By Phebe Wahl By Phebe Wahl | October 13, 2022 | Home & Real Estate
Tonal, textural and luxuriously layered, EyeSwoon founder Athena Calderone’s debut Crate & Barrel collection is the modern yet meditative salve we all need now.
The Sinuous sectional sofa, La Strana tripod side table and Tournage lamp.
How would you describe the aesthetic for this collection?
I am always attracted to a clean, modernist aesthetic, but with a deep respect for preserving classic and timeless details. This collection is most certainly rooted in a European sensibility but with a fresh perspective, connecting the past, present and future with its artful mix of materials, finishes and architectural influence.
“Setting the scene with a neutral foundation brings much-needed cohesion to the space. Neutral on neutral with texture on texture can actually be rich and layered,” says Calderone.
Years of adapting, altering and experimenting with treasures in my own home led the way to this very informed and studied collection designed in collaboration with Crate & Barrel. I think about shapes often and how two pieces connect to or contrast one another. To me, successful design is simply magic when there is conflict and cohesion at once, be it on a plate, in a piece of furniture or throughout an entire home. I couldn’t be more thrilled to make these design treasures that have long been out of reach accessible for all.
Honore media cabinet
What are some of your favorite pieces in the collection?
Le Tuco chair: Perfectly petite, its 1950s Scandinavian proportions bathed in shearling make it super cuddly with just the right amount of tufting. It was named after my beloved dog, Tuco, when it became his favorite chair to snugg le upon. The version we designed for the collection is inspired by the original chair, but we adapted the proportions, changed the slope of the arms and added sphere-like wooden legs. I love this chair and predict it will become the No. 1 seller of the collection—timeless, elegant and petite, an heirloom piece in people’s homes!
Il Solido floor lamp: The Il Solido marries all of my favorite design elements—texture, verticality, materiality, juxtaposition and contrast. The height alone is visually arresting combined with the warmth of wood, a unique handcarved X shape that counterbalances the more angular style of the shade atop. I also love the overscale pleating of the linen shade paired with the wire-brushed solid wood pedestal—a beautiful fusion of natural materiality with artisanal detailing.
Contemplation table: I love a center table in an entry or to build a vignette. I love what a round table offers a space, pulling it away from the flat wall and thinking outside of the standard rectilinear boundaries. The chunky base of this table in an artisanal texture is irregular and faceted while the tonal surface is a pale travertine making this table suitable for any space or style. Style the surface with an overscale vessel with branches, a sculpture, a lamp or your favorite books.
Pile Parfaite dinnerware, Mio ivory five-piece place setting and Frange napkin. “For years I’ve said the dining table is the workshop in every home—where ideas are born and friendships are made,” says Calderone.
Es Taller dining table: The table as a whole unifies our overlapping passions of both design and food. It is a coming together of so much emotion and connectivity, flavors and decor. For years I have continually referenced my dining table as my workshop—where I go to workshop relationships, where I workshop a new dish, where I workshop my own creativity. Around the table is an experience like no other; there is this silent conduit, a channel of connection that comes alive. And so we designed Es Taller (the workshop) to have a channel running around the perimeter, ingrained within the wood to act as a symbol of connectivity. This table is also rustic to its core and inspired by the classic stretcher base reclaimed farm table I designed for my Amagansett home almost 13 years ago. While we wanted the design to remain rooted in its provincial style, we also yearned for more elegant proportions. Extending and exaggerating the stretcher base with the subtle triangular slant is a nod to contemporary, Swedish, art deco design.
“I have a love affair with French ’40s wrought iron—the purity of materials, simplicity of execution,” says Calderone of the Rodin bar table.
Douzee appetizer plates: The Douzee appetizer plates are something I always knew I wanted to create one day. Funny story, when I got married over 22 years ago, I registered at Crate & Barrel for a set of 12 appetizer plates. I literally used them every time I entertained for over two decades. However, (no disrespect) a shiny white square plate is definitely not my style anymore, but a lot of what we designed for this collection is what we felt was needed or did not exist. Enter a set of small appetizer plates that have a matte texture and updated imperfect finish and look—it just felt like a no-brainer for entertaining.
Revival platform bed with extended headboard and Honore nightstands.
You are known for your serene spaces. How do you think this collection will resonate during this particular time when we are all craving that more than ever?
I’m always looking to inject soul, sentiment and meaning into a space and I truly believe each and every one of these pieces will fortify these key qualities. The entire collection brings ease and elegance to any home. For me, interpretation is the best part, knowing that the same object in each home expresses itself differently. Each person will bring these pieces into their homes and use them to convey their design dialogue in a way only they can—how they use it, style it and make it their own. I’m excited for that boom of alchemy you can’t anticipate until you see the pieces together in a new space. I encourage others to trust their eye and hold onto the belief that if something makes your heart go pitter-patter, then it belongs in your home.
Photography by: PRODUCT PHOTO BY ADRIAN GAUT WITH STYLING BY COLIN KING/ COURTESY OF BRAND