I’ve been in Vietnam twice. Both, in 2012 and 2013, I visited Saigon. Besides the fact, that just in one year, Vespas seem to be more an more replaced by cars, the french colonial flair of the city still persists, especially in the city center. The communist regime preserved to a certain extent the french colonial architecture, the food is a tasty mix between French and Asian cuisine, and the interiors remained often faithful to the colonial heritage. Although I have mixed feelings about colonialism, my craving for interiors and juxtaposition of contrasting styles in architecture and interior design keeps me very attracted to the former colonies countries.
This last visit, we’ve spent a few days at the Vietnamese beach side, and I had time to read Graham Greene’s book, “The quiet American”, while being there. Reading books who’s plot is situated in a foreign country, or even city – which was the case here – you just happen to be visiting, is absolutely fascinating. It makes the reading experience so much better, as the place around you provides real-time illustration for the action, for the places and habits mentioned in the book.
Thomas Fowler, an English war-journalist, covering the Vietnamese War in the fifties, is the older and more cynical character of the book, contrasting with the younger, enthusiastic and naive Alden Pyle – the quiet American, an undercover CIA agent – who believes in a greater solution against communism and colonialism, but having questionable base for his opinions and also questionable character features. A love story, around the same women, adds more tension to the plot and forces the reader to make parti pris’. I, myself, decided in favor of Thomas Fowler.
SO naturally 🙂 I chose to illustrate Thomas’s home, although I guess it is an idealistic view of his living situation. Nevertheless, the aim of this weekly section is to start from an inspiring book and to provide inspiration for our contemporary homes, isn’t it?
Mixing vernacular elements, with Chinese, french colonial and modern western forms of interior design, results in a beautiful, tranquil and noticeable language. It brings the right amount of contrast and unconventional into a space, still remaining coherent and warm.
Chinoiserie ceramic stools, rattan and raffia colonial furniture, dark wood, french historical furniture shapes and white fabrics did the trick. 🙂