Monday, April 9, 2012

Inspired by Cy

My love for Tom Delavan, former editor at Domino and current editorial director at Gilt Home, has officially resurfaced!  Over the weekend I was combing through the features section of the recently relaunched Gilt Home and I must say, the editorial content shines under Tom's direction!  The site is filled with interesting pieces on entertaining and trends but “Inspired by Cy”, Tom's piece about how the 1966 Horst photo of Cy Twombly’s Rome apartment influenced the design of his living room, really struck a cord with me.  In the feature, Tom walks the reader through his process of translating inspiration into reality.

"The image that became my obsession featured Twombly’s son Alessandro and his dog in front of a huge painting entitled “The Triumph of Galatea.” I loved how this glorious piece of art was leaning casually against the wall—it was sophisticated yet informal; the perfect mix of art and life. This family was really living with this piece, evidenced by the dog and child. I wanted that for my own home. Placing the 3-year-old in front of the painting seemed to be Horst’s tongue-in-cheek way of acknowledging the most common criticism of Abstract Expressionism by the uninitiated: “My child could paint that!” And, as far as the piece itself—well, I’m still enamored of it to this day. To me it is the perfect balance of color and whiteness, of scribbles and negative space, of spontaneity and mindfulness."

Knowing he wasn’t going to be able to afford a Twombly painting anytime soon, he thought about what really inspired him about the photo, and realized that he could replicate his favorite elements. Tom went for the tonal look in the photo of Cy sitting back and mimicked the general whiteness punctuated with dabs of color.  For the furnishings Delavan used classic pieces of furniture such as 18th-century chairs and a traditional English sofa, but placed them casually, as he imagined Cy would have done.  The resulting room feels inspired, not copied -- it captures the mood and slouchy elegance of Cy's without replicating every detail.  I guess this room is proof that creating an effortless, airy look actually takes a little effort and a vision!

So I must ask, where do you look for inspiration?

(Images Gilt Home and NYT)


  1. This space is truly beautiful - it caught my eye almost immediately when I was browsing through my reader!

    I am inspired by the homes I find in Architectural Digest - they are so incredibly beautiful, and most of all, by Restoration Hardware's new stores. They have so many ideas and seem to draw inspiration from different cultures, market segments and eras.


  2. I love the look of that fireplace! Totally want to cozy up there. I look on Pinterest and magazines mostly for inspiration-- and blogs! X

  3. Just found your blog and LOVE it! I look at blogs, mags and when I travel for inspiration. Thanks for providing some.

    1. Thanks Heidi..I always love hearing from new readers!

  4. Wow. I love Tom's apartment and the story behind it.

    I read that Twombly's Rome apartment was on Via Monserrato which is one of my favorite streets here.

  5. beautiful spaces. just found your blog and love it. I'm a new follower.

    caroline @ patagonia gifts and jewelry