Sunday, December 26, 2010

Decorative Indulgences

Dalvabrothers photo
Decorative artists take ordinary objects and elevate them into works of beauty. This baroque footstool is a fabulous example of what ornate decoration can produce.

As cultures evolved, the desire to decorate their daily lives also evolved. The elite and courts commissioned artists to transform their worlds with ornate interpretations of common objects.

Dalvabrothers photo
Decorative footstools amaze me. This is a rare set of four stools, the first photo is a detail shot of one of them.  They are Italian circa 1700 and have their original crimson velvet with silver applique' on them. They may be purchased here.

Not as comfortable, but just as beautiful is this stone carved stool.

Simpler in design, this neoclassical  footstool has lion heads at each corner.

objectsplus photo
This neoclassical tabouret( a stool without a back or arms) is partial gilt italian 18th c. I love the shade of blue against the gilt flowers. You may purchase it here

Tara Bradford photo

Blogger Tara Bradford featured this stool in her blog.

Italian artist Pelagio Pelagi worked for noblemen and kings creating mostly paintings but also worked with sculpture and decorative furniture. Look at those fabulous cabriole legs and winged angels!  I am now on the look out for a fabulous tabouret!

Saturday, December 18, 2010


Ernst Haeckel was a turn of the century German biologist that changed the world with his scientific illustrations. Trained in many scientific fields, he not only named multitudes of species, he illustrated them as well. Wikipedia describes him as" an eminent German biologistnaturalistphilosopherphysicianprofessor and artist who discovered, described and named thousands of new species".  Kunstformen der Natur, "Artforms of Nature" is the book of his intricate illustrations. 

Haeckel's illustrations of invertebrates influence the design world even today.

This is a classic Finish 1960's Eero Aarnio mushroom lounge chair.

Even basic shapes are mimicked in design.

These military insignia are a perfect example of the influence of nature.

Haeckel's work, as a design element,  is still fresh...

These drawings provide endless kaleidoscopic combinations of design.

It is easy to see how rosettes and baroque scrollwork are based in  the nature that Ernst Haeckel illustrated for us.

Haeckel's illustrations can be found in his original book form or through reprinted copies.

Friday, December 10, 2010


From the very first image I stumbled upon, I was hooked on Casamidy!  I have followed Casamidy's work for almost two years now.

The images of their products combined with aged, deteriorating backgrounds was a look that definitely caught my eye!

Casamidy is the brainchild of Jorge Almada and Anne-Marie Midy.

Formed in 1998, Casamidy employs  artisans specializing in areas such as metalsmith, leatherwork, and carpentry.

The work is designed solely by Anne-Marie and Jorge.

Don't get me wrong, their work is beyond fantastic....but don't ignore those backdrops!

Award winning photographer Ricardo Labougle is responsible for those amazing shots!

Casamidy's furniture is timeless in these settings.

They have a line of metal "twig" pieces that are very smart!

I am not the only one watching these collaborators. Their work has been published in World of Interiors, Elle Decor, Traditional Home and many other leading decorative magazines.

Labougle  chose elaborately designed backgrounds to compliment the simple, solid lines of Casamidy furniture and accessories.

Mexico was one of the main sources for these incredible interiors.

all images from Casamidy
Casamidy also has a facebook page....I hope you look further into their sites and fall in love with them as I have!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Ornamental Engravings...

The end of the 16thc and beginning of the 17thc  was the height of ornamental engravings.

Carlo Antonini

Classical urns and vases were illustrated through floral designs.

During this time, engravings became fanciful images, incorporating decorative ornament into the classical shape of the urn or vase.


In 1740, Giovanni Battista Piranesi was learning engraving and etching in Rome, residing in the Palazzo Venezia. His background in architecture led him to create a more classical approach.

 Piranesi studied in Rome under Giuseppe Vasi.

Giovanni Giardini was skilled as a draughtsman, silversmith and gem carver. These skills show in his precise engravings of urns in the mid 1600's. photo

Acanthus leaves, egg and dart borders and the illusion of gold were common themes in these ornamental urns.

Piranesi's Venetian influence

Henri-Simon Thomassin

Mythology was still a strong subject matter as well....

Henri-Simon Thomassin

as well as swags , ribbons and musical instruments.

Henri-Simon Thomassin

The hand coloring of these engravings were art in themselves!

Sam Garriott Antonacci  offers a miniature book on detailed drawings of classic urns. This is hand made with his illustrations.

Fellow blogger Penney Wiseman offers some nice watercolors in her etsy store...

Urns are timeless and are still being interpreted today. You can own this print from etsy if you don't want to go formal. Just be sure to include decorative ornament in your home!
Related Posts with Thumbnails