By Karen Parr-Moody
GasLamp’s “Front Collaboration Booth” inspires shoppers to put a look together with items from various booths. Designer Jason Parker Counce, who also has a GasLamp booth, creates the look each month and this time he has been inspired by summer.
The photo at right is an overview of the look, which Counce says he dreamt up after thinking of beach balls, swimming pools and theme parks.
"Thoughts of picnics came into play as well, including a few glasses and pitchers for cooling the soul with lemonade or a cocktail this time of year," he says.
One of the many items Counce pulled together for this look was the painted table and six chairs in the photo, left ($900; Booth B-150). He styled this particular vignette so that it mimics the look of an indoor picnic.
"Just throw a colorful blanket on the table and there you go," he says. "It's instant summer fun out of the sun!"
The blanket thrown over the table is from Mexico; it has a tan background with vividly colored stripes ($95; B-64). Mexico has a 2,000-year-old weaving history which has roots in the culture of the Zapotec Indians of Oaxaca. When the Spanish conquistadores landed in Mexico with sheep and spinning wheels, they found the Zapotecs weaving colorful cotton cloth. The two cultures merged when the Zapotecs added wool into their designs. Since then, many blankets and carpets have emerged from Mexico with the geometric designs inherent in the weavings of the Zapotec.
How cute is this hippo cut-out in the photo at right ($15; S-104)? It fits in perfectly with the color scheme Counce has created, but the nostalgia of it also takes him back to the summer days of his youth.
"It just makes you smile," he says. "And it brings back the days of watching Saturday morning cartoons."
These chrome bar stools, some with black tops and other with vivid blue ones, hearken back to the days of Googie architecture, which spanned from the '40s to the '60s (black and chrome stools, $69.50 each; Booth B-301 and blue vintage and chrome stools, $125; S-104). This exaggerated architectural style, seen in coffee shops and bowling alleys, brought colorful signs, cantilevered roofs and pop-culture imagery to the public with a scene that seemed to be taken from a "Jetsons" cartoon. Such nostalgia is still popular and would bring the soda shop vibe to any kitchen.
This enamel topped table, right, with its bright green trim and drop leaves, takes us back to the 1940s, when such tables were incredibly popular ($285; Booth B-115). The bright green is the color of summer grass, but for Counce, the summer nostalgia goes even deeper.
"This enamel topped table reminds me of summer at my grandmother's house," he says. "We would cut the cucumbers, which were straight out of the garden, on a table just like this for our homemade pickles we would make each season."
Summer is a time to soak in the most vibrant of colors and to revive old memories. So enjoy all of that and more with some summer décor.