Category Archives: Interior Design

Form & Function: The Decoration Of The Cylindrical “Bolster Pillow”

Cushions Of Distinction:  The Bolster Pillow

Cushions Of Distinction: The Bolster Pillow

The “Bolster Pillow”. Cylindrical cushioned style of comfort within the interior. The key to a “Bolster Pillow’s function is its name: to “Bolster” or support the user. Described as “A long, narrow pillow or cushion filled with cotton, down or fibre” that is usually “Firm for back or arm support or for decorative application”, this “Armrest to support your arm” while perched on a couch or settee is distinctive in its form. The decoration of the “Bolster Pillow” certainly supports an enduring appeal. Often this pillow of cyndrical form is referred to as “tube, neck or neck roll pillows”. Variations and evolutions within function, for certain. There is no standard size for this pillow of support and distinction yet the cushion that is round and long beckons our attention with its form and function. Found at the edge of sofas or daybeds or prominently on display within the assortment of pillows that may adorn a bed, the “Bolster Pillow” adds a distinct appeal to the setting with which it rests. A pillow or a prop? For certain, function and display are united together

The word “Bolster” is from the Middle English and from Old English’s “Belg Bag” from the 12th century. The history of these pillows that accessorize a room with their unique cylindrical shapes? “Bolster Pillows” are stated to have originated in the South and Southeast Asian countries (in particular Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia, Malyasia, Signapore, Bangladesh and Thailand). Designed to be “Hugged” when sleeping, this pillow of cylindrical form holds various references including the “Hugging Pillow” which was also designed to be used for back support. In addition, these “Bolsters” were also used by the Chinese ( called a “Dakimakura” ) as end cushions for sleeping platforms. Of additional interest, in Japan it is referred to as “Jukbuin”. The tradition that follows is that the “Bolster Pillow”, hollow and formed out of bamboo, would be given by a wife to her husband when he traveled far from home to comfort him and keep him refreshingly cool during sleep due to air circulation within the bamboo form. “Juk” stands for “bamboo” and “Puin” stands for “wife”. Hence, the name “Bamboo wife” would result. Who knew? But alas, it is not a “Bolster Pillow” made of bamboo that I refer to. The form and the addition of luxurious fabrics that layered solid forms of cotton or down feathers is the “Bolster Pillow” that dwells within our interior spaces that gains my attention.

Function & Form:  The Decoration Of The Bolster Pillow

Function & Form: The Decoration Of The Bolster Pillow

Long & Narrow Style:   The Bolster Pillow

Long & Narrow Style: The Bolster Pillow

The Bolster Pillow:  Firm & Stylish Support

The Bolster Pillow: Firm & Stylish Support

Cushions Of Support:  The Bolster Pillow

Cushions Of Support: The Bolster Pillow

Long & Narrow Cushions:  The Appeal Of The Bolster Pillow

Long & Narrow Cushions: The Appeal Of The Bolster Pillow

Consider the classic form of the “Bolster Pillow”. Comfort and visual interest united. Form and function. A decorative throw pillow? Perhaps, yet one with a distinctive visual in decoration paired with support. Comfort with versatile application. Whether custom cushions with limitless options for fabrics, colors and patterns or basic decorative accents available at-the-ready, consider the inviting appeal and comfort added with “Bolster Pillows”. Whether a “Bolster” sewn into a solid stitched form or a versatile pillow complete with zipper or hook and loop enclosure allowing for further versatility with changing display, the distinctive addition of its shape simultaneously compliments other fabrics and shapes within a room. Form and function with the cylindrical decoration of the “Bolster Pillow”, indeed…

Kristin

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Vintage Interior Appeal: The Classic Warmth Of The Architectural “Radiator”

Architectural Details Of Function Within The Interior:  The Radiator

Architectural Details Of Function Within The Interior: The Radiator

The vintage radiator. Distinctive architectural representations of the past. The appeal and charm of the vintage radiator endures to provide interest and architectural details within an interior. Ornate or simple, the appreciation of the “mighty” radiator is a worthwhile focus…

The radiator is not an element of function to be hidden or disguised from view. Rather, I believe is an iconic element of form and function. The radiator clearly denotes history of a structure. Timeless. Craftsmanship in details of an object of function. Heat. Beyond the benefit of quickly drying snow laden gloves and scarves or humidifying the dry air of Winter within the interior with pans of water resting on top, the architectural statement of the radiator is certainly an asset to our visual spaces. Whether layers of old paint coat their vintage surfaces or layered with a gilded sheen and luster, the appeal of the radiator goes far beyond the warmth that it generates.

