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Lunch and Learn at San Francisco’s Design Center

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John Toya of Ike Kligerman Barkley Architects

Last week I took a trip to San Francisco to do some shopping for my latest project in the Design Center and decided to make the most of the day by attending a Lunch and Learn. The event was part of San Francisco Design Center’s Designers’ Wednesday series and was sponsored by ASID and the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, both of which I am a member. The wonderful speaker of the day was John Toya of Ike Kligerman Barkley Architects and his topic was Houses: An Art of Collaboration.

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San Francisco Apartment from http://ikba.com/portfolio

John Toya began the lecture with a poetic synopsis of how his firm tackles design projects. Mr. Toya described how architects must act as conductors to make their projects sing. I find this also applies to my job as an interior designer. Constant communication with your client, vendors, contractors, installers, and architect are essential.  The first project John Toya talked about was one of the first his firm completed in San Francisco. Mr. Toya actually started the Ike Kligerman Barkley Architect firm in San Francisco because of his great love for the city. The project designed by the firm was an apartment in San Francisco. The clients requested a design that would showcase the antiques of various styles that they had collected over the years. Each room was to have a style and to be adorned with pieces that matched that styling. The apartment features actual antique remnants from Paris that are incorporated into the architectural detailing.  The artisans who installed and finished the rooms were also brought over from Paris. The result is room after room of gorgeous details all personalized per the customers request.

Compound in the Dunes from http://ikba.com/

Compound in the Dunes from http://ikba.com/

John Toya described many projects and the design process utilized in each. I found his project done on Martha’s Vineyard particularly interesting because of the challenges they faced with the home owners having opposite styles and approaches to design. The wife wanted a bare bones modern design that incorporated sustainable design while the husband wanted a traditional Cape Cod style home. John Toya and his team at Ike Klingerman Barkley Architects designed a space that was an amazing compromise of two very different styles. The interior seamlessly blends the plank materials of the traditional Cape Cod style in a modern rectilinear form as seen in the dramatic entry space.

John Toya concluded by saying how grateful he is to work in a firm that is not confined by style and ego, but instead empowered by classical architectural concepts and propelled by accommodations for their clients. Ike Kligerman Barkley Architects’ attention to detail and focus on personalization for their clients has resulted in an inspiring assortment of beautiful architecture. To see more of their work visit: http://ikba.com

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Guest Blogger-Ashlee Richardson on Inspiration from Nature

As an emerging Interior Design professional, I find myself constantly seeking inspiration for design projects. Looking to designers like Barbara Barry helps me to figure out how other designers find inspiration throughout their iconic careers. Barbara Barry’s latest book “Around Beauty” has led me to realize that nature can be a source of eternal inspiration. In Ms. Barry’s book she walks us through her daily life as a designer and how she finds inspiration everywhere she goes.  She states that many times her color palette for a room can be influenced by something as simple as a pistachio. Ms. Barry says, “crack it open and discover the impeccable pairings of lavender and lime, ivory and tusk. Looking closely, you will see a pistachio’s influence in my work: beached oak floors, pale green walls, and hints of lavender in pillows and trims.”

Pistachio

Nature offers us dynamic color combinations, all we must do is go outside and absorb. I am overjoyed as I read Ms. Barry’s passionate words about the colors that inspire her work. Citrine, a color that I recently grew to love especially when paired with a rich emerald purple, is also one of Barbara Barry’s favorite colors.  Ms. Barry says, “Citrine is liquid light, and this jewel of a color pops up throughout my day in the thin smear of olive oil on an all-white plate…”

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Barbara Barry’s favorite color in nature is the color of a fig. “There’s something delicious about a fig’s powdery surface conjuring up dark velvets and luscious silks–it’s deep color can be an exclamation mark of dark in a pale room.” It is so intriguing to me to read Ms. Barry’s words and to see how she see’s the world, so pure yet abstract.

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I recommend Barbara Barry’s book “Around Beauty” to any designer or non-designer in need of inspiration.  Indeed inspiration is the greatest feeling someone can have and as Ms. Barry reveals, “I feel my most alive on the edge of an idea…my heart beats fast and I feel my most confident.” In closing, go outside and get INSPIRED!

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Windows on the World (and Home)

Recently I enjoyed an unusual, solitary experience on a day in San Francisco when shops were closed because of a holiday.  This allowed me to wander undisturbed down one of my favorite streets in Pacific Heights.  The area is predominantly residential with many beautiful Victorians and some modern lofts perched above the occasional boutique.  A neighborhood most of us can only aspire to, the shops cater to the most sophisticated and high-ticket clients.

