The City Apartment…Smaller Spaces With Maximized Style

Small Spaces: Interior Style

The city apartment. For those of us that have or currently dwell in apartments above a city…this collection of images is for you and for those whose aim is to take to the heights with a less-is-more approach to possessions. For me, perhaps reminiscing about one’s early days in the city is a worthwhile recollection.  Memories of growth and independence, for certain. Without a doubt, one’s first city apartment surely holds memories of being “young, optimistic and resilient”.  Perhaps when one looks back it is with an awareness that happiness was and is certainly not equated with the size of one’s space.  Rather, personal style knows no limit by square footage. Personal style can truly begin from the humble first apartments that sit high above and amidst the city surrounds. At least, this was true for me.  City havens that find our personality, that inspire our creativity and our inventive spirit to call the four walls we dwell within our personal perfection. The city apartment. High in style within a city and world that surrounds that is constantly moving.

Perhaps there is no other interior space that requires a “Less is more” approach (courtesy of architect Mies van der Rohe) to what surrounds than in the four walls of a city apartment. Of note, Mies van der Rohe adopted the motto “Less is more” to describe his “aesthetic of arranging necessary components of a building to create an impression of extreme simplicity. Every element and detail is to serve multiple visual and functional purposes”.  Oh, so true when we look to our interiors. Large or small. Especially within the square footage of a city space. Perhaps it can also be said that filling such a space aligns itself as “the art of things chosen well rather than often”.  Surrounding oneself with the things that have meaning and purpose and that are part of who we are today. Quality vs. quantity, indeed. Alas, less is more.

“Good style is good editing” – Thomas Jayne

Whether a small studio or a spacious, multi-room apartment with heightened ceilings, personal style pairs with purpose and function, scale and proportion. Each room presenting a clearly defined purpose with careful attention to space planning and arrangement of the furnishings that gain our permission to fill the space.  For some, it is minimalism. For others it is filling a space with curated belongings collected through the years. Of course, editing is key in order to allow a space to feel more spacious while giving significance to the items that remain. Significance, the key word. It is said that the best rooms have a refinement of taste and that simplicity is the essence of style.  Designer and novelist Edith Wharton (1862-1937) once said that “The supreme excellence is simplicity”.  Oh, indeed. That said, the key to any interior is making the space you have work for you. Tailored to suit your lifestyle. Designing each room for maximum use while incorporating elements that reflect your personal interests and style within the space you reside within.   Style & taste cannot be defined by the size of a room. Square footage does not matter.  We only have the space we have…cheers to living with what is truly important, in stylish and refined form…

Collected images to inspire.  May you find inspiration and appreciation for the city apartment. City love and city style, onward…

Small Spaces: City living Love
City Style Within The Interior
City Spaces Of Interior Style
Style & The City Apartment
Interior Style: Apartment Living
Simple Delights: City Living
Personal Style Inside City Walls
Style In The City
City Apartments: Four Walls Of Style
City Apartment Style
Stylish Spaces: City Bound
City Love: Interior Style With Smaller Spaces
City Style: Within 4 Walls Of A City Apartment
High On Style: The City Apartment
Personalized Spaces High Above City Streets
City Style
Living Above A City: The City Apartment

Interior Delights Of Personalized City Spaces
Striking Spaces: City Style


“A gem of a house may not be its size at all, but its lines are honest and its painting and window curtains in good taste”- Emily Post

Consider with appreciation the city apartment and the stylish spaces that do not require much square footage but simply personal style.  Again, Style & taste cannot be defined by the size of a room.   So to those that adore the city and the life within it, bravo to creating refined style in smaller spaces.  Style cannot be limited by size.  Onward in that…with style.

Onward,

Kristin

My 1st City Apartment: A Chicago Studio/ 1994

“My space is small. My life is big”.

Reflections….a personal visual homage to my first city apartment.   A small studio off Lake Shore Drive in a vintage 3-story apartment building.  A homage with a few excerpts of my written words while living in that space:

“It’s morning. The traffic of horns awoke me. The overcast Chicago sky provides enough daylight so that even the details of the tall ceiling with its double edged rim of white crown molding speak of the history, charm and simplicity of this studio of mine. The wood floor surrounding me shines with a golden glow. When my eyes focus on the walls before me and around me, I see the basic designs; the simple display of the pieces the comprise my life, as yet.  A table holding a few silver photo frames. A lounge chair that makes a statement all its own. A bed that becomes a day bed by day.  A pair of silver candlesticks on the mantle and candles below awaiting a match to alight the beauty of the marble hearth before them. Oh, the outlined form and subdued details of the fireplace in relief forms of dancing cupids outlining it in elegance.  The wirework basket holding black and white matted photographs of architecture taken from behind my lens.  The bathroom with its stemmed porcelain basin of white,  tub and mirrored cabinets. Towels of pure white. The marble window ledge covered with silver bowls filled with lipstick and flanked by bottles of fragrance. Each part of this studio so close to my heart. The kitchen and its black and white checked floor with a wrought iron bistro table. The large window with a view of Lake Michigan and the traffic of Lake Shore Drive.  The expansive window ledge where the coffee bodum awaits my morning brew.  A simple black and white picture of New York City dotting the wall. Simplicity.  Filled with all essential pieces to me. Basic and indispensible. Representing and defining who I am; who I have become. The closet, lined with cotton broadcloth and denim shirts and black blazers in a neat row. Stacks of sweaters, denim jeans and v-neck white tees on the shelf.  A stack of books atop the built-in 3 chest drawer filled with essentials. The simple silver pull chain cord above for the closet light.  The door. The mirror behind apartment 3G. What will I remember about this studio apartment of mine? It will always live on in spirit.  None will be like this. A chapter in my life…”   -Kristin Abrahamsen, Chicago 1994

