Friday, March 25, 2011

Arts and Crafts project

I'm soooo excited about a current project that I'm working on, I just had to share!  I am updating a living room in a fabulous Arts and Crafts inspired newer house.  The inspiration for the project is from, yes you guessed it, the Arts and Crafts movement, but only in the philosophical sense--"truth to materials, simple form, handmade".  We don't want to be wedded to the predictable type of A&C furniture so are going to take it a step further--hang on to your hats!

I looove to use "found" objects in a functional, and creative, manner within my projects.  I had designed the room with a large, round coffee table in the middle.  See sketch below.

I found this incredible 19th century Turkish copper tray, which will be stunning as a central focus in the room!  It has a wonderful patina, and will only get better with age!

Of course, I found this wonderful piece from Donna Waldhauser of Alsadu who is excellent in helping me succeed with my artistic endeavors for my clients.

Isn't it stunning?  We are going to have the tray custom built into a larger coffee table.  It will be surrounded in reclaimed wood with a distressed dark stain bringing it from 31" to a finished table of 48" in diameter creating an exquisite custom coffee table for my client.

 Stay tuned for more updates on the room!

☯  Susan  ☯ Registered & Protected

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

My New Office

Hello!  Recently I moved into an office space from my home office.  I am thoroughly enjoying having a much larger space, lots of window light, and a wonderful, rustic brick wall!  I also love the arty area and the building which is full of public service advocates and artists.  Some of my neighbors are children's book illustrators, sign designers, yoga and massage studios, a gallery, rock band promoters, nonprofits, just to mention a few.  There are also wonderful small restaurants and a coffeehouse.  Most everyone is small, and/or independent, just like me!  There's only a few spaces left--so hurry!

I think the best environments, whether work or living, are a combination of new, antique, and personal objects--items that truly speak to you.  You may not know why, but visually, they are fun to witness every day.  I thought I would share a little of my space and how I am trying to bring together different elements that create a space for me.  Remember--I've only been there a few months, so its still very much a work in progress...

My sitting area--don't you just love that big mirror.  It is huge, and was such a find!

Fabulous antique Asian carved screen I got from Claire Steyaert.  The interior is a burlap covering over wood, so I've used it somewhat as a display space for project photos.  If you haven't checked out Claire's shop, it would be sooo worth your while.  Claire is a wonderfully interesting woman from France, and has a fabulous eye for the unique!  Lucky for me her shop is located just a few blocks from my office!

Looking towards the sitting area/entrance.  My father in law's (Joseph G. Brown) artwork is on the wall. I like the idea of walking into a cozy area working towards a larger, brighter area.  Frank Lloyd Wright was big in designing his entrances like this, only his were incredibly extreme.  Some of his foyers, such as Taliesin West which I've written about, are like walking into a small box with a very small doorway (almost duck worthy) opening up into a much larger room.

Looking from my entrance towards the work space.  Don't you just love those 4 large windows!!

I was thrilled when I found this!  I wanted a cubby unit for baskets and samples, and yes, I know Ikea has them, but again, did not want to resort to that.  Our desks and a couple of other cubbies are from there, and that is enough!  This piece I obtained at Art and Architecture, just below Claire's spot, and then got the baskets at Ikea.  Its wonderful for fabric, tile, etc.

A unique little trinket I found.  I just love the look of it!  It works great to top off a stack of books.

 Small plates, about the size for teacups.  Another "out of the blue" find.  I thought the design was very intriguing, and they work well as coasters.

Antique silver candle holder from India purchased at Art and Architecture.  Isn't this guy just a hoot?!  Couldn't pass this one up.  He is one heavy dude too!

Well, now you've seen a little of the space where I create, think, ponder, draw, etc.  I hope you've enjoyed the tour!  Hurry, the bus is leaving...

Susan Registered & Protected

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Summer On My Mind...

No doubt I love color in a room...just look at the awesome hues in this very refreshing room by New York designer Meg Braff.  I love the combination of colors, the patterns, the juxtaposition of styles, and the whimsy--so tropical and relaxing, yet inspiring.

