Today's Ideabooks
Browse Bedroom Products on Houzz- For Example:

Monday, November 3, 2008

Vendors We Love--Kyle Bunting

Kyle Bunting Cow Hide Rugs are simply beautiful. The combination of texture, color and graphic design lead to an amazing combination of feelings. I particularly love Jet Stream in Creame, Gum, Smoke and Chocolate, Unchained in the solid natural creams, tan and browns & Mr Crowley in any machination of colors (I am a fool for Chevrons!)

He has a sale section which is great if you can find something which coordinates with your decor and is the right size. If not, his prices are great and the workmanship is highly evident.
The beautiful rugs have been featured in Architectural Digest, Metropolitan Home and Western Interiors to name a few.

Leave it to a Texan to come up with such a beautiful application for cow hides!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Remembering Mildred

On Wednesdays we are going to try to "Think Martha" in order to boost your entertaining skills---because really, what good is a beautiful home if you don't share it with friends and family. In working on some ideas I cast back to my Grandmother for inspiration and Mildred was an avid fan of Makers Mark Bourbon! These days I celebrate her memory with a favorite drink of mine which I have named in her honor. It is very simple but I think that the best drinks are. Test it out with a few friends around the fire!

1 Highball filled with Ice
2 shots Makers Mark Bourbon
Fill to top with Ginger Ale, I like the Jamacian style which has more spice than usual in it
Angostura Bitters to taste
Add a Cherry or two for some color and something yummy to eat at the end

Monday, October 27, 2008

If Walls Could Sing

I fell in love with a beautiful French hand painted wall paper recently. I originally spotted something similar (turns out it is from the same company) in a magazine but I lost the edition before I could nab the name out of it....as luck would have it I came across it again recently and was even more astounded by the variety of patterns and the versatility.

These fish have really caught my imagination. I am not so sure about the Chicken Figurines but I just find the whole idea so whimsical and fun. I look forward to using this in some delightful place!

Check out all of the wonderous designs at de Gournay

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Monday Reading List

The plan on Monday's is to post books that we like or think might be interesting reading. To be honest I have been a bit overwhelmed with Halloween festivities to buy any new books (I am still pawing over the Geoffrey Bilhuber book too), but I thought it might be interesting to post a few things from my Amazon wish list.

It's funny my list is now quite long, so every now and again I like to revisit it and see what caught my interest and maybe it will for you too.

Cotswold Gardens, by David Hicks

Well, any book by Mr. Hicks will catch my eye, but this is one that I don't have in my collection. I thoroughly enjoy his other garden book, My Kind of Garden, so I am looking forward to this one, which starts with his own home, and then goes on to describe his other gardens in the area. I think after I nab this one I will have a complete set of all the books by Hicks, perfect for a rainy weekend.

Hampton's Havens, by Hampton's Cottages and Gardens Magazine

I love the Hampton's, I think that they represent the best of classic American beach going. Warm water, rolling lawns and great garden parties. I am just about to start work on a house out there too, for one of my best and oldest friends, so I am studying up on the style and I think this book gives a great overview of the best homes, from Manors to Cottages.

Piet Boon: Beach, by Piet Boon

I am a huge fan of Boons work, and I came across this book on Amazon today. The description is brief to say the least " two beach houses in different regions by Piet Boon". But I am very excited to see hi clean sense of modernism applied in such a casual setting as the beach. If anyone has this book, let me know, my interest is piqued.

Friday, October 24, 2008

One More Thing....

While it may seem that I am a bit Schizo, but these blog postings are being written by three different people. I am Mark and also Kate and Ashleigh contribute as well, but we haven't quite worked out yet how to add those extra signatures to the postings, if anyone has any tips, please do not hesitate to let us know.

Anyway, I have lately been checking on a blog that I am quickly falling in love with: Unclutterer.com . It has some great tips about ways to simplify your life, from keeping your desk tidy to organising your computer files. A lot of the stuff is a bit sophisticated, but for instance this morning there was a terrific post about how to develop a self-purging filing system.... I loved that!

Check them out and let me know what you think.

Weekend Homework...

Happy Friday! From now on, each Friday I will be posting a bit of “Weekend Homework” for our readers. Maybe it will be a book or a website to check out, or maybe it will be a challenge to you to try something different with your current space, or a space you may be working on.
This week I encourage you to check out the wonderful sites I have used while designing a nursery for a longtime client. Through trial and error, I have found there may be a ton of nursery furniture out there, but not a whole lot I actually wanted to use. To save you time and energy, bookmark these great sites and refer to them next time you are creating a welcoming space for a brand new bundle of joy!

