Tag Archives: fine interiors

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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Cerused Oak

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On my most recent trip to San Francisco, I was able to take some time to walk through the Galleria in search of materials for a returning client. I always make a stop at Wroolie and Company who are known for their high end furniture and lighting which range from custom reproductions, original designs, to contemporary. I was delighted to see several cerused oak side tables near the front window of the showroom. I’ve been fond of this finish for years and am very pleased to see that it is being used in new and interesting ways. These pieces by Mario Grimaldi International were in a variety of rich stains and finished with a high gloss finish.

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With my interest piqued, I did a bit of research on cerused oak and learned a few interesting facts. The technique of cerused oak, known as limed oak in Britain, began back in the 16th century.  Carpenters rubbed a material containing lime into the grain of the wood to fill it, then the wood was stained and finished giving you a two toned effect. Cerused oak became popular again in the age of Art Deco and is having a  comeback in our decade as well.

Mario Grimaldi International London Dining Table

Mario Grimaldi International London Dining Table

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Best Book to Buy While in Paris- International Design Magazine’s 2013 Paris Design Guide

On my most recent trip to Paris I came upon the essential guide for any designer or lover of art to have during their time in Paris. International Design Magazine’s 2013 Paris Design Guide beautifully describes the newest and best designed showrooms, hotels, cafes, shops, galleries, and bookshops that Paris has to offer. With over 300 places you can visit, it’s hard to even scratch the surface. The book is separated into chapters by Paris’ 20 districts making it very user friendly. Each district has its own chapter that begins with a map showing the exact location of the showroom, hotel, etc. The information given about each designed space tells you just enough about the space to make you want to go visit for yourself.

557I visited two locations in the 1st arrondissement with the help of this guide. The first was Le Café Marly which is nestled into the north end of the Louvre museum, with outdoor seating under the arcade of the Louvre. The space boasts not only beautiful design, but a splendid view of the Ming Pei’s Pyramid. The design of this space was inspired by Napoleonic interiors, featuring Empire colours on the walls, ceiling, and furniture detailing.

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208The second place I had the opportunity to visit in the 1st arrondissement was Hotel Lumen. Designed by Claudio Colucci, this space has a unique mixture of elegance and quirk. The designer incorporated the baroque look with a modern twist by choosing whimsical furniture and unexpected finishes. As its name suggests, Hotel Lumen incorporates light in a soft while contrasting way that warmly draws guests into the space.

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1201Another amazing place that I was able to see with direction from this book was located in the 5th arrondissement. La quinacaillerie is a handle and knob boutique located just down the street from Notre-Dame. Featuring the best international suppliers of door and window handles and furniture knobs, it’s hard not to fall in love with them all. The store displays the best and most functional handle designs of the world. The white walls and simple wood floors makes the space feel more like an art gallery than a showroom.1202

236The last place I was able to visit thanks to the help of this book was in Paris’ 7th arrondissement. Café Campana located in the Museum D’Orsay has a beautifully modern design. The Campana Brezilian brothers have incorporated whimsical modern design into a Parisian architecture shell. Gold pendants made of gold shards, textured turquoise methacrylate panels, and twisted orange metal partitions give many layers to a fun design. The design of Café Campana seems to give a nod to the impressionist artists who greatly influenced Paris and the world.

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The design continues even into the menu graphics

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I highly recommend the 2013 Paris Design Guide to any designer or lover of the arts. It allows you to feel the pulse of creativity in Paris in a user friendly way. I will never go to Paris without it again! Happy travels.

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American Classical Style Architecture in East Sacramento

Perfect Symmetry

Found a new book published by Monacelli Press, The American Style, which is a wonderful tribute to our very own American  Classical style!  Though California is not widely known for this style – as much as, say, the East Coast – you can still find this colonial revival style if you know where to look!  

“Broken” pediment detail over front door

Emphisis on the front door makes for a grander entry

Right here in East Sacramento are homes that are excellent (and beautiful!) examples of the classical use of balance and symmetry.  Details, including the use of wood or shingles,porticos or recessed entry porches, pediments over the center entry, and shutters, are consistent with proportional touches that say “Classical.”

Wonderful reference for Classical American Design

For more information on Interior Design, follow this link to StoneWood’s photo gallery:  http://stonewooddesign.com/portfolio.php

For more information on Classical Architecture, see The Insititute of Classical ARchitectue & Art  http://classicist.org/

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East Coast comes to El Dorado Hills

South Hampton Main Street

Classical American Facade

        

What could be better than a visit to the East Coast – roaming through New York up the Hudson River Valley and down to the Hamptons – to confirm my love for our wonderful American classical style?  This crisp, simple design style began in the early days of our country’s history and has been revived many times since.  You can see many elements of this style are understated, reflecting balance and proportion. 

This hand painted mural makes a beautiful statement in the Entry Hall.

The Blue Room

 Most West Coast homeowners have not readily embraced American Classical style, but Tony & Jenifer Russo knew it would work perfectly for the home they were constructing in El Dorado Hills.  As East Coast “wannabes,” this two-career political couple quickly seized the opportunity to distinguish their home from many of their contemporaries who were selecting a French Country style.

For their entry hall, we collaborated on a primitive mural painted to imitate the work of itinerant artists of colonial America in the 18thcentury.  Across from the dining room, the drawing room is dubbed “the Blue Room,” as the one in the White House.   When the Sierra foothills get winter snowfall, you can easily believe you’ve been transported to the heart of New England! 

Wintertime in the Sierra Foothills.

 

 

 

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Granite Bay Master Bathroom…The Project that Grew…

BEFORE – Bathing in the 80’s

AFTER – Stunning new free standing tub is a design feature!

        A simple desire to replace an existing bathtub grew into a master bathroom remodel that has delighted one of my clients and given her a whole new room! Although not yet complete, these remodel photos show the dramatic differences already apparent in this work-in-progress.    The beginning…

BEFORE – Old shower is outdated and feels claustrophobic

AFTER – New shower feels spacious and luxurious!

By selecting a freestanding tub and freeing the space originally filled in around a sunken tub, we opened up this corner of the bathroom. Removing the plantation shutters to let the view of the outdoor garden and natural light flood in has also lightened and enlarged the space.  The middle… In the separate shower area, we also opened things up by cutting out a large section of the exterior wall and replacing a small octagonal window with a larger, oval one. Voila!   Stay tuned for upcoming photos of the finished project!

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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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