Taliesin West

The interior of Taliesin West, the home of Frank Lloyd Wright

Realtor.com reached out to me recently about a topic I was more than happy to discuss: the commercial release of a small piece of design history. Architectural visionary Frank Lloyd Wright is a hero to many of us in the design world, an American innovator who created structures and spaces so striking that they captivated millions. While he’s best known for his marvelous architecture, Wright’s design talent also included interior furnishings, most famously in his Arizona home, Taliesin West. Now, Italian furniture manufacturer Cassina S.p.A. will produce a very limited run of one of his most famous furniture designs—the Taliesin 1 chair.

I love the Taliesin 1 design, and as I told Realtor.com, I think it’s a must-own piece for any Frank Lloyd Wright devotee. It’s the chance to cherish and enjoy a little piece of one of Wright’s most cherished interior designs. What the publication found most interesting about the Taliesin 1, however, was not its many striking qualities or its historic significance, but one important quality that it apparently lacks: comfort.

When it came to designing furniture, organic aesthetic appeal was paramount to Frank Lloyd Wright. He believed that furniture and other décor should look and feel as though it belonged to a very specific place, almost as if it had grown there. He’s certainly not alone in that belief. Great design allows for spaces with a flow and energy all their own, creating interior environments that transport us away from the ordinary. That’s something all designers aspire to. At the end of the day, however, my design clients also want to be able to flop down into their furniture and be comfortable. That wasn’t of great importance to Frank Lloyd Wright when he created the Taliesin 1 for his own use.

Is it worth it, then, even for the biggest Frank Lloyd Wright fans among us, to spend $5,500 on a chair that may not even be comfortable to sit in? Is it fair for designers to include furniture in their interiors that may not be as functionally pleasing as they are aesthetically pleasing? In my experience, that depends on the client. Many design clients want interiors that are soft, warm, and inviting with pleasing textures. Others may desire something more striking, even avant-garde, and may very well be willing to sacrifice a bit of comfort in order to get the overall interior feel and flow they’re looking for.

Whenever Bon Brise Design takes on a new project, I always take the time to truly understand a client’s needs for their space. A great interior should delight all who enter it, but there is always a balance between creative design and creature comforts. The proper balance is a bit different for everyone. Finding it is one of the keys to being a great designer.

Whether you’re inspired to create an interior space in which the Taliesin 1 chair would feel right at home or you’re motivated to create a room in which it might feel totally alien, the best designer for you is the one who listens and understands. It all starts with a conversation. If you’re ready to create an interior that perfectly fits your personal aesthetic, contact Bon Brise Design today.