Friday, February 10, 2012

Iciness at Home, Continued

This Muhly Grass is amazing… like small frothy waves arrested in time and ice crystals.  But it is the memory of what it was just a few months ago – a porcupine plant of stiff green blades and pink, gossamer plumes – that makes its current icy state all the more magical.

Maya Romanoff’s wall coverings are very much like my frozen Muhly Grass.  Beautiful in their own right.  And stunning when I think about the imagination and care needed to produce them.

Maya began his company in 1969, first exploring tie-dyed fabrics and fabric as an artistic medium, then handcrafted, folded paper, wood, grass, bamboo, gold leaf, and eventually, mica and glass beads.  He and his wife Joyce still run the corporation with his original inquisitiveness, his interest in other cultures and his enthusiasm for experimenting with new technologies.

Wallmica in Isfahan
Maya Romanoff products are available through several showrooms, including their flagship showroom at Merchandise Mart in Chicago and Donghia in Atlanta, Boston, Cleveland, Dallas, Dania, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.
Beadazzled Flexible Glass Bead in Sylvie
with Donghia's Albero

Beadazzled Bauble in Pearlie

in Bianca
in Coco Butter

with Donghia's Estrella

Callisto Mirror

with Donghia's Delphi

Designed with Amy Lau, Anniversary Crystal wallpaper honors
the company's 40th anniversary and Maya's early dyed fabrics.

with Donghia's Flirt
These really gorgeous materials remind me that winter is never perfectly white.  They capture the season’s slightly shimmery muddiness and softening textures and transform them into a startling exquisiteness.

Maya Romanoff wall tiles in Vail home designed by Jorge Castillo
Maya Romanoff is based near Chicago, and about half of their products are constructed at this facility.  The rest are made in collaboration with craftsmen in developing countries.  Maya and Joyce are committed to reducing waste and promoting green materials here in the United States and abroad.

Snow and ice are transformative in the garden.  They encase branches, leaves and seed pods and redefine their silhouettes.  And layers of freezing water reveal other colors and forms, like a veiled window into an almost-hidden glacial world.
Oly furniture, mirrors, accessories and light fixtures really echo the frosty complexity of winter.
Oly is the brainchild of Kate McIntyre and Brad Huntzinger, who first collaborated in the 1980s when they founded Ironies.  Ironies still produces some of the most elegant home furnishings I’ve ever seen, especially in terms of wrought iron designs and hand-painted finishes.
But Kate and Brad were very interested in creating a line that was a little younger and more affordable, so in 1999, they started Oly.  Oly designs are about blending the traditional with more contemporary life, adding a little humor and drawing influence from France and Indonesia.  But most importantly, they celebrate craftsmanship and beautiful materials, such as natural fibers, antiqued mirror, limestone, granite, marble, onyx, agate and hammered iron,
Yves Side Table
Lorna Accent Table


mahogany, sono and mindi woods, burnished or brushed sheet metals, reclaimed glass,
Isabella Sconces
and shell.
Nest Mirror
Serena Screen

Their creations in resin are especially lovely.
Anni Vessels
Muriel Chandelier
Paris Vases
Adeline Table

Both Ironies and Oly are based in Berkeley, California.  Oly furniture and most accessories are made in their own factory in Indonesia from as many locally sourced materials as possible.

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