LIGHT IS THE ELUSIVE X FACTOR IN DESIGN.
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.
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