There is something about the movement and stillness of the desert that intrigues me. I’m especially inspired by sand’s tonal variations and how the sunlight reflects the surface like water. Sahara 2010 photo by Luke Gardner
Often I find myself in awe of nature. A seemingly simple landscape can suddenly be composed of complex shades, colors, and textures. Images such as this one that I took during a trip to Iceland in 2011 helps to preserve these unique moments.
My inspiration is based on my own experiences, none more profound than my heritage. This image from Provence represents the textures, colors and environment that surrounded me as a child and informs my work today. Provence, France, 2009 by Francine Gardner
Patterns that move me don’t just happen in nature. They can happen organically though human interactions like these groupings of fishing boats photographed in Essaouira in 2005
There is uniqueness and serene beauty found in the beaches of Maine that I love. The environment’s tones and energy inspires my color choices and the feeling of stillness and tranquility the location evokes are evident in my designs.
Throughout my travels I see many different color stories. One of my favorites is this image I took of the Majorelle Gardens in Marrakech in 2011
I am often asked what made me develop my industrial furniture collection. The aesthetic heart of the collection is inspired by my own journey in finding beauty in unexpected places, which is articulated perfectly in this image taken in the South of France in 2006
Sometimes it’s hard to settle on one main influence in my life. But if I had to, I would say family. My own family and identifying with other mothers and parents shape my aesthetic. The love families have for one another are universal. This image of another working mother I took in Tanzania in 2012 speaks to this passion.
Harmony is essential in my designs and my life. When I see man-made structures blended seamlessly into nature I am in awe. These buildings in the Kingdom of Bhutan taken in 2010 inspire me architecturally and philosophically.
I don’t believe in giving up. Every now and then I have to re-charge and wake up the muses in my soul to remind myself to be willful, tenacious, and that I can achieve the seemingly most difficult of goals. Recently I had such an adventure and at the end of my journey I found myself climbing HURU PEAK, Tanzania – 5895 meters.
My inspiration comes in many forms and influential moments often happen when I explore other cultures. One of the most profound moments is pictured here during a trip in 2006 to Burma. The photograph by Luke Gardner just touches its many levels of beauty.
Not every inspirational moment needs to be profound. I have to admit that I love to shop. I adore experiencing the different textures, the context, and travel and discovery of finding the perfect item for my clients or my showroom. I remember fondly this image of me shopping in Penang Malaysia taken in 2008 by Luke Gardner
Books are like a window to another world to me. Not only do they provide the blueprint for my travel experiences, but they also inspire with their sheer physical mass and volume. This image is of the Assouline bookstore in Paris – which houses a fine collection of books I love and displays them in a way I adore.
Wildlife gives me a canvas that incorporates many inspirations at once: tenacity, serenity and beauty in unexpected places. This image of an orangutan mother and child is especially moving to me taken in Kalimantan Borneo by Luke Gardner in 2005. I hope you will join me in supporting the orangutanfoundation.org.
People inspire me. Not just my family but also other people, strangers from different countries and cultures. It is these culture exchanges that initiate questions and discoveries. Once such moment is shown in this image of schoolchildren I took in 2010
Textures and patterns created by natural objects can suddenly be abstracted to the most contemporary image. Pictured here are peppers in Bhutan that in one moment is simply mundane food and the next an art piece. I took this photograph in 2010.
Serenity is evident in my designs, travel, family life and history. While there are many moments where I strive to find peace in my daily life, images like this photograph I took in 2011 in Ireland. It helps to keep me calm when I need to breathe.
The cycle of life, the change of seasons, the sun rising and setting provide daily sources of inspiration. None more so than this image of a Sunset I took in Essaouira, Morocco in 2007. The colors, reflections, patterns, and warmth provide the promise that while this day is now ending another one will soon begin.
My biggest muse are my children. They inspire me and keep me humble.
This church where I grew up, holds many moments of inspiration. It is where I was married and where all the important life cycle events in my life were celebrated. Photo by me in 2014
Entertaining is a huge part of my culture as well as my daily life. I have made it a priority to find essential moments for my friends and family to gather around the table and celebrate everything and nothing.
Dogs. I can’t imagine my life without my sweet girls. Complete and uncomplicated love from my animals provide not only daily support but also the humor to start my day. Dogs don’t care what you look like, how tired you are, and if you had a bad day. They just love you.
I always consider myself an observer, an artist who observes. Every time I go to the Louvre I can’t help but be inspired by the objects and images housed within its walls and by the uniqueness of the architecture surrounding it. I took this photo in Spring 2014
I make it a point to be grateful. Being thankful for simple pleasures makes you more open to larger opportunites and prepares you for disappointments. This image reminds me not to forget that I can get abundant pleasure from what the earth provides. And that eating cherries grown on the hillsides of France always make me happy. I took this photo of my cherry trees in the spring 2014