Posts Tagged ‘Contemporary Bathrooms’
Shadows on Your Face
I know, it sounds like the title for some hard rock band’s new CD, but what I am actually talking about is bathroom vanity lighting. It’s mostly the ladies that complain about this problem (and I don’t blame them) because most designs don’t provide them with appropriate light to check out or do their make up. You can see my solution to this problem on this picture, where I selected a mirror with a 360 degree source of light on its perimeter; this eliminates all shadows from your face.
Mirror, mirror on the wall… Light my face and I’ll smile for all!
Abundant research has proven that children who grow up in environments with stimulating shapes, colors and textures develop greater creativity and intellectual skills. Sadly, I often see children’s rooms that totally lack any type of design, places where different ideas have been thrown together in a chaotic mix. Those types of environments hardly stimulate their creativity or give them a sense of order. In my projects, I treat children as their own people, little clients with their own needs and preferences for their spaces. Each child is different and his or her room should be unique as well. A child’s room should never be improvised and a lot of thought should be placed on room layout and on each and every piece of furniture placed in their environment.
This first photograph shows a room I designed for a girl whose favorite colors were yellows, greens and raspberry red. She also favored rich patterned fabrics so I selected over 30 different small patterns and married them together in the fabrics for the window seat cushion and pillows, draperies, night table cover, rocking chair, and most importantly in her custom quilted bedspread. The diamond pattern of the bedspread is repeated on a subtle stencil pattern of yellow on cream in a wall that provides background for naïve art of her favorite rock stars. Her room has a wicker desk where she can do her homework, an open floor play area for tea parties and whatever her imagination leads her to create, while being a space that can be easily cleared by placing toys in bins that are stored in her closet.
This next photograph is a room I designed for a boy who loves science fiction and will be a teenager in a couple of years. For him, I designed the “space-ship” steel bed with attached swinging nightstands that incorporate lamps, a mesh headboard, and legs that resemble that of a landed space ship. The carpet I selected is a bluish grey pile that matches the paint I chose for the walls and ceiling. The strong color accents come from the red chair at his work station and the stripes on his otherwise black bedspread. This room truly matches this boy’s personality, interests and will easily transition to the more mature environment he will need in his teen years. The design of this room highlights originality and a sense of innovation; the two main ingredients he will need as the engineer he wants to become.
I started my career in big cities in America then traveled to Europe where I had to learn how to fight for every square inch (or every square centimeter) to give comfort, beauty, drama or serenity to each space. In my early career, I learned the standards for how space is used are quite different between urban and suburban areas. Condos (flats, apartments, etc) tend to have a smaller footprint with less square footage. On this post, I will be sharing with you some important guidelines to make your small Condo spaces more comfortable, livable, beautiful, and efficient ones. Enjoy!
• Built-ins will be your best friends in a condo. They are an exceptional means of increasing storage and shelving that can be decorative and functional at the same time. Keep it simple; appliqués and overly detailed elements can make built-ins look too heavy. Ideally, built-ins should be addressed by the buyer, rather than looking to the builder to include them during construction. Designing your own built-ins to fit your needs can assure functionality and beauty.
Some examples: linen cabinets that fit behind a door and home office built-ins that house the TV, computer, printers, book shelves and decorative accessories.
• Paint colors should be in a unified palette. When you use a single color for walls in the living room and dining room. This will visually expand the spatial perception of the rooms. This doesn’t mean you cannot have an accent wall; sometimes it’s perfect to define a space. Because rooms will be smaller, the paint for the doors, trim, built-ins and closet doors in the same color as the walls. That way, your eyes will be drawn to furnishings and fabrics instead of the cutouts and openings in the space. Another quick trick is to keep the color contrast between walls and ceilings to a minimum; that will make people less aware of generally lower heights.
• Bigger is not always better. Large and overly decorated chandeliers, pendants and wall sconces are not as suitable for condos. They can look overwhelming and out of scale. Choose clean-lined and more understated sources of light. This doesn’t mean you should get rid of everything from your previous home. Rescue pieces that are well proportioned to their new spaces. Heirlooms and antiques can become focal points in specific rooms. With art, the same rules apply, address scale first. You want to make sure that your furnishings will serve as an “anchor” for your artwork. It’s fine to use art as a focal point; just make sure a piece doesn’t completely overwhelm its surroundings.
• Trick the eyes with Mirrors! Mirrors are a useful tool in any space, particularly floor-to-ceiling mirrors. They expand your perception of the size of a room. Place them in foyers, dining rooms, bedrooms, and don’t be afraid to back furniture against them. You’ll be surprised how dramatic a console or a chair can become. Try anchoring a framed painting against a mirror. It will look like the art is floating!
• When in comes to condo window coverings, less is more. Stay away from overly detailed rods and finials and heavy swags. Few condos have the scale to accommodate such treatments. Keep fabrics un-patterned and stay close to your wall color. If you must use a pattern, go ahead and make a statement but keep everything else in the room close to monochromatic.
Using any number of these tips in a smaller space will make your home feel spacious and cozy so try them out!
This is a frequent, sometimes inevitable, occurrence in secondary bedrooms. The headboard wall is flanked by a door to a closet on the other side there’s a door to a bathroom. After you place the bed you realize that there is no room for a standard nightstand, and forget about a matching set!
The solution is small tiered tables. Unfortunately you don’t find many of these tables in the market; I had to custom design these for our clients Guest Bedroom. But when you do find a table that suits your size and style needs, here’s how they can function in place of traditional bulky nightstands.
On the top tier you should make sure that the lamps you select are in scale with the tables and provide enough light for reading. On the other tiers you can use boxes or baskets for things you don’t want exposed or need to keep organized (such as prescriptions, stationery, pens, etc.) or you can use them to pile the latest novels you are reading. Adding some life to an unused bedroom is always a good idea, use one of the tiers to display floral arrangements or small lively accessories.
By giving your spare bedrooms a bit more attention to function, your guests will feel more at home and perhaps enjoy a few more visits!
Mosaics: A European Delicacy
This project won two ASID Awards for our designs, one in 2011 for Residences over 6,500 Sq. Ft. and another for “Design in Finishes” (Mosaics) in 2012.
Mosaics come in glass, stone, porcelain, metal, wood and all combinations of these materials. You can use them on floors, walls, ceilings and any other surface you would like to add some detail to! This type of tile has been around as far back as the 4th century BC and it is exciting to see that they are experiencing a revival as vibrant as their most daring colors!
While currently designing numerous kitchen and bathroom projects, it seems that every one of my clients wants to see these beautiful little tiles used in one place or another. I have always been a big fan of mosaics, for aesthetic as well as practical reasons. I think they are timeless and I can use them in contemporary as well as traditional projects. Their small scale allows for versatility. These tiny tiles will wrap around the smallest radii, furthermore some suppliers will customize my designs for a specific backsplash or border so I can be as creative as I want!
Fields of pale colors give uniformity and serenity to a room; vibrant combinations of assorted colors can make you want to dance the Rumba. Formal or casual, traditional or contemporary the rediscovery of mosaics has brought new blood to design, to the spaces where we live, work and enjoy ourselves.
Here are a few images where you can see a bathroom I recently designed. The central feature in the space is a “rug” made out of intricately cut marble pieces that create flowers, volutes, borders and medallions; this motif is carried to the tub surrounds as well as shower walls.
Check out the rest of this project in my portfolio!