The case for choosing great design accessories

If clothes make the man, then accessories make him better. The same can be said about designing a home.

By Arianne Nardo 01/02/2018

If clothes make the man, then accessories make him better. The same can be said about designing a home. Yes, modern architecture and sleek furniture are great, but without the right finishing touches, you’re living in a slick, grey-washed echo chamber with the electronic companionship of a smart TV.

Los Angeles interior designer Bradley Bayou gets the details. A former courtier who dressed clients like Oprah and Beyoncé, he has spent his design career dressing high-end residences, from the Hollywood Hills to the Flatiron. With the launch of Bradley Bayou Home, the designer presents a line of artisan-crafted pillows that impart his signature “world modern” style to a category that is usually considered an afterthought. “It started for my own clients,” he says. “There was a serious lack of interesting pillows on the market, and I was wasting a lot of time tracking down pillows for the interiors I was working on. I figured it was easier to do myself, so I wouldn’t waste more time and my client’s money. I have also been collecting antique fabrics for over three decades, so it was a natural next step.”

A departure from the tone-on-tone accessories that frequently serve as sofa fillers, Bayou’s collection is globally inspired. It features African motifs, Asian patterns, Thai embroidery, and specialty beading — effectively preventing an army of generic throw pillows from mounting their assault. These are pillows with character — in look and feel — featuring authentic elements that can’t be reproduced. “The materials are mostly vintage fabrics and trims, sourced from all over the world — Africa, Asia, Europe,” he says. “It helped to already have so much fabric on hand as well to start designing the collection.”

Like fashion, trends in décor tend to favour the cheap thrill. This is not a collection for the casual decorting whim: Every pillow is hand sewn by a master tailor in Bayou’s Los Angeles studio with a price befitting a hand-fashioned creation meant to excite both public and private areas in the house (prices start at US$325 ($A400)). Bayou even created outdoor options.

Asked about his inspiration, the designer mentions “travel, interiors, and fashion. Traveling has helped me build up my collection of unique and rare fabrics to create the collection, and the interior that I am working on at any given time will also help to inform my designs — what colours, materials or finishes I am using in a room and how they may interplay with the pillows. And of course, my background and love of fashion always inspires me.”

As for a naked sofa . . . don’t even.

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