Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Bonjour Blue Breakfast Nook!

We were more than delighted to help out a client revamping her home and in doing such we were able to give her breakfast nook a pop of color.  The way the house was designed it allowed for the breakfast nook to have a vaulted ceiling which gives the room some height and airiness.  To help this space truly be the nook and not part of the kitchen we proposed to paint it a beautiful blue, but not just any blue; Bonjour Blue from Kwal.  This particular blue has a slight hint of green to it creating a nice warm color that is inviting.

Many posts ago you may remember that we showed you a fantastic table and chair set we were designing for a client.  That particular table resides in this space and helps tie all the different wood finishes in the space.  The kitchen cabinets are maple with a black range hood and black cabinets near the built in desk.  This custom finished table features antiqued white chairs and table base with a dark espresso top.  Being able to blend all of these elements together helps unify the space. It also allows for pieces to come and go without requiring you to redecorate the entire space.

We found some fun art that features a pear and apple with hints of gold that really help them to pop off the wall. Check out the pictures below and let us know what you think.

The Breakfast Nook Facing the exterior deck.

The Breakfast Nook facing the Family Room.

Close up of the art.

Shot of the chairs and table.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Million Dollar Decorators

So our office is a buzz with talk of the new Bravo TV series, "Million Dollar Decorators." If you haven't seen this show, you need to tune in. It follows a handful, I think six, Interior Designers while they work on their clients homes, and these just aren't your typical client, we're talking million dollar clients.

One of the designers on the show is Martyn Lawrence Bullard who's clients include Sharon Osbourne, Elton John, Cher, Christina Aguilera and Tamara Mellon who founded Jimmy Choo. Bullard is originally from London who had aspirations to be an actor and fell into Interior Design.

I was reading an interview he did with the New York Times and he has a very down to earth attitude. He was asked, "Do you think viewers will be surprised by the less-than-glamorous behind-the-scenes work involved in high-end interior design?" 
His response was, "I think people will be surprised. A lot of my clients think I just swan around in designer outfits, wave the designer wand and it happens. It may look glamorous pulling up in a Mercedes and running around town shopping with a black American Express card, but the reality is that it’s grunt work. You know, sometimes I get down on my hands and knees to scrub the floors for these people. I may be in the top echelon of my career, but believe me, it’s still a service industry and I understand that." To read the rest of the interview head here.

I have to share some of his gorgeous pictures with you because they are breathtakingly beautiful and he really tries to capture his clients' personalities in the space.

Sharon Osbourne's Vintage Americana inspired kitchen. Photo from Architectural Digest.

Sharon's living room that showcases her collection of Italian Dolls.
Elton John's Living room has a modern eclectic vibe.  Photo from Styleture.

Elton's kitchen.  How awesome is that chanedlier? Photo from Styleture.

Yet another of Elton's rooms.  I don't know about you but the onyx table has me distracted from the view.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Touring the Historic Salt Lake City County Building

Last week we took a tour of the Salt City and County Building.  This beautiful building was built in 1891, well construction started in 1891 and it took three years to construct.  Originally estimated to cost $350,000 to bid, the final bill was nearly $900,000.  Sadly because they were so grossly over budget, the proposed stain glass windows had to be cut from the project.  After seeing the building, I’m curious where the stain glass would’ve gone and how it would’ve affected the interior choices of the building.
The architectural style of the building is Richardsonian Romanesque.  Romanesque Revival  incorporates elements from the 11th and 12th centuries.  The Richardsonian part comes from architect Henry Hobson Richardson who used the Romanesque style in all of his architectural endeavors, his most notable work being Trinity Church in Boston.  Richardson passed away prior to the start of construction  of this building, but the arches over the windows, enormous columns that support the entry ways and balconies and the size of the rough stone blocks of the exterior help to identify this style as Richardsonian Romanesque. 
The building is carved from gray Utah Kyune sandstone.  When it was renovated in the late 70’s and early 80’s the structure underwent a seismic upgrade called base isolation which placed the structure on a foundation of steel and rubber to better protect it from earthquake damage.  A French sculptor named, Linde, did all of the intricate carved figures adorning the building.  His inspiration was early history and heritage of the community.  On the exterior you can see a sun rising behind a beehive flanked by pioneers, sea creatures from Lake Bonneville, fleur-de-lis, an eagle, an owl, a mountain lion, eel, crocodile, roses and the sun representing the seasons.  There are also statues of Columbia, Justice, Liberty and two of Commerce that stand atop the buildings towers. In 1934 after an earthquake the statues were all removed for public safety.  Many years later the statues were replicated and replaced except the west facade’s Commerce, it is still original. 
Onyx lines the halls of each floor.  It is such an elegant stone that brings so much character to the space and was donated by the Utah Onyx Company in 1893.  The onyx is paired with oak moldings and wainscoting as well as multi-colored tiled floors.  The elevators feature embossed copper wallpaper which is gorgeous. 
During restoration in the 80’s a drop tile ceiling was removed and what was discovered is spectacular.  The ceiling was lined with a quatrefoil (clover shape) and circle motif which rests atop a series of trefoil (also a clover shape, but with 3 vs. 4) arches.  These arches sit atop a piece of molding supported by pilasters capped with Romanesque capitals.  The pilaster is basically a column on the wall and the capital is the decorative piece that sits atop it.  This trefoil arch pattern is again present at the base of the room as a relief in the wainscoting and its painted red with white highlights.
I could honestly go on and on about this building, but instead of babbling, I’ll show you a variety of the pictures taken. 