Personal Details: The city Window/My Bathroom /1994
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The Striking & Enduring Appeal Of Harwood Floors

Hardwood Floors:  Distinctive Interiors With Wood Appeal
Hardwood Floors: Distinctive Interiors With Wood Appeal

Hardwood flooring. Perhaps there is no other interior flooring that not only imbues floors with color and luster but also adds character, warmth and a spacious, visual appeal. Considered one of the most desired and treasured part of a homes décor, hardwood flooring seems to evoke interior richness with a timeless, classic appeal. If wood floors last a lifetime and gain character with age, for certain the newer hardwood flooring options of distressed and hand-scraped hardwoods also will also offer an appealing timeworn appearance.

Hardwoods can vary from blond to black, depending on the type of wood and the finish. Of course, hardwoods also vary in durability, grain patterns and color. The most common hardwoods for solid wood floors are red oak, white oak and maple. Preferred for their hardness and durability, oak, maple, and cherry are among the most common. However, exotic woods such as mahogany and Brazilian cherry are prized for their distinctive striking appearance over durability. Personal design choices, indeed. Of course then there is the style of the wood flooring. Narrow strips (that seem to create the illusion of space), wide boards (which can impart a rustic appeal) and the distinctive, geometric design of parquet floors (which are often found embellishing more formal interiors). All present different effects within an interior. Choices. For those of use fortunate enough to have original hardwood, with its timeworn appeal, we can merely relish its beauty and appeal within our own personal spaces. In  a visual  appreciation of hardwood flooring within the interior world, a compilation of collected images awaits…

Glistening Hardwood Flooring: Interior Delights
Glistening Hardwood Flooring: Interior Delights
Enhancing A Home: Hardwood Flooring
Enhancing A Home: Hardwood Flooring
Warmth & Character:  Hardwood Flooring
Warmth & Character: Hardwood Flooring
Glossy Finish & Hardwood Floors
Glossy Finish & Hardwood Floors
Hardwood Flooring Appeal
Hardwood Flooring Appeal
Hardwood Flooring Delights:  Interior Spaces
Hardwood Flooring Delights: Interior Spaces
Wood Flooring Finishes Within The Interior
Wood Flooring Finishes Within The Interior
Hardwood Distinction Within The Interior
Hardwood Distinction Within The Interior
Beautiful Interest Within The Interior:  Hardwood Floors
Beautiful Interest Within The Interior: Hardwood Floors
Glossy And Visually Spacious:  Hardwood Flooring
Glossy And Visually Spacious: Hardwood Flooring
Light Wood Appeal:  Hardwood Floors
Light Wood Appeal: Hardwood Floors
Hardwood Floors & Interior Design
Hardwood Floors & Interior Design
hardwood-floors-p-12
Interior Appeal With Hardwood Flooring
Timeless Flooring:   Hardwood
Timeless Flooring: Hardwood
Personalized Space:  Atop A Vintage Wood Floor
Personalized Space: Atop A Vintage Wood Floor

Consider the beauty of wood flooring. Distinctive and timeless, the natural wood flooring surface will live on in the world of interior design. My personal love affair with wood floors has endured over time and will surely remain my coveted flooring of choice. For those that prefer the underlaying of carpeting, beauty can also be found in quality fibers underfoot. Yet for me it is the glossy and natural appeal of hardwood flooring that seems to present the perfect backdrop, along with the painted walls within an interior, which sets and presents the decoration of a space and personal display at its best. Onward in appreciation of hardwood floors within the interior. Whether old or new, wood endures with timeless distinction…

Onward,

Kristin

“Like the walls of a room, the floor is a background: It should not furnish the pattern, but set off whatever is placed upon it” – Edith Wharton

Studded Style: Classic Nailhead Trim In Interior Design

Interior Appeal:  Studded Embellishments Of Nailhead Trim
Interior Appeal: Studded Embellishments Of Nailhead Trim

Nailhead trim. A timeless added detail and enduring element of furniture design that spans interior design. Dating back to the period of 1560-1643 with the arrival of what it referred to as French Country furniture era during the reign of Louis XIII in 17th Century France, nailhead trim on furnishings endures to appeal. Beyond a visual appreciation of the studded design of the nailhead and its embellishment to classically styled furniture, a nod to the past will certainly only broaden historical appreciation for a classic element that remains a constant in interior design today.

