Monthly Archives: August 2016

Hollywood Hills Styles Tips

In Beachwood Canyon, a community in the Hollywood Hills of California, sits a classic California bungalow. The home has great bones featuring exposed wood beams, arched doorways and a fireplace that’s original to the home. It’s these details that Karen and Guy Vidal of Design Vidal got to work with when they took on this design project.

With their love of culture and pattern shining through, Design Vidal featured an eclectic mix of elements from around the globe in the home’s design.
A metallic Moroccan side table; beaded African pillows on the sofa; a colorful kilim to brighten the living room floor. Mixed in with contemporary furnishings, the cultural elements fit seamlessly.
Above the fireplace, sits an array of colorful pieces that add to the room’s vibrant color palette. A collection of vases in yellow, green and blown glass create an artful display. The finishing touch – a colorful little painting displayed against the white stucco.

The credenza is the ultimate statement piece in this home’s hallway. Turned wood legs of the table offer a unique detail. Topped with more collected pieces, including vases and the homeowners’ favorite design books. The color palette of the vignette is captured in the painting that hangs above the table, with rich tones of red and blue that can be spotted throughout the entryway display.

The husband-and-wife team are also the owners of Granada Tile. One of top purveyors of cement tile in the United States, the couple knows how to use tile to accessorize in a space. Their collection of cement tiles can be seen throughout this home. In the kitchen they have installed a stylish wall of cement tiles. The lively color and pattern makes this one kitchen where you’ll want to cook and prepare many family meals in.

Beautiful tile can also be spotted in the home’s bathrooms. For a pop of color, a blue star pattern adds to the design of this serene bathroom. The hexagonal shape of the tile also accents the original arch right above the tub.

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An Eclectic Home Nestled In The Hollywood Hills
An Eclectic Home Nestled In The Hollywood Hills
In the dining area, architectural details and a mix of vintage and collected pieces give the room interest. Below the dining table, a Persian rug in soft shades of lilac and blue add a heavy dose of color to the room. Atop the rug, the furnishings and walls remain neutral. The eye is drawn to the wood beams that are original to the home, as well as the wrought iron chandelier.

Woven chairs look great in this casual dining area. The woven design stands out in the with the neutral color palette. Above the credenza, an abstract portrait of the running of the bulls brings a color pop to the space.

While the other rooms in the home offer a riot of color, the bedroom has been designed to feel cool and serene. A tufted headboard in light gray gives the room a classic look. Striped bedding in shades of gray continues the sophisticated neutral color palette in the room. Floor-to-ceiling drapery is a lovely finishing touch, adding a bit a romance to the bedroom.

Modern Home Decor Tips

images-29As we look for ways to be more environmentally sustainable, we’ve all had a chance to become familiar with the concepts of repurposing and upcycling. These watchwords of the modern green movement have found a place in the world of home decor as well. They are often heard when materials recycled from old products are used to make something different, as in the case of Moroccan boucherouite rugs. Yet sometimes the best design happens when something old is taken just as it is and is given new life through a little reimagining.
Some of our favorite examples of this kind of design are the bamileke stools of the Cameroon or Ethiopian mesob baskets (both of which might show up in future Design Geek features). Yet one of the most interesting transformations has been the new trend of stools and coffee tables made in the shape of a chakki – stone tools which formed a central part of traditional Punjabi culture in ancient India and modern Pakistan.

What is it called? Chakki (pronounced chah-kee)
Where is it from? The Punjab region of what is now part of both India and Pakistan; the former Sikh empire.
Described first by the Persians as “the land of five rivers,” the Punjab (or Panjab) region has a long history of political and military significance . Over the centuries it has drawn the attention of Alexander the Great as well as the Umayyad Caliphate and Imperial Britain . It was also the site of the Sikh Empire which “extended from the Khyber Pass in the west, to Kashmir in the north, Sindh in the south and Tibet in the east.”

Bohemia Design.
Sikhism formed as a religion in India in the fifteenth century under the guidance of Guru Nanak, the first of ten gurus believed by Sikhs to have possessed the same animating spirit . Known in the Punjabi language as gurmat (“the way of the gurus”), Sikhism gained political and military significance in the region in 1709 when Banda Singh Bahadur, a student of Guru Gobind Singh, the last of the original ten gurus, rose in rebellion against the Mughal rulers of India at the head of a Sikh army .

