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Gold + Glam + Glitter

A new year often brings our focus to modify our inner and outer spaces.  We look for insight to clearly light our new path.  We certainly look to light to illuminate our spaces.

Designers make lighting for a variety of tastes from reserved to bold.  I tend to the bold side of life, so this collection of lighting caught my eye. These pieces are from a collection of  gold and brass designs that bring a lot of glam and glitter to your space.  Enjoy this overview of statement lighting styles for transitional, modern and contemporary interiors and tips. First, let’s start with scaling for size.

Size

Determining the size of a lighting fixture is simple. Just add the room dimensions together and represent that answer into inches. For example, if you have a 10′ x 10′ room, then the ideal lighting diameter is 20″.   Next, consider the height of your ceilings along with the functionality of a room.  The idea is to avoid having the chandelier appear to small or hang too low.

When installing sconces, it is important to consider the length and height of the wall and the furniture that the sconces might anchor in order to place these fixtures in a balanced space.

Waterfall

Waterfalls are simultaneously dramatic and graceful. Those characteristics are infused into the chandelier and pendant fabricated with brass and ribbed glass tubes.  The tubes reflect light and add that distinct touch of glamour and glitz with the natural element of grace.

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McQueen Throne

These lighting fixtures are inspired by the deceased British fashion designer Alexander McQueen’s eccentric imagination and majestic style. The hammered brass and gold plated  flowers are kissed with butterscotch-colored Swarovski crystal centers.

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Empire State of Mind

The Empire style is a cascading chandelier with descending sizes of gold brass and crystals. The pendant and scone round out this collection. A fun lighting design feature that I’ve employed is to install multiple pendants at different lengths to create volume and visual interest in a room.

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This year is deemed to be a year of grand, bold proclamations and achievements. Let this type of energy surround you internally and externally.

The lighting featured here is available to the trade. Please contact me for purchase inquiries.

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Gianfranco Ferré: The Ultimate White Shirt Designer

Perhaps your mother shared the same advice with you as mine did with me; always have a white shirt in your closet.  My white shirts – T-shirts to blouses – have come to my rescue a few times throughout the years.  A woman’s individualized pronouncement of a white shirt and its many roles became Italian fashion designer Gianfranco Ferré’s focus for discerning women around the world.

The ubiquitous white shirt is appropriate and fashionable for nearly any occasion. The white shirt pairs perfectly with denim shorts to tuxedo slacks.  The white shirt serves as the quintessential symbol of authority in women’s and men’s business wardrobes.

Prior to becoming a commanding fashion voice and the perfector of the white shirt, Gianfranco Ferré was an architect. He traded concrete for women’s accessories and a few years later for silk. He always allowed the fabric to dictate the design lines. His white shirt designs explore the versatility, strength and grace found in silk organza, taffeta, chiffon and satin with occasional features of tulle and cotton.  The intricacy of his designs convince you that each is handmade and defy the logic (and reality) of mass production. His supreme attention to detail and his architectural approach led to his designing couture, serving as the Stylistic Director of Dior and earning him numerous, prestigious awards prior to his 2007 death.

This exhibit is a tribute to his genius and symbolic of contemporary Italian design. Each white shirt is fitted on a matte black torso. Each torso is suspended and anchored by circular hoops that connect to the top and bottom of the torso through silver-threaded cones. The lacquered black base of each row reflects the image of each shirt. The down and up lighting throughout the gallery is placed with laser-like precision. The exhibit is a wonderland of stark, yet warm contrasting black and white imagery in a mystical, moonlit fantasy.

Each white shirt’s fantastical design is explained through an inspiration statement and accompanied by his original sketch and fashion ads. He often combined design influences that originated from novels, uniforms, geometric-shaped objects, foreign cultures and films. He freely experimented with techniques and gave fluid, harmonious form to the duplicity of concepts such as feminine and masculine. He communicated his architectural expertise by precisely interpreting complex geometric patterns into minimalistic designs. He is to contemporary fashion what Frank Gehry is to contemporary architecture.  Can you imagine what a collaboration between them would have looked like? Perhaps, a pairing of their collective works could be the subject of a future exhibition.

