Patricia Gray Interior Design

Michael Taylor - Good Design is ...

With the possible exception of Hollywood, no single force has brought California to the world more powerfully than Michael Taylor. More than a quarter of a century after he created the California look - Taylor, for many, still epitomizes West CoastStyle.

The James Dean of decorators is how Diana Vreeland described West Coast designer Michael Taylor I was a student in Design School when the picture below of Michael Taylor's work was published in Architectural Digest . I was totally in awe of his work. Nothing had been done like this before. It was revolutionary and very fresh. I became totally mesmerized by all things "Michael Taylor". The fixation is still going on. In the project I did that was featured in Architectural Digest I used Michael Taylor fabric on a sofa that I custom designed. Whenever I am in LA or San Francisco I make it a point to visit his showroom at the Design Center. He was one of my greatest mentors that I drew inspiration from and wanted to emulate. It was interesting to me to learn that his 3 greatest mentors were women: Syrie Maugham, Elsie de Wolfe & Francis Elkins. I just wish that he had lived longer. He passed away in 1988 at the age of 59.

Consistently denouncing the cluttered and pretentious, he had a simple ethos: "When you take things out, you must increase the size of what's left." This spawned the widely emulated California Look, which in the latter part of his career was characterized by oversize furniture and signature elements, including Yosemite slate and fossilized stone; plump geometric cushions; logs; wicker; and lots of mirrors, all against a muted backdrop of white on white or beige on beige.

Michael Taylor was born in Modesto, California in 1927 and found early inspiration at a neighbor's house, where he first saw the work of Elsie de Wolfe.

Syrie Maugham, the British decorator who helped create the all-white look popular in the 1920s, provided another source of inspiration to him.
A third influence was American decorator Frances Elkins (Taylor acquired a substantial portion of Elkins' estate, including pieces originally from Syrie Maugham).

Schiaparelli sofa

Taylor rivaled the legendary fashion editor Diana Vreeland in his use of maxims - "Red and green should never be seen!" was one of his favourites. "If in doubt, take it out!" was another.

Taylor believed that white was the most efficient color for capturing natural light.
This is a room Michael designed circa mid 1950's in Modesto, California
Posted by Patricia gray
over 12 years ago

Think Pink

David Hicks circa 1970's
I love the mirrored panel between the windows, and this bed was before pillow top mattresses and duvets. Talking about duvets my last two clients have done away with their duvets and requested a Bedspread with blankets.

Ruthie Summers circa 2007

Pink has been showing up everywhere for me lately. Dianna Vreeland was famous for her saying that "Pink is the navy blue of India". I don't know what decade that was, but I have never seen a resurgence of pink for interiors like this for the last several decades. Maybe the 80's was pink, but it was more of a dusty rose, not the clear pink we are seeing now. I love this new clear pink. It makes a great backdrop for dramatic furnishings. If you are a feeling a bit intrepid about using it in massive amounts, there a few pictures here that show it used for accessory items: artwork, cushions, chair upholstery even pink mirror. Think of pink as a happy, fun color.

Ruthie Summers showroom in LA
fabric on the chair seats Lulu DK: Chant

Ruthie Summers fabric Quadrille Lyford

Mondrian Hotel designed by BNO Design
Notice the pink in this picture is actually pink tinted mirror

David Hicks textile design The above 2 photos are from the David Hicks Archive.
It reminds me of Dianna Vreeland's saying: "Pink is the navy blue of India"

Suzani FabricMadeline Weinrib

House Beautiful

House Beautiful

House Beautiful
Chairs and Curtain in Deauville by Alan Campbell for Quadrille Ikat Pillow Madeline Weinrib

Miles Redd House Beautiful


BNO Designs

John Stefanidis notice the great lamp with tassels
House Beautiful Mary McDonald

Pink & ivory birdcage wallpaper Wandrlust

Antonia Hutt

Antonia Hutt

Color Meaning of Pink
Cotton Candy and Little Girls: Pink is a softer, less violent red. Pink is the sweet side of red. It's cotton candy and bubble gum and babies, especially little girls.

Nature of Pink: While red stirs up passion and action, studies have shown that large amounts of pink can create physical weakness in people. Perhaps there is a tie-in between this physical reaction and the color's association with the so-called weaker sex.

