British artist Grayson Perry's latest work has us completely head over heels and desperate to take a trip to the English countryside. A House for Essex is intended to represent country chapels that act as a place to stay for weary travellers. Find out more about the project here.
The interiors are as colourful and eccentric as you'd expect but also surprisingly homely and inviting with varied colours and textures that both clash and complement to create a space at once unusual and familiar.
We were so inspired by this project we decided to find examples of furniture that walk this fine line between art, design, quirky and chic. They'd all feel at home at A House for Essex and we'd love to have the space for a few of them ourselves at Studio Ombre HQ.
A perfect blend of art and manual labour, Tim's Couch from artist Nick DeMarco looks like it just walked in from an afternoon putting up fences to contain the sheep on a farm. The usual blend of materials and work boots give the piece an unnerving sentient feeling, much like the giant portrait opposite the bed in Perry's cottage.
The boots also remind us of Terry Pratchett's travelling trunk from his Discworld series and would serve as a fitting cenotaph to the late author's legacy of fantastic worlds.
Speaking of sheep, this Dali-inspired work was designed by artist Oscar Tusquets Blanca for BD Barcelona and created by Deyrolle here in Paris. We had the chance to see some of these pieces being made at the Deyrolle showroom and they look even more astonishing in person.
The design world is always talking about bringing the outside in, so what could be more fitting than a taxidermy farm animal transformed into a side table?
In keeping with the animal theme, these odd chairs from Campana feature masses of children's toys attached to a relatively simple frame, creating something of an homage to messy bedrooms.
Although similar chairs have been produced before, the introduction of leather elevates these chairs from mere messy monsters to truly bespoke pieces. Only in Perry's dream home could one of the leather crocodile chairs feel perfectly sedate next to a sheep side table.
Feeling hungry? These fantastic benches from Vancouver-based Straight Line Designs work because of their exceptional quality. Function is beautifully integrated into these surreal forms, creating magnificent pieces to sit down upon for an afternoon apéro after canning jams.
It's difficult to choose between the two but given that A House for Essex is so symmetrical, perhaps both would be necessary after all.
An English country garden is just as important as the main homestead so these warped park benches would be the perfect addition to the cottage's outdoor space.
Created by Paris-based Pablo Reinoso, these spaghetti benches have a Lovecraftian feel to them as if someone has just released the kraken and they've reverted to their original form as creeping vines or climbing branches. Weird, wonderful and Perry-perfect.