Allied Member, ASID
September 5, 2013
I have recently falling love with Bohemian Chic and its Moroccan and Oriental roots. One of the most magical aspects of Moroccan interiors is the incredibly detailed ornament found in the tile and wood work. One of the most well known tile crafts within Moroccan design is the style Zellige. Zellige refers to a type of teracata tile that has a unique painting and assembly process. This use of Zellige was first established during the Hispano-Moresque period and appeared in Morocco in the 10th century. When it was first developed there was only a small color palette used of white and brown, but in the 17th century the palette wads bordered to all of the brilliant colors that you now associate with Moroccan design.
Zellige is not just an craft, it is an art form and continues to be an art form for many of the maâlems or master craftsmen of Morocco. The highly technique skill of cutting the stone to precise geometrical designs to be fit together, is taught from childhood. Many of these geometrical patterns were a necessary development as decoration for Mosques since the islamic religion prohibits human imagery. These beautiful designs can be seen in tradition oriental settings and within contemporary design. The glazing and enameling process that takes place after assembling the tiles has become a design all itself and now being applied to simple ceramic tiles. The uneven and varied color and surface that come from the glazing process is what makes this unique design so desirable. Zellige is often used as a flooring wall or ceiling treatment but you can also find the tile work inlayed in furnishings. If you don’t really want to put in some new flooring, this type of design has become pretty popular so try finding a small accessory piece that will show of that amazing craft and make a statement in your home.
March 9, 2011
DAMASK Is NOT YOUR GRANDMOTHER’s fabric ANY MORE!
Ahh Damask! One of my all time favorite fabrics. You know, there are some people that think that using damask means only to be working in a traditional style.
Not true anymore!
The scale of using a traditional pattern is what you want to consider when crossing a traditional fabric over into a modern application!
Boho chic is a great fan of high styled silk damasks in very muted tones of lavenders and interesting blues and sea foam greens! Think John Saladino and how stunning his approach to such a traditional fabric is! And his is certainly not your grandmother’s house! But at the same time, call me forward, but i am in love with bright damasks for great shots of color. Sometimes when you have a very definitive color pallette, say white moldings and grasscloth walls, you need a shot of color to control the emotion of the person looking and living with it, otherwise such a neutral palette can become exceedingly tiresome.
So, i am including examples that i love of a couple of projects as well as some ideas!
I love to use damask and have done so recently with wallpaper from Studio Printworks!
They have a black and white damask, so thinking traditional right? Nope! They so enlarged the scale of the pattern that it became very hip and chic!
Damask is named for the city of Damascus, which was a major textile center during the 12th century. Damask originated in Asia, traders took the fabric to Europe where it began to become very popular. Damasks were scarce after the ninth century outside of Islamic Spain, but were revived in some places in the thirteenth century. You see, it was always then, made of gorgeous silk and incredibly expensive. Now of course, damask comes in cotton and wools as well.
Most damask weaves are commonly produced today in a monochromatic weave in silk for instance where the long floats of satin-woven warp and weft threads cause soft highlights on the fabric which reflect light differently according to the position of the observer.
If you are looking for an eclectic look, a touch of damask in pillows or on a cross legged stool or a touch on a pull up chair will get you much further then a zebra rug these days! Damask is a hot commodity again so don’t be afraid to jump in!
Have a great day!
February 28, 2011
Something that I just learned recently is that fringe has been used for centuries. It first made an appearance in the early civilization of Mesopotamia, between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Historians have found through recovered pottery, sculpture and writing that fringe was applied to the garments of both men and women. It is believed that in its early usage there was no class distinction and that everyone wore fringe on their skirts and their shawls. As the civilization began to advance in textile technology, artisans were able to dye the fringe to create different color combinations and layer the fringe with different knot designs. Fringe design became so elaborate that individuals and families claimed different fringe designs as their emblem. On formal documents instead of using their family signature, the men would sometimes imprint their unique fringe design into the clay tablet as a signature.
Ever since then fringe has been a very popular decorative detailing for fashion and interiors. Fringe possibly made its biggest debut during the time on the old west when it was used in cowboy costume in leather. Fringe was also used frequently during the Classical Victorian era when the modesty of showing leg was even applied to the furnishings. They used fringe to cover the legs of chairs because the idea of an exposed leg was too risque. Now fringe can be seem just about anywhere. Next time you are looking for a little decorative addition to your interior think about finding a fringe design that is individualized enough to be your signature. Happy Monday.
February 14, 2011
How can anyone refuse the charming pastoral scenes of Toile de Jouy? During the 16th century, toile was the hottest textile around. After a 75 year ban on cotton (because of all of the importing of cotton from India and the far east, the silk and wool merchants demanded that no cotton products be sold) cotton reemerged in France as practically a new good. Toile de Jouy literally refers to “Jouy en Jonas” or cloth from the city of Jonas, where toile was originally manufactured in France.
I am sure all of you have seen toile, but in case this is your first encounter, toile is characterized by complex pastoral scenes being printed onto a white or off white fabric using one color for the print. The color range is fairly limited to blues, back, mauve, and sometimes red and green. The scenes often show landscape and usually contain people performing different activities like picnicking in the park, or guiding horses down a trail. The print design is definitely inspired by the chinoiserie textiles and good that were being imported by the East India Trading company. Many of the far east goods showed small scenes of Chinese houses and landscapes in the same fashion, and were recreated by the artists of Europe in the form of toile, among other goods.
Toile used to be used strictly on fabrics, but just like most things, toile has been reinvented in the current times to have many more functions. Not only can you find toile as a wall covering, but toile is even being brought into clothing and fashion, which is something you would have never seen in the 16th century. The monochromatic rule of toile has also been broken, and not only do the contemporary patterns feature many more colors, the scale and range of scenes being depicting has greatly expanded. Toile had a contemporary revival in about 2000, and I think it is here to stay. People cannot resist the nostalgic scenes and sense that toile brings to a space. Try thinking of unconventional ways to use toile in your home and it will always be a pleasant surprise.
February 7, 2011
Unless you have been living under a rock for the past two years, you might have noticed that one of the hottest trends in fashion is the stripe. I see it everywhere from the magazines to the runway shows to all of my favorite stores. Some say that the stripe has a nautical type association and others say that the strip is just a simple but bold print, either way the stripe trend has made its way into interiors as well. I have done a previous post on exterior spaces and the use of an awning stripe that is simple but can convey so many messages just in the way you decide to use the stripe. This also applies to the way you use a stripe on the interior, except there are so many more options. You can easily adapt the trends by adding stripe in form of art work, pillows, and inexpensive area rugs. But if you want to commit to some stripe, I think that it looks great on a wall depending on the color.
The most important thing to consider when using a stripe is the scale. How wide is each band of color? This can made the difference by creating a room and makes you dizzy and a room looks squat. A stripe size should show the nature of the space. Consider if a vertical or a horizontal stripe is the best option for you and think about just how many colors you want to bring into the pattern, or do you just want classic black and white. No matter where you decide to use a stripe, it is a bold pattern and can make a statement even if you only decide to change out your throw blanket. Think like the fashion designers this spring and go bold!
January 31, 2011
January 28, 2011
It is a fact that interior designers would be nothing without the fine service people of the trade that provide us with resources for our projects. This has been true since the beginning of architecture and can especially be seen during the 1200′swhen guilds of different crafts left emblems of their guild embedded within the architecture, like in the stained glass of Notre Dame. ( The largest guild during the mid 13th century was the wool merchants guild and they were so wealthy that they were able to purchase the entire main city church of Florence after the head craftsmen died, and hired the infamous Brunelleschi.)
Not a lot has changed simply because there are so many industries necessary to complete a single design project, commercial or residential. The best designers have an extremely loyal team of industry people behind them with specific representatives that are practically like family. Our firm is no different, and one company that continues to stay a part of our team is Artistic Tile. If you have never heard of Artistic Tile (which I’m sure you have), all you need to do is a small google search to understand the caliber of their work. They sell the most exquisite and luxurious stone and tile products on the market and recently just put in a small line of bathroom furnishings. And we aren’t the only ones who think they are fantastic, Artistic Tile was just recognized this December by Interior Design Magazine receiving one of their Best of Year Awards.
Despite their glory, we find again and again that their dedication to the personal relationships with their clients is something entirely unique. The friendly and loyal representatives support our projects and design aspirations whether they are involved or not. We find ourselves often exchanging design ideas because the innovative and progressive staff always know the latest in our field. Obviously we use TONS of Artistic Tile’s products and have many projects and examples of them in our work. The refined and exclusive collections they carry practically guarantee a success not matter what you pick. They maintain their facebook and will answer you PERSONALLY if you have any questions. Needless to say – we love Artistic Tile and all of the support they have given us over the years. Where would we be without you? Visit their website at http://www.artistictile.com/ or their facebook http://www.facebook.com/artistictile - tell them Jamie sent you.
This is a powder room I did using flooring tile from Artistic Tile. You can see this along with other interior examples on their facebook.
Gorgeous stone from their website.
Not only are their products fabulous, but their marketing campaign is hot as hell. Brilliant.
Yes Please. I would buy just about anything from this guy.