Historically, the use of decorative nailheads served as not just decorative form but in function in furniture making.  Beyond a mere decorative trim, nailheads were used to hide areas where the upholstery was tacked into the wood frame of the furniture object.  Who knew? Form and function. Nailheads would thus aid in holding the upholstery in place attractively.  Decorative concealment in craftsmanship, indeed.  Since the 15th and 16th centuries trims such as gimp (braided trim) would be used by the upholsterer in conjunction with decorative nailheads traditionally made of brass or copper. 17th century France used nailhead trim on the ornately carved wooden seating with period upholstery coverings such as brocade, velvet, tapestries and leather. A studded pattern of design that has never faded from the world of interior design…

France's  Os de Mouton chair:  Marked the Introduction Of Nailhead Trim
France’s Os de Mouton chair

The French  Os de Mouton chair is the most well known design from the 17th century. The French word “Mouton” refers to sheep.  Thus the shape of the chair legs suggests that they resemble the legs of a lamb.  It is interesting to note that the arrival of this chair marked the beginning of upholstered backs and seats using nail head trim.

Beyond the French link to this hidden design of form and function in craftsmanship, designing with nailhead was favored with old Dutch, Spanish and English furnishings. During the 1800’s famed English furniture designer William Morris and the American designers Stickley Brothers during the 1900’s would also favor this medieval-style nailhead trimming with leather and Baroque tapestry. Designs from the past always inspire design through the decades. As with the nailhead trim, classics always endure. Although the use of nailhead trim is commonly linked use with leather-upholstered sofas, chairs and ottomans, the trim has since studded the world of interior design with modern yet timeless appeal.  Both classic and modern takes on this timeless trim are certain to inspire…

Studded In Nailhead Appeal
Studded In Nailhead Appeal
Nailhead Embellishments: Interior Delights Of Classic Appeal
Nailhead Embellishments: Interior Delights Of Classic Appeal
Tried & True: Nailhead Embellishments
Tried & True: Nailhead Embellishments
Studded With Classic Details:  Nailhead Trim
Studded With Classic Details: Nailhead Trim
Trimmed In Style:  Nailhead Design
Trimmed In Style: Nailhead Design
Styled With Metal:  Nailhead Trim Appeal
Styled With Metal: Nailhead Trim Appeal
Trimmed Appeal:  Nailhead Style
Trimmed Appeal: Nailhead Style
Stylized In Classic & Modern Appeal: Nailhead Trim
Stylized In Classic & Modern Appeal: Nailhead Trim
Studded Appeal In Interior Design:  Nailhead Trim
Studded Appeal In Interior Design: Nailhead Trim
Patterned & Dotted In Nailhead Design
Patterned & Dotted In Nailhead Design
Nailhead Inspiration:  Patterned In Classic Style
Nailhead Inspiration: Patterned In Classic Style
Masculine Edge In Nailhead Trim Style
Masculine Edge In Nailhead Trim Style
Embellished Louis:  Studded In Nailhead
Embellished Louis: Studded In Nailhead

Consider the patterned distinction of nailhead trim.  Patterns in nailheads have gone far in decorating our interior spaces in the decades that have followed since the 15th century. With timeless appeal the decoration of nailhead trim will certainly remain an embellishment in interior design. Timeless style with modern inspirations within the interior, indeed. Accentuating lines of design with sophistication, the nailhead trim design will endure to add visual interest and distinction to the surfaces of our interiors that it embellishes. Onward in enduring classic design.

Onward,

Kristin

“Gilded” Interior Inspirations Of Golden Appeal

Golden Inspirations Within The Interior
Golden Inspirations Within The Interior

Golden Appeal. Perhaps there is something very striking of the color of gold as a New Year begins.  Brilliance.  Yet another recurring focus upon golden hues within the interior (January 2013, Visions Of Gold). Yet the “gilded” appeal within the interior  is striking at any time of the year. Timeless.  Gold seems to offer a timeless richness.  Perhaps the hue that has historically symbolized wealth and power offers more than a bold impact of rich visual appeal within the interior. An elegant appeal in a hue of gold that endures, indeed.

The term “Gilded” in terms of interiors is something “covered thinly with gold leaf or gold paint”. An overlay with a thin covering of gold Highlights that stands out in striking appeal. The term “Golden” is termed as “made of relating to gold”.  As for the color of  Gold or golden, it is a color of “one of a variety of yellow-orange color blends used to give the impression of the color of the element gold”.   Elements of gold.  Of note, the American Heritage Dictionary defines the color metallic gold as “A light olive-brown to dark yellow, or a moderate, strong to vivid yellow”.  Whether vibrant or muted, metallic or swathed in a fabric accent, painted on the walls or statement objects of gilded impact, the color of gold within the interior offers vivid & bright intensity  .  Whether you refer to these shiny hues of interior brilliance as “Gilded” or “Golden” or simply a hue of “Gold”, the mere broad appeal of the color of gold within our interiors deserves our focus once again…

Interiors Of Gilded & Golden Appeal
Interiors Of Gilded & Golden Appeal
Striking Gold Accents Within The Interior
Striking Gold Accents Within The Interior
Interior Delights:  Hues Of Gold
Interior Delights: Hues Of Gold
Interior Delights: Hues Of Gold
Interior Delights: Hues Of Gold
Interior Goldtone Visuals of Delight
Interior Goldtone Visuals of Delight
Golden Appeal Within The Interior
Golden Appeal Within The Interior
Golden Visuals Of Interior Style
Golden Visuals Of Interior Style
Dark Pairing Of Vibrance:  Golden Hues
Dark Pairing Of Vibrance: Golden Hues
"Golden" Interior Appeal
“Golden” Interior Appeal
Gold Reflections: Interior Inspirations Of Golden Hue
Gold Reflections: Interior Inspirations Of Golden Hue
Golden Hues Of Brilliance Within The Interior
Golden Hues Of Brilliance Within The Interior
Brilliance Of Gold Within The Interior
Brilliance Of Gold Within The Interior
Gilded & Golden Interior Appeal
Gilded & Golden Interior Appeal
Gold tones Of Impact
Gold tones Of Impact

Consider the brilliance and striking visual of hues of gold and gilded delight within interior spaces. Certain to be appreciated as a timeless and classic hue of visual interest, the gilded appeal that graces interior worlds will continue to present a striking impact.  Gilded inspiration of hues of golden delight. Stunning elegance and timeless appeal, indeed….

