Fashion designer Batsheva Hay recently expanded her design repertoire, releasing a home furniture collection that stays true to her unique postmodern “Victoriana-meets-Laura Ingalls” aesthetic.
“Through the years, I have found so much great vintage fabric that is too heavy for clothing, so I decided to dress furniture in it,” Hay said in an interview with Vogue. “Decorating my home feels like decorating my body, just more permanent. It’s like wearing a dress and never taking it off and just hanging out in your living room in it for years.”
The Batsheva Home Collection evolved out of the artist’s journey over the past four years to design furniture for her own home, which now sports pieces like a bright orange couch lined with a floral back cushion and leopard print throw pillows.
From those personal furniture experiments came two different chairs in six pattern choices, a bench, and a floor rug for commercial sale.
“The fabrics I used for these furniture pieces are all vintage upholstery that I have collected for years. Some are from the 1920s and the most recent ones are from the 1980s. I liked mashing up asynchronous fabrics — a bright watercolor floral from the 1980s with a 1970s acid green faux patchwork piece, or a 1920s floral print with an 80s velvet zebra,” Hay explains.
The Nautilus chair features an asymmetrical seat back in classic Art Deco style. Buyers can choose from her three surprising upholstery combinations or the more sober chintz pattern. It sells for $2,150 on the Batsheva website.
Appearing to be traditional Louis XV chairs at first glance, the fashionista’s upholstered Lounge Chair frame is carved to look like rough hewn wood: knobs, birds’ eyes, and all. And instead of following a predictable course, the fabric piping around the seat zigzags and weaves in an organic path. Fans can purchase the chair in either vintage plum floral or chintz for $1,250.
Covered in a cheerful vintage faux patchwork fabric, Hay designed a comfy bench with rolled arms and curved wooden legs, available for $1,700. Her multipurpose mat is a 3’ x 2’ hand-tufted rug with a soft wool pile, selling for $150.
Batsheva Hay took an unconventional road to becoming a fashion and furniture designer. After graduating from Stanford University and Georgetown Law School, she spent a decade as a lawyer in New York City, hating every minute of it.
After meeting future husband Alexei Hay, a photographer who had recently converted to Orthodox Judaism, Batsheva (who grew up in a secular Jewish family) converted as well, adopting the strict dress standards of the faith. That includes covering up to the elbows and knees and above the collarbone. Having always loved vintage patterns, she started creating her own modest but edgy dresses in washable floral prints.
Her bold pattern choices coupled with old-school femininity eventually scored her a partnership with company Laura Ashley, resulting in a line of dresses, aprons, and oven mitts in her signature style. Her work is now sold by major retailers like Nordstrom and Shopbop, having also gotten a social media boost when Ella Emhoff, stepdaughter of Kamala Harris, wore a Batsheva dress to the 2020 presidential inauguration.