Big, Beautiful Bolsters



My latest designer crush is Baltimore-based Mona Hajj, whose first book, the sumptuous Interior Visions, was recently issued by The Monacelli Press. There’s so many things I love about Hajj’s work; her deft blending of traditional furnishings with rich, exotic textiles, her taste for cream and claret tones, and most of all, her consistent use of big, beautiful bolsters (photo above by Scott Frances).

Whether in serene bedrooms or calm, comfortable lounges, Hajj punches up her vignettes with lavish bolsters that manage to steal the thunder from some pretty impressive furnishings. Photos above by Erik Kvalsvik, below by Pieter Estersohn.

It’s a neat trick that amateur decorators can easily appropriate. Custom cushions, while not cheap, are far more affordable than grand beds and sofas. Even more so if, like me, you’ve got a secret stash of beautiful fabric remnants you’re just dying to bring out into the light.

Another trick I notice Hajj relies on again and again is the use of quiet, cream or white bedside lamps; her preference is to make them recede rather than advance, which allows the central element, often a headboard or bolster, to take centre stage. Photo above by Erik Kvalsvik, below by Pieter Estersohn.

Hajj was born in Africa and educated in Europe, Lebanon, and the United States and that cosmopolitan background leavened with the designer’s innate sense of taste and restraint is what makes her work so outstanding. Interior Visions is a glorious mongraph from a designer who deserves more renown.

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Monday, June 6, 2011 by Chris
This post was written by - who has written 865 posts on styleNorth.

4 Comments For This Post

  1. sherry Says:

    Who do you recommend in Toronto who can make good quality pillows at reasonable rates?

  2. Tim Says:

    Try Wesley Seto Design Inc. All my pillows and drapes were done by Wes!

  3. Chris Says:

    Excellent question Sherry and I hope other readers will share their recommendations like Tim has. I used to use my neighbourhood seamstress who did draperies and cushions at a very reasonable cost but I wouldn’t trust her with anything fancy. So I myself would love some resources; come on gang, spill.

  4. Tim Says:

    for you chris, check out Needleiron as well

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