Morphing and Blooming: Our Fleur de Lys Pattern

Our  Morphing Fleur de Lys pattern made several appearances in different scales and materials throughout 2012.  We share its exuberance and fun with you once again in the spirit of the season, and take this opportunity to think back on where you might have seen it before, and at the roots of our obsession de fleur!

The pattern was originally developed for a special accent drawer on our Fleur de Noyer chest of drawers, and first appeared as a multi-color screen print on bamboo plywood. The chest has a simple exterior of walnut, and is a foil for playful yet practical arrangements of drawers. A corner of it was shown with the Fleur de Tech, a stylized charging station, also detailed with a coordinating fleur de lys, in the June 2012 New York Times article, Furniture for the Digital Age.

Here’s how the pattern evolved. Simply put, our design director, Jason Gorsline, is enamored of the fleur de lys.  Here it is on his tie, which he wore for our Interior Design Market Tabloid photo, published  in November, 2012.

And here it is again at the opening of The Pastry Lab, the new restaurant of the Monroe College School of Culinary Arts which we designed!

He set the course for exploring diagonal patterns incorporating the fleur de lys. Then I got a bad cold. TV didn’t interest me. But permutations of patterns did. As I languished and recovered, I explored different versions of “the fleur,” a couple of which ended up in the final pattern. Jason had talked about introducing color, scale and texture…but then, it seemed that the form of a bird could easily evolve from one of the fleurs…I put aside the box of tissues and went for the scissors and started shaping the fleur and sketching over it…then I called in Dailey Crafton, a graphic designer who designed our logo, for the finishing touches.

But the collaboration de fleur continued to blossom. In March, the pattern enlivened the walls of our Think Fabricate Lounge at the Architectural Digest Home Show.

We found out later in the year, though, that the need for a pattern based on the fleur de lys would be more than appropriate in our design for an art walk in New Rochelle.  It just seemed like fate! Was Jason’s interest in the fleur de lys rooted in his family’s long-ago Huguenot past, or was it destined that we develop this pattern in anticipation of the City of New Rochelle’s upcoming anniversary—given its symbol is the fleur de lys! Whatever the forces at play, a design concept developed for a screen wall, perforated in the pattern, to house a sculpture by Olafur Eliasson. We look forward in the coming year to how that project will develop, and in the meantime enjoy the pairing of the Morphing pattern with the kaleidoscope inside, a salute to New Rochelle and its symbol.

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When design evolves through collaboration, is it destiny? As we look toward 2013, we wonder where the fleur de lys will take us next.

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