23 May 2008

Alidad and Chelsea Editions

 

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Close up photograph of an Alidad designed room.

 

Chelsea Editions, the England based fabric and furniture company recently announced that both Robert Kime and Alidad were joining their ranks with a new line of embroidered fabrics.   While no mention of the Robert Kime partnership has yet made it onto Chelsea Edition's web site, the Alidad association is now online to be viewed.

The one name Alidad, Persian born and London based, is known for his classic, opulent, and sometimes over the top interiors.   He started his career as head of Sotheby's Islamic Works of Art department before turning his energies to interior design.  Alidad quickly became famous for his richly decorated rooms, which often have a masculine leaning.  Always gorgeous, his interiors are laden with luxurious fabrics and textiles and  layers upon layers of richly textured patterns.  Minimalism is not a term that Alidad has any knowledge of.  Every surface in an Alidad designed room is addressed and is either fauxed, papered, or  upholstered.   Only the most fortunate few can afford the sumptious luxury of an Alidad interior. 

As such, Alidad's association with Chelsea Editions comes as somewhat of a surprise.  Chelsea Editions is famous for their soothing toned checks and stripes and their extensive collection of Indian hand embroidered fabrics with butterflies, flowers, and vines stitched in mostly muted tones.  Hardly the stuff of the velvet damasks and  silk brocades that Alidad prefers to use.   But, being a Persian, Alidad has remained true to his roots and his obvious love of Ottoman design, art, and textiles.   This love influenced his fabric range for Chelsea Editions.   Called "Bosphorous" - his embroidered fabrics have been scaled down for today's interiors, and their colors are muted so as to mix  with antique textiles.  Additionally, Alidad placed the patterns between stripes - perfect for wallcoverings a la Michael Smith's famous Urban Outfitter's Indian Bedspread Room.   With names like Goli, Layla, Cyprus, and Naz, the influence of the Ottoman empire on the fabrics is hard to ignore.  Here's a sneak peak at a few of the new Alidad designed Chelsea fabrics.  Hopefully - we'll get a glimpse of Robert Kime's new collection soon:

 

Saz

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A close up look of the embroidered detail of the Saz fabric.

Shayla:

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Pari:

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An Alidad designed drawing room:  layers upon layers of opulent excess.

 

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The same drawing room - with a view to the fireplace and bookcases.

 

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An antique suzani from the 19th century was used for a skirted table.  In just this small corner, it's interesting to see how many patterns and textiles Alidad used.  Every square inch is touched by his hand.

 

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In this famous Alidad dining room, he illuminated Verre églomisé panels on the walls to give the room  a romantic candle lit effect. 

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For a gentleman's bedroom retreat, Alidad used hand tooled leather panels on the walls.

 

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For this paneled library, the wooden walls were too plain for Alidad so he designed faux painted panels to simulate an inlaid effect.

 

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A closeup of the same library's fireplace:  Alidad placed a painting over an antique mirror.  Layers upon layers are always used to achieve the lush richness of his interiors.

 

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For this listed estate, Buscot Park, Alidad was hired for his knowledge of history and the sensitivity he brought to the project.

 

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Beside Chelsea Editions, Alidad has designed a line of fabrics for Pierre Frey.   Here, a multi patterned fabric is laden with the typical Alidad attention to detail and luxury.

 

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Another Pierre Frey fabric by Alidad. 

 

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Additionally,  Alidad has designed a line of velvet covered furniture for  Thomas Messel.   Here - a bookcase covered in red velvet and nailheads, with black paw feet.

 

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A candle lit sconce in red velvet.

 

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And, lastly, a round hall table with the same details as above.

 

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Of course, he also designs wall coverings - here a close up of a leather panel called Pomegranate.

 

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A dining room, with the Pomegranate wall covering.

 

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And finally - the man of  the hour:  Alidad, handsome with just an air of bemused confidence.  Notice his red velvet hall table to the left of the sofa.  The other two tables are also Alidad designed.

36 comments:

  1. Everyone must be away on holiday since this posting is deserving of lavish praise and the comment boxes are empty!
    There's just so much to feast upon~velvet covered furniture for starters. Just delicious, and the very opposite of boring genteel taste.
    Of course it does take an "older woman" blogger to feature this sort of thing, I suppose.
    Much appreciated by this "older" man.

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  2. Toby - ah hahaha!!! I just posted this late this afternoon and everyone IS out of town, but me, I think! And - Alidad is hard to explain and understand I'm afraid. I don't think a lot of people will like his style. I really was only doing it to talk about the new fabric line, but then I thought - ok - let's look at his work in depth. I know it's not a typical style for me to show, but I hope people will give him a chance. He is an amazing talent - and there is so much to learn from him and use in moderation ???

