With nautical nuances
When decorating with a motif in mind, whether tackling a great room or a closet, the easiest mistake to make being too literal. Here is a collection of understated suggestions…
When it comes to the interiors of an ocean-going vessel, there is always great temptation to include nods to the nautical-the sea is what draws us all to yachts, and wanting to pay homage to our favored element is a noble pursuit. As it is with good writing, successful design and Interior decoration is about showing, not telling. Though sometimes rather blurry, the line between chic and tacky comes down to subtlety, balance and restraint. Referencing the sea, and the sea faring tradition, can be made through color, form and line without ever being too obvious. We’ve complied some of our current favorites with the hope that it will inspire you to embrace the new nautical.
Shell Company By Marc Fish The nautilus shell, unassuming as it may be, is among the most beautiful natural forms. Its balance and form has served as the inspiration for artists and mathematicians for millennia: the hidden spiral exemplifying nature’s grand perfection. Contemporary woodworker and furniture maker Marc Fish worked to honor this singular form in his 2012 piece Nautilus II. As much a piece of art as it is a functional piece of furniture, the first of five in the edition was commissioned as a large statement piece, ‘with maybe a hint of the sea,’ says Fish, ‘its location being a large loft style apartment overlooking the English Channel. An open brief from the client is every makers dream-room to explore, experiment and innovate. A new technique was developed to turn 4,000 pieces of veneer strips into a 10 mm thick logarithmic spiral.’ Using a combination of computer aided design and handcraftsmanship; the ‘shell’ interior is comprised of over 4000 individual pieces of walnut and sycamore veneer.
No Pane, No Gain By Ben Young Inspired by the undulating forms of ocean waves, self taught New Zealand-based artist and surfer Ben Young hand carves glass and concrete furnish- ings under his inspired company name-Broken Liquid. The texture and color of the glass is different in every piece he makes, ensuring truly unique pieces of artwork. Without the use of computers, Young layers and carves the glass entirely by hand, working from pencil sketches. ‘I love watching the two dimensional shapes evolve into three-dimensional creations and the different way the light plays inside the glass,’ he says. ‘I love the liquid qualities the glass brings with it. It enables me to play with lighting and watch the glass react.’
Embroidered Landscapes By Anateresa Barboza As if spilling forth from the confines of their hoops, multimedia artist Anateresa Barboza’s whimsical embroidered landscapes feel at once ancient and alive. Though often thought of as craft more than art, embroidery is an almost- lost technique that evokes a timeless, feminine tradition unlike any other medium. Barboza’s wall-hangings, most inspired by natural forms, bring this tradition into the contemporary realm while creating intriguing, powerful pieces that bring rooms to life.
The Cloud By Richard Clarkson At once a wireless speaker and a piece of functional art, The Cloud by artist and designer Richard Clarkson, is an interactive lamp and speaker system designed to mimic a thundercloud. ‘Advances in physical computing and interaction design hardware over recent years have created a new breed of smart objects,’ says Clarkson, ‘which are gaining more and more traction in the design world’. Users control the functions of the cloud through a small wireless remote. Using motion sensors, the cloud detects a user’s presence and creates a unique lightning and thunder show dictated by movement. The system features a built in speaker system from which the user can stream music via any Bluetooth compatible device. Using color-changing lights the cloud is able to adapt to the desired lighting color and brightness.
Into the Abyss By Duffy London After spending a year developing this striking table in their London studio, design firm Duffy has recently released their Abyss Table-a fully customizable 3-D topographical rendering of the ocean floor. Made of sculpted glass, Perspex and wood, clients can give the studio any previously charted location in the sea to serve as the design inspiration for the undulating, layered design. Limited to just 25 pieces, the Abyss table is meant to evoke the mystery and depth of the sea while providing a functional-if singular-focal point. In an interview, designer Christopher Duffy said, ‘I wanted to use this (layered glass) effect to replicate a real piece of the earth’s sea bed. Like a mythical power had lifted a perfect rectangle straight from the earth’s crust to use as his personal ornament.’