Great design; timeless design is the most difficult design that few can master. Gianfranco Ferré proves that his design talent transcends boundaries. He exclaims, “For me designing is both a necessity as well as a passion.” The exhibition clearly articulates his words and these images are attempts to communicate his undeniable passion.

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The exhibition is designed by the Milan based Gianfranco Ferre Foundation and the Prato Textile Museum Foundation.

 

 

 

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5 Fall Fab Home Fashion Pics

It’s that time of the year when the leaves and temperature chill to a slight crisp. It’s the perfect time to switch out our wardrobes and home decor.

Dressing up your interiors to accommodate the colors, mood and temperature of fall involves some simple solutions. Here is my list of five fall favorites:

Color Pops

One of the easiest, fastest and most versatile tricks that I implement to change a vibe is through paint. Paint to me is like an unlimited box of crayons. Try some darker, richer hues to accent a wall, small space or transform an entire room with a seasonal color picks. The opulent, luxurious colors in this palette sum up fall’s strongest selections. Versions of hunter green and yellow round out the dominant hues.

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Texture

Sharp lemon to buttery yellow colors remind me of the gorgeous colors of changing maple tree leaves when fall summons. These colors dressed in a tactile textile like velvet, leather or suede are ideal for the season. Yellows can be surprising versatile with other colors including the fall color features above.

 

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Pillows

Some call it crazy and others a borderline addiction. I call it a complete a total passionate love affair with pillows. Pillows are like statement jewelry to your little black dress. Pillows can easily be changed to shift with your color palette, texture desires and the seasons. They can express themselves with pattern, texture and words. Try a few of these pillows on your furniture or bed to add some additional luxury and warmth for the fall season. This Mongolian lamb fur, available in real or faux choices, remain one of my seasonal preference options.

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Oversized Throws

An oversized throw equates to an all-day invitation to cuddle. This large, hand knitted style is one of my favorite and can work in casual to transitional decor tastes.

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Area Rug

You know you like it. So do millions of other people. The feeling of wriggling your toes and shuffling your feet in a pile of soft shag can feel like a little slice of heaven. Select an area rug with a sense of humor. A vibrant rug in a geometric pattern is a perfect choice to ward off cooler weather  cabin blues.

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Of course, you can customize your fall decor with images of nature, holidays and other musings. The foundational key to great design is to honor your individuality and live authentically.

 

 

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10 Modern Tile Trends To Get Right Now

Its alluring and mesmerizing artistic details and designs flow like the rhythm of well-penned prose. Tile adorns ancient and contemporary residential and commercial architecture, both on the exterior and interior, around the globe. Tile design details aesthetically translate cultural nuances and uniqueness. Tile dazzles doorways and punctuates walls like symmetrical sculptures or abstract paintings.

Ancient artists formed tile out of clay and created decorative impressions prior to drying. Hand-painted details and glazes, if optioned, were applied afterwards, much like today. It is said that tile design achieved perfection and prominence by Persian artisans. Exquisite tile designs from that period and throughout that part is Asia are readily found in the study of decorative arts. The decadent, sacred geometry tile designs found in Islamic art still radiate with people today across all cultures. Tile’s reach extends to gracing Egyptian pyramids and enchanting Mexican home facades.

Its versatility, beauty and durability are the essence of its enduring appeal. These attributes open the spectrum for abundant options in design, color, pattern, shape, size, texture and materials;  each element informing the other.

Color

If you can dream it, it can be done. What is currently trending are tiles in vibrant colors, retro hues, metallics and neutral colors made from some of the innovative materials like stainless steel an leather. When choosing your tile colors, consider the flow of those colors with the surrounding paint and/or wallpaper, the flooring,  plus the flow of colors from that room to surrounding rooms.

Materials

Innovative technology allows for a wide range of materials such as wood, acrylic, river-rock, porcelain, aluminum, cork, cement, glass and leather. Just like wallpaper, the rules of the application and removal of tile are far less restrictive. Look for more materials and the advent of  wood and leather to tile a space.

Shape

There are so many fresh shapes that offer symphonic compositions. You will continue to see the more advanced geometrical shapes like hexagons and polygons that allow for interlocking pieces that offer structured and free-flowing stories. Consider the repetition of shapes in other room decor including furniture, textile patterns, flooring, etc.

