Friday, June 02, 2006

Living In A Material World

I’m such a sucker for anything modern, fashionable, and of-the-moment when it comes to home décor. I’ve gone through (and think I’m finished with) my plastic phase. It started with replacing my wood dining chairs with chicer plastic Louis Ghosts designed by Philippe Starck. Then the synthetic floodgates opened. I now eat all my meals on neon PVC placemats by Driade, which look perfect next to my clear Lucite Ghost Candelabra. When I’m reading a novel in bed I turn on my Kartell Take lamp for added luminosity, which sits atop my purple La Boheme Starck stool/makeshift nightstand. And the list goes on and on, hence my need for a serious change.

Which brings me to my latest interior design obsession, and thankfully it’s not another industrial material, but rather an industrial artist: Tord Boontje.

A Netherlands native, Boontje is a master at turning refined, man-made materials into fantastical earthy creations that rival the real thing in both beauty and construction.
His graphic motifs adorn everything from Swarovski crystal chandeliers to more unusual products like stainless steel stickers. In fact, finding innovative use for unexpected materials is Boontje’s specialty. His delicate window treatments made of Tyvek paper are actually durable because the material is tear-proof.

When he’s not transforming a mundane piece of paper into a gorgeous garland-cum-lighting fixture, he’s putting his industrial brains to use in executing the construction. His designs are often translated through use of machines like waterjet cutters and lasers whereby he’s engineered fabrics like wool felt, organza, and silk into beautiful furniture. Boontje’s most recent works were created for modern design mecca Moss in SOHO. The End collection is made up of vibrant and ethereal pieces that feature his signature florals and leaves — perfect additions to my 1,000 sqft 1/1.

But alas, I can’t afford to splurge on everything Tord, with his $20,000 Swarovski crystal chandeliers and $5,000 swivel chairs. But I’ve done a little TB research and found a few ways I can attempt to Boontjefy my apartment on a budget, and here they are:

Until Dawn Curtains The aforementioned paper draperies that are made of Tyvek paper for durability, $90 each at

Garland Shade Light This silver-plated garland is perfect to cover an eyesore of a lightbulb – perhaps for sprucing up an old bathroom or creating a chic entranceway. $60, at

Puddles Stickers These stainless steel stickers are just plain fun. Is your refridgerator in need of a pick-me-up? Mine is. I’m going to cover the darn thing from top to bottom. $18 each, at

Thinking of You Vase Covers These are a no-brainer — they’re cheap and make a statement at a dinner party table or celebration. $27 each, at

Final Word: Bring on the Bootje! I think I’m in love. For now. Check out Moss for yourself if you dare to be inspired. 146 Greene Street or


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