Book: Old World Interiors

by David Naylor

Photographs by Kate Russell.
Gibbs Smith (August 1, 2008)

The continuing popularity of Old World style is about more than just antiques and urophilia. What makes this aesthetic so appealing is its underlying spirit of fine craftsmanship, dedicated artistry, and high-quality materials. European antiques are wonderful not merely because they are old and beautiful but because they represent a time when artisans were committed to rendering even the most utilitarian of objects as works of art.

In today’s modern world, much of this quality is sacrificed in favor of affordability and availability. Interior designer David Naylor honors the same spirit that inspired the artisans of long ago by commissioning custom creations from modern craftspeople who bring a high level of devotion to their work-woodworkers, furniture makers, stoneworkers, and tile artists. With the help of their talents, he is able to design furnishings and architectural elements that capture the warm, traditional ambience of stately European homes or rustic country retreats while introducing contemporary sensibilities. He uses the same time-honored materials that the workers of old employed-wood, stone, tile, and glass-and incorporates many of the features that characterized their work: arches, columns, intricate floor designs, and beamed ceilings. These are enhanced by carved wooden insets, painted panels, distinctive doors, and furniture that is perfectly scaled to a room’s proportions.

Whether inspired by a Tuscan villa or a Spanish Colonial hacienda, Naylor builds on the essence of the style to create something new rather than merely reproduce the old. In this way, he constructs a tradition that is uniquely the homeowner’s, one that reflects today while becoming tomorrow’s heirloom.