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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

classic design: Biedermeier Revisited
























































In a world in which, vintage is sought after and "reuse" is the key word of the day. Timeless design is a phrase that is reinterpreted for our time. Simplicity and elegance seem to be on the rebound. A turn to the traditional, like comfort food. it seems to be on the rise. Making quality choices in design instead of the trendy is a more frugal way to spend your money on interior design.

Biedermeier with its simple lines and honest construction was a reaction in it time against the heavily ornate furniture of it day. It's use of beech wood and veneered woods made it affordable. Timeless in it's appeal. it is a style of furniture that can be translated into the clean lines homes of today. For those of you that seek a link to the past but looking toward the future. Beidermier might hold the key to the perfect timeless for your home. With many antiques they can be expensive. However The are fine reproduction furniture companies which build these exquisite pieces such as http://www.williamswitzercollection.com/. They have been building furniture for over 50 years. Many of the original pieces are in the personal collection of the owner of the company.

Biedermeier was an influential style of furniture design from Germany during the years 1815-1848, based on utilitarian principles. The period extended later in Scandinavia as disruptions due to numerous states that made up the German nation were not unified by rule from Berlin until 1871. These post-Biedermeier struggles influenced by historicism created their own styles. Throughout the period emphasis was kept on clean lines and minimal ornamentality; as the period progressed, however, the style moved from the early rebellion against Romantic-era fussiness to increasingly flourished commissions by a rising middle class eager to show their newfound wealth. The idea of clean lines and utilitarian postures would resurface in the twentieth century, continuing to the present day. Middle- to late-Biedermeier work in furniture design represents the a heralding towards historicism and revival eras long sought for. Social forces originating in France would change the artisan-patron system that achieved this period of design, first in the Germanic states and then into Scandinavia. Of course the middle class growth originated in the English industrial revolution and many Biedermeier designs owe their simplicity to Georgian lines of the 1800s, as the proliferation of design publications reached the loose Germanic states and the Austro-Hungarian empire.
The Biedermeier style was a simplified interpretation of the influential French Empire Style of Napoleon I. He introduced the romance of ancient Roman Empire styles, adapting these to modern early 19th century households. Biedermeier furniture grew out of the French Empire Period, but used locally available materials such as cherry, ash and oak woods rather than the expensive timbers such as fully imported mahogany. Whilst this timber was available near trading ports such as Antwerp, Hamburg and Stockholm, it was taxed heavily every time it passed through another principality. This made mahogany very expensive to use and much local cherry and pearwood was stained to imitate the more expensive timbers. Stylistically, the furniture was simple and elegant. Its construction utilised the ideal of truth through material, something that later influenced the Bauhaus and Art Deco periods.

take care,

John

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Unexpected Beauty

















Today while in one of my last chemotherapy sessions I reflected on the phone call I received that a friend of mine had lost a dear friend to death. I was saddened by the news. I let my friend know that I had a good listening ear and was there for him.
The designs of nature always seem to have a calming effect on me. The details and simplicity often are taken for granted. it fills me with its beauty and inspires my mind. To be alone in nature can be refreshing. It brings my heart, mind and soul in balance.
As Interior designers we surround our lives with beauty and infuse it into the lives of our clients. The thought of bringing a smile to someone can bring joy to your heart. Your talents have creatively inspired someone to live with beauty. The compassion for design sees the beauty in all. I hope that the unexpected beauty in nature will inspire you.
During times like this there is no right or wrong way to acknowledge what happened. It is just important to be there for others.
This is for you BP.
Please take care,
John

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

bathroom, before and after

Before



The completed demolition of early 20th century Tudor Style bathroom.



After



Close up of tile work hand cut to perfection.

Completed bathroom. Early 20th century bathroom gets a full remodel.

Close up of hand printed silk damask London shade in bathroom.



Take care,
John


Saturday, March 14, 2009

leslie anton








Ceramic artist and designer Lesley Anton gets her inspiration from many sources; the natural world, architecture, the human form, and machinery. Her lighting designs are a surprising and intriguing addition to any interior.
Anton’s bold, sculptural forms and lovely textural surfaces make a strong statement, yet they do not overpower. She tempers their exaggerated scale and silhouettes with quiet color palettes, in hues stolen from nature: snow, sky, mud, sand, algae. The high-fired clay finishes are made idiosyncratic with eucalyptus pods, lotus root slices, and other organic elements impressed into the clay that, she explains, “mess up” and sensualize what might otherwise be another hard-edged modern object.
Anton’s design approach might be termed “organic modern,” reaching back to the 1950’s, with a nod as well to Japanese minimalism. Her aesthetic plays on the serendipitous character of the high firing process where the beauty of the finished product is its intentional imperfection.























