Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Veere Grennay Collection

I have to admit that I have recently been a little obsessed with the work of London designer, Veere Grenney who was a former director for Colefax and Fowler before starting his own design office. I love how he has taken traditional English design and freshened it up, making it feel more modern. So while recently visiting the Schumacher showroom I was delighted to see that they are carrying his  collection of printed linens and wallpapers. All of the fabrics are printed on some of the finest linen I have ever felt, which would be perfect for curtains, upholstery and walls. The color palette consists of  my favorite pale pastels and warm neutrals and charming patterns ranging from small geometrics and checks to simplified damask and floral patterns. I will definitely be incorporating these beautiful fabrics into one of my future projects. 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Arresting Interiors

The sober neoclassical facade of the police headquarters in Copenhagen provide little hints to the Art Deco splendor within. The Politigaard was begun in 1920 and completed in 1924. The initial architect was Hack Kampmann, who subsequently died before the laying of the foundation stones. The original design had been altered several times during construction, most notably from the architect, Aage Rafn, who was greatly influenced by the architecture of Classical antiquity and the Renaissance. Throughout the building, stripped Neoclassicism meets Art Deco with repetitions of many decorative art motifs, including the shell, the star, octagons, hexagons and the swastika. 

The entrance to one of the conference rooms with green and cream marble pilasters and surmounted by an impressive and highly stylized scallop shell. The fretwork patterned terrazzo floors are interrupted by thumbprint forms. 

Views of the internal courtyard with paired Doric columns evokes Charles V's palace in the Alhambra. 

Palace of Charles V - Alhambra de Granada

Photo from Wikipedia

A simple and elegantly detailed circular staircase illuminated by a round oculus skylight. The top of the stairs terminate gracefully with a half circle detail with stringers lined in marble. 

A coffered, barrel vaulted ceiling in one of the endless corridors in the Politigaard building. The octagonal forms of the coffering is one of the many motifs used throughout. 

The main square courtyard based on an ancient impluvium with an open ceiling, which is open to the sky and allows rainwater to drain through the center basin. A 4 meter high statue of a naked man, titled, Snake Killer, by Einar Utzon-Frank gives one a sense of the monumentality of the Doric columns. During World War II the Nazi's took over the Politigaard, while sending some 2000 Danish officers to the concentration camps. Because of the motifs used throughout, most obviously the swastika, the Nazi's fortunately refrained from damaging the building and its interiors. The only relic from their occupation is a small swastika incised into the tip of the statues genitalia. 

Swastika patterned fretwork adorns another curving staircase. The white of the fretwork creates a striking contrast to the green plastered walls. 

The octagonal motif is used again for the coffered ceiling in the conference room. A pair of Poul Henningsen chandeliers hang over the massive conference table. 

All photos from James Mortimer/ World of Interiors- January 2010

Friday, February 6, 2015

My Kind of Minimal

Among my pantheon of favorite designers, the work of Orlando Diaz-Azcuy, is near the top of my list. Ive enjoyed following the venerable design firms prolific work over the years, which has evolved from a more classical style to one that is more contemporary. Yet a love and respect for classicism is still rooted in all of their work. For his own New York apartment, Azcuy embraced the modernist shell of the apartment, while creating his own unique architectural foundation and framework for his collection of streamlined furniture and accessories. The apartment throughout is filled with beautiful compositions, which are one of the many hallmarks of Azcuy's projects. By designing a simplified, yet luxurious and exquisitely detailed backdrop it allows the sculptural qualities of the furniture and accessories to shine. Its my kind of minimal where warmth, comfort and luxury are not sacrificed for the spareness and austerity of the architecture. 

Beautifully crafted cabinets inspired by Adolf Loos add a graphic statement to the room, while  creating the perfect backdrop for displaying an assortment of sculptural accessories, including the Josef Hoffman serpentine coupes

A marble coffee table by Gae Alenti anchors the Living Room

The ottoman with the carved lion paw feet are a nod to Orlando Diaz Azcuy's classical roots. A curved lacquered desk perfectly occupies a corner of the Living Room. 

Concrete walls create a textural contrast from the white and perfectly smooth walls. 

A perfect composition

Rolling upholstered screens provide a faceted like architectural element to the Master Bedroom while providing privacy when needed

Photography- Melanie Acevedo for Veranda

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Bold Stripes

I had mixed impressions about Raf Simon's Spring-Summer 2015 Haute Couture Collection. Call me a classicist and a lover of true couture especially when it features extraordinary embroidery work, which the collection did have in small amounts. However, the plastic raincoats and mod, halluciniagenic patterned body suits didn't quite cut it for me when it comes to beautiful couture. But I tend to be a traditionalist though overall I was intrigued and inspired by the collections modernity and innovativeness. However, the striped dresses really stood out for me. They were the perfect marriage of taking modernist patterns and colors and mixing them with timeless and pretty silhouettes. And the knee and thigh high boots added another unexpected edge. I have always loved stripes and the boldness of these brought to mind a few of my favorite modernist painters such as Kenneth Noland, Wyeth Alexander, Richard Diebenkorn and Josef Albers. Raf Simons is truly brilliant though. He is taking fashion into a new era while respecting and celebrating Haute Couture and simply beautiful clothes. His debut collection for Dior was extraordinary and had me gasping! See here. 

Kenneth Noland

Kenneth Noland

Wyeth Alexander

Richard Diebenkorn

Richard Diebenkorn

Wyeth Alexander

Kenneth Noland

Josef Albers