A House Designed by Memphis Design Founder Ettore Sottsass

A House Designed by Memphis Design Founder Ettore Sottsass

Adrienne Breaux
Feb 18, 2016

Can anyone else not get enough of Memphis style? We have to give a lot of thanks to Ettore Sottass, the Italian designer who was a founding member of the Memphis Group, a short-lived, loathed-by-some design collective in the '80s. Some of the striking patterns, colors and shapes that Memphis is famous for has have had a resurgence in interiors, fashion and furniture in recent years.

It should be noted, of course, that Ettore Sottsass did a lot more in his career than be a part of the Memphis Group. Though I spot a nod to the Memphis Group's distinctive style below, this home is less tons of '80s-style pattern and more a beautiful study of elegant minimalism. It's owned by another creative giant: David Kelley, co-founder of the design firm Ideo.

Along with being gorgeous enough to just drool and dream over, I do feel like this home (which is undoubtedly out of the price range of a lot of people, myself included) does reveal some minimal design ideas that could be used in anyone's home.

Like in the photo above, cabinet storage in an office space or living room is elevated beautifully by the addition of a bold color. If you're able, why not add real cabinets painted a bold primary color to both organize your office or media storage area but also add modern visual interest?

I also love the design in the kitchen, seen in the photo above. Simple wood bottom cabinets shine alongside bolder upper cabinets painted a semi-gloss blue. I like that the two finishes mix well, but also that two different types of door pulls add subtle contrast to the space. They're both super simple, minimal pulls, but the fact that they are different shapes adds an interesting level of detail to an otherwise pretty minimal space. The fact that the upper cabinet is positioned unusually compared to how and where upper cabinets are normally positioned highlights another idea that could be experimented with in one's own home if you've got the DIY spirit and skills.

Though a wall of floor to ceiling windows is definitely on my dream list, it's probably not something I'll be replicating in my current apartment. I'm going to keep dreaming of it though.

There's that nod to Memphis Style I was writing about above in the form of a lamp.

→ You can read more about this home and see a few more shots on Surface Magazine.

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