04 September 2013

Gibbons' Repose


A visionary-Cedric Gibbons found the perfect place to kick back and relax.

Noted for his art direction and production design at MGM, Cedric designed the Academy's Oscar-and went on to win 11 of the gold statues himself. His work influenced the interiors of  theaters and houses- and the style he practiced in- Art Deco-was his personal choice too. He and his glamorous movie star wife- Delores del Rio created what might be the epitome of the style with an accent on Hollywood style during the 1930's.

I think Gibbons designed the perfect sofa-and I can't imagine why there isn't more Gibbons Glamor in rooms today-more depth, more style. The Gibbons sofa-something akin to a daybed perhaps- has the proportions of a twin mattress-and gets covered in some sumptuous fabric (suede maybe) with loads of pillows piled up for repose.


Garbo perfect -and the perfect sofa.

Cedric Gibbons design for the apartment of John Gilbert in "A WOMAN OF AFFAIRS"

On the set of "Men Must Fight" Gibbon's sofa goes deep with a high back and tufting by the inch.


Cedric Gibbons & Dolores del Rio in their Santa Monica Art Deco house, that Gibbons and architect Douglas Honnold designed.

Today the house is pristinely preserved with Gibbon's oh so smart built in sofas.


No doubt taking off on Gibbons, designer Anthony Cochran goes deep with his own corner built in.

go to see more of the 1930 Gibbons-del Rio House here
photographs of the house by Val Riolo and Jeff Elson


  1. Gibbons has long been unsung...thank you for this dulcet serenade! I recall Saladino makes one similar to that designer you show at the end, but true proportion is only divined thru Gibbons equation.

    Garbo shimmers...but Del Rio was considered THE most beautiful of ALL! Cedric built her a Pedestal...her mirrored dressing room at their Santa Monica is legendary...multiple Delores's for his eyes only?

    1. yes, One can see the adoration in his eyes-and thank you for this inspiration. pgt

  2. LEAVE IT TO YOU!! what a wonderful post! I think there is a remote possibility our friends actually live in this house! I will check!

    completely brilliant post, you!!


    1. the house has been beautifully preserved-that, and to be lived in is rare I think in today's market-We always think everything-I mean everything can be improved. I for one don't believe it. pgt

  3. Oh yes! All sofas should be big enough to curl up on with, of course, several large hounds. Or maybe the hound bit is just me :)

    1. Erika, and that too-of course. I agree. I've removed the back loose cushions from my sofa in the den, and advocate the same to clients! pgt

  4. I love sofas that are built in. You are right, it's a look that just isn't done enough. So stylist and perfect for a nap...

  5. I enjoyed all of this, and one of my favorite things is the photograph of Gibbons and del Rio seated on the banquette -as a work of photography -the camera placed rather low to capture this scene, in luscious black and white. It can be rather difficult to photograph into the light, with a window in the background , and here the borrowed view of trees with diffused light reminds me of a japanese screen...and the light reflecting off the floor and in the metallic lamp is incorporated to great effect. I cannot help but think how the skill and composition of this photograph could be used as an example by interior photographers today. All of this post is intriguing.

    1. Philip- you See it all-and thank you for bringing your marvelous EYE here. I agree-it's quite beautiful. Yes, I don't even look at most of the magazines I get any more-truly none inspire, but that is just between the 5 of US! I do still think WOI has a lot going for it-but nothing like this. As I wrote recently my entire view of interior design was seen through the photographs of Horst. pgt



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