Friday, March 1

The significance and popularity of the quatrefoil shape in architecture and design

Friday's Why In Design column
the quatrefoil shape
has become known as the symbol of
harmony and symmetry
Louis Comfort Tiffany's art in the late 1800s often featured this four leaf design Metropolitan Museum of Art NYC
 This shape is one my favorite designs
because it is classic, yet somehow almost always
has a modern feel when used on
fabrics, wallpaper, accessories and adorned on furniture.
What is the quatrefoil shape?
It looks like a four leaf clover (a trefoil is a three leaf shape),
and although it was originally derived from the religion of Christianity. It is most often not associated with religion. 
Because of its similarity to a four leaf clover,
it projects a feeling of "good luck" or fortune.
stencil photograph from
Design Amour studio
This beautiful quatrefoil chandelier in Ironware's
new collection was recently featured in Traditional Home magazine
Wikipedia descripton:
"In art, architecture and traditional Christian symbolism, the quatrefoil is a type of decorative framework consisting of a symmetrical shape which forms the overall outline of four partially overlapping circles of the same diameter. The word quatrefoil means "four leaves", from Latin quattuor, four, plus folium, a leaf.[1]) and applies to general four-lobed shapes in various contexts". 
Lisa Khan's new collection for Chelsea House
unveiled at this past Fall Highpoint Furniture Market
shows many quatrefoil designs  
I spotted this Quatrefoil patterned fabric at the Pearson Furniture Showroom 
read about the line here
Suzanne Kasler's chair for Hickory Chair has a quatrefoil shape on the back
read about my visit to Hickory Chair here
a couple of years ago, I commissioned an artist to stencil the repeated pattern of quatrefoil onto my IKEA armoire to give it a bit more style and substance.  Angela and I brainstormed on just the right pattern to use - this is what we chose:

artist, Angela Gorini Perrone
read about our collaboration here

history of quatrefoil:
With deep roots from the Renaissance and Gothic era
the shape was used as inspiration in much of history's architecture. 
It represents a flower with four petals, but holds varying meanings throughout history and in different cultures.  I is often seen on jewelry, accessories and
fabrics. The Celtics and the Christian religions think of the shape as representing well being and an extension of the cross, and to the Native Americans it represents their holy four corners of the earth. It has come to mean "good luck" to many.
above the West Door of Croyland Abbey 
from the life of Saint Guthlac

Happy Nesting 
XO Tamara

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