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The Francis Files

Take Five: July Design Inspiration

July 21, 2022 - Written by Kevin O'Gara

Walking across King Street during a recent weekend trip to Charleston

1. Billy Cotton's Take on Chintz

New York based interior designer Billy Cotton (who was recently profiled in the New York Times), dressed a custom circular sectional in a saturated chintz fabric, which absolutely sings of summer in this sun-filled room. I love the oversized paper pendant light above – I think these fixtures are having a moment right now!

2. A Hand-Painted Pool Mural in Comparta

This long pool is part of an incredibly creative country compound in Comporta, Portugal composed by Belgian designer Jean-Philippe Demeyer. Hand-painted by one of my favorite creatives Luke Edward Hall, the pool is a contemporary ode to Roman figures with a cheeky twist. Check out the full beach house escape.

3. The Pattern & Decoration Movement

This colorful floral painting by Robert Kushner lead me to research the Pattern & Decoration movement, which emerged as an antidote to the often Westernized, male-centric Modernism movement. P&D worked to elevate decorative non "fine art" forms like textile and tile work from outside the United States in countries like Mexico, Spain, and Morocco, where pattern is deeply woven into the culture.

4. Aubrey Hepburn's Gown in Sabrina

Not only is Sabrina one of my favorite movies (I love old films) – it has one of the best wardrobes. Aubrey Hepburn, having established herself for the first time, approached Givenchy to work together for the first time on this film. There's an interesting backstory to this partnership, the film, and costume designed Edith Head who worked on most of Audrey's films, in this article on Screen Chic.

5. São Schlumberger’s Paris Apartment

This fabulous Parisian entryway is from one of the many homes of patroness São Schlumberger, who was a remarkable proponent and close friend of indelible postmodern artists such as Rothko (one of his paintings shown here), Twombly, and Warhol. I dove into a heartfelt, but honest, recounting of her extraordinary life in Vanity Fair, which detailed the life of an iconic, but controversial force in the art world.


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