Radiators are termed as “Heat exchangers used to transfer thermal energy from one medium to another for the purpose of cooling and heating”. Of note, the adjustable valves of these steam systems are at the far end of the radiators and allow pressure to build creating additional needed heat. Mechanicals of scientific wonder. Of additional interest, there are two types of radiators: Single-Pipe and Double-Pipe. The single-pipe radiators work with steam while the double-pipe radiators work with steam or hot water. Alas, it is the double-pipe radiator that is the most sought after type of vintage radiator. Sought after is the key. Adding architectural charm paired with function, for certain.

And of the radiator in the interior? Alas, a source of heat to the environment it dwells within. The vintage cast iron radiators that iconically stand within vintage structures were installed for the intent and purpose of generating heat and favored for their ability to gently and evenly heat a room. Of course, credit the craftsmen of the Victorian era (who supported that seeming mantra that everything can be beautiful), scrollwork and floral motifs would be embossed to the cast iron forms. The era when utilitarian fixtures featured not only craftsmanship but great design. High style design of fine craftsmanship. Details. Life is all in the details. Alas, why shouldn’t even the basic parts of life be beautiful?

My appreciation of these glorious elements of the past began years ago within my first studio apartment in the city of Chicago. Beyond the crackling sounds from the heat traveling through its pipes, the vintage form lured me. The radiator that provided me warmth represented history. The 1910 studio I dwelled within was provided with comfort and sounds that so many before me had experienced. Perhaps, beyond warming our interiors, radiators warm our hearts with their appealing design and historical presence. Out of season, radiators enduringly hold a purpose of architectural interest.

Vintage Details Of Form & Function:  The Radiator

Vintage Details Of Form & Function: The Radiator

Vintage Architectural Embellishments Of Form & Function:  The Grand Radiator

Vintage Architectural Embellishments Of Form & Function: The Grand Radiator

High-Design & Craftsmanship Of Details:  The Vintage  Radiator

High-Design & Craftsmanship Of Details: The Vintage Radiator

Shapes Of Visual Interest & Warmth:  The Radiator

Shapes Of Visual Interest & Warmth: The Radiator

The Appeal Of History & Design:  The Radiator

The Appeal Of History & Design: The Radiator

Ornate Style With Warmth:  The Vintage Radiator

Ornate Style With Warmth: The Vintage Radiator

Warmth Of Historical Charm:  The Vintage Radiator

Warmth Of Historical Charm: The Vintage Radiator

Architectural Jewels Of Decorative Delight:  Vintage Radiators

Architectural Jewels Of Decorative Delight: Vintage Radiators

Whether painted in gilded gold or coated with layer upon layer of standard white paint applied over the years, embrace these architectural features of seasonal function that offer year-round appeal. A conversation piece? Perhaps. A bold statement of history in form and function. For those fortunate enough to have this element of history deliver you much needed warmth, look closer at the cast iron emblem of the past that dwells with purpose within your interiors. With renewed appreciation. Classic warmth. Vintage appeal with function, indeed…

Kristin

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A Year Of Interior Color Inspirations

Interior Color Inspirations:  January/Striking Black & White,  February/Hues Of Pink, March/Brilliant Green,  April/Dramatic Blue

Interior Color Inspirations: January/Striking Black & White, February/Hues Of Pink, March/Brilliant Green, April/Dramatic Blue

Interior Color Inspirations:  May/Warm Yellow, June/Refreshing Coral, July/Statement Red,  August/Tranquil Turquoise

Interior Color Inspirations: May/Warm Yellow, June/Refreshing Coral, July/Statement Red, August/Tranquil Turquoise

Interior Color Inspirations:  September/Subtle Beige,  October/Painted Black,  November/Muted Gray, December/Crisp White

Interior Color Inspirations: September/Subtle Beige, October/Painted Black, November/Muted Gray, December/Crisp White

“A year in color”. A visual journey of color inspirations…

Color is defined as “That aspect of things that is caused by differing qualities of the light reflected or emitted by them, definable in terms of the observer or of the light.” For certain, the world of color is an inspiration of possibilities within our interiors. Choices of tone, mood and statement. An appreciation of hues of color drenching the interior, coating the walls or saturating our spaces is worthy of our focus. Whether you live within the wonder of bold and distinctive hues or muted shades of appealing allure, the choice is certainly yours. Choosing to fill your spaces with colors that bring joy to you and define you and your personal sense of style is paramount. Whether white or vivid and bold red, the choice is personal. Yet an appreciation of all colors is also paramount…

Enjoy the visual reflection of a year of “color” coating interior spaces. And if you desire to linger further, month by month, for more visuals and words of description of these coated hues? Peruse the category “Interior Color Inspirations”. Inspiration may follow…

Cheers to “color” within your interior!

