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« Styling Books | Main | Indoor Pots & Planters »

Friday Favorites: Jean Marie's Artichoke Lamp

It’s time again for our weekly column on Here in This House: Friday Favorites. Every Friday we profile a design-savvy person who shares with us their favorite item or room in their home. This week we are pleased as punch to have the lovely and stylish Jean Marie share with us her favorite item in her house, Poul Henningsen's Artichoke Lamp


Jean Marie in front of her Artichoke Lamp

Tell us about the Artichoke Lamp.
We really liked it from the moment we saw it. I guess it really jump started the design of the entire house and where we were going with our interior design. One of our friends Karim el Barbari, who is also one of our designers, told us that basically we’re too traditional. He said that we’re young parents and we have to think more modern and be more open minded to design. So we had no idea about the Artichoke Lamp at the time and in passing we overheard another friend of ours, Karen Bow (also a designer), and he saying, “Wouldn’t it look great to have the Artichoke Lamp right here in this space?” My husband and I asked, “What is this Artichoke Lamp?” We had to go check it out and so we went in person to see it at Design Within Reach in NYC. We knew instantly, both of us, that it would be such an iconic piece, that’s timeless and unique, for the space we wanted to put it in (over the front hall staircase). It’s like that space was made for it.


The Artichoke Lamp side detail

How did you choose the color?
We just thought the white lamp would blend the most with our decor and it wouldn’t stand out as much as the copper and stainless steel options. Also we knew when it was lit up it would just glow. The glass artichoke lamp is the most recognized “color” and it’s supposed to be amazing but I've never seen it.


Looking up, from below, at the Artichoke Lamp
When you put the lamp in, where were you in designing this house and how did the lamp impact the decisions that you made?
We were at the beginning stages of designing the house but we already had decided on the color palette. The colors of the walls, the right white and the dark trim, were settled on, but really we didn’t have anything else going on. The Artichoke Lamp helped us with our decision making because it demanded your attention: the lines and the crispness. Then we started to find the other elements that fit within our design aesthetic based on the lamp.

What does the lamp evoke for you?
The lamp is brightness, like a beacon almost. It is so unique the way the light reflects and the size of it. I feel excited to see it and I really, really like the lines; actually I love the lines of it. It’s such an incredible form because of all the different angles. It gives my family and I a lot of happiness to have it in our home.  


The Artichoke Lamp is "like a beacon almost" according to Jean Marie.

What is your design aesthetic?
It’s modern but transitional from my traditional past. I would say I use to be traditional but now I am past that, so I would call it transitional. Iconic pieces are really awesome. I love doing the research on what they are and what the designer did; it’s really cool.

How are you working your updated style with your past traditional style?
We sold some of our older traditional pieces to the people who bought our last house. We are also in the process of selling some pieces that we feel probably could be updated to our new aesthetic, like my desk and chair. I feel like we could do something better there but it’s functional and I don’t want to do it immediately, so it will stay for a now. Eventually we will update when we can and our pieces will evolve over time.

How do you sell your big iconic pieces?
We have sold our items mostly through realtors. Our realtor offered to help us out by telling people about the pieces we wanted to sell; she used her connections and word of mouth. I’ve never tried those websites where you post something and then the people come to your house to look at it or pick it up. My husband and I are just not into that. I can’t deal with it and my husband can’t deal with it because we don’t have the time. Our neighbor has yard sales and does really well but I’ve never tried it either.

What is your biggest design challenge?
Form and function verses aesthetics. Also probably reworking things that you purchase but that you’ve grown out of. People that are older than us, they just donate things because at that time in their lives they can afford to do it. We aren’t at that stage yet. So we deal with our more traditional pieces because when it comes down to it, it’s just furniture. And as long as we use it and it’s functional, then we’re keeping it. But does it look how we want it to? No. That’s part of the whole challenge. Also color is a huge challenge. I’m good with color but getting through it is a big design challenge because it’s obsessive; it just gets to you.  Once you make a decision, you feel good about it but getting through that is a huge. It takes a large amount of time.

What is the best piece of advice you were given on trying to make these decisions?
Just seeing it. My husband and I are both good at that. We have to see it first. It’s also key to work with good people who are supportive and willing to put up with painting four white colors on a wall. Being guided by the right people is crucial. A great piece of advice I was given was this: you cannot fight the bones of the house. What the bones of the house are, is what it is. You can’t fight it and I couldn’t come in here and pretend our house is a colonial or a beach house. No, it’s a tudor. I had to stick with it and be married to it but that doesn’t mean I have to be traditional. I just keep that concept in mind while making my choices.

Please complete the following phrase, “Here in this house,...”
...we enjoy filling it with friends, family and fabulous finds!

Thank you, Jean Marie, for welcoming us into your beautiful home and sharing this iconic fixture with our readers. Until next week!


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Reader Comments (1)

Hello girls!

This is my very first time here and I'm really enjoying your blog. You both are doing a fantastic job!

Wonderful interview and Jean Marie seem to be a very nice person.


Luciane at

Post of the Day: A House in Malibu.

January 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLuciane at

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