Design

Architectural Digest: 3 Refreshing Quotes from the August Issue

If you hadn’t already heard through the grapevine, Architectural Digest has a new kid in town. The former editor-in-chief Margaret Russell has stepped down, making way for a new face – Amy Astley, formerly of Teen Vogue. Supported by the likes of Anna Wintour, Astley will be charged with reimagining and significantly expanding the 96 yr old brand’s digital presence and sensibility.

And we love the direction it’s going in! Not only did we notice a lack of big-box retailer mentions and ads (who shall remain nameless), but the new editor-in-chief opened this issue with a perfect quote from designer Maximo Bonetti:

"If people who can afford incredible decors keep commissioning bland minimalist interiors- which, I admit, are much easier to sell- It’s the end of decoration."

After this quote, we couldn’t help ourselves from thumbing through the issue.  We got inspired to share some of the fantastic quotes we found throughout the issue with you, particularly the satisfied clients’ refreshing thoughts on the designers they were working with.

PROJECT: A GREENWICH VILLAGE, MANHATTAN APARTMENT

Client: Italy’s renowned Caltagirone Family
Designer: Count Manfredi Della Gherardesca

The effervescent art collector Ginevra Caltagirone says of the collaboration with her designer friend:

“Manfredi is an absolute genius with color. Like the way I relate to art, we selected furnishings that speak to me- things that have character and soul. It’s been a journey making this a home. I feel like I’ve found the correct place, the place I belong."

PROJECT: AN IDYLLIC CONNECTICUT ESTATE

Client: a young family
Designer: Mark Cunningham – known for his work with Ralph Lauren

Happy with their finished Greenwich residence, the dynamic this family attributed to the designer approach, and as it turns out, the key to creating their ideal family home, is as follows:

"When we met him, instead of telling us about all the big names he’d work for, he asked us how we lived, what we thought about the space, where we eat breakfast. It was refreshing."

PROJECT: HONH KONH MULTI-UNIT RESIDENCE

Client: three generations of a local family
Designer: Mattia Bonetti

One of the sons from the family, who happens to be an adventuresome art collector, says of the designer:

"Once you’ve chosen a decorator, you should allow them the freedom to do what they like and just walk away. I hate designers who present mood boards for me to choose this or that. Mattia knows what we like. We live in such a strange world, where people want brand names and what their friends have. They pick style 1, 2 or 3. Mattia, on the other hand is so unexpected – and I want him to express what he wants."

And don't miss the gorgeous spread on Anderson Cooper's Brazilian retreat. What do you think of Amy Astley’s fresh new view for Architectural Digest?

 

The Interior Design Process

With this month’s Design promotion going on, I thought I’d touch upon what’s involved with the overall design process when you hire an interior designer. Our current promo gives you the opportunity to receive a complimentary consultation with our design team. At your convenience, we are always available to walk you through a wide range of upscale furnishings and accessories.

Aside from our own design services, working with local interior designers at Gardenology is also a big part of our daily routine. Designers come through and utilize our space to source or view goods with clients. 

 One of my favorite vignettes we did in Newport Beach featuring the Parisian Sofa by Klaene Gray, our exclusive in-house label.

One of my favorite vignettes we did in Newport Beach featuring the Parisian Sofa by Klaene Gray, our exclusive in-house label.

Whatever route you choose, the point of the overall process is to provide you with a design that is tailored to your personal taste, not just what is currently on trend and retailing. Below, I’ve listed the steps that make up the interior design process- read on for a better understanding of what goes into the development of a design project.

 The Klaene Gray Axel chairs work well with the round Alexander pedestal table. A clam shell and beaded chandelier add to the coastal look while a Dash and Albert striped rug tie it together.

The Klaene Gray Axel chairs work well with the round Alexander pedestal table. A clam shell and beaded chandelier add to the coastal look while a Dash and Albert striped rug tie it together.

