Tuesday, November 2, 2010


I've been a little obsessed with bamboo lately.


Because my job required me to walk around on this all summer:

photo by James Wagner, http://jameswagner.com/2010/04/starns.html

...Doug and Mike Starn's
Big Bambú: You Can't, You Don't and You Won't Stop, a temporary and constantly changing installation on the Metropolitan Museum's roof garden that closed on Sunday after six months.

I've fallen in love with this piece and I find it fascinating, both conceptually and as a curatorial choice. On the other hand, it seems to have kind of taken over my life. I've started to notice bamboo
everywhere, particularly in interiors, where trendy chinoiserie elements are often created with faux bamboo.

I've been loving practically anything that involves chinoiserie ever since I took a class on eighteenth century decorative arts a few years ago, so I'm fine with this bamboo "trend". In a bright, geometric, quintessentially Jonathan Adler way:

or a more neutral space, glamorous but not too polished (
with wallpaper depicting bamboo... in gilded faux-bamboo frames!):

Betsy Burnham via Canadian House and Home

The great part about this blogging thing is that I got to browse the internet looking for lots of expensive things in the spirit of "research." The results feature plenty of good shiny hollywood-regency-style brass:

a] Vintage Extra Large Faux Bamboo Brass Tray by FinchLarson on Etsy 
[b] Faux Bamboo Drinks Cart by Baguès, sold by Thomas Gallery Ltd. on 1stDibs 
[c] Vintage Hollywood Regency Brass Tissue Box Cover with Bamboo Design by velvetstone on Etsy 
[d] First Impressions Solid Brass Bamboo Door Pull, doorware.com
[e] Bamboo Brass coffee table, sold by Carlos de la Puente Antiques on 1stDibs 
[f] Meurice 30-Light Chandelier by Jonathan Adler for Robert Abbey, lumens.com

and more furniture, accessories and lighting in glossy paint and natural wood:

[a] Red Bamboo Tole Chandelier, sold by Brunelli Designs on 1stDibs
[b] ceramic bamboo lamp,
[c] Faux Bamboo White Leather Armchairs (a pair) by andfoundfurnishings on
[d] Cindy Sherman Trellis Footstool,
[e] Pair of Faux Bamboo Campaign Etageres, Sabina Danenberg Antiques, via 
[f] Hampstead Mirror,
Williams Sonoma Home
[g] Set of Two Crystal Chiavari Chairs - Clear,

Including some chairs that actually aren't in the usual Chippendale bamboo style, a lucite Chiavari chair (!) and pieces that involve bamboo, campaign style, and vermillion paint (mmm... campaign furniture. another post.). 

Of course trellis patterns are inescapable, but they get a little more memorable when they're made of bamboo:

clockwise from lower left: Chinese Lattice Wallpaper by Bob Collins, via Interiorly;
four of the many colorways of Premier Prints' Cadence collection;
Bamboo Trellis wallpaper by Victoria Lane – Sandpiper Studios, sold by
Spring Lake wallpaper by

All of these, and the majority of bamboo-inspired decor objects, have a traditionally chinoiserie feel to them. Their relationship to groundbreaking contemporary installation art is purely superficial. I love shiny pretty things as much as the next design blogger (maybe more....) but this piece brought me back to the inspiration for this post...

A table (from Alessi, designed by Fernando and Humberto Campana) that not only is made of bamboo... but actually has a chaotic, organic structure that resembles Big Bambú.  

Have you ever started noticing the prevalence of a design motif because of something completely unrelated?

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