London designer Virginia White launches her first collection of furniture (inspired by Greek history) during London Design Week; read on for details.
White's collection was inspired by a chance encounter: on a sailing vacation a few summers ago, she came across the Villa Kerylos, an early 20th century Greek Revival villa. Drawing inspiration from the past (with an archaeologist father and a degree in art history, it was in the cards), White lives very much in the present. “Modern living needs to be versatile and adaptable, and truly individual,” she says. Her furniture collection will be on display at her Living with Art pop-up shop; a recreation of the home environment reflective of her design approach (to see White's own home, see Living with Art: The Thrill of the Hunt).
N.B.: The Living with Art pop-up shop will be open from September 19-22, between 10am and 6pm, at 20 Clerkenwell Green, London, EC1. For more information, contact Virginia White.
Furniture photography by Lucinda Douglas-Menzies.
Above: The Villa Kerylos was built in the early 20th century with money from the Ephrussi family. "The furniture inside the villa is based mostly on the ancient Klismos design dating back to the 5th century BC and seen on much of Greek vase paintings and bas-reliefs," says White. Image via Boston Magazine.
Above: White's rendition of the timeless, classic lines in Greek Klismos design.
Above: "My capsule collection is based on the classic Greek Klismos design. For the show pieces, I used blackened beech with cut and dyed leather made into straps for the seating, based on ancient techniques," says White.
Above: "For the upholstered pieces, I used a midnight blue glazed cotton or paso horsehair from John Boyd, the best horsehair suppliers in England/Somerset since 1837," says White.
Above: White has also been greatly influenced by Kettle's Yard, the Cambridge art gallery she first visited as a child. "Mixing styles of furniture is very important and creates a more eclectic and less contrived charm. I learned this from Kettle's Yard, where a Jacobean armchair may sit next to a Georgian dining chair and face a 1960s safari-style chair," says White. "Less styling, but more attention to the beauty of the object itself, may it be a chipped glass, stone, or a priceless sculpture." Image via Kettle's Yard.
Above: As part of her collection, White has added some Regency-inspired drawing room furniture. "The corner armchairs that together form a sofa are fantastic for the smaller home or to add variety in seating (for example, one on either side of the fireplace)," says White.
Above: The chair seats are horsehair filled and made according to traditional standards with antique style brass castors.
Above: White's furniture collection also includes a few pieces inspired by the 1930s, like these lacquered stools. "All the furniture is being made by A. T. Cronin, who are known for their traditional craft methods," says White. "The furniture is individually hallmarked and numbered, and we hope are of such high standard that they will become collectible."
N.B. Inspired by White's furniture collection? See 720 images of other Classic Furniture in our Gallery of rooms and spaces.