Texture

The tactile charm of traditional clay or ceramics is available in different forms like leather, cork, river rock and other materials. The 3D revolution also provides a foray into a playground of new textures that accommodate new colors, shapes and patterns.

Patterns

Traditional florals, lines, circles, fruit, icons and landscapes are just some of the patterns that are being redefined for modern times. It is customary to see tiles in from previous centuries that tell stories about indigenous environments, cultural celebrations or daily life. The same holds true today including more story lines with clever presentations in lines, circles and symbols. As with printing on paper or other substrates, some patterns are embossed or debossed to create a different dimension. Today’s patterns include playful prints from fun color-blocked options to intricately stunning arrangements that look like murals or wallpaper. You will continue to see people select bold patterns that are distinct representations of their style.

Details

Most often trims, borders and liners, moldings and cornices accent tiles like matting and a frame complements a painting. Finishes are also a part of the visual dialogue that can enhance your design desires.

Grout is keeping in step with these advances and is becoming a design detail on its own. You can design with a monochromatic theme by choosing grout that is the same color as the dominant color in your tile (the one consistently close to the edges), choose a contrasting color  grout for visual effect or even add other tile elements like glass to decorate grout lines for maximum glamour.

Tile and wallpaper now share similar traits of offering stunning design details with more flexible application and lifelines. Take advantage of these technological advances to distinguish your space. As with all other choices in your space, check on maintenance options to select the right mix of elements that work for your lifestyle.

Tile lends itself to limitless design stories by combining all of the above elements in various scales, arrangements and places. Enjoy the diversity and splendor, including eco-conscious options, of trend-setting tile options for your décor. Tile gives you a broad creative range, like an art installation, that shares your stories with an infusion of soul and style.

 

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9 Ways to Dramafy Your Ceiling

When is the last time you looked up at your ceilings? Are they plain white? Do they feature an outdated painted motif? Or, heaven forbid, are they still popping corn?

Ceilings are such a fabulous, untouched surface in most spaces when they could be a crown jewel of style and design to frame your rooms. You can make your ceilings come to life and punctuate your style with some attention and creativity.

Get inspired with these designs that include paint, stencils, wallpaper, tile, wood and more to decorate your room.

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Images courtesy of Pinterest. Enjoy more of my pins by following me here.

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10 Contemporary, Curvy Chairs

Curves lead the eyes on meandering journeys of fluid seduction in the design of cars, clothing, furniture and a variety of other products. They emit a soothing energy which is one reason why they are a coveted design detail.

Curved furniture and accessories add visual interest to a room and will balance any angular, sharp lines in other furniture or architectural details. You can add curved chairs of different silhouettes and scale to add more design depth to a space. If you have a sofa in a neutral color, try a curved chair in a bold color to give the room more color and introduce a new shape.

Here are ten curvy, contemporary chairs that serve as stunning, statement cocoons:

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Design Notes: The Graduate

Its design is somewhat of a homage to the film. Yes, that one. The edgy, chic and controversial flick filled with contemporary glamour and the collegiate tension of seduction and societal appropriateness. This palpable tension of sophistication, beauty and whimsical innocence from the film are ingeniously translated throughout the boutique hotel sharing the film’s moniker.

I don’t know about you, but it’s been a while since I’ve been in a public place that exhibited any true original design ideas along with choices that made sense in relation to the brand and executed with some flair. Hanging out in this space was a treat filled with intriguing, fun surprises at every turn.

Here are some of my favorite design highlights from my tour:

 Lobby

Their signature colors are red and yellow which are paired with other primary colors. Bold, abstract patterns punctuate the space with red accents from the red lacquer center table to the trim on the counter. The atomic lighting fixture blends beautifully with the two U-shaped sofa seating areas anchoring the main entrance. On the way to the elevators, two green chairs stopped me in my tracks in all of their mid-century glory. Those custom jewels with forest green wool fabric and trimmed in dark wood details were outstanding.

The cluster explosion of bad ‘60s thrift store art on the wall stretching from one of the seating areas to the green chairs was another thing.  However, redemption was served when I walked towards the bar and fell in love with this wood, cocoon shaped chair that was equally a piece of furniture and work of art. Just delicious; like my drink at their ultra cool, yet uncontrived garage-themed bar, Tacocuba (which translates into hubcap).

