Classic country characteristics work beautifully in contemporary settings and are used by some of the finest interior designers to create eclectic spaces. This notion is explored in our next color and design trend, "Charms of Country Life." Timeless with a contemporary twist, this look draws on elements — such as stressed timbers, green and pastel hues, and floral patterns and themes — all offset against a modern backdrop. Below are a few examples of this trend:
Mi Propio Nirvana
"Flora" Festival, an annual international event set in Cordoba, Spain, features botanical artists from around the world who transform Spanish courtyards. The festival explores the cultural exchange between traditional spaces such as the patios of Córdoba and the contemporary and surprising art of the floral installations, creating a dialogue between tradition and innovation. Located within the courtyard of the Bullfighting Museum, Isabel Marias’ work, "Mi Propio Nirvana," is a dreamlike garden represented by a large model constructed of flowers, plants and moss.
Mi Propio Nirvana
Located on the buzzing Lower East Side, the Ludlow Hotel was designed by hoteliers Sean MacPherson, Ira Drukier and Richard Born. Built within an abandoned industrial building, the hotel features 175 spacious guest room with exposed beams, dark hardwood floors and handmade silk rugs. The oak-paneled lobby includes a lounge complete with a grand limestone fireplace, and the adjacent garden is flooded with natural light. Exotic hanging fixtures soften the industrial vibe of the building, while marble mosaic floors, an eclectic mix of vintage furniture and handpicked finds, and striking art give the area a private and personal feel, like a New Yorker’s downtown living space.
Japanese floral artist Azuma Makoto presented two experiments on decomposition at the Oi Futuro Museum in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The project includes a cut flower garden on the exterior of the museum and a large installation of flowers in the interior gallery space, showcasing the decomposition of flowers at different scales. The exterior cut flower garden, entitled "Gaibu-Outside," decomposes in full view of the passerby on an open field. Makoto envisioned the piece as a form of reverse agriculture as the flowers are planted "to die" and alludes to the Buddhist contemplation of life and death. The interior element of the project, titled "Naibu-Inside," is a large installation that allows one to follow the process of the flowers’ decomposition in detail, as they are enveloped in a large glass box.
Azuma Makoto Exhibitions
Housed in the former century-old Hotel Fenelon in Paris, Bienvenue is the latest addition to hotelier Adrien Gloaguen’s growing collection. Set across two buildings separated by a central courtyard — affectionately christened Town and Countryside — the hotel’s colorful new interiors are by Chloé Nègre, who gave each building a distinct look. Thirty-two Art Deco-inspired rooms in Town are revealed in smooth pastel color palettes, with handmade curved velvet headboards and forged-iron lighting to match, while on the other side, Countryside’s eight rooms have a floral bent with flower-printed wallpaper and curtains and daisy-shaped taps.
Set in Midtown Manhattan and conceived by the ever-inspired design doyenne Kit Kemp, The Whitby is Firmdale Hotels’ second property in New York. Boasting 86 individually styled bedrooms and suites encompassing 16 floors, the hotel features luxurious, contemporary style and world-renowned innovative mix of color, pattern, texture and art. Bathrooms are beautifully finished in marble or granite, with the bedrooms and suites showcasing the city through floor-to-ceiling windows. Fabric covers the walls and columns in the hotel bar, all designed by Kemp herself. Other ornate details include an oversized rainbow-hued loom woven above the reception desk, 40 hand-etched porcelain vessels with depictions of famous New York buildings and bridges that line a wall in the sunlit Orangery (a sunny dining room), and a dramatic chandelier in the upstairs library.
The Whitby Hotel
Sydney-based eye wear company Oscar Wylee has recently opened its first Melbourne store, designed by the local architecture and interior design practice DesignOffice. The design response is anchored in an understanding of the Oscar Wylee brand, its eyewear and the way you shop it. It is a brand with a very focused attention to detail, embodying a confident sense of simplicity yet something of an effortless and warm personality. The space is therefore very clean and simple, yet is also layered with color, depth and crafted details. The compact store is expressed as a pair of adjacent rooms, lined with a gently curved, custom solid timber display system. Walls are wrapped in maple timber floating above a base of mid-gray rubber. Stainless steel and white plaster complete the core palette balanced with injections of olive green, cobalt blue and terracotta.
Oscar Wylee Store
All Photography Used with Permission