January 17, 2011
I get comments all the time about how much people love my dining room. I’m not trying to brag – but there is something about that space that people are very drawn to. Actually I know exactly what it is. Its the lucite chairs. Everyone knows that lucite or acrylic material has been around forever becoming ever popular during the 1930′s and 40′s. Now with the recent classical modern craze people are reviving the lucite to a whole new level, even though is never left. Despite the fact that is considered an older material, it seems new and surprising ever time it is used. What is wonderful about lucite is obviously the manipulability. You can make just about anything out of lucite and it has that added factor of durability. However, what you see around these days isn’t the same product that you might have seen in an old movie theater. Modern technology combined with the existing knowledge of lucite has created something magnificent. With progressive companies like 3form acrylic has become one of the most sustainable products you can specify. The manufacturing methods have changed to be less pollutant and the plastic is recyclable and can be commercially as well as residentially. There is even a company that infuses wood with acrylic to make it more durable and suitable for commercial interiors.
And lets just talk about the options! You can have the different colors, but that’s just ammature. 3form has acrylic that is combined with natural materials like grass and leaves. Any image you want can be screen printed and sandwiched between two pieces of acrylic for a super retro yet practical conversation piece. I think that everyone can agree there is just something intriguingabout being able to see through something. I mean wasn’t that why people loved the original apple computer? This confusion to the senses has inspired designers to create extremely dynamic interiors. It can make a space feel bigger or brighter just by removing those wooden chairs and replacing them with classic ghost chair. If you can’t afford a ghost chair that’s okay because you can make just about anything of lucite. My personal opinion is that every one should have a lucite piece so start looking – I bet you won’t have to search too far.
A lucite klismos chair?! Now that’s what I call classical modern.
Beautiful and interesting
Lucite is great way to add a little “hip” to a space
This table adds to the aire of elegance
Jazz up an otherwise boring office
Now this is just funky – and I love it!
January 16, 2011
I think it is safe to say that everyone loves tufting. No really – everyone. It has a very feminine quality when applied to an upholstered headboard or masculine feeling when used on a leather sofa in a lawyer’s office. With the recent crazy of classical modern design, people love tufting more than ever and they seem to be using it in every form. Tufting is even do-it-yourself friendly which means any house wife with a needle and thread is bound to get her tuft on sooner or later. But lets just pretend for a moment that you aren’t a complete expert on the subject and lets cover some tufting basics that could put your tufting knowledge above and beyond that of your friends. There are two general types of type, a regular tuft and a diamond tuft. You will know the difference between the two because the diamond tuft creates the shape of a … diamond, while the regular tuft makes a square-like shape. Looking at the history of furniture can really help you decide which type of tuft to use to create the look you are going for or to enhance the overall style of your space. Diamond tufts have a much more traditional history BUT with all the classical revival taking place, it now has developed a kind hip glamour quality. Regular tufts seem to carry a more modern style.
The next aspect of tufting that you need to consider it the depth of the tuft. Deep tufting has a very sensual and luxurious type feeling, but be careful because there is a fine line between sexy and the las vegas love palace (if you know what I mean.) A more shallow tuft has a very subtle feeling and is commonly used in country style homes or cottages. Another aspect of tufting that people don’t often consider is the scale of the tuft. You generally see a medium size tuft used on headboards but a slightly smaller tuft for sofas. Think about this: try using two scales of tufting on one sofa with a smaller scale on the back of the sofa and a larger scale on the seat. From a distance the tufts will begin to look like a pattern of fabric instead of a texture. For less dramatic impact use large scale tufts and for bold statements use small scale tufts. Last thing to consider is the material that you are using to be tufted. Generally people like to use a solid color fabric because the tufting adds its own level of visual interest. There are always alternatives to that, but if you do decide to go with a print I would suggest using something asymmetrical like a floral print so that the tufting doesn’t interrupt the pattern. Also consider materials with high textural values like silk, velvet or leather. Now that you know all there is to know about tufting feel free to use it anywhere and everywhere. And remember, tuft responsibly.
January 12, 2011
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I can’t flip through any interior design magazine right now without my eye being caught by the gleam of brass. It seems that while once considered a strictly traditional material, brass is making its way way into the home, no matter what the style. As I’m sure you know there are many different finishes that brass can have including antiqued, soft, polished, or hammered. It is really the finish of the brass that makes it suitable for different style interiors. Brass is definitely in the warm metal family with gold (people often get them confused because depending on the finish they can look very similar.) The warmness of brass can affect the way it is used in an interior and what it is paired with. Think of all the places you would use gold, you can use brass as well. This means that brass looks great with yell0ws and oranges, a pink or red for an oriental feeling, black of course and as you can see below even certain shades of green. Of course there are a million color combinations that include brass but those are some of the basics. In my photos below you will see that top designers right now are really experimenting with the use of brass and you should too! The best place to add a touch of brass if you are not accustomed to working with the material is in a metal side or cocktail table, in the frame of a picture or a mirror, a lamp or wall sconce, or in an assortment of accessories. Do like the designers do and add a little brass to your home!
Here are a couple of gorgeous brass side tables
Kelly Wearstler knows how to combine warm and cool color for the perfect look
I would love to fall asleep in this brass bed
Elle Decor – Check out the very subtle accents of brass in this picture
Mary McDonald decided to match her brass with pink