When you think there isn’t any more room for yet another home decorating business in this saturated market, enters the Original Cushion Cº. This new, exciting venture will come as a relief and possibly a godsend to most decorators in search of a quick fix to an ongoing conundrum.
The Original Cushion Cº is an online selling platform that offers a collection of fine, limited edition, designer cushions upholstered in exquisite fabrics by browsing one-off cushions by collection, size and material.
Founder Erik Karlsen has a life-long passion for fabric and design. He first made his name in design as the founder of Jane Churchill Ltd, the fabric and wallpaper brand, now a part of Colefax and Fowler, and has established himself as a fine and refined decorator over the years. Some of you might remember his exquisite country home featured in July 2011 in House & Garden.
Borne out of Erik’s frustration to be unable to find beautiful fine cushions to finish a room (or in A-Gent of Style‘s case being unable to order a small amount of fabric for one small cushion because the minimum order is greater than the quantity required or the shipping costs are higher than the actual fabric), it is no surprise that Erik, coupled with his extensive contacts in the textiles industry, started the Original Cushion. His cushions are beautiful, luxuriously padded cushions made in a studio in Suffolk and created out of the most beautiful designs, colours and fabrics (some of you will immediately recognise some iconic Fortuny designs) as well as the finest duck feather and down.
To make things even more glamourous and special, each cushion comes beautifully packaged in a gift box, wrapped in tissue paper and tied with ribbon, and can be dispatched in the UK within a few days or internationally.
There is also a useful section on the site that allows you to select your favourite cushions into a scrapbook where you can change their size, position and colour background, and another section that shows how to plump a cushion. A simple but invaluable tip. Tried and tested by A-Gent of Style. So never commit the cardinal sin to beat your cushion! Or call its founder a fluffer.
– Imagery by Original Cushion Co –
Fresh from the enthralling whirlwind of events surrounding this January instalment of the Paris Déco Off – for which A-Gent of Style was a jury member – and all its peripheral launches, openings and bashes, A-Gent of Style will particularly remember the private event last week of the jaw-dropping Pierre Frey exhibition at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs as well as the Museum’s own tribute to 400 years of its own archive wallpapers. If you missed out on all the fun last week, A-Gent of Style would urge any wall hanging enthusiast to jump on a Eurostar this spring even for the day.
The first major tribute ever paid to this major figure in interior decoration, Tissus Inspirés takes us chronologically through eighty years of creation, highlighting the skills and knowledge defining the Pierre Frey spirit and vision. The presentation of fabrics and wallpapers is complemented by works from the museum’s permanent collections and creations by contemporary artists brought together specially for the occasion and showing the considerable impact that Pierre Frey has made on current artistic practices. Celebrating this unique company’s history and identity, this exhibition takes visitors behind the scenes of a furnishing fabrics and wallpaper publishing house to reveal its sources of inspiration and production methods.
This exhibition features the finest creations produced by Maison Pierre Frey since 1935. In the Study Gallery’s six rooms, it brings together some two hundred works from the creator’s collection illustrating the eclecticism and artistic collaborations that have characterized its history. Born in 1903, Pierre Frey started out in the furnishing fabrics world at the age of seventeen as a cutter for Maison Burger. He later became director of Maison Lauer, where he met the designer Jean Chatanay, with whom he created their own company. In 1937, he bought his partner’s shares in the firm and founded Maison Pierre Frey at 47 rue des Petits-Champs, where the company’s registered office still is today. The production values he established have remained unchanged thanks to his three grandchildren and his son, Patrick Frey, in charge of the company since 1975.
The first room shows the stages and techniques involved in creating and producing a textile and the fabric publisher’s profession. Every Pierre Frey creation is a close collaboration between designer, weaver and printer, all of whose commitment is vital in achieving the company’s high quality standards. From the sketch to the finished product, the wealth of patterns, colours and materials of the pieces on display explore the creator’s stylistic identity. In the next rooms emblematic Pierre Frey textiles and wallpapers are presented alongside works from the Musée des Arts décoratifs. Their association emphasises the historical and artistic contexts in which they were created and evokes the tastes and tendencies of former times.
