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Thursday
May192011

Bonesteel Trout Hall

Bonesteel Trout Hall, Newport Beach, CA www.bonesteeltrouthall.com

What is your design philosophy?

We are native Californians and we therefore our style is dictated by the clean, earthy, colorful textures of the California coast.

Who is your design inspiration?

Our design inspirations are designers who have fun and do not take themselves too seriously: Jonathan Adler, Tim Clarke, Molly Leutkemeyer, Darra Baker.

What is something people many not know about your firm?

We have projects all over the world.

Best Design Tips you have learned from experience?

Odd numbers are better than pairs. You don't need every pattern, color and fabric to match perfectly. Mix styles and periods. Almost every piece in the room should be able to stand alone. If you have a room with many good pieces in it you can mix pieces that aren't quite as worthy.

What are your favorite design books?

Beta Plus Books and anything by Christian Liagre.

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

Our favorite part of a home to design is the Living Room because you can just go all out; it is somewhat of a fantasy room because it is not used everyday, therefore you don't have to be as practical. (And the budgets are always the best in the house!)

Our six favorite light fixtures are:

     

The Melissa sconce - our all time favorite sconce. The long and skinny design always makes the space seem elegant. We love the fact that it comes in two sizes and you an change the look with shades or finishes so easily as well.
The Bit sconce - it is just so chic!!! Small and pretty. Use two and it is like a really chic pair of earrings.
The Carlyn - it makes such a clean, modern statement. We love to use it over pool tables.
Sprig - the versatility in the finishes make it a statement fixture in a contemporary setting.
The Wallis - for its scale, it is an uncommonly huge floor lamp and we love that.
The Alexander - it adds such a fun architectural element to a room, like a little pavilion.

We have used all these fixtures many times in our installations.

 

Wednesday
Apr202011

Our Palm Beach Post

 

Custom gas lanterns from The Urban Electric Co. for Sanchez & Maddux grace the entrance to Worth Avenue as part of the city’s successful new streetscape, launched just before “The Season”.

 

 

 

Tuesday
Apr122011

A conversation with Benjamin Bradley and David Thiergartner

Bradley Thiergartner Interiors, New York, NY www.bradleythiergartnerinteriors.com

What or who inspires you?

Our favorite places to visit for design inspiration are historic homes here in the tri-state area, the states and abroad. We have made it a mission to see as many historic homes as possible in our careers. We belong to the Royal Oak Foundation, which is the American wing of the English National Trust, and we have had the opportunity through them to greatly add to the homes we have visited.

What is your favorite paint to use?

Favorite paint in terms of color range is Farrow and Ball. Their color palette is intense, moody and indiscernible. The colors lend great richness and depth to an interior and imbue new construction projects with history and integrity.

Benjamin Moore #956 is our favorite cream color for trim. It is the perfect ivory without too much yellow, no pink and looks terrific with any color.

What do you collect?

What don’t we collect would be a better question. I collect tartanware, English creamware, Canton porcelain, paisley shawls, portraits, etc. David collects renaissance drawings, terra cotta sketches, Dutch gin bottles, majolica, antique glass funnels, etc.

What is your favorite UE light and why?


The Chisholm Hall fixture has to be our favorite as it is the fixture that drew us to Urban Electric the first time. It resonated with us so deeply because of its pitch perfect ability to work in a traditional, transitional or contemporary setting. Beautiful lines and wonderful proportions. A real classic in our book!

Other favorites?

     

Raval with exposed cord. Love it! Love the idea that as a designer, we can light a picture with great style without having to have thought months in advance about the location of the painting! It gives us permission to have a cord because it is so damn stylish!

Melissa Table Lamp. Many times, in large scale rooms, it can begin to look like a lamp showroom with the amount of fixtures necessary to light the space properly. The Melissa allows us to introduce another fixture without distraction. It is quiet, unassuming and elegant. The light spills from it without demanding attention to the base. The perfect ambient light.

Gwenwood Sconce It is masculine, somewhat mid-century but extremely timely. A great bedside lamp which gives terrific task light but saves the space on the nightstand for all of the myriad items that seem to gather there.

Altamont Sconce. Sconces can often times be viewed as traditional and somewhat old fashioned due to the formal placement and available fixtures. The Altamont is clean, succinct, provides wonderful lighting and is strong enough to stand alone. It doesn't need a traditional pair to work.

The Virginia Lantern. We LOVE lanterns and this is one of our favorites. We just installed it in a dining room in Rhinebeck New York and it is overscaled and fabulous! Again, like many UE fixtures, it demands attention without taking the spotlight. It is vastly important to the room without detracting from the other elements. It only adds to the space and never detracts!

Carlyn Hanging. We love this light for its somewhat dramatic and directional lighting. We recently did a moody “shared” elevator hallway in a New York apartment complex. Three of these fixtures create the most dramatic “pools” of light on the floor, visually shortening this rather long hallway and making a bland space interesting. We have yet to find a room that wouldn't be enhanced by the addition of a Carlyn fixture.

How have you incorporated one of these favorites into your designs?

One of our favorite and most successful installations was for a home in Bridgehampton New York.  It has an extremely high ceiling in the entry stair hall with a soaring stone fireplace.  We were baffled as to what type of light would “hold its own” without looking too grand or pretentious.  We designed a three tier Altamont fixture which spans 11’ in length and is suspended from a single stem.  It draws your eye upward and yet is almost ethereal in its presence.  Strong but subtle.  Perfect!  We have used UE fixtures in so many projects and houses and they are always successful.

What is your ideal client relationship?

The ideal client relationship would be someone who is interested in “creating” something.  Not just someone who is interested in furnishing a home or designing to impress.  Someone who is collaborative but understands the value and role that we as professionals play in the creative process.  Someone who allows the creative process the time and respect it deserves in order to get the best results.  Someone who understands how fortunate they are to be in the position to build their dream home and that the relationship with the designer can be extremely fulfilling and enjoyable.  Someone who says, “thank you” for a job well done.

What might the world not know about your firm?

Something that people may not know about our firm is that we are 18 years old.  We have only recently begun to surface as a result of opening ourselves up to all that our industry has to offer.  We have each other and for years, our work with our clients in our studio was enough to sustain our interest.  About two years ago, we looked at each other and decided it was time for a challenge and that we needed to walk outside our comfort zone.  Putting our work and ourselves in front of our peers and the public has certainly gotten us out of our comfort zone but we have enjoyed it immensely and learned a tremendous amount.

Friday
Feb182011

A conversation with Sandra Oster

Sandra Oster Interiors, Greenwich, CT, www.sandraoster.com

What is your ideal client relationship?

My ideal client relationship is what every other designer wants, a client who trusts you as their guide. Most people today think that large budgets and large homes are the ideal project to capture. My priorities are a total working relationship with my client where no question is too ridiculous to ask and confidentiality reigns! A homeowner who looks to me to create "their" space and understand "their language" and interpret what they want is most important to me. If they have a large budget, well so much the better!

What are the best design tips you have learned from experience?

The best design tips I have learned I have learned from past mistakes! In my "continuing education" of interior design some of the simplest tips are the most important. One example is choosing paint color. When trying to decide what paint to use in a room, there is no shortcut for taking your time. I always encourage people to find 3 areas of wall space within the room where the light is dominant at different times of the day. Paint those areas with 2 coats of white paint in an area about 4' x 4'. This way you are moving your eye away from the current color on the walls and it will not distract you from the various colors you are about to apply. These new options should also have 2 costs applied so that you see the true color of the pigment. If you are able to do this on 3 of your walls, you will have covered the space properly. Then, the last part of the exercise is to walk into the room at different times of the day and night and evaluate the colors and see what speaks to you!

What are your favorite paint colors?

While I respect color and have always loved the potential in the unending color possibilities, when it comes to painting rooms, I like the subdued colors. I am always amazed when clients try to show me a small square of paint color from a color chart and ask me my opinion. How can you "see" a color in it's reality if the sample is so small? Because I have painted so many rooms in my design history, I now try to stay away from pure pigmented bright colors….colors that would be too hard to live with day and night! I prefer colors that have a bit of gray in them. Yes, that's right, gray! One of my favorite colors in the Ben Moore collection is 1508…a subtle shade of green or is it gray? The color looks mysterious as it appears in a sample book of large pages but when it is applied to the walls, the color has a life of its own. I am amazed when the color actually becomes the room and the clients always exclaim how calm and warm the room looks when enveloped by this soft and potent color!

What was the inspiration for starting Decorator Tag Sale?

DecoratorTagSale.com is a labor of love for me! As an Interior Designer for over 25 years, I have been so fortunate to have created wonderful homes for a variety of incredible and varied clients throughout New York and Connecticut. During this time I have accumulated inventory that continues to sit in a storage warehouse from shopping trips, Show Houses, client "take backs" and other slightly damaged goods from vendors. As the economy turned, I wanted to unload these items for a fraction of what I paid for them! I am a good designer and thought to myself "I can't be the only decorator in this position" and lo and behold, DecoratorTagSale.com was born! Designers throughout the country - named or anonymous - have the ability to have their own shop-on-line, promote their interior design business and sell their inventory at deeply discounted prices! The response has been overwhelming and I am so gratified to be able to share this opportunity with fellow decorators and designers!

What is your favorite UE light and why? How have you incorporated it into one of your designs?

My favorite UE light is the Lafayette Double Sconce. The ability to custom color the shade and it's unique shape is a wonderful way to coordinate a room. I also like the fact that the sconce sits tightly against the wall…and plays "quiet!"

Other favorite UECO lights?

Other favorite lights are the Dover Bell Pendant that I am about to use in a new home. The shape and feel is a modern take-off of a classic bell jar. All of the finishes that UE offer allow me to make the pendants even more spectacular!

Another favorite is the Campion hanging fixture. I love the look of the reflected shade and the sophistication of the style. I am looking for a home for the light in a project that I have right now. I know I will be able to fit the light into my design scheme somewhere!

Wednesday
Jan192011

Elle Décor Showhouse and Urban Electric sponsor PAWS

Pets Are Wonderful Support (PAWS) charity event sponsored by The Urban Electric Co. and Elle Décor Magazine to showcase the first ever Elle Décor Showhouse.

Nearly 200 people turned out for this fabulous event to support a phenomenal organization and see the best of San Francisco interior design.  It was a huge success!

Click to view the entire Elle Decor Showhouse

 

DOVER BALL, HAMILTON, and BELLE MEADE: featured in kitchen and breakfast nook by Palmer Weiss.

 

GWENWOOD WALL: used in the master bedroom by Jay Jeffers.

 

SAVVY: used in the entry foyer designed by Kendall Wilkinson.

 

DIAMOND, MARKHAM, and ALTAMONT: used by Surface Design