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Monday
Apr252016

Eye on Design with Ally Gwozdz of Curate Interiors

Eye on Design with Curate Interiors, San Fransisco, CA, curateinteriors.com

(1) What UECo light to you like to use the most and why?

The Punch is the clear winner. It's so versatile in both modern and more traditional settings. I've specified it in multiples down a hallway, in a powder room, as a ceiling mount fixture in an exterior foyer. It harkens back to the headlights on my dad's 1940 antique car; I have very fond memories of summer family outings to Dairy Queen in it!

(2) Your six picks of favorite UECo lights?

1. The custom exterior pendant we designed for a client inspired by a fixture they saw and fell for in Amsterdam, 2. Belle Meade, 3. Huntley, 4. Loopy, 5. Lundy & 6. Pop. I most recently used the Pop in a client's elevator and papered it with the same wallpaper we used in their kitchen’s elevator vestibule. It's a cicada (yes, cicadas) deco-inspired wallpaper from Grow House Grow in Brooklyn.

(3) What is your design philosophy?

I aim to create warm and livable spaces that don't feel over-decorated -- and yet every detail is thought out. I'm a tactile person and that manifests in the symphony of textures I use. I seek out timeless pieces and the result is often eclectic yet refined. Mixing periods makes for the most interesting spaces that feel lived in.

(4) What is something people many not know about your firm?

In order to maintain a balance in my life I am selective about whom I choose to work with. It is important that there is creative harmony with a client before taking on what is a very personal endeavor for both of us. My clients tease me but my heart skips a beat when I immediately know I’ve discovered the perfect piece or wallpaper, fabric or rug. I'm a seeker at heart and intuitive about what clients love so it's thrilling to nail it. I've been known to refer to schemes as "insane" when they’ve come together well or to text my clients photos of something I've found for them and simply say "we've arrived." The dialogue and process is fun. 

(5) What is your favorite part of a home to design and why?

Whether it's the powder room or the library, the smallest room in the house is always my favorite because it allows me the opportunity to take the most creative risk.  

(6) Three design resources you can’t live without?

1st Dibs, Los Angeles (JF Chen and Blackman and Cruz atop the list), Instagram, world travel.

(7) Best design tips you have learned from experience?

I always tell my clients good design evolves and takes time. I refuse to present an entire scheme with every piece and detail determined at one time because it would be forced. The most wonderful outcomes for clients have happened when we commit to an ongoing dialogue, don’t rush to finish and there's a level of trust that I'll seek out and find great pieces, whether custom, new or vintage. I've also learned there are no official rules when it comes to design but it's important to obsess over the finer details. Finally, comfort is key. You can find the most beautiful upholstered pieces online or but clients need to sit in them to test the comfort level before making any commitments. 

(8) What do you collect?

I have an extensive collection of white ceramic tableware by Astier de Villate that takes my dinner parties to another level. I also have several vintage wood flatware boxes.

(9) What are your favorite paint colors to use?

Charleston Gray and Slipper Satin by Farrow & Ball
Acadia White, Plaster of Paris and Skipping Stone by Benjamin Moore

(10) What are your favorite design books?

"Decorate" by Tom Scheerer
"Rooms" by Katie Ridder
“Sister Parish Design”
Any Axel Vervoordt book

Tuesday
Mar222016

Introducing: Marble Pop by Michael Amato

We are so excited to announce that we are now offering a Carrera Marble inset for our iconic Pop fixture.  Just one more reason to love this perfectly designed and expertly engineered fixture.





Sunday
Mar202016

Workstead

We are pleased to announce our private label partnership with Workstead, the wildly popular line of lighting which originated in Brooklyn, NY and which will now be manufactured by our team in Charleston. Clients can now expect the same level of quality, craftsmanship and unparalleled lifetime guarantee that come along with any fixture from The Urban Electric Co. Get to know a bit more about Worstead’s founders, Robert Highsmith and Stefanie Brechbuehler below. To learn more about the line visit www.workstead.com or email shop@workstead.com.

