke out. Wallpaper answered the demand of a clientele that could not afford expensive silks for decorating the home. The extension of the Empire opened Europe to their production.
Great article by Barbara Clark in Artisphere Online showcasing the work of Alan Carroll
“My old business partner, Mark Kusek, really opened my eyes to the digital world. Without him I never would have embraced computers as a tool for decorative artists in the same way. More importantly, he taught me that you can be true to the same creative spirit that flowed through the old guys while at the same time embracing new technology.
You don’t have to be mired in the past, trying to copy stuff that was done way better hundreds of years ago. ”
“Imagine you have a piece of artwork on your computer. You’ve either painted and scanned it, or created it directly on the computer. Want to make fabric? Wallpaper? Flooring? ceiling murals? Area rugs? verre eglomisé? You can do all those and tons more from the same piece of artwork now by combining the power of digital printing with traditional skills. We are only beginning to touch on the possibilities.”
“We even developed a way to print gold size. You could get a sheet of ebony veneer for example, and literally print from any design you have on your computer screen in gold size right onto the wood – no masking/stencilling necessary – then gild it. The computer is used just to expedite the hand-done finish, not to supplant it. It’s still a hand-gilded product.
Or forget about printing the size. What about printing the ‘painted’ image on the reverse of glass before you gild it? Mark is now in the middle of printing verre eglomisé polychrome designs right onto glass from ornamental panels that I painted using a Wacom tablet and some computer software. This is groundbreaking stuff. Print the image onto the reverse of the glass, and then gild it. He even printed the patina onto the sheet of glass before gilding it. Time savings are huge, and that’s just with this one thing!
“I think that’ll be my theme for the future: exploring how to expand and truly incorporate digital technology into the decorative artist’s toolkit. I don’t mean simply painting something by hand, then selling prints. But how about this other experiment we did with the Glass department of OSU in Ohio: We printed our gold size directly onto paper in super-detailed ornate designs. then we simply applied leaf, and dusted off the design. The gold only sticks to the areas we printed. Then we took these gold leaf designs on paper to the glass furnace. The guy blows a vase out of molten glass, then rolls it carefully across our design. The paper burns off completely, and the gold design is instantly transferred to the glass. Never been done before, but we just came up with it by experimenting.
It’s not just about coming up with ways that save time over traditional methods. It’s also about creating new hybrid techniques that could not be conceived of any other way. That’s the future.”
Josephine and her Entourage at Lake Garda, 1805-6 by Hippolyte Lecomte. Available as a 12″ x 15″ print for $181.
Chateau de Compiegne
Empress Marie-Louise’s Second Salon later called the Salon of Flowers. Would love to do a variation of the panel art in this room. The Book Empire has a wonderful closeup of the panels.
Hotel de Charost
The Sala di Marte near Naples
Beaux-Artes Arabesque Panel
Casita del Principe, El Escorial, Spain
Platinum study in the Casa del Labrador, Aranjuez, Spain
Charlottenburg Castle, Berlin
Queen Luise’s Bedroom
Thirty years ago I had a black living room. At the time, it was quite a statement, so much so that I had to paint everything before the house would sell. Everyone loved it but couldn’t picture their furnishings in it. Here is an wonderful collection of basic black today.
Black is dramatic and elegant when paired with white.
Powder Rooms and bathrooms are perfect rooms for wall panels. Lots of possibilities from plain panels to ornamentation.
Panels offer symmetry and organization for different colors, sheens and textures. The panels create lots of options for the limited wall area, inside the panel, outside the panel and the panel molding.
The smaller the room the taller the panels works really well.
Panels with mirrors. I prefer aged mirrors in a small space when they are used as a wall treatment and not a mirror.
Panels are always perfect for framing murals and decorative painting.
The most important surface in a room are the walls. The Architecture of the Classical Interior by Richard Semmes’ states that the essential task of the wall treatment in any room is to make a strong connection between the floor and the ceiling. “The wall must artfully carry the lines of the ceiling down to the floor in accordance with the principle of fictive structure.” The order is the primary organizing device of the wall, so every wall is treated as an order. The classical order organizes the wall giving it the proportions and its ornaments. “The use of a complete order (pilasters or columns) is usually reserved for the grandest or most elaborate rooms. Nothing endows a room with honorific character as powerfully as a fully articulated order–particularly the Corinthian.” Spencer House, Princess Diana’s home.
