Casa Bohemia: The Spanish Style House by Linda Leigh Paul (Rizzoli 2015) showcases 29 bohemian style homes—vibrant, Spanish-style houses in the southwestern and southern United States, Mexico, and Spain, from restored haciendas in Mexico to early and recent 20th century California mission styles. Rich colors abound and details include ornate wrought-iron, wood balconies, graceful arches, crafted glass, and patterned tiles and textiles.
Architect and collector Lisa S. Roberts new book DesignPOP (Rizzoli 2014) surveys the best furniture and accessories (so far) of the 21st century. In between the bold photographs of these iconic contemporary pieces, Roberts discusses new materials and processes, as well as how sustainability and social responsibility, influence designers’ paths. She points out that even the definition of designer is changing as disciplines merge. For example, products from companies like Apple and Dyson often exemplify considered cutting edge design.
As I flipped through the colorful pages of DesignPOP, I was struck by how many of the items I’ve come across in my life, and even own. While I covet high end design, I don’t have the funds for splurging on it. However, Roberts mixes the practically unattainable with practical everyday products
For example, she puts forth the Soft Urn designed by Hella Jongerius, which appears to be a traditional pottery vase, but is instead made of silicone. I discovered silicone urns a number of years ago (I think mine are by Menu though), and love them because if the kids knock them over, they won’t break.
I’ve bet you seen the Bobble, even if you don’t realize it. Bobble is an ergonomically-shaped, thin plastic water bottle with built in filter, designed by Karim Rashid. I have one for each of my kids to keep by their bedsides; I purchased them at Target. I’ve never changed the filters… should probably get on that.
Other designers highlighted include Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid, Marc Newson, Marcel Wanders, Yves Behar, Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, Philippe Starck, Ross Lovegrove, and Jasper Morrison.
I sent Roberts a few questions to answer about her findings and favorites from DesignPop, answered below, complete with products featured in the book.
Were most of these products familiar to you before starting the research? Any new finds? I knew many since I follow the industry very closely. But during my research I discovered the Flip Flop Vase by Diederick Schneemann, the Chubby Chair by Dirk Vander Kooij, the Lytro Light Field Camera by New Deal Design, and the Nest Thermostat by Tony Fadell.
Flip Flop Vase by Diederick Schneemann
Made from recycled flip flops washed up on Kenyan beaches .
Chubby Chair by Dirk Vander Kooij
Made from 3D printed recycled refrigerator plastic, with their waste made into clothes hangers.
Nest Thermostat by Tony Fadell
$249 at Amazon We purchased one of these, drawn in by both the design and “smart” functionality. Unfortunately we couldn’t get it to work with our HVAC system, but not for lack of trying. This 2.0 version may be easier to implement. They have a great help line.
Your picks all come out of the 21st century. What are some products designed before 2000 that may have been included if you expanded the time frame? There were a lot of game-changing designs before 2000. There’s the Vermelha Chair by Humberto and Fernando Campana, the Wiggle Chair by Frank Gehry, and the Bookworm by Ron Arad.
Vermelha Chair by Humberto and Fernando Campana $12,821 at Switch Modern The upholstery is completely made of intertwined cotton ropes.
Wiggle Chair by Frank Gehry
$1,140 at AllModern Designed back in 1972 and made from cardboard.
Bookworm by Ron Arad
$408 at Lumens I’ve always been intrigued this piece in the MoMA catalog. It’s flexible and can be made into any shape.
Which brand new products would make the list if you did a follow up? The Carbon Balloon Chair by Marcel Wanders. It’s made of carbon fiber and resin, weighs about one and a half pounds, and can hold up to 198 pounds. Also the Polygon Chair by Joris Laarman, which combines advanced technology with hand assembly. It’s comprised of mathematically designed CNC milled pieces that are assembled like a puzzle, by hand.
Carbon Balloon Chair by Marcel Wanders
An ultra light carbon fiber chair inspired by balloons.
Do you own any of the products featured in the book? I own many of the products in the book. Some are on display in my personal gallery and some I live with. I love the Collapsible Strainer by Boje Estermann because it takes up so little space in my drawer. The Peacock Chair by Dror Benshetrit sits in my foyer and is as attractive as it is comfortable. The Fred Humidifier by Matti Walker comes out whenever someone in the family has a cold. I also have two Midsummer Lights by Tord Boontje that hang over the conference table in my home office.
Collapsible Strainer by Boje Estermann
$60 at Lumens Last year I bought a collapsible silicone salad spinner at T.J.Maxx for our little condo in Florida. It is one of the best gadgets you can buy, because really, who has room for a salad spinner. Ditto for a full-size colander.
Peacock Chair by Dror Benshetrit Two-and-a-half years ago I interviewed Dror Benshetrit at his studio in NYC for Design Milk. He had one of these chairs there and I was instantly smitten. It’s felt and very visually satisfying. The full interview is here, and you can see some extra tidbits and photographs here.
I bought two Midsummer Light shades, one in citron and one in violet, many years ago, thinking I might use them in the guest rooms on the Cape. I didn’t, but I still have them. I know one day I’ll find the right spot. They’re magical.
Which are your favorites?
The iPhone because I can’t live without it and the Bank in the Form of A Pig by Harry Allen because it always makes me smile. I love my Rainbow Chair by Patrick Norguet because it captures light in the most amazing way, casting a rainbow shadow on the floor. Also, of all the designs I own, it has increased the most in value since I purchased it!