Kristin


“Nature always wears the colors of the spirit”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Colors, like features, follow the changes of the emotions”
-Pablo Picasso

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Textural Luxury: The Embellishment Of “Fur” Within The Interior

Winter Appeal:  Layering Of "Fur" Within The Interior

Winter Appeal: Layering Of “Fur” Within The Interior

The embellishment with “Fur”. Whether real fur or a luxurious “Faux” fur blanket or pillows, the layering of warmth and texture of these soft and supple accessories add visual delight. The richness and textural interest not only add Winter appeal but drama to our interior spaces. Subtle elements that beckon us to nestle within the embrace of warm layers. The addition of these plush elements of style and warmth provides a welcoming lure of the warmth required within our interior spaces during the Winter season. Distinctive layers, indeed…

This iconic accessory of warmth has a history that is said to travel back to the beginning of time. Thought to be among the first garment of bodily decoration, it has been worn throughout history. The Intuit peoples of the Arctic relied on fur almost exclusively for warmth from the elements. The fur trade (the worldwide buying and selling of fur), is said to have been one of the driving forces of exploration in North America and the Russian Far East. Traditional to Russsian, Scandinavian and even Japanese clothing, the history of fur continues onward. In fact, during the first half of the century, in the affluent West, fur has had a tremendous presence. Due to its superior warmth and durability, it is no wonder that the world of interior design would embrace its layer of insulation for its own purposes. A layering of style and glamour with warmth would unite, indeed.

Sumptuous Interior Style:  "Fur" Within The Interior

Sumptuous Interior Style: “Fur” Within The Interior

Soft & Supple Elegance: Layered With "Fur"

Soft & Supple Elegance: Layered With “Fur”

Draped In Distinction:  The Textural Warmth & Appeal Of "Fur" Within The Interior

Draped In Distinction: The Textural Warmth & Appeal Of “Fur” Within The Interior

Fur p 4

Warmth & Texture With Lightweight Appeal

Warmth & Texture With Lightweight Appeal

Richness & Plush Textural Appeal With "Fur" Embellishment Within The Interior

Richness & Plush Textural Appeal With “Fur” Embellishment Within The Interior

Consider the luxury of “Fur” to layer your interior in warmth and textural appeal. Whether draped on a sofa or accent chair or layered on a bed, the luxury of these rich and grand layers of visual and textural delight earn a place of seasonal distinction within our interiors. Textural Luxury with the embellishment of “Fur”, indeed…

Kristin

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Interior Color Inspirations: Classic & Crisp “Winter” White

The Classic Crispness Of White Interiors

The Classic Crispness Of White Interiors

Brilliant white. The shade of Winter that holds seasonless appeal. The color of pure snow on snow capped mountains, white is the color of light and the opposite of its counterpart, black. The classic combination of black and white prevails in enduring style. Yet Modern appeal and elegance certainly results with the injections of any color against the blank canvas of white. The potential to inject seasonal or accent colors always brings an added striking appeal to a space clad in white. Distinction against white, for certain…

Of historical interest, the Icelandic word for white is “Hvitur”, derived from the Old Norse form of the word “Hvitr”. Common Germanic used the word “Blankaz”, meaning “White, bright and blinding”. Like the blinding snowfall on a Wintry day. The Germanic term is said to have been borrowed from the Late Latin term “Blancus”, which meant simply “White”. A clean and pure color. “White as snow”. Perhaps the color represents a visual “Whiteout” within your surrounds. Of additional interest, within Europe and the United States, the color white is said to be associated with not only with perfection, positivity, brilliance, illumination, faith, purity, neutrality and lightness but exactitude. Exactitude. There is an intent when we envelope our spaces in white. A bold, dramatic intent exists within interiors layered in white, for certain…

