interior decor

5 Chairs: Modern Design Classics you should know by Ginevra Held

1.  Lounge and Ottomon Charles and Ray Eames 2. Panton Classic Chair, Vernor Panton 3. Wassily Chair (1925), Marcel Breuer 4. Tulip Chair, Eero Saarinen  5. Chaise Longue, Le Corbusier, Charlotte Perriand, and Pierre Jeanneret

1.  Lounge and Ottomon Charles and Ray Eames
2. Panton Classic Chair, Vernor Panton
3. Wassily Chair (1925), Marcel Breuer
4. Tulip Chair, Eero Saarinen
5. Chaise Longue, Le Corbusier, Charlotte Perriand, and Pierre Jeanneret

Without any arrogance, I promise, I am starting a series of  "You should Know"s for your personal Design Development. The intent of this series is to give you a little bit of cocktail convo knowledge and a lot more confidence in what you know about design.

So to begin, I chose the number 5, not because there are only 5 modern Classic chairs to know, far from it, there are way way more, but because its a nice prime number to start with.  These are the chairs, as the daughter of an Architect, that I have known about my entire life.  That I have seen over and over again, that I have lounged in and enjoyed.  

I hold these chairs to be self-evident, but there are many out there who can't tell an Eames from a Panton from a Corbu. This, my friends, is for you.

Finally, before I describe each in detail, an Interior Design note for everyone:  These are the chairs that can live anywhere. Whether you have a Haussman apartment in the 6th (thats in Paris for Newbs) or a 260 square foot studio in Detroit, these chairs make your space.  Read on and enjoy.

1. Lounge and Ottoman by Charles and Ray Eames, 1956, Herman Miller.

Ahhh, the Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman, officially known as No. 670.  The holy grail of modern design cool.  If you are trying to impress, and don't know much about design, you should at least recognize this beautiful piece.  Often placed in somewhat lonely looking modern rooms, with little adornment, it was actually designed by two of the most exuberant luminaries of the modern design world: Charles and Ray Eames.  This is an important moment to note that the Eames' house was full of color and design and anything but bare minimalism. The Eames' were commissioned by the United States government to design splints for US soldiers, this led to experimentation with molding plywood, which eventually led to many of their most famous chair designs, including this one.  The No. 670 was originally designed for the Museum of Modern Art's "Organic Design in Home Furnishings" competition in 1940.  The prototype exhibited there, became one of the many furniture collaborations  between the Eames's and the furniture manufacturer Herman Miller.

2. Panton Chair by Vernor Panton, 1959-1960, Vitra for Herman Miller.

Vernor Panton is probably one of my most favorite designers, and this is my favorite chair.  I saw an exhibit on Panton at the Design Museum in London in the early 2000's.  It was an absolute experience.  I was transported to the '60's and the fun and exuberance of Pop Art Culture.  I was completely enamored by the work of this amazing Danish Architect.  The Panton chair is arguably the most physical embodiment of form meets function meets beauty.  It was the first chair made of an unjointed continuous material, perfect for mass production.  The joint forces of Swiss manufacturer Vitra and American Herman Miller have made its manufacture possible.  Verner Panton wanted design to be fun.  He made these chairs in bright colors and their striking organic form plus their innovative production came to represent Pop Art Culture of the 60's.

3. Wassily Chair by Marcel Breuer, 1925-1927, Knoll International.

Marcel Breuer, one of the founders of the all important Bauhaus, designed this fascinating tubular and leather suspension chair, made to be a modern interpretation of the club chair that does away with the typical timber, horsehair and spring construction of traditional chairs.  The Wassily Chair is so named because it was part of Breuer project at the Bauhaus to furnish the appartment of the painter Wassily Kandinsky. The Wassily Chair, leads a group of Breuer designs that explore this suspension collection of metal tubing and leather.  In this time of turmoil, its important to note that the Bauhaus and the innovative designers who headed it, whose works are now considered part of the lexicon of modern design, were deemed degenerates by the German government.  Think about that.

