Friday, August 20, 2010

Coco Chanel in Black and White

How much more classic can you be than Coco Chanel. And how much more classic can an interior be in black and white? I had the pleasure of seeing the movie Coco and Igor recently. It is the story of the love affair between Coco Chanel and Igor Stravinsky, a struggling composer at the time......and married with a family too.

Coco invited the Stravinsky family to stay in her French chateau. As she was showing them around the incredible home I could not help notice the amazing interior design. The setting was in the 1920s but the decorating was so contemporary and wonderful I was really taken by it.

Every room she showed the Stravinskys were done in black and white. Mrs. Stravinsky commented.....don't you like color? Of course replied long as it is black or white.

As far as color schemes go there is nothing more failsafe than black and white. It can be contemporary or traditional but either way it is mostly a very dramatic result. Black lends formality and contrast lends drama. So if you are wondering how to decide on a color scheme, are looking to make a statement and want to keep it simple, nothing beats black and white.

Of course there are many components to a successful interior design. Color is just one. To pull it all together there needs to be a careful balance of line, form and texture. There can be pattern as in a fabric but pattern can ocurr in flooring such as carpets, rugs, or hard surfaces like wood, stone or tile. Wall treatment like wallpaper or a specialty finish can provide pattern as well. But don't forget the pattern that art and accessories can achieve, too. Sometimes just the interplay among the various elements of the room can be the pattern.

But for now I am just so inspired by the elegant and dramatic interiors of Coco Chanel. It is no surprise that such a cutting edge fashion designer also have a talent for interior design. Even today many fashion designers have expanded into home furnishings. Think, Ralph Lauren or Oscar de La Renta.

Has fashion ever been an inspiration for an interior decorating project for you? I would love to hear about your experience.