Emerald Green Rooms & Details … yet another blog post!

O.k. some of you may be done with reading and seeing blogs about 2013 Pantone Color of the Year, but I really wanted to dive deep into how Emerald Green looked when applied to rooms. So here you have it, another blog about emerald green when used in rooms.

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Image from Chic Coles

Emerald on velvet cushions and zigzag drapes. Combined with a light french grey couch, white and dark brown. Bold and elegant palette.

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Image: Traditional Home. Interior Design: Christina Murphy.

Even urban environments can enjoy classical touches. Christina Murphy places Emerald chairs upholstered in white. The nails make them even more sophisticated. Here another palette that includes light grey and chocolate plus some taupe on the curtains. Pink flowers  and red artwork bring the space to live.

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Green Painted Stair Runner and Frames

I keep on running into beautiful stairs. The day we get a place, I will for sure focus on the stairs. They can be so much fun to design to. This beautiful green runner is complemented by dark flooring and white walls. The green frames are playful and add a family touch to the space.

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Urban dining area in Green – Interior Design Magazine

This dining area not only displays a unique print of plates reminiscent of the work of Marie Daage, but also hosts a fun dining table. The Emerald chairs seem comfortable and the chandelier magnificent.

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Green Sliding Barn Door. Image: TheDesignerPad

Who doesn’t love an adobe house? I can picture this space someplace in Cartagena, Colombia. The pristine white walls serve as a perfect background for this Emerald sliding barn door. Rustic meets contemporary.

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And I leave you with a Colombian Emerald ring because the fact that the most beautiful emeralds come from Colombia, makes 2013 a good year for Colombia.

Happy Emerald 2013 everyone!

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2013 From Fashion to Spaces: Trends in Color

Two weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending a Colormix event organized by Sherwin Williams where I was introduced to the 2013 forecast on colors for architectural spaces. I would like to share with you the stunning upcoming palettes for next year and how they have transitioned from fashion to space.

  • Speakeasy:

From John Vavartos Spring-Summer 2013 Collection to the interiors of Highpoint-Bistro in NYC. Both inspired by the colors of Manhattans, Blod & Sands and Dick Tracy.

  • Earthy and Natural:

Making their first appearance at Paris Fashion Week, Valentino’s “From the Earth” shoes to calm and earthy spaces.

  • Mod:

From Michale Kors’ mod inspired 2013 red fashion to colorful blobject like interiors and furniture.

  • Phosphorescent Vegas:

Hot-Pink Dining Room, Burberry Prorsum Spring-Summer 2013 Hot-Pink Collection (more), and Sonia Rykiel Maison bathroom design with electric pink accents.

Hot-Pink like tonight’s fireworks above San Francisco after seeing the Giants going for the world series. Go Giants!

Simple & Beautiful: Grey-White Color Combination

Color surrounds us all over and helps us express our emotions and desires. As much as I love rich tones that speak for my Latin roots, as much as I have embraced more earthy tones that calm me down and provide me peace.

This week I am feeling the simplicity and beauty of Grey & White.

Grey and White, so simple, so peaceful.

Pretty Chevron Chair. Sold at Urban Outfitters.

Girl or boy? This Olio Crib Bedding is perfect for a unisex nursery.

Peaceful bedroom with taupe accents by Bella Mancini Design.

Playful and hip diningroom with a touch of dark aquamarine.

Elegant, country style kitchen with a yellow dining room in the background.

Funky living room with spiky sculptures and a touch of yellow by Martha O’Hara Interiors.

Mountain Peaks Bath Basket for the contemporary bathroom.

Grey & white Zen.

Also in graphic design. *Follow their advise and goodnight.

The perfect task chair … to my perspective

For about six months now, Simon has noticed that when sleeping, I put my right hand on the back of my head and bend my right arm above my body. We wondered why all of the sudden I had started that new sleeping pose until one day I caught myself sitting in front of my work computer with my right arm bent and my hand supporting my head. There you had it, unconsciously I had adopted a position to support my head while working.

As the designer that I am, I started to question what was wrong with my chair and why I had to hold my head. I observed that my chair didn’t have enough support for my head, and to avoid tiring my neck, I had created a support with my own body.

Now that I’m back to the long days of work starting at around 9:00 AM and finishing at around 9:30 PM (don’t worry I work this long only twice a week). I have been wondering how to enhance my long journey experience and what has won the price is having a better task chair that actually supports my head. Here are my top 5 and please let me know if you have any more suggestions.

