June 16, 2017

Rearrange things…

Even a room that works perfectly and looks great may seem stale after a time.  If you never move things around, pretty soon you stop seeing what’s there.  You can make a space feel dramatically fresh ans new-without buying a single new thing or touching a drop of paint-by simply rearranging the objects in it.  Some pieces of furniture, of course, can only be in a particular spot.  The piano needs to be away from the heating vent.  You want straight lines to run parallel to walls.   But for the most part, things can live happily in more than one spot in a room.

People rearrange the chairs in the Luxembourg Gardens in Paris all day long to suit their different needs. 

When all the people have gone home for the evening, the chairs are still talking to each other.

May 1, 2017

The walls have it.

The apartment is an integral part of the enclosing walls.
All creative tools were needed to transform this client’s derelict space into compact elegant living quarters. The apartment offered none of the assets that enhance the popular Roman palazzi: none of those majestic staircases or loggias; the ceilings are rustically beamed and the staircases narrow and off balance. But despite these drawbacks we made a space the client loves.

The layout of the terrace will provide a pleasant setting for entertaining. 

April 27, 2017

Looking Inside



Home is shelter from the world: the heart that warms you, the roof that keeps out the rain, the table where you eat with your loved ones, and the bed on which you sleep.  But home is also the springboard for you life’s adventures and the safety net that gives you courage to soar into the world.  At home you are most fully yourself: accepted for the least you are, yet reminded of the most you hope to be.

  Putting together a living space that reflects and supports the quest for an authentic life is an exhilarating creative challenge. Begin with three simple principles:  Weed out unnecessary possessions.  Give fresh life to furnishings by moving them around.  Stop being frustrated by the physical limitations of your home; rather start looking for ways to highlight its pluses.

  A space that meets the everyday needs of its inhabitants, gives expression to their interior life, and encourages living the life you want.  The project of creating such a home for yourself can be a source of satisfaction and joy.

March 24, 2017

Projects 2017 . . .

"First off forget grandeur. I don't think it's the quality we want today."

~Albert Hadley~

Wise words. Today big houses tend to be built on comparatively tiny plots of land. Fifteen-and 20-room houses are set no more than 50 feet apart, rather like the barracks at an Army base. The effect is akin to having Queen Elizabeth dolled up in coronation garb while riding in a Volkswagen Cabriolet.

People who buy big houses because they think they need the space are often amazed to discover they still don`t have enough, no matter how many rooms they have. This is because the maxim affecting garages also applies to the interior of houses. Junk expands to exceed available space.

Of course, one item common to all big houses is a large directory filled with the names and numbers of the wide and varied assortment of fix-it fellows required to keep the place running - names and numbers that are as closely held as the codes to Swiss bank accounts. Remember Versailles? Its maintenance bankrupted the French treasury. The rest is history.

*=project completed

DvH design 2017 01-apartment update-Rome, Italy *

DvH design 2017 02-house restoration- Southern Germany

DvH design 2017 03-house restoration on a small private island-Baden, Germany

DvH design 2017 04-1920s house restoration, Silverlake, Los Angeles, CA

so far...