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Thursday, 28 July 2011

Off-the-peg Surrealist brass sculpture at Jonathan Adler...

Brass Dora Maar, picture courtesy of Jonathan Adler

Regular readers of this blog will have noticed I’ve got a bit of a brass obsession (see posts including the brass kitchen, Brancusi's studio and Milan 2011) . There’s something so solid about brass. You have to be serious to make something in it and it's not a material that's readily faked - which gives it a certain integrity in an era of quick-fixes. I’ve always wanted lots of brass Modernist sculpture littered about the place and now, with a new collection of a dozen brass ‘objet’ from astute artisan Jonathan Adler, it looks like it might just be feasible. These pieces are an extension of his Surrealist-inspired 'Muse' collection (see my blog post), ranging from marble plinth-mounted sculptures to more functional pieces like shoehorns and bottle openers, all with a Dali-inspired, Surrealist feel. Here are my personal favourites:

Brass Salvador Orb, picture courtesy of Jonathan Adler

Brass Misia Orb, picture courtesy of Jonathan Adler

Brass Muse bottle opener, picture courtesy of Jonathan Adler

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

The Great Gatsby's Pool House: Inspiration for a blue and white summer story ...

The starting point: 
I've always loved Jay Gatsby's pool house in the 1974 film, The Great Gatsby. The gorgeous cobalt blue on crisp white palette, the wafting drapes, the Moorish patterned cushions lining the banquettes. It looks like a wonderfully cool place to be on a hot summer day. Although admittedly, not for poor Gatsby, who's about to be shot dead. 

My fairly terrible screen grab of The Great Gatsby (1974) Paramount

My fairly terrible screen grab of The Great Gatsby (1974) Paramount

My fairly terrible screen grab of The Great Gatsby (1974) Paramount

Some more inspiration: 
I've recently been working on a summer blue story of which the cornflower and cobalt blues were my favourites - such great shades for the heat of high summer. Here are some more inspirational room shots in a similar vein to Gatsby's place, that I came across during my research:

Fabric from Trina Turk at Schumacher

Fabric and wallpaper from Harlequin

All fabrics from Baker Lifestyle at GP&J Baker

Getting the look: 
If you want a slice of Gatsby-inspired, Palm Springs Modern-Moorish style in your life then here are ten fabrics and accessories that share that cool and airy summer vibe...

Positano Asterisk pillow by Jonathan Adler

Harvest fabric in Indigo, Marvic Textiles

Positano Bolster pillow by Jonathan Adler

Blue floral bone inlay mirrors from Graham & Green

Trellis print fabric in Marine from Trina Turk at Schumacher

Positano Diamonds pillow by Jonathan Adler

Moorish Tile cushion in cobalt, John Lewis

Zig Zag throw by Jonathan Adler 

Santorini print fabric in Marine from Trina Turk at Schumacher

Positano Helix pillow by Jonathan Adler

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Sharp dressed room: The Northall restaurant at The Corinthia Hotel

Picture courtesy of The Corinthia Hotel, London

I'm very taken with this room. It's the Northall restaurant at the new Corinthia Hotel, which is set within London's Whitehall Palace. This seat-of-power location sets the tone for the design throughout the hotel (by GA Design) which is restrained and masculine - something I like very much in this instance. It mixes thirties and contemporary styles, with lots of subtle nods to Modernism.

In the Northall itself, I love the glittering mix of glass and mirrors and the lofty proportions. But this grandiosity is tempered by the subtle palette of crisp greys and whites and the tan leather armchairs and banquettes that (rightly) dominate the room.  These seats are Mid-Century Modern-style re-workings of leather club chairs and chesterfield sofas - both perennial favourites with the chaps. My favourite details are the wheel-like brass pendant lights. The overall effect is classic and smart but, crucially, comfortable and comforting - perhaps designed to re-assure its well-heeled clientele that life goes on, despite evidence to the contrary elsewhere in Whitehall.

Alfred Pisani, chairman of the nine-strong Corinthia hotels group calls the hotel a 'contemporary interpretation of the scale and style of a Grand Hotel...  It means surrounding [the guests] with materials, chosen for their quiet quality and avoiding purposeless display.' It reminds me of a man in a superbly  cut grey suit, impeccable white shirt and classic tan brogues. It's the Cary Grant of rooms. 

Cary Grant, suit by Kilgour, in the very stylish Hitchcock thriller, North by Northwest