4. Tulip Chair, by Eero Saarinen 1955-1956, Knoll.

This is the tulip chair.  It is awesome. The Entire Tulip collection by Eero Saarinen represents the best in design.  Attractive, practical, innovative, fun.  The miriad of tables and chairs in this collection share the single pedestal support.  By rethinking the traditional four leg support of most tables and chairs, Saarinen opened up the area under these forms and created new open space. This chair is elegant in its form and simplicity, but embraces an organic beauty that keeps it cool and modern for today.

5. Chaise Longue, by Le Corbusier, Charlotte Perriand, and Pierre Jeanneret, 1928, Cassina.

Last, but certainly not least the LC4 Chaise Longue, designed by Le Corbusier, his cousin Pierre Jeanneret, and Charlotte Perriand.  The other day, someone, looking at a living room design I did said the "brown chair didn't match."  To which I replied, that "brown chair" is the penultimate of modern design classics.  That chair is the LC4 Chaise Longue.  And that chair is allowed to go wherever it wants. I hold this truth to be self-evident: the LC4 is at home anywhere. I've been napping on my Dad's chaise since, well, forever.  For architects and designers this chair is THE CHAIR.  It represents the fundamentals of the modern design movement of form following function, a pure example of Le Corbusier's idea of a "machine for living".  

As a send off, here is a photo of how I used the LC4.  Like I said, its at home anywhere, with anything.

Ginevra Held Interior Design

Where to buy:
1. Lounge and Ottomon by Charles and Ray Eames, $4,935.00 - $6,435.00 Design Within Reach.
2. Panton Chair by Vernor Panton, the Classic $1,675 and Regular $310 Hive Modern.
3. Wassily Chair by Marcel Breuer, $2498 Hive Modern.
4. Tulip Armchair by Eero Sarrinen, $1720 Hive Modern.
5. LC4 Chaise Longue by Le Corbusier, Perriand, Jeanneret, $3,875.00 - $4,810.00 Design Within Reach.

Design: Interior Styling of a Living Room Side Table by Ginevra Held

Hi Friends!

Its been a while....

So, I have to admit, I really like Instagram.  In thinking about why, its the purity of one really great photo.  So I thought I would use my Instagram account as a jumping off point for my post today...and maybe for days and days or miles and miles if you're a fan of The Who.

Yesterday I posted the photo you see above.  It is a detail shot of a chair and side table in a living room design I did.  The styling was influenced by a Philippe Starck Interior style shot:

I created my own composition of Fornasetti candle, other candle, bulb vase and pillow.  The Fornasetti candle I chose ended up dictating the rest of the composition.  My candle shows Fornasetti house muse Lina Cavalieri. (the lady who's face is on everything Fornasetti) looking up at a bee.  I then found a beeswax candle with a gold bee on it.  I then found vintage red silk fabric of a Napoleonic Bee print embroidered on it and my little mise en scene was complete.

Here is a little board with the individual components of the design:

1. Restoration Hardware Lorraine Chair
2. Napoleonic Bees Pillows from One King's Lane
3. Ikea Rens Sheepskin
4. Fornasetti L'Ape Candle from Barneys New York
5. Gueridon Style side table from Ballard Designs

(the above items are all clickable with links to the items.)

Well, dear reader, that's it. From inspiration to reality.  Stay tuned for more!

xoxo, Ginevra

Interior Design: Styling, not just for Photo Shoots by Ginevra Held

I've been doing a lot of styling work for photos here at the Farmhouse, and I wanted to share how that translates to your own home.

Whenever you see a photo of in interiors in a design magazine, it has been heavily styled.  The place has not just been cleaned and decluttered, its has been styled.  A stylist's job is essentially to create a mise en scene, the idea that someone lives in that home, that the place has life.  Good styling is subtle but transformative. I think of all the painting periods, Styling is most like the work of the Dutch masters like Vermeer.  Intimate and with a close attention to detail.  Many designers hire a stylist for the shoot, or a photographer has one on hand.  Personally, I like to do the styling myself, and one of my design heroes, Vicente Wolf does as well.  In fact, he also takes his own photos, which I am hoping to learn eventually as well.

