Since writing my Provenance column on toran, I can’t resist sharing a few images, most off of Instagram, of toran I have stumbled across lately. It may be the usual selective perception, but I am noticing them everywhere. Anna Spiro, Australian designer and well-known author of the blog Absolutely Beautiful Things has one as a curtain valence in her new studio space. I love the way she has made coordinating curtains for it using a simple solid fabric trimmed with small tassels. As always, her spaces are an absolute cornucopia of colors and fabrics and her shop is one I have always wished to visit.
I had forgotten that designer Katie Ridder had done something very similar in her “zam zam room” (better known as the den) using a toran she and her husband found in Paris (of all places) hung with some custom designed portiere curtains made to match. The trim on the edges picks up the embroidery colors in the vintage textile and makes a cohesive whole. The entire mix with the Moroccan rug, poufs and mid-century furniture is great fun. Take a moment to notice the pom-pom trimmed lampshades covering what must be recessed lighting in the ceiling. That’s certainly one great idea for me for dealing with those ugly can lights in the new house in Doha!
On a totally different decorative note, ceramicist Frances Palmer posted this room up in Maine, with two similar but not matching toran hung in the windows of a bedroom with peeling crusty painted walls. So very John Derian!
And while these are all people I actually follow on Instagram, there are others out there posting toran, like this one in a teenage girl’s dreamy bedroom. It’s also an excellent reminder to all of us to remind our own kids to keep their accounts private!!!
And I spotted one recently as well. On my last outing to the Kawagoe shrine sale before leaving Japan, we had to eat in our favorite Indian restaurant of course. I had never noticed before, but there was a toran hanging over the doorway that leads to the bathroom.
There’s just nothing like a beautiful old textile to bring life and joy to a space. Don’t you agree?