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It’s A Material World | Chedva | June 10, 2013

A recent message from talented Israeli interior designer Sharon Ella piqued my interest; This month, the designer is opening the second cycle of her “Material Library” workshop, where she teaches other pros (architects, designers and decorators alike) about choosing the right materials for their work. The focus of the course is on the ultimate design match (…made in heaven, if it’s done right) of aesthetics + functionality. After all, a house is meant to be lived in, and not just propped, styled, shot and printed in the pretty pages of a decor magazine. Hearing about the course and seeing some of Ella’s beautiful, texture-rich work (see slideshow), made me come up with a little experiment: Close your eyes, then open them and look around. How may materials can you recognize in your space? How many of them can you name? Now that you gave it some thought – are you happy with the existing material in the room? Would you replace them, add or subtract from them if you had the choice? (Do you?)

  • Materials make a cozy corner | photo: Shai Epstein Materials make a cozy corner | photo: Shai Epstein photos: Shai Epstain
  • Living room design by Sharon Ella | photo: Shai Epstein Living room design by Sharon Ella | photo: Shai Epstein photos: Shai Epstein
  • A shot of pattern | photo: Shai Epstein A shot of pattern | photo: Shai Epstein photos: Shai Epstain
  • Airy and multi-textured | photo: Shai Epstein Airy and multi-textured | photo: Shai Epstein photos: Shai Epstein
  • Can you name the different materials in this photo? Can you name the different materials in this photo? photos: Shai Epstein
  • Cozy but contemporary | photo: Galit Deutsch Cozy but contemporary | photo: Galit Deutsch photo: Galit Deutsch
  • A simple staircase gets stylish | photo: Shai Epstein A simple staircase gets stylish | photo: Shai Epstein photos: Shai Epstein
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Doing this little exercise definitely made me think, and I’m sure my answers would be very different would I have taken it at (my very slowly and gradually getting-there) home and not at my office. Here are mine, for the moment: Danish wood (it’s taking a lot of willpower not to google it and mask my ignorance right now!), MDF (Ikea, of course), leather, brass, lots of cotton (in different textures and patterns), some wool, marble, laminate faux-wood floors and lots and lots of plastic and paper (books). What are yours?

design materials

A closer look at the materials in this room by Sharon Ella | photo: Shai Epstein

ps  The Holon Design Museum has an amazing project called “iMatter” which is free to browse online. Check it out!

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