Onward,

Kristin

 

“Yellow-colored objects appear to be gold” – Aristotle

Myself/Golden Reflections/Charleston, South Carolina
Myself/Golden Reflections/Charleston, South Carolina/2015

Holiday Embellishments: Fireplace Mantels Adorned In Festive Appeal

Festive Embellishments Of Holiday Appeal:  Mantel Display
Festive Embellishments Of Holiday Appeal: Mantel Display

The fireplace mantel. Embellished in festive Holiday appeal. The fireplace mantle or mantelpiece is also known as a chimneypiece. Having originated in medieval times as a hood that projected over a grate capturing the smoke that emitted, the term has evolved to include the decorative framework around the fireplace and even the elaborate designs that can extend to the ceiling. The term Mantelpiece is now a broad term for the “jambs, mantel shelf, and external accessories of a fireplace”. I harken the world of centuries past in which the mantel or chimneypiece became the focal point as an ornamental and artistic feature of a room. Appreciation. A fundamental element in the history of western art, holding elements of European sculpture carved in detail in wood, marble and stone, these structures of form and function continue to endure in interior appeal. Design, proportion, and detail. Details of distinction, indeed. Although time itself and interior design changes the form, the appreciation of the fireplace and its mantel deserve a visual bedecked in holiday delight

Bright Elegance Of Festive Delight:  The Holiday Mantel
Bright Elegance Of Festive Delight: The Holiday Mantel
Evergreen Delight: Vivid Greens On Holiday Display
Evergreen Delight: Vivid Greens On Holiday Display
Neutral Inspirations Of Holiday Appeal
Neutral Inspirations Of Holiday Appeal
Simple Elegance:  The Mantel Dressed For The Holidays
Simple Elegance: The Mantel Dressed For The Holidays
Embellishments Of Holiday: The Fireplace Mantel
Embellishments Of Holiday: The Fireplace Mantel
Visual Delights Of The Holiday Mantel
Visual Delights Of The Holiday Mantel
Holiday Elegance:  The Fireplace Mantle Display
Holiday Elegance: The Fireplace Mantle Display
Hues Of Green:  The Holiday Mantel
Hues Of Green: The Holiday Mantel
Holiday Embellishment of Personal Appeal:  The Mantel
Holiday Embellishment of Personal Appeal: The Mantel

Consider with appreciation the distinctive beauty of the fireplace and its mantel. Although personal in style of display and the objects, trimmings, nature’s greens or decorations that may bedeck its horizontal surface, consider with appreciation the mere mantel and its offerings for visual display. A personal homage to the Holidays, for certain. In appreciation of the embellished mantel that enriches our interior spaces as an enduring focal point. It is all in the details. Timeless adornment of festive appeal, indeed…

Onward,

Kristin

PS: And for those fortunate to approach decorating in Holiday display upon your own awaiting mantel?

“Decorate with intention”
“I believe in doing the thing you feel is right. If it looks right, it is right”
-Dorothy Draper (American Interior Designer/1889-1969)

Form & Function Of Architectural Features: The Artistry Of Vintage Door Knobs

Details Of Past Elegance:  The Vintage Door Knob
Details Of Past Elegance: The Vintage Door Knob

An element of form and function. The artistry of the vintage doorknob. Forms of art. Artistic forms of grandeur from a time period in which details mattered, elegance was revered and craftsmanship ruled. The individual beauty of the vintage door knob is striking and stunning. Representations of a time gone by yet reminders of the beauty that society once required within the realm of the structures that surrounded…

Lavished Design:  The Architectural Door Knob
Lavished Design: The Architectural Door Knob

History holds that although door handles appeared during Egyptian times, until the Middle Ages the basic form of doorways were created with textiles and furs. After the late 1500’s architecture offered separate rooms in which the addition of a door featuring leather or hand forged latches evolved. Interesting. In America, in the mid-ninetenth century (from 1830 to 1873), the production and manufacture of door knobs would evolve further into an enduring architectural element of form and function. Initially, plain wooden knobs were the first simple forms of door knobs of Colonial times followed by pressed glass and cut glass door knobs (popular from 1826-1850). Of note, prior to 1876 ceramic and porcelain knobs were imported from France and England. Of course, a nod to the beautiful swirls that knobs of Rosewood held. Striking appeal, indeed. Around 1846 the formation of cast metal knobs arrived to embellish structures. Made of iron or steel, these forms of function were covered either entirely or coated with a veneer of bronze or brass. But oh, the stylized decoration of these knobs of purpose that would thrive! It is said that after the Centennial Exposition of 1876 (the first official World’s Fair in the United State), the world of decorative door hardware was launched nationwide. Yes, the embellishments of lavish detail that beckoned the desire of the Victorian Era would prevail…

