Every three months, those of us that work at HGTV Headquarters are lucky enough to see the beautiful design vignettes created by the HGTV Home Studio interns as their final project before returning home. Over the summer, Savannah College of Art and Design students Rachel Kelly and Justin DiPiero worked closely with design experts and HGTV professionals, including Vern Yip, to create a unique concept to represent both current and iconic design trends that could ultimately live right here on the second floor of our building. What did they come up with? Find out!
HGTV Home Studio Interns Justin DiPiero and Rachel Kelly
The Eames Chair:
Kayla Kitts: Why the Eames chair? What was your inspiration for choosing this iconic piece above anything else?
Justin DiPiero: Well, even if you don’t know Eames chairs, you actually do know them on a subconscious level. After working with Vern, he suggested that I expand upon something well-known and shed some light on the piece and the people that designed it: Ray and Charles Eames.
KK: Was there ever a period of time since its production where the Eames has been absent from design?
JD: No, never. It’s been in production since 1948, and you can find it in schools, churches, homes and restaurants. This is what makes it so iconic!
“Their clean, simple forms cradle the body. Today’s chairs are authentic, original design updated with eco-friendly materials and manfacturing and a large selection of base, shell and color combinations.” – from Herman Miller
KK: If you had to pick, what’s your favorite design setting for the Eames chair?
JD: Oh, that’s tough! It’s extremely versatile. It can go anywhere. It can be paired with an ethnic woven rug on wood floors (above). You can use it anywhere you want to — it’s a chameleon! But if I have to choose, I prefer the model with wooden legs. Or the gold-leafed seat with metal legs. (That’s my favorite, too! – KK)
KK: Talk about the eye-catching pendant light used in the display.
JD: I designed the entire display to reinforce the wire to support the architecture seen in Ray and Charles Eames’ home, so the Moooi Random Pendant Light was a nod to that. It also reinforces the concept of eclecticism in the display. I used a fairly traditional wool flat-weave rug, and the Eames chair goes with both and ties them together. The light connects the versatility of the chair and the influence of Ray and Charles Eames.
Looking for an Eames chair? Here’s what Justin suggests:
- Eames designs have been reproduced all over the world. Search “Eames” on eBay and Amazon for affordable reproductions.
- Originals can be found exclusively through Herman Miller retailers: Herman Miller, Smart Furniture and Design Within Reach.
Beadazzled Flexible Glass Bead Wallcovering/Maya Romanoff
KK: What was your inspiration for choosing wallcoverings as the theme for your vignette?
Rachel Kelly: I’ve always been interested in surface design, and wallcoverings are a facet of surface design. I love pattern and the personality it can bring to a room and a space. I’ve been especially inspired by the hand-illustrated and hand-screen printed works of artists like Jill Malek and Katie Deedy. I know that we’re getting away from the clean, minimalist, all-white walls that have been prevalent for a while. People are looking for ways to add personalization to a room.
KK: Why do you think wallpaper has made such a huge comeback?
RK: I think that people feel like they can’t expand beyond neutral interiors. If you put up wallpaper, no one will like it, like if you try to sell your home. Now, it’s easier to take down. It’s not the enormous life commitment that it was before. There are modern patterns, materials, textures and the offerings have become so varied and wide; there’s something for every taste and style. Plus, it’s more affordable and much easier to change out than furniture. Now, it’s more of an artisan product and fits into people’s creative lifestyles. It really says something personal about you!
KK: What did you learn about wallcoverings that you didn’t know before?
RK: So much, but mostly the breadth of materials. There’s thermo-molded foam, beads and wood veneer just to name a few. The vast array of materials was eye-opening. Plus, I learned how to hang it, too! I definitely recommend using non-woven wallcoverings because they don’t expand and contract. This means they won’t create seams, shrink when they’re dry or change size at all.
KK: What is the number one piece of advice you would give to people thinking about adding modern-day wallcoverings in their home?
RK: Use what you love. Don’t worry about trends. Don’t worry about what people are saying is popular. Don’t be afraid to use wallcoverings.
Curvy Paintable Wallpaper (on ceiling)/Graham & Brown
If you’re new to the world of wallcoverings, here are some of Rachel’s beginner’s tips:
- If you’re afraid of bold patterns, try them in a restrained color palette. They can act as a neutral background.
- Renting? Afraid of commitment? Paper a removable panel with your favorite wallcovering.
- Feeling adventurous? Wallpaper your ceiling for an unexpected statement.
- Not a pattern person? Try a sophisticated texture, like wool flannel.
Wood Veneer Wallcovering/Maya Romanoff
Give these easy, non-committal DIY ideas a try, too. In her vignette Rachel used leftover wallpaper to line the inside of a lampshade hanging above her sitting area. It adds a sparkling wow factor to the space. She also framed a piece of wallpaper and turned it into contemporary (and inexpensive!) artwork. The best part? She picked up the frame at a local thrift store and simply repainted it.
Would you buy an Eames chair or apply wallcovering to a wall in your home? Let us know your stance on these current and iconic design trends in the comments below.