THE ONLY WAY IS…UP: LOOKING at CEILINGS



 

by Shelley Johnstone Paschke

by Shelley Johnstone Paschke

 

If the rug maker Edward Fields penned the floor the “fifth wall” in the 1960s, then ceilings have to become the sixth wall. A-Gent of Style tries to remind himself as much as he can to look up wherever he goes as there are always so many wonderful surprises above and up eye level.

Paying attention to the way certain buildings  are crowned can be exhilarating. We’ve all been wowed not only in our own country but also abroad on holiday by stupendous iconic domes, churches, halls of listed buildings and other constructions.

When it comes to the interior design of houses, hotels, bars, restaurants for instance, not decorating a ceiling can be a considered choice in order to allow the rest of the decor to sing for itself. Some interiors indeed dictate that ceilings should be left alone. But more than often, A-Gent of Style feels that untreated, off-white ceilings look a bit bare when they are ‘naked’, and looking forlorn, as if they are unworthy of any consideration by the designers and their clients.

There is a multitude of ways to give a ceiling an interesting and original treatment. They can be painted in a matt matching colour or in contrasting high gloss lacquer; they can be upholstered in grass cloth, silk velvet, ceramic tiles even in tin tiles, or wallpapered in stripes or a floral design; tented rooms enveloped in only one fabric are currently having a revival too; wooden panels are timeless. And who could resist having a specialist painter or an architectural plasterer embellish a room with a unique and original commissioned design?

So let us look today at ceilings, one of the unsung jewels of design:

Palazzo Margherita in Bernalda, Italy

Francis Ford Coppola’s Palazzo Margherita in Bernalda, Italy

 

by Jorge Elias

by Jorge Elias

 

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via bennisongillynewberry instagram

via bennisongillynewberry instagram

 

by Sara Story from the Elle Decor Modern Life Concept House

by Sara Story

 

by David Mlinaric

by David Mlinaric

 

Charme Restaurant by Golucci International Design, Beijing, China

Charme Restaurant by Golucci International Design, Beijing, China

 

Villa Planchart, Caracas, by Gio Ponti

Villa Planchart, Caracas, by Gio Ponti

 

by David Mlinaric

by David Mlinaric

 

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via martynbullard instagram

via martynbullard instagram

 

via markdsikes instagram

via markdsikes instagram

 

Pugin's house The Grange in Ramsgate

Pugin’s house The Grange in Ramsgate

 

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by Jaime Parlade

by Jaime Parlade

 

by Howard Slatkin

by Howard Slatkin

 

Milton Hall, Cambridgeshire

Milton Hall, Cambridgeshire

 

The U.N. Plaza apartment of Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Schneider by Burt Wayne and John Doktor

The U.N. Plaza apartment of Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Schneider by Burt Wayne and John Doktor

 

Valentino’s villa near Sienna, Tuscany by Renzo Mongiardino

Valentino’s villa near Sienna, Tuscany by Renzo Mongiardino

 

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by Commune

by Commune

 

Steven Gambrell

Steven Gambrel

 

by Barry Dixon

by Barry Dixon

 

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Nicola Del Roscio's villa in Gaeta, Italy, with 18th-century frescoes thought to be by the artist Sebastiano Conca

Nicola Del Roscio’s villa in Gaeta, Italy, with 18th-century frescoes thought to be by the artist Sebastiano Conca



by Jacques Garcia - Pavilion Champ de Bataille

by Jacques Garcia – Pavilion Champ de Bataille

 

Scrovegni Chapel, Padua, by Giotto

Scrovegni Chapel, Padua, by Giotto

 

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Strawberry Hill

Strawberry Hill

 

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William Morris's Red House

William Morris’s Red House

 

by Eddie Lee

by Eddie Lee

 

by Mario Buatta

by Mario Buatta

 

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Patrick Gallagher's apartment in Rome's Palazzo Taverna

Patrick Gallagher’s apartment in Rome’s Palazzo Taverna

 

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Hearst Castle, California

Hearst Castle, California

 

Jean Louis-Deniot

Jean Louis-Deniot

 

Osterly House - Middlesex by Robert Adam

Osterly House – Middlesex by Robert Adam

 

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by Cathy Oswandel

by Cathy Oswandel



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Castellini House, Milan

Castellini House, Milan

 

by Catherine Kwong

by Catherine Kwong

 

via Lonny

via Lonny

 

Mantova House by Giampaolo Benedini

Mantova House by Giampaolo Benedini

 

from Country Living

from Country Living

 

by Martyn Lawrence Bullard

by Martyn Lawrence Bullard

 

by Tobi Fairley

by Tobi Fairley

 

by Kelly Wearstler

by Kelly Wearstler

 

Chatsworth, England

Chatsworth, England via instagram

 

by Kelly Wearstler

by Kelly Wearstler

 

Sudley Castle

Sudley Castle

 

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by Miles Redd



Lorry Newhouse's Manhattan home with a Rose Cumming wallpaper on the ceiling

Lorry Newhouse’s Manhattan home with a Rose Cumming wallpaper on the ceiling

 

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Mantova House by Giampaolo Benedini

Mantova House by Giampaolo Benedini

 

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Grimsthorpe Castle, Lincolnshire

Grimsthorpe Castle, Lincolnshire


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St Nicholas Church, Peper Harow

St Nicholas Church, Peper Harow

 

by Sacha Bikoff

by Sacha Bikoff

 

Churburg Castle, Northern Italy

Churburg Castle, Northern Italy

 

Churburg Castle, Northern Italy

Churburg Castle, Northern Italy

 

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by Richard Keith Langham

by Richard Keith Langham

 

by Cathy Oswandel

by Cathy Oswandel

 

 Efendi Hotel, Istanbul

Efendi Hotel, Istanbul








A LONDONER in COPENHAGEN: TAPET CAFE





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On his last day in København, A-Gent of Style hopped onto a train towards Gentofte, 20 minutes north of the Danish capital, to enter the enchanting world of
TAPET-CAFE.


