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Guest Blogger-Ashlee Richardson on Inspiration from Nature

As an emerging Interior Design professional, I find myself constantly seeking inspiration for design projects. Looking to designers like Barbara Barry helps me to figure out how other designers find inspiration throughout their iconic careers. Barbara Barry’s latest book “Around Beauty” has led me to realize that nature can be a source of eternal inspiration. In Ms. Barry’s book she walks us through her daily life as a designer and how she finds inspiration everywhere she goes.  She states that many times her color palette for a room can be influenced by something as simple as a pistachio. Ms. Barry says, “crack it open and discover the impeccable pairings of lavender and lime, ivory and tusk. Looking closely, you will see a pistachio’s influence in my work: beached oak floors, pale green walls, and hints of lavender in pillows and trims.”

Pistachio

Nature offers us dynamic color combinations, all we must do is go outside and absorb. I am overjoyed as I read Ms. Barry’s passionate words about the colors that inspire her work. Citrine, a color that I recently grew to love especially when paired with a rich emerald purple, is also one of Barbara Barry’s favorite colors.  Ms. Barry says, “Citrine is liquid light, and this jewel of a color pops up throughout my day in the thin smear of olive oil on an all-white plate…”

how-olive-oil-works-3

 

Barbara Barry’s favorite color in nature is the color of a fig. “There’s something delicious about a fig’s powdery surface conjuring up dark velvets and luscious silks–it’s deep color can be an exclamation mark of dark in a pale room.” It is so intriguing to me to read Ms. Barry’s words and to see how she see’s the world, so pure yet abstract.

SONY DSC

I recommend Barbara Barry’s book “Around Beauty” to any designer or non-designer in need of inspiration.  Indeed inspiration is the greatest feeling someone can have and as Ms. Barry reveals, “I feel my most alive on the edge of an idea…my heart beats fast and I feel my most confident.” In closing, go outside and get INSPIRED!

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Global Interior Designer Andree Putman (Dec. 23, 1925 – Jan. 19, 2013)

studioputman.com

studioputman.com

On my first trip to Paris I traveled with a group gathered from our many friends from Sacramento and Los Angeles who were interior designers and architects. One of our private audiences was at the studio of Andree Putman. The year was 1995.

studioputman.com

studioputman.com

How impressed I was by her individual style and presence as we reveled in a designer of her stature and global influence taking time to meet with our group! She was an emissary of Parisian chic culture and rediscovered forgotten 1930’s French Modernist furniture found in the flea market chic which she then marketed through her own Ecart International. Ms. Putman’s designs favored simple lines and a few good pieces that enhanced an otherwise hushed, monochromatic environment. “Good design is pure and simple, and I am interested in the kinds of things that will never date.”

Guest room at Morgans Hotel (Wmagazine.com)

Guest room at Morgans Hotel (Wmagazine.com)

Her career changing commission came in the early 1980’s when the NYC hotelier Ian Schrager hired her to design the interiors for his new Morgans Hotel. This became the prototype of the new boutique hotel, a small artistically designed answer to standardized mass-market hotels.

Andree Putman and daughter Olivia (nestle-nespresso.com)

Andree Putman and daughter Olivia (nestle-nespresso.com)

Now, as I celebrated my own milestone birthday in Paris this past January, I was saddened to read that this legend in interior design had passed away. I immediately went online to read more about her firm and how her daughter Olivia had become the artistic director at her expressed wishes in 2009.

studioputman.com

studioputman.com

The notice of her death gave the time and location of her service at St. Germain des Pres. Arriving as the church bells rang, I watched as her simple wooden casket was received by the classic black hearse. Andree’s stunningly attractive daughter, Olivia, with her three sons received condolences from a cluster of black cloaked friends and colleagues. Multiple flower memorials were coordinated in white flowers only. The mourners walked a few steps across the street to Café Flores upstairs for the reception. It was as simple and elegant as the designer herself. I was gratified to have witnessed and whispered my own goodbye. Her influence on my profession was profound.

studioputman.com

studioputman.com

To learn more about the amazing Andree Putman visit her website: www.StudioPutman.com

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