Our weekend of Enchantment and dreams by the sea culminated with a lovely early morning beach watch. October is an especially beautiful time of year on the California coast and we drank in all its charms.
For a finale we were treated to brunch with a spell-binding presentation by Victoria Kastner. Complete with historic photographs and dramatic monologues of the voice of W.R. Hearst speaking through his letters to his mother as to why she should support his desire to purchase wonderful European sculptures and other decorative arts now available throughout Europe following WWI. He was very persuasive with his impassioned quest to collect the finest objects, architectural fragments and tapestries.
Victoria has been working with the Hearst’s for over 30 years and is the author of three books on all things relating to Hearst Castle. This lecture by Ms. Kastner was a sneak preview of the book,” Hearst Ranch: Family, Land, and Legacy,” before its actual release on November 26 of this year.
Driving home to Sacramento, Ashlee Richardson and I had spirited discussions of what we had seen and learned from our special tour of San Simeon which was hosted by the ICAA ( Institute of Classical Art and Architecture). We were delighted by the interesting professionals we had met from northern and southern California. Our interior design project for California State University Sacramento was enhanced by the details we had gleaned from studying the Castle’s interior furnishings. In general, our appreciation for Mr. Hearst, the collector and his relationship with Julia Morgan was heightened. We came away from the weekend enchanted with the Hearst Castle and truly inspired.
We hope you will come along on our next adventure with Classical Architecture as our muse.
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.
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.
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
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.”
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…”
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.
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!
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.
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
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/
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.
For more information go to our website.
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!