Archive for the ‘pattern’ Category

An Office-Nursery Combination

Friday, January 25th, 2013

In NYC, you make do with what you have and honestly, I love finding creative ways to make small spaces work.  Most people would never combine an office and nursery but if it’s properly executed, it can be done.  Our nursery and office combo are finally complete, in time to relax a bit before the baby arrives.  Here’s the progress and how it all came to life.

First the before shots.  We had a large desk that both my husband and I tried sharing (might I say that it is a very bad idea to share a desk with a creative person).  It was far too deep and just taking up space that could be utilized better.   The office was also very dark because it only had ONE recessed can light, which is why you see that lovely hanging bulb.

To the right of the old desk was a catch-all space for my design “stuff” (inspiration boards, drafting and office supplies, files etc) housed on the wall and in cheap plastic containers.

Behind the door is a funky little space that I filled with old wine crates to use as book shelves.

The only window in the room.  The apartment had come with these dark grayish-purple heavy cotton drapes.  I had the fun remnant piece of fabric so created a little window seat with hanging candles because it worked; not because I loved it.

And here’s the transformation!  Overall the room is eclectic and whimsical without screaming baby.  I used gold, white and pops of red against the soothing gray backdrop.  Several items are custom made by myself for the space including the desks on the right, storage unit on back wall and mobile above the crib.  The focal point of the room is the art wall that consists of some purchased art, framed art paper and paintings that my husband and I made.   The custom storage piece on the back wall hides office supplies, files, baby clothing & bedding and a changing area.  A rug from West Elm help soften all the wood and brighten the space.

 

Those wine crates behind the door served their purpose but they had to go.  I was tired of the temporary college furniture feel and it would not be safe for a child’s room.  We instead replaced it with a red lacquered book shelf that could be secured to the wall.  This holds both baby and our books, a nightlight and art.  I disliked the heaviness of the drapery so replaced it with a light, airy sheer.  To add a pop of red in that area, I added a pom pom trim to the leading edge.  This helped lighten the space further.  I changed the cushion to a solid gray eliminating a pattern that did not relate to the room.

Below is the “office side” of the room with the custom desks.  I actually enjoy working in here now that we have light.  This is probably the cleanest my desk will ever be and I’m sure eventually the right wall will slowly become filled with more inspirational photos but for now, I’m enjoying the cleanliness of this area.  I just need to find a great piece of art for above the desks.

 

 

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.


NYC Patio Completion

Friday, May 18th, 2012

Our patio is complete, just in time to share it with friends on this lovely Friday.  The first three photos are of the patio before we started.

 

 

We created a little dining area with a rug, table and chairs.  We planted a new Japenese maple tree (very small at this point) but the red leaves glow brightly under the sun and it’s perfect.  The umbrella brings in a pop of color until everything blooms and I combined stripes and the graphic patterned rug for visual interest.

In the corner we planted lettuce, herbs, beets, carrots and tomatos.  The large black pots include garden sage, honeysuckle and some red nancy.   They are all pretty small at this point so I look forward to them growing and blooming.

We used wine crates for the beets, lettuce and carrots since we did not have any actual ground to plant in.

Lettuce just popping up.  Can’t wait to have a fresh salad from our garden!

This is our “gnome” Bella.  She will keep the birds away but unfortunately she loves lettuce and carrots so we’ll see who gets the first taste of summer.

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

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.

 

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…

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

Quick Fixes for Your Home

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

Bored with your home?  Looking for some easy, affordable ways to freshen things up?  Look no further!  Here are some quick fixes to update any room in your home.

Option 1: Paint

Get rid of the boring beige.  Below is a great example of how a little color on the walls can brighten up a space and make it feel larger.

 Work to find the right balance of light and dark.  This will prevent a room with dark walls from feeling small.  The light floors, cabinets, and ceiling are a beautiful contrast to the navy walls.

Don’t be afraid to try a bright color.

That said, neutrals can also make a statement when the right hue is used.  Notice how crisp this color looks with the white trim.

Try a pattern to make a bold statement in a small space.

Consider putting the pattern on the floor.  It is a great way to provide color and visual interest in any space.

Option 2: Revamp or upgrade a light fixture

This is a great example of how an old brass chandelier can have a new life if you have the time for a little DIY project.  Try a spray paint with a gloss finish.

I had to throw this in.  I made a wine glass chandelier to go with my thesis project back in college.  It took 36 wine glasses, fishing line, and a single light bulb.

I love using chandeliers in different spaces such as bedrooms, closets, or bathrooms.  They add a touch of nostalgia and intimacy to a room.

A funky grouping of fixtures can make a dynamic statement.

Option 3: Make your bed the throne of your bedroom

Reinvent your headboard.  Try a found material like the one below made of old plank floor boards.

