Archive for the ‘architecture’ Category

Travel Inspiration from Turkey

Monday, November 19th, 2012


At the end of September I traveled to Istanbul, Turkey to explore and become inspired.  The people, architecture, patterns and colors will forever leave a mark on my designs.  Here are some of my favorite pictures from the trip.

The view looking towards Sultanahmet.

Beautifully detail roof at dusk.

Interior view of the Blue Mosque…stunning.

Inside the Aya Sofya.

Ceiling detail of the Aya Sofya

Brightly colored ceilings inside the Grand Bazaar.

Shopping for textiles.

The runner that came home with us!  It’s from Dhoku and made from recycled rugs that have been patched together.

A metal shop within the Bazaar.


Denver Home Update!

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

We have been in our new home a little over two months and are beginning to get settled .  We still have a LONG way to go, but here is a little peek at some of the spaces as they progress little by little.

Our living room is livable at the moment. There are three things I would like to do in this space: get a new sofa, reupholster the arm chair, and reupholster the ottoman.

As previously mentioned, storage is our biggest issue.  I invested in a reasonably presentable door rack to hold spices and baking supplies.  On the other wall (not pictured) is a stainless steel shelf unit that holds all of our dishes.  We painted the walls a very soft gray but have yet to decide on a color for the kitchen nook – I am thinking about something bold like stripes but I am not sure Tobey will go for that.

 

Our bedroom is still in the organizational process (the walls aren’t as yellow as they look!!).  The patterned curtains are covering my closet since we had to remove the doors.  I am looking for a fun grey and white stripe fabric to make into panels. I would also like to mount the TV to the wall.

This is my office/storage room at the moment.  It is home to everything that I haven’t had time to hang, get rid of, or find a home for – pretty much a big mess. I have high hopes of tackling this room over the weekend!!

That’s all for now.  I will have a more finished product to show you in another few weeks!!!

 

ICFF 2012

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

Not having a lot of time to lollygag at ICFF, I noticed a few trends to share with you.  There were numerous woodworkers who all had beautiful products.  The one thing I kept noticing was that they love drawers in multiple sizes and configurations.  Here are some of my favorites.

Above is a cabinet with drawers from Portuguese design company Wewood.  Like the shelf detail at the base.

A similar cabinet from Richard Watson.  The pulls looked like thumbtacks; nice unusual detail.

Cabinet with beaded detailing on top and on the drawer reveals by Sami Hayek of Espacio.

 

Booth installations are always fun to admire.  I wonder how long it takes to set up some of these.  Two manufacturers, Hellman Chang (furniture) and Lindsay Adelman (lighting), had a piece of their actual workshop demonstrating work in progress; brilliant idea.  Anyone who wonders how things get made as much as I do must have loved this.  I bet next year we’ll see even more of this.  I was clearly so engrossed that I forgot to photograph BOTH of them!  Sigh…

Above is a tree that was made out of rope strung though a mesh “ceiling.”


Installation with a bench and shaded cover made from a somewhat translucent fabric called Xorel.  This was created by a collaboration of students.  It felt good to be under; almost like shade from a tree.

A photo from Amuneal Manufacturing‘s booth.  I’ve seen them before at ICFF and I always get “lost” in their booth.  It’s a beautiful, wonderland of the imagination.  They manufacturer displays and components for stores and have a very craftsman look that sucks me in.  Above is a wall of woodworking tools beautifully displayed.   Inspiration for storing my tools!

The picture above is small but these innovative light switches/organization helpers are from Upwell.  This was one of those products that I looked at and wondered, “Why hasn’t this been created before?”  These switch additions add a little organization right where we need them, by the front door.  I spoke with the creator and he’s looking for a manufacture to produce them…someone find this guy a manufacturer!

I always love lights that create a pattern on the wall or ceiling.  Above is a light from Absolut in Germany.  The bulb is in the middle (covered) and reflects through an etched pattern on the glass around the outside.

This fixture is from Lightexture (as is the picture).  The piece expands and contracts (like a metal veggie steamer) to project light up or down casting beautiful reflections on the surrounding surfaces.