    Thanks again!
    Joni

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  3. I'm actually a big fan of Islamic and Far East art--I totally adore the Freer + Sackler galleries in DC--so I definitely love the rich colours in this collection! Thank you, Joni, for introducing us to this new line. I learn something new from your site every time I visit.

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  4. I enjoyed seeing this, Joni.
    I always look forward to your showcase posts. This one is amazing. The fabrics are gorgeous!

    I just checked your Thursday post, again and left another comment. Thank you for that post! I truly appreciate it!

    Pat

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  5. This is spectacular! I love the layered, more is better look but, alas, it puts my DH in shock. Thanks for sharing. Christy :-)<><

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  6. Interesting to learn of your reservations about devoting a post on Alidad along with an in-depth look at his style. Glad you threw caution to the winds on this one, Joni.
    As Diana Vreeland used to say, "Give 'em what they never knew they wanted."

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  7. These are the type rooms I grew up in. My family is originally from Lebanon. My grandmother's house was filled with too much richness!
    It wasn't Alidad but it was his "look". Add 20 relatives all speaking arabic!!!!!Yikes!
    Perhaps this is why I love the Wheat house so much! LOL It felt calm and soothing.

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  8. One Girl and a Right BrainMay 24, 2008 at 12:04 PM

    It SCREAMS " I have a copious and endless supply of money and am smart enough to not be tacky about it"

    I honestly don't get the eastern feel from it, I get a much more english regency feel from it....all of the vibrant, saturated colors, pattern upon pattern, exquisite artifacts etc. He is truly a master at creating that Architectural Digest look and he doesn't appear to be pretentious in his photo (distinguished, yes, but not pretentious and stuffy)....I could just sit beside him on that settee and chat him up all day long :)

    I really admire designers that are able to create an interior from an historical perspective and are able to pull it off so flawlessly that it appears to have been that way for a hundred years, yet is not contrived and rigid....even as serious as his designs are, they still have a certain playfulness to them that keeps them fresh.

    Thank you for bringing him into the spotlight!

    Andrea

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  9. Hi everyone! Thanks for the comments and I'm glad y'all liked it !! I was worried it would be "too much!" - I love the picture of him in his white jeans??? too much.

    thanks again.
    Joni

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  10. That velvet bookcase is just incredible. Incredible!

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  11. Joni, Just noticed your endorsement from Tortidiot. I'm curious as to what normal readers will not...???
    I love your blog, every style might not be my choice but this is the most interesting, educating, well written decorating blog I have found.
    Alidad's decorating may be over the top for me but there are so many elements that I could incorporate into my home, especially the gorgeous fabrics. I also love that books are in so many of his pictures.
    He is certainly a debonair looking man too!
    Mary

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  12. Mary - isn't that endorsement a riot - with friends like that.....

    actually it's a very very young law student who wrote that on their blog. And I found it and just laughed my big fat a** off when I read it. You know, the fossil that I am!!

    Thanks for all your kind words - it's comments like yours that make this all worthwhite.

    Joni

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  13. ok - hi ! I hate to put a new post up because I know most people are out of town and I want everyone to enjoy the feast of design that Alidad brings!!!! awwww, what to do???? I love opening the blog and seeing that first picture of his, the sumptuous of it all. Amazing. I just noticed that there are 4 sculptures on the end table alone!!! Only Alidad can pull that off so beautifully. I can't wait until we get the new fabrics in Houston. Chelsea is my favorite design house and the Alidad/Kime collaboration is like heaven to me! Did everyone notice the the embroidery detail on the first fabric? Wonderful!

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  14. You always pick the most interersting and different styles...that's what keeps me coming back. If I lived closer I would love to have you as a friend to "do" lunch with! The conversations would be amazing!

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  15. Ok, so who is Toridiot?? I've missed something here.

    I love this post because it reminds me of my parents library and the living room -full of fabrics, rugs, etc from centuries of travel. It is very cozy.

    You have the best posts -how's a girl to keep up?

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  16. The drawing room with the layers upon layers is my dream room! Thanks, Joni! You never cease to amaze, entertain and enlighten me!

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  17. Joni,
    I loved the post! It is such a richly layered look that I can understand isn't for everyone. But, is it that different fundamentally from the English Country Home style you featured recently (To Clutter or Not to Clutter...)? They both have rooms that have a riot of color, a multitude of fabrics--some of them exotic or "foreign" in flavor--and are amazingly, over-the-top-accessorized. Certainly the Alidad style is more formal, skews more masculine, and imparts more drama, but aren't there a lot of similarities? I'm not formally trained in design, so mine an amateur observation. Feel free to correct me!

