ELLE DECOR September 2020

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10 Números

en este número

2 min.
are we all bohemians now?

POET ANNE SPENCER WROTE VERSE ON HER KITCHEN cabinets. Georgia O’Keeffe painted while looking outside her bedroom window. Matisse created his iconic cutouts in a private chamber plastered floor to ceiling with them. If artist studios are the work-from-home prototype—you might even call them the Platonic ideal—what can we learn from these infinitely inspiring interiors? Lighting is key—just take a look at that window in Andrew Wyeth’s studio. Equally essential is the company of good furniture—note James Baldwin in prone writing position on his bed and Cy Twombly leaning back in that antique chair in his palazzo in the 1960s. Clutter is optional: Picasso was for it; Helen Frankenthaler, not so much. Many of us, if we are fortunate, are now at home, artists in our studios, shifting and shaping…

3 min.
read the room

THE FIRST LIBRARY I EVER KNEW TOWERED OVER my childhood bed in a split-level Colonial in suburban New Jersey. There were two floor-to-ceiling wood-laminate bookcases stacked with books that my father, an insatiable reader, generally didn’t need but wanted to keep nearby. It was a weighty enough collection that my mother sometimes worried about the cases toppling over and crushing me as I slept. What happened was far more dire: I amassed my own collection. I got a job at the local library, then a liberal arts degree. I attempted to make a living reading, writing, and thinking, a folly in which I remain actively engaged. During our long, international nightmare of isolation, the personal library—which has always been stereotypically thought of as a refuge for professor types with patched elbows…

1 min.
these new books are must-haves for any private library.

The Lives of Others (RIZZOLI) The first monograph for photographer Simon Watson is a voyeuristic journey of epic interiors, from Roberto Peregalli’s riad in Tangier to the late Duchess of Alba’s home in Madrid. Young, Gifted and Black (ARTBOOK) This important survey of contemporary art by Black artists, edited by critic Antwaun Sargent, includes work by Mark Bradford, Mickalene Thomas, and Kerry James Marshall, among others. Through a Designer’s Eye (THE MONACELLI PRESS) The world as seen by ED A-Lister Matthew Patrick Smyth includes a look inside his own beautiful 1970s prefabricated home in Connecticut. Décors Barbares (VENDOME PRESS) A survey of interiors showcasing the exuberant textile designs of Nathalie Farman-Farma (see page 94), with photographs by Miguel Flores-Vianna. WORKSHOP/APD: WILLIAM ABRANOWICZ; SILLS: THIBAULT JEANSON…

3 min.
michael s. smith

Your book Designing History (Rizzoli), out in September, tells the story of how you designed the White House private residence for the Obamas in 2008 and 2009. It’s a good, long read—not your typical coffee table book. MSS: We thought a serious subject warranted a serious examination. A friend of yours, real estate agent Katherine Malkin, who was close with Desirée Rogers, the White House social secretary from 2009 to 2010, wrote you a letter of recommendation for the job. She stated that you move at the speed of lightning, stand by your convictions, and are socially responsible and a genius. Did she forget anything? MSS: I make it a practice not to question positive hyperbole. When Rogers called to say that the Obamas were considering you for the position, you were sunbathing…

1 min.
dressing up at home

With its saddle-stitched detailing and chestnut gleam, Ralph Lauren Home’s Addison club chair captures the refinement of equestrian craftsmanship. 31.5” w. X 32.5” d. X 32” h., from $3,195. ralphlaurenhome.com Torn between solids and prints when it comes to your furniture? Fendi Casa’s velvet Margaret chair melds reliability and whimsy with its striped front legs and deep indigo seat, support, and rear leg. 28.5” w. X 25” d. X 27.5” h., from $6,560. luxurylivinggroup.com Part of the third Christian Lacroix Maison collection for Roche Bobois, this six-panel wooden Bois Paradis screen features an Eden-like plant-and-animal panorama on one side and the botanical Cuillette print on the other. 108” w. X 1” d. X 75” h., $10,115. roche-bobois.com Inspired by the botanical imagery of 19th-century artists such as Anna Atkins and Kazuma Ogawa, Loewe is launching a…

1 min.
classical studies

WHEN DESIGNER Jeffrey Bilhuber began envisioning the prints in his fabric collaboration with Le Gracieux, it was important that his final designs strike that elusive balance between newness and recognition. “From the small-scale geometrics to the large-scale botanicals, I wanted them to look familiar but feel fresh again and vibrant,” Bilhuber says. “I’m not nostalgic by nature.” However, he is appreciative of the past. Scattered throughout the collection are historical design nuances that add texture to his 2020 ideas. For example, Baldwin, a tiny abstract pattern, nods at decorator Billy Baldwin, and Bancroft, with its charming oak-leaf motif, was inspired by Colefax and Fowler owner Nancy Lancaster. Bromley references batiks, such as those covering the sofas in socialite Pat Buckley’s Connecticut home. The eight designs come in five color-ways and…