Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Day Reading

Just wanted to share with you my new very favorite book, Moderne: Fashioning the French Interior, by Sarah Schleuning. If you love pattern, interior design, the roaring twenties, and/or France, I promise you won't be sad if you buy Moderne. It contains a collection of over 200 plates drawn by famous interior designers in France during the 1920's. Before color photography, their renderings still capture luxurious textures, deep jewel tones and mixes of pattern that seem so fresh and new to me. I can't get over some of them. They are just too good!

I first saw Moderne at Paul Smith in Paris in 2009. A few weeks ago, I was hunting down this picture that I took there, because it is going to be the inspiration for my very first commissioned painting I'm getting for my new apartment. Doesn't that sound so adult of me? It isn't actually, because a more responsible adult would actually save their money :) But, I get a kick out of saying "commissioned" because I'm not the type of person that would ever use that word with any seriousness and yet, I guess, that is sort of what I am doing. A very talented artist friend of mine actually generously agreed to help me add some color to my place in the form of huge roses. Inspired by Moderne, I think I shall call this having a painting "fashioned." Now that sounds tres chic. Anyway, I've been dreaming about this accent wall ever since I saw it and figured if I've loved it for two years, I'll surely love it for a lifetime. That's the hope. Because it is going to be, well, very noticeable in both size (huge) and color (bright pink)...

Back to the book. So, as I was hunting for that roses photo, I stumbled across this quick snapshot I'd taken of Moderne and was reminded that myself two years ago really wanted to buy it. I couldn't remember why, but myself two years later thought I'd probably had a good idea back then, so shouldn't wait any longer...

Moderne arrived last week, and this morning was just the right time to laze in bed and crack it open. WOOOAH. This image made me giddy. The colors, the shapes - it is a pattern perfection. And, this was only the first plate. From there till the last page it just didn't stop.

Hello gorgeous red screen! What is that beautiful rug/blanket hanging over the balcony, and why don't I live in a two story apartment (palace) with a balcony so I can do that too? Also, this feels a little pre-color blocking, color blocking, no? I dig it all. I'm really wishing I could go Midnight in Paris on this place and have a visit with whoever used to live here. No doubt they'd serve delightful cocktails as we discussed important things like cinema and jazz.

Don't these wallpaper designs feel completely current? Or maybe it is just that contemporary design has been revisiting the past more and more lately? Or maybe they are in reproduction and that is why they seem so familiar? Birds and gold fish are two things that I will always love to see in decor no matter how trendy they may or may not be. Seeing them from the 1920s like this reinforces just how timeless they really are.

Ummmmm, this room is to die for. Please note big rosy rug. More proof that large pink roses are classic, right? Or at least that is how I am interpreting this picture due to the impending painting situation. The floral pouf here is, for lack of a better word, amazing. What I love about seeing rooms like this that are drawn rather than photographed is that so much is still left to the imagination and open for individual interpretation and inspiration. For example, what is that pouf made out of - wool, tapestry, linen? Is the wall covered in paper or fabric? Is the green chair velvet or leather? Who's to say? They can be whatever we want them to be!

I don't know who's invited me or what is being served, but, yes please, I will be at this dinner party in a heartbeat. Does anything beat mixing graphic black and white with bright color and bold pattern? Didn't think so.

That light fixture is insane. Look, even the children seem to have fainted from its greatness. They could also be in awe, like me, of the rug/wallpaper combo. That is how you fashion a room up right!

I would almost never opt for browns over grays, and I don't love purple all that much. But, I would happily eat, work and sleep in this cozy nook until I was forcibly removed.

Finally, I don't even have the words for how fantastic this space is. I know I'm biased, but isn't it ALL about the wallpaper sometimes? :) You just can't go wrong with it. Happy reading!

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