Hello loyal followers! We hope you enjoy reading our blog. To bring you better dispatches from the modern design world, we’ve upgraded to a new website. Please follow us at www.blog.fabricseen.com! We can’t wait to see you there!
Since she redesigned the Beverly Hills Hotel in 1999, Kelly Wearstler has become a design inspiration and a household name in the world of design, and more recently, fashion. This week, InsideSeen visited her flagship store on Melrose Avenue in Beverly Hills.
From stunning ready-to-wear fashion, jewelry, furniture, home accessories, and “objects d’art” to the impeccably designed interior space, the flagship store is a testament to Wearstler’s diverse design abilities. The impeccable design of the store is something of a cross between a bohemian retailer, an avant garde art gallery, and a chic yet crowded home. The flagship is inviting and immediately gives the shopper an appreciation for Wearstler’s distinct oeuvre. Some of the items in the store are for sale while others aren’t. Wearstler does not change the merchandise on the regular seasonal fashion schedule, but rather adds pieces in a more organic way.
The flagship creates a shopping experience as unique as Wearstler. The mannequins (like the one shown above) are complimented by sculptures that take the shopper out of a traditional retail experience. The juxtaposition of the two human forms causes shoppers to examine their surroundings and seems to pose questions about the role of art and aesthetics in the retail experience.
Wearstler’s flagship, as well as her designs, are sure to continue to bring design inspiration. For more updates on the designer and her own inspirations, read her blog, My Vibe My Life; and stay tuned to InsideSeen and our blog for more dispatches from the world of design.
Last week, I attended the Design Bloggers Conference in efforts to bring you better dispatches form the modern design world. There were many inspirational speakers, designers, and bloggers at the conference, but one of the design inspiration high points was a talk by Barbara Barry in which she explained her design aesthetic and read excerpts from her book “Around Beauty.”
Barry is an artist. She showed images of interiors, products, and inspirations and spoke of her craft as an art form. Finding inspiration in nature and in the beauty she witnesses, she notices the details in the everyday and uses watercolors to bring her design to life.
I was so drawn to Barry’s aloe leaf plates, which were inspired by the imprints aloe leaves make on each other before they grow off the central stalk. These plates are a true testament to Barry’s desire to take the beauty in the every day and translate it into beautiful products and designs for everyday use. They remind us to slow down and enjoy the beauty of nature and see it reflected in the products and designs that surround us.
Barry’s propensity to actually notice, observe, and engage with the every day is manifest in the way she communicates her designs to clients. When she does, she starts with a white space, layering in elements of the design like a slide show. She wants her clients to digest the images and inspirations she presents so they will not only see, but also feel and understand the mood of her vision.
Her unveiling of her vision is one that is not only worthy of consideration by designers, but also one that we should consider when designing our own living spaces. Imagine how people will feel when entering your design or your home. What mood does it set? How are favorite pieces highlighted? Take, for example, the photo above. The Malibu Beach surroundings are reflected in the cool colors, soft textures, and organic patterns used in the design.
Barry’s mantras of “mood is a world I live in and revolve around” and “beauty is always in” are evident in her designs. She creates complex designs, yet because they draw on moods reflective of their surroundings, her designs attract the viewer to them and inspire with simple beauty.
In today’s product designer spotlight, we’ll highlight one of our favorite Los Angeles-based design firms, MASHstudios. Founded by Bernard Brucha in 2002, this multidisciplinary firm specializes in furniture design and manufacturing and creates products that are sleek, superbly simple, and sustainable. Why do we love them, you ask? Well, read on for our reasons.
They’re Cutting Edge
Whether designing their own furniture that pushes the creative envelope or working on collaborative projects with clients like Crate and Barrel (CB2), Annenberg Foundation, or Microsoft, MASHstudios is always sleek and modern. They create unique products and designs that fit their clients while maintaining elegance and style. Take the LAX Series Wall Mounted Desk, for example. With no legs necessary, this wall mounted desk is innovative and modern design at its finest.
They create quality products.