With layerings from brilliant white and parchment white to cream, the many subtleties of white delight with texture and crisp, refreshing style. Cool, calm and serene yet powerful. Perhaps the beauty of the color white is its versatile range that pairs beautifully with varied styles of interior design. White visually expands a space and emphasizes natural light, showcasing the elements and the furniture in the space that it fills. White provides a backdrop to display one’s personality and style with a color scheme that does not compete but offers a stunning background for distinctive furniture, artwork or other elements that one wishes to command attention. Within the walls of white and rooms filled with objects that meld into the backdrop, tone on tone, the elements of bold style and distinction stand out. Patterns and textures also create depth and interest against a snowy white backdrop. Versatile all year round, awaiting our seasonal injections of interest and allowing focal points to change. Versatile stying, indeed…

Classic Simplicity: Interiors Blanketed In White

Classic Simplicity: Interiors Blanketed In White

Interior Distinction:  White Interiors

Interior Distinction: White Interiors

Muted Palettes: Variations Of White Interiors

Muted Palettes: Variations Of White Interiors

Layers Of White Variations Within The Interior

Layers Of White Variations Within The Interior

White Delights:  Interiors Coated In White

White Delights: Interiors Coated In White

White Interiors:  Neutral Elegance Of Simplicty

White Interiors: Neutral Elegance Of Simplicty

Consider white. An all-white palette perhaps adds a Wintry spin to our spaces. The elegance of this stark, crisp and yet serene color can provide a clear and deliberate focus for our spaces. Ethereal elegance. Classic, sharp and clean. Blanket your spaces and gain fresh clarity with the pure color of white. Whether you view the white interior as coated in a fresh “blanket of white” or a cool retreat and haven within Summer’s heat, the bold layering of a white interior provides a pure and sharp contrast of style. Pure white style, like fresh snow. Classic and crisp “Winter White”, indeed….

Kristin

“…Winter is the snow with black silhouettes…” -Vincent Van Gogh

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The “Parsons Chair”: A “Slipper Chair” Of Timeless Appeal

Streamlined & Timeless Style:  The Parsons Chair

Streamlined & Timeless Style: The Parsons Chair

The “Parsons Chair”. Streamlined versatility of function and comfort. A classic chair of timeless design, the upholstered or slipcovered chair is typically crafted of hardwoods and features a slightly curving, squared backrest and legs. A visually solid chair iconically embellished in fabric. The Parsons Chair provides simplicity with distinctive style. Perhaps, to deepen one’s appreciation for this unique and timeless design, an appreciation of its past is in order…

The “Parsons Chair” was created in Paris in the 1930’s by the Parsons School of Design. Of interest, what is known as the Parsons school was begun as the Chase School in 1896 by renowned American Impressionist painter William Merritt Chase (1849-1916). Chase founded the New York school and led a small group of students who withdrew from the Art Students League of New York in search of individualistic expression. The Chase School and the icons of early American Modernism perhaps is what brought to the school in 1904 the vision of Arts educator Frank Alvah Parsons. In 1921, with a vision of art and design’s link to industry, Parson would initiate a satellite school in Paris, France. This satellite school is said to have been the first art and design school founded abroad by an American school. Who knew? In 1941, the school would be named in his honor. Parsons would soon become the sole director of the New York School of Fine and Applied Art and continue to provide vision for the future. A vision that would continue to inspire the world of art and design, indeed…

Frank Alvah Parsons  (1866-1901)

Frank Alvah Parsons (1866-1901)

And of this chair of simplistic and linear design from the 1930’s? The Parsons School designers are said have streamlined “excess ornamentation” and the historical influences that reflected the periods of Arts & Crafts (1880-1910), Art Nouveau (1890-1905) and of course, the era that the 1930’s was layered within: the Art Deco period (1910-1940). The styles that dominated furniture designs of the time would certainly inspire the design of this enduringly modern, yet timeless chair. Function and comfort were also a focus in addition to the classic and modern influences resulting in a chair of distinction. Said to present “Classic Modernists traits of natural, simplistic and linear design” the enduring traits follow this stylish object of purpose and function within the interior, for certain. Of note, the original Parsons design is said to have been upholstered in leather. Again, who knew?