Interior design by Meg Braff

Awaiting warmth and sun...  Susan Registered & Protected

Thursday, March 10, 2011

New Project Photography!! Master Bedroom!

I've been photographing interiors at a clients home with an incredibly talented photographer friend of mine, Lisa Bond.  It's amazing how much time and detail goes into one shot, and yet, so humbling to work with someone who can be just as consumed with the smallest of details as I am--until it is just right!  Below is a sampling of both of our work.  We did a lot of shots of various spaces, so I'll focus on specific areas for different blog posts adding "before" and "after"pics.  Stay tuned for more rooms!


Photo credit:  Lisa M. Bond Photography
One of my most enjoyable design strategies is looking for "found" objects to use in alternative methods within a home.  It adds incredible personality and a "collected overtime" feeling -- (if done well--huge key point!).  In this master bedroom photo, I found the wood headboard piece, and knew immediately it was perfect for this bedroom.  It is an old architectural piece from Afghanistan that had blown off a house.  I got it, as well as many of my finds, at Alsadu, an import company that helps support economic independence in developing countries.  They purchase products from artists and sources making sure it is at a living wage and within safe and healthy living conditions.  Gotta love that sourcing!  I knew when the empty arches were upholstered in a fuchsia silk from our color palette, this piece would just shine!  The bolster pillow was made from a textile piece from the Swat Valley area and the throw at the end of the bed is made from a wonderful old Suzani from Kazakhstan.


Photo credit:  Lisa M. Bond Photography
As you can see in the before pic, the bed was centered in the room with a huge built in bed frame creating privacy from the entry/bath doors.  Because I decided to move the bed against the wall, the entry and bathroom doors are now positioned to the side of the bed, (behind the turquoise silk curtain--you can only see one of the doors in the after photo).  I wanted to give the couple a stronger feeling of cocooning and privacy that they previously had, so designed the ceiling cornice board (see 1st after pic) with the turquoise silk draperies to hang down creating a tented feeling at the head of the bed.  There is also soft lighting within the ceiling cornice board that lightly shines down onto the draperies creating a warm glow at night.  In addition, the walls and ceiling are covered in a light carmel colored grasscloth to intensify the ambiance of coziness.

Batik Art Room Inspiration

Photo credit:  Lisa M. Bond Photography
Within the seating area of the room, you can gaze out the floor to ceiling windows at the beautiful lake or chat with someone in the bed.  To the right of the seating arrangement, I decided to remove one window that was not part of the larger grouping for an oversized Asian inspired bookcase which holds mementos and books.  The wonderful art piece overhead was our inspiration for the room hence the turquoise, fuchsia, and yellow grounded by the light caramel on the walls, ceiling, and luxuriously thick wool carpet.

Truly a bedroom to crash in at the end of a day!!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Bet you never thought you'd see those two words in the same line let alone with an exclamation mark!  What is this world coming to?!?  Recently, Plumen has come up with a designer energy-saving, light bulb.  OK-didn't think I'd ever see those two words together either--ok, ok--three words, count 'em: 1) designer, 2) energy, 3) saving...  The Plumen bulb uses 80% less energy and lasts 8 x longer than your normal incandescent bulb, and the Kelvins are at 2700, which is exactly what you want if you are looking for an energy efficient yet warm, non traditional fluorescent bulb.  It also looks like a mini air sculpture!  How can you pass that up!

Right now it runs just under $39.00 per bulb.  Seems expensive?  Not if you ever have to change it, run to the store to get more (gas consumption), not to mention your incredibly worthwhile time, AND less frustration for the fact your bulbs aren't burning out right before that big party you have planned!  Unfortunately, it is not available in the US yet--boo, hoo, hoo...  However, do not fret--we only have to wait until the end of April for its arrival.  Sorry, I know this sounds like an endorsement, right?  No, I am just super duper excited as I have been very nervous about the whole non-usage of incandescent bulbs in a few years, what with color, enjoyment of environment, and healthy-looking clients being a huge factor in my design work not to mention aesthetics!  Yikes!

Look at these fun installations!

For more info, click on Plumen here or above.  Light away!! Registered & Protected