As a textile designer, my work is greatly influenced by painting and the other arts, which offer a rich visual language that we can borrow for our own purposes. Recently, I was struck by the work of Alice Neel in the “People Come First” exhibition presented at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Neel’s honest portraits provide an aesthetic language of painterly brush strokes and vivid color combinations that influenced the tone of materials selected for the Stahl House photo shoot.
In keeping with the mood of the moment, we wanted to create a material environment with an honest, natural quality, emphasizing texture rather than pattern. We did not want to use textiles that look or feel slick or synthetic. The Stahl House itself is all glass and steel. By employing fabrics that invite us to touch, we could create a more relaxed and comforting space, echoing the visual and tactile complexity of the natural world.
The color palette is upbeat and optimistic. We used soft, nurturing tones, as well as neutrals and some earthy hues reminiscent of colors used by mid-century designers and architects. Bright pillows bring in pops of color. The intent was to give each piece of furniture its own independent personality, while coordinating hues to create an environment that is both vibrant and natural, a look that’s modern and dynamic but also with a bit of whimsy.