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The Francis Files

Take Five: October Design Inspiration

October 12, 2022 - Written by Kevin O'Gara

From my summer campaign with St–Germain, featuring the signature spritz

1. La Fabrica by Spanish Architect Ricardo Bofill

Both a home and pioneering design studio, the late architect's La Fàbrica cement-factory-turned-home is one of the most interesting and expansive adaptive reuse projects, and is so incredibly captivating. You may recognize it from cameos in productions like Westworld which feature this space as a futuristic home. It feels very undated (and sometimes haunting from the outside) but many of the interiors are warm and inviting.

2. The Little-Known Design Legacy of Paule Marrot

You're probably familiar with French textile designer Paule Marrot's artwork – it continues to be licensed by brands such as Anthropologie for its joyful patterns and bright color palettes. A lesser-known legacy of the artist is her development of the textile and paint division for carmaker Renault, bringing her signature colors to the auto industry to drive consumer appeal.

3. Van Nast Polglase's Iconic Movie Sets

I recently learned that the iconographic 1930's Art Deco movie sets constructed for Fred & Ginger's stylish movies were in fact the visual signature of one Van Nest Polglase at RKO Studios. His work was prolific in American cinema at the height of Hollywood's impact on design, featuring distinctive Art Deco architecture with fancifal Neoclassical motifs.

4. The Retro-Chic Fairlane Hotel in Nashville

I had the chance to visit my good friend (and singer/songwriter) Alison Nichols in Nashville last month, and stayed in the office-turned-Fairlane Hotel by the same hospitality group behind the Clermont Hotel here in Atlanta. I loved the retro design inspiration, the great location, and the bagel shop in the lobby.

5. Beautiful Villa Centinale in Siena, Italy

This fabulous 17th century villa was built by a former Pope, and features Roman-Baroque architecture. It was purchased and restored by a scandalized British aristocrat in the late 70's and is now a popular wedding and event venue. If you watched Succession, you'll recognize the back gardens and some of the interiors from the last season's wedding!


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