Centennial Exhibition 1876/United States
Centennial Exhibition 1876/United States

In the late 1800’s these composite metal knobs formed with a compression casting method offered the ability to design and provide ornamentation of the hardware. Of historical interest, during World War II, brass door knobs were removed and melted down for the war effort. Imagine! Alas, those that remain offer a rare desirability by those that covet and appreciate them. A link and emblem to the decorative arts of the past that is no longer abundant but rare architectural “jewels” of the past. Yet it is the cast bronze and brass door knobs with ornamental patterns that the Victorians graced their residences and structures that continue to amaze and delight me. Of course, I hold an appreciation of all of the beautiful forms of materials & construction of these architectural features. And of the knobs of form and function? Whether spherical or ball-shaped or the ease of an egg-shape design or the knobs fashioned like a drum, the designs have certainly changed throughout the decades that would follow. Coordinating with the eras they would be fixed within. Fixed to surface mounted locks or doors for entry, the door knob would continue to experience a renaissance resembling the prevailing styles of the eras. Of course, a nod to the decorative door handle plates that would surround the knobs (Escutcheons) which were often rectangular and were also embellished with decorative designs, such as floral patterns or geometric shapes. Beauty of form and function and visual interest in design, indeed. Shape and surface appeal. Craftsmanship and intricate design paired in the creation of art.

The function and form of vintage door knobs deserve our attention and appreciation, for certain. An object of history. As elements of the past, a mere appreciation of the art form that they represent…

Architectural Salvage:  The Enduring Appeal Of The Vintage Door Knob
Architectural Salvage: The Enduring Appeal Of The Vintage Door Knob
Aesthetics Of Form & Function:  The Architectural Door Knob
Aesthetics Of Form & Function: The Architectural Door Knob
Elements Of Distinction:  The Vintage Door Knob
Elements Of Distinction: The Vintage Door Knob
Architectural Delights:  The Elegance Of The Vintage Door Knob
Architectural Delights: The Elegance Of The Vintage Door Knob
Unique Beauty Of Surface Appeal:  Vintage Door Knobs
Unique Beauty Of Surface Appeal: Vintage Door Knobs
Brass Appeal:  Vintage Door Knobs Of Architectural Delight
Brass Appeal: Vintage Door Knobs Of Architectural Delight
Details Of Elegance: The Vintage Door Knob
Details Of Elegance: The Vintage Door Knob
Vintage Elegance Of Artistic Form & Function:  Door Knobs
Vintage Elegance Of Artistic Form & Function: Door Knobs
Designed Artistry Of Vintage Form:  Door Knobs
Designed Artistry Of Vintage Form: Door Knobs
Basics Of Form:  Appreciation Of The Door Knob
Basics Of Form: Appreciation Of The Door Knob
Form & Function:   The Vintage Door Knob
Form & Function: The Vintage Door Knob
Painted Appeal & The Vintage Door Knob
Painted Appeal & The Vintage Door Knob
White Porcelain Delights:  The Vintage Door Knob
White Porcelain Delights: The Vintage Door Knob
Vintage Glass Door Knobs Of Starburst Appeal
Vintage Glass Door Knobs Of Starburst Appeal
Pressed Molten Glass Of Clear Delight: The Vintage Door Knob
Pressed Molten Glass Of Clear Delight: The Vintage Door Knob
Clear Elegance:  The Glass Vintage Door Knob
Clear Elegance: The Glass Vintage Door Knob
Multifaceted Style In Clear Glass:  The Vintage Door Knob
Multifaceted Style In Clear Glass: The Vintage Door Knob
Rounded Delights:  The Vintage Door Knob
Rounded Delights: The Vintage Door Knob

Although the materials, form and designs vary, consider with appreciation the beauty and design of the vintage door knobs and the historical connection to the past they offer. For me? What is it about the knobs of yesteryear that beckon? Like “jewels” on doors, to stumble across one is exhilarating to me and certain to be captured by whatever means of photography that is on me at that moment. Alas, the camera phone. Included within these compilations are many that I have captured from within the vintage homes of the late 1800’s town of Woodstock, Illinois that I currently reside within, as well as during my travels. Many more await to be captured from behind my lens. Doors that hold an opportunity to find appreciation in the details of life that are before us. A past that carries with it into the present. History and the artistry and elegance of the past that endures to remain as a symbol of bygone eras. Appreciation, always…

Onward,

Kristin


“Find pleasure in the beauty of details”
– Hans Zirngast

PS: There are bound to be more images added to this compilation…for I will never stop capturing the distinctive beauty that surrounds on doorways of the past…

Interpretations of French Form: The Petite & Versatile Guéridon Table

French Design:  The Guéridon Table
French Design: The Guéridon Table

The distinctive table of French form of the versatile Guéridon table endures to appeal within the world of interior design. Of interest, the early Guéridon was originally referenced as a small, circular-top table supported by one pedestal or several columns with sculptural human statues or mythological figures built into them. It is perhaps no surprise that the legs that would support the early Guéridons were often modeled after ancient Egyptian and Greek forms. Appreciation of history and form, for certain. Having originated in France towards the middle of the 17th century, the table is also referenced as “A small ornamental table, pedestal, candle stand” (or a torchere, which is a tall ornamental flat-topped stand, traditionally used as a stand for a candlestick). Originally these tables were one-legged pedestals often positioned in front of mirrors so the candlelight could be reflected upon the glass…alas, homage to the Hall Of Mirrors at Versailles