The  1930's "Parsons Chair" /Parsons School of Design

The 1930’s “Parsons Chair” /Parsons School of Design

However the chair is covered over its linear form, the chair itself was historically considered to be a transitional piece of furniture. Of additional interest, the Parsons Chair was first designed as a part of a matched set of furnishings. Designed for use in a dining table suite with 4 chairs and a table, both were intended to reflect a similar aesthetic. The linear and simple design of both provided a contrast to the heavier dining furniture of the early 20th century that tended to visually dominate a room. The light and airy appeal of the sleek variation to interior style provided a versatile and functional appeal. The Parsons Table and Parsons Chair were created as companion pieces yet perhaps due to the simplicity and versatility of both has led them to be incorporated separately into many interior styles. Parting ways within the interior, the adaptable style certainly provides a striking appeal in any setting. Certainly, an evolution in design. Both, perhaps, integrate historical influences while presenting a modern edge that still stand the test of time today. The table, like the chair, holds a simple elegance that endures. (Alas, perhaps the iconic Parsons Table is another topic to dwell upon…)

The Classic Parsons Table

The Classic Parsons Table

Upholstered Slipcover Of Classic Style:  The Parsons Chair

Upholstered Slipcover Of Classic Style: The Parsons Chair

Classic Influences Of Adaptable Style:  The Parsons Chair

Classic Influences Of Adaptable Style: The Parsons Chair

Transitional Simplicity Of Enduring Design:  The Parsons Chair

Transitional Simplicity Of Enduring Design: The Parsons Chair

Consider the versatility and timeless appeal of the Parsons Chair. Choices and stylistic preferences abound, for certain. Incorporated into the interior, this stylish chair blends in any setting while standing out in distinctive style. Although there are variations of this classic chair that are absent of the adornment of fabric, perhaps it is the classic beauty of this chair is the fabric that swathes its upholstered form. Although there is an almost regal elegance when covered in upholstered or slipcovered fabric, there are certainly variations that retain no layering in upholstered style but rather the linear form itself. Options absent of the adornment of fabric yet options of great design. For certain, the design has evolved. But what remains consistent is the elegant simplicity of design. Enduring style. Whether wrapped in leather, tailored coverings of slipcovered style or even smaller and shorter designed chairs with or without armrests, the classic “Parsons Chair” holds a timeless appeal that endures, indeed….

Kristin

“Industry is the nation’s life, art is the quality of beauty in expression, and industrial art is the cornerstone of our national art” – Frank Alvah Parsons, 1920

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Sconces: Wall Mounted Lighting Of Distinctive Style

Wall Mounted Style:  Sconces

Wall Mounted Style: Sconces

Wall-Mounted ambiance. A “Sconce” is defined as “a type of light fixture affixed to a wall in such a way that it uses only the wall for support and the light is usually directed upwards”. Lighting without a base on the ground that provides an inviting glow that cascades onto the wall itself and the surrounds within the interior. Visual interest paired with function. “Sconces” are also defined as “a bracket candlestick or group of candlesticks or an electric light fixture patterned on a candle sconce”. A decorative wall bracket for holding candles or lights of distinctive style…

The first known use of the word “Sconce” was during the 15th century. Of note, the Dutch word “Schans” was taken from the German word “Schanze”. The word “Sconce” is taken from Middle English, or Old French “Esconse” which referred to “Screened candle or lantern” and from “Escunser” (to hide/obscure). Derived from the Medieval Latin word “scnsa” taken from Latin Absconsus. Further, “Abscnsa” and “Abscondere” (To hide away) and “Condere” (to preserve). What has been preserved is the timelessness that wall mounted sconce lighting has offered throughout the history of interior design. A lantern, perhaps, but one that is not hidden but distinctively on display as a key aspect of designing within the interior. Distinction, for certain.

Of additional interest, sconces are considered one of the earliest forms of lighting fixtures. First appearing in classical antiquity, the evolution from candles to wall mounted lighting of electrical illumination would result. Of course, along with evolution of a practical, useful element into a more decorative form of design, carvers and gilders would design sconces that were influenced by the style of the rooms they would embellish. Whether it was the gilded and elaborate Rococo or more classical shapes of form, the sconces that would decorate walls with function and style endure as timeless elements of interior design