1.) Posh Tots- Beautiful cribs and other pieces of furniture.
2.) Oopsy Daisy- Fun, playful, wall decor.
3.) Little Castle Inc.- Rockers and gliders for mom and dad.
4.) Lulla Smith- Luxury baby bedding.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Maybe its the Time of Year...

I was looking around at the Pacific Design Center the other day, and it seems that there is a lot of red around. Perhaps its the time of year, perhaps its just that everyone is sick of pale blue, who knows?

Anyway, I thought I would post some red images of my own, what good is a bus, if no one is one it?

Monday, October 20, 2008

When life gives you lemons...

While leaving the office the other day I almosty tripped over a huge lemon that had fallen from our office lemon tree. I looked up to see many others, almost ripe and ready for use. I thought of making a batch of fesh squeezed lemonade right away, but realized there were enough large lemons there for much much more. Below are some of my favorite uses for this fruit when it is not in a yummy pie or tall glass of cold lemonade! Hopefully you will discover a few and use them in your home as well...

1.)Eliminate fireplace odor. Next time you have a fire that sends a stench into the room, try throwing a few lemon peels into the flames. Or simply burn some lemon peels along with your firewood as a preventive measure

2.)Clean tarnished brass, copper or stainless steel. Make a paste of lemon juice and salt and coat the affected area; let sit for 5 minutes. Wash in warm water, rinse, and polish dry.

3.)Refresh cutting boards. To get rid of a smell and help sanitize the cutting board, rub it with the cut side of half a lemon or wash it in undiluted juice straight from the bottle.

4.)Get rid of tough stains on marble. If washing won't remove a stubborn stain, try this: Cut a lemon in half, dip the exposed flesh into some table salt, and rub it vigorously on the stain. But do this only as a last resort; acid can damage marble. Rinse well.

5.)Absorb odors. Dab lemon juice on a cotton ball or sponge and leave it in the fridge for several hours.

6.)Whiten fingernails. Rub a wedge on the surface of your nails.

7.)Remove soft cheese or other sticky foods from a grater. Rub both sides of the grater with the pulp side of a cut lemon.

8.)Ant deterrent. Pouring lemon juice around areas where ants frequent is said to repel them naturally.

9.)Clean Hands. The smell of fish can linger on your hands, even after scrubbing with soap. Rubbing hands with lemon juice will neutralize the smell and leave your hands smelling wonderful.

10.)Quick décor. Fill a glass bowl with lemons for a sunny dining table centerpiece.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Good Enough to Eat

I have to admit that I would probably not be a dream client. I am very particular about what I want, but at the same time have no idea exactly what that might be. So it was with great trepidation I started a search recently for new dinnerware. My old sets were still great, a plain white one from Crate and Barrel, mixed with some from Calvin Klein, and some vintage pieces, but I felt it was time to do something new and fresh.

I looked at all the usual suspects, but everything seemed a little overdesigned to me, what I wanted was something that had some style, but was able to work with hot dogs on the plate or some of my attempts at gourmet cooking, not an easy order to fill.

I came across this company MUD, from Australia, and their work is absolutely beautiful, it is porcelain, that has had the tint added, so the color permeates through the whole piece, and then there is a clear glaze applied on top. It makes for the chicest blend of matte and gloss, and the colors are soft like old plaster. 

There are some great colors in the line, and I couldn't decide which to get so I went with a blend, so now wgen I set my table sometimes I will set each person with a particular color and other times a random mix. I love that the colors are soft enough too that I can still mix in my old sets as well.

Check them out, and let me know what you think.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Buying Antiques

I love old pieces of furniture, no matter how hard I try, the patina of an antique is impossible to match. Also, the feeling of an antique is hard to replace, one of my favorite things is to blend the old with the new, and i think it makes each feel stronger. However, for the novice buying antiques can be pretty daunting, for that matter being sure that the piece you are looking at is even an antique at all, can be half the battle.

Here are some tips that might help:
  1. It is best if you can maintain a constant interest, whether through auctions, dropping by your favorite shop, or the mega-site 1stdibs.com, the more you look at antiques the better you will get at recognising both quality and value.
  2. Take your time in making the decision, few good decisions are made in haste. Look at it in natural light to get a better sense of its real color.
  3. Remembering that some imperfections can actually add value, so don't expect it to be perfect. Having said that be wary of things like worm holes that's are all the same size, they may be created by a nail not a worm.
  4. Be aware, especially on old pieces that sometimes the hardware will have been replaced, so check closely for changes in wood color around the hardware locations, also look under the piece to see if you can see hand made marks, rather than machined perfection.
  5. If the dealer seems to be hiding things or be a bit shifty about the provenance etc, move on.
  6. Lastly, fall in love with the piece, it will bring you years of pleasure.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Perfecting the Thank-You Note

Being in the design industry, I have come to learn how important positive relationships are. It may be a vendor who goes out of their way to track your shipment, a sub-contractor who refers you to a potential client, or a rep who finds you that perfect fabric just in time…they all deserve a thank you! So lately I have made it my new policy to write two thank you notes a week to let those people know just how much I appreciate their extra efforts. Last week, it was a brief handwritten note to a client to thank them for their continued support, and this week it will be to a vendor who always seems to make my issue her only priority. For those of you out there who love the idea but don’t quite know how to begin, or what to say, I have included some tips for a fail-proof thank you note…
1. Open with enthusiasm. “What a (blank) sweater/book/vase!” or “You really know how to throw a (blank)!” says just what the recipient wants to hear — that you enjoyed the gift or the event.
2. Be specific. By thanking that person for their specific action or gift, you are letting them know exactly what they have done to assist you or make your life better, easier, happier…
3. Don’t repeat yourself or it will come off as filling space. Even “thank you” said over and over begins to seem less than genuine.
4. Don’t waste time! Send your thank you as soon as you think of it, or you will probably forget.
5. Reflect the effort made on your behalf with the effort you put into your note. Do not send a casual e-mail unless you’re thanking someone for a casual favor.
6. Don’t stress about making every note unique. If you have many thank-yous to send, write a template that you can personalize in parts. People aren’t literally going to compare notes.

Now, next time you write a thank you to a client or a friend it won’t be generic or repetitive, it will be just as warm and heartfelt as you had intended. Happy writing!

Must Have New Book

My copy of the new Jeffrey Bilhuber book arrived today. I have to say it has been a long while since I have been so impressed with a book by a single designer (Bunny Williams I think was the last one that I loved like this).

What I love most about the book is first of all the great pictures, clear, well lit and shot in a way to give the reader the most information possible. Secondly, his work is just amazing, it all seems so fresh, but firmly rooted in tradition. If I had to show one book that highlights why I love design, this is that book.

Just click on the link above and check it out, it would be the perfect Christmas gift!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Look at Life a bit Differently

I came across the work of a Texas based artist today, that I think is just tremendous. His name is Paho Mann, and I love the way his photo's force you to look at the world in a whole new way. The series pictured above is called "Junk Drawer" and its images of junk drawers from around the country. It is such a piercing look into our dark nooks and cranny's. His other work includes "Medicine Cabinets" ( I am less a fan of this after seeing a similar series by Damien Hirst), but his series on re purposed Circle K's is great.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Even More Recycling

It seems that we are verging on turning this into a Blog about recycling, but I came across the work of Amy Hunting and I just could not resist. She is a furniture maker/ artist from Norway and she went around to a whole bunch of wood mills and scavenged their scraps, from which she has made a line of furniture that seems to be inspired by patchwork quilts. At first I was not entirely sure whether I thought these were beautiful or just a little ugly, but the more I come back to the images, the more convince I am that they have a real folksy beauty.

Check out more at Amyhunting.com

Friday, October 10, 2008

Reduce Reuse Recycle

In thinking about today's post, while watching the stock market plummet farther and farther down, I realized that all design work will have to become as much about beautiful new pieces as about using old things in new ways and taking ones own belongings and using them in different applications. I had a look around my own home and discovered that in a way, we have already begun doing so.

My partner worked in a grocery store in his younger years and managed to "nick" some old 7-Up Bottle Boxes. Up until recently they were at the top of a storage rack in the garage but while searching for a new way to maintain some semblance of organization of my magazines, I came across them. What a fun way to bring in some personality, memories, beautiful wood and a bit of kitsch quirkiness!

Additionally, in my weekends worth of magazine organization, I came across some wonderful pictures in Home & Garden UK (March 2008) of different uses of the "under stairs" area which so often is one of the most impossible place to utilize space in a useful, dynamic, and beautiful way. I particularly fell in love with the idea of the wood piled artfully. The simplicity of leaving the under stairs open looks elegent in quite a modern application and the wood creates a bit of texture and interest in an all too commonly looked over space!

