In June 2018, I started working with a couple who loves to travel. While they’ve been to six continents, one of their favorite places is right here in the North East — Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater house. They’ve visited the house a few times, always opting for a private tour.
Both interior and exterior of this house were designed by Frank Lloyd Wright as a weekend house for the Edgar J. Kaufmann family of Pittsburgh, owners of Kaufmann’s Department Store. According to one of the legends, they didn’t know that their home would atop a waterfall. I imagine it would be peaceful to live in a place where you hear the sound of rushing water.
My clients asked me to design their bedroom with the Fallingwater house in mind.
I had not been to the iconic Frank Lloyd Wright house, so my initial inspiration came from online images.
Cantilevered levels, window frames, and the overall sensation of a floating structure were all taken into consideration as I designed the bed, mirrored closet doors, ceiling, and floor treatments. I was particularly inspired by winter scenes of the house, and yet, the bedroom is cozy and welcoming.
I can’t wait to show you this project. But first, let me tell you about the road trip I took earlier this year. I wanted to see the Fallingwater house with my own eyes, to experience it the way my clients have experienced it. I invited a friend of mine Giles Ashford to join me. He happens to be a very talented architectural photographer and his pictures will illustrate this article in the best possible way.
The list of architects and furniture designers who contributed to the Kauffman’s collection of moveable furniture at their Fallingwater house is incredibly impressive. As is the eclectic art collection found in the rooms — from Picasso to Diego Rivera to Maria Martinez to Tiffany.
Here you see Frank Lloyd Wright’s custom collection, including “zabutons,” or Japanese style floor cushions upholstered with textiles by Jack Lenor Larsen. They are a solid piece of foam rubber framed with a thin band of black walnut, which also provided an easy method for lifting them.
My clients and I were both struck by the fact that their bedroom doesn’t just feel like the exterior, many of the interior details are accounted for as well.
Frank Lloyd Wright was very inspired by Japanese design — from every angle, and around every corner, his attention to design detail is apparent.
This image is a tad tricky to make out, but, when the doors open and windows telescope, there’s a staircase to the water.
The attention to design detail is apparent at every angle you stand at, and around every corner, you turn.
I hope you enjoyed this post. I highly recommend a trip to Fallingwater to anyone with an interest in architecture, art, and incredible design.
The private tours are great, request Henry if you can.
Curious about my Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired project? Check it out!