Crushing On…

Brilliant design concepts need little words so I will let the images do most of the talking here as I introduce two young creators I admire:

Richard Brendon Cup and Saucer

Richard Brendon Cup and Saucer

 

Richard Brendon

And the creator, above : Richard Brendon, a London based designer, British bone china specialist and entrepreneur who graduated from Kingston University in 2010. Richard’s inquisitive nature has led him to taking an archaeological approach to design.  He believes to design truly innovative work, a firm understanding of what has come before is essential. Richard has a particular skill in identifying and distilling the best elements from the past and transforming them into contemporary designs.  Through his work, Richard aims to bring a new audience to hand crafted luxury goods, and to help regenerate the incredible industries that make his products. Photos: courtesy Richard Brendon website.

ZAK+FOX textile

ZAK+FOX Kaze textile

ZAK+FOX

ZAK+FOX Volubilis Textile

ZAK + FOX company’s founder and creative director, Zak Profera, draws influence from his early studies of conceptual art at the prestigious San Francisco Art Institute. His relentlessly curious nature and adherence to eclecticism have resulted in the creation of an aesthetic that is classic, contemporary, and ever shifting. It is based on the notion that great ideas can come from the most unlikely of places. From the outskirts of Istanbul in search of vintage finds, to the depths of the Black Forest for an open-air expedition, Zak’s travels afar charge his imagination with the same sense of adventure that inspirits his designs. He presently lives and works in New York City with his fox, Shinji. Photos: courtesy ZAK + FOX website.

 

Aha Moment ?!!!

While at Blogfest, we were encouraged by House Beautiful editors to write about what inspires us, what might have been the moment in our life that prompted us to choose this profession, or what “AHA moments” we encounter in our daily work.

I have to say Aha Moments abound in my life. Like the time I realized very early on I was happiest creating and working with COLOR.

A little French girl growing up in Washington DC, bound to the rigid system of the French School I attended, I quickly found the freedom and joy of color in illustrations I created inside my French “cahiers” (notebooks) :

Illustration in my “cahier” at the French School.

Later as a brooding teenager, I perfected my craft to include realistic illustrations of other brooding creators (here Baudelaire, as a child):

Illustration of Baudelaire, enfant, by Barbara Elza Hirsch

I fancied myself a talented designer in the making: my goal was to be a fashion designer. From age 10 on, I had developed a mad crush on FABRIC and spent my time making little outfits for my barbies, or inventing little bags and decorative boxes out of Marimekko fabrics.

A vestige of my passion for fabric and creating (note the little ruby stone patiently sewn on to the bustier):

After high school, I moved to Paris and went to Art School, and later, to Studio Berçot, one of the top Fashion Design Programs. I madly scribbled and created designs for diverse collections:

Fashion Illustration by Barbara Elza Hirsch
Sweater line created by Barbara Elza Hirsch back in the 80’s.
Little summer bags created by Barbara Elza Hirsch while a student at Studio Bercot.

Alas, my career as fashion designer was never to be. I HATED the fashion world! If you’ve ever seen The devil Wears Prada, you know what I am referring to.

Little did I know that somewhere deep inside, was an interior designer in the making. Years later, as a wife and mother still enamored by COLOR and passionate about DESIGN, I found my true calling : Interior Design!

Interior designers were a friendlier bunch, and the freedom I encountered in creating designs was thrilling. Aha! I thought! It’s all coming together:

My love of fabric:

Windsor Smith fabric for Kravet on wing chair with contrasting piping. Custom creation by Elza B. Design, Inc.

My love of color:

A color scheme on a current Elza B. Design project. Inspired by a beautiful painting my client owns.

And just the joy of seeing it all come together:

Living Room created by Elza B. Design, Inc

But, wait! Look at what I just found in my childhood notebooks:

“Life is a Big Room” by Barbara Hirsch, done as a child.

Aha! I should have known :-) There was a room in me after all.

The Formidable World of Kelly Wearstler

Kelly Wearstler is a big name in the Design Industry. But who is Kelly Wearstler?

via

An interior designer, textile designer, and now, since the fall of 2011, a fashion designer, Kelly Wearstler is the new “chouchou” of the design world.  Born in 1967 in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, she obtained her BFA from the Massachusetts College of Art. In 1994, she moved to Los Angeles, CA thinking she would work in the Movie Industry. Deciding it was not for her, the slim and graceful Wearstler posed under a pseudonym in Playboy Magazine and used the proceeds to pay off her student loans and start her Interior Design Firm in 1995.  She was hired for a decorating project in the late 1990s by Brad Korzen, a real estate developer, whom she later married. She went on to provide Interior designer services for some properties Korzen and his Kor Realty Group owned, including the AVALON, a Beverly Hills hotel. From that point, her career really took off and she became renowned for her Hotel Design projects, Residential work, tablescapes and textile designs. Her style has been described as “Retro-Theatrical” by the New York Times but also as  “Hollywood Regency”-a glamorous, over the top style started in…you guessed it, Hollywood in the 1930s’. I would describe her style as extremely vibrant and layered, with a sense of grandeur and whimsy.