This historic approach to Pierre Frey’s work is revisited by a contemporary vision emphasising its modernity and topicality: four capsule collections by contemporary designers paying tribute to Pierre Frey. In the space covering the period from 1935 to 1959, Julien Colombier has created a printed fabric whose vivid colours react differently to ultraviolet light, creating a changing perception of the material in function of the lighting. In counterpoint to Pierre Frey creations from 1960-1979, Benjamin Graindorge’s wallpaper explores the problems of visual perception using the pixel as basic unit in spirit of the Op Art artists of the early 1970s. Marcel Wanders revisits Pierre Frey productions from 1980 to 1999 by reinterpreting the ever-present theme of the flower, and Nao Tamura, reflecting on Pierre Frey fabrics from 2000 to 2015, draws on her own universe to create a Jaquard Loom fabric, produced by the Pierre Frey factory in northern France, in which nature is omnipresent. The exhibition ends with a homage to Pierre Frey by seven artists of different nationalities working in different fields. They were asked to reflect on key Pierre Frey concepts: colour, ink, history, texture, pattern and the rustling of the fabric. Julien Salaud, Peter Gentenaar, Michelle Taylor-Dorset, Paule Riché, Kumi Yamashita, Memo Akten and Label Dalbin pay tribute to and metamorphose Maison Pierre Frey’s creative combination of tradition and modernity and project it into the future.
And one floor up from the Pierre Frey exhibition, you will find the museum’s tantalising collection of wallpapers covering four centuries.
Revealing the wealth of the Wallpaper Department’s exceptional collection, Faire le Mur features three hundred emblematic pieces selected from the reserve collection of more than 400,000 items. The exhibition juxtaposes and compares wallpapers from different periods and origins to illustrate the broad range of styles and skills in use from the 18th century to the present day. It shows wallpaper’s major role in the history of the decorative arts, whilst highlighting some of the jewels of the largest wallpaper collection in the world.
The Turkish Turkish fantasy created by Serdar Gülgün has been an assault on
A-Gent of Style‘s senses since he discovered the quintessential Renaissance man a few months ago through his latest book, celebratory press coverage and of course Instagram.
For those who are not familiar yet with this magician of interiors, Istanbul native Serdar Gülgün is a world-renowned interior designer, Ottoman art collector and expert, and an internationally acclaimed lecturer, historian, and author. And now one of A-Gent of Style‘s favrourite new designers. From his now well storied stunning 19th-century historic mansion on the Bosphorus to his collections of historical art to his books, The Grand Bazaar Istanbul and Ottoman Chic, Gülgün is known for his passion for bringing Turkish history to life. For those who have visited Istanbul in style, he is the man behind designing the A’Ya rooftop terrace at Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet.
Redolent of Turkish bazaars, his decors are replete with objets d’art and filled cabinet of curiosities as well as lavish touches of eccentricity. Original architecture and spectacular design elements intoxicates with a sublimely elegant kaleidoscope of pattern, colour and texture.
“To me, stylish interiors are like sensual beings that appeal to all the senses” opines Gülgün. “They are made up of many layers, colours, patterns, textures, fabrics, as well as beautiful music, exquisite scents, delicious food, pleasant words, and ultimately, gracious manners.” “I am a translator”, he adds. “I translate the old into the new. It is a process of recapturing the obscurities of the past and reinventing them in the light of the future”.
An Istanbulite and a devotee of Ottoman imperial culture, Gülgün has always been intrigued by the rare spectacles of the Ottoman court and dreams of the Old World. “I fell in love with this house when I first saw it in shambles. It took me many difficult years to restore it but I don’t regret it one second,” Serdar Gülgün says of his labour of love and most personal design masterpiece: his home, Macar Feyzullah Pasha Kosku which he oversaw the process of meticulously for seven-years to revitalise and return it to a state of elegance and splendour.
Gülgün lets his imagination run wild with audacious-yet-sophisticated flourishes: intricately carved ceilings, spacious rooms, domed ceilings, frescoed walls, enormous Oushak carpets, sensuous brocaded upholstery, inlaid mother-of-pearl Syrian armoires to name but a few. His whimsical taste and flamboyant imagination effortlessly conjures glamorous, gem-encrusted art pieces, which are meticulously handcrafted in the original 15th century workshops of the Grand Bazaar. Infusing natural elements with centuries-old workmanship, each curiosity takes his followers on a new flight of fancy.
Standing at the crossroads of many cultures between West and East, the Ottoman style this sultan of chic excels at is also spiced with influences from Chinese and Indian to French and Italian, all of which are present in his enticing interiors. Constantly inspired by the atmosphere of his ancient city, Gülgün believes a successful interior design is a place of experience in which authentic elements of culture fuse and achieve alchemy, awakening all the senses and transporting its inhabitants to a place of fantasy.
“The word ‘extravagant’ generally refers to something in excess and is related to flamboyance, which can easily turn inelegant, but Ottomans found a way to achieve an elegant extravagance,” explains Serdar Gülgün
You can follow Serdar on a short tour of his house (and marvel at his French)
Hopefully this will all be music to your ears too. But enough spiel for now, let the images speak for themselves…