After the past few days of how-tos, I need a little pretty. You? I promise to get back to window treatments and more, in a minute. In the meantime…I have always had a crush on the incredible Italian architect, Gio Ponti, but it has now blossomed into full blown love. The affair began a few years ago with an article in The World of Interiors (if you don’t know this magazine, do yourself a favor and RUN to your nearest quality newsstand and take a look). The article featured Ponti’s work from the early 50s at a home in Caracas and I was hooked. He somehow managed to balance elegance and surrealism (check out the revolving cabinets to hide the hunting trophies of his clients that he despised) and left me wanting more, more, more! Then, I came across another article in French AD, this time about his exquisite work at the Parco Dei Principi Hotel in Sorrento. I was dazzled by his fearless use of patterns of all kinds and fell in love with his lively Mediterranean palette of crisp, strong blues and white. Inspired, I tried to bring a little Gio Ponti into my own home and found some tile (at the ever amazing Discount Tile on Venice Blvd, for you Angelenos out there) that had a pattern reminiscent of his style.
Knowing about my growing passion for Ponti, my fellow M. Design-er, Kate, gave me a beautiful, compact book on his work for Christmas, Ponti by Graziella Roccella. Look at how gorgeous this man’s work is!!
The colors!The sophistication! Apparently, I am not alone in my hots for Ponti. Recently, I went to check out the newly revamped Avalon Hotel, designed by Kelly Wearstler, my former boss and reigning arbiter of what’s new and fresh and exciting in the world of interior design. I was thrilled to see that she, too, loves her some Ponti. She added Gio inspired stripes to the ceiling in the dining room and worked some of his fabulous patterns into the niches around the pool.
Immediately, the place takes on an elegant, European vibe – all from a coat of paint! That’s not to say that Kelly and her team didn’t make many other changes that took the hotel to a whole new sexy and exciting level, but it’s pretty impressive what impact a little paint can have. And finally, yesterday, I received my copy of the newly re-released book, Gio Ponti by Ugo La Pietra, and was wowed anew. This is porn for people who want to go deep and really understand the man’s work and process. Can’t wait to dig in. Enjoy!
Top image courtesy of the ever-fabulous, Design Crisis