I always delight in Raji's projects because they are all unique and all totally unexpected. She has a rare knack for exuding simplicity and edginess simultaneously. We've featured her Virginia home and her work in the CharityWorks Greenhouse, but today we're looking north as we peek into her room at the 2011 Hampton Showhouse.
Raji's room, dubbed the "Salon des Femmes" or ladies' lounge, is a modern, feminine take on the idea of the classic cigar room. However, true to Raji's eclectic sensibilities, it's not a room decked out in stereotypical pinks or fussy fabrics. Instead, it's a conglomerate of clean-lined furnishings and varied textures that looks collected and unexpected — the kind of place that suggests a worldly, well-traveled, and sophisticated inhabitant.
It's definitely not a room for petty chatter, but rather, as Raji explains, "a power woman's lounge, a place to host her own high powered friends for cocktails & discuss matters of importance privately. Think Margaret Thatcher, Indira Gandhi, Hillary Clinton et al.."
When Raji got to the room it was a blank canvas, devoid of any notable architectural details. She explains that her first step was to panel the room and to paint the walls, trim, and ceiling all the same white, which "instantly clarified the space." Next, Raji selected her furnishings. True to form, every piece is bold and a bit unusual. Her centerpiece is a large scale portrait of Queen Victoria. However, there's something a bit irreverent about the formal, traditional painting. Rather than the expected ornate gilt frame, the portrait is simply framed in the room's raised paneling, much like wallpaper. Still the portrait sets a sophisticated tone or as Raji notes, lends the room a certain gravitas.
There are probably a thousand other unique pairings and points of interest, but I'll let you check them out for yourself. The Hampton Showhouse opened to the public yesterday, Sunday July 24th and runs to September 4th. For more information check out the Hampton Showhouse Website.
To check out more of Raji's work, check out her website.
Images: Raji Rm Associates