How aviation is inspiring home decor


The Charlotte Observer

Inspiration is the basis for all things creative. But where do designers find their inspiration? The answers might surprise you.

Delta Faucet’s industrial designer, Celine Garland, was born and raised in Singapore. She spent her childhood flying around the country with her parents. She was always fascinated by aircraft, especially the Spitfire short-range, high-performance aircraft. R.J. Mitchell designed the Spitfire’s distinctive elliptical wing to have the thinnest possible cross-section; this thin wing enabled the Spitfire to have a higher top speed than several contemporary fighters.

Garland used that inspiration to design the new Brizo Sotria Bath Collection. This jet-set line of faucets, showers and tub fillers mimics the shape of a 1950s airliner. The faucets’ unique triangular spout and angular footprint come in a variety of finishes, including graphic matte black or the new Brilliance Luxe Nickel.

“It’s obvious the inspiration for the Sotria collection stems from the sleek, streamlined aesthetic of an airplane, but it’s about something bigger than that, too,” Garland says. “Sotria was inspired by the optimism of midcentury America. We took the spirit of the 1950s and reimagined it in a way that’s both a nod to the past and a celebration of the present.”

Other designers are also putting high-flying inspiration into products throughout the home. Restoration Hardware’s designers were inspired by the gleaming nose cones and fuselages of mid-20th-century aircraft when designing the Spitfire Collection of home furnishings. A patchwork of polished aluminum panels accented with exposed steel screws adorns various chests, a desk, the Devon chair and bookcases.

Incorporating the sleek styling of the Brizo faucet collection into an existing bathroom can be accomplished by adding themed accessories, new hardware and fresh paint colors. Accessories can include new artwork with a travel theme, clouds or aircraft and small touches like Z Gallerie’s Aluminum Airplane sculpture. Think clear blue skies or soft cloudy grays when selecting paint colors. Select new cabinet hardware in the same finish as your faucet with a sleek shape like Top Knobs’ Sanctuary Collection.

Statement pieces from the RH Spitfire Collection bring life and interest to a contemporary or industrial-inspired setting. But use these sparingly. Choose your favorite piece and don’t go overboard making everything too matchy-matchy. Remember something that catches your eye might look great in a catalog, but living with it day to day can become overwhelming.

Remember also to anchor the look to the rest of the room by incorporating one or two air-themed accessories; something as simple as a great coffee table book on World War II airplanes might be all you need to set your decor soaring.

Designer and home improvement expert Vicki Payne is host and producer of “For Your Home,” available on PBS, Create TV and in national and international syndication. Reach her at .

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