Here I am enjoying a perfect sunny January morning in Paris.
I cannot believe it has been ten years since we moved into our apartment on the Left Bank. A lot of fortuitous events have crossed my path over the years, but nothing has compared to that moment ten years ago when, in a leap of blind excitement, I began my Paris adventure. I have come to know this beautiful city very well and have found it to be a place of endless inspiration — and a place that has afforded me the luxury of reflection by simply allowing me time to walk in quiet thought without the distractions of cell phones and constant emails. It is amazing how I can live one way in the US and live so differently once I cross the ocean.
My Paris apartment has been a great place to recharge my creative battery.
While most of its furnishings I have designed, I have acquired a number of pieces from dealers here on the Left Bank and the Flea Market.
Happy New Year!
Each year in January, we have the opportunity for a fresh start; and this, of course, engenders myriad hopeful resolutions — both personal and professional. For the design community, it’s a chance to reflect on our creative work during the prior year, and re-focus on our design goals for the next.
We asked our guest designers to share their 2012 resolutions. What are yours?
Michael S Smith
My resolutions are both about color. I want to use more reds. Red is a color I haven’t used in a long time. Also, I want to try to use more green – bright greens with whites.
I hope to engage local universities with interior design programs in mentoring young furniture designers by creating an internship that actively engages students into our furniture design process.
Also — I continue to hand-draw my designs and turn my drawings over to my staff to create our CAD drawings. I am determined to learn this software in 2012.
Keep it (even more) simple:
As I head into the New Year I am resolved to keep everything in my life more simple. My desk, my conversations, my agenda, my designing. Why? Because there is clarity in simplicity and I think that is something we can all use when starting out again, fresh, at the New Year.
Interior designers Cassandra LaValle, editor of Coco + Kelley, and Julieann Covino, editor of CreateGirl, share their favorite Baker designs of 2011.
The year is wrapping up, and like much of the rest of the world, we at Baker have begun to reflect on 2011 as we look forward to 2012. It’s been an exciting year for us, with new collections launched amidst worldwide buzz. In the spirit of reflection, we wanted to celebrate some of our most fantastic new designs to hit our showroom floors in 2011. And while we could easily pick out a number of pieces, we thought we’d ask two of our favorite interior design bloggers — Cassandra LaValle, Editor of Coco + Kelley, and Julieann Covino, Editor of CreateGirl — to tell us which Baker designs of 2011 stood out to them the most.
Sometimes the best thing is the most simple thing…
At the holidays when the pressure is on, it’s nice to pull in for a moment and remember it’s the thought that really matters. And the way to express that thought can be quite simple.
As well traveled as I am, I must also admit that I enjoy being a tourist. I’m not sure why that’s become a negative term — what is wrong with exploring all the iconic landmarks and pulling out a camera? After many years of dividing my time between Washington and Paris, I have let go the unnecessary insecurities of pulling out a map or asking directions in a language I do not pretend to have mastered. I am a tourist, a guest far from home, yearning to be inspired… how lucky!
Over the past ten years, my exposure to Paris and French style has given me an endless stream of inspiration. But I have also come to love and appreciate the relaxed beauty of the Italian culture: the heartwarming cuisine, the opened arms of the Italian people and the romance of cityscapes worn by centuries of living. In October my partner, Juan Carlos, and I had the pleasure of spending four perfect days in Venice.
Lighting is sometimes overlooked in interior design; perceived as less important among the design elements in a room. But the right lighting not only creates the right mood in a space — it also acts as the art, the jewelry of the room. These eight table lamps are some of our favorites — each one unique and eye-catching in its own way.
Vintage Couture: The André Arbus Collection Couture Table Lamp
The Couture Table Lamp, based on original sketches by Arbus from the 1940s, draws its inspiration from the Art Deco movement in Paris. The leather-wrapped column is hand-cut, hand-stitched, and sewn to fit – much like the Parisian couture fashion that influenced the feminine form of the lamp. But while the design evokes a bygone era, the lamp speaks with a modern vocabulary – lending itself to any setting, from traditional to contemporary.
Posted in Baker Designers, Baker Designs
Tagged lamps, Lighting, table lamps, The Andre Arbus Collection, The Barbara Barry Collection, The Bill Sofield Collection, The Jacques Garcia Collection, The Laura Kirar Collection, The Pagani Collection, The Selected Works of Tony Duquette, The Thomas Pheasant Collection
Designers and artists Stéphane and Frouwkje Pagani, the creative forces behind PaganiStudio, partnered with Baker in 2009 to create The Pagani Collection. The striking lighting designs that resulted from this partnership have been called modern sculpture. We asked the Paganis to share with us the inspiration behind these designs — and weren’t surprised to learn how much art, architecture and fashion influenced their lighting collection.
New York designers Suysel dePedro Cunningham and Anne Maxwell Foster, known together as Tilton Fenwick, have become seemingly ubiquitous in the interior design world — appearing on the pages of TradHome, Lonny, Apartment Therapy, So Haute, and more. Additionally, they were recently chosen to design the 2011 Hampton Designer Showhouse presented by Traditional Home. We asked Suysel and Anne to share with us their story, their inspiration, and a few design tips. Enjoy!
How did you get your start in interior design?
We both had a similar start in the field, starting our careers out of college in advertising and later making a complete shift to follow our true passions in interior design. For both of us, the first move was landing an entry level job at a prestigious NYC design office, even if it meant filing paper, answering phones, ordering office supplies or organizing the books in the office library.
Who has influenced your career or style the most?
Those firms where we learned the business: Markham Roberts, Brockshmidt & Coleman, and Ashley Whittaker Design. With a combined decade plus of experience at these firms, they have all had a huge impact on how we work in color, furniture plans, materials, composition, details. They have all had an incredible influence on our style, what we view as great interior design, and the way we run our office day to day.
Barbara Barry’s name is synonymous with luxury — not an overwhelming, ostentatious luxury, but the kind of luxury that represents a life well-lived. Like the luxury of drinking tea in her serene California home. The luxury of the finest materials, of clean lines in an uncluttered space, of reading a classic novel in a sun-washed room. These are, afterall, the things that make life special — and how else would you define luxury?
We asked Barbara to share with us the things that make her happiest — those items that inspire her designs, her watercolors, her life. Her answers are often simple things — but they each represent her unique brand of luxury.
Both Baker furniture and the Labor Day holiday trace their roots to the late 1800s. Then as now, American labor was changing — with hand craftsmanship growing more rare, the demand for creativity more pervasive, and the implementation of technology more important. At Baker our craftsmanship is at the heart of what we do, and the associates who work in our factories are the lifeblood. On this Labor Day, we want to celebrate all of our associates — and introduce a few of them to you.
Sandra Benfield – Master Decorator
Sandra stands behind one of her current projects - the new Tortoiseshell Centre Table from the Stately Homes Collection
Sandra has been painting for thirty years, the last seven with Baker. Her work includes hand-painting and metal leafing, among a number of other inventive techniques. While she might very well have painted your accent table, she almost certainly helped our product designers refine their vision for it — a favorite part of her work. Sandra explains that “Baker finishes are almost entirely freehand, with the emphasis on depth and detail, and no two are exactly the same.”