Don't forget to go take the tour for yourself.  It is worth it!

The interior elevator wallpaper.

The fifth floor ceiling with quatrefoil motif atop trefoil arches.

The lower wainscoting with trefoil arches.

Pilasters with Romanesque capitals.

In the clock tower.  Notice where the stairs use to be.

The view up the stairs to the clock tower.

Exterior view of the clock tower from the roof.

The view down from the fifth floor.

Onyx wainscoting below oak chair rail.

Ladies Toilet on the main level.  The bathrooms were not as pretty inside as they are on the outside.

Exterior of the building.

Scroll work in the iron railings.

Bells in the clock tower.

More bells.

A view from the roof.

Another view from the roof.

How gorgeous are the tiles and moldings?

Beautiful banisters.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

A Pleasantly Purple Dining Room

Modern style working with a traditional structure is the setting for our latest project.  The client painted the room an ice blue with a coordinating deeper blue below the chair rail, but she needed to add in a punch of color and wasn't sure which or how; so she called The Design House.

Taking into account all of the factors in the room, blue wall, slate floor and the soon to be added chocolate table, it was a bit tricky to decide what color to add.  Our client had just used accents of lavendar to decorate for Christmas and actually loved it in the room. So once the design fairies put the idea in our head there was no going back; PURPLE!  Purple in all its shades from lavendar to red-violet to aubergine was the perfect color to add warmth to the room, but still keep it cool enough to work with the existing cooler elements.   Now I know you're thinking "purple?!" but it's probably not quite what you're thinking.  Purple sometimes gets a bad wrap, but we did it justice with this space.

How it was done: We added a fabulous modern piece of art above the fireplace mantel with some great accessories to match. To pull off the purple tones and feel like your not dining in Barney's play land we hand selected accessories in all of the various purple shades to add interest. On the opposite side of the room we used this great metal spoke mirror that reflects the art.  Various floral elements were used in the space.  The centerpiece is a beautiful orchid custom designed arrangement that is a mix of vibrant greens and a hint of aubergine to brighten the room.  In the corner of the room there is a mix of holly hock orchids and deep plum gladiolas in a sleek white lacquer bamboo vase.  Mixing a bit of modern with traditional, the table runner is a mix of purples in a traditional damask pattern.

The deep chocolate table that the client selected needed some chairs to go with it.  We helped her select a modern ladder back style chair that we had custom stained to match the table, as well as custom upholstered in a creamy leather.  The table and chairs rest on a fabulous geometric rug.  The warm brown tones of the rug help to warm up the room and break up the dark slate floor from the dark table. 

Dining Room Before

Dining Room After

Dining Room Before

Dining Room After

Dining Room Before

Dining Room After

Centerpiece and Mirror
Spokes Mirror

Art and fun accessories

Here is another shot of the mantel with art and accessories.

For a different twist we added fun green spikey pods to this funky red-violet candle holder.  Just because it's meant for candles, doesn't mean you need to use candles.

A close up of the mirror.

The lacquered bamboo vase.

Hollyhock orchids and gladiola arrangement.
The Entryway before

The Entryway After - we proposed this fun rug that brings color and different pattern into the space.  We also suggested doing pencil molding below the chair rail and painting it white to add more architectural detailing and adding to the traditional space. The Entryway now acts as the perfect gateway between the Living and Dining spaces.  The colors chosen help the flow between both spaces. 

The Entryway After looking into the Dining.
This is a quick shot of the Living Room.  We helped the client decide what color teal and where to paint it i.e. above or below the chair rail or do you paint the entire space?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

HGTV Dream Home 2012

Earlier this week, well last week, but we found out this week that HGTV's Dream Home 2012 is being built in Midway, UT.  Yep that's right, it's in our own backyard.  If you're not familiar with HGTV's Dream Home it's something they've been doing now for 16 years.  They build and design a beautiful home and then they give it away.  Anyone can enter and has a chance to win which makes it even more enticing. 

The construction began in May and if you head over here you can check out daily photos of the project so far.  The Salt Lake Trib did an article on Monday complete with a bunch of photos which you can see here.

From the looks of it, it's going to be quite a beautiful home and we at The Design House are looking forward to watching it all come together.