Newsview: Brad Pitt's new interior range

“So you’re Brad Pitt? That don’t impress me much” might be the reaction to the actor’s interior pieces for the Pitt-Pollaro range says Rose Martin.

Newsview: Brad Pitt's new interior range

“So you’re Brad Pitt? That don’t impress me much” might be the reaction to the actor’s interior pieces for the Pitt-Pollaro range says Rose Martin.

Renaissance man or pompous thesp — whatever your opinion, Brad Pitt’s collaborative range of interior designs with highly-regarded creator, Frank Pollaro has a ready market — mostly due to its star’s billing.

A long-time architectural fanboy, Pitt commissioned a custom desk from Pollaro in 2008 and craftsman Frank personally delivered the piece to Brad’s chateau in the south of France.

During the installation, they found they had a lot in common, (one money; two craft?) and their collaboration began from there.

Pollaro took one of Pitt’s sketchbooks home and over the last ten years or more, has interpreted and transformed the actor’s drawings into three-dimensional pieces.

Frank Pollaro and Brad Pitt

Frank Pollaro and Brad Pitt

The collaboration went further when the pair decided to go into business selling their collaborative designs and presented twelve pieces as part of a newly-minted, Pitt-Pollaro collection.

Some of the work dates from as early as 2001, so it might encourage onlookers to speculate as to which wife was enthroned during which period — hard not to. Even for those of us who don’t use the ‘sidebar of shame’ to see into other people’s private lives — there’s a certain Taylor/ Burton allure to the Brangelina story.

For instance — the bed with the stingray skin finishes, designed by Pitt in 2001 — was that Jen’s time? And the Venetian marble bathtub? No prizes for guessing there, it’s the Toi et Moi tub of marital togetherness — now gone stoney-cold.

There are two dining tables that are quite good, three cocktail tables, also good (seen below) and two pneumatic club chairs that take a Jeff Koons approach to armchair design.

To be fair, with Pollaro’s input as a creator, the designs are good and would stand alone in their own right, the problem is Pitt’s name. Should he have used another? Or some form of pseudonym which would have underscored his commitment to design.

However, he’s not worried about making a living and if people buy his work, then so much the better. And like Bob Dylan’s etchings, (also quite good), the resales value is where it’s at, for collectors

The website is good, modest and informative, with all the pieces hand-made in Pollaro’s New Jersey workshop from original designs by Pitt. See http://www.pitt-pollaro.com for more.

- The country’s favourite architect/ presenter, one Dermot Bannon, was reprising his annual role last week — launching the RIAI Simon Open Door campaign.

Joanna Kelly, Simon Communities of Ireland (left), with Dermot Bannon and RIAI CEO Kathryn Meghen, at the launch of the RIAI Simon Open Door campaign. Pic. Robbie Reynolds

Joanna Kelly, Simon Communities of Ireland (left), with Dermot Bannon and RIAI CEO Kathryn Meghen, at the launch of the RIAI Simon Open Door campaign. Pic. Robbie Reynolds

One of the best fundraising ideas ever, the amount of people who make design decisions based on this handy little meet and greet, is enormous.

It’s a win-win too, as the architects involved, who only charge a fraction of their usual fee, get a personal introduction to potential clients, and on the other hand, potential clients can use a appraise the designers in a way that wouldn’t be viable, financially, or otherwise, in another setting.

The aim of this fundraiser is to tackle homelessness and the housing crisis and considering the unprecedented numbers who walked the streets of Dublin last Saturday, it’s obvious that it is a top concern for everyibe.

So even if you don’t intend to extend, or build a house now, but are thinking of making changes in the long or short term — big or small, , then registering online for a slot to talk to an architect for Simon is a fine way to give to a good cause. The fee this year is €90 — about the cost of a family lunch out.

Now in its 14th year, the campaign will run from Monday, May 14 until Sunday, May 20 and the RIAI is encouraging its individual members to get on board and sign up for the event, too.

All funds raised go directly to the Simon Communities of Ireland and up to now, over €700,000 has been raised nationally. Registration is open and home owners are encouraged to book a slot in their local area by visiting www.simonopendoor.ie

“We would encourage as many architects as possible to again consider giving up their time to contribute their expertise for this worthy cause this year,” says Kathryn Meghen, RIAI CEO. “Building is complex and a consultation with an RIAI-registered architect is a great opportunity for homeowners to explore the most economic and appropriate options to meet their needs.”

- Some really cool looking kitchens have been added to Cash and Carry’s range for this season and there’s a Germanic, industrial vibe to the Modica in its Dust Grey iteration.

Very sophisticated — it should add instant design chops to a new house, but use in an exising dwellig and you’ll probably have to change everything else to match the its dark, cool cred.

The Modica range “pays homage to open loft living and industrial good-looks,” says designer, Marie Browne of Cash &Carry.

The Modica also has a matt slab door which gives a a lower level of light reflection and also, more practically, doesn’t show dust or greasy paw marks in the darker colourway.

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