Style Court

Nine Years of Textiles, Art History, Gardens, and a Little Mental Traveling with Courtney Barnes


Color Stories II

[American designer Dick Dumas' chair as published in 1984 in Pierre Deux's French Country.]

Have you visited Gadabout lately? The graphic designs of South Carolinian Hanna Brooks Nation keep getting richer and more intricate. Her chair above reminds me so much of interior designer Dick Dumas' Louis XV-style chair covered with an Ivory Coast batik. For her refined note cards Hanna has rendered her chair with a monogram pillow, giving customers the option of personalization.

Most of her motifs seem to have a narrative behind them. I'm especially drawn to the Chinese paper lanterns and parasol.

Envelopes hand-lined with black linen are another choice Hanna offers.

[Image of boxes courtesy Anna Applegate Interiors.]

Last night I noticed that Anna Applegate Interiors, located within Hunt & Gather in Raleigh, likes Gadabout too. Before I knew it, I was browsing H & G and stumbling upon a lot of great pieces, like this abstract. (A detail view is shown below.)

While Hanna imaginatively suggests fictional stories with her illustrations, photographer Kate Headley uses color and images to convey real stories.

You may remember this shot of hers from one of my February 2009 blog posts. I love how Kate juxtaposed the green hydrangeas and small hits of lavender with the faded green of the old Land Rover. Most of the weddings Kate shoots take place in or around Alexandria, Virginia -- sometimes the Virginia countryside -- so historic buildings abound in her work. Maybe it's because I'm familiar with the region, but the mix of old character and new verve that she captures always grabs my attention. (Textile fans, check out Liz's wedding and the ring pillow.)

[©Kate Headley. Posted with permission.]

Monesha married Jon at Meridian House designed by architect John Russell Pope. In addition to the bride, Kate had some stunning natural and man-made elements to work with. Thinking about the organic parts, I asked Kate the same question I posed to Liz Banfield: Are certain flowers more photogenic? Kate replied, "I'm inspired by classic, simple, and garden-style flowers like lilacs and peonies. For photos, I think less is more when it comes to color and arranging. Flowers such as stargazer lilies are a huge 'no' in my opinion."

[©Tanya Malott. Posted with permission.]

Currently in Atlanta, Tanya Malott is a widely published photographer and inveterate traveler who shoots weddings on an international stage. My favorite shot from a London wedding shows lavender, pink, and taupe roses casually contrasted with a vivid yellow guide book. (Flowers by Wild at Heart, London.)

[©Tanya Malott.]

[©Tanya Malott. Flowers by Beth.]

[©Tanya Malott. Tanya finds that white flowers with white or light linens and an abundance of light-reflecting silver and crystal usually combine to make beautiful photos. White flowers here by Ron Wendt.]

Tanya's view on photography and flowers? She is wide open but has many thoughts, particularly with regard to subtle hues and creamy whites.

She told me she believes all flowers are inherently photogenic. "I can't think of a flower I don't love to photograph."

"That said, there are definitely some things that work better than others, and some pitfalls to look out for. As a photographer, I am always looking for beautiful light....whether it is natural or man made. I also know that huge extremes of contrast tend not to work well overall for photography. All white flowers can be beautiful and dramatic, but they can also be a challenge in a very dark room or with an overly lit centerpiece."

Tanya feels that balance between light and dark is key. Otherwise the camera may miss the details. She explains, "I like white flowers in a very white room, or midtones in a room full of colors and medium tones, or darker flowers in a darker room."

[©Tanya Malott. Flowers by Claire Bean.]

She continues, "I always think about the color wheel. I think good florists do too. If the flowers are colorful and bright, I love to see complementary colors, because one color emphasizes the other. Reds, and warm tones are great in a very green setting. Sunflower yellows really benefit from a good dose of blue. With a softer palette, I love seeing colors that are adjacent on the color wheel -- greens, blues and lavenders -- working together."

[©Sarah Lowengard's The Creation of Color in Eighteenth Century Europe.]


Karena said...

Beautiful Post!!Love all of the images, the art and photography is amazing! Especially the abstract.

Claire Watkins, ASID allied said...

I am in LOVE with Hanna's work and her cards. Her little drawings are overflowing with personality and if I could ever decide which pattern I like the most, I would certainly buy her stationary-TO FRAME. Plus, isn't she like 25! When I finally get to have my blog designed, I do hope I can commission a header from her.

Mrs. Blandings said...

Oh my goodness, that is a lot of beauty to digest. I had not thought about how the flowers photograph, but clearly should have.

La Maison Fou said...

Just a lovely look at fleurs!

And what lucky brides to be, now of course Mrs......

Thanks for sharing,


Lacquered Life said...

I just love love those taupe roses, whoa! I have never seen anything like them ... and I love the vintage land rover pic, the colors look so beautiful together and the photo has such a magical quality. Also my boyfriend has a vintage land rover ... :)

Ivy Lane said...

Lovely post! I am dying to get out and garden..can't wait for spring..

Rose said...

Oh my gosh I love the way this wedding looks. What a cool white color and her dress was amazing!

The Peak of Chic said...

I'm with Patricia...I'm still digesting these gorgeous photos- all of them!

Josje said...

Love the chair with the red upholstery. I just may copy it in miniature.

Mélanie said...

Love these bouquets and these pictures of weddings. For valentine's week , it makes me dream