Porcelain tiles from Kowa Collection caught my eye for the large format and texture they create.  They can be installed in numerous patterns on walls or glass.  This is more of an architectural element than a bath or kitchen backsplash tile.

A First Home in Denver

Saturday, April 21st, 2012

I had hoped to be ready to post some “preliminary” shots of our new house, but didn’t want you all to think we are total slobs.  We have been in the new house for just over a week.  Step one was getting things out of boxes and into piles.  We have succeeded at that, but the next step of finding everything a home has been a bit trickier, so here are some photos to give you a feel for the space, but none of the belongings in the pictures are ours. Hence, my personal disclaimer:  I am going to cheat a bit with the first photos of our new home today.  These are the photos taken by the realtor and whoever staged our home prior to us buying it, so none of the furniture it ours – also, please note they used a wide angle lens so the spaces feel slightly larger than they really are.

I love this picture – our new place has tons of windows and light.  As you can see the space is long and fairly narrow – I can’t wait to paint and get some really fun carpet on the stairs.

Once in the door, this is your view directly to the right.  I am thinking this will be where our TV has to go and maybe a small chair in the corner by the window.

This is your view to the left of the door, essentially our living space.  It looks clean and simple with this furniture, but our pieces are slightly larger so I am going to have to play with it a bit.  A bold patterned rug is something I am looking for and a new light fixture or fan – I am undecided if we actually want a fan in this space or not.

This rectangular table fits nicely in the space, but ours is round.  It will be interesting to see how it fits.  We also have a large armoire that we want in this area to serve as a pantry since there isn’t one in the kitchen.

I love the island in the kitchen and the huge sink!  Our biggest issue is the limited number of cabinets and drawers.  We only have eight cabinets and five drawers.  Storage solutions will be my initial focus in this space.

The half bath downstairs is enormous and a poor use of space.  Down the road I would love to reconfigure it and add a pantry and coat closet.

The master bedroom has doors or windows on every wall, which makes using the space a bit more challenging.  I am hoping to get a dresser, two small night stands, and a little vanity table in here.

I will post another update in the next few weeks once our belongings are settled.  We are in the process of picking paint colors so I will keep you posted on that progress.  Until then…

 

A New Home in NYC

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

As some of you may know, my husband and I have recently moved into a new place in New York City.  We are thrilled to have an updated, warm and quiet space.  I wanted to share  pictures of it in progress and then I’ll post the afters as they happen.  I’ve found that it’s WAY HARDER to do my own space.  I know too many great vendors and want to use them all!

A bit of background on the place.  It was built in 1910 and the last owners updated the kitchen & dining area before moving.  It is a duplex, which in NY means the unit is two floors, not side-by-side.  It has a great layout for entertaining our friends and family.  The first floor consists of the kitchen, dining, living, main bath and a great little patio out the back door.  Down a tight, little  spiral staircase is the basement consisting of two bedrooms and a half bath.

Giang and I live very casual lives.  We love being home and entertaining which means lots of cooking.  We tend to use what we have until it falls apart.  We don’t like having lots of tchotchkes around and prefer a pretty low maintence home.

The kitchen is small, but we have a Wolf!  It beats our last stove that was so uneven that we had to prop up the burners with aluminum foil “pads” so that the pans would be level.  I probably won’t be doing much with this room but it needs a rug and a shade to for the window by the dishwasher.

The dining room is one of my favorite rooms.  It’s large and comfortable.  I love that they hide the refrigerator in the wall of cabinetry (far left).  The center of the cabinetry was this strange, large cabinet.  We didn’t want a TV so we made it into a bar.  I painted the inside red and built the small bank of drawers to store more utensils and charge our iPad.  The dining table was built by yours truly out of reclaimed NYC water tower wood and I found the legs locally.  The last bit to do here is find art for the wall.  We painted the core color a pale yellow you see pictured.