"Hall Of Mirrors" At Versailles/France
“Hall Of Mirrors” At Versailles/France
Louis XIV of France (1643-1715) &  The GUÉRIDON Table In The Style Of Louis XIV
Louis XIV of France (1643-1715) & The GUÉRIDON Table In The Style Of Louis XIV

However one views these petite, elegant and versatile tables, their history is certainly linked to the world of the French court of King Louis XIV. Louis the Great (Louis le Grand) iconically known as the Sun King (le Roi-Soleil) was a monarch of the House of Bourbon and ruled as King of France from 1643 until his death in 1715. With a reign of 72 years it is no wonder that his influence within interior design would impact the interior world that surrounded him within his world at Versailles. Within that world, was the Guéridon. Tall candle stands of gilded appeal. Alas, the stunning grandeur of Versailles’ “Hall of Mirrors” with Guéridons holding flickering flames of magical delight! Of course, the style of the petite table would evolve beyond the columned legs or legs decorated with mythological figures into a tripod form. By the end of the 18th century the evolution of design offered a revised function of portability. A trio of three legs on lower tables would offer lightweight, timeless style.

Guéridon tables can be either simple in form or formed with detailed carved wood that was gilded for further distinction and grandeur. Many boasted marble top insets. Variations, indeed. Like fashion, interiors and their embellishments also evolve. It is interesting to note that a variety of small occasional tables are now referred to as Guéridons. Part of the lineage of Guéridon table history, for certain. The decorative and versatile Guéridon tables are not only striking and decorative but are an asset in small spaces serving as an occasional table of stylish form & function. Of note, although the history and lineage and origin of the term Guéridon varies, including a link to the statues of Moorish figures, these tables are worthy of appreciation, indeed…

The Guéridon Table: Form & Function
The Guéridon Table: Form & Function
Versatile Tables Of French Appeal:   The Guéridon Table
Versatile Tables Of French Appeal: The Guéridon Table

The Guéridon Table: French Appeal

Tables Of Distinction:   The Guéridon Table
Tables Of Distinction: The Guéridon Table
 The Guéridon Table:  Forms Of Function & Display
The Guéridon Table: Forms Of Function & Display
Varied Forms Of Petite Elegance:  The Gueridon Table
Varied Forms Of Petite Elegance: The Guéridon Table
Stylish & Distinctive: The Guéridon Table
Stylish & Distinctive: The Guéridon Table
Variations Of French Interpretation:  The Gueridon Table
Variations Of French Interpretation: The Guéridon Table
Moveable, Versatile Appeal Of Classic Form:  The Gueridon Table
Moveable, Versatile Appeal Of Classic Form: The Guéridon Table

Consider the history, form and function of these versatile tables of small form. For those of us that may not acquire a French Guéridon table of historical importance, the reproduction of this table and the modern variances in its form are vast. Modern interpretations of a classic will certainly endure within the world of interior design. Decorative and versatile tables of interpreted French form, indeed…

Onward,

Kristin

In Acknowledgment Of St. Patrick’s Day: “Clover Green” Hues Of Brilliance

"Clover Green" Delight
“Clover Green” Delight

Hues of green. “Clover Green”. In acknowledgment of St. Patrick’s day a visual array of the iconic clover emblem and hues that align with its vibrant color. “Clover Green” hues of brilliance are sure to delight as we embark upon the arrival of Spring

The "Four Leaf Clover": Irish Luck Awaits...
The “Four Leaf Clover”: Luck Awaits…

And of the ultimate symbol of “Good Luck”? Ahh, the four-leaf clover….
The four-leaf clover is an uncommon variation of the more common three-leaved clover. Celtic tradition holds that good luck and magical protection is brought to those that find these uncommon botanical clovers, especially if found accidentally. A stroke of luck, indeed! Each leaf is believed to represent four elements: “Faith, Hope, Love and Luck”. Who knew? Beyond “Luck” itself, the four leaves certainly hold keys to life. It is no wonder the leaves of four are sought! And of the “Shamrock”? In Ireland, a young sprig of three-leaf clover is referred to as a “Shamrock” , which is used as a symbol of Ireland. Ireland’s patron saint, St. Patrick, used the three-leaf clover as a metaphor for the Christian Trinity. A nod to St. Patrick’s Day, indeed. Whether it is a four-leaf clover or a three-leaf clover, a mere appreciation of the leaves of green and the symbolism they hold…

And if you find yourself within a patch of white or red clovers? 10,000 to 1 chances are that what awaits you may be a “Lucky” delight! Until then, an appreciation of the green hues of “clover” within our personal worlds...

