Archive for the ‘ASID’ Category

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!!!

 

Summer on the Water

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

The hot summer sun makes playing on and in the water a treat.  Here are some beautiful vessels that allow you to enjoy “water” in true splendor.

I love the red/white combo! It feels nautical yet classic.

The detail and craftsmanship is stunning.

I like the idea of this boat “floor plan” – I want a spot in the back!!

The wood flooring is a beautiful option instead of carpet.

This is floating elegance.

A great use of space!

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.

Hats Off to You – Kentucky Derby Style

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

The Kentucky Derby takes place this Saturday and in honor of it we are bringing you some of the most creative, interesting, and beautiful hats from years past.  From home-made to couture, there is a style for everyone.  Take note of the amazing color palettes and textures.  Each one is a miniature masterpiece full of design inspiration…well maybe not this first photo but I couldn’t resist!  Stop by our facebook page next week to see how my outfit came together for the big event and post pictures of your own creations.  We can’t wait to see them.  And they’re off!!

 

I give this couple props for creating their own pony hats.

This hat is stunning, I love the color contrast between the magenta, cream and black.

The fabric on this hat has an interesting texture and I like the way it filters light, giving its owner an angelic glow.

This woman was obviously a show stopper in her matching hat and dress.

Simple and elegant – a testament to “less is more”.

Now this is a doozy for a hat! I would love to see how it frames her face from the front, but the back is a true work of art.

This is a great example of a DIY hat.  The ruffle on the edge is fun and I love that her earrings match the sash on the hat.

Peacock inspired – loving the bright colors!

I want this hat.  It is a summer classic.

I want this chic fascinator too!

I can’t resist the crisp chocolate brown and cream combo.

Bigger isn’t always better – but I think she pulls off this outrageous topper quite well.

Repetition & Pattern

Friday, April 27th, 2012

I am often inspired by repetitive textures I find while traveling.  There is so much to see when we are in-tune with our senses and take the time to observe our surroundings.  The simplest natural or man-made structure can create a beautiful pattern.  It may be a set of stairs, a unique shadow, a reflection in water, or the way light filters through a window pane.  I try to incorporate some sort of repetition into all of my projects because our eyes find repetition & pattern calming.  Below are several photos that I’ve taken while traveling. Enjoy…

Nature and man-made objects provide a wide range of repetition.

 Fence in Cape Cod

 Slate in UK Countryside

 Grain Silos in Longmont, CO

 Fountain in London’s Mayfair Neighborhood

 Row of Trees at Versailles, France

Stairs are one of the best places to find repetition.

Stairs Inside the Arc de Triumph, Paris

 Stairs at Alhambra in Granada, Spain

Stairs in Santorini, Greece

Markets are a sure bet too, especially first thing in the morning when all the vendors products are neatly stacked.

Cauliflower in Montreal, Canada

Spices in France

Star Anise in France

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.

 

April Showers…

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

The perfect topic for a gloomy day – these umbrella stands are sure to put a smile on your face when you step out of the rain and into your home.  From playful to traditional, there is sure to be one that fits your personality and style!  The fact that most of them are under $100 is just a bonus.  So go play in the rain and enjoy!

Inspiration at the Met

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

After being closed for a 8 year renovation, Giang and I recently visited the new Islamic wing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.  I was so inspired by all the patterns, rugs and colors that I wanted to share with you.  I was amazed that the design could easily be incorporated in today’s environments.  They are truly timeless.  I’ve added notes where I took down the details but it was mostly a visual wonderland.  I highly recommend visiting if you make it to the museum because pictures, especially from an iphone, don’t do it justice.  Hope you enjoy!

 

There were many rugs and textiles.  Most all of the designs would work in today’s interiors and even fabrics of the fashion world.  The rug below incorporated the flame-stitch that is so popular these days.

Detail of the corner.

This was by far my favorite rug.  Called the “Simonetti” carpet and dated 1250-1517.  It’s one of the largest Mamluk rugs, having five medallions instead of the usual 1-3.  The colors were muted yet vibrant and woven in wool.  Thought about rolling it up and “hiding” it behind me to take as a souvenir.

The center medallion.

Detail of the end medallion.  What you can’t see and I just couldn’t get good pictures of, is the amazing carved wood ceiling above this rug.

Beautiful red tapestries and fabrics.  Such amazing designs!

 

 

LOVE!

This is a very old ikat pattern, dated 909-1171.  I absolutely love the colors in this linen and silk shawl remnant.

And now on to pottery and tiles.  These Raqqa ware pieces have a vibrant, glowing turquoise and black design.   Pretty stunning considering their age (12th century).  The artists used a technique of painting directly on the stonepaste with a stable chromium-black pigment.  The turquoise is often alkaline which prevented the underglaze from running.

Notice how the glaze doesn’t completely cover the bottom.  Whether it was on purpose or not, I find it unexpected and like seeing the clay body exposed.

A bowl with little fish on the bottom.

Now a little architectural detailing.  The Met hired and housed craftsmen form Fez to build and carve this small room.  The detailing that is achieved blows my mind.  Next to the room, they had a video showing how the carving is done.  Essentially the build up a thick layer of plaster, tap a stencil design onto the wet base and then start carving away with little knives.  I forget how long it took to do this room…

The picture below is courtesy of the Met Museum.

A detail shot of one of the arches.

Below is a door with very intricate carvings and inlays.  Old or new?  Look at the additional details…

This door is from Egypt, Cairo dated 1250-1517!  How incredible is that?  It is carved of rosewood, mulberry and other woods along with ebony and ivory.

If you want to read more about the wing there are several articles on the NYTimes and you can find additional pictures and info at The Metropolitan Museum of Art gallery section.

 

Making a House a Home

Thursday, March 8th, 2012

Tis the season at Paradigm to embrace your home, new or old. Dawn and her husband recently moved into a new home in NYC and now I am set to close on a house in Denver at the beginning of April.  We have given you tips on how to make a space feel bigger, more inviting, less cluttered, brighter, warmer, more welcoming, or cozy – whatever it is that you are looking for - we have recommended adding paint, lighting, plants, artwork, window treatments, cool textures, or moving furniture.  All of these things can make your house feel more like a home, but in the end there are a few things that make a dwelling your personal refuge and they have nothing to do with renovation, decor, or paint.  Here are five ways to make your house more of a home.

Quality Time - Your home should be more than the place you go to get 6 hours of shut eye every night.  To make it yours you need to be in it.  Try turning down one activity a week to spend an evening at home.

Use Your Space - Has your oven become another storage compartment?  If so, it is time to clear it out and get cookin!  Make your significant other or a friend a home-made meal, back some chocolate chip cookies (YUM), sprawl out on the living room floor to work on a project, or soak in the tub with a glass of wine.   Make your routine more than home, dinner, TV, bed.  This is how you will get acquainted with your home.

Practice Kindness - Your home is a place to share with loved ones, so be mindful of the memories you make in it. The walls of your home will hold onto the love and kindness you dispel within them, so share you positive energy.

Add Music – Remember that song you heard in the 5th grade and still know all of the words to?  This is just one example of how music makes an impression on us. Music makes the heart happy. Turn on your favorite tunes to dance, sing, and jam out in the privacy of your living room.  It’s okay to be a kid!

Entertain Without Worry – We are all guilty of wanting our home to be perfect when we invite guests over.  Remember that creating the “perfect” home is a constant work in progress.  Your surroundings will evolve and change daily just as you do.  Instead of worrying about footprints on the floor or dust in the corners try to be present.  Allow yourself to enjoy the moments shared with good company and close friends.