 

 

 

The living room is probably one of the few rooms that came together quickly.  Our furniture came with us from Denver and we added the coffee table by Palo Samko.  We plan on relocating and hiding the TV in a wall at a later time.  The wall of photos were taken by Giang and I on our travels around the world.  We selected pictures that are serene yet graphic.  Some of the shots are recognizable, some are not.

 

The main bath will become more of a powder room (without removing the shower) once we finish the basement bath.  The basement bath will add much needed storage for all our toiletries so we can remove them from the main bath that everyone sees.  I plan to put carrara mosaic on the floor, install an interesting vanity with some storage, add better lighting and replace the mirror and toilet.

Our little staircase to the lower level.

This is where it happens!  The dreaded office.  It’s only dreaded because it is the room I spend the most time in and will likely be the last to be complete.   I thought about doing a large built-in but they realized I wanted the space to function differently so the plan is:  I want to make this room come to life.  It’s DARK!  There isn’t much natural light so color and accessories are where it will happen.  I’m currently making a long desk to replace the existing one we have.  This will split my husbands space from mine and not protrude so far into the room.  I’ll also be making new storage pieces to replace the plastic ones.  Also on the drafting board is a plan for a large magnetic chalk board with a high gloss white frame so that I can post even more inspiration pictures.  And let’s not forget, we need wallpaper or paint!  Behind the door is a little temporary book case made out of wine boxes.  I recycled a shoe storage rack on the back of the door for storing fabric samples, samples and paint decks.

 

 

The master bedroom is also a work in progress.  We have two bikes that are currently residing in here and I need to find them a better home.  Art above the bed is a must!  Another project is building nice night stands…but, as we all know, all in time!

Basement bath as is.  The cabinet is being made and I’m selecting the top today.  This should be done within the next few weeks.  Yippeee!

It’s patio season.  We are working to finish the patio in the next couple of weeks as well.  We’ve found some dining chairs, have all our pots, have a rug ordered so now it’s just a matter of planting all the greenery.  I’ll post pictures on Facebook and Twitter as these projects come to life.

 

A Visit to the Sunshine State

Thursday, March 29th, 2012


Last week my husband and I headed to Miami, Florida for a little sun and relaxation.  I had planned to do some design hunting and architectural photography after researching about the Art Deco district in Miami but that quickly changed when we  learned of a music festival going on.  Not just any music festival, but a loud techno music festival…jazz would have been a wonderful surprise, techno was not.  The outdoor party life that defined Miami last weekend reconfigured our plans – quickly.   We ditched Miami for the Keys so I could sleep (Giang could sleep through a jackhammer in the room).  The vacation turned into a road trip searching for great food and outdoor activities and all was found.

Beautiful colors and water that was common along the route through the Keys.

Time to stretch the legs and explore on our paddle boards in Islamorada.  We paddled for a couple hours through the mongroves.  My turning radius was vastly improved upon seeing two crocodiles right in front of me.  Luckily, no limbs were lost and I can still draw.

…and some time in a kayak.  We paddled out to Indian Key island that was once inhabited but burned down in the late 1800′s.

The view from our quiet hotel patio in Key West.  We headed into town for a little breakfast at Blue Heaven.  Their outdoor patio was great and adding to the atmosphere they have live roosters crowing from the roofs and wandering round.

A cute little pineapple topped fence in Key West.

 

Our last night we had to stay in Miami for an early flight so we hit the Art Deco district for dinner which made for some great people watching.  Our favorite restaurant was Joe’s Stone Crab for the great seafood and key lime pie.  Need some Key Lime Pie?  Here’s their recipe.

 

 

 

And the Winner Is…..

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

Drum roll please…Congratulations to Rosa, the winner of our room re-do contest! 

Here is what Rosa had to say about her living room: I generally like our living room but I’m curious as to ways to improve it. Is the furniture clashing? Do we have too many trinkets? Can we do something different with the paintings on the walls? What kind of curtains can we add? Although our ceiling is high, the eye seems to go low. And there’s not enough light in the evenings. How can we add lighting that doesn’t cost too much and goes with our antique motif?

