Wednesday, April 20, 2011

about Design on a Dime... Great Shapes: DESIGNLUSH

If Bruce Wayne were a modernist, he'd shop at DESIGNLUSH.

But this would be the Christian Bale version of stately Wayne Manor... a little dark, very sexy, more modern, a definite masculine vibe.

And Mr. Wayne would love the dual personality of DESIGNLUSH, too. The collection has two distinct sides: one, a little lighter, organic, sculptural, and with an architectural and industrial bent. Then there's the glam side... a little Grace Jones, a little swank 80's bachelor pad, with indulgent finishes, luxe fabrics and hides. Bat cave, indeed, if a Studio 54 production.

This ship is steered, and the collection curated, by Stephen Mitchell. Don't let the boyish charm fool you... Stephen is a retail and furnishings veteran. Over the years, he's pulled together an impressive roster of modern design stars to showcase in his recently expanded showroom in the New York Design Center, Rick Lee, Peter Mann, Jacob Marks, Adam Simha, John Pagliaro, Gwen Carlton, and ESQUE Studio, to name but a few.

Installation shot of Fall, 2008's, Modern Masters Collection at Designlush

I've had the pleasure of working with Stephen and his stable of design thoroughbreds both in the showroom and while helping to promote some amazing seasonal events, like Modern Masters, a global collection that showcased the state of the art of contemporary woodworkers with what Stephen dubbed "heirlooms of tomorrow."

Stephen stepped up and donated two very shapely pieces to my Design on a Dime efforts. The first is one of the highly usable "Hal" stools. Why these stool/sidetables don't fly out of the showroom, I don't know. Perfectly scaled, no bad side, usable sculpture, designer pedigree. They work beautifully in clusters, but also totally hold their own. What's not to like?

The second piece shows the softer side of DESIGNLUSH... a creamy-gorgeous premium hide that will be anchoring my seating area. (The eagle-eyed among you will recognize the hide rug from my window at the Bloomingdale's Big WIndow Challenge, where Stephen loaned me a pair.)

Why do I love these pieces in this space?

The Hal stool brings some wood warmth to all the metals, and relates beautifully in shape to the Wisteria Architectural Stainless Steel Stool. The hide adds an organic layer to warm up all the modern, but its overall single tone keeps things cool and minimal, even when layered. It also relates nicely to the ivory tones of the Chinese figures. Its shape breaks out of the stricter geometry of most of the other pieces, but color brings it back into the space.

It's fitting that some of the most organic and sculptural pieces in the vignette are coming from DESIGNLUSH, since sculptural and organic are what DESIGNLUSH does best. Thanks, Stephen!

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