Though he was eventually defeated by the Mughals, Bahadur was followed by Maharaja Ranjit Singh who would found the Sikh empire through a combination of strategic marriages and military victories, capturing Lahore, the capital of the Punjab in 1799 . Leading a diverse force comprised of Punjabi Sikhs, Muslims and Hindus, Singh would go on to annex important Indian commercial sites, Sikh holy lands, and the cities of Multan, Peshawar and Kashmir . Following his death in 1849, Tanjit Singh’s kingdom would begin to fray badly, destroyed from the inside by internal strife between leaders as well as from the outside by new invaders to the area . A series of failed wars against the British East India company would lead to the final defeat of the Sikh empire and the division of the territory.

Throughout its history, agriculture has been one of the major industries of the Punjab. Today, just as in centuries past, the Punjab continues to be the largest producer of wheat in India . Small wonder then that for centuries the tools for preparing wheat for cooking would be present in nearly every Punjabi home. Though it is difficult to pinpoint exactly when in the history of the Punjab region chakki first came unto use, it is clear that they were not originally intended to be used as seating.

Rather they were designed to be grain mills, used for grinding small amounts of wheat for a single family . Because wheat sours at a faster pace once ground, the diminutive machines are only used to provide enough flour for a single day . The word, “chakki” is a Punjabi term describing a set of two circular millstones set one on top of the other within a short standing table . Measuring some twenty inches in diameter with a three-inch thickness, the upper stone is set onto a spindle protruding from the lower stone which allows it to turn(14). Grain is fed into a small hole in the upper stone while a wooden handle in the upper stone is used to turn it against the lower stone. As it turns, corrugated scratching surfaces on the underside of the upper stone and upper side of the lower stone scratch against each other, pulling the grain away from the center and grinding it as it moves towards the edges (for a quick look at how the process works go here). The flour that results from chakki grinding, known as “Atta”, is quite healthy, containing large portions of bran and gluten, which makes the bread strong enough to be rolled very thinly .

This Lakeshore Drive Chicago Apartment

Interior designer Stephan Jones blends lovingly blends his talents in his Chicago apartment, showing his penchant for both interior design and original art. Located in the Lakeshore Drive neighborhood of the city, the interior focuses on minimal elegance that is dotted with art made by the designer’s own hand. The design of the apartment is a nod to Jones’ trajectory into interior design. The design of his Chicago apartment served as the starting point for Stephan Interiors Design.
It also helped to crystallize his philosophy which brings home color and eclectic pieces, all while keeping the overall aesthetic elegant and poised.

In the living room, a variety of aesthetics meet in the space. A clean-lined sofa is flanked by curvy bone inlay table. Woven seating and a coffee table with an iron base form a unique juxtaposition in the space. For color, Jones has created a work of art. A green overlay painting that feels like a warm drop of sunshine, brightens the space.
The Chicago interior measures 1,400 square feet. The open plan allows the elements of each room to speak to each other in the design. A mix of warm natural materials, clean lined furnishings and carefully selected art can be found in each room. For a sense of intimacy, items from the designer’s travels, piece that have been collected over time, are the ultimate statement pieces in the interior.

Mid-Century Design Takes Hold In This Lakeshore Drive Chicago Apartment
The credenza features a rich mix of textures. The wall is covered in a woven seagrass wallpaper. Above the vintage credenza are pieces made by Stephan. A pair of sculpted hands and a painting, featuring turquoise oil paint on rough burlap. The vignette is a stunning display of texture on texture.

Mid-Century Design Takes Hold In This Lakeshore Drive Chicago Apartment
The dining room features an eclectic mix of wood tones. The oversized dining table in white oak is the centerpiece of the room. The table is surrounded by bamboo chairs with patterned, upholstered seating. Behind the table, a dark-stained buffet finishes the tableau of natural materials.

Mid-Century Design Takes Hold In This Lakeshore Drive Chicago Apartment
Outside dining room window you can see Stephan’s incredible view of Chicago. The cityscape is the perfect backdrop to this modern interior.

Mid-Century Design Takes Hold In This Lakeshore Drive Chicago Apartment
Art can be found in every room in this home, and that includes the dining area. A gallery wall featuring a small collection of abstract paintings adds color to the home’s space for dinner parties and enjoying time with company.