Wednesday, December 29, 2010

"Give Me Color!!!" Let Your Freak Flag Fly in 2011!!

Okay...I have to say....I have appreciated the neutral palette that has been all over the blogs in 2010.  Whether you called in a Belgian influence and Urban Simplicity or any other term for it.

I am so done!!!!   After all, I named my interior design business COLOR &LIGHT Interior in 1996 because I love color and how different aspects of natural and luminescent  light effects the overall interior.  I have always loved color, muted, saturated, pastel and more.

I think 2011 should be the year to ask yourself what colors reflect your personality and USE not be afraid to be different!  Fly Your Freak Flag!! I hope my clients in 2011 will be more free with their choices.

2010 was a year of a lot of fear and uncertainty for most.  If you follow design trends for both apparel and interiors, national moods and personal fears will always play into design decisions.  Let's make this 2011 the year of a rainbow of color and happiness.  Express yourself and your gratitude in your surroundings!!!

Happy New Year to all!

Here are some inspirations:

Mary McDonald's Happy Office 

 Suzanne Kasler, not always know for colorful palettes, but she used a hot pink on one wall that made a huge statement.

Ruthie Summers used brilliant, happy green to the living room and a great red study.

Lynn Von Kersting of Indigo Seas and The Ivy fame in LA did a wonderful home in green, red, pink and yellow.
Always loved these curtains in this photo from Victoria magazine many years ago.  Love the bold and unexpected combo of yellow and pink.

Jasper Johns Artwork takes a traditional room over the top! by Jamie Drake

Love the oriental seating in yellow silk! by Jamie Drake

Unusual and expertly done by Jamie Drake

These last photos are the work of a master in color - Jamie Drake- no one is as fearless as he is ...well, perhaps, Miles Redd.

Both designers are the true standard of great design with bold color.  It is time to think out of your comfort zone.  Be different in every way in 2011!!!  

That is my goal!!

Au Revoir for 2010!!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Designing a kitchen for a client - before's and proposed layouts

I am deep in the process of designing a new kitchen for a client.  Their kitchen is about 15 years old and has some huge problems with the flow.  For example, the sink is positioned in a dark corner is next to the refrigerator and across from the trash/recycling which makes it impossible to clean up while a busy family is accessing the fridge. See photo:

The style is also very outdated but most importantly, is  not in keeping with overall architecture of the house.  The house itself is a Nantucket style shingle house that really lends to a white and brighter design.

As designer's logic dictates, the house is absolutely suited for the "Something's Gotta Give Kitchen" and yes, you may say to yourself (as I have) "This kitchen has been replicated too, too many times" BUT I promise this house was screaming for it!!!  In case you forgot how fantastic the SGG kitchen is, here are some reminders.

Great Shot!! of kitchen with Jack Nicholson in his skivvy's!

Sublime perfection!

Angle shot towards back of set.

I have studied this kitchen from every angle as many of my fellow designers have.  There are so, SO many subltle details that create the overall effect AND the can be taken for granted.  (Shortcuts are not recommended)  Just see the one of the queen of interior design blogging Cote de Texas SGG;

I have proposed many ideas which included opening walls that lead to their covered porch and making the a garden room.  I called in a very talented architect John Jones to review the project.

In the end, my client decided that they wanted to stick within the footprint of the existing kitchen.  Which I must say, always presents a challenge because from a layout standpoint without change in the dimensions, you are really only looking at a cosmetic change. (And as a designer, you know that sets you up for client disappointment at the end.)

I did finally come up with a solution to gain some space without major construction.  Behind one wall were some closets that  if we broke through the wall, we could inset the refrigerator and add pantry space to gain about 24".  Not alot of space but will definitely add to the flow.  Here are some sketches of what I proposed:

This concept is based on the two island idea from SGG that my clients really liked.  We are now in stage 2 of pricing and they have decided to go with only one island.  As all designers know, you have a strong visual point of view as to where the design should go BUT you must respect your client's process. (but grrr...but gut instinct says  it is not  right.)

