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.

Messenger/Bicycle Bags for Women? do they actually exist?

My frustration has been building over the last few years, and today I am sharing it with the world.

About three times a week, I ride my bicycle, and many times I carry a lot of things with me (books, clothes, tapeware, groceries). About four years ago, I decided to invest on a Timbuk2 messenger bag. Not only I wanted to support local designers, but I also was inspired by seeing all the bicyclists in San Francisco sporting their Timbuk2s. Once I started using my cool messenger bag, I realized that it wasn’t made for my body. When carrying a lot of things and leaning on my bicycle, the strap that was supposed to go across my chest started pushing my breasts. It was painful. Since then I have tried to change my pose when riding my bicycle, put pads around the straps, and pull the straps every five minutes, but I am loosing patiente with it. And please dear Timbuk2kers do not take this wrong. I love your designs and support them fully, but I am not sure if you thought about women when designing this product. Trust me, I would be more than happy to go over your studios and help brainstorming on how we may develop more female friendly messenger/bicycle bags.

My messenger bag

Because I am a designer ,and I cannot just sit and cross my arms when facing a design problem, I have decided to see what would be possible for bag developers like Timbuk2 or The Norh Face or even Jansport  to look at when designing a messenger biker bag for us women.

We women love tote bags and bags that  can be carried on the shoulder.

Super functional tote bag

Many of us dislike pink and flowers, so please do not think that by simply changing the color of the backpacks you have made them for us. You must be aware that we have anatomical diferences.

Pink messenger bag for “women” … because it’s pink

We love soft materials and leather. We actually like earthy/natural tones.

Leather messenger bag that still needs to adress the issue of comfort when being used for bicycle riding.

We like bags that are thought out throughly for us, taking into consideration our needs, our anatomic challenges, our tastes, and our busy schedules.

Vera Bradley’s Barcelona backpack.

The thing is that, we probably don’t want to show up to girls happy hour with a backpack … that makes us feel too high school like.

I personally dream of a bag that doesn’t push my breasts …

Study of my current bicycle bag straps pushing my body

I also dream of a bag that can be multifunctional, and when needed, I can carry on one shoulder, and when riding my bicycle, can be carried on my back with the help of my chest … not my breasts.

Front solution for my dream messenger/bicycle bag

From tote to backpack … that is perfection!

And that hopefully uses reclaimed materias such as the beautiful bags from Cyclus Colombia .

Really cool design, made out of reclaimed rubber tires … that is what we like!

I can’t wait to get/develop the perfect messenger bag for women. If you want to team up or get some feedback, please feel free to contact me. It would be my pleasure!

Happy biking everyone!

Lighting Fixtures … To never leave your house …

A couple of weeks ago, I attended a lighting design lecture at the San Francisco Design Center and learnt about three incredible lighting designers. Here are they designs …

CLEAR BAND PENDANTS by John Pomp Studios. ~ Hand-blown crystal glass pendant fixture with thick clear band lens and edison bulb.

INFINITY CLUSTER by John Pomp Studios. ~ 15 pieces of hand-blown/sculpted glass crystal with iridescence.

NESTING CYLINDERS SCONCES by John Pomp Studios. ~ Two tiered hand-blown glass cylinders on blackened steel frame.

Ballad Wall Sconce by McEwen Lighting Studio

Signal Floor Lamp by McEwen Lighting Studio

Barrel Ceiling Lamp by McEwen Lighting Studio

Richelieu Chandelier by Jonathan Browning Studios

Cinq sconce by Jonathan Browning Studios

Keule 5 Light Chandelier by Jonathan Browning Studios

Now dim those lights and finish the day with a delicious glass of Carménère.

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.

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