Thursday, December 30, 2010

At Home

Suzanne Rheinstein's book "At Home - A Style for Today with Things from the Past" is a lovely book full of absolutely beautiful photographs of her interiors. The book features a collection of her projects including two of her own residences. Click on Elle Decor for a link to an article on her New York Residence - which has better pictures than these.

I had the pleasure of hearing Suzanne at a lecture on the book recently and was delighted to hear about her past and the many things that have influenced her vision with regards to her interior design. Her talk was very personal - her early years spent in New Orleans, her travels - her interests in art and architecture - she speaks of these things with a clear voice that brings added depth to her work.

My involvement with Suzanne has been the kind of quintessential collaboration that is ideal. We talk about embellishments - she will give me background information - colors, fabrics, design concepts - and then let's me interpret all of that into something special. She doesn't try to control me but gives me the freedom to utilize my knowledge and is open to the results.

I embellished the curtains in the living room of her New York residence with a custom embroidered chenille design. Inspired by a drawing in the Jansen book - the design is a simple, classic - well scaled geometric design. The chenille was custom dyed and applied to the fabric using a hand-guided technique with the Cornely machine and was given an additional chain stitch outline "shadow" in a darker color to create more surface interest.

Hearing Suzanne's story was interesting for another fact - she used to be neighbors with another client of mine - Ann Holden of Holden & Dupuy. Suzanne's recalled fond memories of the home of Gerrie Bremermann, Ann's mother, another very successful interior designer and antiquarian.

Should you wish an autographed copy of Suzanne's book - call her beautiful Los Angeles shop "Hollyhock" - I know they will be delighted to send one.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Once again - Trapunto!

I love the dimensional effects I achieve with Trapunto. Recently a client brought me a photo of some antique pillows. The images on the pillow were built up for dimension using some kind of underlay - I've seen antique pieces that had a sewn underlay in stitches or felt but have also seen them utilize a cellulose underlay as well.

I chose a dark platinum rayon thread to approximate the tarnished metallic like embroidery on the original and proceeded with my sample by digitizing a series of satin stitch shapes then using a software tool called line carving, to create the linear separation in the satin stitch.

Some people may actually prefer a flat surface for their pillows - but wanting to capture the essence of the antique piece, I utilized a hand-guided chain stitch outline that provided an additional detail and at the same time, allowed me to attach the muslin backing I needed for Trapunto. Once the chain stitch was completed, I could fill the pocked made by the two fabrics with cotton thread and complete the final sample.

My client loved the results - there will be four pillows to design.