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Scottish style inspires five designer chairs
Feb 11, 2013

Tobi Fairley, Anne Maxwell Foster, Phillip Gorrivan, Patrik Lonn and Gideon Mendelson recently returned from a tour of Scotland with Traditional Home. They have since channeled their inspiration from the trip into classic Edward Ferrell + Lewis Mittman chairs, which they have each reinterpreted using Scottish textiles. The designs were then showcased in a special section of the magazine and the designers will be at the Decoration and Design Building (DDB) this week in New York City to speak about the creations.
Here's a sneak peek at the chairs and the designers’ stories behind them:
“Everything about this chair was inspired by our incredible trip to Scotland. I left this beautiful country excited to take tartans to the 21st century,” said Mendelson of Mendelson Group Inc. “To me, the chair is an interesting modern take on a 1940’s wing chair. It’s not really a wing chair, but it’s not a club chair either—it's somewhere in between.

The chair is upholstered in three fabrics: plaid, herringbone and leather. These are all very traditional Scottish materials but I wanted the placement of these fabrics to be a little unusual, and I wanted the chair to be interesting to look at from every angle. The plaid is upholstered on the bias, giving the chair a strong sense of movement. The dark leather welting provides contrast and graphic punch. The embroidered flag of Scotland is a whimsical, yet tasteful touch.”
“The myriad and vivid tales of the Scottish folklore inspired me to use a dramatic fabric from Timorous Beasties for my chair,” said Lonn of Patrik Lonn Design. “The most famous sighting of the loch Ness Monster in 565 AD is just one of many myths, legends and cycles that drew me to the companies many whimsical and uncoventional fabrics. Applied/used on a retro chair it is bound to be a conversation piece in any interior.”

“When designing my chair, I thought it would be nice to incorporate plaids in traditional patterns, such as a window pane and glen plaid, but with a more modern and softer color palette,” said Gorrivan of Philip Gorrivan Design. “I chose two plaids from my collection with Duralee/Highland Court which are woven for us at Holland and Sherry mills. To add an unexpected graphic element I chose a pillow in a pattern by Timorous Beasties. This is a chair for all occasions!"

“While in Scotland, I fell in love with this textured black and white fabric from Holland & Sherry,” said Foster of Tilton Fenwick. “It felt so luxe—like it could be used for a Chanel suit or this chic little upholstered chair. We liked adding some unexpected flair with a play on black and white contrasting cushions and frame upholstery. Add another fun detail with pink contrast welting and voila!”

“Of all the gorgeous things we saw, I was especially inspired by the tartan and men's wear influence in the amazing Scottish Textiles we were exposed to with Traditional Home last June,” said Fairley of Tobi Fairley Interior Design. ”And being that I am a lover of bold color and pattern, I thought it only right to bring both to my chair design. But since a bit of me loves to ‘push the envelope’ in design, I thought why not bring a bit of the feminine into the mix too, hence the bold pattern of tartan combined with the handsome men's wear pinstripe and a perfect pop of Pink for feminine fun. I think it is both classic and fashion forward all rolled into one."

Beth Brenner, publisher of Traditional Home, and Ronda Carmen, founder of All the Best blog, will moderate a panel discussion between the designers all about the chairs on Wednesday, Feb. 13 at 9:30 a.m. RSVP for this event.

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