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March 30, 2023
Something important just happened in design- Liberty, known for its bold prints and quirky twist on British heritage aesthetic, partnered with fellow Brit, The Rug Company, and produced a stunning line of six rugs.
This partnership revisits patterns from Liberty’s archives spanning 150 years, containing over 55,000 documents kept in a bomb-proof bunker. To create a cohesive collection that appealed to modern tastes, Liberty’s Head of Design, Genevieve Bennett, focused on prints reminescent of the Art Nouveau period and the Aesthetic movement. The result- four designs resurrected and reimagined- Hera, Milo, Hana, and Ianthe, with the latter two available in two different colorways.
Each rug is hand-knotted using Tibetan wool and silk and crafted with the signature quality typical of The Rug Company’s offerings.
The Art Nouveau period is a prescient choice for this line; as we emerge from an era of minimalism – at times, stripping away nearly all ornamentation—influenced at times by mid-century sensibilities and organic curves evocative of nature, decoration is back in a big way. From the Grandmillenial aesthetic to the Craft movement, and the in-betweens like ”New Traditional” design, flourishes, accents, and color are on everyone’s minds. Notably, Art Deco, the successor of Art Nouveau, has popped back onto the trends list; reviving the fluted crystal glassware is a natural extension of the fluted woodwork trend, and Art Deco metallic accents and sharp angles layer well over recent years’ functional furniture lines.
Art Nouveau is a bridge at the confluence of these developments. Defined by organic, flowing shapes inspired by nature and celebrating craftsmanship and skill in ornate design, Art Nouveau speaks to a wide range of modern aesthetics. Bridging environments is the foundation of Art Nouveau, with artists seamlessly incorporating nature-inspired plants, flowers, and curves into urban spaces, connecting visual and applied arts, garden and city.
Art Nouveau’s typical palette of neutrals paired with burnt oranges, mustard yellows, olive greens, and soft blues transition well from the recent 1970s trends favoring oranges and greens- both being named in our 2023 color trends blog. With the return of ornate decor, we’ve also seen a warming of the preferred neutral palette- from cool greys to warm ivories and beiges.
The Liberty collaboration with The Rug Company encompasses all these qualities- flourishes, organic lines and natural inspirations like flowers and feathers combined with greens, oranges, and blues. The ornateness of the patterns easily strays into a very formal look, which is a hard contrast from the casual living environments most of us have and that suit many modern living spaces; bringing them back down to earth is an easy question of styling.
Since I’m absolutely in love with the Ianthe Jade rug, but could never allow one into the vicinity of my toddlers/demigods of mayhem (my Ben Soleimani having met its death after just 3 years of parenting), I’ve taken the liberty (Ha!) of styling a few with picks from Anacua House:
The Ianthe Jade features blooming, oversized border in green and blues against a pale background. This rug is for my inner style queen, and I’d outfit the room with tonal shades of turquoise, pale greens, and warm greys. Our rippled Mirage glassware and seashell cocktail stirrers complement the Art Nouveau feel, but I’d pull the style into present-day by layering organic curves like our ivory Femme II vase, and clean-lined metallic accents like our Sway candlesticks and Heirloom Brass tray.
The Hera rug is a distinctive peacock feather print in an unexpected rust orange. The contradiction creates opportunity to go in several different directions with this style:
Hera is the rare statement piece that’s also versatile enough to choose your own adventure. Lean into the whimsy or contrast- either one will be stunning. Or do both- if you’re a maximalist like me, the layers will work together if you keep a cohesive palette with warm neutral accents and natural materials.
The Hana Lacquer rug is the biggest statement of the line- featuring a bold, large-scale print and wide-ranging palette of sages. blues, and terracottas. The key is to choose one color to amplify- focusing on the poppies in this design makes sense. While the orange trends towards red and deep tones, it doesn’t quite get there but still feels like a natural extension of the design, especially with some of the mauve accents near the blue. I’m a sucker for a deep, bold red, so that’s where we’re going. A Malbec baby Alpaca throw or set of hand-blown vases in organic, rounded shapes would offer the right saturated accent, as would these subtly curved rose glasses. The other decor in the room should be relatively neutral, to offset the intensity of the rug.
Solid or neutral textiles need not be boring- a fringed pillow like our ivory Italian Velvet throw pillow keeps the design interesting and fits with Art Nouveau’s ornamented style.
Hana’s print is an homage to the Japanese interpretation of Art Nouveau, which creates an opportunity to incorporate clean-lined accents with understated flourishes. Our Umezara and Kikyo Kobachi dishes in the style of Kutani porcelain make great accompaniments in the form of catch-alls, trinket dishes, or snack bowls. Modern shapes in natural materials speak well to the tenets of Japanese Art Nouveau while bringing the design into the present- try a footed marble bowl or our bone-inlaid coasters.
For those (very many) of us who cannot afford one of these beauties, I’m sure the more affordable brands will be looking to create similar styles soon- I’ll be on the lookout.
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July 25, 2023
Here at Anacua House, we’re passionate about global and diverse voices in design. When our founder, Angela, saw pictures on social media of Daysie, an all-day casual bar in Bangalore launched by a coworker from her university days, she had to reach out. Daysieis making waves in the design world for its maximalist, highly-instagrammable environment that draws the city's tech-foward, trendy crowd of young professionals.
May 15, 2023
I see this as an extension of the overall warming trend in colors – the popularity of sages, terracotta, and warm reds, along with the general appreciation of natural materials and craft.
Here’s a couple shades that work perfectly for a 2023 take on Beige: