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!

Beauty, Eco & Human – Friendly … Area Rugs

Good news! I am officially a certified Green Accredited Professional by the Sustainable Furnishing Council. While preparing for one of the six exams I had to take to receive my certification, I learnt about carpets and rugs. Did you know that “the standard carpet that covers 70% of floors across the U.S. often contains materials that can be hazardous” and can even affect our health? I am sure many of you recognize the “new carpet smell”. Well that smell comes from “volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are emitted as gases. Some side effects of exposure to VOCs are headaches, allergic skin reactions, irritation in the nose and throat, fatigue and dizziness”. The US Green Building Council doesn’t recommend that “carpet containing VOCs be used in baby nurseries as the gases emitted are not something that should be looming in the air around a new baby”. Allergies are also a common problem for people exposed to carpet VOCs.

So let’s imagine that we all decide to move towards hard surface environments. Well, the downside of that is that spaces may become colder and hard on the feet. Of course, we can always use area rugs. Let me introduce you to the beautiful world of natural fiber area rugs. A world that doesn’t cost more and can make you a healthier human being as well as a more environmentally friendly citizen of this planet. These rugs are made out of: wool, bamboo, jute, sisal, shag, seagrass and other natural fibers.

Wool rugs can be so much fun. Only imagine walking on this hand tufted rug by Gan Rugs.

The textures are sophisticated and unique.

You may even bring the look and feel of natural elements such as pebbles shown in this Pebble Rug by 2Form Design.

And may even have fun around the house with rugs such as the Brain Dead Rug by Timothy Liles.

Of course there are choices for everyone. You may visit Pottery Barn’ wool rug selection.

Bamboo shag rugs are so beautiful and soft that no one can resist relaxing on them.

Shag rugs may also come in leather. So pure and sophisticated.

Here a shot of our famous shag rug where many of my girlfriends enjoy laying down while having a chat and a glass of wine.

There are also beautiful sisal rugs that can be used in more classic environments.

And they also come in darker colors such as the Tonga Deep Sea Rug by Merida Meridian.

Seagrass rugs can be used on foyers and they look so good.

They also come in different shapes and patterns, so you can play with them.

Jute area rugs look and feel so delicate and natural.

They also are fun to mix and match.

Get in your zen zone, be good to your body and respond to the planet. Enjoy a natural fiber area rug!

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.

My Yellow Tile Fever

Yellow And Turquoise Bathroom by Renewal Design Build

Contemporary bathroom by Lizette Marie Interior Design

Fun steps!

Playing with small mosaic tiles and Morrocan like mirrors

Gorgeous Yellow and White kitchen

And other side with counter detail

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!

Breathing Carrara’s White Marble

On Thursday, I had the opportunity of attending a “Quarry to Counter” lecture at Walker Zanger in the San Francisco Design Center. The lecture offered a door towards the world of marble and a breathtaking lesson on the process marble … Continue reading

Taken by a muse called Coco

You heard it right. I have been taken and converted into a Coco Chanel … Interiors … admirer and lover.

Chanel needs no introduction in the world of fashion, but many may not be aware of her interior design tastes. She was sharp and sophisticated and reflected her style in her villas and apartments in France. For that, she could not go unnoticed in the world of Interior Design.

This is why …

Her so well known taste for ivory and black - 31 Rue Cambon, Paris.

Her superstitions ... see crystal spheres on coffe table at 31 Rue Cambon.

Open space, mirrors and unique lounge chair - 31 Rue Cambon.

Diva/Muse on her chair. Black and Ivory the law of color.

Mademoiselle Chanel on the stairway connecting her fashion shop and her apartment.

Clean touches reflecting her fashion statements - Foyer at her Paris Ritz Suite.

Always forward thinking on all sorts of design - Paris Ritz Suite.

Time for a bath at the Ritz, then apply some No. 5 and conquer the world of design.

Top Five Bookends for Young and Not so Young Adults

Hola from the darkness! No, I have not forgotten about you. I was just finishing my graduate studies and was sucked right away into a few intense interior design projects. So Christmas is here, once again, and you may wonder … Continue reading