Allied Member, ASID
May 31, 2011
I have received many in inquires about my thoughts on concrete and how to use concrete.
I have actually just recently introduced concrete into my design aesthetic
I love concrete. Concrete has always been thought of as a material only suitable for very contemporary homes. Not true any more.
For those who desire a countertop that stands apart from common surfaces, concrete is the answer. If your countertop options have only included granite, tile, synthetic solid surfaces or engineered quartz, then you understand the limitations and frustration with such materials that are so commonly installed in households today. Concrete countertops are an option you need to consider.
Concrete countertops are getting mainstream because of their many benefits. Concrete brings new options for countertop surfaces without sacrificing durability. And, concrete far surpasses other commonplace materials in design choices for shape, color, thickness, embedments, and more. No other countertop material offers nearly unlimited options as does a concrete counter. Tops for your cabinetry have never looked so good.
One of the most alluring features of concrete countertops is that they are crafted by an artisan rather than mass produced in a factory. The doors for design potential are wide open with this malleable material shaped in the hands of experienced contractors who are familiar with its capabilities. Concrete is not your typical, characterless material.
Concrete is a great material for high traffic areas like mud rooms and kitchens, ancillary bathrooms off kitchens and family rooms. Once sealed, concrete is as durable a material as using a granite or marble.
May 27, 2011
The Life of Lancelot “Capability” Brown
Lancelot Brown was called “Capability” after he once commented that he could see the ‘capabilities’ of an area for landscaping
Lancelot Browns inspiration was to move it onto an even bigger scale. Instead of dividing up areas of an estate to different areas of interest, he took the entire grounds area to create entire woodlands with huge lakes, more rivers, and with the ha-ha he could bring the vista right to the doorstep of his client. Sitting him in perfected countryside, with all the comforts of a warm fire and home about you, but with spectacular views only a window away.
This was a revolution in gardening though, compared with Italian Renaissance, Tudor knot gardens, the influence of France, with formal fountains, cascades, canals, and evergreens clipped to perfection. The Tuileries and Versailles could not be more removed from what was now taking shape under the guiding hand of Lancelot Brown. The formal goosefoot design of Mallet, a half circle with 5 formal avenues radiating from it, as in Hampton Court. The Dutch influence, with William of Orange favouring topiary, cones, globes, and pyramids. All these were the complete opposite of this new gardening direction.
Jane Brown wrote a new book that I just read on Capability Brown. One of the pre-eminent landscape designers and champions of the English garden. When I designed the landscaping for my Casa Blanca project I referred to his work.
When you travel through England and visit the historic houses, you will for sure arrive upon the most splendid gardens designed by Lancelot “Capability” Brown!
I am currently working on the landscaping for a townhouse actually, and am finding a lot of inspiration in this book, so I though I would share a fabulous source for you to enjoy!
May 26, 2011
When designing a room or an entire home the key to achieving that designer look are the vintage pieces that as a designer we love to use.
These pieces give the project, room or entire home the sense of personal history.
The question always comes up on how to get that designer look if someone is not working with a designer. And what is it about working with a designer when it comes to furnishings that gives the project that designer feeling.
Well my friends, it’s the vintage pieces. For example, the dining room from my Casa Blanca project. The table is new, and made out of a Macassar Ebony that I put a very high gloss finish on. The lighting fixture, designed by me is a funny take on a traditional chandelier. BUT the chairs are a 1950′s vintage Chippendale chair that I painted in a high gloss lacquer. The chairs add that sense of personal history and define the space as if it always was.
Another example is this photo of the cabinet I designed using brass studs but the mirror over it was actually a gilded mirror from the 1960′s when that kind of romantic a la French style wood carved mirror was in vogue. By painting the mirror white, I was able to again add that sense of history.
In this photo which is from my project called the Enclave, I took new Corbusier chairs and put a vintage Platner table with them. The Meis daybed is a new model as well.
In this photo of the settee, which is in the living room directly across from this sofa, this settee gives the living room this very classical feeling of having had these pieces forever. So the key to getting that very designer look is to find a vintage piece that works well or even if you are not sure, if you love the piece then trust me it will work well. Make sure to keep the upholstery in the color scheme you are using. To find vintage pieces? Flea markets are great for this or hunting in vintage stores.
May 25, 2011
Today’s blog is about being able to wallpaper one wall in a room. Often times I receive this question so decided to write today about the fact that wallpapering one wall, a feature wall is a great idea.
First of all, it is wonderful from a cost perspective of course and often times depending on the paper, you don’t need to wallpaper all the walls.
I have recently discovered a company called EDGE Wallcoverings. I am working on a guest room and came across this companies incredible portfolio of papers.
