herringbone and white marble

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The herringbone oak floors in the Musée Rodin, Paris, are just part of the magnificence of the 18th-century Hotel Biron where Rodin once lived.  As The Kiss was unavailable, I took the flooring idea back home with me.

IMG_9646Wise craftsmen from Poland, newly arrived in Canada, laid our floor with white oak sourced from Pennsylvania.  Then we layered in textures, collaging industrial objects against modern-era design. The metal stools originally belonged to a garment factory.  Black leather for the seats and cow hides came from the classic Toronto-based Perfect Leather, one of the last hold outs on King St. West, despite constant offers from condo developers.  The length of the marble counter was dictated by a 10-foot slab of Italian Bianco we found from a local supplier. Photographed on a TGIF late afternoon.

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When it’s -15 degrees Celsius outside it’s essential to have warming zones inside.  The table on  castors is part of the 1960s aluminum series by Charles and Ray Eames.  Chess set hand-crafted by my talented father-in-law, Bill Terry.  And this pair of chairs – found in derelict condition – was collected for their distinct personalities.  The old radiator, found on Craig’s List, weighs about 500 pounds.  Now we can never move.


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Across the Atlantic, the white minimal aesthetic mixes it up with industrial-stained wooden floors in a herringbone pattern.  Nice juxtaposition.  This kitchen/dining space is part of a seven-unit housing complex designed by Metaforme of Luxembourg. Credit image: Steve Troes fotodesign.
1018-02_01_sc_v2comHere’s the context: A white box accommodating seven housing units with cut-aways for entrances and views…a smart and original densification of a suburban neighbourhood.
1018-02_08_sc_v2comInside, there’s a smart idea about planting air-revitalizing plants directly into the floor and directing sun captured from above into the interior garden.
1018-02_06_sc_v2comBad design idea:  putting a toilet within full viewing next to the bed. Why? But let’s not end on this.
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The herringbone is so named for the skeletal pattern of the herring fish.  I don’t eat herring, but am sure thankful for its luminous, complex wonder.
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1 comment
  1. Hi Lisa: Wonderful craftsmanship and results with the flooring. You picked a home-run-hitter. The rad is a classic &hard to believe that back in the 40’s there was an ocean of them. Thanks for the photos of the structures in Luxembourg: exterior’s attractiveness and interior sensibility. On a related note the herringbone design is used in mechanical gear mesh systems for the strength and ability to withstand shearing.

    And belated thanks for penning the recent article about Thunder Bay’s waterfront published in the Globe and Mail. As a former resident and member of the City’s Public Art Committe I was delighted with your objective assessment enriched with compliments to the community. We are most proud of this significant landmark which was in the hearts and minds of the residents for many years. Thank you for bringing this to the Nation’s attention. Oh by the way you must go back and capture the several other pieces of public art. Did you try the skate board park?
    Many thanks,
    Bruce

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