Anyway, styling is about creating these mise en scene. You probably have a lot of objects and props, as I like to call them on hand already.  

My favorite things to style with: books, flowers (always!), small objects, pillows!, mirrors! and fabric.  It's all about creating a layered look and an environment that is a reflection of you.  The personal objects in your life should be put on display neatly and deliberately.  

All surfaces in your home deserve a little styling.  Side tables, coffee tables, dining tables, chairs, bookshelves etc.

And most fun, it doesn't have to be permanent, you can move things around and choose to hide or display different things at different times.  It's like decorating for the holidays, but all year long. Decorating for your life!

In the photo at the top I used a combination of books, objets, flowers, fabric and a mirror to create what I called "Miss Havisham's Reading Nook"  It has a soft dilapidation which I like.  I imagine this little nook as a lovely place to read while the sun pours in.

Here is another I did:

Here, I relied heavily on pillows, both on the bed and in the window area.  I took what was a window ledge and made it into a cozy reading seat by adding pillows.  Ah, the power of pillows!

And another:

Again pillows! A beautiful quilt, a framed drawing on the side table and a present from Net-A-Porter doesn't hurt.

What kind of styling do you do in your home?

xo, Ginevra

Interior Design: Artistic Technique by Ginevra Held

Hello all!

I wanted to share with you how one of the main decoration elements in the room, that would be the profiles of the Duke and Duchess of Urbino, came into being.  I used old fashioned pencil and paper techniques that I learned when I was little from my Dad who is an artist/architect.  These techniques are not fancy, but they are smart and creative.  There are easier more technologically advanced ways of doing this now, but there is nothing more fun for me then getting lost in a time warp of drawing.

Now, I have been using these techniques since I was little, so when it comes time to do it, the process is automatic for me.  So I am going to do my best to explain what I did.  In essence how I got from here:

To Here:

 I started with some good old fashion freehand drawing.  After I made a trace of the oval of the frame, I got to work on the Duke:

After drawing the Duke, I traced him and flipped him over.  And then drew the duchess on top of that to get their proportions right.  For example, the Duke and Duchesses' eyes are at the same level, and her hair ornament goes to the curve in his hat.  It was important to get these right, which is why I drew her on a trace of him.

A cool trick when you don't have tracing paper, is to put what you want to trace on a window.  Then put the paper you are going to draw on, and trace away.  The light pouring through makes the paper translucent and easy to trace:

Once I had the Duke and the Duchess complete, I had to get them on the wall in the room.  The cool trick for this is the turn the drawing over and apply your pencil graphite along the lines on the back of the drawing like this:

I flipped them both back over and taped them to the wall.  Once they are on the wall, you simply trace over your lines and in so doing, graphite will be transferred to the wall and you get your outline!  Its so much fun.  Make sure to press firmly!

After their outlines were transferred I was able to start painting:

And then fill them in:

Wheh! That's all folks!

It's intensive but a lot of fun and I love the result.  I'm lucky I was taught all these techniques by my Dad, they have come in handy on more than a few occasions!  As I said, there may be quicker more technological ways to do this, but for me, this hands on, multi step, I-forgot-to-eat-and-what-time-is-it? approach is the best for me.

Happy Drawing!



Interior Design: Tiny Styling Tip by Ginevra Held

Hey People! Here is a styling tip from yesterday's room reveal:

Instead of going all Marie Kondo on your magazines (you know that lady who wants you to throw out all your shit so you can have an organized life, but you really like your shit, it's yours after all, so wtf) - stack those magazines and make a side table! Organizing and Decorating in one! Then put a clock on it.  A vintage Louis XVI style clock on it.  If you liked it, you should have put a clock on it.  Feel me?

Then, if you're really cool, and I know you are, get an industrial lamp, and put in on the floor.  Not on a magazine stack.  That would be uncool.  I mean you should probably throw some of them away.  It's getting a little cluttered......




Hello Vogue!