Archive for April, 2010

design fix: wall stripes

April 29, 2010

As promised I’m reviling one more DIY transformation of my apartment for the latest party weekend.  As a regular married couple we also have the TV discussions. And although we haven’t bought it yet (it’s been a year now!), the question of where to place it has been raised several times. Of course, my husband wants to put it on the pedestal in the most prominent place in the room and to be honest, we don’t have that much choice. So my challenge was how to visually divert the eye from this monster in the room and have the TV to be the last thing people will notice. I needed a statement!

So here what I came  up with.

BEFORE: Regular white rental wall got painted in “Russian Blue”. Yes, I’ve selected the color by its name:)

Then I taped off irregular width stripes and primed the surface of the stripes with Acrylic Medium Gel, that way the edges come out very crisp and precise.

The fun part began. I used white, green, black and 3 tones of gray, all of which are left overs from previous projects.

After 2 days of re-taping, re-priming and painting again, the result was quite a statement which I was looking for. I bought two Manzanita Branches and nailed them to bring in the element of nature.

As for the rest, I got two TV stands form Ikea (yes, I know… designers use Ikea too) and upholstered the doors in this amazing linen with printed fonts. I was looking for this fabric everywhere and finally found it in F&S Fabrics (Thanks Maison 21). Now, as the set is done, I’m ready for the arrival of the TV in our house.

<images via me>

design fix: side tables

April 27, 2010

Hosting a party is a true stimulus for the progress of your long forgotten DIY projects. That’s what happened to me last week, as you might have noticed with the lack of posts. Hosting my mother-in-law birthday pushed me to finally take out those paints, masking tape, sewing machine and what not. Everybody wanted to  see “the interior designer”‘s house. All of those in the industry know, that the real ID-er house looks more like a mess or a bunch of unfinished projects rather than the picture perfect dream come true.

Anyways, I decided to reveal a few TLC projects that were both wallet-friendly and actually quite fun to do. Although I redid these side tables quite a while ago, I just never had a chance to take a good picture of them. So here we go.

BEFORE: I got these pieces on the brink of being thrown away in rather miserable condition. I really liked the solid frame and the fact that they are not completely the same. 

AFTER: Half of the quarter of black high-gloss paint did wonders.

<images via me>

white square (actually, it’s a rectangle)

April 25, 2010

It seemed impossible to reinvent the famous Black Square by Malevich but this Norwegian artist definitely made a simple rectangle more fun. The series of art installations by Jørund Aase Falkenberg can be interpreted quite philosophically when though of the eloquent simplicity of the white  space or rather playful when trying to imagine the actual piece of art that was in the place. Either way – genius!

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restoration to basics

April 22, 2010

The spring collection of Restoration Hardware is really fresh and inspiring. For a while I lost RH from my view as their blue-brown color palette got, let’s be honest,  jaded. I’m so glad to see them revived and back on my top list. Aged woods, natural linens and jutes, intellectual collectibles and TRUNKS…lots of trunks! What else a girl need for a pleasant summery weekend. My mind has already moved in with all these goodies into that French Old Mill House in the Town of Plaisance from the May AD issue. Stop by if you ever in the area:)

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l’arc paris restaurant and club

April 20, 2010

I’m always excited to see places that house contemporary interior in a historic building. What a great designer challenge. How do you show appreciation for the space heritage and create funky atmosphere without period touch? And especially if the historic building faces nothing less than Arc de Triomph in Paris.

Well, Prospect Design have solved this dilemma quite successfully.

I absolutely amazed by the ceiling of the main dining area. The abstract collage of the classical moldings so accurately translates the concept. With the right touches of glitz and glamor (look and the reflective pendant balls and gilded suede frames of the mirrors…yum!) the place scream PARIS.

The night club on the bottom floor continues the same sleek modern design although too neon-y for my taste. I found a few pictures in a “normal” lighting.

You see what I’m talking about? Neon Rainbow (on the pic below) just killing it, don’t you agree? <images via>

white bedrooms

April 18, 2010

Living in a rental creates a lot of design challenges. Basically, you are stuck with the white walls, beige carpet and no architectural interest whatsoever. And even though our manager was kind enough to let me paint whatever I want, after tackling the living room the idea of repainting the whole apartment back to the lovely “Swiss white” doesn’t seems as exciting anymore. And I just happen to love bold dark colors, so I’m afraid I might need more than one coat of white when we move out.

And my husband, being genius as usual, suggested it to be my “Designer Challenge”. Literary white room. And while I don’t mind white rooms in certain cases, the problem is that’s the bedroom, the room that should be sumptuous and intimate.

I decided to start searching for bedrooms that can inspire.

to be continued…

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April 16, 2010

Nothing brings in spring like blooming flowers. And as much as I try to have fresh flowers at home I always feel sad when they are withering. Lucky for us, there is Thiliblooms. Thilie is a 27-year old artist from Miami, who hand-crafts absolutely adorable blooms from fabric scraps which otherwise would have been tossed out. Although her Etsy shop is on the smaller size (yet!), her specialty is custom work. Be sure to check out her portfolio for the full spectrum. I’m lost in the possibilities.

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gerard butler’s new york loft

April 16, 2010

Am I the only one at ahhh with Gerard Butler’s New York Loft. I’m even ready to forgive him the Bounty Hunter. (Seriously, Gerry, don’t sell yourself cheap). But this apartment, if you can call it that, is definitely worthy of the  King Leonidas. And may be it’s not completely my cup of tea design wise, I can appreciate the quality “aged” work that so often goes sour Disneyland.

So we are talking about 3,300-square-foot loft in Chelsea, Manhattan located on 6 and 7 floors. the actor  worked with architect Alexander Gorlin and film designer Elvis Restaino for years to complete the masterpiece, and for me the time was well spent as the place looks like it’s been there forever.

According to AD, the loft boasts, “13-foot-tall mahogany doors; a ceiling and wall frescos; plaster walls chipped and mottled with age; massive columns supporting limestone lions; crystal chandeliers casting spidery shadows,” and plenty of furnishings from New York décor mecca ABC Carpet & Home.

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addicted to addiction collection

April 11, 2010

I just LOVE mirrors, no wonder I have several of them in every room. Let’s take living room, for instance: Rococo-ish mirror above the council, screen divider with aged-mirror inserts, mirrored top side tables, eglomise mirrored coffee table…and 3 convex mirrors I bought for the bedroom but still keep them as display on the shelf in the living room.

Wow, I’ve never though I’m THAT crazy about mirrors. They bring chick and sparkle with the morning sun. So when I found the Addiction Collection, my long life dream came true. Mirrors as art give another excuse to put the mirrors in the space.

But all of us addicted in US have to wait till they open the shop online section, as all the distributors are only in France so far.

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san francisco conduit

April 10, 2010

No, I’m not going to give you the tour of SF underground. Conduit is the absolutely handsome restaurant which got its name from the circumstances. When Stenley Saitowitz| Natoma Architects‘ team stepped on the ground floor of the commercial space in a new residential building, all they saw is a low ceiling and a tangled maze of plumbing, sprinkler and electrical conduits serving the residences above.

So when impossible to cover, make it to stand out. Who might have thought that galvanized and copper conduit can look so stylish and unique.  Talking about design on the budget, i bet these guys didn’t have to break the piggy bank.

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