Freedom Headrest Task Chair by Niels Diffrient

This chair is the winner of ten design awards to date—including the Design Distinction Award in the prestigious ID Design Review 2000 competition. Its weight-sensitive recline, synchronously adjustable armrests, and dynamically positioned headrest set new standards for task chair performance and functionality to keep the sitter exceptionally comfortable while also lowering the risk of long-term injury. You can get it at Human Scale.

Side view drawing of Freedom Headrest

Featuring :

  1. Automatic Headrest
  2. Recline Action
  3. Contoured Cushions
  4. Responsive Backrest
  5. Synchronouts Armrests
  6. Body Fit
  7. Intelligent Mechanism

Leap WorkLounge by Steelcase

According to Steelcase, the Leap chair adjusts to fit your body, so you don’t have to adjust your body to fit the chair.

Thanks to LiveBack technology, the Leap chair back flexes to change shape as your back changes shape, providing stable support and encouraging unrestricted movement. And with its simple and intuitive adjustments — like separate controls for Lower Back Firmness and Upper Back Force and adjustable armrests that move in four directions —it’s easy to adjust your Leap chair to fit you comfortably for the entire day.

I personally love the white one and would love to use it on a daily basis.

Me Too Task Chair by Nurus

This is a quite old chair (originally designed in 2001), but to me what matters the most is that it is functional and supports by head.

Me Too is designed with a view to improve the quality of office life, where we spend at least eight hours every day, one-third of our lives, constructing a healthy way of living at our offices. Conceptualized with Nurus D Team’s approach that “a well designed office chair is the health insurance for the employee”, and produced according to European Norms, Me Too holds LGA and GS safety certification.
The fact that problems encountered in waist, back and neck regions originate from using unhealthy office chairs was among the factors that brought Me Too the IF Design Award, another factor being that Me Too concept is masterfully finished with product ergonomics and technical details.

Eames Soft Pad Executive Chair

Designed by our heroes Charles and Ray Eames for Herman Miller, a cushy cousin of the Aluminum Group, Soft Pad is a luxurious chair that bears the unmistakable Eames stamp. The Executive chair offers an extra 7 ¼ inches of back height. Now this is a classy task chair with a soft touch.

Generation Chair by Knoll

This chair may not have a head support component but surely seems and is very comfortable and flexible. Generation by Knoll offers a new standard of comfort and unrestrained movement, supporting the range of postures and work styles of today’s workplace, Designed by Formway Design, Generation takes the idea of elastic design – where a product rearranges itself in response to its user – to a new level.

These chairs are all amazing, but for now, I must keep it low-cost, so I am going to find a head support that I can attach to my current chair and start saving for one of these chairs.

Thanks for visiting.

Head over Nails

It has been about a year since I started getting full exposure to the interior design world, and many things have changed on the way I see furniture, accessories and spaces. I must say, one of the most dramatic ones is my view of nailheads. I am going crazy about them.

Little I knew about the beauty and versatility  of nailheads, and I am still learning. Here a quick introduction to Nailheads 101 … to go head over nails.

Nailheads have been used as a traditional upholstery detail for hundreds of years. Nowadays they are having a come back in all sorts of places.

They give style and spice to simple pieces of furniture ... and you can add them yourself.

  • First of all choose the piece of furniture that you would want to revamp
  • Choose your favorite nailheads, and make sure they match your piece and your style
  • Define the distance that you want them to be from one another and where on the piece you would like to see them
  • Start nailing them and seeing how they look
  • Enjoy the project and the final piece
  • More detailed instructions at: Isabella & Max rooms

Use them on lamps such as this Mitchell Gold Leather Lamp

On mirrors such as this exotic Safari Mirror from Ralph Lauren Home

Play with designs on cabinets such as this pristine Visconti Large Cabinet from The Bungalow 5 collection

Or why not beautifying your waste basket like the peeps at DRANSFIELD & ROSS have done it

Giving style to simple pieces such as this Happiness Round Ottoman from Tomlinson/Erwin-Lambeth

And even adding them to that one room in need of a unique touch

There are rustic iron nails such as these from Mexico

And many other materials, sizes

patterns, finishes, light and dark, shiny and matte

Even artists such as Korean Sculptor Jae-Hyo Lee use them on their furniture!

Happy nails everyone!

I cut an albero’s leg

Sometimes forgetting about projects that you worked so hard, you had dreams and nightmares with is very easy.

