EGGPLANT DINING SPACE/BLACK AND WHITE LIVING ROOM
Clients: Stella, restaurant owner (a San Francisco transplant) and Alicia, political journalist and essayist, Harlem-born, Paris-bred, both women now rooted in their DUMBO loft.
Favorite Color: Stella, Aubergine; Alicia, Black & White
Favorite Quotes: Stella: “Reviewing the literature on love I noticed how few writers, male or female, talk about the impact of patriarchy, the way in which male domination of women and children stands in the ways of love.”--bell hooks. Alicia: “You have to learn to get up from the table when love is no longer being served.”--Nina Simone
Design Inspiration: Stella: “The Los Angeles house of Charles and Ray Eames--Modernism infused with brilliant color and playfulness, even.” Alicia: “The black and white interiors of Andree Putman.”
Favorite Restaurants: Stella: “Call me old-fashioned, but I love all the recipes from Alice Waters’ restaurant, Chez Panisse, in Berkeley, California. Just randomly selected this from their website menu: “Dal Porto Ranch spring lamb cooked in the fireplace with roasted artichokes.” Sounds good, no? Also, the very old--and old-fashioned--Tadich Grill in San Francisco, a seafood restaurant founded in 1849.
Alicia: “Le Pavillon Ledoyen, 3 Michelin stars, on the Champs-Elysees. The chef, Yannick Alléno, has become known for his version of the hot dog, an homage to New York City street food.”
Stella: “Alicia’s and my ideals for decoration are completely different--I’m earthy, she’s elegant-- yet somehow we’ve forged a synthesis that works and which we both like. As a Californian, I will always love best the houses created there, throughout the 20th century, by architects like Julia Morgan and Bernard Maybeck in Berkeley. I also admire the Los Angeles mid-century architects such as Schindler and Neutra, who brought a certain earthiness and woodiness to Modernism, making it warmer and more habitable.”
Alicia: “Having lived in Paris, I gravitate to a polished elegance and chic totally unsuited to DUMBO loft living. However, it is still possible to bring in traces of the stark black and white schemes I love using Mid-Century reproduction furniture and new textiles on a reasonable budget.”
Stella: “We decided that I would design the dining area, while Alicia would do the living room, giving us each a chance to express our personal aesthetic, and, at the same time, work together so that the two spaces looked related and flowed into each other. Our loft is beautifully high ceilinged, with whitewashed brick walls and huge mullioned windows, natural architectural assets that don’t need a lot of elaborate decoration added.”
“Although I love old rugged wooden tables, we were both quite taken with the enduring stylishness of the classic white marble Saarinen oval dining table and felt its purity would go well with the white brick walls. We looked at some authentic vintage Saarinen tables, but they were much too expensive so we chose a reproduction, the Flume Table, from Indigo2ash, accompanied by four reproduction Warren Platner chairs, the ones with steel spokes, like a sheaf of wheat. I really wanted to introduce a note of luxury and intense color into the room, so I chose Silken Velvet in a vivid shade of Eggplant.”
“We needed a sideboard with plenty of cupboard and drawer space, and this time I went with my own inclination for wood--its depth of tone and grain--choosing a beautiful credenza on flared legs, which give it a lightness. It is teak-veneered, making a nice contrast with the walls and the white table. I feel like the room has an interesting variety of materials-- marble, metal and wood--which adds richness despite its contemporary look. It is a room which we can both live and dine in happily; it answers to both of our tastes”
Alicia: “Loft living is not my lifestyle of choice--I might have preferred tall, traditional rooms in a 19th century house-- in Bed-Stuy, for example. Yet having so much sunlight and space is, quite simply, a gift, one that lifts my spirits every single day! “
“I felt that the most important elements in the room--the pieces that would really give it visual impact--were the sofa and chairs. I chose the sleekest sofa I could find that would still be comfortable to stretch out on. Even though it’s not too practical, I wanted the sofa to be white in order to fulfill my ideal of black and white decor--but an all black sofa would have been too moody--and contented myself by putting a bunch of black throw pillows on it.”
“I tied the whole black and white scheme together with the Tasman Rug, which has a linear black-on-white pattern. After that, details like side tables, lamps and art just sort of fell into place.”
“This is all a rather more informal aesthetic than I would have chosen if I lived alone, but it has been an adventure in collaboration and being open to types of design that are outside my comfort zone. Decorating is truly a journey, especially when you embark on it with a partner! It is an emotionally rewarding form of compromise.”
Artfully mixed and matched, Indigo2ash’s wide selection of rugs, drapes and pillows are available in thirty subtle shades and myriad textures and patterns. At Indigo2ash, home is not only a place, but an experience, the setting most central to our families, friendships and visual adventures. Sign up to receive our newsletter with special offers!