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Taking its 5 o’clock somewhere to new heights, the bar clock was a homage to cocktail hour with a circle of the number five, except for the number three. I enjoyed a libation at their casual bar sitting in one of their ghetto-bling retro metallic gold vinyl industrial stools. These stools were a sea of monochromatic gold glitter surrounding the peso-embellished bar top. Next time you see some tire rims on the street, pick one up and utilize it as a lighting fixture. Clever.

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What was also clever was the psychodelic trip walking down the hall to guest rooms. Color and pattern combinations made it a rebellious nod to Ivy League panache.

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That trip, a little bit of Alice in Wonderland meets a twisted Captain America, was worth it to reach the guest rooms. The room I entered was an interesting and unexpected mix of patterns, colors and textiles. There were three things that sweep me off my feet, i.e. the art, lamp and chair. The geometric lines of the framed art trio were mesmerizing. The chair was modern in shape and upholstered in an unexpected traditional, small houndstooth pattern. The combo was dynamite and created a cool mix of modern, throwback funk. The lamp was its own piece of sculpture with its rhythmic stack of rectangular brass gloss.

Of course the old-school notepad and no. 2 pencil stole the show for me.

When’s the last time you went somewhere that brought you joy and gave you a few good belly laughs and delighted your senses with originality and surprises? In today’s cookie-cutter world, it can be hard. I appreciate their dedication to solid design principles: 1) color, 2) scale, 3) style, 4) continuity, 5) smart risks and 6) cultural influences.

In my opinion, great design is authentic, fun and bold. So, what are you doing with your space?

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Design Notes: She Space ReStyled

The vision for this space instantly flashed into her mind and became the reason she fell in love with the property.

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For nearly five years, she romanticized the concept of using the charming 500 sq foot converted garage on the property of her historic Willow District home for a creative space. However, Chrissa was petrified to actually clean it out and make it a workable space instead of just another room to hold junk as it had become. For some reason, she was “avoiding with every bone in her body, engaging in the space and being vulnerable to admit that creative expressive is her lifeline.” It was an odd feeling, because she had done it before. Creativity was not new. This time, it was different. The space represented would become her ultimate creative sanctuary, but it also became the pathway to her healing some major life moments. Here is the story of how Chrissa, a strong, accomplished, professional woman, opened her heart to summon the courage to receive my support and guidance in bringing her creative space to fruition.

Chrissa and I were marketing colleagues in our former lives. It had been many years since we had interacted, but I included her on the announcement of my new design business. To my great surprise, she emailed me within minutes of receiving the announcement to schedule some coffee time to become reacquainted. I awaited our time to rebond with enthusiasm.

During the course of our coffee chit-chatting, she stated that she wanted to retain my services to work with her on the redesign of her 500 sq. ft. art studio. Yes, the space she fell in love with and envisioned as a creative space five years earlier. My answer was yes and we quickly began a two month journey to molding that space into her ultimate sanctuary. Her She Space™.

Goals + Preferences

When we began, the design conversation centered on goals, style preferences, color loves, patterns and overall feel. I noticed her love of vibrant colors and patterns by taking note of her striped Kate Spade handbag. She expressed her affinity with teal, aquamarine, yellow, purple and black. Not so much when it comes to red. She revealed that she enjoys patterns from stripes to spirals; dots to diagonals.

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Chrissa’s studio features floor-to-ceiling custom bookshelves, a concrete floor, a cottage paned window and French doors. The space needs to function as a multi-use environment as her art studio, office and relaxing area. Plus, she desired a more organized, nurturing environment room.

A few of the biggest design challenges was to find a way for the three distinct environments to flow as well as harmonize the mix of metals, furniture styles and colors in the space. My plan was to seamless integrate all of these elements.

Aesthetic Vision + Design

In order to illustrate her vision, she showed me some magazine and catalog pictures with colors and spaces that inspired her. From these images, we zoned in on her exact wall color. She desired to change the existing butter yellow paint hue to an exquisite Robin’s Egg blue. After applying the color, it was clear that it was the one. We experimented with accent colors for the trim, windows, door and shelves and found that the existing cottage white was really the most ideal.

Next, we addressed the concrete floor. It was a chipped, dull blue. The character of the floor needed to be brought to life so a contractor applied a dark, honey brown concrete color with a low luster sealer that brought the floor to life and visually grounded the space with some elegance.

Style

Early on, we decided to keep the existing black office furniture, vintage black trunk with nail heads and stainless steel crafting table and add a statement chair and hide rug for her relaxation area.

In order to hone in on the design elements that told the story of her life passions, path and philosophies, I prepared three styled vignettes that focused on color, texture and metals to blend the three distinct areas of the space. After embarking on a journey to incorporate patterns such as polka dots and stripes (insert pictures of items and placement), she decided that she really wanted to feel stimulated and nurtured, but through a more subdued presentation.

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We decided on a teal statement Wingback chair with nailheads with a gorgeous cowhide rug underneath it for her relaxation area that was the point where two walls merged with larger shelving units than the rest of the space. Behind it we began incorporating elements of those edited vignettes of art, artifacts, baskets, books and selected the pieces that she really enjoyed behind the chair. That area served as the jumping off point for seamlessly blended the metals, colors and textures in the space.

During this process, Chrissa revisted one of her inspirational magazine sheets and noticed that she resonated with a row of monochromatic baskets. We then rearranged the space and created a row of woven, alabaster baskets in two styles along the top of her shelves. We continued to work in another phase of arrangement, editing and adding of accessories. Our final accessory selections incorporated tactile pops of teal and brown baskets, trays, picture frames, statutes and some trinkets. The result showcases a variety of harmonious textures, colors and patterns that celebrate her hobbies, family, goals and life adventures.

Storage

Although we selected baskets and trays for decorative and functional purposes, we needed to focus on her lower shelves throughout the space. These shelves housed sewing instruments, fabric, entertaining supplies, work documents, files, lots of photo albums and misc. junk. In order to maintain our gallery feel goal of streamlined space, I noticed that we needed to calm the clutter and make the remaining elements invisible. We designated the longest wall for a series of cabinets, sans hardware for the bottom three shelves along three of the four walls.

Another observation I made is how Chrissa used her space holding, unwanted purple sectional sofa for extra shelving during multiple creative projects. I suggested that we create a multifunctional cabinet solution that behaved similar to a Murphy bed. Cabinet doors that she could raise up to use as extra work space for spreading out projects when needed without sacrificing space and adding clutter on a day-to-day basis. The solution is one of her favorite design elements.

The Process: Notes About This Intimate Journey

One interesting and thrilling part of the process is how often one or both of us would envision a color or item and then have it show up. For instance, her teal linen Wingback chair with nail heads came to her mind during a yoga class and physically materialized during one of my shopping trips that morning. I photographed the chair, texted her the details and it ended up being her envisioned chair. Now that we found the perfect chair, we searched for the perfect hide rug. She came across this amazing hide that blended the space perfectly together from the floor to accessories. Again, the ideal item she had in her mind.

Another transformative component of our design process is my allowing her to sit with her space and feel it to ascertain what resonated and what did not. To emotionally process what needed to be released and what deserved to stay as she entered a new chapter in her life. Even though I knew some of the suggestions and decisions along the way would not deliver the ideal end result, my position was to give her the space to arrive at the same conclusion. In the end, it is her sanctuary. Her She Space. My role was to serve as her conduit to style and design.

After a fourth installation of accessories, of frames and artifacts, we stood back to survey the selection and placement of accessories. We had some shelves that had blank rows. I felt that we were entering a zone of “forced” design. Therefore, my suggestion was for her to wait and add pieces as she discovered them. She agreed, yet had another epiphany. She decided to keep the blank space and intentionally utilize that space for her future goals which included her personal adventures and treasured moments with her future mate. She was nervous about my response. I was humbled by her admission. My response was that it was her space to continue to create as she felt inspired to do so. And that is how the design process works. It is a process unique and authentic to each client.

During this process, Chrissa experienced some strong emotions, both happy and sad. At times we cried together. I could feel when we needed to stop so that she could just breathe. At the designated end of our journey, Chrissa confessed, “I cried when it was done and it took me a few weeks to really go in there and use it in all its glory. Now I go in there to start and end my day to feel the love and inspiration.”

And that is my design goal for each and every client.

Enjoy some before, in process and after photos of this beautiful She Space.

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