What makes EDGE so interesting is that it is like traditional still-life meets modern technology.
Founded in 2009 by a photographer named Carl Pascuzzi and a designer named Phoebe Brandt, the company has put a new spin on custom wall coverings. The collection includes kaleidoscopic patterns that include an element of fantasy for single walls, ceilings or entire rooms!
Each pattern the EDGE creates originates from a photographic
Shoot of multidimensional still-life arrangements of their own creations. The image created is then digitally manipulated. The design sets are layered with fresh flowers, to sand and pebbles to custom jewelry and fabric. All this contributes to the look and depth that you see in the papers!
These papers are fabulous in any design theme. So if your home is traditional
Or modern definitely check these wall coverings out!
May 24, 2011
Red is a funny color. People always associate red with holidays like Valentines and Christmas. But really red, when seeing it, the color, evokes passion and lust. Think of red roses and a red Ferrari!
But when we talk about the color red for interior design purposes people take a step back.
My Casa Blanca project has become referred to as the project with the “Red Door project”
Red is a color the evokes passion. People either love it or hate it. I have recently become a huge fan and not just for an outdoor paint. I actually just painted a twelve foot door, the inside of the front door, in a loft space. The architecture is classical modern, the ceilings are quite tall and the red is a definite statement!
Benjamin Moore paint actually has some great reds for this purpose.
DEA 107-Hot Jazz, DEA 108, Red Power,DEA 151 Red Ink
Red is a great color to use when you want to create contrast in the landscape and draw attention to a building that you don’t want to blend into the background. It’s good to remember that, when you are thinking about red for the outdoor color, direct sunlight has a way of washing color out.
Whenever you choose red-indoors or out-you are showing a ton of confidence with color!
Thanks again for all the questions I am getting and please feel free if you do have a question just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Have a great day!
May 23, 2011
Happy Day! My sister was in town last week and decided to stay downtown at the Gramercy Park Hotel. I love that hotel and the ambiance especially in the lobby and the bar. While she was visiting , we found ourselves enjoying being lobby and bar rats!
Usually when she comes in, we are so busy racing around to all the newest and greatest, but this trip was more relaxing.
While sitting in the lobby and trying to answer all of her questions in regards to the fantastic interior design, the incredible art collection and just the overall crazy wonderful eccentric feel, I found the the man responsible needs no introduction but a big thanks!
Julian Schnabel is an amazing force of nature. Here is just a brief overview, I am sure you are familiar with his work! Especially if you live in Manhattan, then you definitely know of Venetian pink palazzo in the West Village.
Julian Schnabel, probably the most exhibited, financially successful and aggressively self-promoting American artist of his generation, was born in 1951 and studied at the University of Houston from 1969 to 1973 before participating in the Whitney Museum Independent Study Programme in 1973–4.
Schnabel emerged in the late 1970s as a leading and controversial figure of the New Image movement with his production of brash paintings and prints that were executed on a huge scale and employed garish colours and obscure textual references. In 1978 he traveled to Europe and felt a particular affinity with Gaudi’s architecture in Barcelona. His feelings for Gaudi resulted in the first of his famous plate paintings, The Patients and the Doctors, the idea for which came to him in the cheap hotel where he was staying when he thought of producing a painting covered with broken plates the size of the large closet in his room.
Schnabel became best known for this signature style of painting on broken plates and crockery that had been applied to vast wooden armatures. The works that he made following his revelation in a European hotel room possess a sculptural and tactile vitality that made Schnabel’s name as an artist. Plate paintings such as Self-Portrait in Andy’s Shadow demonstrate Schnabel’s frequent use of plate surfaces for large-scale portraiture, mostly of friends and personalities in the art world. In Self-Portrait in Andy’s Shadow Schnabel links his own image with that of Andy Warhol, whose date of death is written on the surface.
I thank my sister for choosing this hotel as it brought me back to researching an artist that I so admire!
May 19, 2011
I have received many emails as of late in regards to the most recently published project, Casa Blanca. The emails have been wonderful and everyone seems most interested in the flooring!
Having the pleasure of living in Arizona, a warm climate that affords of very indoor outdoor lifestyle, enables me as a designer to explore flooring options that allow for said lifestyle. Well Terrazzo is one of the best!
