Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A Perfect Pair: Phillip Lloyd Powell and Bitossi Ceramic

We’ve just been having a love affair with Phillip Lloyd Powell’s gorgeous pieces. Though not as well-known as some of the other furniture designers of the time, Powell is known to have worked with and gained inspiration from designers like Paul Evans and George Nakashima and more. He worked for quite a few years, and though he didn’t produce a huge volume of work, the work he did create was beautiful and artistic.

We actually first passed over Phillip Lloyd Powell’s Custom Wall Mounted Console initially. Seemingly simple, we didn’t even realize what it was in the thumbnail-sized photo on 1stdibs’ website. But, once we clicked, we realized we were looking at a prime example of Powell’s talent and skill. Circa the 1960’s, this is a uniquely-carved, wall-mounted console made of gorgeous walnut. Surprising and delightful, it features a pair of bi-fold doors that match the texture and pattern of the exterior. There are four main compartments on the inside with varying degrees of storage, like a wine rack, drawers and shelves. Fitted with a slate top, we love the simplicity of the unit, how the natural material really shines, and how there’s interest with the texture and pattern of the undulating wood surface on the front.

This Large Pair of Bitossi Ceramic Lamps imported by Balboa in 1950's is certainly a unique item for Swank Lighting. Mostly selling some of the most jaw-droppingly gorgeous vintage Murano lamps in the business, we often pass over any ceramic lamps Swank sells. Something about these caught our eye today, though. They are quite beautiful, possessing the Bitossi trademark green and blue colors—but they are a stunningly rich green, like Emerald, and a blue as deep and as mysterious as the sea. Their shape has angles and curves, making it a study in contradictions, and we can’t get over how much we are enjoying the subtle, textured pattern of swirls that peeks out in the lamps’ colored bands that hug the body.

Maybe it’s because both pieces both initially went unnoticed that we decided to try them out together, but whatever the reason—we’re glad we did. We like how the cool colors of the lamps both clash and complement the warm, walnut tons of the console. The lamps have horizontal stripes, yet the console features vertical bands of wood. Would it be weird if we felt like each piece had a vaguely subtle nautical-feel to them? We know, that is weird to say. There’s just something sea-weedy about the texture of the console, and something sea-y about the colors of the lamp. In any case, we think they make a pretty great pair.

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