Posts Tagged ‘mixing styles of furniture’

Interior Designer’s perspective on Children’s Rooms

Posted on: March 16th, 2011 by Ernesto

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.

 

1-Children's Rooms-High Tech Teenager's Room

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.

Designer Tips on Creating Focal Points

Posted on: March 16th, 2011 by Ernesto

How to Select a Focal Point in a Room

Have you ever walked into a room where everything is virtually screaming at you? A room where everything competes for attention in placement, style, scale, color, and texture?

One of the ways to avoid that type of chaos is to understand the function of the room, make a decision about where the focal point will be located, and create surroundings that complement the main piece.

15-Eclectic Condo Design-Dining Room

For instance, take this Dining Room I designed. Early on I decided I wanted the dining table in the center of the room to be the focal point. After that decision was made, I kept all larger surfaces in the room remain un-patterned or just slightly patterned.

The background wall is silver leafed, you can see the slight differentiation of the rectangular silver leaves, but it works as a dull mirror that helps the glass table sparkle even more.

Draperies consist of flat sliding panels of lined silk with a subtle tone on tone pattern; their unmannered design is also meant to visually reinforce the table.

The aubergine wool rug has a barely noticeable small pattern and its main function is to provide a strong contrasting color to the table base.

The light fixture consists of a curved hand-blown glass suspended by steel cables and illuminated from the ceiling by low voltage fixtures, its function is to appear like a floating leaf above the table. A heavier fixture or chandelier would have competed with the table.

The more traditional looking chairs are upholstered in solid off-white velvet and their wooden frames, slightly brushed in antique gold, were deliberately chosen to contrast with the sharp, contemporary crackled glass of the table base.

A few words to remember:

 “A well designed room is one where there was a commitment made to its function, feel and style long before anything is selected.” ~EG

Designer Tips for Decorating a Condo

Posted on: March 15th, 2011 by Ernesto

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!

9-2012 ASID 1st Place-Design Under 3,500 sqFt-Contemporary Condo Design- Family Room General View

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.

 

4-2012 ASID 1st Place-Design Under 3,500 sqFt-Contemporary Condo Design-Dining Room

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.

22-First Place -2014 ASID Award Winning Furniture Design Cocktail Table-Living Space-General View of Entrance and Dining RoomAFTER

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!

Inventive Solutions to Challenging Spaces

Posted on: March 15th, 2011 by Ernesto

No Space.

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!

Designer Solutions for Small-Medium Size Rooms

Posted on: March 15th, 2011 by Ernesto

When I am hired to decorate the interiors of older homes, one thing I am almost always faced with is smaller size rooms. Here are some simple guidelines:

1.) Select a light monochromatic palette. Less saturated colors reflect more light and give a greater sense of spaciousness. By limiting the amount of different colors in a room, the space will feel less busy, more open and airy. Using a monochromatic palette doesn’t mean a room has to be dull or boring. Select fabrics with different patterns and textures in the same tone. In this Living Room I selected a dozen different fabrics.

2.) Try to place furnishings close to the perimeter walls. By using the perimeter space, the room will gain visual openness in the center of the room and actually create a physical sense of space. Most larger rooms have a pathway, or traveling space around the outside of seating areas, but in smaller rooms this space can be moved to the inside of the groupings and make the space look much larger.

3.) Limit yourself to one large piece of furniture. For example, use one sofa or one large armoire and complement that piece with smaller furnishings this will give the room variations in scale without making it feel heavy or overcrowded.

4.) Don’t be afraid to use an eclectic mix of furnishings. Monochromatic palettes tend to unify them and harmonize the look just by color!

5.) Go vertical. Another optical trick is to make ceilings look higher by using vertical stripes on your wall-coverings. These subtle lines will draw the eye upward creating height. By painting the ceilings in a glossy finish you can reflect more light and take the weight of the ceiling out of the room.

Remember: “Small is Beautiful.” Ernesto Garcia, ASID

 

Lounge Chairs & Chaise Longues

Posted on: March 13th, 2011 by Ernesto

 “And what do we put in this corner?”

Now that you’ve moved in and made your poor husband move the furniture until his back went out, you’re dumbfounded with the empty space in the corner of the room. Worry no more Madame chaise lounge can rescue you from your dilemma. I have yet to find a room where a chaise “longue” (French for long chair) couldn’t successfully answer that question (with maybe a few exceptions).

They are perfect for master bathrooms; provided that the size of the room allows it: What better place to lounge with a magazine and a drink after a bubble bath?

13-Eclectic Condo Design-Living Room Lounging Corner

What about Bedrooms? Of course.  Libraries? Splendid. Living Rooms? Perfect.

3FInal-ECLECTIC-STYLE-CHAISE-LONGUE

This doesn’t mean you can just plop a long chair anywhere! You’ll still have to harmonize its fabrics and style with those of the rest of the room because we all know how faux pas it would be to put an elegant Victorian chaise next to a sleek Le Corbusier sofa.

For those of you who follow Mad Men, here’s the design flaw: Betty Draper’s new fainting couch (a close cousin of the chaise lounge) placed in front of the fireplace, in her 50’s Modern living room stuck out a bit from the rest of her home. All I am saying is that you can have a little bit more latitude to work with and that you can be a bit more conscious with the selection.

P.S. Don’t forget that indispensable accessory called a throw! 

Award Winning use of Mosaics

Posted on: March 12th, 2011 by Ernesto

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.

24-2011 ASID Excellence Award Winning-Scottsdale Elegance-Master Suite Bathroom     23-2011 ASID Excellence Award Winning-Scottsdale Elegance-MasterSuiteBathroom-Custom Design Linen Cabinet & Mosaic Tile Rug Detail

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!

Designer Tips for Multifunctional Guest Bedrooms

Posted on: May 7th, 2010 by Ernesto

Depending on the scale of your home, it’s very likely that your spare bedrooms will need to serve functions other than just sleeping quarters for your guests. More and more we see them double as home offices, dens, dance studios, music rooms, or art studios. If you have ever been one of those unfortunate guests that has to sleep in one of those insufferable sleeper-sofas, the sort where the middle bar is located right under your lower back, you know all too well there is no comfortable position to catch your Z’s.

I have one word that will create happy guests and family lounging: Daybed

These are perfect for multi-functional rooms because they have several functions too! Most of the frames you’ll find in stores have a headboard, or some sort of frame around three sides of the mattress. With the proper pillows, this can easily replace that uncomfortable sleeper sofa. When sleepy guests arrive, add a blanket and you’ve got a traditional bed!

If you’re looking for a simpler solution a twin mattress and a box spring, the right assortment of pillows, bed skirt and a bedspread sized to completely cover the mattress can also do the trick efficiently and elegantly.

If you’re lucky, you can find a daybed with a trundle bed, or pull-out bed, underneath and double your sleeping spaces without taking up more space in your home office. 

Sweet Dreams!