Airplane Designer √. Art Gallery Designer √. Hotel Designer √. Interior Designer √. Jewelry Designer √. Perfume Creator √. Product Designer √.
I’ve always imagined that if I had pursued a creative career, I would have been an interior designer along the lines of self-taught French national treasure ANDRÉE PUTMAN. The diversity and depth of Madame Putman’s career as an interior architect is beyond impressive and the influence she’s had as an editor and style icon can not be overstated. There’s a streamlined, cutting-edge luxury to her design work that’s never brash or in your face, but rather studied and controlled.
If you’re a fan of the minimalist boutique hotels that are over-saturating the hospitality industry, you should know that Madame Putman is widely credited with launching that craze 25 years ago with the Morgans Hotel in New York City. Since then, the 85-year old Putman has said, “Minimalism in interior design has become a caricature. Everywhere you find shops or hotels with ambiance that makes you feel like you are in a refrigerator.” I appreciate that Madame Putman could make such a strong statement in regard to a phenomena she helped create, and for the record, I absolutely agree with her. The boutique hotel concept is a bit played and overwrought with lobby bars and in desperate need of reinvention.
In regard to design access, Madame Putman has said,”I’ve always worked with the idea of making beautiful things accessible to everyone. I disliked the image of luxury linked only to money or arrogance.” When I started Zavvi Rodaine this quote was on my inspiration board because I’ve often felt that people too quickly exclude themselves from certain aspects of life because they feel that they’re not connected to the right people or because they don’t have a million dollars in the bank. Instead, I believe, they should take inspiration from style icons like Madame Putman.
Here are two of my favorite projects by Madame Putman. The first is a Parisian residence that was published many years ago in the now defunct House & Garden and of course the Morgans Hotel. In addition, I’ve included some of Madame Putman’s essential quotes to accompany her work.
The Townhouse, Paris
“I have always cultivated the revel spirit, from my early childhood. I wanted to empty rooms. I turned down all dictates of good taste and elitism. I avoid decoration for decorations sake.”
“Unless you have a feeling for that secret knowledge that modest things can be more beautiful than anything expensive, you will never have style.”
“I’m interested in many things-I don’t see myself as a specialist.”
Morgans Hotel, New York City
“To not dare is to have already lost. We should seek out ambitions, even unrealistic projects…because things only happen when we dream.”
“Who says beige is elegant, orange is daring and that there must always be an art print facing you at the foot of the bed?”
“I have no recipe for how to combine things. But you must be sincere. And if you are, strangely it will succeed.”
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