Consider reupholstering an antique headboard with a bold color or pattern that draws the eye.

If you don’t have room or the budget for a headboard, consider a wall decal.  They are an inexpensive, fun way to give a room character.

Option 4: Reupholster or refinish

Find a piece of furniture that has good bones but is in sad shape.  Give it some TLC and the end product can be stunning.

This console has an old school finish, but a carefully applied coat of paint gives it a lovely new life.

Option 5: Invest

Invest in ONE “statement piece” of furniture per room.  It can be a piece that you lovingly refurbish or one that you choose to splurge on.  Whether a chair, desk, mirror, accent piece, table, or rug, the choice is up to you, but one thing is certain – it must steal the show.  What is your eye drawn to in the images below?

 

The Acropolis – Athens, Greece

Monday, October 3rd, 2011

Ever since I took History of Architecture in school I’ve always dreamt of seeing the Acropolis in person.  The Acropolis contains the famous Parthenon, Temple of Athena Nike, the Erechtheion and other buildings built atop the raised plateau.  They believe the Parthenon was completed around 438 BC.   I love this building because they actually curved it in certain areas to counteract optical illusions.  A couple examples - the floor that the columns rest on has a gentle arc to it; the ends being lower than the middle.  Additionally, the columns on the corners are actually a bit larger than all the rest because they knew the columns on the outer corners would appear smaller against the sky.

Pantheon

The Parthenon from the back (front had scafolding covering it)

detail (2)

Detail of an Ionic styled column.  I’m always amazed at the detail that is achieved in a stone as hard as marble without today’s technology.  I wonder how long these pieces took to carve?

athens

The Erechtheion with the view of the Caryatids on the far left.

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Closer shot of the “porch” with the six Carytids supporting the roof.  All Carytids are casts of the originals which are now in the Acropolis Museum (with the exception of one that was taken by British Lord Thomas in 1801).  When we saw them in the museum they were being carefully cleaned, of all the pollution that had accumulated, by a laser.  It was being filmed so that we could watch it live.  It was a slow but amazing process!

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Corner shot of the Erechtheion showing some of the remaining details.  Note where they pieced in new marble (lighter color). 

detail

Detail of the Ionic column and the egg and dart detailing above.

acropolis

The Acropolis from a nearby rock.  Far right, small building is the Temple of Athena Nike.

Project Completion – Scottsdale, AZ

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

The Scottsdale project consisted of a beautiful shell that my clients and I worked together to transform into their new home.  This was such a fun project; it took me out of my modern grove and let me explore a modern rustic interior.  As a designer I love switching between styles.  Here’s a few bits of information on this project.

Square Footage:  8,500 interior; 2,500 patio

Style:  Modern rustic

Challenge:  To honor the beautiful architectural details without screaming western.

Other fun notes:  We took advantage of custom details and drapery which really make a space personal.  It was hot when we shot the photos (it is Arizona) and the fireplace in the bedroom was blazing hot even with the AC on.  I have no fear that my clients will be warm in the winter.  Did you know that Saguaro cactus is a highly protected species of cacti?  You can get fined big time if you let one die on your property or move them without permission.  Thankfully, no cacti were harmed in this project.  

FRONT CENTER

Exterior at dusk

GREAT ROOM 2

Living before installation.

Livingroom-2-web

Living room after installation.  Custom drapery by Dressed to Kill pulled all our fabric colors together. 

Livingroom-1-no-plant-web

Living – another angle.

Kitchen-web

Kitchen vignette showing detail of the custom chairs and drapery. 

Dining-Room-web

Dining Room…our custom felt rug did not show up in time for the photo shoot.  Sad because we designed it using the motif found on the chair fabric to create a border.

Family-Room-1-web

Game Room, cluby and masculine.

  Double-Bed-Room-web

Twin guest room with custom shades and bedding.  A slight nod to the western style. 

Bedroom-Desk-Vignette-1

Desk in the twin room.  A beautiful find by my client.  Nice work!

Guest-Bed-1A-web

King guest room…perhaps my favorite.  Warm and elegant.

Guest-Bed-1-vignette-web

King detail – LOVE those textures!

Guest-Bed-1B-web

Queen guest room.  We worked with existing furniture and created this beautiful duvet cover that complimented the wood tones perfectly. 

Master-Sitting-Room-web

Master bedroom sitting area.  The scale of this room is hard to capture on film.  The fireplace mantle is about one foot taller than me! 

 Master-Bed-new-final-web

Master Bedroom with its rich reds and yellows.  We custom made the nightstands to fit the space and used Hickory Chair for the beautiful chest of drawers on the far side of the room.  The bed is styled after pieces from the Museum of New Mexico. 

Office-web

Office…can you spot my favorite pattern? 

Casita-web

Casita vignette with more great textures and color.  Love the custom pillows and rug!