Home Can be Hipper the Second Time Around
By: Rose Bennett Gilbert
Q: We are second-time young marrieds and want to start fresh when decorating our new house — no carryovers from either “starter marriage” (I had Early American, while his was Bauhaus modern). What’s new and fun? Can you show something to get us thinking?
A: I could show you 100 fresh, fun “somethings,” thanks to Michael Lassell, author of a new book showcasing 100 projects that he calls “the last word on modern interiors.” That may be a bit of a pun: The “word” comes from the pages of the Metropolitan Home magazine, which has now ceased publication.
The magazine’s loss is a book-lover’s gain. Titled “Design 100” (Filipacchi Publishing), the book offers an insider tour of modern interiors by top designers all across the county. And there’s nary a cliche in its 240 pages.
The pictured eccentric living room is the love child of Jonathan Adler, the potter-turned-contemporary designer of furniture and furnishings that smack of 1950s but take on a new life of their own, thanks to Adler’s wonderfully wacky way of looking at things. This is the sitting room of a New York City penthouse, but its unconventional attitude could translate almost anywhere.
Takeaways include the black-and-white color scheme (revved up with jolts of turquoise and screaming pink); the interesting interplay of textures (slick, dark wood floor against shag — yes, shag — rug); and dramatic scale of the furnishings (towering lamps on dainty nesting tables).
This is hardly your erstwhile Early American or run-of-the-Bauhaus modern! Author Lassell calls it “playfully glamorous.” “There’s no other place remotely like it,” Lassell concludes.
Q: What’s coming down the fashion furniture runway?
A: Brilliant colors! Surprising reprises on classic styles. Good looks at value prices.
That’s the message we filtered from the thousands of new offerings on display at the fall Furniture Market in High Point, N.C. Literally “the world’s home for home furnishings,” as goes their motto, the market spills through dozens of buildings and thousands of showrooms, attracting buyers from around the globe who will be bringing the new items to a store near you next spring.
Here’s the first installment of our report on what you can expect:
— Brilliant colors! Are you ready for Lilly Pulitzer’s Palm Beach prints in your living room and bedroom? Bright enough to keep you awake but totally charming, her famously over-the-top pink-green-orange posies were a welcome wake-up call in contrast to the rather gloomy gray color stories seen in other showrooms. As one astonished editor declared: “This is global warming!”
— On a new mission? The shapes are familiar and much-beloved at Stickley, the manufacturer that continued the tradition launched by old Gustav Stickley at the turn of the 20th century. But instead of the dark or fumed mission oak we know, the company has launched a new, light finish called “Sanibel.” A bisque color with a slightly distressed finish, it makes the old Stickley style look new and beach-house fresh.
— Price is right. From Century Furniture, that bastion of haute taste and haute-ier prices, comes good news for connoisseurs on a budget. It’s called “Chelsea Club,” a collection of furniture classics that look to-the-country-club-born (think Ralph Lauren Home), but the products have fewer zeros behind the numbers on the price tags. That’s because they are being made in Asia, but “every piece is warranted by the Century name,” according to a Century executive. Yet another bright spot in the gloomy economy.
Rose Bennett Gilbert is the co-author of “Manhattan Style” and six other books on interior design. To find out more about Rose Bennett Gilbert and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Website at creators.com.
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