Posts Tagged ‘blue’

Recently Completed // Master Bedroom Suite Retreat

One of the best things we can hear from a client is that our design work has changed their relationship to their home. In the weeks after we installed this master bedroom, my pair of television-writer clients told me that they would wake up in their transformed master bedroom and talk about how they couldn’t believe they were in their own house. The wife reports that her husband, who may lean toward untidiness, now rushes around in the morning, making the bed and tucking clothes into drawers. He always jokes that he has to leave the room “looking nice for the guests”. Given that the couple asked me for a space that felt like a serene, comfortable and unique suite in a bed and breakfast, I’d say our work here is done!

Photo by Amy Bartlam. Design by Natasha Jansz Design.

The architecture of this space and some of its details were already great to begin with: a spacious suite with vaulted ceilings, French doors leading to a balcony overlooking the pool, a freestanding tub in the bathroom, a fireplace with a lovely stone tile surround, and plenty of natural light. The wife showed me this Serena and Lily bed that had captured her heart, and told me that they would like to see pale blues and greens in the design. Inspired by the shape of the headboard, its brass nailhead detail, and the prettiness of watery colors, we proposed a feature wall of an exquisite blocked-printed wallpaper by Galbraith and Paul, and showed it with Lulu DK’s playful bird fabric as a focal point on a backdrop of textured neutrals. We added dark metal furniture to balance all the lightness, and had so much fun with the details.Photo by Amy Bartlam. Design by Natasha Jansz Design.Although much of the furniture here was sourced at retailers such as Anthropologie, Restoration Hardware and West Elm, it was great to go custom to get certain details right. Case in point: this generously proportioned ottoman at the foot of the bed, clad in a soft velvet, with legs that complemented the turned legs of the bed. The tall mirror with inlaid capiz shell frame, Roman shades, drapes and throw pillows were also custom-designed for the project.

Photo by Amy Bartlam. Design by Natasha Jansz Design.I’m a little giddy about the details above, so beautifully captured by photographer Amy Bartlam. There’s the textured trellis pattern of the drapery, teamed with the textured chevron pattern of the duvet cover. The “lingerie dresser”, clad in zinc, is the ideal smooth counterpoint, and lends the room a masculine warmth. This was a very narrow space between the drapes that called for a very tall something for balance, so finding that dresser was a real eureka moment! And let’s not forget those spectacular pink peonies, which we were so glad to track down in November for the photo-shoot!! Photo by Amy Bartlam. Design by Natasha Jansz Design.Here we are on the balcony, which needed a Dash & Albert outdoor rug to make it feel like a room. We had my clients’ old teak furniture refinished, and ordered new cushions for the chairs, covered in Perennials outdoor fabric. The tie-dye pillows are from One Kings Lane, and my psychologist friend remarked that they remind her of a Rorsarch test! I don’t know about you, but I think about sipping a cup of tea and reading a magazine when I see this space.Photo by Amy Bartlam. Design by Natasha Jansz Design.I am obsessed with the “Saturn” ceramic planters here, found at Potted in Atwater Village – more textured pattern in our palette of whites, and they strike a pleasing balance against the vertical lines of the balcony railing and the upholstery fabric. The succulents are sedum – a bushy-for-a- succulent plant that can take a lot of direct light, which is perfect out here. (In real life, my clients have a nice shady Sunbrella patio umbrella to hide under when they are spending time  here – it just couldn’t be adequately captured in a photograph without a crane!)Photo by Amy Bartlam. Design by Natasha Jansz Design.

More texture and pattern quietly abound here at the fireplace, along with organic touches – the basketweave stone tile of the surround, the nubby weave of the chair upholstery, flora in the Miguel Arguello still-life art and fauna in the pillow print…and sometimes you just need a spiky brass urchin to finish things.Photo by Amy Bartlam. Design by Natasha Jansz Design.This gorgeous inlaid bone dresser mixes clean lines with intricate pattern and an exotic flair. I often use black to ground a design in a pastel room, and I love the way this piece complements the black granite counters in the master bath beyond.Photo by Amy Bartlam. Design by Natasha Jansz Design.

The color, texture, pattern and organic touches found in the bedroom flow seamlessly into the master bath, which is anchored by a large indoor-outdoor rug for its own unique character and warmth.

