Printed Matter, Ruminations
Last Thursday was the last day of the HOME Section of the New York Times; there are many of us who lament this change, remembering when the section was a very important source of news about the world of design.
I look back with great appreciation for the countless things I learned from this section, never mind that my first real media exposure was in the HOME section in February of 1989 – just two years after I opened Glenn Gissler Design.
I was introduced to the most important and the most influential HOME section writer, Suzanne Slesin, at an opening at Furniture of the Twentieth Century. I contacted her a few days later with hopes of showing her a few recently completed projects.
Suzi came to see three projects, and literally days later “A Designer Test His Wings; Maximal Style for Minimalist Tastes” appeared on the front page of the HOME Section! Including the jump page the story covered five square feet (!) of New York Times ‘real estate’ including seven photographs, three of which included me.
I nearly died!
The HOME Section has been a mere shadow of itself for many years; there are few people who would argue that. Some even see this change as a death knoll for design coverage in the New York Times.
At least for the moment I am looking at the glass as ‘half-full’, and I am hopeful that the nay-sayers will be proven wrong.
The seating arrangement on one side of the living room balance a baby grand piano and an antique French daybed on the other side of the room. The tailored furniture is upholstered in golden hues, deep purple, and vibrant leafy green has the room feel luxurious yet inviting.
I designed this Living Room 25 years ago, but this photos is from a year ago. After visiting my friends and former clients a couple of years ago I found that the project had held up, literally and figuratively, so I went in and shot new photos of an old project.
The ‘story’ here is in some ways about the importance of making thoughtful decisions in the design process in the interest of providing enduring value.
Anchoring the room are two custom Carr sofas from Jonas upholstered in Gretchen Bellinger ‘Applause”cotton velvet – and yes, it is the original upholstery.
A Pyrex glass cylinder ‘Saladino Lamp’, designed by John Saladino in 1971, sits on a table behind one of the sofas
The Barcelona Table designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in 1929 is from Knoll, and was a piece of furniture that we reused from the previous incarnation of the home. The accessories are American Arts & Crafts purchased in the early days of David Rago Auctions.
The table sits on a wonderfully washed out Antique Garden Tabriz area rug that provides understated classical richness to the room, subtly contrasting with the wool sisal carpet below.
A print by Joan Miro circa 1970 hangs over the custom limestone fireplace surround inspired by Carlo Scarpa.
In the foreground area are a pair of T-stools designed by Pierre Chareau in 1927 – iconic Modernist objects that provide additional seating.
In the right corner is a Klismos chair designed by T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings.
Design, Printed Matter
Caroline Hirsch is a woman with great personal style – a style that includes an enviable lifestyle. I have had the pleasure of creating two homes for her.
She takes meticulous care of her homes, so much so that I jest that with five minutes notice I could arrive with cameras, lights and a few flowers and start shooting photographs immediately.
Shelter magazines are in the business of creating seductive images of rooms we want to be in, and lifestyles we want to have. I love to create images that seduce, but truth be told, not all homes are as beautiful, or as well-styled as we see in print.
I can however tell you, with great confidence, that more than a decade later this home looks as good now as it did then…