It affects everything, and the best designers know how to
calibrate their work according to its evanescent properties,
which change from room to room, from city to city, from
continent to continent. To properly capture light quality in
photographs is no less of a challenge. In this issue, I’m particularly impressed with the work of our contributing photographers, who have delivered not just beautiful design projects
but the precise light conditions that make these designs live
and breathe on the page.
Seattle, for example, is known for its silvery light, which
Nancy Burfiend embraced in her sleek penthouse design
at the Four Seasons. Photographer Benjamin Benschneider did a remarkable job recording both the warm wood
tones of her interior and the luminous, watery hues of Elliott
Bay outside the windows. No easy trick. In London, Rachel
Laxer used a rich, subdued palette that suits the city’
moody light. Adrian Briscoe managed to capture that
shadowy glamour without losing the richness and saturated
color of Laxer’s design. Sunlight fairly dances through the
rooms of Joan Dineen’s Manhattan townhouse, and Scott
Frances’s photographs seem to track every fleeting dapple.
In her own home, Stephanie Coutas used metallic elements
to complement the cool northern light of Paris, which
Francis Amiand caught in all its austere grandeur. Finally,
working without natural light is perhaps the greatest
test for a photographer, but Nathan Kirkman’s showroom
shots from deep inside Chicago’s Merchandise Mart are
perfectly balanced and crisp.
As you admire the interior design work on display here, I also
hope you will also take a moment to admire the skilled work
of our photographers. It is their images that convey not just
the look of a design but the emotional experience that is at
its core. n
Paris-based FRANCIS AMIAND is a prolific photographer whose work in
design has appeared in the catalogs, advertisements and lifestyle shoots of
the most prestigious design brands in the world. His interior design photography is frequently in demand editorially, as are his artful presentations of food
and portraits of chefs.
JORGE S. ARANGO is a freelance design writer, editor and stylist. His work
has appeared in many publications, including Metropolitan Home, Elle
Decor, Robb Report, Luxe, Coastal Living, 1stdibs.com, and others. He is the coauthor of four books on design, most recently Elegant Rooms That Work:
Fantasy and Function in Interior Design (Rizzoli, 2013), with Stephanie Stokes.
A design writer and editor based in London, CAMILLA BELTON started her
career at The World of Interiors magazine. She subsequently created Collect
magazine for The Rug Company and is now working on a book project with
Neisha Crosland. She has just completed Dixonary—the first comprehensive
monograph of British designer Tom Dixon, to be published in June.
BENJAMIN BENSCHNEIDER is a Seattle-based photojournalist who has
traveled throughout the United States, Asia and Europe on assignment for The
Seattle Times. His interest in capturing the interplay of light and landscape
informs his architecture and design photography, which has appeared in
numerous magazines and books.
ADRIAN BRISCOE is a still life photographer who predominately works for the
interiors and graphic design industries. He graduated in 1995 with a BA (hons)
in Design Communication, and his photography has been commissioned by
companies such as The Conran Shop, Harrods, House of Fraser, Zoffany, Sanderson, Farrow & Ball and Mulberry and has appeared in publications such as
Elle Decoration, House & Gardens, Living etc., The Times and The Telegraph.
SCOTT FRANCES began his career working with the legendary architectural
photographer Ezra Stoller and is one of the leading design and architecture
photographers working today. His father was a creative director at an advertising agency, and his mother was an editor for decorating magazines, which
influenced his path into photography. His work has appeared in an array of
international design and architecture magazines. This is his first appearance
ZOE SETTLE began covering the interior design world as a design editor at
Town & Country and has been a freelance writer and stylist for the past
three years. Her love of design is also expressed in her e-commerce shopping
site, Maxwell Silver NY. She was born and raised in New York City, where she
Michael Slenske covers arts and culture for various publications, including
W, Architectural Digest, Modern Painters and Art + Auction. In the August/
September issue he interviewed design star Marc Newson, and for this issue
he spoke with Nancy Burfiend, of Seattle’s NB Design Group, who designed
a warm-toned, minimalist aerie (with maximalist views) atop the Emerald
City’s Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences. “We tend to work in a more
reductive mode,” Burfiend told Slenske about the penthouse. “It’s simple,
tailored and elegant.”
MICHAEL WEBB is the author of 26 books, most recently Modernist Paradise:
Niemeyer House, Boyd Collection (Rizzoli) and Venice CA: Art +Architecture
in a Maverick Community (Abrams). He was born and educated in London,
where he worked at The Times and Country Life before moving to the United
States to become programming director of the American Film Institute.
Michael now lives in Los Angeles in a classic Richard Neutra apartment that
was once home to Charles and Ray Eames.