The paint colors used to create this haven are all by Ralph Lauren Paint: Pale Cap on the bedroom walls, Crescent Blue on the bathroom walls, and Egret trim throughout.

This and other pretty bedrooms can be seen in my portfolio here.

 

 

Design Inspirer // Claude Cormier

I’m so inspired by the work of Canadian conceptual landscape architect Claude Cormier. He started out as a botanist with an ambition to create a new kind of flower through cross-breeding. Rather than making flowers though, he has ended up creating art on a grand scale with his arresting landscape designs. “Instead of borrowing and copying from nature,” he says, “I prefer to cross-breed it with culture”.

Blue Tree, a past installation at Cornerstone Gardens in Sonoma, is a perfect example  of what Cormier and his firm does. This once quietly majestic tree was afflicted with a terrible tree-killing disease and on its way to being chopped down.  In its final act, along came the landscape architect to give it the grandest send-off a tree has ever had by adorning it with 75,000 plastic Christmas ornaments!

 

This was executed by two men in a cherry-picker and one man on a step-ladder over 9 days.

 

Magnificent, she was! What could be better than a big open sky and the rolling hills of  Sonoma as a backdrop for this work of art?

 

Over time, the tree succumbed to its disease. Au Revoir, Blue Tree!

The Blue Tree existed between 2004 and 2007 at the Cornerstone Gardens  in Sonoma, right where that Valley meets the Napa Valley, and not too far from San Francisco.  Even though this installation is no longer there, I highly recommend a visit to Cornerstone if you like this kind of conceptual design.

Past Work // Styling Story – Before, After and In-Between

There is no greater satisfaction in my work than at the end of a project, when I get to styling! It is the final layer. Even when the clients are there all along for a project, I can still send them off for a day, work some magic with art and accessories, and give them a fun and surprising reveal of a completed design.

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Above is a feature wall in the Family Room in a Mediterranean Contemporary house I finished last year.

This is what it looked like just after my clients had bought the house, but were still renting it back to the previous owners. The style was sort of Global Goth, and I predict it was done when the Osborne Family was a hit show. (You can see more of the transformation of this house in this post.)

BEFORE DESIGN

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Below is a snapshot of the Family Room soon after my new design was almost in place, and my clients had moved in. We had lightened the walls and ceiling coffers with paint. My clients had wanted closed storage and open shelving for display on this wall. After quotes for a custom cabinetry build-out around the fireplace and TV proved to be way out of the budget, I came up with a less expensive way to fill out the niches and make the wall eye-catching. Key was this pair of media credenzas from Crate and Barrel. They fit pleasingly into the niches, and I designed custom shelves to go above them.

AFTER DESIGN – BUT NOT DONE!

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Barton Sol built the shelves, and stained them to match the credenzas for a cohesive look. I designed the placement of the shelves around built-in speakers on the wall, and a beautiful pair of horse sculptures that my clients had in their collection. We painted the back walls of the niches above the shelves blue to relate it to blues throughout the rest of the house, and to further define this as a feature wall. It worked, but you can see that something still needed to happen to bring this design together!

AFTER STYLING

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When styling, my team and I power-shop stores like World Market, Ikea, Target, West Elm and Crate and Barrel for accessories. Our haul might include lighting, vases, photo-frames, baskets, pillows and throws….fun stuff to play with! I consider all the art and accessories my clients already have, and curate a mix with the new pieces. I try to make it feel fresh and stylish, as well as personal to my clients. In this case, the design point-of view I introduced was in the goldenrod color in the accessories. It related to a big piece of art in their Living Room, and it was an on-trend color when I was out accessory shopping! I love the way it livens things up against the blue and wood tones. It’s bright, but it fits in with the California Traditional vibe of the new design in their house.

I am constantly adding styling ideas to my Pinterest – follow me!

Future Design Dreaming // Sexy Hollywood Hills Bachelor Pad

I’ve found myself designing for a series of single male clients lately. This is a favorite bachelor pad mood board from my design studio. It’s sexy! And masculine. And art-driven. And full of moody blues. And if you could reach out and touch the sensuous upholstery fabrics on the board, you could better imagine how comfortable this place would be.

board1 The blue velvet with the pajama-stripe textile is one of my obsessions here – Millbreck in Azure by Designers Guild. It is luxuriously soft. And I snuck in a piece of art (the Lone Ranger with the laser eye), by my favorite musician, Bob Schneider -because that’s sexy to me! If I were a single lady, and I walked into the home of a date to find all this, I would be relieved to know it was done by a designer – and not his ex! Then I could just admire his fantastic taste in art…

Here are some pieces you could buy to get the look.

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1. Art // Natasha Law, Blue On 2. Pendant // Honeycomb Pendant 3. Floor Lamp // Praying Mantis Floor Lamp 4. Bulb Lamp // Crystal Desk Lamp 5. Chair // Calvin Chair 6. Rug // Brazilian Cowhide 7. Cocktail Table // Pi Coffee Table

 

Design Details // Feature Stair Risers – Outdoor Edition

I always look at a set of stairs as an exciting design possibility. There are amazing things you can do with a stairway, from the baluster and handrail, to the wallpaper or paint or art on the surrounding walls. I really like it when stair treads and risers are articulated. Just highlighting the risers is one of the easiest ways to make a staircase a focal point. These are some of my favorite concept images from outdoor design and street art.

The gradient of blues on this staircase hits me in all the right places. Playful, yet calming. fa3a348135e8995072617162594aa8afThese next two are street art at its best- the kind that invites the viewer to be part of it.  Who wants to play Tetris?1b6b161dcb82aaf38c84aed77f9ac14cOr would you rather play a piano? Seriously delightful!56db6c6b26cd708b98887979a2e1d8d4Love the color and pattern of these Spanish tiles.(The architecture has to be right for this to work though – Spanish tile is often misused, and CAN look tacky on the wrong building!!)14d9b909eff66dd743fac6d478ce51d9

I M A G E S // 1, 2, 3, 4

I could go on and on about stairs – they are a favorite architectural feature of mine, as you can see from my Pinterest board on the topic.

Past Work // Family Room Reno

About two years ago, we bought a ranch-house in the Valley – a 1930s cottage with a 1970’s face-lift and addition. I immediately thought the sunken Family Room was fantastic because it was light-filled, connected to the yard through huge slider doors, and had a working fireplace. The hardwood floors were in great shape, and I loved the exposed beams.The problem was that the room felt like a giant sauna, with golden-brown knotty wood covering every surface!  Here is how I approached the transformation in the planning phase of the renovation.

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I had originally planned to do a really smooth paint finish over the brick fireplace surround and hearth, but once the other clean details were put in place and the “country” feeling was gone, I came to appreciate the interesting color variations and subtle rawness of the antique brick. My change of heart was a convenient one – painting brick is tricky because of the pointing (“grout” in between the bricks). Adhesion is a challenge, and I happen to find a craggly paint finish very undesirable.

The most dramatic change in the room came with how we dealt with the walls and ceiling. Naturally, we looked at just lightening up the wood paneling with white paint. But the problem with painting knotty wood is that often, in a matter of months or years, the knots insist on showing up as unwelcome yellow blotches through the paint.

The next obvious option was to demo the panels. But the drywall underneath would probably have been a mess, and we knew it was likely that we were going to have to take the walls down to the studs and start over anyway.

detail bOur solution was to put the drywall OVER the existing panels on walls and ceiling. The wood was a good base for the drywall, and we avoided a lot of demolition time and expense and mess by doing it this way.The new drywall overlaps the structural beams a little, but it looks good. I was NOT about to cover up the best parts of the architecture, just because I couldn’t get the transition perfectly right. These beams are gorgeous, and it’s not common for people to build houses with materials like this anymore. So the beams were left revealed, and we had really good drywall guys who made the finish at the exposed edges look smooth – in a raw kind of way!

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Notice the structural pillar between the pony wall and header beam in the foreground of the picture? The curved details of it made it too “country” for my more pared-down aesthetic, so we had it boxed in with plywood, and painted the same color as the cabinets and window trim. And we left the wood caps on the open ends of the walls as a throwback detail!

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I love the clean look we got from going with drywall and paint – especially in the way that the exposed wood beams, which kind of disappeared before, became a wonderfully graphic feature in contrast.

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Sauna no more! We really love spending time in this room. I am looking forward to getting into some other details about it (and showing you some updated pictures) in future posts about lighting, window coverings, furniture arrangements and styling.

Photos: “After” photos courtesy of Robert D. Gentry