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Thursday, March 31, 2011

West Week 2011

This year, our friends at Michealian & Kohlberg helped kick off The Pacific Design Center's Annual "West Week" by inviting Mark to be a special guest speaker! Mark gave a great talk (to a packed house) and shared his tips on "How to Build a Room From the Ground Up". Using many of Michaelian & Kohlbergs beautiful carpets as examples; he showed how he often uses an area rug as inspiration for a whole room.. Or, sometimes the rug is simply a serene backdrop to the rest of the space... Overall, it was a wonderful experience and we want to thank Michaelian & Kohlberg for the opportunity. It was inspiring to see all of the great design elements that West Week had to offer this year!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011



A wall will never be complete if it is left blank and stark. Not only will you hear yourself speak twice with the echoing emptiness but you’ll leave your home and yourself feeling like it’s been institutionalized. Of course you could go for the usual painting or picture frame but then you may as well be going with the same d├ęcor as every other house you have been in. instead you could try to find fun ways to put a spin on these everyday items and create something different. In this particular example I have chosen a number of shadow puppets that have been mounted in neat little frames and placed in rows on the wall. The combination of all the frames take up a large amount of space on the wall, and the repetition give them undeniable interest from onlookers.

The entire collection not only becomes a wonderful conversation piece, but it’s also becomes a piece of art. Find whimsy and inspiration in everyday items. Here, a grouping of framed shadow puppets add interest to the large wall as well as create a sense of whimsy in the space. The eye is drawn to the collection and not only is it art, it is a conversation piece as well.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


I honestly believe that you should make the most of your storage space in a home. Now, I’m by no means referring to stuffing as much as you can into a single drawer or cupboard, instead I’m actually referring a far more creative usage that is practical and still meets the requirements of a good storage space.

Paying the same amount of attention to a closet as you would to an ordinary room gives you the chance to really bring out the best in something as simple as storing your clothing. This particular closet has custom wood shelving and drawers that gave the client ample space to store all their clothes and accessories. The shelves almost reach to the ceiling so I added a ladder that is both useful and decorative. The rug and hanging light fixture helps give the room a sense of depth and warmth that makes the entire space so inviting that you would probably take your time getting dressed in the morning.

I love to be bold when it comes to artwork. Nothing screams “look at me!” more than a piece that is over-sized and occupies a small space in such a way that it grasps your unflinching interest and never lets go.

Take this painting as an example - it’s unusually large size immediately draws your attention to it from anywhere in the room. It creates vertical movement, by forcing your eyes to look it up and down. From this particular view, the leather chairs and table below give the picture some grounding, while adding balance and symmetry.

The important thing to remember here is that one should never underestimate the power and impact of scale. If you can find a way to combine it with the rest of the room in such a way that it adds a touch of style and elegance, then the question of using it changes from a “why?” to a “where??”

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Comfortable Fabric


When it comes to creating a more rustic look and feel to a room, I personally like to add a dash of
color to create a spark of interest somewhere in the room. In this particular case the orange wing
chairs combined with the natural light pouring in from the windows behind them tend to draw
interest to the back of the room and give it depth.

The large windows bring ample amounts of natural into the room and the fireplace adds a homely touch. Two attributes that shed light onto the conversation areas quite nicely. In response to the existing features of the room, like the Victorian plastering over the fireplace and the open ceilings I decided to go with more comfortable fabrics to compliment the rustic accents, the whole idea behind that is to create a sense of balance in the room.

All in all, the whole room almost gives you a step back in time while giving you that hint of
modernism. Just another contrast that help create enough interest to make the room pleasing to the eyes.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Mastering the Bathroom


I really despise a standardized bathroom with white porcelain and plain taps that make a
bathroom look bland and uninviting. Traditionally that is what you would find in any given
bathroom regardless of where you are in the world. In my personal opinion, a bathroom
should be a place where you can pamper yourself and relax. It shouldn’t be about hopping
into the bath or brushing your teeth before you dash off to work.

I prefer to play with the layout of a bathroom a little. Placing the bath at an angle creates a
bit more perspective as opposed to sticking it in the back corner. The angle opens it up to
the rest of the bathroom, and changes the way you look at it.

In this particular bathroom I used stained glass for the windows, making them large scale
to allow a lot more natural light into the space to give it a warmer feel. Dark wooden floors
supplement the light and add to the warmth of the room, making it a good contrast to the
traditional tile flooring that everyone uses.

In a way, it’s great to think a little differently when it comes to bathrooms. You can break
away from the norm and create a unique look and feel to a place where you can wind down
after a hard days work.

The world would be a dull and boring place if we didn’t have color to keep things interesting. In
many instances people take this to the limits by splashing out with vibrant and clashing colors that would stand out even if you looked at them from the international space station. As ridiculous as that might sound, you may realize the truth in that statement after considering some of the houses you might have seen.

Personally, I don’t see a whole lot wrong with light neutrals and in some cases even stark whites.
That’s only because I see them as an opportunity to dash a few color accents on the pillows, and
compliment them with a beautiful rug or elegant drapes. A large open area filled with a light ochre or eggshell becomes a blank canvas where your creativity is free to flow I any direction you see fit. Without going completely overboard, you can give life to a room by using a sensible balance that gives it a bit of personality.