Working in an industry where I am surrounded by beautiful products and envy-inducing homes – for me the best interiors are the ones which show signs of domestic and family life – I think it’s still possible to have a magazine spread home that is warm and liveable.
Over the weekend I had the opportunity to interview the infinitely inspiring San-Francisco based photographer Leslie Williamson for an upcoming feature for online magazine Curio [follow them on Twitter to watch out for updates].
Leslie self-funded the hugely successful Handcrafted Modern: At Home With Mid-Century Designers published in 2010 by Rizzoli, documenting the fast disappearing private homes of mid-century icons in America. Her new book Handcrafted Modern: Europe [working title] currently the focus of a Kickstarter Project [only 4 days left so please pledge if you can] will be launching next Spring and archiving European homes from the same era.
Leslie’s work aims to document these iconic homes but in the same vein casts an eye on the very private domains of these icons – humanising figures like Walter Gropius and Charles and Ray Eames in Handcrafted Modern.
I felt Leslie was a kindred spirit because the way she approaches interiors perfectly translates my love for them and a joint belief in the power of an empty interior pulsating with the imprint of the lives that exist within it.
Shooting each interior in natural light, Leslie captures the way it looks to the person that inhabits it – rendering the scene painterly and loaded with sentiment. Her observant eye captures poetic details within these beautiful homes that unravels their legends into intensely human interactions.
My favorite iterations in Leslie’s work is her ability to capture small imperfections in a home that hint to signs of life. For example a photograph of American designer Russel Wright’s kitchen shows a glorious dining cabinet filled with his famed pottery with one draw pull missing – you can see the rough wood of the empty cavity where it is missing from. Or a photograph of Eva Zeisel’s desk shows a colour chart of tessellating tiles – a tile is missing from the pattern and you can see the outline of the old glue. Such imperfections are glorious to me.
In anticipation of her new book I thought I’d share some of the surprising and humbling images from her old.
I love this light-switch Albert Frey fitted next to the rock by his bed!