interior designInteriorssneak peeks

sneak peek: rion nakaya

by anne

uk-based photographer rion nakaya has a great eye when it comes to her work. i particularly love the way she captures people of all walks of life on the streets around the world. anyway, we’re so thrilled to have her for our first sneak peek of the day, proving her eye extends from her photographs to a great and welcoming interior. you can click here for additional and full-sized images. {thanks so much rion, and to sophie for the great tip!} –anne

[above: I knew that we gravitate toward color themes, and group similar things to both organize and improve our small-ish spaces. But I never realized until looking at these photos, how graphic our our style is, with lots of typography, animal imagery, and small multiples… We framed the high-contrast, silk-screened music posters in white to complement the simple black and white forms of the Saarinen dining table from Knoll and DSR Eames chairs from Vitra. And of course, we love the bands and the companies who designed for them! These prints are a mix from Aesthetic Apparatus, The Heads of State, and The Small Stakes].

When I saw the hamster salt and pepper shakers at Aria in Islington, London, they immediately reminded me of the whimsical 1940s/50s ones that my Grandma had in her kitchen. Just down the road, I found the white vase at the Camden Passage antiques market.

The vintage poster was an old teaching aid used in French elementary schools. We bought it (and another) in a brocante near Butte aux Cailles in Paris. I found the mix of kids’ animal masks online and around London. The Sukie wrapping paper is camouflaging an Ikea glass display-top coffee table.

I found the steel typist’s desk online from Pigeon Vintage, an antiques store in Brighton, UK. Originally from East Germany, the desk had been found in a warehouse in Belgium by the store’s proprietor before he delivered it to our flat in London. The rest of the desk area includes my grandfather’s Kodak Duaflex II twin-lens camera and my father’s old Japanese Petri rangefinder camera, an Eames DSW chair from Vitra, as well as a letterpress drawer and some old wooden 7Up crates that I found at the Pasadena Rose Bowl flea market in the early 90s.

CLICK HERE for the rest of rion’s sneak peek (10 more pictures) after the jump!

Taken on our wedding day, the two photobooth strips were an impromptu idea by our friend (and our wedding photographer) Raul Gutierrez, who art directed the eight rapid-fire frames in the small basement hallway at Bubby’s in Tribeca. The Eames rocker illustration is by Jen Renninger. The print on the right is a page from a Ladislav Sutnar-designed catalog, generously given to me by designer Elaine Lustig-Cohen when she closed her book shop, Ex Libris New York, in 1998.


I found the minimal wall clock at The Conran Shop in Paris. The Nesso table lamp is by Artemide. Feeding my love for typography, I found the PG-13 marquee sign in 2000 at the flea market on Grand and Broadway in NYC.


Our stairwell to the third floor has a skylight above it, providing great light for our old family photos, a few vintage illustrations, and other small prizes that we’d collected in NYC and Japan.


Our bedroom is like an Ikea ad. (Even the large homemade pillow cover was sewn with Ikea fabric!) But there are two rebel items here: the architecture-inspired pillow (on the left) by Germany’s s.wert design, and the screenprinted camera tour poster for R.E.M., found online at remhq.com.


I first saw the giant world map made of felt velcro pieces at The Conran Shop, and then with some detailed googling, found it on Amazon.co.uk for almost 25% less! Our son plays with the pieces daily, and it’s truly amazing to watch as he learns different things with it from month to month. The rocker is Vitra’s Eames RAR Rocking Chair. The trains are Brio. The eagle is Vilac.


Our children’s book library is choc-full of classic stories, vintage books that my grandma, mom and I all read as kids, and much the retro illustration styles that have become prevalent recently. But the most popular illustrator in our house is contemporary: Marc Boutavant and his book Le Tour du Monde de MOUK is my son’s absolute favorite. Other favorites: the dinosaurs are by Schleich, the print is by Blanca Gomez, the magnetic wooden rocket ship is by Janod, and the dinosaur fabric is called Field Trip from Munki Munki.


I was thrilled to find the large silk mache whale at The Conran Store in Paris, just a few months before my son was born. It reminds me of Japanese craftwork, and has great scale and a whimsy that I love. The doll, hand-made with a Japanese fabric, is one of three beautiful Rosa Pomar dolls that we’ve collected.


The large poster is one of two old teaching aids, used in French elementary schools, that we found at a brocante near Butte aux Cailles in Paris. This one hangs in our son’s bedroom as a memento of the city that he was born in. The toys are a mix from Kid O, Djeco, and Melissa and Doug among others. The hand-made doll is by Rosa Pomar.


As soon as we moved into our flat in London, we painted the open-style kitchen’s one wall with chalkboard paint. It’s not only been fun for all of us to draw (and keep lists!), but when I’m stuck in the kitchen, I’m still able to spend time with our one year old as he draws whatever he can imagine! The bee, another favorite, is a Wheely Bug.


The side chair is from Sweden, circa 1954, and was bought at 2&4 Gallery in Islington, London. The pillow is by Donna Wilson. The toys were bought in Paris, with exception to the blue Kid O puzzle and the hand-made doll by Rosa Pomar.

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