Dec 19, 2023

Behind Bagatelle with Timothy Corrigan

We spoke to interior designer, Timothy Corrigan about the inspiration behind our latest collaboration, Bagatelle. Read on to unravel the design philosophies, historical influences, and meticulous craftsmanship behind the collection. 

Samuel & Sons: Can you walk us through your inspiration for Bagatelle?
Timothy Corrigan: Around two years ago, I went to the then newly opened, Hôtel de la Marine museum in Paris, and was struck by the combination of elegant sophistication of the fabrics and colors used in the restoration of the private apartments. Louis XV has always been my favorite period in French architecture and design and that visit to the new museum inspired me to go back and delve more into the textiles and passementerie of that particularly elegant period. The Bagatelle collection is a direct result of that research and the ideas that presented themselves.

S&S: How do you breathe new life into the French Neoclassical style?
TC: The French Neoclassical period is a direct result of the revival of interest in classical (both Greek and Roman) architecture and design. Like all design trends, it took from the past and re-interpreted it for the mid-18th to the early 19th-century. The Bagatelle collection is very much the same, in that it draws upon some of the design motifs of that earlier period, but presents them in fresh new ways in terms of construction and mixture of styles in the same piece, whether it is a tape or tassel.

Bagatelle Braided Gimp & ​​
Single Tassel Tieback in Jonquil

S&S: The importance of artistry and craftsmanship is evident in all you do, how does this reverence for handcraft translate in the collection?
TC: Samuel & Sons has always been synonymous with the highest level of craftsmanship. Developing this collection with them was so much fun because we wanted to really push the borders in terms of detail and luxury. I am so incredibly proud of the collection that we accomplished together.

S&S: The colors in this collection are so special. What was the process of selecting this palette?
TC: Like everything in design, color trends are always on a pendulum going from one side to another. We have now moved away from the cooler, gray color palette to warmer tones of tan and cream. Likewise, while strongly saturated colors are very much in fashion at the moment, colors are becoming more complex and sophisticated. We intentionally strived to have colors that were subtle enough that they could easily blend with many other shades.

Bagatelle Single Tassel Tieback, Double Tassel Tieback, and Key Tassel in
Hydrangea, Fern, Wisteria, Gilded Gold, and Scarlet Rose


S&S: Do you have a favorite style (or colorway) from the collection?
TC: My favorite pieces in the collection are the two larger tapes: the Bagatelle Border and the Bagatelle Braid. The Border has a crisp contemporary feeling that can be used in either a classic or modern setting. The Braid has wonderful texture and rich detailing and can be used in so many different applications. My favorite two colorways are Dewdrop and Jonquil: Dewdrop is so incredibly chic and understated that it packs a lot of punch without having to shout. The Jonquil colorway is a delightful blend of sunny yellows and as a color, yellow is coming back in a big way in home design. Yellow makes any space feel happier.

    Bagatelle Velvet Border in Hydrangea

S&S: As a designer with projects all over the globe, you bring a different perspective to designing product. How does designing a trim collection differ from designing a home?
TC: Interestingly enough, for me, developing a trim collection is not that different from designing a home because in both cases, I strive to create something with a timeless feeling that doesn’t tie into any specific trend. We have all seen homes or products that feel as if they are so “on trend” that they will soon look out- of-date. To me, the best-designed homes or products are those that are as appropriate ten years from now as they are today.

S&S: You are an avid trim user outside of your work with us. In your eyes, what is it about trim that makes an interior come to life?
TC: Well, first of all, you have to know that everyone in our offices knows that I believe so much in the ability of trim being able to transform a beautiful piece into something extraordinary, that my nickname has become Trimothy!
Seriously, whether it be a lampshade, a pillow, an upholstered wall, you name it, adding trim elevates a room to another level. As mid-century designer, Charles Eames, so aptly said: “The details are not the details. They make the design.”

S&S: How do you envision other designers using this collection? Is there somewhere in the world you’d like to see it used?
TC: It is so great to see how strongly trim has come back into style. Young designers see it as an opportunity to take a standard product and make it bespoke for that client. Trim is being used in fun new ways and it is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to make each piece in a home unique.

Bagatelle Double Tassel Tieback, Blocked Marabout, Scalloped Tassel Fringe, Border, and Cord in Wisteria

S&S: If you could only use one type of trim for the rest of your career, which would it be and why?
TC: Now that is an unbelievably difficult question to ask me because it is not uncommon for us to use three or four different trims on a single piece of furniture; so to have to choose just one is nearly impossible. If pressed to answer, my response would be: for furniture, I would select a tape, because of its ability to be used in different ways (on the skirt, to border cushions, or even to outline the entire piece). For window coverings, I would choose a terrific scalloped tassel fringe because of the way that it elevates a Roman shade or stack of drapes into a work of art. The scalloped aspect is important because it allows the tassels to hang well either on the horizontal or vertically; there is something so special about seeing the way light filters through tassels at a window.


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