Rosa, this room has an abundance of potential! You have some beautiful, unique pieces and we can’t wait to help you get the most out of your space – both visually and functionally.  Stay tuned to see the before and after shots…

Ski Lodge Inspiration

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

Ski season is here!  All of the resorts in Colorado are open and thousands of people from around the world hit the slopes here every weekend.  Whether your design style is modern or traditional, adding a touch of ski-lodge inspired love to your home just might be the ticket to create a cozy atmosphere for the cold months ahead.  Here are some of our favorite ideas that you can pull from to make your own apres-ski environment.  So grab a cup of hot cocoa and get to work!!

Ski Lodge 1

Ski lodge 1.1

The Cabin in Perth by Dark Horse Productions.  A warm, neutral palette combined with rustic and soft textures makes you want to kick off your ski boots and curl up in front of the fire.

ski lodge 3

We love the white floors combined with the dark walls and light natural wood furniture – they strike a beautiful balance with one another.

ski lodge 4

Open storage for firewood is a great way to include a natural element if you don’t have a feature such as exposed log beams in your home as this cabin does.

ski lodge 5

2.  Fireside Lodge in Wilson, WY (pic directly above)…you can rent it with a Groupon deal.  The metal chairs and storage are also in perfect contrast to the plush couches.

ski lodge 6.1

ski lodge 6

Aerin Lauder’s ski lodge in Aspen via Vogue.  See all pics here.  Sleek, clean lines and an abundance of natural light make this space feel fresh and airy.

ski lodge 7

Great bedroom by Sophie Donelson.  It is simultaneously quaint and chic.  The old school duvet cover accessorized by a bold stripe blanket and matching gold and brown pillows make you want crawl in bed and read a book.  The antlers and vintage backpacks make a statement on the wood paneled walls as the antique bench helps frame the bed.

ski lodge 8

Aspen Social Club.  Antlers make for a unique ceiling element that create depth and play with the light quality.  The gauzy curtains soften the effect of the shiny table tops.

ski lodge pics

To recap: Accessorize your home with antlers (real or fake) or add a cool animal bust.  West Elm has a papier-mache stag that is worth taking a peek at. Use old ski posters and antique wood skis as wall decor.  Find an interesting way to stack wood indoors to give a space a natural, rustic feel. Lastly, incorporate cozy textures through pillows, throws, and rugs – a flokati rug or a hide (faux or real) feel great on bare feet.

Baby, It’s Cold Outside…

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

So come on in and curl up by the fire!  There is something so cozy and comforting about the flickering flames of a fireplace on a chilly evening.  Adding a fireplace to a room can completely change the feel of your living space.  It adds a warmth both visually and physically that neither lights nor candles can compare to.  Like the kitchen island, it becomes a place that friends and family gather around.  They are a beautiful addition to a living room, bed room, or den/office/library.  Here are some of our favorites in honor of this age old invention…

Fireplace 1

A traditional fireplace that exudes classic elegance with a soft monochromatic palette.

Fireplace 3

Love the combination of wood and metal.  The sleek modern design is beautifully contrasted by the rustic storage of firewood.

Fireplace 4

Fireplace 2

The above two fireplaces are by Focus.  They are more industrial and far less traditional, but present some interesting ideas on how to incorporate a fireplace into a small space.

Fireplace 5

An antique fireplace by Mary Jeanne Kneen makes a stunning statement when paired with this painting.

Fireplace 6

Natural and modern, the rich wood finish and asymmetrical shelf provide visual interest to a soft background color.

Fireplace 7I have an obsession with this style of fireplace.  They are typically found in old homes or brownstones in the NYC area.  I dream of one of these some day because the way the fire lights the patterns on the metal face is something that can’t be reproduced.

We Won!

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

Paradigm, in collaboration with Nest Architecture and BOA Construction, won a 2011 CARE award from the HBA of Denver for “Whole House Remodel” in the category of $500,000 – 1 Million.  This is the second award received for our Belcaro residence.  Click here to see more pictures of the winning project.

work-belcaro-3

Special thanks to the homeowners for allowing us to work on their home and a shout out to the great team at Nest and BOA because we all know that a successful project is a team effort.