Archive for the ‘Denver’ Category

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.

 

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.

 

Terraniums Galore!

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

Have you noticed terraniums are the new hot thing?   A terranium is a small enclosure often made of glass that is used indoors to grow and display plant life.  I remember my grandparents had a large one in their basement and I thought it was weird as a kid but now I want some for my deep window sills.  Apparently the plants are easy to maintain which is good for my brown thumb.  Simply water once a week and keep near a moderate light source.  They are a great way to incorporate a bit of green into your home and a much more sustainable option than floral arrangements.  Here are a variety of ideas to help you create your own indoor “miniscape”.

 The contrasting layers of earth and rock create an interesting composition.

 

I love the use of funky, exotic looking plants and the smooth rocks compliment the organic plant shapes.

 

This pear shape vessel looks great sitting on a table or hanging.  The whispy greens and sand remind me of the sand dunes in Michigan.

 

 No space for potted indoor plants?  Add a dash of color to your “air plant” by using a small flower in your terranium.

 

Who needs a lavish garden when you can create a mini-masterpiece.  What a fantastic combination of color and texture!

 

 These little guys are from Matteo Cibic. How cute are they?

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…

Where the Heart IS…

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

We posted earlier this week about the traditions of Valentine’s Day and how to bring the heart-happy color ‘red’ into your home in forms other than a heart shaped box of chocolates.  Today we are switching gears a bit and recognizing February for a lesser known event – Heart Month.  ”February is American Heart Month, and unfortunately, most of us know someone who has had heart disease or stroke. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States; one in every three deaths is from heart disease and stroke, equal to 2,200 deaths per day. These conditions are also leading causes of disability preventing people from working and enjoying family activities. Cardiovascular disease is also very expensive—together heart disease and stroke hospitalizations in 2010 cost the nation more than $444 billion in health care expenses and lost productivity” – CDC Website.

The CDC has what they call the ABC’s for your heart health:

-Ask your doctor if you should take an Aspirin every day.

-Find out if you have high Blood pressure or Cholesterol, and if you do, get effective treatment.

-If you Smoke, get help to quit.

Get up and get moving by being physically active for AT LEAST 30 minutes on most days of the week - I suggest trying a group exercise class at your gym, they come in all shapes and sizes so you can find something that suits your fitness level and needs.  They are also a great way to stay motivated.

Another important piece of your health and well-being is stretching.  Take 5 minutes when you wake up and before you go to bed to lengthen your muscles.  You will be amazed by how quickly you can gain flexibility!

Consider a new activity like yoga or after dinner walks with your family.  As a certified yoga instructor, I encourage you to give yoga a try as I whole heartedly believe in its benefits.  Here is a little Urdhva Mukha Svanasana, also know as Upward-Facing Dog for you!

Make your calories count by eating a heart-healthy diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables and low in sodium and trans fat.

This means venturing into the produce department EVERY time you go to the grocery and avoiding the aisles with all of the pre-made, pre-packaged “stuff”. Try a new vegetable that is in season or test out that recipe you have been meaning to make.  Think about what you are putting into your body.  Food is your fuel, so if you are feeling tired or lethargic during the day take a look at your diet.  What are you eating and when?  A few simple changes may be the answer to preventing those late afternoon crashes…and help your heart!

Most importantly, find something active that you enjoy doing – walk, run, go to the gym, take a class, swim, bike, hike, and the list goes on!  Experiment and try something new.  Exercise is meant to challenge your body yet leave you feeling accomplished and happy.  Best of all, it is a great way to relieve stress. So what are you waiting for?

Alternatives to Chocolate

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

Happy Valentines Day!  Tired of receiving chocolate?  Perhaps one of these fun wallpapers and fabrics might spice up your interior.

 

 Studio Bon fabric available through Schumacher

 Studio Bon fabric available through Schumacher

Fabric from Romo

 Indoor/Outdoor fabric by Trina Turk for Schumacher

Trina Turk fabric available through Schumacher

 Studio Bon fabric available through Schumacher

 Fabric from Schumacher

 Fabric from Romo

Wallpaper from Osborne & Little

Lush velvet from Osborne & Little

Wallpaper from Osborne & Little

Room Re-do Contest!!!

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

Post pictures of or write about your LEAST favorite room in your home on our Facebook page for a chance to win a room re-do between now and February 20th!  Leave a brief description about what you dislike and why. Encourage friends to “like” your post.  The person with the most “likes” will win. The winner will be announced Monday, February 27th. Details are below!

5 Easy Steps:

1. Log into your Facebook account.

2. Find us on Facebook at:   http://www.facebook.com/ParadigmInteriorDesignInc  

3. Click on “Photo” which is write next to “Post”.

 4. Select Upload a Photo

5. Click “Choose File” to select the image you want to upload

Contest Details:

- Submit photos of one room – post via your computer or phone to Facebook.

- Encourage friends and family to like your post and picture.  The person with the most “likes” will win.

- There are no restrictions on the location of the property.

*Winner will receive a room re-do. We start by rearranging your existing pieces of furniture to make the space more functional and visually appealing.  Next we can help you select paint colors, accessorize, and fall back in the love with your home!

- Winner will be announced February 27th via Facebook and our website/blog.  Pictures of the before and after will be posted on our blog upon completion.

 Before

After