Brilliant Hues Of "Clover Green"
Brilliant Hues Of “Clover Green”
Fashioned By Nature:  Green Hues Of Natural Delight  (Photographed By Steven Meisel)
Fashioned By Nature: Green Hues Of Natural Delight
(Photographed By Steven Meisel)

Consider the beauty of the simple leaves of clover. An iconic representation of symbolism that endures. Consider the hues of “Spring Green” of the season we are embarking upon that share the vivid delight of green clover. An appreciation of the color green within our interiors and personal worlds and a nod to the celebrations that unite it

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Kristin

Sculptural Form Of Enduring Appeal: Hans Wegner’s “Wishbone” Chair

A Classic In Design:  The "Wishbone Chair"
A Classic In Design: The “Wishbone Chair”

The “Wishbone Chair”. The name itself provides intrigue. Pair that with the striking design & craftsmanship and it is no wonder that it has become an icon from the 1950’s of Danish Modern style…

A Design Classic In  Form & Function:  Shape, Simplicity & Clean Lines Of Hans Wegner's 1950's  "Wishbone Chair"
A Design Classic In Form & Function: Shape, Simplicity & Clean Lines Of Hans Wegner’s 1950’s “Wishbone Chair”

In 1944 Danish designer Hans Jorgen Wegner began a series of what are referred to as “China Chairs”. Hans is said to have been inspired by portraits of Danish merchants sitting upon Ming thrones of Chinese emperors. Who knew? Touching briefly upon this designer’s history…born to a shoemaker, Wegner was trained as a cabinet maker. At the age of 17 Wegner was apprenticed to a carpenter, H. F. Stahlberg, at which time he developed his first design. At the age of 20 he moved to Copenhagen to study at the institution now known as The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Design (then known as “The Artisan College”). Beginning his career as an architect, it was as early as 1940 that Wegner began to design for master carpenter Johannes Hansen. The talents of Wegner combined the skills of both and architect and a craftsman produced work that certainly garnered attention. Since 1950, Danish company Carl Hansen & Søn has produced the chair that is known as the “Y”, “CH-24” and iconically, the “Wishbone” chair. It is no surprise that the production of this sculptural chair has never halted.

On the website of Carl Hansen & Søn, it is stated:
Hans J. Wegner is widely considered to be one of the leading figures in 20th century furniture design – and a driving force in the “Danish Modern” movement that changed the way people looked at furniture in the 1950s and 1960s.” -www.carlhansen.com

“A master carpenter first and a designer second: Perfectly finished joints and exquisite forms. A deep respect for the wood and its character and an everlasting curiosity about good materials. He gave minimalism an organic and natural softness. He is considered as “the master chair-maker” and designed more than 500 chairs during the course of his life”. -www.carlhansen.com

Hans J. Wegner ( 1914-2007)   ) Danish Designer/ Carl  Hansen & Søn
Hans J. Wegner ( 1914-2007) ) Danish Designer/ Carl Hansen & Søn

A designer of many chairs, it is perhaps the “Wishbone Chair” of 1949 that has been considered Wegner’s triumph. Clean lines and simplistic design made from natural materials, the chair is certainly striking from all angles. It is perhaps the characteristic “Y”-backed shape that held the strongest reference to this lightweight chair with the steam-bent solid wood frame. A product of skilled wood joinery paired with craftsmanship. Form and function, indeed. A key & unique component to this chair is the seat that is hand woven from paper cord. Of note, paper cord was was a durable material that was developed as a substitute for jute during WWII. Again, who knew? Still used today, it is said that there is over 400 feet of paper cord per chair (120 meters). Imagine! Hand woven style that adds further distinction to a silhouette of great style.

“Many foreigners have asked me how we made the Danish style. And I’ve answered that it…was rather a continuous process of purification, and for me of simplification, to cut down to the simplest possible elements of four legs, a seat and a combined top rail and arm rest”
-Hans Jorgen Wegner

Steam-Bent Wooden Style:  Hans Wegner's "Wishbone Chair"
Steam-Bent Wooden Style: Hans Wegner’s “Wishbone Chair”
Form & Function In Danish Style:  Hans Wegner's "Wishbone Chair"
Form & Function In Danish Style: Hans Wegner’s “Wishbone Chair”
Hans Wegner's "Wishbone Chair":   Enduring Design
Hans Wegner’s “Wishbone Chair”: Enduring Design
Lightweight, Wooden Style:  The "Wishbone Chair"
Lightweight, Wooden Style: The “Wishbone Chair”
Craftsmanship & Design:  Hans Wegner's "Wishbone Chair"
Craftsmanship & Design: Hans Wegner’s “Wishbone Chair”
Natural Style:  The Curved Form Of The "Wishbone Chair"
Natural Style: The Curved Form Of The “Wishbone Chair”
Straightforward, Clean Style:  Wegner's  "Wishbone Chair"
Straightforward, Clean Style: Wegner’s “Wishbone Chair”
The "Wishbone Chair":  Striking From All Angles
The “Wishbone Chair”: Striking From All Angles
Distinctive Style & Natural Comfort:  Wegner's "Wishbone Chair"
Distinctive Style & Natural Comfort: Wegner’s “Wishbone Chair”
Wood Joinery & Style:  The Enduring "Wishbone Chair"
Wood Joinery & Style: The Enduring “Wishbone Chair”
Sculptural Design:  The "Wishbone Chair"
Sculptural Design: The “Wishbone Chair”
Hans Wegner's  Triumph Of Design & Craftsmanship:  "Wishbone Chair"
Hans Wegner’s Triumph Of Design & Craftsmanship: “Wishbone Chair”
Timeless Distinction Of Enduring Appeal:  Hans Wegner's "Wishbone Chair"
Timeless Distinction Of Enduring Appeal: Hans Wegner’s “Wishbone Chair”