Terrazzo workers create walkways, floors, patios, and panels by exposing marble chips and other fine aggregates on the surface of finished concrete or epoxy-resin. Much of the preliminary work of terrazzo workers is similar to that of cement masons. Marble-chip, cementitious terrazzo requires three layers of materials. First, cement masons or terrazzo workers build a solid, level concrete foundation that is 3 to 4 inches deep. After the forms are removed from the foundation, workers add a 1-inch layer of sandy concrete. Before this layer sets, terrazzo workers partially embed metal divider strips in the concrete wherever there is to be a joint or change of color in the terrazzo. For the final layer, terrazzo workers blend and place into each of the panels a fine marble chip mixture that may be color-pigmented. While the mixture is still wet, workers toss additional marble chips of various colors into each panel and roll a lightweight roller over the entire surface.
In the 1970s, polymer-based terrazzo was introduced and is called thin-set terrazzo. Initially polyester and vinyl ester resins were used as the binder resin. Today, most of the terrazzo installed is epoxy terrazzo. The advantages of this material over cementitious terrazzo include wider selection of colors, 1/4 inch to 3/8 inch installation thickness, lighter weight, faster installation, impermeable finish, higher strength, and less susceptibility to cracking. The disadvantage of epoxy resin based terrazzo is that it can only be used internally not externally. Epoxy based terrazzo will lose its color and slightly peel when used externally, whereas cement based terrazzo will not. In addition to marble aggregate blends, other aggregates have been used such as mother of pearl and abalone shell. Recycled aggregates include: glass, porcelain, concrete and metal. Shapes and medallions can be fabricated on site by bending divider strips or off site by water-jet cutting.
When the terrazzo is thoroughly dry (or cured in the case of thin-set terrazzo), helpers grind it with a terrazzo grinder, which is somewhat like a floor polisher, only much heavier. Slight depressions left by the grinding are filled with a matching grout material and hand-troweled for a smooth, uniform surface. Terrazzo workers then clean, polish, and seal the dry surface for a lustrous finish.
Terrazzo was originally invented by Venetian construction workers as a low cost flooring material using marble chips from upscale jobs. The workers would usually set them in clay to surface the patios around their living quarters. Consisting originally of marble chips, clay, and goat milk (as the sealer), production of terrazzo became much easier after the 1920s and the introduction of electric industrial grinders and other power equipment.
Newly-set terrazzo will not look like marble unless it is wet. That’s where the goat’s milk comes in, acting as a sealer and preserving the wet and marble-like look.
May 18, 2011
I am admittedly an accessory shopper! I love to give the perfect gift and pick up the perfect piece for my home. My family and I, entertain a lot and I am always excited to use my latest “crush” piece!
I have been collecting AIREDELSUR for a while and decided I would like to share their wonderful collection with you. I purchase their pieces at Barney’s and Bergdorf’s, but you can buy them through sites on the internet.
With its rustic chic personality and the elegant designs of Marcelo Lucini, Airedelsur combines the exquisite character of Argentina and its talented craftsmen. Airedelsur’s products reflect a native concept that has been refined in such a way that elegance is present in every object. One-hundred percent handmade, Airedelsur works with alpaca silver, a variety of rich woods, cow, goat and deer horns, natural cow and horsehide leathers, and semi-precious onyx.
So the next time you need a great gift or piece for your home!
May 17, 2011
I was on the hunt for a coffee table the other day, and was racing around to all my favorite haunts as far as great modern art and furniture dealers, and had the great fortune to come across an Yves Klein, blue coffee table.
First, you may ask, who would want a blue coffee table, well, not a bad question, but you would have to see the scheme of the living room. A modern feeling with large canvases of art, that appear to be more like almost single colors of canvases. So, this particular table was going to be perfect.
When I realized the provenance of this table, I then remembered and wanted to share, about Yves Klein. Its funny, when we look at fashion and interiors and sometimes the color palettes cross over, we wonder “who had it first” but often times, color palettes come out of the modern art market, and such is the case with Yves Klein and this particular shade of blue.
Yves Kleins most iconic works are of solid blue canvases that are an ultramarine blue. The fact that the interpretation of Yves Klein’s work is centered on the color blue is partly due to his short life. 1928-1962, which prevented him from developing a lot of his projects.
this is another one of my favorite artists, do take the time and look him up, as his life was so apparent in his art. He was just wonderful!
May 13, 2011
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Oh how someone should write an ode to a closet! Being a woman and a bit of a clothes horse , I spend a lot of time in the closet and at the same time I love the dressing room feeling of my closet. A woman’s closet is not just about keeping her clothes in one place, or most of the time more than one!
Think of Carrie Bradshaw in Sex in The City! When Big buys her the giant apartment and her most favorite room is her closet!
In working on the design of a client’s closet I have been scouring around and have posted a few that I love.
Great ideas from jewelry drawers, purse dividers so that your purses stay straight up and not flop over, places to keep hats and scarves and wonderful light fixtures and seating options!
Have a great day!