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 TAPET-CAFE (tapet meaning wallpaper in Danish) is the internationally renown Danish firm specialising in the design and production of hand printed textiles, wallpaper, custom-made curtains and fine upholstery which also creates bespoke interior designs for boutiques, designer stores, restaurants, hotels and private homes. And last but not least, they are also purveyor to the Royal Danish Court – hence the royal stamp of approval on their logo.


Back home in the UK, TAPET-CAFE has established itself primarily as discerning creators of paper hangings, familiar to A-Gent of Style as they are represented by Helen Cormack at Tissus d’Hélène, the go-to boutique textiles showroom in London’s Design Centre. The award-winning TAPET-CAFE make regular appearances in leading design magazines and has exhibited at Decorex in the last two years with arresting vignettes.


Decorex

Decorex 2013

 

Decorex 2014

Decorex 2014



Founded in 1974 and still based in Gentofte, Copenhagen, in what used to be an old dairy and family house, the company is now owned by Jannik Martensen-Larsen – whose family business has been running through generations – and his wife Helene Blanche, both of whom A-Gent of Style has had the privilege to meet in London on a couple of occasions in the last few years, and these days, on a daily basis via Instagram – where else!


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Having successfully designed over the years various collections of wallpapers for other companies, Jannnik and Helene, Head of Design at TAPET-CAFE and a textile graduate from Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design in London, decided to launch a few years ago their own wallpaper and fabric collection, The Private Collection, under their own name. All drawn and painted by hand, Helene’s striking creations are suffused with a traditional Danish legacy and Nordic influences mixed with a contemporary feel that ranges from botanicals and romantic, poetic motifs (favourite: The Tea House), to bolder graphics and Art Deco (favourite: Deco Fan), all telling different stories.

“My ambition and dream has been to create a design house of patterns and colours – a world of interiors, focusing on bespoke wallpaper and textile designs”, says Jannik. “It is a privilege to develop and expand our family business and we value to work with craftsmen, designers and clients through generations”.



A-Gent of Style didn’t expect less from his visit and the TAPET-CAFE boutique showroom, situated a stone’s throw from the train station; whilst the charming and almost centenary-old building has been repainted in striking burnt orange, the interior is handsomely enveloped by a plethora of harmonious colours and patterns, combining a mix of the company’s own products as well as carefully selected design brands represented in Denmark by TAPET-CAFE such as De Gournay, Jennifer Shorto, Chelsea Textiles furniture and Farrow & Ball.

“I constantly experiment with hand drawing using a mix of charcoal, ink and watercolour, to create the first sketches of pattern. I believe it’s important to maintain an open and playful work progress, so that the finished design is dynamic and vivacious. its not about prettiness and perception, but also about playing and experimenting with colours and scale” – Helene Blanche


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The delightful and ever-charming couple were not only generous with their time showing me around the shop – used until not so long ago as living quarters and now solely used as showroom and offices – but also around the floors upstairs where each room had just been redecorated to show off different, stunning mise-en-scènes and vignettes, with a (current) common denominator: shades of green, blue and teal – an ineluctable bonding element between Helene and A-Gent of Style. Helene also kindly let me in a few secrets and showed me her new, unfinished designs, that already promise to be appealing. Stay tuned!



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– Photos by TAPET-CAFE and A-Gent of Style – 





A LONDONER IN COPENHAGEN : STUDIO OLIVER GUSTAV





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Whilst the sunny, gently windswept weather A-Gent of Style was graced with during his stay in Copenhagen in the last week couldn’t have been more fortuitous, most of his peregrinations took place in the moody, atmospheric, dare I say it, romantic light of dusk that struck punctually every day after 3.48pm – that’s Scandinavia for you in the winter months.

Judging from his own experiences (all documented on Instagram, ad nauseam), København certainly lived up to its reputation as the most liveable city of the year (as voted in 2014 by Monocle magazine for the second consecutive year), and A-Gent of Style will hasten to add, an enchanting and vibrant one at that. The Nordic style in design is still all the rage and the world is currently looking north for inspiration which will explain why Copenhagen has long been on the global style radar.

As serendipity would have it, he stumbled across a great find one day in what soon became his favourite street in the hip quarter of Nyhavn where he was staying.


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Moody and atmospheric too but also ethereal, nude and minimal is that special space that is the brainchild of creative consultant and interior designer Oliver Gustav.


From his eponymous studio, showroom and boutique, debonair Oliver Gustav offers unique and limited edition pieces, objets, natural curiosities and some beautiful (Belgian) linens from a carefully curated edit of international designers and artists, not too dissimilar to Willer in London, Galerie Salon in Paris (both featured by A-Gent of Style) John Derian in New York, and Gray Gallery in L.A. Set on a monochrome backdrop, mixed with strong and modern cultural influences, Gustav’s peaceful and spellbinding interiors make striking use of light and shadow – like a modern interpretation on chiaroscuro à la Caravaggio – underscoring his attention to surfaces and scale. With this serene ambience, his spaces offer a truly seldom experience rooted in a timeless and beautifully honest simplicity.

This creative sanctuary set in a dramatic atmosphere where the stark and modern are contrasted against rare antique finds and exquisite collectables, such as the special edition Arne Jacobsen Drop Chair and the now much featured Cloud lighting fixture by Apparatus (also storied here), is a great source of inspiration and a must-see for any design enthusiasts in Copenhagen.



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– Photos by A-Gent of Style except photo of Oliver Gustav – 



 

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