1. Tell us about how/why you began designing lighting?  What was the 1st fixture design? What was the project?

We began to design lighting out of an organic need we stumbled across in our own home. At the time, we were living on the parlor floor of a brownstone in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, and we had a very grand dining room. The existing junction box was not centered above the dining table, so we created the first ‘Workstead Chandelier’ as a minimal and linear expression of a chandelier in that room and, importantly, as a flexible piece that could re-center itself above the dining table. The asymmetrical nature of that first fixture, and its ability to function and be flexible over time, led to the development of our Industrial Collection.

2. How would you describe the Workstead look/client?

The Workstead approach is about utility, but also luxury. We have a real interest in pairing substantial, high-quality materials, with utilitarian and modern forms. Having two studios (one in Charleston, and one in Brooklyn), our client base is very diverse. Our clients range from first-time home buyers in Brooklyn, to high-end celebrities, boutique hotels, and up-start salons. We enjoy working on projects that run the gamut in both personality and scope. Having both a product and studio-based firm has also enabled us to cross pollinate; sometimes we design a fixture for an interior we are working on, and sometimes an interior informs the basis for a new collection.

3. How did you first hear about Urban Electric?

We first heard about Urban Electric through friends in Charleston, who had huge respect for the company’s philosophy and approach to manufacturing. After taking our first tour, we were sold!

4. Can you tell us a little bit about how the partnership with UECo. came about? Why did you decide to partner with UECo.?

Our partnership with UECo has been so critical to our evolution as a design studio. While our foundation was built on Brooklyn-based manufacturing, we were looking for a long-term solution that would ensure the highest possible quality level for our designs. Manufacturing in NYC has it’s obvious challenges in terms of long-term feasibility and consistency. American Made is very important to us, and our partnership with UECo. brings an infrastructure to the table that will provide a lasting foundation, for both our current and future collections.

5. How did you make your decision to move from Brooklyn to Charleston and open Workstead South?

Robert grew up in the South, and actually attended Undergrad in South Carolina before meeting Stefanie at the Rhode Island School of Design. We spent several years traveling back and forth between Brooklyn and Charleston, after initially falling in love with the city during a stay at the Wentworth Mansion. In the Fall of 2014, we hosted a pop-up shop on Spring Street, which included a series of chef-centered dinners where we were introduced to many in the creative community in Charleston. A year later, we began work on the interior design of the Dewberry, Charleston’s newest 5-star hotel, which is slated to open this Spring. Eventually, the back-and-forth became so frequent that we ended up buying a home in Charleston and opening up a studio. Today, we call both Charleston and New York home.

6. How do you like living in Charleston? What do you like most? What do you miss the most about Brooklyn?

We love the climate, culture, and the momentum of the creative community here.  Charleston is one of several Southern cities that is currently experiencing a lot of growth, and it’s exciting to be a part of that change.

Thursday
Feb112016

Ike Kligerman Barkley Visits UECo.

We were recently honored to host the Partners and Senior Team of Ike Kligerman Barkley. Highlights of their three-day trip to Charleston include a full day UECo. shop tour with hands-on craft demonstration, a traditional Low Country Oyster Roast set in the beautiful home and gardens of local Charleston architect Mark Maresca and a book signing of The New Shingled House at the stunning new office of Garden & Gun Magazine.

 

Saturday
Dec122015

Taylor Howes: A Perfect Setting

On this past Thanksgiving eve, we "crossed the pond" for a celebration of the new showroom and offices of our friends at Taylor Howes Designs.  Giving thanks took on a new traditionone centered around a "Wall of Thanksgiving".  The inspired installation in the two story atrium contained a wall of plaques, each naming a person who in some way contributed to the realization of the spectacular new Knightsbridge offices.

It was a fantastic night of champagne & canapes for friends & clients of the firm, hosted by the inimitable Karen Howes herself.  An additional highlight for us was the opportunity to see so much of the Taylor Howes lighting range we created together in situ -- so many jewel-like pieces in the perfect setting!

Taylor Howes
49-51 Cheval Place
Kinightsbridge,London SW-7 1EW

http://www.taylorhowes.co.uk