Guess When These Rooms Were Designed
By Lynn Byrne. I love surprising you.
Check out the low, waterfall cocktail table and the tribal rug.
So much to love. The sofa with its cool shape outlined with nail heads, those leggy bar stools, the shell sconce, the abstract painting, that zebra rug and those penguins!
To me, that spiral staircase has a Le Corbusier feel. The columns are tall standing lamps.
Here neutral fabrics, upholstery and carpet, together with fine antiques, are used to set off a museum quality art collection. One often sees designer Mariette Himes Gomez employing the same technique. Just take a look at her new book, Apartments.
For me, the tile, platters and upholstery, coupled with that cool abstract top coffee table and pops of yellow remind me of something Michael Smith (the Obamas’ decorator) would do.
Love the overscaled design on the rug. Where did they get that? The Rug Company?
Answers. Despite my “clues” (all red herrings), all of these rooms were designed before 1949 and all by the same designer, Frances Elkins.
Here are the dates: 1. 1929. The coffee table is in the style of Jean Michel-Frank. Elkins was an early champion of Frank. 2. 1937. The shell-like sconce is by Alberto Giacometti, another Elkins favorite. She covered the walls here in bleached oak. 3. 1938. This room is in the Yerba Buena Club in San Francisco. The tall lamps are another design in the Giacometti style. 4. 1944 for the Edward G. Robinsons. 5. 1948. The terrazzo table top cocktail table was designed by the Bruton sisters and is paired with antique Delft tiles. 6. 1948. The rug was designed by Elkins and custom made in Kentucky.
Frances Elkins was perhaps one of the first designers to mix styles and periods with such flair. All of these photos come from the following book on her by Stephen M. Salny. I think this book is a “must have” in any design library.
Were you surprised?