Culture of Pink: In some cultures, such as the US, pink is the color of little girls. It represents sugar and spice and everything nice. Pink for men goes in and out of style. Most people still think of pink as a feminine, delicate color.

Using Pink: Both red and pink denote love but while red is hot passion, pink is romantic and charming. Use pink to convey playfulness (hot pink flamingos) and tenderness (pastel pinks). Multiple shades of pink and light purple or other pastels used together maintain the soft, delicate, and playful nature of pink. Add strength with darker shades of pinks and purple and burgundy.

Feng Shui of Pink:The right Feng Shui color use can bring a strong shift of energy into your environment. Pink color is the universal color of love, which makes it a perfect feng shui color to soothe the energy. Its gentle and delicate feng shui vibrations have a proven soothing effect on one's behavior. You could almost say that, as a feng shui color, Pink literally soothes the heart and fills it with love!

Language of Pink: The use of pink in familiar phrases can help a designer see how their color of choice might be perceived by others
In the pink - healthy
Tickled pink - happy, content
Pink - cut, notch, or make a zigzag

Pink Words: salmon, coral, hot pink, fuchsia, blush, flesh, flush, fuchsia, rose.
Is Pink Your Favorite Color? Take this great, fun, easy Color Quiz
It's advertised as "the 5 minute personality test"
I just took it, quite fun!
Posted by Patricia gray
over 12 years ago

Colin Kwok Sculptor

"Artists help us to understand what is around us."
Andree Putman

This a view of the master bedroom and ensuite bathroom in a home I recently designed. It was featured in Architectural Digest magazine December 2006. You can read the article here. I used a wonderful bronze sculpture on the bedside table which was sculpted by a dear friend and very talented Architect Colin Kwok. The title of the piece is Jeanne d'Arc and it is breathtakingly beautiful.
Trained as an architect but passionate as a bronze sculptor, Colin Kwok was trained at the Rhode Island School of Design. Read more about Colin at Intelligence Online
Posted by Patricia gray
over 12 years ago

Ikat Textiles

I love using Ikat patterns in my design jobs. Ikats are available in a wide product range: fabrics, wallpapers, carpets, cushions, wallhangings. Ikats are classic and never date themselves.

Soane Co UK
Black lacquer faux bamboo chair in hazelnut daphne ikat fabric

Ikat chocolate runner
Various Ikat Pillows

Posted by Patricia gray
over 12 years ago

Ikat Textiles Traditional Weavin...

Traditional Ikat weaving in Thailand.

Local cotton is grown and handspun into thread using a teak and bamboo spinning wheel.

Tying Weft Ikat Threads
The designs in the ikat fabric are the result of using narrow pieces of plastic or banana fiber to bind groups of weft thread which when dyed will resist the color. Here the tying frame holds enough weft thread to weave a skirt or "phasin" about 3.7 yards. After completion of the tying, the threads go into the dye bath. Complex patterns involve adding more resists to preserve a hue, then overdyeing to create multiple colors.

Indigo Dyeing
The stems and leaves of the indigo plant are chopped, tied into bundles, then soaked in earthenware jars to ferment. Snail shells and male urine activates the dye bath. The dyer controls the depth of the indigo blue color by the number of times the cotton threads are dipped—the more dips, the darker the color. This dyer is holding the weft ikat threads in the air to oxidize, a process called "blooming". She continues dipping until the desired color is reached.

Ikat Resists, Untied Threads and Threads Wound onto Bobbins
This photo shows the weft pattern threads still bound in the plastic resists on the left. In the middle section you can see some of the plastic removed revealing the white undyed areas underneath. Once all the plastic resists are removed, the thread is wound on bobbins for weaving (as shown on far right of photo). These must be kept in order so that the design reappears when woven.

Thai WeaverIn N.E. Thailand
Women weave on teak looms kept under the house. This weaver is working on an indigo-dyed weft ikat cotton "phasin." Traditionally worn by upcountry women, this tube skirt can be easily adjusted to any size when worn with a large fold in the front and turned at the waist. As she weaves, she arranges the weft thread at each throw of the shuttle so that the pattern design emerges.
Here are two links for traditional weaving techniques of Ikats in India sent to me by Design Flute
Posted by Patricia gray
over 12 years ago