Monday, October 6, 2008

I’m not quite sure how I first stumbled upon Stray Dog Designs… I think it was one afternoon as I was tediously doing my catalogue reading when I saw it… the bright blue “artichoke lamp.”
Not only was it funky and different, it intrigued me to venture to its website and see what other treasures might be hidden among the pages. I didn’t have to look far, as Stray dog designs is a diamond in the rough. Their lighting is fun and whimsical, perfect for a kids room, or a room that needs a shot of color or a bit of personality. Their accessory pieces are bold and dynamic, like the customizable “peace antelope” that is available in 14 different colors and made from recycled materials by artisans in Haiti.
Who knew being “green” was going to be so fun?
Best of all, the pieces on the site are hand-made with custom colors, and a portion of each purchase price is donated to a charitable organization. A company with bold design, and a heart… now that is refreshing. Check out Stray Dog Designs at

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Dining Chairs to Covet

Recently I have found numerous pictures of chairs that I have ripped out of magazines for reference, only to discover that they all share a similar "bent"----It seems that my sub-conscious is gravitating towards the same look in several various and fabulous incarnations.

The Emmerson Chair
This lovely chairs have a slightly Asian feel but the gray white finish and the beautiful Abaca woven seat lead me to believe that they could look fantastic in any decor. They are on sale at the moment so lets hope Pottery Barn keeps this darling for the long run!

The Nguni Chair
Clean lines, beautiful craftsmanship, & an ethnic feel without the usual embellishments have taken this simple chair to another level of chic. Made in the South African Delta and sold but a Spanish company, they may be more difficult to get than just a click away but certainly worth the effort for the outcome will be outstanding!

The Kadrega ("chair" in Milanese dialect)
Slightly different from the previous and a bit more modern, these Italian lovelies are yet to be priced but I dare say I think that they will be making a trip from Milan to Los Angeles in order to grace my dining room. I would love to see them with the Large Tableaux Dining Table!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Tick Tock, 5 Great Clocks…

1.)The Nelson Asterisk Clock is fun, modern, and perfect décor for anyone with a sense of humor. With its simple modern design, it is a great accent piece for the minimalist who refuses to take themselves too seriously.

2.)The Innermost UK’s Ghost Clock really is an amazing re-creation of a traditional carriage clock. The classic etching on the clock’s glass face and roman numerals, are reflected by a strategically placed mirror that makes this clock a beautiful timepiece and a fantastic accessory.

3.)Five years ago I never dreamed I would be blogging about great clocks from Target, but today I am. A new take on the vintage cuckoo clock, the Utopia Wall Clock is a Mark Cutler Design favorite. Delicate edge detail and a swinging pendulum make this clock perfect for a kid’s room, living room, or any room that is in need of a fun piece that won’t be going out of style any time soon.

4.)My fourth great wall clock on this list (also from Target) is by Designer Sami Hayek. As a design professional, this piece spoke to me immediately; reminiscent of the color wheel I had back in design school. I think this one might be my favorite, with its tiny splashes of bright colors on a simple wood background. I could see this clock in my home office as a perfect daily reminder of those color wheel days, and just how far I’ve come.

5.)Lastly, the Wenge Clock by Architect Jason Linde takes a backward look at a traditional clock. This design is not only unique, but it combines simplicity, innovation, and style. A great conversation piece, this clock is for the décor-a-holic looking for the clock that no one else has.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

It Is So Nice To Fall In Love

For years I have been reluctanat to use marble or granite for the kitchen counter---it felt like it was everywhere, in fact it was. Every kitchen advertisement and every HGTV show. I really like the idea that as soon as "everybody" is doing it, it is time for me to stop. There are so many wonderful options and I they are all worth exploring.

Recently, we were working on a home for a client to live in while we raze his current place and rebuild. The home needed a lot of work but since our client did not want to invest a lot, we put in a kitchen from Ikea. They really represent great value, for people on a budget, and they have enough styles to suit almost any taste. In order to jazz it up we installed Verde Fire Granite--the sample was so small but it looked really lovely. In application it looks Amazing, Astounding, Brilliant, Beautiful, Comely, Capricious---I could go through the alphabet with compliments! What I discovered is that really I hated the generic marble & granite which was so readily available but completely overused. A bit of exploration at your local stone yard will yield many wonderful options. It required that you be inventive and imaginative but trust me, it is definitely worth it. Here in LA,
Marbles Unlimited and Walker Zanger are well stocked suppliers.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Creating a “Home Organizer”

This past weekend as I was enjoying the sun and catching up on my catalogues, I got a phone call from my sister. It seems my darling nephew had somehow scratched their newly faux-finished entry wall with his drivable mini Range Rover. I thumbed through the new Pottery Barn as I listened to my sister panic because she couldn’t remember what paint we had selected for that wall. After briefly throwing around strange (and somewhat amusing) combinations of paint names, we realized we had no idea what colors we had used.

