Parisian designer Ionna Vautrin‘s products are as cute as she is. I was lucky enough to spend two days with the designer in Venice last month, while visiting the corporate headquarters of lighting company Foscarini. Vautrin has designed two lamps for them (so far), including the best-selling Binic, which she named after a lighthouse in Brittany where she grew up. Her creations all have a whimsical element, but don’t come anywhere near approaching precious. Instead, the clean, bold colors and shapes just entice you take them home. In today’s Friday Five, we get a glimpse at the playful and sophisticated pieces and people that influence her work.

Friday Five with Ionna Vautrin in main home furnishings  Category

1. Peacock Chair by Hans J. Wegner
Both simple and poetic, crafty and industrial, this chair passes the time without taking a ride.

Friday Five with Ionna Vautrin in main home furnishings  Category

2. Wagashi Japanese Pastry
These tasty pastries look like they come from another world. They’re refined, colorful, sculptural, joyful, and poetic. They make me want to think about designing food.

Friday Five with Ionna Vautrin in main home furnishings  Category

3. Animals by Kay Bojesen
Simple and full of character, this family of wooden animals remains as contemporary and entertaining today as was at the time of its creation.

Friday Five with Ionna Vautrin in main home furnishings  Category
Photo: The New York Times

4. Ettore Sottsass
Architect, designer, colorist, theorist, writer, artist. It is difficult to be as complete as this great man!

Friday Five with Ionna Vautrin in main home furnishings  Category

5. Wisteria Lamp by Louis Comfort Tiffany
These amazing lights illustrate a design era I particularly love: Art Nouveau.