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Friday, September 5, 2008

my fair lady: nina campbell

nina campbell spring 2008 collection
chair fabric: belzoro damask / wallpaper: cypres

wouldn't it be lovely?

Oh where do I begin? Nina Campbell is the queen bee of modern elegance. She built her career decorating estate for the Duke and Dutchess of York, the Queen of Denmark, and Rod Stewart before teaming up with the some of the industry's top manufacturers and distributors to design lines of furniture, fabric, wallpaper, rugs, decorative items, and now... kitchen appliances! The sky is the limit for the British designer who has also authored several books and apparently never gets tired.

What's the attraction? Campbell's impeccable taste. Her designs are feminine and pretty with a modern twist... they are bold enough to stand out in a crowd (or showroom) yet refined enough to complement even the most sophisticated settings... like a modern day Eliza Doolittle. According to the editors at House & Garden, "There is no finer ambassador of contemporary British style than interior designer Nina Campbell. She has reintroduced faux leather in lipstick red and other, more muted tones. Put it together and what have you got? Class plus dash."

Recently great strides have been made in the aesthetics of appliances from washing machines to ranges in brilliant colors and funky aerodynamic designs. Nothing I have seen comes close to Campbell's new collection for Britannia, which introduces the idea of adding subtle patterns to make a bold graphic statement. The Nina Campbell Range from Britannia comes in three chic designs -- Deauville, Damask, and Wisteria -- as well as four colorways, all guaranteed to make a splash. Personally, I am most fond of the Deauville, which echoes one of Campbell's most popular textile patterns. It is the most glamorous (and least graphic) of the three, although the Damask certainly packs a visual punch and would easily uplift a contemporary kitchen...

My favorite Nina Campbell accessory by far, these pretty match strikers are more like a piece of art than an accessory... and they remind me of a time when gentlemen sipped wine out of proper glasses (not stemless or martini glasses?) and ladies collected silver before their wedding gift registry. Crafted from hand cut and intaglio engraved crystal, they are one of those beautiful but unnecessary objects I crave...

I can just imagine how much more special my morning coffee would be if I drank from a fushia or lime green limoges breakfast cup... hearts have never looked so adorably grown up! For now, I think I'll light my Smokey Quartz Candle (scented with marigold, cypress, lavender, and cedar wood) and say a little prayer that someday I'll be able to afford something truly fantastic from the British beauty.

wisteria and damask britannia cookers, £4,599

Now tell me Professor Henry Higgins wouldn't be proud...

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