I am finding myself intrigued by handcrafted items. The use of texture and the inspiration from nature I find very desirable. They would warm up any interior. I can see them mixed in a room with soft chenilles,linens,and wool sheers that is overlooking the foggy ocean. Or adding a touch of whimsy in a dramatic city condominium.
If you would like to view more of Lesley's ceramic's go to http://www.lesleyanton.com/

Have a great weekend,
John






Friday, March 13, 2009

Bedrooms







Bedroom projects that I have completed.
Looking forward to a good night's sleep.
take care,
John





Thursday, March 12, 2009

OMG! moss on line

I was looking at New York Spaces yesterday at the same place I spend every Wednesday. If you read my blogs then I don't need to get into detail where I was. Side note: I only have two more left then I am done. I am so EXCITED about being finished. During the next few hours I read some articles then I saw an ad for http://www.mossonline.com/ The decanter below is worth drinking wine. I don't want to promote drinking, but this enameled glass decanter is so Beautiful.
Of course they also sell fornasetti dinnerware, furniture, lighting etc. it is my new place to shop.









Themes and Variations wall plate No. 294MOSS EXCLUSIVE designer:Piero Fornasetti design year:1954manufacturer:Fornasetti, Italy materials:Printed porcelain notes:Piero Fornasetti's graphic art often re-worked a single idea over and over again, allowing his imagination run free to develop new concepts. The most famous of these ideas - the Themes and Variations, illustrated variations on the image of an enigmatic, almost Mona Lisa-like face of a woman. The woman was Lina Cavalieri, whose face Fornasetti found while glancing through a 19th Century French magazine. Originally four plates were designed by Piero Fornasetti - the plate series now has 350 variations.This variation is exclusive to Moss.dimensions:10.25" diameter price:$245.00



Crepax Valentina nel Metro cabinet (tall) designer:Giuseppe Canevesedesign year:2006manufacturer:Ennezero, Italy materials:graphics printed on white polished MDF, sealed with lacquertop and back in black lacquered MDF lacquered aluminum feet notes:The pieces shown here feature the artwork of graphic artist Guido Crepax (1933-2003), who was hugely influential in the development of European comic art in the second half of the 20th century. His most famous storyline, featuring the character, 'Valentina', was created in 1965. This series was very much in the spirit of the 60s, incorporating eroticism, and psychedelic, and dream-like storylines. In Crepax's work, many references are made to the works of 20th century 'Avant-Garde' artists, such as René Magritte, Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray, Piet Mondrian, Roy Lichtenstein, and Andy Warhol.dimensions:19" x 19.5"height 65.3" price:$5,500.00





designer:Josef Hoffmann design year:1912manufacturer:Lobmeyr, Austria materials:clear, mouth-blown crystal with hand-painted enamel decoration notes:This technique, in which a crystal surface is decorated in a brownish-black enamel, is called "Bronzitdekor" and was developed by Hugo Max a short time previous to the design of Series B. Designs using this technique were Hoffmann's first for Lobmeyr.dimensions:height: 8.5" price:$1,395.00




Have fun shopping at mossonline. I will!!!!
take care,
John

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

inspiration

































Some rooms by David Hicks, flowers, gardens, art deco buildings are things of beauty. All are great and make a powerful statement. Today, I feel empowered by the lecture that Eric Cohler had given to some designers in Portland yesterday. It is important to find your direction in design.

After you decide that you are going to work with a designer on your home or just a room in your house, It is important to gather information ,usually through pictures that communicate what you want. How you want to feel in your newly decorated space. You need to conceive an idea, believe in the process and to achieve the final goal as the vision that you had for your room. You should have fun with this and be happy when it is complete.

Start dreaming, write down your vision. Communicate with your designer. Run with the idea to reach it highest,most excellent potential. Your vision of your space will be achieved.


It is time to let your rooms become alive with your dreams.


take care,
John