“You can also have a perfectly classical room in which there are no columns, pilasters, or any other explicit evocation of an order. In many rooms, especially in more intimately scaled and domestic interiors, the appearance of a full order would be overbearing.” A typical tripartite division of wall surfaces into dado, panel, and cornice is seen in nearly all classical wall treatments regardless of material or elaborateness of detail. Most classical rooms are astylar or without columns or pilasters. French designers of the mid- to late eighteenth century developed a style of wall treatment in which the paneled room reflects an implied order. The order is infered from the proportions and ornamentation of the boiseries which divide the walls into bays by phantom pilasters.
If you love mosaics, New Ravenna Mosaics has a magnificent collection of handcrafted luxury mosaics in glass and stone for residential and commercial installations.
Sarah Baldwin, the owner and visionary behind New Ravenna, was inspired to create mosaics after a visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Fine Art in 1990, where she admired an ancient Roman mosaic design which was installed on the floor, with a repeating black-and-white pattern of marble and thought, “Why isn’t anyone making these beautiful things anymore?” At the time she was studying for her masters in fine art painting at the University of Pennsylvania. She wanted to create mosaics using the tesserae as paint to create designs and texture that would work in any style architecture or decor. She has definitely created her vision. That is what makes her mosaics stand out. They are timeless and elegant. I just love to see artists, artisans and masters in the field of the decorative arts take an ancient art form and create today’s masterpieces.
The company offers decorative borders, murals, field tile and medallions.
The inspiration for the company name was the ancient Byzantine city of Ravenna in Italy, known for its mosaics. New Ravenna, a combination of honoring the ancient art of mosaic and making it American. Today New Ravenna has 100 employees and is represented in over 200 designer showrooms across the country and internationally.
The website has easy to use design tools to assist you in designing your mosaic. The concept boards are great close ups that show you the colors and placement.
The Miraflores Collection – A collaboration with Interior Designer, Paul Schatz, the ‘Miraflores Collection’ offers 19 complex infinite patterns inspired by his travels throughout Spain, Portugal, Mexico and a passion for Morocco and studies of islamic geometric art.
My sister just saw The International Mosaiculture event at the Montreal Botanical Gardens. Incredible! The show is back in Montréal after a ten-year absence. Around 50 stunning works created by horticulturist-artists from 25 countries are displayed from June 22 to September 29, 2013.
It is not so easy to find beautiful walls. Beautiful rooms where furnishings are the focus are abundant. I think you will find these walls spectacular. My contribution is #10.
1. As seen in September issue of Vogue the 1820s-era dining room at Schloss Damtschach, near Corinthia, Austria. Love the over-sized ornament painted in grisaille . I have written a blog on Heavenly Home Designs, about the famous Austrian spa, Viva Mayr which had the picture of this fabulous wall.
Fell in love with Antigua Del Mar‘s advertisement in Elle Decor. The color palette is easy on the eyes. Picture these colors as an outdoor bench, fountain, bottom of a column or fireplace. Antiqua Del Mar is a consortium of ceramic tile artisans with studios throughout Spain and their corporate office in Santa Monica, California. They provide designers and architects with the finest authentic reproduction Spanish antique tiles from the 12th-18th centuries.
Antiqua Del Mar Spanish Tile Fountain
The border tile from the ad.
Lorna Auerback is the creative force behind the company. This is the outer door of her house. The 18th-century gates are from Ronda, and the surrounding tiles are reproductions from Seville, based on a wainscot from a 16th century palace.
More tile designs from Antiqua Del Mar
A great inspiration picture from Boca Raton Beach Club Resort.
More inspiration pictures
Don’t you love tile on stairs. It is such an ignored place. The tile really calls attention to it. Love it for exterior stairs.
Source: Antiqua Del Mar
This month’s Architectural Digest is a gem and here is a glimpse of a few of my favorites from a fabulous restoration of a 1930′s Louis XV style manor which was originally designed by John F. Staub who worked mainly in Houston from 1920s to 60s. The renovation was completed by Newberry Campa Architects and the interior design was done by Kara Childress.
Love the ornamentation and pilasters in this dining room. I am sure the pilasters are marble, but this look of the pilasters connecting with the marble below the chair rail is a great idea for a faux project. The companion panel paintings are wonderful.
Use this Decorator Supply ornament with picture molding below to create the look of the crown.
Greek Palmette 9″ x 12″
Focusing on great doors, windows and entries add so much character. Love the shape of this entry. Particularly as it continues the symmetry of the wall panel design. The embroidered silk on the ottoman is perfect.
Another beautiful paneled room incorporating the windows and mirrored panels.