A Summer Dining Refresh

terrasse+035

Picnic and outdoor dining tables are so functional, but can be so… plain. Why not dress up your existing spread with a painted table runner down the center?

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Why Don’t You…?

…transform your fireplace into a colorful focal point?

I love when fireplaces act as the main event in a room – whether they’re innately tiled patterns or freestanding Scandinavian designs. But by far, my favorite technique for spotlighting a fireplace is a healthy jolt of color like the above example from Mr. & Mr. Of course, painting the fireplace alone makes for a fun statement, but by extending the color to the space above the fireplace (all the way to the ceiling!), the look is that much more commanding and powerful.

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Sonia Delaunay

Inspiration in our daily lives can come from numerous sources. Color, texture and pattern are abundant in our environment, whether dancing shadows as the sun hits the leaves of a tree, or an industrial grating, with intensity and rhythmic pattern. I recently came across a book published as part of an exhibit at the Cooper Hewitt Museum on the work of Sonia Delaunay titled Color Moves: Art & Fashion by Sonia Delaunay. Her studies in pattern and texture as a painter extended into varied medium and in turn, expression. It is wonderful to see through her eyes the design process as it evolved investigating the relationship of pattern, color and movement.
‘Painter, textile and stage designer and co-conspirator (with her husband Robert Delaunay) of the Orphist movement, Sonia Delaunay is a heroine of early modernist art and design. Known primarily as an abstract painter and colorist, Delaunay applied her talents and theories to all areas of visual expression, including graphics, interiors, theater and film, fashion and textiles. A characteristic of Delaunay work is a vivid sense of movement and rhythm through careful color combination.
Color Moves: Art & Fashion by Sonia Delaunay focuses not only on her art but also her avant-garde fashion designs for her Atelier Simultane in Paris during the 1920s, as well as textiles she designed for the Metz & Co department store in Amsterdam in the 1930s.The book features essays by Delaunay experts Matteo de Leeuw-de Monti, Matilda McQuaid and Petra Timmer, accompanied by more than 300 paintings, drawings, designs, textiles, garments and photographs.’

An accomplished and celebrated artist, ‘Sonia Delaunay claimed the first retrospective for a living female artist at the Louvre. She described her textiles as mere “exercises in color” that informed her true passion, painting. But her work in fashion and the applied arts, via her Maison Delaunay design atelier, may well be her broader legacy.’

Images and excerpts “Color Moves: The Art and Fashion of Sonia Delaunay,” 2011, at the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum

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