It was this dilemma that prompted my Monday morning search into the world of the “Home Organizer”. Some call it the “Home Bible”, some the “Home Notebook”, but they are all pretty much the same version of this wonderful invention. Of all the organization websites I visited, the basic idea was the same. A three ring binder or notebook is used for room by room home record keeping. This can include (but is not limited to) storage for information on paint, flooring, tile, window treatments, appliances and more. The binder or notebook usually comes with dividers, but might also include pockets, business card holders, or photo sleeves that can be used to compile and store vendor info. For those of you DIY-ers out there, compiling your own Home Organizer can be a simple weekend project with all supplies purchased at your local office supply store. If a pre-made version is easier for you, my two favorites are http://zingpress.com/pages/Ultimate.aspx & http://www.brightworkshome.com/index.html

This week I plan on compiling a Home Organizer not only for my sister and her child-filled household, but for my single best friend as well. She just bought her first home, and I plan to give it to her as a housewarming gift. Staying organized during those critical times can ultimately simplify the design process, and make finding those paint chips a breeze the next time your little one decides to use the entry as a race track.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Ode to Overhead Lighting

In hunting around the web for inspiration, I turned to Apartment Therapy-LA and literally had a light bulb go off! As I read this blog entry I was reminded how much I hate the overhead lighting in my new apartment and that my roommate is STILL using the ceiling mount fixture in her bedroom as the ONLY source of light! The room is really well decorated (thank you very much) but she has never gone to get the lamp I suggested, out of laziness or lack of care, I assume.
When I go in there during the day I am greeted with beautiful textures and colors and at night it can only be described as putrid. The lamp destroys any and all color and warps it into something hideous! I cannot imagine that she looks in the mirror as she is getting dressed to go out and thinks that she looks great, as absolutely nothing can look great in that light! Whew! Enough with the rant......Overhead lighting should only be used to wash the walls with light, highlight a specific piece of art or a particular design detail or provide task lighting (like in a kitchen). In any other case, there are literally 1,000s of choices to coordinate with every decor and budget.

Previously Mark has blogged about the wonders of Circa Lighting and I have to agree. Here are some other wonders that I have come across which are beautiful.

These black beauties grace my Living Room and for the money, they are unbeatable! I have to say that most people who see them think that I spent much more than I did--glass base with perspex shade and glass fineol---your buck goes a long way!

Rider Table Lamp from CB2 $49.95

I have to preface this with "I have not seen these in person" but I imagine that they are beautiful when lit and I love the simplicity and the modern design incorporating a traditional, natural material. I for one think that this would be a lovely way to illuminate a hallway and spend the $600 from President Bush and his Economic Stimulus Plan!

Orbit Sconce from Design Within Reach $280

These eye catching beauties were featured in Blueprint many months ago but have been on my inspiration board since. Property, a New York based furnishings company, is run by a furniture & interior designer and a top set designer----the results are awash with delightful pieces and shocking color!

"Beat" Tall, Fat, & Wide Pendant Lights Property $360 each

Finally, and for good measure because I am such a fan, these Solid Crystal Buffet lamps are worth every penny! There are a lot of crystal lamps on the market these days--stacked balls, urn shape, and big heavy blocks but none of those have the timeless look and feel as these.

Oval Stacked Crystal Buffet Lamp Circa Lighting $630

Lighting can be expensive but without a doubt, before paint and a new sofa, accessories or a rug--Lighting is an investment in both the overall look and feel of your home and if well chosen will withstand the test of time and fads.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Hiring an interior designer…

Hiring an interior designer may seem to some an arduous task. There’s the challenge of finding a designer who understands your vision, will respect your budget, and stay on track. But before you jump and hire the first designer you are referred to, pause and think about your needs. Consider some questions your potential designer may have for you. What is your time frame and budget? For whom is the space being designed? Do you need a little help or a complete overhaul? Also remember that the more information you provide the prospective designer, the more successful he or she will be in meeting your needs. You may even want to do your own research, or create an idea book of images that inspire you to discuss with potential designers.

