February 26, 2010

DvH 2010 08 Las Vegas

Grand Flourishes (a new, old sense of Europe)

European interiors often have a certain drama and stylishness. One reason is that late Renaissance and baroque buildings provide startling and extravagant frameworks for interiors. Designers today rarely get a chance to try their hands at such spaces.

The client wanted his living space to reflect his traditional European taste. There was actually nothing European here except the furnishings, so we created “a look”. We took the well-proportioned rooms and transformed them via color, texture, finishes, art, and furnishings.

Retired from the Swedish Foreign Service the client decided to live part-time in Las Vegas. During his worldwide postings, he accumulated an eclectic mix of art and he inherited an exceptional collection of fine furnishings.

Because entertaining is such a big part of his live, the furniture in the living room is arranged to make dialog natural and easy. We opted for neutral walls and modern seating to set off the antique Italian celadon-green boiseries and art.

In the dining room, a new glass-topped table is encircled with antique chairs, upholstered in embroidered fabric.

In the private rooms, the walls are “clean” white, with no deep pigments to create pink or blue undertones. The white works well with the abundance of natural light from the large windows. Bed and seating were custom designed.

February 16, 2010

DvH2010 07 Condominium

“Good design should seduce you”–John F. Saladino

The standard condominium or apartment floor plan has little to seduce you. The amenities are concierge service, valet parking, restaurants, and entertainment within walking distance. Therefore, it is the designer’s task to transform the space into an unexpected pleasure.

Natural and artificial lighting can be orchestrated to create a relaxing, welcoming sanctuary in any room. In this minimalist-style living room, the expansive window is the focal point of the room. The undressed window provides warm, natural light and a priceless view to the changing kaleidoscope of colors from morning to night.

Contemporary furnishings and crisp architectural styling blend with the classic proportions of a grand piano. Neutral colors, rough and smooth textures, enhance the impression of a cohesive, inviting space.

Ceramic tiles in Wedgwood Blue and Indigo, in the bathroom make a dramatic counterpoint to the neutral scheme of the living room. The color palette makes such a strong statement that few accessories are needed.

Green is said to be the most restful color to look at, because its light rays fall most directly into the retina. A shift in mood for the dining room in color, texture, and style. The client enjoys old-fashioned European dining with late suppers well into the evening. Comfortable seating and intimate lighting will inspire sparkling conversation and hearty appetites. At least that is my hope.

The apartment provides open-air dining on a small terrace. Added to the fun of being outside is the pleasure of such an experience right in the heart of the city. It is always a special occasion, something like being on a desert island, far from the hubbub of the city below.