Whether found in a solid oak, walnut or beech frame or renditions with painted or clear lacquer or an oiled finish, consider with appreciation the classic lines and simplistic style of the “Wishbone” chair. Distinctive style that stands the test of time. For certain, beyond its Modern Danish style, this chair can fit within a multitude of interior spaces. Iconically. A chair of comfort and style. Form and function at its best. Sculptural form of enduring appeal, indeed…

Kristin

“A chair is to have no backside. It should be beautiful from all sides and angles”
-Hans Wegner

“A chair is only finished when someone sits in it”
-Hans Wegner

Harmony & Style: Pianos Within The Interior

Pianos in the Interior: A Distinctive Addition
Pianos in the Interior: A Distinctive Addition

Chords of harmony arise within the interior with the statement of the esteemed piano. For certain, the use and display of a piano within the interior is varied when paired with individual style and personal preferences. That said, a mere visual of this musical instrument of classical distinction within the interior is essential in appreciating its form and function

The piano is termed as a “musical instrument played using a “keyboard”. Ah, the striking keys of glossy ebony black and white! A complex wooden instrument that holds strings, hammers, pedals and keys to create musical harmony! The word “piano” is a shortened abbreviation of “pianoforte”, the Italian term for the “instrument”, which was taken from “gravicembalo col piano e forte” and “fortepiano”. During the 1400’s keyboards known as the clavichord and the harpsichord were widely used and would eventually lead to the piano. Of interest, the history of the piano dates around 1700 when an Italian harpsichord builder, Bartolomeo Cristofori, created a new mechanism for the harpsichord which gave it “the ability to be played with dynamic variations”. Cristofori termed this “touch-sensitive invention” “gravicembalo col piano e forte”. Of note, the Italian musical terms “piano” and “forte” indicate “soft” and “strong”. It is said that the “Variations in volume are produced in response to a pianist’s touch on the key” and that “the greater the velocity of a key press, the greater the force of the hammer hitting the strings, and the louder the sound of the note produced”. It is interesting to note that the larger the piano the better the sound quality. Ah, the “Grand” pianos! Considered one of the world’s most familiar musical instruments it is easy to acknowledge that there was a time in history when the piano was an integral part of interiors that those who courted their form paired with musical function would gather around. Yet perhaps the piano has always been a focal point when included within the interiors of those that covet its musical cords.

Bartolomeo Cristofori (1655-1731)
Bartolomeo Cristofori (1655-1731)

No matter the variation of upright forms of these instruments of distinctive substance, the style and preference is certainly personal. Perhaps many insights can be gained from the placement of the piano in a room. Confidence in layout is perhaps a requirement. For those that love the instrument composed of black and white keys, I say go forth boldly to incorporate it within your interior spaces. Beyond being a larger item to place within your interior world, it is truly a focal point. Part of the decor, the aesthetic, and simultaneously part of a love of music. Of course, there is the added benefit of another surface in which to decorate with personal statements of style. Rooms that incorporate the keys, hammers and pedals of pianos add melodic, visual delight. Form and function. Chords of harmony within the interior. A backdrop of stylish distinction paired with harmony, for certain…

Musical Style:  The Form & Function Of Pianos Within The Interior
Musical Style: The Form & Function Of Pianos Within The Interior
Keys Of Style:  Piano's Within The Interior
Keys Of Style: Piano’s Within The Interior
Distinctive Decoration Of Melodic Appeal:  Piano's Within The Interior
Distinctive Decoration Of Melodic Appeal: Piano’s Within The Interior
The Form & Function Of The Piano Within The Interior
The Form & Function Of The Piano Within The Interior
Grace, Contrast & The  Melodic Appeal Of Pianos
Grace, Contrast & The Melodic Appeal Of Pianos
Integral Display Paired With Musical Appeal:  Pianos
Integral Display Paired With Musical Appeal: Pianos
Composing Style:  The Graceful Lines Of The Piano
Composing Style: The Graceful Lines Of The Piano

Consider the piano showcased within the interior. For certain, the striking form paired with the glossy black and white keys create a statement within interiors. For the love of music and the appreciation of form and function. Harmony and style, indeed…

Kristin

PS: During the late 1970’s my Mother finally bought the “Baby Grand” piano that she had always yearned for since her youth. I recall when the large, black, sleek piano arrived. With an expansive “lid” that was propped up by a wooden “vertical” stick, the piano was certainly grand. A focal point. The joy in seeing my Mother’s excitement as her graceful fingers moved swiftly and elegantly floated across the keys was memorable. The musical notes that sailed through the air impacted my memory. The joy of music that carried forward from her youth had never left her. The joy and love of music endures and my appreciation of the piano will also endure….

My Mother/At The Piano
My Mother…At The Piano (1950’s)

“The piano is able to communicate the subtlest, universal truths by means of wood, metal and vibrating air”
-Kenneth Miller

“The piano keys are black and white but they sound like a million colors in your mind.”
– Maria Cristina Mena