I will keep you posted on next steps and the after photos.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Can Anyone Identify This Fabric???

Calling all fellow bloggers/designers!!!!  Does anyone know the fabric house for this fabric in the photo???
 I want to use this in a client's breakfast room but can not identify whose fabric it is?

Any guesses?

Au Revoir for now!

Friday, October 29, 2010

So many new design books published!

I think I mentioned in my profile that I am a interior design magazine and book junkie!  Yes, it is truly my fix.  Whenever I need to relax, I pick out a book from my extensive library of design books/or notebooks of magazine clippings.  No matter how many times I look at design, I always see it differently.  Do you?

I see interior design as "art".  Depending upon your mood or the project you are working on at that moment, you are inspired by something in a room that you might have not notice the last time you read it.  I love the rediscovery!

I just picked up several newly published books that I want to share .. PLUS, I would love to know what your favorites might be.

Just bought- and highly recommend as a must for a designer's library:

Mary McDonald Interiors
This book is eye candy!!  There is a wealth of design details to study and learn.  I love her glamorous Hollywood style that is not so over-the-top/tacky as some known designers from Los Angeles.  (Uhhum - KWID) Her eye for couture detail in fabric fabrication is wonderful...afterall she started as a milliner.

At Home by Suzanne Rheinstein

Owner of the unique Los Angeles shop - .Hollyhock takes you through a tour of her homes and
 Pied-à-terre in New York.  She has a philosophy of buying few items but the best you can buy.  Her antique selections are wonderful.

Vicente Wolf - Lifting The Curtain On Design

Vicente Wolf's blog  is one of my favorites! He is so generous with his readers about all aspects of the interior design business.  He shares so many trade secrets that so many others keep close to their breast.  His book is equally as sharing.  He is such a wonderful photographer and sees the beauty in everything around him and translates it into his designs.  

Victoria Hagan's Interior Portraits

Victoria Hagan is known for her white, peaceful designs.  If you like the "Something's Gotta Give" set, you will like this book.  I have always watched her career because we started designing about the same time and she was known as the "name" to watch. (She certainly surpassed me!!)  She is a resident of Fairfield, CT, as I am, as well.  I love her style BUT what I really like in this book is the artwork in all her rooms.  I wonder if she selects the artwork or works with an art consultant.  Unique and great choices.

Chris Madden "The Soul of the House"
I love this book because she shares the same interest I do in quirky, old houses.  They are like orphans that need a home.  Her home in Rye, NY is a gem.  If you like old houses with great bones, the add this to your library.

Thought this would be great! but...
I bought this because I thought it would be a great peek into fashion designer's home.  Unfortunately, it covers too many designers with little content.  Two pages are dedicated to each designer with very little to see.  Very disappointed and returned it.  SKIP IT!!

I would love to know what your favorite design books are?  Past or newly published.  Always looking to add to my collection.

Au Revoir for now!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Builder's special reinvented!

I have been going through photos of projects because I am working on a new website and thought I would post some to my blog as I go.

This project was a builder's special that clients bought and I worked on.  When I first saw this house, it was a very plain "vanilla" house that a builder squeezed onto a lot in Manalapan, Florida.  The only thing noteworthy about the house was the location and views.  The house itself was unremarkable and lacked any detail.

From the onset, the focus of the design was to bring the quality and details up to most of the fine homes in Palm Beach.  Addison Mizner's architecture was the inspiration.

For those who may not be familiar with Mizner's work, here is Wikipedia's info:
 Addison Cairns Mizner (December 12, 1872 – February 5, 1933) was an American resort architect whose Mediterranean Revival and Spanish Colonial Revival style interpretations left an indelible stamp on South Florida, where it continues to inspire architects and land developers.[1] In the 1920s Mizner was, without exaggeration, the best-known and most-discussed living American architect.[2] Mizner was the visionary behind development of Boca Raton, Florida.  The following are some sample photos of his work:

Sadly, I did not save the "BEFORE"  photos of the house. I'd like you to imagine, low end fixtures, no moldings and standard builder white walls throughout.

