Monday, April 25, 2016

Sconces: Your Second And Third Layer of Lighting

If you look to the right, I have an ever-growing list of what I like to call my "Design Mantras," things I find myself saying often to clients...or to anyone nearby! And #4 deals with a subject I covered in a past post here called "Lighting Basics: How To Illuminate A Space."

For a successfully illuminated room, there are three basic layers of light: ambient, task, and accent. Ambient light generally means a light that will blanket a space, brightening the room. This layer includes recessed ceiling lights placed so that a room receives an even wash of light.

For the remaining two layers, task and accent, sconces can be a marvelously versatile lighting fixture. When used in a bathroom, and placed so the lighting source falls evenly at face level, they can function as task lighting, illuminating your face and eliminating shadows so tasks light applying make-up and shaving are made much easier. I am always irked when, for example, I'm staying at a hotel, and the bathroom only has an overhead light so that my brow, nose, and jaw cast heavy shadows on my face and neck! And a simple, well-placed sconce can erase those shadows.

I love to use sconces for that reason. Take a look at some bathrooms I've designed which incorporate the versatile and decorative sconce:

For maximum impact both in terms of light and style, I often like to use a very large scale mirror in a bathroom and mount the sconce on the surface, doubling the amount of light!

Sconces can be excellent task lighting for the bedside. Because there is no need for the foot of a table lamp to take up valuable real estate, a wall mounted fixture allows the entire surface of a night table to be used.

Sconces on a fireplace breast add an extra, alluring layer of glow and warmth!

And dinner parties in well-appointed dining rooms always benefit from an additional source of sparkling, accent light...

And most importantly, remember to put all of your lights on dimmers for flexibility.
Happy designing!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Engaging Entries, Part 3

These Engaging Entries are a continuation of previous posts, here and here, in which I remarked that every house should have an entryway that announces the personality of the homeowner... an entryway that is playful, engaging, welcoming, or dazzling.

And here is visual proof that you don't have to have an enormous entryway to create an engaging entry; an inviting tableau on a console table accompanied by an interesting lighting fixture, some art, and of course some fresh cut flowers announces that you are stepping into the home of someone intriguing...

As usual, I hope this has inspired you to create your own engaging entry!
Happy designing!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Ege Carpet Atelier

Ege Carpet, designed in New York and made in Denmark have been making floor coverings for 78 years now, so they know a thing or two about it. They even have a wonderful program called Atelier that allows you to design your own bespoke product. If you can imagine it, they can probably put it on a carpet or rug. Look at some of these marvelous examples below like the sand dunes or aerial map that add interest, whimsy...creating a custom rug makes a space truly memorable.

And French fashion designer Christian Lacroix created these amazing carpets for fashion museum Musée Galliera in Paris and art museum Musée Réattu in Arles.

It is vital to incorporate pattern, color, and interest into a room with furnishings but often a floor is overlooked. Even though these photos show carpets in commercial applications, they could work beautifully in any residential setting.
Are you considering adding a special touch to your floors? Give me a call!
Happy designing!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Like Jewelry For Your Cabinetry

As a designer, I am always on the lookout for the unusual, unexpected, special little details that can take a room from being just nice to being jaw-droppingly beautiful. Especially in kitchens and bathrooms where the opportunity for furnishings is diminished, it is important to pick elements judiciously. I like to tell clients that these kinds of finishing touches are like jewelry: fine silver cuff links on a tuxedo or a beautiful pair of diamond ear rings and necklace on an evening gown. Spaces benefit from such accessories.

Enter Hardware Renaissance, a high end company that handcrafts gorgeous door and drawer handles and pulls. Started by Anagha Dandekar in 2002, the company offers an original line of hand forged iron completely hand made by master blacksmiths. In 2004, the company introduced solid cast silicon bronze hardware with a commitment to environmental responsibility. The bronze hardware is made from at least 90% recycled material.

But the thing that puts these stunning products over the top is their new line of hardware inset with semi-precious stones such as chrysocolla, rotile, and black or red jade stone. These pulls would certainly give your interior doors and cabinet drawers a special sense of exquisite modern luxury!

Happy designing!