2011 Januar : design elements

29
Jan

A Dose of Inspiration

categories Inspiration, Lifestyle Design, quotes    

photo: Howard Sandler via Fotolia


Some inspirational thoughts provided by Tina Roth Eisenberg, the designer behind swissmiss:

1. NOBODY CAN TELL YOU WHAT’S BEST FOR YOU.

2. SURROUNDING YOURSELF WITH SMART PEOPLE IS KEY.

3. DON’T JUST TALK, DO IT. (IF IT FAILS, MOVE ON.)

4. BE KIND AND GENEROUS. IT COMES BACK TO YOU.

5. YOUR ENTHUSIASM AND INTEGRITY ARE YOUR BIGGEST ASSETS.

6. IT IS POSSIBLE!


credit: SwissMiss via Erin Loechner design for mankind, apartment34

26
Jan

Interview with Geoffrey Bradfield

categories Designer, Interviews    

Design icon and South African born Geoffrey Bradfield specializes in creating opulent, elegant and serene interiors. His signature style is the use of Contemporary Art. “Functional Opulence” is the key to his designs, which draw inspiration from the Orient, African Primitivism, and Art Deco. His work incorporates fine art and antiques with modern materials and high tech accessories, attaching the same sculptural value to utility objects as to important pieces of art. Geoffrey Bradfield’s projects list is impressive. Among this roster of projects is the major design overhaul of the Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney estate in Old Westbury, Long Island and the restoration of the late King Hussein’s mansion in Maryland. The New York-based designer has received several times the coveted recognition by Architectural Digest in their “AD 100″ as one of the top designers in the world. Before the interview I read that Geoffrey Bradfield is funny, sophisticated and down to Earth. I agree with this. Enjoy the conversation. I sure did!

image credit: Geoffrey Bradfield Inc, photographer: Peter Rymwid

How would you describe your own style?

If in two words: “Functional opulence.”  Having said that, I am a Modernist and the use of Contemporary Art is a significant ingredient in my signature style.

When you were a child and grew up on a South African farm, did you want to become a designer?

I never doubted my choice of career.  I never experienced a Saul of Tarsus conversion on the way to Damascus.  I always knew intuitively what I wanted to do.

How did you get your first assignment?

My first major assignment was in Johannesburg.  I did the apartment of the Impresario, Pieter Toerien. He was my first celebrity client – I was 23 years old and it garnered me a lot of attention. Of course, everything is relative and I was swimming in a very small pond.

Is there a designer that has influenced you?

Past would be Le Corbousier, whom I consider to be the most important influence on my early career.  Latterly, I have been very inspired by the world of artists.  Great artists have always influenced and inspired my work.  I admire their ability to look at the world from fresh and daring perspectives.

image credit: Geoffrey Bradfield Inc, photographer: H. Durston Saylor

What do you enjoy most in your work?

I love the creative process.  The lot of an artist can be rather fleeting at times.  It’s not a bad fate, as long as you are what you have created.  If one’s work has resonance, it will outlive us.

When I look at your interiors I see opulent spaces but I also feel a sense of serenity. How do you achieve this?

I seek serenity in all my interiors. In addition to a disciplined and edited color palette, I think that art brings a lot of that signature to it. I mean we’re not talking great Picassos that are representing the Spanish wars, but art really can introduce a serene presence.

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?

That I’m still sane!

What inspires your designs?

To some extent, the Art Moderne period of the 1940s. But, it does go far beyond that. I am 90% visual.  My visual curiosity and photographic recall affords me an endless inventory of rich ideas to draw on.  I am also very intrigued with the advent of technology.

What is your idea what a beautiful home should feel like?

There are many things every home must have, but in the end, I think we all agree the basic requirement is probably comfort.  I identify with Billy Baldwin’s quote in the New York Times toward the end of his life:  “lately I have been thinking how comfort is perhaps the ultimate luxury.”  I believe this says it all.

image credit: Geoffrey Bradfield Inc, photographer: H. Durston Saylor

Favorite books?

Essence of Style by Joan de Jean
The Principles of Aesthetics by Francesco Borromini
Home: A Short History of an Idea by Witold Rybczynski

What does success mean to you?

Success is so relative. Any designer who is passionate about what he does and has a strong point of view is mindful of creating a legacy.  But when one has been fortunate enough to be recognized for one’s work, you like to feel not only that you are leaving a footprint, but also that you are giving back.

What’s your advice to upcoming designers?

