Every month for ‘At The Newsstand’ I scour as many interior design and lifestyle magazines as possible looking for inspiring interiors with one standout piece, or even an overlooked item that may be out of fashion, but which still commands my attention. They say a chair is a chair, but some are iconic, and derive their elegance from the technology which spawned them, or are so steeped in historical reference that they are both classic and timeless.
There are two such examples in this post, along with sliding barn doors, crystal chandeliers and whimsical shell-encrusted mirrors. Nothing is spared my scrutiny to find new resources – many less obvious – for your perusal.
As I endeavor to empower your design process with August’s finds, please remember that I am here to help with the search for new and inspiring resources, and with that said, may we begin.
In this month’s House & Garden UK I was attracted to a timeless interior which is galvanized by classics, both ancient and modern. In it the magazine’s design editor Gabby Deeming mixes dynamic textures, colors, and the Klismos chair in a strikingly casual, yet refined decorating solution.
The modern-day klismos pictured is available through British interior designer Virginia White. My next option for a sleek modern version is via Bliss Home and Design. The final consideration takes this iconic chair and spins a fresh and unusual interpretation. The Santorini chair by Dragonette in Beverly Hills couldn’t be any more Hollywood Regency.
In the most current Australian Vogue Living I fell in love with the refined aesthetic of Christopher Becker, an antique dealer in Sydney, Australia. My appreciation of natural form and its complexity drew me in to admire the superb homage to rocaille decoration, the shell-encrusted mirror.
These are not easy to find, especially ones of fine quality. If you cannot find the perfect antique or vintage piece, then I recommend Christa’s South Seashells in West Palm Beach, Florida. Here you can purchase charming, made to order shell mirrors which are exquisite. (Note: their website doesn’t do them any justice – I recommend making a visit when you’re in Florida to see them in person.) Next is a company called Rococo Shells, who make very well crafted mirrors and offer customization – which is something you will appreciate. Sea & Shell is my third option for ordering a custom-made mirror frame that is just right for your project and budget.
Historic homes always fascinate and inspire me. The current issue of Elle Decor features a look into one of the most splendid Irish estates, Russborough House, where I call your attention to a spectacular Georgian chandelier hanging in a stairwell surrounded by high Baroque stucco decoration.
Back in the day when we favored such lavish adornments as antique chandeliers, we had a number of resources for both period and new versions. There are still suppliers of exquisitely crafted reproduction lighting selling to the trade. Nesle, Inc. (though they left their venerable showroom on East 57 Street in Manhattan a number of years ago) is still in business. On the same level of quality is Marvin Alexander, Inc. who is still producing quality period style lighting for the discerning client. Another of my all time favorites, Baguès, has been manufacturing superlative lighting fixtures for what seems like forever (in fact the company was founded in 1840.)
It’s always enjoyable to travel to far off locales by reading a magazine. Casa Grazia takes you there in this issue, and you can see how a designer’s aesthetics fare in places like Brasil. There is an innate way designer Thiago Bernardes brings together the tropical surroundings, and a sense of calm sleekness in this home in the mountains. It’s the epitome of unpretentiousness, with a softness portrayed in the furnishings. I see the bentwood chair as the prime example of how he struck the balance.
There is a totally off-the-charts version in bamboo by Dutch designers Tejo Remy and René Veenhuizen. It’s a chair that is both sculpture, and useable furniture. Korean designer Dohoon Kim offers an elegant and lyrical version which appears to be so delicate, yet I am sure is sturdy enough. And for the traditionalist (that would be me) you can find the classic designs at Grand Rapids Chair Company.
The Connecticut Cottages & Gardens special issue offers a number of noteworthy projects. I have chosen the Greenwich, Connecticut home of art dealer Josephine Schlank, who contracted architect/designer Farnaz Mansuri to collaborate with her on her home.
Always a big fan of sliding doors, I am happy to encourage their use and offer a variety of suppliers from which to procure either sleek or traditional barn style designs. Real Sliding Hardware offers a broad selection from which to choose from, and their photo gallery is helpful. The next is Rustica Hardware with some very interesting options. And finally Barn Door Hardware brings it home with their versatility and selection.
As always, I enjoy bringing you new and inspiring resources, with which you can make your work unique and rewarding.
Thank you for reading.
Written by Carl Lana