I love vintage furniture. Most of those who have been to my studio know that I have a slight obsession with cool chairs and sofas. I've recently counted all of my chairs in storage & studio and came up with over 60! Several of which I've learned to let go to make some room, and keep only the best of the best.
A few weeks ago I came across the opportunity to purchase a couch from Maureen from the Velvet Big Top, a furniture dealer who specializes in buying/selling props, because she also happens to be a photographer. The couch she was willing to part with was one she used for an Alice in Wonderland photo shoot. When I saw her photos from that session, I emailed her to claim it first for the day she would decide to sell it.
I knew the couch needed some love, as it had no seat cushions and was well worn.
My thought was to take the idea she had as well, and elaborate. The idea that this couch lived in a storybook and came to life was so intriguing to me. Like Adam Sandler's Favorite Chair Song, I believe that old furniture has personalities. And this couch clearly had a BIG one. I already started referring to her as a "she" and just had yet to figure out her name.
And so I began to work some magic, bringing her back to life with new "clothes". She needed a cushion, so I created that with foam and stuffing. And my vision was that she lived many many years in a secret garden, and had perfectly grown into a furniture fixture that was difficult to see where the flowers ended and the sofa cushions began. So, next we lined the cushion with moss. I shopped at several stores for the right faux flowers, in the color palette of purple and teal.
I stopped at my friend Carrie South's floral shop, Bloomin Genius (*the day before Valentines day when she was crazy busy so Im sure she totally appreciated me dropping in to ask for enough moss to cover a couch!) And she happily handed me an entire box of dried moss. My friend Stacey came over to give me a hand and help me visually place the colors appropriately throughout and we were beginning to see the vision come to life.
After a full day of fussing with glue sticks and which tiny flower would go where, we finished.
So as soon as I finished it, I couldn't wait to try it out. Luckily, I had just worked with model, Bella Salem, a few days prior that was absolutely perfect. In fact, her hair somewhat inspired my color scheme for this project. The shoot was for Jen Retassie, an amazing hair stylist at Contempo Artistries. In our initial shoot earlier that week, I worked with the model immediately after Jen created a very powerful artistic blend of color using Pravana Vivids.
So I called Bella to see if she was interested in coming back to be photographed on my new secret garden couch. She was as excited as I was. The images that follow are a sample of what we created that day.