Design Under the Influence: Morris Lapidus & The Miami Baroque

My whole success is I’ve always been designing for people, first because I wanted to sell them merchandise. Then when I got into hotels, I had to rethink, what am I selling now? You’re selling a good time.“ ~ Morris Lapidus
Hello, it’s Erika from small shop, with a new edition of “Design Under the Influence!” Last week I had the opportunity to go to Miami for the first time, and I could not wait to see the $1B renovation of the famous Fontainebleau Hotel. Originally designed in the 1950’s by architect Morris Lapidus (he also designed the Eden Roc and the old Americana Hotel), it was once called ”the nation’s grossest national product.” Now however, it is the #1 hot spot in Miami Beach! So, I thought it would be fun to celebrate the man credited for creating the Miami Baroque style we all know and (now) love.
In a time when America was experiencing a post-war boom, Lapidus sought to break away from the more modest, unembellished Bauhaus style that was popular in the architecture world to produce works that allowed people to show off their newly-acquired wealth. Even though his work was criticized as being vulgar, obscene and kitschy, Lapidus relished in the pretentious with sexy lounges, curvilinear pools and grand staircases, ultra-plush seating, dramatic canopies and atriums. He designed both interior and exterior, at every turn pampering and indulging guests — like putting live alligators in the lobby of the Americana, or creating a lavishly grand staircase in the Fontainebleau that led to a coat room so that guests could strut their stuff down the steps in full view. And despite the critics, Rat Pack-ers and Jet Setters alike would happily flock to his flamboyant playgrounds.
If you haven’t seen it in person, you may recognize the Fontainebleau from the James Bond flick Goldfinger (1964). Let this short trailer give you the gist:
Appropriately enough, Lapidus titled his autobiography, Too Much is Never Enough. He passed away in 2001, after a prolific career that spanned five decades, and included designs for over 1200 residential, hospitality and retail projects around the world. He even lived long enough to help restore a few of his own works (how cool is that?), and pick up an American Original Award from the Cooper-Hewitt in 2000.
Today, we celebrate his sumptuous style, can’t wait to escape to the exuberance; contemporary designers such as Rem Koolhaas and Philippe Starck refer to his work with much respect. Lately he is even being heralded as “a postmodernist long before the term existed.”
What a legacy he leaves behind.

Design Under the Influence: The Serge Mouille Lamp

/
Hello fellow LDV readers, it’s Erika from small shop! It has been quite a while since I’ve done a “Design Under the Influence” post, but I am back with an absolute fave piece of mine: the Serge Mouille lamp. No doubt you’ve been seeing these a lot lately and didn’t quite know much about it. It stands out, it catches your eye, but what’s the deal?
Serge Mouille (1922-1988) is a master silversmith out of the School of Applied Arts in Paris. But it wasn’t until the Steph Simon Gallery in Paris showcased his pieces next to Noguchi and Prouvé that actor Henry Fonda commissioned Mouille for a piece — the first U.S. piece.
Mouille’s most famous Three-Arm and Two-Arm ceiling, floor and wall lamps he has said were based on the female form, a reaction to the Italian models that had hit the scene during the 1950’s. Using his expertise in metallurgy, he drew on his fascination with musculature and skeletons to create insect-like pieces that evoke a minimal, sculptural, organic aesthetic with a sense of movement and fluidity.
/
I love seeing this mid-century modern icon in contemporary spaces!
/
/
/
/
/
/
Jenna Lyons
/
/
Domino
/
/
Jenna Lyons
/
Pilar Roger
/
/
/
/
Dalla Polvere
/
/
/
/
/
/
Gorgeous, right? But at $2500-7500, the price may be a little steep for most of us. So I’ve gathered up some Mouille-inspired pieces for you on my blog today…go check them out!

Design Under the Influence: Fashion Designers at Home & Work

Diane von Furstenberg

Hello, it’s Erika from small shop! With the wrapping up of the Spring 2013 RTW fashion shows, for this month’s "Design Under the Influence" I thought it would be fun to take a look at five designer’s homes, and how their personal styles are reflected in their collections. I find it really interesting how a designer’s aesthetic can translate from decor to fashion, and vice versa. They definitely each have their own unique look!

home / work

/

home / work

/

home / work

/

home / work

/

home / work

/

Does your home reflect your wardrobe?

Design Under the Influence: Breuer Caned Chair

Hello, it’s Erika from small shop, and for this “Design Under the Influence” I thought I’d focus on a chair that I grew up with: the Breuer caned chair. “It’s among the 10 most important chairs of the 20th century,” said Cara McCarty, associate curator, department of architecture and design at the Museum of Modern Art (New York Times, 1991).

You may think this chair is straight out of the 1970’s, but the original design actually dates back to 1928. Marcel Breuer, the designer, was a Bauhaus-trained architect that revolutionized the traditional chair in 1925 by using tubular steel in his famous Wassily chair — inspired by the handlebars on his bicycle! With his B-32 “Cesca” design in 1928 (named after his daughter Francesca), he successfully married traditional and modern materials and techniques with his use of industrial steel and natural caning, creating the “perfect modern” chair. Additionally, the engineering of his cantilever was particularly ingenious, as the tubular steel frame was significantly lighter than previous attempts by other designers. By adding a sturdy wood frame to the seat and back, he eliminated the need for the additional support, leaving a light, elegant structure.
I particularly like how this modern masterpiece adds just enough of a retro feeling to a room without overpowering it:

As significant of a design that it was, it’s surprising how rare it is these days that we see them in interiors magazines. But whenever I do, I get hit with a sense of nostalgia and a desire to snatch up a set for myself!
“Mass production made me interested in polished metal, in shiny and impeccable lines in space, as new components of our interiors. I considered such polished and curved lines not only symbolic of our modern technology but actually to be technology.” ~ Marcel Breuer

Design Under the Influence: The Sputnik Chandelier

Annette English

Hello! It’s Erika from small shop, and I’m back continuing our "Design Under the Influence" explorations into ways in which the past has influenced current trends in decor, fashion and art. This time we are taking a look at the Sputnik chandelier — and I admit, mainly because I’ve been looking at them for the past month and finally got one for our bedroom! It’s a classic piece with a lot of history, and adds a ton of personality to any space.

Obviously, the variations on the theme all center around the Russian satellite launched in 1957, and the space age curiosity since. You can find them from $300 to $3000 in a multitude of shapes, forms and finishes, new or old. I espeically love when it’s mixed with more feminine and/or rustic spaces that really offset it and make it pop. Let’s take a look at some of the more recent interiors that feature this mid-century icon:

Uxus Design

Uxus Design

Lizette Marie Interior Design

Restoration Hardware ($625)

Bonnie Edelman in House Beautiful

Niche Interiors

Palmer Weiss

Bright Design Lab

via Elle Decor

Philip Gorrivan

House Beautiful

Design Within Reach ($1325)

Design Within Reach ($1325)

Steven Gambrel

William Stewart

Jonathan Adler ($1425)

Although I would have loved a brass number like the above, the Z Gallerie chrome version at a cool $299 is budget-friendly and fine by me!