You have to be able to sell yourself and your talent. It’s amazing how important a personality is.  I also value honesty and frankness in an interview.  I never intentionally hire down… I like to be challenged by my team.

My signature Design Element question – what are the most important design elements?

Scale, balance, innovation, joy.

17
Jan

Schöner Wohnen in Barcelona

categories House Tour    

Man braucht viel Liebe und Inspiration, um so eine schöne Wohnung wie diese in Barcelona einzurichten. Jedes Mal wenn ich die Fotos sehe, entdecke ich neue Details…

It takes a lot of love to create such a beautiful home like this one in Barcelona. I love that the more I look, the more details I notice. I love the brightness yet with a warm and cozy feeling!

photos: Nuevo Estilo

16
Jan

The colors of Tibet

categories Photography    

Photography is a passion of mine. I’m an avid photographer and also interested in Buddhism. Some days ago I discovered the incredible portfolio of the French photographer Frédéric Lemalet on Creative Roots. I would like to share with you few of his amazing Tibet photographs. Like other young people Frédéric Lemalet travelled the world in search for answers to his questions. These travels made him spend long periods in different places like Alaska, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Mongolia, China, Nepal… These different travels also braught him to Tibet – a place where he finally finds not only answers to his questions but also people who are living example of what he would like to resemble. “If the Amazonian rain forest represents one of the last lungs of this planet, the Tibetans for me are the most spiritual people and represent a real example for humanity in terms of simple and happy life.” He then decided to spend as much time as he could to understand Tibet and also to immortalize this culture since it is disappiering fast. So he has spend nearly 3 years in Tibet, crossing a country that is 7 times the size of France. Sharing his time between French Alps and Tibet, Frédéric Lemalet also contributed to National Geographic, Le Monde and Geo. At the moments he is working on a couple of books and turning an exhibition in France. During the exhibition photos are on sale and profit is used for culture preservation projects in Tibet. 2 days ago I sent Frédéric an email if I may publish some of his photographs here on Design Elements. He said yes from -30°c in Tibet! Hope you enjoy Tibet and its colors…

12
Jan

Wohnträume – eine Haus-Tour

categories House Tour    

photos: Mi casa revista, design: Andina & Tapia

7
Jan

Donna Karan’s loft

categories House Tour    

“I love building spaces: architecture, furniture, all of it, probably more than fashion. The development procedure is more tactile. It’s about space and form and it’s something you can share with other people.”

Donna Karan


photographer: Richard Powers, images: via Yatzer

4
Jan

Interview with Campion Platt

categories Designer, Interviews    

Campion Platt is named one of the worlds top 100 architects and interior designers by Architectural Digest. His designs range from private residences and boutique hotels to lines of furniture, lighting, textile and rug collections. They all embody luxury, innovation and an eco-friendly consciousness. His holistic approach creates highly personalized spaces making him a favorite of Al Pacino, Meg Ryan, Roger Waters, Conan O’Brien, Jay McInerney. I like Campion’s interiors best when he combines soulful modernism with antiques as in the Captain’s House featured in his new book “Made to Order”.

photo: Amazon

How would you describe your own style?

Modern with lots of client input.

When you were a child, did you want to become an architect and designer?

At 15 I decided I wanted to become an architect.

How did you get your first assignment?

Thru a doctor friend for a house in Greenwich Connecticut.

photo: Campion Platt Inc

Is there a designer or architect that has influenced you?

Carlo Scarpa, Carlo Mollino, Gio ponti, Frank L. Wright.

What do you enjoy most in your work?

Working closely with artisans to create beautiful designs.

You said that “You’re only as good as your last project.” What was your last project?

I just finished a house in the Turks and Caicos island.

photo: Campion Platt Inc

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?

Fathering my 4 child this year!

What inspires your creativity?

Travel, being able to spend quiet time by the surf or a fireplace sketching and thinking of what next.

What is your idea what a beautiful home should feel like?

Very zen.

photo: Campion Platt Inc

Favorite books?

The elegant universe, all Stephen Hawking books and buddhisht biographies.

What does success mean to you?

Having the luxury to time to enjoy my family.

How do you define elegance?

That fuzzy feeling that you are in the presense of essential beauty.

photo: Campion Platt Inc

What’s your advice to upcoming designers?

Always tell a story with soul.

My signature Design Element question – what are the most important design elements?

A furtive imagination, willing clients, great artisans to execute your vision and collapsible chairs – indespendable for all occasions.