Classic & Timeless Wall Mounted "Sconce" Lighting

Classic & Timeless Wall Mounted “Sconce” Lighting

“Sconces” provide not only lighting and ambiance to a space, but can become focal points that can flank fireplaces, mirrors and artwork or define an area in ‘stand-alone’ style. A visual frame for the eyes to rest upon. Sconces certainly provide a visually warm, inviting atmosphere to an interior. Lighting up a darker area of a room or adding additional lighting to a well-lit space, the illumination and addition of the wall sconce is striking in any setting. Whether used as accent lighting or as the main source of illuminating light within an interior, the visual appeal of the sconce earns focus as an object of decoration within our spaces. Whether a sconce that holds candles to illuminate and provide added ambiance within a room or a shaded sconce of electrical glow, sconces add an element of radiating interest, indeed…

Reflections Of Light:  The Appeal of  Sconces

Reflections Of Light: The Appeal of Sconces

Stylish Embellishments Of Glowing Style:  Sconces

Stylish Embellishments Of Glowing Style: Sconces

Stylish Additions:  Wall Sconces

Stylish Additions: Wall Sconces

Accent Lighting:  The Wall Sconce

Accent Lighting: The Wall Sconce

Reflected Light Of Style:  Sconces

Reflected Light Of Style: Sconces

Sconces:  Statements Of Distinction Within The Interior

Sconces: Statements Of Distinction Within The Interior

Defining Spaces:  The Distinction Of  Lighting  With Sconces

Defining Spaces: The Distinction Of Lighting With Sconces

Consider the sconce to add another radiant dimension to your interior spaces. The shadowing from its warm glow and layer of luminous light not only adds definition to a space, but provides a focal point within an interior. The diverse choices provide a personal statement of distinction within the interior of reflected light. A wonderful reflection of light that brings a room aglow with visual interest. Wall-mounted lighting of distinctive style, indeed…

Kristin


“For me, it is about the silhouette. It is equally beautiful from every angle”- Interior Designer, Brian McCarthy
, on “Sconces”

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Interior Color Inspirations: The Muted Appeal Of Shades Of Gray

Blends Of Gray:  The Classic Palette Of Gray

Blends Of Gray: The Classic Palette Of Gray

Shades of gray. A transition between the two colors of black and white, the striking statement of gray seems to envelope our interior spaces. The monochrome, neutral color of “gray” (or “grey”) is perfection in a blend of black and white. Grayscale. As the deeper tones are considered dramatic and mysterious, the lighter tones seem to illuminate with silvery appeal. And of the sophistication and balance that the rich, pewter gray walls and embellishments of gray offer within our interiors? Certainly worthy of a visual appreciation. Perhaps a modern backdrop of restful ambiance, the neutral palette of gray colors provide an unassuming appeal. Understated elegance, in tones of gray, indeed.

Of interest, the first recorded use of the word “Grey” or “Gray” in the English language as a color name was in 700 AD. The traditional spelling of the word “Gray” is “Grey”, which is the British, Canadian, Australian, Irish, New Zealand and South African spelling. However, “Gray” is said to also have been common in the UK until the second half of the 20th century. “Grey” is the accepted variant in American English, but the common and perhaps preferred spelling is “Gray” since its introduction to American English around 1825. That said, having learned as a child to spell the color as “Gray”, it is indeed the spelling I chose. No matter the spelling, the color hue of gray is one of delight…

Gray Waters:  The Atlantic Ocean

Gray Waters: The Atlantic Ocean

A sea of gray. Perhaps, for me, it is the personal calm of visual recollections from youth of the gray cast that the bodies of water of the Long Island Sound and the Atlantic Ocean take on upon Winter’s arrival. Having appreciated the changing color tones since youth, these beautiful waters of gray envelope my memories. Soothing recollections. Although the color gray is said to be an unemotional color that is not only neutral but ‘detached’, I disagree with the concept of gray as detached when layered within the realm of the interior. Saturated spaces with beautiful blends of gray are a visual delight that is restful. Interiors wrapped in tones of gray bliss. The beauty that is found in the color gray is certainly a comfortable ‘melding’ of splendid style. Luxurious, like cashmere. An interior saturated and swathed in tones of the soothing, calming and muted gray hues provide enduring visual appeal…

A Muted Palette Of Distinction:  Gray Interiors

A Muted Palette Of Distinction: Gray Interiors

Shades Of Gray: Neutral Bliss

Shades Of Gray: Neutral Bliss

Subdued Elegance:  The Gray Palette Within The Interior

Subdued Elegance: The Gray Palette Within The Interior

Unassuming Shades Of Gray:  Style & Elegance

Unassuming Shades Of Gray: Style & Elegance

Gray Delight:  Understated Sophistication

Gray Delight: Understated Sophistication

Consider the color gray to imbue your spaces with elegance. A subdued hue of distinctive and recognizable style. Whether a beautiful backdrop against a vivid color or an interior draped completely in gray, the sophistication of the color gray is timeless. Distinguished and classic elegance is found within the diverse hues of gray. Muted palettes with classic appeal, indeed…

