30 SHADES OF GRAY
The Client: Paola, 38, a photographer.
Greatest challenge: “To continue, in my photographs, to bring to digital photography the irreplaceable, more authentic values of film processes: searching for light, shadow, expression, and emotion, all organized into a composition that reveals both beauty and flaws. Similarly, in my interior, I wanted to use real things: materials, colors, textures, classic styles, to create rooms with personality, that were more than a ‘backdrop’ .”
Favorite Color: “Gray--at least for rooms! For me, no color--including beige, white, black--is truly neutral. As a photographer who originally learned how to take pictures in black and white, gray is definitely not a neutral. It is the crucial midway point between black and white; the color of fog, of Chartres Cathedral, of kittens, of shadows. As a wall color it is not, as most people think, ‘industrial’, but softly elegant. It makes me think of couturier showrooms--Chanel, Christian Dior, Balenciaga-- in Paris in the mid-20th century.”
Your inspiration: “The wonderfully economic yet luxurious interiors of ocean liners. In a stateroom on such a ship, you will not find one unnecessary item of furniture or decor; everything fits, everything almost interlocks. That is the meaning of “shipshape”! The materials are always the finest: polished wood and metal, beautiful yet sturdy textiles.”
Favorite food: “Szechuan “Dry Pot” at Ma-La Project in the East Village. It burns wildly; tastes wonderful. Undreamt-of flavors.”
Favorite quote: “I always thought of photography as a naughty thing to do — that was one of my favorite things about it, and when I first did it, I felt very perverse.” – Diane Arbus
What were your design priorities, the design elements you first purchased to set the scene for your vision of your interior?
“The very first piece I selected was the Gemini bamboo silk area rug--pale gray with black, charcoal and turquoise accents--all floating in undulating, organic forms rather than a regimented pattern. The drapes, in Tropicalia in Gray/Smoke, are patterned with abstract stylized leaves.”
And then? How did you budget your purchases?
“My biggest investment, besides the rug, was going to be in a sofa, so I picked it very carefully. I definitely want a couch I can collapse on but one that still looks stylish. The Pitch Sofa, with two generous cushions, is sleek but not fussy. I had it upholstered in Gray Smoke Silken Velvet as a special indulgence in luxury for myself. Love the soft, opulent feel of the velvet! I added two throw pillows in another favorite color, Teal, in a highly textured fabric, Roxanne Raffia.”
How would you describe your design aesthetic, in terms of period and/or style?
“Mid-century Modern furniture is a big part of my design aesthetic, but I’m not too obsessed with finding original vintage pieces. I found this chair without arms, with a comfortable, elegant slant to it, and upholstered it in crisp Chevron, in White. Sometimes it’s better to find furniture that echoes 20th century style, but which is new and original. I was, however, especially thrilled to find a nice reproduction--the Wiley Ceiling Lamp-- of the French industrial designer, Serge Mouille’s insect-like ceiling lamp, designed in 1958.”Do you feel you’ve achieved your design goals?
“Oh yes! With a gorgeous rug, comfortable seating, good lighting, and luxurious drapes, the room just sort of fell into place. My home is now a very pleasant oasis, a little world apart.”
Throw pillows: Roxanne Raffia fabric by Mikayo Saito, in Teal.
Coffee Table: Angle Coffee Table, with metal legs & glass top.
Artwork: “Eternal”, collage on white ground by Bob Hunt.
Wall color: Sherwin Williams, Silverplate SW7649
Artfully mixed and matched, Indigo2ash’s wide selection of rugs, drapes and pillows--available in thirty subtle shades and myriad textures and patterns--brings incomparable verve to stylish ensembles of classic Mid-century Modern furnishings. At Indigo2ash, home is not only a place, but an experience, the setting most central to our families, friendships and visual adventures. It is our pleasure to take you on this continuous journey of design discovery.