Design Sleuth: A Quilt Inspired by a Beloved Abstract Painting

Commissioned to transform a white-box condo into a “retreat from the city” in Seattle’s Capitol Hill, interior designer Lisa Staton took a Scandi-minimalist approach that’s all about tranquility: “we layered neutrals and paid close attention to the shapes and silhouettes of everything.” For inspiration, Staton looked to everything from Shaker design to Paris pied-à-terres and landmark abstract art. It’s the last reference that caught our eye: Staton enlisted a quilter neighbor to create a wall hanging modeled after one of Josef Albers’s most famous Homage to the Square paintings.

Would Albers himself approve? Hard to know, but having taught at the Bauhaus, and being married to the great textile artist Anni Albers, he would likely understand the urge to translate his work into fiber. See what you think.

Photography by Kara Mercer courtesy of Lisa Staton Interior Design.

Josef Albers-inspired minimalist quilt, Lisa Staton Design, First Hill Condo, Seattle. Above: The apartment’s shades of driftwood palette extends to the quilt, which hangs over a woven-leather oak bench bought at the Rose Bowl Flea Market.

Inspired by a the cover of a Josef Albers’ show catalogue, Staton came up with the idea for the quilt and got the go-ahead from her client. It’s stitched by Staton’s neighbor Pippin Christiansen: “Pippin is a middle school Spanish and art teacher, and also a quilter and crafter by hobby and passion,” Staton tells us. “We thought of Etsy, but when I floated the idea to Pippin, she was excited to collaborate.”

Josef Albers-inspired minimalist quilt, Lisa Staton Design, First Hill Condo, Seattle. Above: The apartment’s big attraction is its floor-to-ceiling windows, which Staten lined with very sheer wool curtains “to soften the city views.” The quilt hangs is in the combination living room/dining area.
Josef Albers-inspired minimalist quilt, Lisa Staton Design, First Hill Condo, Seattle. Above: Staton says that Pippin’s work is typically bold and bright: “We made a bunch of test squares and mockups, and twice Pippin had me swing over to her house because she was worried the three chosen fabrics didn’t have enough contrast. I had to reassure her the subtle combination was what we were after for the space.
Josef Albers-inspired minimalist quilt, Lisa Staton Design, First Hill Condo, Seattle. Above: The quilt is composed of linen from Ulster Linen, fabric from Pippin’s favorite source, Quilty Box, and scraps from Staton’s office. It cost $350, not including materials, and Pippin is open to other commissions: contact her via Instagram @pippinriver.
Josef Albers Midnight and Noon, David Zwirner Books Above: Josef Albers Midnight and Noon, a hardcover catalogue from David Zwirner Books, is what inspired Staton. The catalogue accompanied the David Zwirner Gallery’s 2017 Josef Albers’ show, which focused on the artist’s fascination with black, white, and gray, and his career-long study of squares. Photograph via David Zwirner Books.

For another homage to Albers’s squares, see A Model at Home: A Paris Loft Inspired by Josef Albers.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *