My obsession du jour is “The Himmeli!” This organic, geometric sculpture is named from the Swedish word ‘himmel’ meaning sky or heaven. Ever since I saw the artistic mobiles hanging in a J.Crew in SoHo, I find myself dreaming of simple and minimalist metals. Originally built with stalks of straw grown from the prior years harvest, the designs would be prominently displayed in the main room of a cottage. It was thought that “the larger the himmeli crafted, the more prosperous the following season’s crop.”
One purveyor of these unique Scandinavian designs particularly stands out. Meet Melissa from Gran Rapids, Michigan of HRUSKAA (pronounced Her-oo-shh-ka). Her favorite materials include straw, string, linen, leather and wood. Each of Melissa’s original designs are influenced by the pure simplicity of Scandinavian styling and are made for medium to small scaled spaces.
Above, the perfectly faceted 22″ wreath inspired from the himmeli changes visual perspective from every angle, playing off its clever lines. It casts a beautiful geometric pattern on the wall when the light is just right, truly a sculptural piece of art to admire.
An unconventional air plant vase hangs out casually and seamlessly with frames, antlers, and other forest creatures. It is perfectly sized to hold a Tillandsia, [aka. air plant] for display. Hand sewn from solid brass straw and nylon cord, the metal is ‘bright’ but will naturally oxidize and darken over time.
Tom Mora, the designer behind J.Crew’s womenswear for the Winter 2014-2015 collection, was inspired by Berlin’s Weimar Republic of the 1920 and 1930’s. Think cabarets, coffee shops, Dada-ism, red lips, drop waists, trousers, short hair and Bauhaus-styles. This period is frequently cited as one of those with the highest level of intellectual production in human history; hello Einstein.
This Outfit: J. Crew Women’s Fall-Winter 2014-2015 is slightly masculine and geometric, yet keeps it girly with tinges of burgundy, blue, navy, camel and pale pink. // That Room: A patterned bedroom from Better Homes & Gardens is not afraid to mix things stripes with wide strips, floral with geometry, and wicker with fabric. The patterns all mesh because they follow a specific color scheme. A lesson for interiors and clothing!
Continuing my J.Crew obsession, let’s rewind to Spring 2014’s Ready-to-Wear collection that included unfussy uniforms inspired by a laid-back surfer culture. The palette is overtly minimal: black, white, and a punch of orange. The orange brings the summer, the sun, and the light. The fabrics are cut structurally and yet remain casual and crisp. The designer explained that the theme of summer on the Venice Lido, circa the turn of the twentieth century informed much of his thinking. “Back then, going to the beach meant dressing up,” he pointed out. “It was very polished.”
This Outfit: Look 20 from the Spring 2014 collection reminds me of what a business woman would wear to a meeting on the Italian Riviera during the height of a heatwave. The chandelier, jeweled earrings bring sophistication. But, overall the shape remains boxy with geometry pervading the shirt, the shoes, and even lining of the shorts. // That Room: A daring black and white striped rug centers an otherwise stark and achromatic room. The bold pillows, side stool, and wall hanging bring life the room by adding electric orange. Photograph fromBo Bedre(Live Better), a Danish magazine, that creates dreams for the Scandinavian lifestyle.
Continuing our time travels, the J. Crew Fall 2013 collection paid homage to opulent Morocco. The rich embellishments, heavy fabrics and deep hues conveyed a sense of North African royalty. The colors – burgundies and palatinates – played nice with the arabesques. All looks were topped off with jewel details, glittery brocade and jacquard. Luxurious yet, sporty.
This Outfit: Look 14 from Fall 2013 combines the texture of a Kilim rug with a jacket. The moorish trellis (quatrefoil) pattern pervades the oxblood, silk shirt. The look remains athletic with tracksuit piping. The model’s vintage-inspired sunglasses are the colors of Moroccan sands.// That Room: A fashion designer’s oasis blends tribal artifacts with exuberant color. Liza Bruce and artist Nicholas Alvis Vega’s home near Marrakech features a 1940’s Yoruba armchair, a carved-wood chair from Ethiopia, jewel tones, and a variety of West African accessories. The guest room, as photographed by Simin Upton for Elle Decor, features a Tuareg bed with pillows covered in silk from Uzbekistan.
Everyone’s favorite pale purple is actually an approximation of the average color of a lilac flower. Seeing as though not every flower is created equal – lilac runs the spectrum from almost ghostly to very rich hues. According to A Dictionary of Color, published in 1930, the first recorded use of lilac as a color name in English was in 1775. In fact, the tint was first formulated by the French for use in interior design!
Traditionally associated with grandparents, women, nostalgia and maternity (particularly for use in nurseries), there’s no reason that lilac should not be reinvented as a carefree and warm choice for any living space.
Beautiful styling by Mette Helena Rasmussen via Nordic Design photographed by Tia Borgsmidt.
I lost myself on a cool damp night, Gave myself in that misty light, Was hypnotized by a strange delight, Under a lilac tree. I made wine from the lilac tree, Put my heart in its recipe, It makes me see what I want to see and be what I want to be…