Collaboration: “The Blessings of Harvest”

As designers we are fortunate to collaborate with many talented artists, artisans, makers, and fabricators. When we connect with others whose aesthetic and ideology dovetail perfectly with our own, the experience, and the results, of working together are truly a blessing. When it comes to rewarding collaborations, Erickson Woodworking is top on our list.

Erickson Woodworking, a most talented Northern California furniture Studio, has been making studio furniture for more than 40 years. Their work is represented in various collections, including the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Yale University Art Gallery. We have collaborated with them on a number of tables. Shown below is the latest of these creations, which they have generously named the “Lazzaro” table.

Lazzaro1

Whether it’s architecture, interior architecture, interior design, furnishing or decorating, at Nicholas Lawrence Design Associates, “the most important thing about design is how it relates to people.” Robert and Tor Erickson agree.

“At Erickson Woodworking we make enduring, functional objects that are beautiful to behold and that fit like well-made clothes. When people talk about craft, discussions tend to focus on tools, materials and techniques. The question that often goes lost is: does the use of this object give pleasure to its owners? Does it make their lives better? When someone first sits in one of our chairs, their pleasure is immediate and evident. We hear all the time from people who have owned our chairs for decades that the startling comfort they initially experienced in using the piece has endured. In the end, this is what matters most.”

Lazzaro3

It may be that the crisp November mornings are inspiring us to wax poetic, or the beauty of the rich figuring in the finely sculpted and lovingly finished wood of these tables—We can’t help but feel grateful for these collaborations, and proud to work with these fine fellows– these fine American– Californian artists.

In our studio, a musical score often plays in the background. Today it is Aaron Copland’s “The Tender Land.” His musical setting of Erik Johns’ (aka Horace Everett) inspired text conveys our feelings perfectly:

The Promise of Living

“The promise of living with hope and thanksgiving
Is born of our loving our friends and our labor.
The promise of growing with faith and with knowing,
Is born of our sharing our love with our neighbor.
The promise of loving, the promise of growing,
Is born of our singing in joy and thanksgiving.

For many a year we’ve know these fields
and know all the work that makes them yield.
We’re ready to work, we’re ready to lend a hand.
By working together we’ll bring in the blessings of harvest.

We plant each row with seeds of grain,
and Providence sends us the sun and the rain.
By lending a hand, by lending an arm,
Bring out the blessings of harvest.

Give thanks there was sunshine, give thanks there was rain,
Give thanks we have hands to deliver the grain.
O let us be joyful, O let us be grateful to the Lord for his blessing.

The promise of living, the promise of growing,
The promise of ending is labor and sharing and loving.”

Lazzaro4Lazzaro2

Pen to Paper

In our studio, the design process often begins with words and concepts, ideas and inspiration. Then, pen goes to paper….
This sketch is the first idea of a modern carriage house with guest quarters.
The clients live in a spectacularly beautiful Southern California equestrian community, and agrarian architecture is one of our favorites!

Garage with guest quarters

Agrarian Garage with Guest Quarters

Nicholas Lawrence at Virginia Robinson Gardens Showcase

We are honored to have been invited to participate in the Virginia Robinson Estate showcase house.  Tickets are available at http://www.robinsongardens.org 

VR Gardens

Nicholas Lawrence Design Showroom presents the “Trousdale Lounge”

trousdale light

Come to the Nicholas Lawrence Design Showroom in Brentwood to find a vintage treasure or to work with the designer to custom tailor your own exuberant modernist home furnishings.

Designer Nicholas Hertneck has assembled a collection of vintage objects and furniture from this modern-chic period in design and uses them as his inspiration to create new original pieces for his own collection, “Trousdale Lounge.”

Recently on display at the, “Titans of Business and Best of Design” showcase house at the historic Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills, the “Trousdale Lounge” is an homage to the stylish neighborhood developed by Paul Trousdale.

Trousdale Estates is an enclave of luxurious, mostly single-story homes in Beverly Hills, developed in the 1950’s and 60’s on a portion of the Greystone mansion grounds and remains a time capsule of “over the top” design created by the best modernist architects of the day.

trousdale lounge 2

The Greystone Mansion and I

“Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills Remade Into Design Wonderland”
Los Angeles Times

Last fall, Nicholas Lawrence Interior Design produced and participated in an over-the-top decorator show house at Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills. As producers of the event (under the umbrella of their company Design House International) they brought together nearly thirty of Los Angeles’ most talented designers to transform rooms inspired by some of the biggest names in American business.  “Titans of Business and the Best of Design” was visited by 5,000+ guests and generated extensive media coverage with close to 100 different placements in print, online and broadcast venues.

As a participating designer, Lawrence Lazzaro, of Nicholas Lawrence Interior Design, transformed Greystone Mansion’s “Gun Room” into the “New Craftsman Great Room” — a media room inspired by his “Titan of Business” Robert Greenblatt, Chairman of NBC.

Photo credit: Mary E. Nichols

Greystone Mansion – The Gun Room as the “New Craftsman Media Room”

“Mr. Greenblatt is an admirer of the American arts and crafts movement and the design of my room pays tribute to the ideals of the movement: honesty of design, truth in materials, and motifs inspired by nature,” said Lawrence Lazzaro.

According to Lawrence one of hidden gems of his room was the Erickson Woodworking chairs. “The exquisite chairs are made of California Walnut and Maple. Erickson Woodworking is applauded for their ergonomic design and beauty.” Lawrence collaborated with the Nevada City craftsman on the game table designed in California Black Walnut.  “The spade shape in the center was a happy surprise,” said Mr. Lazzaro.

Greystone Mansion – The Gun Room as the “New Craftsman Media Room”

The custom designed upholstery pieces were made in Los Angeles and covered in Robert Allen fabrics.  The lighting is from Zia Priven and the carpet is from Feizy Rugs. The walls are custom stencils with three metallic paints over Benjamin Moore “Deep Coral.”  The Zia Priven Skeleton Floor Lamp was the perfect homage to Greenblatt’s shows like Grimm, Six Feet Under, The Borgias, and it stole the show.

Roberert Greenblatt is Chairman of NBC Entertainment. He is rebuilding NBC with emerging new hits such as The Voice, Blacklist, Chicago Fire, and Grimm. Previously as President of Showtime or as head of programming at the FOX network he was responsible for developing some of television’s seminal shows including: WeedsDexter, Nurse Jackie, The Tudors, Californication, The Big C, The Borgias, Shameless, Beverly Hills, 90210, Melrose Place, The X-Files, Party of Five, Ally McBeal and King of the Hill.  He is also an award-winning producer of more than a dozen series including the critically-acclaimed Six Feet Under.