THE CONSULTATION

This is the meet and greet phase. A designer will come to your home to discuss the project requirements, your overall budget, your wants/needs and time frames. During this initial interview, major objectives will be identified such as the scope of the project and the intended outcome. This is a chance for you to get an idea of what the designer can offer you, but also to make sure that you work well together. This overall analysis will be used to determine what the project will look like within your given parameters.

You may think this is all you need, sometimes it just helps to talk things over with someone and get some general ideas and directions. But if you are looking for a more hands on experience that allows you to sit back and let someone else do the work, then enter the first stage listed below. In most cases, it’s a wise and sensible choice- it helps you keep within budget and avoid costly mistakes.

 Vintage wood doors create a backdrop for the contemporary Rustica dining table with mismatched chairs.

Vintage wood doors create a backdrop for the contemporary Rustica dining table with mismatched chairs.

STAGE 1 : THE PROPOSAL

This is the first stage towards a working relationship - it defines the scope of the project and the estimated cost. The proposal details the deliverables such as room concepts, floor plans, etc. It also contains the information regarding how you will work together so you know what to expect. Once an agreement is reached on all the details, this becomes a working agreement/contract for your project.

 Outdoors don't look outdoors with our resin outdoor table and Lee Mimosa slipcovered chairs and Janus et Cie Chee chair. And yes, we love our coastal stripes.

Outdoors don't look outdoors with our resin outdoor table and Lee Mimosa slipcovered chairs and Janus et Cie Chee chair. And yes, we love our coastal stripes.

STAGE 2 : THE IMPLEMENTATION

At this stage, the creative team prepares an overall design concept/solution utilizing your input as they go, to bring your vision to fruition. Once you have reviewed the options available to you, it’s time to delve a little deeper into the fun stuff. At this point the designer will gather fabric samples, color swatches and other finishes and fixtures that support the overall concept so that you can picture the outcome. Meetings will be conducted on site from time to time.

 The Janus et Cie Lucy chair works indoor or out. Lucy gets cozy with a glass top side table.

The Janus et Cie Lucy chair works indoor or out. Lucy gets cozy with a glass top side table.

STAGE 3 : INSTALLATION

The goods and services that were agreed upon are ordered and purchased. Lead times are accounted for and installation begins. This is the final phase of the design process- after all the good stuff is installed, styled and accessorized- you should feel like your house is now a home. Now you can kick back and relax in your own personalized space- or start entertaining and showing it off!

What is your experience with the interior design process?

The Art of Layering Rugs

Rug Buying, it can be difficult. And what if you can’t decide between two (or more)? We say buy both and layer your floor! Many design predicaments can be solved this way, and we love the idea of layering rugs in an indoor or outdoor space. Read on for some of the easiest ways to layer rugs. 

 image via Hitta-hem.blogspot.co.nz

image via Hitta-hem.blogspot.co.nz

Base Rugs for Layering

A good starting point is finding a large base rug that fits your entire space, meaning all the furniture you plan to use will fit comfortably on this main rug. A natural sisal or Jute rug is ideal as a base so you can add a smaller patterned or textured rug that can be changed out as you wish. Or if you've found the perfect pattern and just need to double the space in an interesting way, consider layering the same rug.

 Image via  Jam Design

Image via Jam Design

 

Separate Spaces Using Layered Rugs

If you have a space that needs a large rug to define it, create sections within that space on top of your base rug. This is ideal for a loftlike space or rooms that can support two purposes. Highlight a seating area, or separate the dining area from the lounge.

 image via Kennethwalterblog.com

image via Kennethwalterblog.com

 image via InteriorsOriginals.blogspot.com

image via InteriorsOriginals.blogspot.com

When separating multiple areas in one room, it's a good rule of thumb to keep the rugs monochrome so that the other details of each space will define separate personalities.

 Image via kristoferjohnsson.com

Image via kristoferjohnsson.com

Statement Making Rug Layers

If you’re looking to embrace a cozy, undone look with patterns or textures, find rugs that work together but don’t match perfectly. This look is ideal if you have both an indoor and outdoor space that you can interchange rugs with. Go for colorful patterns, oriental inspired, or even mix in a faded one.

 image via Beldi Rugs

image via Beldi Rugs

Layer just 2 or layer them across the space to act as carpeting.

 image via  Domino

image via Domino

 Image via www.AmberInteriorDesign.com

Image via www.AmberInteriorDesign.com

For a more subtle effect, mix various sized stripes and add in one pattern, like this round up of Dash and Albert Outdoor rugs (currently in stock!).

dash and albert outdoor rugs

Texture Rug Layers

Adding a bit of texture in unique ways can make a bold statement. Different textures will have different effects on the space. Animal hides look great in every type of room. Start in the bedroom with a lush sheepskin layer to give the room a dreamy look.

 image via  Refinery 29

image via Refinery 29

In the living room, a cowhide adds a rustic, effortless look and highlights a seating area.

 image via  Apartment Therapy
 image via M yDomaine

image via MyDomaine

Our Chindi Leather rugs (currently in stock!) add texture with a more subtle statement, and without breaking the bank!

leather chindi rugs
Source: the-art-of-layering-rugs

Hotel Edit: Dream bedrooms

Boutique hotels are one of the first places we look to for bedroom inspiration- packed with decorating details to refresh any room. With luxurious linens and a whole host of conveniences, it’s no wonder we sleep so well when on vacay. Check out some of our favorite hotel style bedrooms, and take away some tricks of the trade for your own sophisticated boudoir.

Areias do Seixo Hotel- Lisbon, Portugal

Our first stop on the map is the Seixo Hotel, in Lisbon. Just a short walk from the Praia da Mexilhoeira beach, this eco-friendly hotel with cement floors and pebble walls uses geothermal energy and solar power.

Our first choice? The Land Room. Talk about magical. The ethereal, fairy-like feel of this room gives us a fluttering heart, or is that the heart mobile hanging above the bed? With driftwood accents from the nearby beaches and a textured bed in shades of oatmeal, this charming abode screams cozy.

 Photo |  Areias Do Seixo

If you'd like to stick with nature, but add a little sophistication with a masculine feel, get inspired by the Tree Rooms. A tree-like canopy frame sits on top of a polished cement pedestal, creating a modern organic feel. And, well, you know how we feel about circular mirrors, so we had to stick in a photo of the earthy bathroom.

 Photo |  The Vandallist   

Photo | The Vandallist  

Table on Ten - Bloomville, NY Catskills

The Catskills- the getaway hub for NY creatives who need a little nature in lieu of the concrete jungle. And Table on Ten, a refurbished 1860's house on Route 10, provides just that- with mismatched furniture and antiques creating a rustic, relaxed retreat.

 Photo | CN traveler

Photo | CN traveler

Owned by a carpenter and a chef, it's only natural that they would open a homey retreat that serves delicious meals. Enlisting the help of an Amsterdam based interior designer, the result is three primitive private bedrooms above the cafe. With handmade furnishings, simple organic bedding, beautiful natural light and a rustic copper bathtub- this room exudes the simplicity and charm of countryside living.

 Photo |  Table on Ten

Photo | Table on Ten

San Giorgio Hotel - Mykonos, Greece

Is your ideal morning routine waking up to picturesque white houses and sweeping views of the sea? Then the San Giorgio will do the trick, with its whitewashed buildings, poolside hammocks and striking rocky beach. Melding the carefree finesse of the '60s bohemian life with a down-to-earth “gypset” approach, how could you not feel relaxed?

 Photo |  Flodeau

Photo | Flodeau

Natural wood furnishings and wicker accents combined with tiled floors, turkish towels and embroidered bedding bring life's simple pleasures together with a cultural aesthetic. Seaside living with an ethnic twist- but definitely replicable here in Southern California.

Hotel Monteverdi - Tuscany, Italy

A renewed collection of three exquisitely restored rental villas and a 12 room boutique hotel in what was once a cobbled medieval village. Homespun elegance at it's best in this ideal Tuscan romance.

 Photo |  Monteverdi

Photo | Monteverdi

The bones of the room are classically Tuscan: stone walls, wood-beam ceilings and views from every window. But the highly styled and designed with gauzy drapes, recessed lighting, modern furnishings and natural light are all things that can be emulated in your own boudoir.

 Photo | Luxedb.com

Photo | Luxedb.com

Daylight Savings Tips

As we move toward shorter days and longer nights, more lighting becomes necessary in the home. With the upcoming holiday season, we’re sharing some of our favorite ways to light a dining room. The looks below incorporate hanging pendants and chandeliers, creating more space on and around the table for entertaining, one of our favorite things!

When dealing with a long rectangular dining table, opt for one of the multiple hanging pendant lights that mimics the shape of the table. This ensures that light hits each seat evenly. We love how this challenge was addressed in the rustic room above and included one of our fave options available at Gardenology.

If you don't have a designated dining room and are trying to create a dining space in an open floor plan, we are all about the geometric shaped pendants. These differentiate the area by giving it a specific style; the lines make a statement while the openness of the design keeps the overall room light and airy.

For a more architectural look, keep things polished with a petite wrought iron and glass pendant. The French black finish of the Clifton pendant lends an air of depth and richness.

If you're going for a modern organic look, combine elements of wood and metal. The winery chandelier at Gardenology adds a touch of rustic elegance.

So don't forget to change the clocks this Saturday and stop by Gardenology to keep your home light and bright!

Color of the Month : PASTEL PINK

With breast cancer awareness month being October, we’re picking our fave interiors that feature a soft sheen of pink. We chose tones that convey pink as a sophisticated and warm color. Combined with other pastels it can be soft and feminine, combined with grays and neutrals, it can be classy and chic.

WALLS

To avoid overdoing it and making a room like like a nursery, think about only painting part of the wall, use a colorblock process as seen here. And compliment it with blacks and other sophisticated neutrals.

FURNITURE + ACCENTS

Combined with other pastels, pink can create a glamorous and calming effect. We love the idea of a pouf in such an unconventional color.

   
  
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  Photographed by Jeroen van der Spek, VTWonen

Photographed by Jeroen van der Spek, VTWonen

Pink furniture can be used beyond Barbie’s dream house. The use of a pink tufted sofa in this image shows just how versatile the color can be. Add a washed pink rug to the picture against whitewashed walls and the overall room has a classic look.

   
  
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  photographed by Dutch Alexander Van Berge, VTWonen

photographed by Dutch Alexander Van Berge, VTWonen

TABLETOP

Pink dishes combined with sleek neutrals give a more mature tea party look. Consider a textured table throw in a blush shade to compliment a floral centerpiece.

 Right: Iloveswmag.com

Right: Iloveswmag.com

BEDROOM

Layering Pink linen with shades of taupe, gray and ivory keeps things soft, while veering away from being overly feminine.  We also love a good linen duvet from Bella Notte!

Accent the Space

Accent Tables are a great way to put the finishing touches on a beautiful room. They play an important role by expanding your living room comfort – holding beverages, stacking books, displaying holiday décor or family portraits. Before buying, think about what you need, assess the style of the room, measure the space, and snap some pictures.

THE SPACE

First, examine the space. If you’ve been reading our previous blog posts, then you know our recommendations for using your personality and preferred style as a starting point. Decorate the room first, not around a piece of furniture. Next, evaluate what you have and consider downsizing. Is it sentimental? Then it’s a keeper. Is it cheap? If there’s an option to redo it, then consider that. If not, replace it. It’s surprising how one small change can update the look and feel of the entire room. Add accent pieces after the overall style is chosen. Furniture should be neutral, and the accents are the thing you can change out to make an overall statement.

THE STYLE

Does your room need more texture? A natural element like rough hewn wood or something super-sleek? Traditional, contemporary, eclectic– we are big fans of mixing things up a bit. You can’t get too crazy with accent tables but you can inject a bit of glamour or personality. Or choose something that ties together multiple themes. If you are mixing old and new, think about the balance of the two and which one your coffee table should be.

Do you want it to have a use?  Storage for example. Or pieces with castors provide mobility for entertaining or toys. Lastly, have an awkward space behind a sofa that needs to be filled? That’s where console tables fit right in.

SCALE AND SHAPE

Coffee Tables: What is the correct height? Well, most sources say it should be below the seat height of your furniture. If you have a large, dark, chunky sofa, you don’t want to choose a small dainty cocktail table. Conversely, the table shouldn’t be longer than the sofa-no matter how great you think it is. Is your room cramped or spacious? For small spaces, we would recommend a round or oval coffee table. For homes with children or pets, no sharp edges - make it easy to maneuver around. A large room can handle those mammoth cocktail tables (square or rectangle).

End tables: The number-one question when choosing an end table: How tall should it be? The rule of thumb is that its surface area should generally be equal to or just below the height of the sofa or chair arms. The idea is to make it comfortable to reach for a book, lamp, or beverage. When you have a close enough measurement but are not sure, err on the shorter side.  And every side table does not have to be the exact same height. Nesting tables let you get away with some optional heights. End Tables come in all shapes and we prefer to mix and match. Also think about what needs to be placed on the table. Do you have a table lamp that has a unique base? Make sure it will fit on the tabletop you choose.

And when in doubt, take photos for another point of view, our team at both locations are happy to help!

One for the Books

The summer is starting to wrap up in Southern California, but it’s also secretly our favorite time of the year. The crowds have dispersed, but the weather remains. With a little less going on, this makes it the perfect time to take up some reading and new hobbies, and we have just the books to get you started.

COOKING: Flavors of Summer

Just because the Summer is winding down, doesn’t mean you can’t keep making use of the ingredients. September is the new Summer. If you didn’t have time to make that trip to the Mediterranean this year, get in the spirit with some of the exotic flavors listed in this book.

STYLE: Paris Street Style- Shoes by Isabelle Thomas, Frédérique Veysset

Imagine yourself at a café on the cobblestone streets of Paris, people watching as you sip your café, admiring the shoes of the beautiful Parisian women as they saunter by effortlessly. With this book, you can bring that style home. Explore the significance of the shoe as fashion icon and its deeply French origins, and receive expert advice on the selection and upkeep of footwear as well as perfect outfit pairings.

ART FIX: Equus by Tim Flach

Tim Flach is a London-based photographer best known for his highly conceptual portraits of animals, particularly horses. A lot of hard work went into his series-turned-book ‘Equus’. Unlike humans, you can’t just flat out ask an animal to pose for you and the best pictures are often taken after a long period of waiting for just the right moment. Prepare to be moved as you take an intensely closer look at an animal—as solitary subject and en masse, from the air and from underwater—whose history is so powerfully linked to our own.

LIVING: Designers Abroad by Michele Keith

We sure love looking at hotels in exotic locations for interior inspiration. But this book takes it a step further… Take a tour of the world with the creative brains behind said hotels, in their vacation homes! This revealing collection offers a sneak peek into how these designers embrace new cultures’ climates, architectural traditions and indigenous art, fabrics, and furniture. Each project is accompanied by the story of how its design was conceived and executed, and how the attributes of each country inspired its owners.

Choosing Dining Room Furniture

As of late, there have been debates ‘is the dining room over?’ We think not, the dining room is a place where family and friends gather for special occasions. It might not be a room you use all the time, but each time you do, memories are created.

Chances are, the dining room furniture you buy now will be the furniture you will have for years to come. Knowing a few key facts will help you smartly purchase the furniture that will meet your needs. When the room feels stylish and can comfortably accommodate all your guests, every meal you eat there will feel like a triumph.

THE TABLE

Measure the space and remember to include room to walk around the table and pull out chairs. Generally try to leave about 48 inches between the edge of the table and the wall. Rule of thumb: Circular tables feel better in a smaller room and rectangular or square tables fill a larger room. 

When it comes to size, also think about how many people will be sitting at the table. Base this initially on your family, though keep in mind events you plan to hold for friends. Adjustable tables give you the option of expanding when necessary, like the Tuscan Spring dining table we currently have in stores.

Think materials based on the architecture of your house and the overall feel you want to reflect. Even though they are all wood, Mahogany may feel formal, driftwood more rustic and oak or pine more casual, like the Vaughn dining Table we currently have in stores.  For a more industrial feel, choose concrete or metal, our concrete oval dining table is a good option for this arena.

THE CHAIRS

Make sure the chairs you choose work with your table height. Most dining tables are about 29-30 inches tall, and you want about 12 inches from seat to the top of the table. Also, think about if you want a narrow chair or low back, or even a bench - dependent on your guests.

Upholstered seats are comfortable, but also likely to show spills. This is when slipcovers like the Klaene Gray Newport chair come in handy. Also consider fabrics that require less work to clean. Wood or metal chairs are a good casual option if you have children.  We also love using outdoor furniture inside, like the Janus et Cie Loom collection, because of it’s durability and ease to clean.

THE FINISHING TOUCH

Make the room feel complete with bar furniture which is functional and takes up less space, doubling as a buffet or extra seating if necessary. If you have items you want to display such as family heirlooms, show them off in a display cabinet. Coordinate the material with the dining table or chairs to keep it flowing. Wine rack or storage is an additional decorative element and one that comes in handy when entertaining. Include an area rug that expands beyond the table size so that when a chair is pulled out, it still sits on the rug. Finally, add a pendant or chandelier, dependent on the room to create the desired ambiance for your memories.

What's Your Living Room Style?

Whether you’re relaxing after a long day or entertaining friends and family, the living room is just that- it’s where you live. Having trouble decorating yours? That might be because you’re not sure what your style is and how to find the right pieces. There’s so many great styles out there, why should you have to choose just one? Well, you don’t. But knowing your preferred style is a great place to start and place your focus. Worry not, we’re here to help. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite styles below, take your pick to determine which decorating style is your starting point, and share with us in the comments below!

The contemporary style offers the most current and relevant, it’s functional yet stylish. Because of it’s ever involving nature, clean lines are a consistent staple. Playing off a black and white palette is a good starting point and allows for the addition of larger scale accessories, bold patterns and pops of color. Modern details combined with a traditional base make for an unconventional approach.

One of the more popular styles due to recycling and loft spaces, the industrial style fits best in city living. Found objects and weathered woods evoke a raw, masculine personality. Added details such as old metal letters and vintage glass bottles or lighting add a comfort element making it a convenient space to unwind.

Vintage charm starts with an eclectic blend of distressed furniture, mainly antiques and flea market finds. These treasures have a story and create a warm and welcoming feel, with final touches like layered vintage fabrics and classical lighting. This style is for those with a creative brain and tends to be more feminine, though done right, it can also appeal to the male.

The main elements of rustic style are distressed items with a casual down home feel. Think modern farmhouse or cozy cottage. It’s easy to get carried away with this style, so keep the distressed items to a minimum by mixing and matching with primitive pieces and warm, earthy tones. Wood, iron and natural accessories are key staples.

Traditional design is formal in a casual way if that makes sense. Classical elements such as rolled arms or tufted upholstery on well made furnishings in formal arrangements take hints from the past, while a neutral base is given warmth and life with the use of texture and subtle color, making it warm and inviting.

Inspired by world travels, this style appeals to those with wanderlust. Incorporating natural manmade materials and ethnic design elements creates intrigue and interest, wooing your guests to ask about your latest jaunt. Another big influence is textures encompassing warm colors and old world details such as Moroccan patterns and furnishings.

Wood accents, textured rugs and blankets, and nature accents give the impression that a living room has been lifted from a mountain resort. Organized, scaled back and disciplined with sophisticated design elements, the modern organic style uses a balance of clean basics and architectural furnishings to create a comforting retreat.

Coastal Decor has moved beyond your traditional seaside living to become not so much a theme but an overall design that inspires a calm, relaxed, soothing setting. A pastel palette and blended elements in an airy space keep it casual and comfortable. This style offers variations from modern to traditional. It’s for those that long to bring the outdoor lifestyle in, or vice versa.