MASHstudios transforms beautiful, high quality materials — like solid English walnut, teak, and powder coated aluminum – into unique and modern products. Both their LAX and PCH series elegantly combine materials, as exemplified by the LAX Series Coffee Table or the PCH Series Dining Table, shown above with the LAX Bench and Dining Chairs in the image gallery.
For MASHstudios, being green is just good design sense. With superior craftsmanship and the highest quality materials, their designs have a longevity and sustainability that minimizes the resources that would be necessary to replace their unsustainable counterparts. They meticulously select their materials for quality and positive environmental impact. They also fabricate all of their designs locally, reducing shipping distance and thus, the carbon footprint of their products.
They focus on YOU.
The cornerstone of their philosophy is client-centered service. They promise to provide personal attention and include the client in every step of the design process. They strive to always bring their innovative and sustainable custom designs to their clients.
Today’s Designer Proflie features Donna Maselli of Donna Maselli Designs. This sweet Southern designer creates elegant, polished yet comfortable designs that seamlessly incorporate and highlight the client’s most prized possessions. In her view, a home is an organic, living thing. For Maselli, a home should always reflect its inhabitants but should not be overly “decorated” or stuffed with too many sentimental objects.
We interviewed Maselli about her design for the Bellaire Drive home in New Orleans, Louisiana, which was tragically destroyed in Hurricane Katrina, as well as the designer’s overarching design aesthetic. Read on for details.
InsideSeen: How did you get into interior design?
Donna Maselli: All during law school, I helped decorate friends’ apartments and continued to their houses after I began practicing law. My first day at my firm in Dallas, my supervising lawyer asked me to go to her house to see her new chairs and tell her if they looked right. I should have quit practicing right then and gone into interior design. Instead, I stuck it out for another eighteen years.
IS: What is your philosophy as a designer?
DM: I like to call my style Southern minimalist. I love to use antiques, but I like to use them in a spare setting with modern pieces and modern art. I like drippy chandeliers, but only if the rest of the furniture is simple. In other words, it’s all about contrast and juxtaposition. That’s the only thing that keeps your eye happy.
IS: What is your most important tool as a designer?
DM: Good pieces. Truly, you can cut corners a lot of places, but if you don’t use good antiques to anchor things, it looks like a showroom floor to me. Oh, and very good Belgian linen.
IS: How would you define your design style? How does this space demonstrate that?
DM: Unsentimental. I always tell people to keep family pieces only if you like them. Your grandmother might not have liked that china cabinet either. Why keep it around? Keep the photos, the old letters, the silver. Dump the ugly brown furniture if that’s all it is.
IS: What was your concept for this design and why is it important to you?
DM: I collaborated with a partner for this house….the idea was to buy a house and furnish it all the way down to the sheets and towels, which we did. Unfortunately, Katrina had a different idea about things. Two weeks after we painstakingly completed the house, yes, down to the linens, it took on seven feet of water and was completely ruined. I’m just able to really talk about it. Oh, and no flood insurance.
IS: What is your favorite element or piece in this home?
DM: This was a fun house because it was a pretty simple suburban house but on a nice leafy street. We decided to make it more sophisticated and stucco it. It ended up having a very European flair. It was really transformative.
IS: Do you have any upcoming or recent projects you are really excited about?
DM: I’m about to start a project for some friends who live just off of St. Charles Avenue [in New Orleans]. It’s going to be a challenge because of the layout, but they are very excited, and that’s a great way to start.
For more information about Donna Maselli, go to her website.
FurnitureSeen has long featured the fun, fanciful, and innovotive furniture of Think Fabricate. A sister company to Doban Architecture, this multidisciplinary Brooklyn-based design studio was co-founded by Susan Doban and Jason Gorsline to offer design solutions for a range of interiors and large-scale projects. They handcraft each piece in their East Williamsburg fabrication shop using natural wood, applied color, meaningful visual motifs, and modern forms and upon request, will customize their pieces to fit your needs.
This playful yet elegant Walnutopia Coffee Table is made of a walnut veneer with solid walnut frames, bamboo plywood, and lacquered MDF in Think Fabricate’s standard colors. It can be customized with drawers, shelves, or a simple cabinet.
The Wall*nut Medicine Cabinet acts as a clean, modern mirror when closed and a fantastical cabinet of curiosities when open. With a brightly colored interior and asymmetrical shelves and doors, this cabinet will turn any user into a wall nut!
The ecofriendly Stepping Out Chair and Ottoman are a unique addition to any outdoor or indoor interior. In true Think Fabricate style, the bright colors contrast the FSC certified teak, plastic wood, and Afromosia.
The appeal of a black and white photograph may be in the form. In the absence of color you can redirect your focus to depth, line and gradation. Black and white interiors can be similarly captivating. The classic combination can make a major design element pop or call our attention to details. In these vignettes from ASI Interios in Chicago, black and white are tastefully combined to provide interest, focus and a sense of design intent.
In this bedroom, a range from white to tan is used in a variety of subtle but differentiated textures. The sculptural lamp base, which could certainly hold its own, is punctuated with the simple solid black shade. The addition of the stark contrast draws our attention, not to the black shade, but directly to the figure giving the piece dominance in the composition. The result is not wholly classical or contemporary, but does a wonderful job of bridging the two.
A modern black counter and oversized silver mirror with a distinctive sink and faucet design could easily feel overpowering. But in this case, ASI Interiors used a large, graphic black and white wall paper that offers the perfect counterbalance to the contemporary vanity. The wall graphic holds its own on several counts: the contrasting black and white color combination, the large scale of the motif and the juxtaposition of the curvy, swirling lines against the harder edges of the vanity.
An entry with no furnishings, only built-in display niches - yet the strength of the high contrast color scheme makes the space feel full and alive. The black door commands attention – the adjacency of the display shelving creates prominence by association. One can step from initial impact, to adjacent point of interest and down to the detail of the shelf contents, the floor and ceiling.
All of the work in this article is from projects completed by ASI Interiors’ Denise Antonucci and Jerry Sanfilippo, ASID. They have been working together for over 15 years in the Chicago area.
Featured in Interior Design Magazine, FTF Design’s West Chin completes a Battery Park City Duplex in clean crisp white accented with dashes of bright color creates a beautiful contrast to the gray tones of its urban context. FTF Design is also getting ready to launch a new collection of hardware – not to disappoint, the look is clean, crisp and modern available in dark bronze, satin nickel and, of course, white.
How about that Google – featuring the work of Swedish Designer Josef Frank. Almost 50 years old when he fled Nazism in Austria for Sweden, where he became one of that nation’s most important designers. As a young man he was part of the modernism movement in Vienna. However, his brand of modernism was not in line with the likes of Le Corbusier. He favored a freer artistic aesthetic. Frank began working at Svenskt Tenn in 1934 and went on to produce over 2,000 furniture sketches and 160 textile designs.
Jerry Jacobs is a San Francisco based Interior Designer. Although I usually tend toward more modern interiors, I was particularly taken with this room, in a flat in the Presidio Heights area of San Francisco. I love the soft palatte punctuated by the strong piece of art and the dark floors and chandelier. The combination of textiles definitely gets my attention without becoming a distraction. I asked Jerry about the project – I was so curious about that painting – was it the inspiration or the final complement? “The homeowner had seen the painting early in the process and asked me if I could work with it. To me it looked like a modern Toulouse Lautrec… also I have always liked red, black and white motifs, so I said yes. She purchased it and we did work around it a bit.” Jerry said he insisted on the black frame to match the floor and chandelier. At the client’s request, yellow was selected as the primary color, which worked well with the girls’ hair. I admire the restraint excercised in this room – I asked Jerry how he knows when he’s finished. “I am usually very restrained, I find that it makes interiors last longer or become timeless. I tend to be monochromatic, but I do like to bring life into the spaces. In this case natural light worked very well too.” He went on to say that there was no more need, the room was complete. I wholeheartedly agree.
Jerry Jacobs has been in professional practice for 25 years. His completed projects include private residences, boutiques, restaurants, clubs and arcades and lobbies. He has worked from San Francisco to Beverly Hills to Mexico and the Carribean. His hospitality and retail work has taken hime to 30 states, London, Paris, Mexico and Costa Rica. Jerry is the President of the ASID California North for 2009-2010. www.JerryJacobsDesign.com