Kristin

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Rings & Swirls of Wooden Style: Burl Wood In The Interior

Unique Pattern Within The Interior: Burl Wood

Unique Pattern Within The Interior: Burl Wood

Burl wood. Known for its extraordinary and unique style, the beauty of this highly desired wood endures to enthrall us with layered objects within the interior. The warmth and visual interest that the swirling patterns and rings of distinction that burl wood presents when found in the interior continually delights us with classic and timeless appeal. Unique and exotic, “one-of-a-kind”, grained objects rich in texture and visual interest. Burl wood certainly lends a luxuriousness to even basic furniture design. Unusual patterns of distinction.

A “Burl” (in American English), “Bur” or “Burr” (referencing “Burl” in other countries) is commonly found in the form of a “rounded outgrowth”, filled with small knots, on a tree trunk. Of interest, burl wood is the result of a fast growing, abnormal growth found on a tree that has typically experienced environmental stress or damage. Who knew? The infection grows on the root or trunk of a tree in an oval lump shape or twisted knots. When opened, the beauty of nature’s design is revealed. Once the tree is cut, thin veneer slices (“leaves”) are carved from the burl wood. “Leaves” of style, indeed. Of course, it is said that the beauty and preference of a cut of this striking wood is within the eye of the beholder. Artistry. A wood that has been prized by artists for centuries to create furniture, sculptures and other decorative items, the stylistic patterns of unique and natural design endure in its appeal.

Burl Wood:  Nature's Wonder Of Distinction

Burl Wood: Nature’s Wonder Of Distinction

Of further interest, the number of trees that produce burl wood is considerably low, causing a high demand for the swirling effect of nature. Of additional interest, often, a tree that has developed burl wood can still be healthy and continue to thrive. Who knew that trees can actually develop burl wood shoots that are so heavy that the weight leads to the tree’s early demise? Once the tree holds no more life, the shoots are reviewed to reveal the pattern inside. Often, a single shoot can produce several different pieces for artists to work with. The skill of the artisan’s eye is required, indeed. Burl wood veneer is prized for the tightness of the swirl and consistency of the color. What is referred to as “Figuring” (burl clusters), the artisan’s goal is to select the pattern that reveals the stunning and interesting ringed pattern of nature’s artistry. And of the decoration of burl wood in veneer layerings covering classic pieces of furniture? Enduring decoration of “wooden” appeal.

Unusual Patterns That Swirl With Interest & Distinction

Unusual Patterns That Swirl With Interest & Distinction

The "Warmth" Of Wood Paired with Unique Shapes & Ring Patterns:  Burl Wood

The “Warmth” Of Wood Paired with Unique Shapes & Ring Patterns: Burl Wood

The Beauty Of Wood:  Burl Wood Within The Interiors

The Beauty Of Wood: Burl Wood Within The Interiors

Consider nature’s wonder of burl wood within the interior. A rare and beautiful pattern designed by nature, burl wood is linked to “Unarguably the best designer and inspiration for all of us”nature. Certainly, an appreciation for the woody warmth and visual interest of the swirling patterns of distinctive style are worthy of gracing our interiors. Beauty from nature’s force. Striking style of cause and effect with a warm appeal within our interiors. Certainly there are decorative objects of burled beauty that also deserve focus, yet it is the veneer of beauty and distinction that embellishes key elements of furniture design that fill our spaces that my attention swirls upon. Rings and swirls of distinction, indeed…

Kristin

“We can only shape the burl and treat it, so that it lasts a life time…One can be sure of the exclusivity of burl furniture as nature never repeats its design.” -Unknown/artisan

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Ebony Distinction Of Interior Style: Wedgwood’s Classic Black “Jasperware”