    I only say this because I was surprised to read that you hesitated to feature him. I appreciate the education you so generously provide to your loyal readers! Even if the style is one that doesn't suit my personal taste, I'm always so glad to learn about something different.

    Thanks!
    Angela P.

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  18. Thanks Angela so much! I only meant about being hesitant is that I think I usually show more French design. And Alidad is such a genius, very sophisticated. I was also concerned that readers may think - oh I couldn't afford that or do that in my house" and just click off. But in thinking about it - you CAN take elements from his design and incorporate them in a "normal" house. Use textiles - throws (for a suzani - you could get the one from Urban Outfitters to cover a skirted table for example). Collect old mirrors and frames from second hand stores. Use darker paint on walls to mimic expensive wall coverings, collect garden elements - concrete urns and statuary to mimic marble ones . Things like that. I should have written about all this! I just didn't want people to say - I can't have this - next! that's all. But when you really study it, you CAN have elements of an Alidad design. Isn't he talented? There's no phoniness here or showmanship, no trendiness, just great design.

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  19. I agree with the previous poster who said that Alidad's rooms don't necessarily feel middle eastern. I have many photos of his work in my "cut outs" file and cherish them for their rich colours and cosiness, which we need in cold climates like here in canada. The past years of design minimalism and sparseness are wonderful during summer months but during the long, harsh winters, a girl longs to snuggle in a room decked out with persian carpets, mahogany book cases and plush velvets!

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  20. Joni,
    I totally agree that elements of Alidad's style can be incorporated into a home that doesn't enjoy the same budget as his clients. Just like anyone can find a great bottle of wine for $150, sometimes there can be a lot of fun in finding a great bottle of wine for $35. I loved to read your suggestions on how to reflect a similar style at a different price-point. In fact, one of my all-time favorite posts of yours was from way back in October when you were lamenting the demise of Blanc d'Ivoire and you went on to think about all the other great design bargains you love. I really appreciate that perspective in design.

    By the way, have you noticed how handsome all of the male designers that you feature are? Wow.

    Angela P.

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  21. Okay everyone has made so many intelligent comments. All I can add is that is too f-ing much. My heart is pounding, my mouth is dry, I'm sweating a little. Ali dad, Ali - dad, Ali -dad...my new imaginary boyfriend. Seriously Joni, brilliant reporting as usual...Thanks!

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  22. PS I'm stealing the photo of him to place among my sexist posts titled Always In Style, a transparent ploy to post photos of hot men on my blog...

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  23. He reminds me of Omar Sharif in Doctor Zhavago! You young things probably don't have a clue who I am talking about! LOL

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  24. He's been in my bookmarks a while now. But I didn't know about the Robert Kime/Chelsea editions detail, and its always interesting to see how they present themselves in person. The rooms are too rich stylistically for my blood, finances and location, but oh, a pared down version..., and those fabrics...

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  25. Dianne--
    We're not all young, so we DO know what you're talking about! Breathtaking.
    Angela P.

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  26. I had to giggle at the comment above saying we young things have no clue who Omar Sharif is! On the contrary! And I loved OS in Funny Girl as well! : ) PF course, I really AM old. *grin*
    Now, I have read about this glorious man and his work. How truly exquisite.
    Each room is a masterpiece. A minimalist I am decidedly not so this is decor I adore.
    I was trying to explain this style to my son (I was blogging as he was eating his after work, warm up dinner) and said how lovely it would be to have a glorious drawing room. The boy actually said, "Mom, you draw all the time, in all our rooms, Why do you need a room to do that in?" Oh my. I have sorely neglected this child's design education. Thankfully I may be able to redeem myself with Grace.

    I love each one of your posts and the inspiration found within each one. No, I will never have a stunning drawing room but I can take elements of his style and incorporate it into my own home.
    And I may even pick up a pencil and *draw* there.

    Hugs,
    Sue

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  27. I'm in love. Not so much with the white jeans, but that drawing room. EXQUISITE!

    I love.

    Love.

    Love.

    You remind me what I have loved all along.

    Thanks Joni,
    melissa

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  28. Wouldn't you love to see him design some exotic tiles? Think how cool a bathroom would be with his influence!
    Angela P.

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  29. Where can you buy Chelsea Editions or Chelsea Textiles fabrics? Are they in the Decorative Center in Houston or Dallas iin a showroom? I could only find them in New York and London.

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  30. Anon: George Cameron Nash showroom carries Chelsea fabrics in Houston and Dallas.

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  31. Re: Angela, You want to see an Alidad Bathroom. Check this out and the Alternative views.
    http://alidad.com/bathroom1.html

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