Two years ago, I was spending long days at the DAI wood shop working on a torchiere assignment for my Rapid Prototyping class. The goal of the assignment was not only to design but also to build a lamp using CNC (computer numerical control) technology. My goal was to become familiar with the ShopBot and to make the Epilog Laser Engraver my best friend. For a whole semester, this assignment became my life, then it came with me to the four different places I lived in, until finally landing at my current “stable” home. Through all the moves, my poor torchiere survived crashes and a few parties. Today, I hugged her and decided to give her a new look by cutting 15″ off her tall leg. I am not sure if I made the best decision, but at least now she has a new look to be around for another couple of years (hopefully without moving so much). After all, a $500 torchiere should last you at least half decade right?

Let me introduce you the process of designing and building my beautiful (no joke) Albero Lamp:

Research: Understanding how a torchiere works.

Finding inspiration in the Architectural and Fashion worlds.

Study Sketches: 3-4 out of 25.

Study Sketches: 7-8.

Study Sketches: 11-12.

Study Sketches: 15-16.

Study Sketches: 19-20.

Initial 1/4" scale study models.

First 1/2" scale study model. This day was a painful one.

Finding a double layer of inspiration at the Academy of Sciences.

First full-scale prototype out of cardboard.

Expressing my love for endangered species and the epilog laser. Match made in heaven.

Finishing the Albero Torchiere. Made out of FSC certified maple appleply, brown English oak and plexiglass.

Her original height was six feet and starting today she has become a four-foot and three-quarters babe.

Happy indian summer,

~Isabel

Breeze That Indoor Hammock

What better way to enjoy those San Francisco breezy Indian summer afternoons than by laying on a hammock while drinking a mojito.

Hammocks can be beautifully used indoors as far as you pick the right color, silhouette and texture. Simply, make sure to balance the distribution of elements in your room somehow that your hammock becomes the main focal point. This will give a fun and laid-back look to any space as well as take you to a tropical inspired déjà vu.

Wilbert Das Indian House: Brazil.

Porter Hammock: Chainfall Filtered

Gary Chang tiny Hong-Kong apartment and the Hammock/Screen room

Bessudo House: Cartagena, Colombia

H & L Hammocks

The Selby Hammock

If it's too cold, then relax by the fireplace

Nu Hotel, NYC

Ratan Hanging Chair/Hammock by Tamara Magel

Fascinating Bus Shelters

Friday night, over a refreshing glass of Ichigo and some Kobe Beef asparragus, my boyfriend and I discussed the future of my creative work. After sketching and drinking away, we realized that there is more to furniture design than what we thought. By the end of the night, we have acknowledged the intricate components of bus shelters.

Bus shelters are structures that while being in the outside, provide protection and a sense of either safety or danger (depending of the design and the area where they are located). Bus shelters host furniture, reflect culture and meet human needs, not to mention their environmental importance.

Through the weekend, I decided to look a bus shelters over the world and have chosen the ones I find most fascinating. Here is to the beauty and importance of bus shelters:

  • Curitiba, Brazil. A futuristic design that proved to enhance the “public transportation” experience.

  • Casar de Caceres, Spain. What looks like a single sheet of concrete is a embracing structure designed by architect Justo García Rubío.

  • Athens, Georgia. American sculptor Christopher Fennel uses parts from decommissioned school buses from the 60s and 70s, to create a fully recycled shelter.

  • Dubai became the first city in the world to offer the luxury of air-conditioned bus shelters for passengers. The goal was to lure people into using public transportation in order to ease the pressure on the roads.

  • Sheffield, England. Green roof shelter. Soon we shall see urban gardens on the roofs of shelters.

  • Paris, France. Designed as part of the smart mobilities project, this bus stop was presented in 2008. Users waiting inside the bus stop could engage via a touch screen interface while pedestrians waiting outside could interact with a 6ft. custom LED display.

  • Victoria, Canada. The Victoria Bug Zoo is all about experiencing the world of insects and spiders. This ad is made from a plastic sheet with hundreds of small magnifying lenses, allowing passersby to see through a bug’s eyes.

  • Landshut, Germany. Design by Hild und K Architeckten. A computer-controlled high-energy laser beam cuts the chosen pattern in the Corten steel sheet. After cutting, the sheet is simply folded into a bus shelter. The internal panes of glass were fitted on the spot.

  • Scottsdale, Arizona. “Wavelength” bus shelter by artist Kevin S. Berry.

  • Sao Paolo, Brazil. Bus Sheleter for world cup. A whole soccer arch for you to inhabit.

  • London, England. Bus shelter modified by Bruno Taylor gives commuters a chance to have a little bit of playtime during their morning commute. He went and attached swings to a number of bus stops around the city.

My next step is to go around different high schools in the city and take pictures of near by bus shelters in order to see how well identified students are, as well as how inspired they may be to take public transportation.

Till next time …