Designs Of Antiquity:  Wedgwood's Black Jasperware

Designs Of Antiquity: Wedgwood’s Black Jasperware

British pottery of bold distinction. Jasperware. Also known as “Wedgwood Jasper”, Wedgwood’s Black Jasperware was developed by Josiah Wedgwood (1730-1795) during the 1770’s. Known as the “Father of English Potters”, the pottery innovations of royal acclaim by Josiah Wedgwood still hold to past success in the present. Timeless pieces that endure in classical style and history. Described as an unglazed stoneware, it is also referred to as a type of porcelain. Noted for its matte finish, Jasperware is produced in a number of different colors. Originally, Jasperware was stained either blue, green, yellow, lilac or black. Who knew? Although the best known color is the pale blue known as “Wedgwood Blue”, it is the bold and unexpected impact of the black Jasperware that lures me. Named after the mineral “Jasper” (a colored, opaque quartz), the Wedgwood motifs that would embellish the vessels and decorative objects are detailed applications of “Bas Relief” design. These distinctive designs were influenced by the ancient cultures that experienced a renaissance “through study and discovery during the expansion of the British Empire”. The motifs are said to have been taken directly from ancient Roman, Greek and Egyptian mythologies. The British demand for replicas of ancient artifacts and representations of royalty, nobles and statesmen were met in silhouettes distinctively embellished in white, circling objects of Neoclassical shape of significance.

Of interest, Josiah Wedgwood was the 12th child of potter Thomas Wedgwood. A family history of potters linked back to Josiah’s Great Grandfather. A family trade of craftsmanship and artistry, for certain. Said to be an innovator, it was Josiah that developed “Queen’s Ware” (a cream colored, lead-glazed earthenware). Presenting a tea service with this new material of flint and white clay to Queen Charlotte (King George III), the delighted Queen permitted the name “Queen’s Ware” to be used in reference to this new pottery. Josiah would thus pronounce himself as “Potter to the Queen” following this success that spread the name of “Wedgwood” throughout Europe. British expansion, indeed.

Of note, in 1768, Wedgwood had introduced a different type of fine grained stoneware called “Black Basalt”. (Alas, I adore the depth of this solid pottery as well). Produced from copies of Etruscan pottery that had been excavated in Italy, this lustrous and smooth stoneware with a purple and black sheen produced an intense demand within the world of decoration for the interior. Developed from a reddish brown clay that burned black during firing, the bold and matte statement of black basalt stoneware endures as a statement of decorative style. Yet it is Jasperware that has been given the credit as the most important invention in the history of ceramics since the birth of porcelain. It is said that it took Wedgwood years of experimentation to perfect his design for the unglazed stoneware of durable and delicate form. Experimental success in the creation of timeless pieces of iconic style.

Beyond the objects in stoneware, the motifs of Jasperware were also set into jewelry as well as embellishing architectural features, such as fireplace mantles, mouldings and furnishings. Widespread style of stylistic display of historical and classical distinction, for certain. Enduring style that celebrates ancient history and classical shapes that endure. In fact, Jasperware itself has seemed to have become synonymous with Wedgwood. Success of distinction, indeed.

Josiah Wedgwood:  (1730-1795) Innovator Of Enduring  Style

Josiah Wedgwood: (1730-1795) Innovator Of Enduring Style

Bold Impact Within The Interior:  Black Jasperware

Bold Impact Within The Interior: Black Jasperware

Wedgwood's Black Jasperware:  Bold Statements Of Classical Antiquity

Wedgwood’s Black Jasperware: Bold Statements Of Classical Antiquity

Of course, I must give credit to most of the striking interior images presented with the contrast of black and white Jasperware. I must mention the interior design skills and incredible sense of style of iconic lifestyle expert Eddie Ross. Photographs from interior designer Celerie Kemble’s striking book “Black And White” have included the images presented here of black Jasperware within the interior and previous residence of Eddie Ross and Jaithan Kochar . I have had the pleasure of meeting the delightful Eddie and Jaithan in November of 2011. In fact, I have rightly given acknowledgement to both in a past post A Duo of Inspiration. Considering Eddie’s mastery of quality, design and style, it is no wonder that the images that I would find to best relay the distinction of Wedgwood’s black Jasperware within the interior would be from Eddie’s stylish perspective and flair. Style follows great taste.

Consider the bold and dramatic addition to your interiors with Wedgwood’s black Jasperware. Striking impact of classical distinction of antiquity. As one of my personal favorite color combinations, the addition of historical influences embellished upon these classic shapes continue to mesmerize. The timeless adornment within our interiors will endure in luring us to appreciate its beauty. Ebony distinction of interior style, indeed…

Kristin

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