Bank in the Form of A Pig by Harry Allen
$200 at Nordstrom This design, which is now done in shiny turquoise, pink, gold and other colors, was modeled on an actual suckling pig that had died of natural causes, cast it in resin. $10 of every pig bank sale goes to the Humane Society.
Indeed, Deniot’s interiors are like treasure chests, layers of neutrals that are truly unboring, at times even mesmerizing. Deniot mixes texture without resorting to sisal and patterns without hint of an ikat. Oversize statement artwork, from landscapes to off-color portraits, to the simplest abstracts mix with period light fixtures and furniture, along with custom wallpaper and rugs. While some of the rooms are definitely “decorated,” they mostly remain wholly welcoming.
You may have seen this glam kitchen on Pinterest, or the old-fashioned way, in Architectural Digest. This is Jean-Louis Deniot’s own apartment, on rue de Lille in Paris. The cabinetry is clad in hammered silver, the countertops, backsplash, and floor are marble, and the brass light fixture is by Stilnovo. Note the pair of 1970s Ettore Sottsass gray ceramic candlesticks in the corner.
The custom wallpaper in Deniot’s dining room has the look of quartzite; I love how the naturalistic stripes works with the similarly organic shapes in the Nepalese rug. Chairs from the 1950s by Jacques Adnet chairs surround a 1940s dining table by Roger Thibier, over which hangs an antique chandelier from the 1840s. The drawing is by Konstantin Kakanias and the sconce by Willy Daro.
This 2,600-square-foot apartment is home to an influential art collector in Paris. The statement photograph really fools you (or at least me) into believing there’s a view. The photograph Paradise 25 is by Thomas Struth. I like how this space feels quite spare, more so than many of Deniot’s rooms.
In the same apartment, the photograph Le Lait Miraculeux de la Vierge is by Bettina Rheims. The carpet is David Hicks, and the baubles hanging from the ceiling are part of a sculpture, Les Amants Suspendusby Jean-Michel Othoniel. I adore the irreverent photo and playful chair in an otherwise tailored room.
This is the master bedroom in a three-bedroom apartment by the Seine, owned by Londoners. A pair of 1950 black lacquered birch wood nightstands by Heywood-Wakefield flank a custom made upholstered headboard in a textural fabric, its nubbiness a contrast to the custom hand-sewn bed cover in baby alpaca. The gilded metal bedside lights from Jean Pierre Orinel are from the 1970s, with black lampshades by Anne Sokolsky and the black resin chandelier (which reminds me of a molecule model) is by Pouenat. A decorative painter gave the walls a faux parchment effect and Deniot designed the custom-made hammered brass fireplace. Off to the side, is an on-trend 1950s brass articulated lamp from Stilnovo; its white lampshade is metal. Love those doors. I want them to be gray lacquer, but I supposed they may be frosted glass.
This is actually part of Deniot’s office, a 3,700-square-foot workspace in an 18th century stone building in an arts and antiques neighborhood. I could easily be happy with this as my living room. Alas, it’s Deniot’s client sitting room. The coffee table is by Ado Chale, and the contemporary candlesticks are by Hervé Van der Straeten. Two vintage armchairs are in the style of Royère and the agate topped gold side table is by Hiquily. The rug is mohair and silk from Solstys. If it were my living room, I’d sub out the artwork for an oversize contemporary photograph, probably with some green it.
Taking a detour from Paris, this room is part of a five-thousand-square-foot, four-bedroom apartment overlooking a lake near Chicago owned by two lawyers. I suppose the blue velvet sofa and more accessible painting might mark it more American, though overall the place is tres grande.
The constant stream of books into my home may be the best perk of being a blogger. While I’ve been aiming to pare down my possessions, I still revel in the glossy pages of beautifully photographed rooms. It helps that I have a rather grand set of built in bookshelves in my living room, which looks best when full. Then of course there’s the console table behind the sofa that needs a stack, and the coffee table (a Heywood-Wakefield with a top that turns, inherited from my husband’s grandparents). A couple of these don’t squarely fall in the design category, and I don’t actually own every one, but I did browse and love them all.
Beverly Hills-based interior designer (fashion designer, “Top Design” judge, trendsetter, cool chick) Kelly Wearstlerhas a new book—Kelly Wearstler: Rhapsody (Rizzoli New York, 2012). The glossy, glamour-filled book, her fourth, will be released next Tuesday, October 23rd. It profiles Wearstler’s latest residential designs (previously unpublished) and her sumptuous new hotels, as well as her creative process. I have a copy already and I’m thoroughly enjoying the photographs, though I wish there was more information to accompany them.
Kelly Wearstler “Tastemaker Tag Sale” launches today.
R H A P S O D Y
Inspiration trays:A library of all the elements in a given room. Each piece is loose and free-gloating to accommodate changes during the course of a project.
Artful hand-painted wall covering in a guest bedroom.
“I wanted to create something very free-form and alluring in this space. The organic sweep of the staircase juxtaposed against the graphic features of the grand stair vestibule manifests a kind of sexual tension.”
Wearstler aimed to mirror the movement of the rug pattern with the black and white photography hung on the wall, in a varying frame and matte sizes. Fuchsia alligator chairs are the focal point.
A punk-inspired girl’s bathroom.
A boy’s bathroom in black and white stone.
Bold hand-painted silk wall covering in a private receiving room.
Art deco-inspired ski carpet and espresso-brown 1960s Italian leather chairs.
“If there is one thing I know, it is that the color of a room has a profound impact on the mood and energy of its inhabitants.”