Arrange interviews with a few potential Interior Designers in your area. Ask about their prior projects, education, experience, and client references. Upon your request they should also be able to provide you with a portfolio of their work and any professional affiliations or credentials. Interviewing different designers will enable you to become familiar with differences in personality, style preferences, and business practices. Remember that you will be working closely with this person, so make sure you feel comfortable interacting and expressing your ideas with them.

Once you have narrowed your search, inquire further about the designer’s fee structure.

Is there a contract? Discuss your specific needs to make sure the designer’s fee schedule/contract will work for you. For example if you only need some advice on paint colors and furniture placement, a flat or hourly fee would be most common. However, if you project is more involved, there will likely be a combination of fees for renderings, research & development, and mark-ups on purchased items etc. Speak openly with the designer about your budget, and let them know if the number is firm or flexible.

Lastly, when you do hire a designer remember to be upfront and honest with them at all times. Speaking up in the beginning allows them to better understand your vision for the space, and design accordingly. When designer and client are on the same page things flow smoothly and the space you envisioned can be realized.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Playing In Your Tent Never Looked So Good

Mark & I have been chomping at the bit to post pictures of the Tableaux Tent which was just published in Traditional Home "On The Table". We did a shoot at one of our client's homes back in November and have been sitting on these photos since then! Talk about patience!

Nevertheless, we are free to croon about the beauty, flexibility and joie de vivre of the tent! It is made of the same stain resistant, machine washable canvas like synthetic fabric as the Tableaux Cloths. Currently we are making the "stone pavilion" but hope to have a few other design options for the "walls" in the near future! I just love the idea of sitting out in my back yard under the beautiful tenting and enjoying a diner with friends ----sounds to me like a perfect summer evening!

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Friday, February 15, 2008

New Feature Coming Soon

I just went out and bought my first video camera,,,so be on the look out for some video posts, as soon as this weekend. I am just brushing up on editing techniques but i hope to get something posted in the next day or so...

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Inspiration - Execution

Although California, and Los Angeles, in particular has a relatively short history, there are some great shining moments. One of those was the growth spurt that happened in the 1920's and 30's. There was a real interest in design at that time here and you saw the rise of some really terrific Mediteranean inspired architecture. To help feed that need a pottery opened in Malibu that created some of the most beautiful tile designs, most of which based on Spanish and Moorish inspiration. The top picture is an image from the Kitchen at the Adamson House. It was the house built by the owners of Malibu Potteries to showcase their work. It stands today as a great place to visit and an endless source of ideas.
The second picture is a small bathroom I was asked to design in a Spanish Revival home. So I used the Adamson House as my inspiration and used a bright color scheme and lots of patterned tile. I hope you like the outcome.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

This is Exciting News

One of my favourite architects in the world, Jean Nouvel is coming to Los Angeles! As reported yesterday in the Los Angeles Times, he has designed a new condominium building at the edge of Beverly Hills. From the images I have posted it looks fairly straight forward, but what is difficult to see is the hanging gardens that go down the thin side of the whole building. Think of it as a modern versions of the Gardens of Babylon. They will be hydroponic and create an amazing display that will be able to be seen for a long distance. The approval process has only just begun, so it will be years before we see it come to fruition, but simply the idea has perked up my weekend.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Rethink Venetian Plaster

One of the biggest challenges in constantly trying to create something new and fresh for each different project, is finding new ways of using common materials. This posting is about a small room that I particularly love. It's a Powder Room that I did, where I wanted to create a very detailed but subtle pattern on the wall. I knew that I wanted to use Venetian Plaster (a tinted colored plaster), the beauty of it, is it's subtle shading of color. So the new technique I developed (well in the interest of full disclosure, had the plaster guy develop), involved using a plastic stencil, like you would use for stencilling. We did a coat of plaster over the wall, then, after it dried, using spray adhesive, attached the stencil to the wall, then applied another coat of plaster. Then you peel away the stencil and it leaves behind a wonderfully subtle raised pattern.

This may sound like a fairly complicated technique, and it certainly requires a certain amount of skill. But you could easily develop a simpler technique, while still using the stencil.

  • Maybe a very subtle painted technique (using the same color but one coat with a flat paint, and one with a gloss)
  • Try stencilling over a textured wallpaper, I think stencilling over grass cloth is a particularly good technique.
  • Using the stencils to create a panelled look in your room.

The important thing is to think creatively about your resources, you might be amazed what you can come up with.