LOOK TO NATURE
In an era when so much design is bold and over-the-top, it can be challenging
for the average person to step outside his/her comfort zone and make unique decorating
decisions. One way to overcome this obstacle is to look to nature. Chances are if it – color,
pattern, texture – works in the natural environment, it will work in your home. Look
at the examples below and you’ll see – even Mother Nature has a glamorous side.
As seen in last week’s Luxe & Lucid post, my shelling excursion
on Chappaquiddick yielded a wealth of design inspiration.
Cool, distressed planks and endcuts for wood floors in a beach house or country home.
This shell’s pattern would make a colorful, yet delicate faux finish for a table, cabinet or mirror.
I gathered these acorns while on a walk in Battery Kemble Park last fall.
The warm tone and subtle striae would make for a beautiful wood finish.
Think outside the box and the ubiquitous animal print and the animal world
can add a unique and unexpected layer of interest to your interior.
Who knew? Chartreuse is a natural color! I would love to develop a living room
color scheme based on the Silvereye’s feathers – chartreuse, beige and grey … done!
And just such a room exists – the cool, sophisticated 2007 Kips Bay living room by Eve Robinson.
To quote Ms. Robinson, “The living room is about the color of life. It is fresh, confident and colorful.”
James Rixner’s take on the same combination of hues.
Snakeskin was the textile this past year. Inspired by fashion and the fabulous
footwear of Manolo Blahnik and Jimmy Choo, I designed a custom console table for
a client’s downtown bachelorette pad and had it wrapped in a faux snakeskin leather.
This incredible photo taken by Shannon Plummer illustrates the complex texture of an elephant’s skin.
SJW Studios has a wallcovering that when installed on the reverse, mimics just such a texture. Or
you could enlist the talents of a decorative finisher like Colorfaux Designs who created the look below.
Tortoiseshell is both classic and modern – a finish that will never go out of style.
I mean, really … could the shell above be any more beautiful?!
Huntley & Co. is fabricating a mirror similar to this Mitchell Yanosky
version to hang above the vanity in a client’s master bath. So chic!
And finally, the haut monde of animal skins. Shagreen. The pebbled skin of rays and
sharks can be found in its natural form – for a price – in accessories and furniture.
But it’s also being replicated these days in finishes and textiles to great effect.
I will never, ever tire of this naturally glamorous material.
clockwise from top left: Clement Rousseau chair c. 1921, the Toulon Mirror in a Huntley & Co.
powder room, Jacques Adnet antique secretaire and bronze/shagreen/agate vases R&Y Augousti.
… and faux shagreen paper covering walls and hidden doors in an H&C bedroom.
You don’t need to look far. Rustic, subtle or glamorous – nature can inspire any interior.
* POSTSCRIPT *
Huntley & Co. is featured this week in the Before & After section of lushclick.com – a modern
girl’s online design and lifestyle resource founded by Elizabeth Manresa. Check it out!