Today’s favorite vintage ad was produced in 1983 by Atelier Martex in collaboration with Collier Campbell to introduce their new bedding line, Kashmir. Martex employed interior designers and decorators, with never a mention of their names, to create imagined rooms layered with atmosphere to entice buyers into their secret world. They are some of the best ads I have seen since. Can you identify who created this particular room vignette?
I had always liked this room setting very much, but it was years later that the room struck me as familiar. When I pulled this particular campaign for today’s post I was immediately struck by two things: the hand-painted scenic grisaille paper covering the folding screen and the taupe painted walls with dentil moldings. Still uncertain? Take a look at the next photo!
Look familiar? This is the living room of John Saladino’s one time residence in Connecticut. Several features of the Martex ad can be traced to this room, including the room itself: the Zuber covered folding screen, the “Saladino” glass lamp inspired by chemists beakers, a large scale garden urn set into the niche, and the antique cane-sided chair in the foreground. Without reservation, the bed featured in the ad is clearly placed where the facing “Tuscan Sofa” by Saladino appears above. The sofa was simply swapped for the bed, and Saladino worked his magic to create an inviting bedroom vignette by adding a writing desk and bedside table, art, and personal mementos and collections. To prevent the space from feeling static Saladino added a glass waterfall table at the foot of the bed, a modern bedside reading lamp, and a brushed metal container for the palm. The result is a bedroom that looks and feels convincingly authentic, giving the viewer the sensation of being a voyeur.
More recently the Zuber grisaille papered screens showed up in Saladino’s master bedroom at Villa di Lemma, his residence in Montecito, California.
The ad campaign by Atelier Martex featured in today’s post is the second of several more to come. Ironically, I love everything in Saladino’s imagined bedroom retreat except the bedding! I hope you look forward to future posts featuring Atelier Martex as much as I do.
John Saladino’s Connecticut living room photographed by Keith Scott Morton. The photo of his bedroom was photographed by Antoine Bootz.