An antique tobacco rack makes a wonderful contemporary window dressing

When but on a day like this could I peek and peer to my heart’s content without anyone thinking me strange?  I could easily take photographs as well, which on busy days could rouse a shop owner to become suspicious of my motives!

Repetition of the same type of item – like these wood utensils – makes a bold design statement

I was looking for MARCH, which reopened last year in a new incarnation focusing on kitchen, pantry, table, and open plan living.  The windows display rustic, yet elegant and minimalist pieces.  (My favorite “glimpse” was an oversized, hanging, tobacco drying rack.) It feels very contemporary but with large scale, hand-hewn items like butcher-block tables, and classics like a huge AGA cooker.  The interior space is light and bright, with white subway tile and woodwork creating a clean, minimal canvas to display the fabulous items here – practically like visiting an art gallery!  The furniture and accessories seem to float in space.

The ordinary, everyday kitchen objects are not only functional, but exquisite.  And they seem to resonate with historical significance.  I particularly loved the display of wooden utensils hanging along one wall.  MARCH also boasts a “Pantry” section with a signature line of jams, vinegars, and spices.

Sam Hamilton, the owner of MARCH who once interned at Chez Panisse, wanted to use her shop to highlight San Francisco’s contribution to food culture — slow food, locally sourced – and to draw attention to the independent, stylish shopping of Sacramento Street.  Mission accomplished… this is sophisticated design right in the heart of San Francisco!

At ANTHEM, a family owned shop with a whole team of design professionals, founder Janelle Loevner has created a wonderful gallery of eclectic items gleaned from all over the globe.  There is something here to inspire the designer in everyone!

ANTHEM facade offers its own design inspiration

Based on its façade, ANTHEM feels very neoclassical, but with clever twists on old classics.  It, too, had a bright white interior — a backdrop that allows the impact of the antiques, furniture, and accessories housed within to shine. The emphasis here is on neutrals, natural materials, and layered metallics.  Loevner has added exotic details to contemporary design and displays items ranging from African kudu horns to Spanish hand-woven textiles.

   Next trip I’ll definitely poke around inside these stores to explore more thoroughly, but as I suspected, even window shopping at unique and trend-setting boutiques offers its own design inspiration!

 

 

For more home remodeling ideas, visit our website.

 

 

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I’d Like to Thank…

Award Winning Kitchen

Award season is nearly over; we’ve made it through the Grammys, the Golden Globes, the Oscars and, of course, the Annual Design National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA). I’m thrilled to report that StoneWood Design was awarded 1st place for “Open Design Kitchen.”   

 Established in 1963 as a network of kitchen dealers, NKBA today boasts more than 40,000 professional members.  And while I’ve been a member for years, and have won several awards from them along the way, I’m particularly proud of this year’s recognition.  Winning this year’s “Open Design Kitchen” award after 25 years in the business is acknowledgement from my peers and other professionals that says, “Your design and work is noteworthy.”  It means a great deal to me. Plus, it’s such a joy to be noticed for something that you love to do as much as I love interior design.  As long as I continue to feel excited and confident in the work I do for my clients, and gain the recognition of my peers, I can’t see myself ever stopping, so here’s to another 25 years!

Fobes Laundry

Also, beyond this most recent recognition from NKBA, I’m pleased to share that a laundry room designed by StoneWood Design is featured in this month’s edition of Sacramento Magazine.  If you have a copy of the magazine, flip to pages 70 and 71 to see the functional, airy and delightful space I created for the Fobes family.  I love seeing the pictures of my client, Cathy, enjoying the space with her three daughters, Kate, Allison, and Emily.  It’s always a pleasure to see clients using the space you’ve designed for them.  If you don’t have a copy of the magazine handy, you can check out the online edition at www.sagmag.com

 Finally, in addition to liking what I do, I’m blessed to work with many, many wonderful clients.  For the “Open Design Kitchen” I’d like to thank my clients, the Plumlee/van den Akker family for the opportunity to work on this amazing and fun project.   Not only are they the perfect clients, whom I have been privileged to work with on a number of projects, but we also make a good team.  They know what they like and expect from their space, and it’s my job to execute that for them.  I’m hopeful that we’ll have the opportunity to collaborate with each other again in the near future.

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