Now, here are the photos of the interiors of this plain vanilla box - AFTER!
Formal Living Room
The formal living room had ceiling that were 22' high.  I want to bring the scale back down to a level that felt comfortable and not massive.   I added a custom designed iron chandelier that dropped to the 10' -12 ft point in order to focus the room.  The entire room was painted in a parchment effect of venetian plaster and one large mirror plus one small mirror were place on the massive fireplace to bring the focus more to the center of the room.  Curtains were designed to bring your eye away from the massive ceiling by adding custom design wrough iron rods that  hung in a pattern to bring the eye down and to focus on the water view outside.  The curtains were made of a blood orange linen gauze that would add color but not weight to the room.  A custom Lacey -Champion rug reflects the images of coral and seashells that were picked up in the sunny colors of the room as well as the clients artwork.
The study had a challenging window to design around so I designed a custom credenza along with a custom desk and lighted bookshelf in ebony macassar. The walls were plastered in a almost tiffany blue with art deco club chairs. The fabric for the curtains were a Kravet silk stripe with a hint of the blue for the walls.
Dining Room
The original dining room was a closed off box from the rest of the house.  I knew that it would never be used unless there was a flowing energy and view from the other spaces. I opened a wall from the foyer into the dining room and then continued the flow and view by adding three tall, narrow mahogany frenchdoors that lead into the family room.  The flame chandeliers and coral sconces against the backdrop of a waxed venetian plaster add character to an otherwise traditional dining room.

The breakfast room's view spoke for itself.  I added McKenzie-Childs fish chairs/ ceramic pedestals and beautiful venetian glass chandeliers.  The intent was to enhance the experience of the breakfast room by not upstage the view.
Family Room
The family room was, again, a combination of old world with contemporary.  A wrought iron entry was added to separate the family room for the open flow of the rest of the house.  White leather couches and white rugs give the room a light feel since the ceilings are lower than the others in the house and the back   yard loggia off the family room blocks some of the sunny florida light.

Master bedroom
The master bedroom is a mix of feminine and masculine with the play materials and color.  The cornice of the master bed is made from an architectural hand carved piece from a french chateau.  Again,  for consistency, the rods were custom made ironwork.

This home was truly transformed from an emotionally-devoid plain vanilla box into a special home that raised eyebrows. Finally, it is worth noting that the owners invested $500,000 on the transformation and that investment was more than doubled when the home was sold. The possibilities are endless (and valuable) when you look beyond a plain box., 

Au revoir for now!!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A Tribute To Albert Hadley - Rooms With A View 2010

Albert Hadley, the legendary designer, is being honored by some of the best in the interior design world  from November 4 -7 at the Southport Congregational Church in Southport, CT.  For those who are not familiar with Southport.  It is a bucolic long island sound village that date back to 1693.  Southport village is part of Fairfield, CT.

Albert Hadley is a resident of Southport (and NYC) and is a member of the Southport Congregational Church for the last 20 years. "Rooms with a View" fundraising event was the brainchild of Mr. Hadley in 1995.  This is the 16th anniversary of the event and a Dean's List of alumni of Parish Hadley and Albert Hadley, Inc. will create the vignettes.  This is a not to be missed event!! If you are from New York City, the metronorth train stops in Southport literally at the back side of the Southport Congregational Church so you just have to walk down the hill and you are there.

Thursday, November 4 is the Gala preview so you will need a ticket  that range from$125 - $500.  General admission  is $20.  I posted the info. below.

The Dean's List follows:  
***These photos were published in Connecticut Cottage & Gardens - Oct '10 issue.

If you do not live around the area, I will, with permission, take photos and post them.
Posted by PicasaAu Revoir for now!