[Detail view, Grey Crawford photograph of Schuyler Samperton's coffee table as seen in Elle Decor, 2003.]
In his new book Michael Smith says, "Designing a house is a bit like the movies because you're making up stories.." It's fascinating, for me at least, to learn about these stories people make up in their heads -- the fantasies that become sort of the back-story for a design. Often it's a highly personal vision based on a film, a book, or even a moment in time.
For example, some say that Schuyler Samperton's style is partly informed by Exile, a volume of photographs from celebrated French rock photographer Dominique Tarlé. The pictures were taken during the summer of 1971 while Tarlé stayed with Keith Richards and Anita Pallenberg at Villa Nellcôte. Think rock stars -- the ultimate rock stars -- playing in the South of France with a stately house as the backdrop.
Since I'm so inspired by images of Jackie visiting India in the early 60s, I was thrilled to recently read in House Beautiful that Peter Dunham describes his textile collection as "half Jackie Kennedy goes to Jaipur and half Brigitte Bardot 1960s South of France." There really is a collective design unconscious.
If you are interested in learning more about JBK's travels, her interest in art, her involvement with The Met, or the books she edited, check out the PBS documentary, Jackie: Behind the Myth.
What books, films, or time periods are part of your design back-story?
Illustration is by Jacqueline Duheme, as seen in Mrs. Kennedy Goes Abroad. Depicted are Lee Radziwell and Jacqueline Kennedy riding elephant, Jaipur 1962.
Peter Dunham textile images are courtesy House Beautiful. Albert Hadley's inspiration board is from Parish-Hadley: Sixty Years of American Design.