10.14.2009

Black Lacquer and Velvet: An Interior Life

In a New York Times article, designer Rick Owens said of his work, "...it wasn’t about displaying one’s wealth, but rather giving the woman a selfish pleasure. It is about using sable as the lining under a very humble jacket, the luxury is all hers.”  

This statement has stuck with me for a while; I like thinking of luxury in this way. Luxury shouldn't be about flaunting wealth, but making yourself happy, indulging your own whims.  Luxury can be subdued and indulgent, all at the same time.

I was toying around with these ideas while thinking about secretaries.  As furniture, secretaries are unique in that they're entirely transformable— they have two separate sides, an exterior facade and a secret interior life. 





THE EXTERIOR: For the exterior, I planned on black.  Problem is, black isn't black.  Aside from color variations (green black, purple black, blue black...), there are differences in finish.  Black can be glossy, black can be matte.  Wouldn't it be interesting, I thought, if the two were played against each other? I envisioned a moment where velvet meets lacquer.  All monochromatic, totally black, and only visible from certain angles, when the light hits the finish in a certain way.  Entirely indulgent, but partly a secret, never fully revealing itself.



THE INTERIOR: Fling the doors open and pull down the desk top, and the secretary's "inner life" is revealed in the form of tortoise, metallics, marble, distressed canvas, tromp l'oeil ornaments, tomato red and powdery aqua accents.  But the choice is yours how much you'd like to show.  Place books on the shelves and you cover the tortoise, papers on the desk and you obscure the grotesque, envelopes in the letter slots and you mute the metallic.  Or, just close the desk entirely...






Secretary, styling, and photography by (IN)DECOROUS TASTE.

14 comments:

Maria Confer said...

Your pieces are serious works of art. I love them both!

lululetty.blogspot.com

hannahlizabeth said...

so luscious! i love the idea of the velvet.

xx

Greet said...

Lauren,
Thank you so much for the comment on my post of yesterday!
I was so excited to have discovered your blog now!!! BEAUTIFUL!!!!
I just added you on my bloglist!!!

Greet

ArchitectDesign™ said...

Thats really delicious I must say. I love the subtle detail.

home before dark said...

I love the personal passion and vision. The execution is beautiful. The side design adds a modern touch of whimsey to the serious mass of this piece. Another job well done.

ggshoe said...

love your page! good taste, great style!!
thank you for stopping by and leaving your comment :0)
keep sharing!

Jennifer Fabulous said...

Gorgeous. Someday when I move out of my tiny apartment and into a REAL home I hope to have one of these as well. Every time I see them in antique stores, they take my breath away. :)

The Six Six Sick Girls said...

Well put, this is a gorgeous piece. I agree that the best luxuries are the private ones rather than those which are meant to be flaunted.
xx
Tiffany

soodie :: said...

The painting treatment on the sides is just INGENIOUS!

kpeach said...

that tortoise is incredible and I love the textural quality of the black on black-gorgeous xx

Off the List said...

Damn! Where do you find the time.....

Oddly, I'm drawn most to the duck egg of the inner frames.

Congratulations, you've done it again.carst

pve design said...

Now I am crying as I had a secretary just like this (well sort of) that I french brushed and used as a changing table for my twins.
I am painting a box black and thinking of velvet for the inside.
pve

Lauren said...

Jennifer Fabulous- I love oversized pieces in small apartments! I say, go for it. Also, these secretaries are kind of convenient for small spaces in that they fold up relatively flat against the wall. I can't imagine a desk taking up less space...

Off the list- Duck egg blue is one of my favorite colors. I put it on almost...everything and think it complements almost anything, especially deep reds, blacks, ivory...

PVE- I would love to see how it turns out!!

Lush said...

if this secretary were mine, i'm afraid it would get little use, for i could not bear to fill it with books and papers and thereby cover the painted accents.

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