In a new series, What I Love, we’re asking designers to create a moodboard for us of what inspires them right now.
Courtesy of Two Hands Interiors
Rachel Alcorne favors the patina to perfection. The Chicago-based director and owner of Two Hands Interiors believes that a well-designed space should reflect the passions and personalities of its people. “We believe the best interiors tell a story,” she says Home affairs.
Example: Alcorn’s current moodboard. Bursting with bold prints, vibrant hues and distressed finishes, the palette is inspired by a vintage oil portrait. âArt inspires us and intrinsically informs our process,â she explains. “We create spaces that are brought together, anchored in tradition but appreciating play and fantasy, with moments of modernism and graphic punch.”
An artistic approach to design is clear throughout the flattening, which Alcorn – a former fine art sculptor – describes as “earthy and layered.” Its ultimate goal: to create interiors combining beauty and livability. âThere is a global vibe to this palette,â she says. “Moments of light and dark play with pattern and texture.”
Here, Alcorn breaks down the details, from the rich samples of performance blue velvet to the samples of matte black honeycomb tile.
Courtesy of Two Hands Interiors
1. RED EARTH paint, RED BOOK CHAMBER AND PLASTER COATING – FARROW & BALL
A trio of dusty pink and muddy red paint swatches bring warmth and character to Alcorn’s flat lay. âWe love Farrow & Ball paints for their richness and subtlety,â she says.
2. PASTEL SATIN RIBBON
“Inspiring a moment of delicacy and drape against other graphic elements, this pale pink ribbon represents both the balance and whimsy we seek in a designed space.”
âMother Nature is our constant muse – she gives us the most vibrant colors and graphic patterns if we pay attention,â she says. âWe like to integrate natural objects into our spaces. “
4. VINTAGE BRASS TOP
âWeathered objects help anchor a space in time – creating layers and the impression that not everything was finished in one fell swoop by a decorator – wink, wink. “
5. OS INLAY SAMPLE – OLY STUDIOS
âThese interesting case products have fabulous finish options, like this mother of pearl, that are a treat to mix into a space,â she says.
âWe sometimes think of accessories like lamps, vases and the like like one-piece jewelry,â says Alcorn. “It’s nice to play around with a few different finishing pieces before you land on the final vision.”
7. PINWOOD CAMEL DYED FABRIC – HOME COUTURE
âMixing the scale of patterns from various fabrics is Design 101,â she says. “I love the nature of the block print of this soft pattern, and the yellow is a bit unexpected.”
8. DUNEVILLE Shade IN SEASHELL – THE SHADOW STORE
âWe love to mix woven blinds with curtain panels – the mix of form and function is a win every time. “
9. AECHALTOOHON 2 inch tiles too burnt to bake – ALYSEDWARDS
Matte finish honeycomb style black tiles add a modern touch to Alcorn’s flat lay without deviating from the earth tone palette. âContemporary finishes can coexist with classic elements if the mix is ââright,â she explains.
10. Wallpaper SHANG EXTRA FINE SISAL IN SUN RED – THIBAUT
âWallpaper definitely has a moment,â she says. âUsing grass canvases adds so much depth and texture to a room. “
11. HORATIO rugs IN PERSONALIZED COLORS – STARK RUG
A traditional Greek key motif in a neutral two-tone colourway brings a touch of contrast to the scheme. âIt’s another classic motif that feels fresh at the same time,â says Alcorn.
12. MAT 2X8 ENAMEL BRICK FIELD TILE IN MAT PARCHMENT – THE FINE LINE
âThe Fine Line offers the most sublime and earthy tile collections. I like this one for a warm neutral.
13. BAHAMAS rug IN HEATHER – STANTON
âThis rug looks like a natural fiber, but has all the qualities and softness of a durable indoor-outdoor rug,â she says. “We like to use it as a base layer with more traditional layered rugs.”
14. SHANGHAI PAON AU CINNABAR – SCHUMACHER fabric
âIt’s been one of my favorite fabrics for years,â she says of this stylized Chinoiserie-style textile. âIt captures everything I love: the movement, the vivid colors, the exotic style and the classic style. “
15. GLACIO 5-1 / 16 INCH CENTER-TO-CENTER DRAW – AMEROCK
âBrass and acrylic in classic and contemporary forms just bring a touch of glamor to an otherwise earthy vibe,â she says.
16. LUGARNO AGED BRASS ROD – RH
Shiny brass hardware in an antique finish adds a touch of metallic drama to the palette, offering lots of vintage charm.
17. BLACK CABINET SAMPLE – WOODEN HARBOR CUSTOM CABINET
âPeople are stepping out of the white cabinet box these days, and it’s awesome! ” she says.
18. Garnish COLORTIDE EN GRANADA – FABRICUT
An ombre-style linen border in gradient shades of purple is inspired by the hues of a vintage oil portrait. âIt’s all in the details,â says Alcorn.
19. FIRENZE BALTIC fabric – MAXWELL
âProof that performance fabrics can still look good,â the designer says of this eye-catching cobalt blue velvet sample.
20. VINTAGE OIL PAINT
âIt was a find a few years ago in a Michigan antique store,â says Alcorn of the article that kicked off the whole project. “I love the brushstrokes, the thoughtful look on her face, and the earthy but contemporary palette of the traditional portrait.”
Front page photo: A flat lay by designer Rachel Alcorn | Courtesy of Two Hands Interiors