Friday Five with Ionna Vautrin

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.

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

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.

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.

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!

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

Marni Elyse Katz is a Contributing Editor at Design Milk. She lives in Boston where she contributes regularly to local publications and writes her own interior design blog, StyleCarrot.