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Design Sleuth: A Quilt Inspired by a Beloved Abstract Painting

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Design Sleuth: A Quilt Inspired by a Beloved Abstract Painting

October 27, 2020

Commissioned to transform a Seattle Capitol Hill condo into a “retreat from the city,” interior designer Lisa Staton took a Scandi-minimalist approach that’s all about tranquility: “we layered neutrals and paid close attention to shapes and silhouettes.” For inspiration, Staton looked to everything from Shaker design to Paris pied-à-terres and landmark abstract art. It’s the last reference that caught our eye: Staton enlisted a quilter friend to create a wall hanging modeled after one of Josef Albers’s most famous Homage to the Square paintings.

Would Albers himself approve? Hard to know, but having married the great textile artist Anni Albers, he would likely understand the urge to translate his work into fiber. See what you think.

Photography by Kara Mercer courtesy of Lisa Staton Interior Design.

The apartment&#8
Above: The apartment’s shades of driftwood palette extends to the quilt, which hangs over a woven-leather oak bench bought at the Rose Bowl Flea Market.

Staton got the idea for the wall hanging from the cover of a Josef Albers’ show catalogue. It was stitched by her neighbor Pippin Christiansen: “Pippin is a middle school Spanish and art teacher, and also a quilter and crafter,” Staton tells us. “We thought of Etsy, but when I floated the idea by Pippin, she was excited to collaborate.”

The apartment&#8
Above: The apartment’s big attraction is its floor-to-ceiling windows, which Staten lined with very sheer wool curtains “to soften the city views.” The quilt hangs is in the combination living room/dining area.
Staton says that Pippin&#8
Above: Staton says that Pippin’s quilts are typically bold and bright: “We made a bunch of test squares and mockups, and twice Pippin had me swing by because she was worried the chosen fabrics didn’t have enough contrast. I reassured her that subtlety was what we were after for the space.”
The quilt is composed of linen from Ulster Linen, fabric from Pippin&#8
Above: The quilt is composed of linen from Ulster Linen, fabric from Pippin’s favorite source, Quilty Box, and scraps from Staton’s office. It cost $350, not including materials, and Pippin is open to other commissions: contact her via Instagram @pippinriver.
Josef Albers Midnight and Noon, a hardcover catalogue from David Zwirner Books, is what inspired Staton. The catalogue accompanied the David Zwirner Gallery&#8
Above: Josef Albers Midnight and Noon, a hardcover catalogue from David Zwirner Books, is what inspired Staton. The catalogue accompanied the David Zwirner Gallery‘s 2017 Josef Albers’ show, which focused on the artist’s fascination with black, white, and gray. Photograph via David Zwirner Books.

For another homage to Albers’s squares, see A Model at Home: A Paris Loft Inspired by Josef Albers.

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