Here are a few examples:

Viceroy Hotel in Anguilla, in the Carribean by Kelly Wearstler
Residential Work “Pied à Terre” by Kelly Wearstler
Residential Work “The Doheny Estate” by Kelly Wearstler

I discovered Kelly Wearstler through her fabrics at Lee Joffa a few years ago, and used some of her fabrics in the Red Master Bedroom as well as in my home. What strikes me in her creations is her wonderful ability to play with color and textures. Kelly Wearstler puts in incredible research in her designs, and their level of refinement is masterful. One can imagine her with a pad and pencil in hand taking in everything that surrounds her: nature, art, travels, etc.

I recently went to the Boston Design Center and visited the friendly Lee Joffa showroom with the intent of checking out Kelly Wearstler’s new Spring Textile Lines. I was not disappointed!

Here are a few close up photos I took:

Okay, that first one is really just a teaser! Hard to see in detail. Now the one below is a close up I took to show you the intricate detail of this textile design:

Water Stripe EMB in Raisin /Rose Colorway by Kelly Wearstler. Linen with Rayon Embroidery
Feline in Ebony/Rose by Kelly Wearstler
Agathe in Ebony/Beige by Kelly Wearstler. Linen.
Currents in Ebony/Gold by Kelly Wearstler. Linen and metal.
Tempest in Truffle by Kelly Wearstler.
Currents Silk- Ebony by Kelly Wearstler
Serpent in Ivory by Kelly Wearstler -Linen,cotton, polyester
Bengal Bazaar in Graphite/Rose by Kelly Wearstler. Linen.
Currents Linen-Rose by Kelly Wearstler
Water Stripe EMB- Plum by Kelly Wearstler

I hope these images make you want to run out and discover more about Kelly Wearstler. She is quite a talented creator! Don’t forget to check her fashion, accessories and home lines at http://www.kellywearstler.com

Bonne Journée!

Design 101: Working with an Interior Designer

How does the process of designing a room work, you ask? How does it all start?  Let me show you how it works.

1-The First meeting is key

I will have my prospective client do homework to prepare for an initial meeting. This allows me to better grasp the client’s needs and style. Even if you can’t put your style into words, I can put it together for you from examining your photo selections and asking precise questions! Everyone has a style: it’s just a matter of having someone help you express it. For this, I have my clients clip images from Design magazines or select some of my pins on Pinterest. On Pinterest, I have filed over 1400 images to use for inspiration, keep track of projects, sort colors, fabrics, and beautiful interior design images. Prospective clients can create a board of interiors they like and present them to me at our meeting.

So a more traditional client drawn to earthy, warm tones may select something like this:

Via Pinterest. Designer unknown.

 This inviting warm color infused space was found on Pinterest. Designer unknown.

Somebody who likes a more elegant/glamour look may be drawn to this:

Suzanne Kasler ELLE DECOR

This refined interior was created by designer Suzanne Kasler. Via Elle Decor.

While a photo of a more masculine, relaxed and eclectic interior will draw others in:

http://www.pinterest.com/pin/250372060504067613/

Designer unknown. Via Pinterest.

A selection of a dozen or so photos by the prospective client are essential and tell me so much! I also like to look at images of things they don’t like, as those tell me a lot as well!

I will also present prospective clients with a questionnaire before we meet. Questions I ask include:

What will the rooms be used for?

Do you have any family heirloom or special item, such as a rug or painting you want me to showcase in this space?

What colors are you drawn to?

Have you worked with a designer before?

What is your budget?

After the meeting, I go to the drawing board and present clients with a follow up letter explaining the next steps as well as a contract.

2-After the contract is signed, we can get down to business!

-Measurements, photos are taken on site. These take a while, as we look at placement of outlets, vents, space around and under windows, etc. All of these will allow for information on where to position lamps, height of furniture, space in recessed areas, etc.   I will take photographs and measurements of all the pieces that are to remain as well (such as a treasured rug, painting, chair…) so to incorporate them in my plans.

-A few CAD drawings are prepared to offer different furniture placement options:

-Some sketches may be presented:

And of course, color schemes! Usually 2 or 3 selections. In this scenario, the client wanted me to work with three existing cherry red walls and two existing white roman shades. I created with the contractor a shelving system all around the bed. An  incorporated platform was designed with hidden drawers under the mattress, as well as two night stands and lighting above the headboard. The goal was to create something a bit eclectic and contemporary. The colors and fabrics we ended up selecting were reds, blacks, greys and whites. A few examples of fabrics used for this room:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After hours and hours of research for all elements, meetings, scouting the best fabric, lighting and furniture matches, more measurements, coordinating and waiting for all the items to be fabricated, I came up with a design that worked very nicely for my clients.

3-Grand Finale

This is the Before Picture:

Voilà, hope you enjoyed my friends! See you soon!

 

 

 

 

 

Blue Day Shopping

Last week my post was about feeling blue and the wonderful atmospheric quality of the  color blue.

This week I explore interesting items to shop for a Blue Day. Whether you like to be totally immersed in blue or just use pops of it here and there in your interiors, I have something for you!

Please have a seat:

Accessories, extra seating and coffee table:

Pillows, rugs and mirror:

Blue Fabrics: