Friday, November 19, 2010

Lower level update for a busy family.


Our Clients:  A busy family of 5 with kids ranging in age from 3 to 16. 
The Project:  Update the existing lower level space.
Requirements:  Space for watching TV with sound reducing features for the other areas of the home.  This space will need to provide seating for larger groups for entertaining as well. The kids will need floor space for those active games of knee hockey, trucks and Lego's as well as incorporate an area for scrap booking and board games.  Design a built in media center for a new flat screen TV with components, video games, movies and music.  Update the existing fireplace to create a sleek focal point, and integrate an attached toy room. 
Challenges:   Incorporating the existing traditional stained oak mill work, doors and windows into the design of a more transitional modern space.  The room is not large (370 sq. ft), yet it must accommodate varying ages with varying interests and function for various purposes.

We have selected 2 color palettes which our clients have fallen in love with.  They are having a hard time deciding on which one to choose, which do you prefer?

Option 1) Durable yet luxurious warm gray leather and fabrics for the large seating pieces, and splashes of vibrant color for throw pillows and accessories.  Paint Color:  Benjamin Moore "Revere Pewter." or a durable textural wallpaper.  Walls and window coverings will be soft and neutral  making it easier for focal artwork and furniture to stand out.

Option 2)  A bit more bold.  Black leather, soft charcoal, warm gray and the same vibrant shades of aqua and lime for a color splash!  Paint Color:  Benjamin Moore "Monroe Bisque." 

Monday, November 8, 2010

Clever Design Solution - bookshelves with no need for a ladder.

By focusing on height rather than width, efficient storage designs can be created. Staircase is a shelving unit that combines a bookshelf with a pullout stair system in the bottom three shelves.
Designer: Danny Kuo (Netherlands)
Material: Bamboo, stainless steel

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Two Tips Tuesday - Volume lll

 Minneapolis/St. Paul's Candice Simpson's fun new art made with 90% "green mixed media" (low voc plasters made from cork, shell, fibers and low voc metallic paint). Inspired by her trip to Itasca State Park.

1.  Choosing Art:  It can be difficult to get prints and artwork that aren't just mass-produced and bland... when you've spent all that time and investment in the design of your home, you don't want to spoil it all by slapping up just any old thing on your walls...

What you need is...

Something unique, and beautiful.
  • You want something to reflect the personality of your carefully designed room
  • You also want something to express a part of your own personality...
  • Or to make you feel a certain way... for the bedroom, look something that makes you feel relaxed such as a landscape or something flowing.

2.  A definite "no-no" in the design world is purchasing matchy-matchy furniture and d├ęcorWhen everything matches, the room becomes so safe that it's boring. Buying a suite of furniture of the same design went out decades ago. And although many fabric and wallpaper manufacturers offer coordinated patterns to simplify the design process, use those coordinates (if you must), as a background for something old, something personal, something that makes the room your own. 

Definitely Do!
Definitely Don't!

    Tuesday, October 19, 2010

    Two Tips Tuesday - Volume II

    Tip #1:  Furniture first – the rest later.  You might be inspired by a pillow, but that should not be your first purchase.  Select your furniture and then move on to pillows, window treatments and accessories.  They are the icing on the cake.

    Tip #2:  Throw Around Some color!
    On a chilly day there are few things that bring more comfort than a great throw blanket. You can use it sitting in a chair or in bed while reading or to put over you legs while watching TV. Things are getting chilly here is my interest in additional warmth is high right now!
    There are so many beautiful styles and materials. From Merino wool to cashmere or a quilt. I genuinely think this is something worth splurging a little on. For the number of times a throw gets used, its cost per us is pennies!

    Tuesday, October 12, 2010

    Two Tips Tuesday - Volume 1

    Tip 1:  Furniture –It makes a statement in a room. Furniture, especially older furniture, is often extremely well made. The frame is often hardwood and very sound.  Don't throw out grandma's old chair...have it reupholstered with an updated fabric to breathe new life into it and to coordinate with your other pieces.  I love mixing old with new, it is so much more interesting!  In furnishing your spaces, don't fall for those big box chain store pieces (hint:  PB)...they are glued together, trendy and way overpriced.  And don't go for the whole room (or even just a sofa) for $500 (or 'round that price).  You will regret it a year or so from now when you have to replace it because the frame or cushions have given way and the fabrics are pilling and worn...not to mention it is just bad feng shui!
    Personality Plus...and in for the long haul!
    Tip 2:  High ceilings tend to have a dulling effect of the lighting because the general lighting you have on the ceiling rarely has the power to illuminate the whole space or function for tasks.   Many homes I visit don't have adequate or the proper type of lighting... this is especially true of homes with high ceilings.  For ample and proper lighting of a space it is necessary to light from both above and below. That can easily be achieved by mood lights on the floor, at mid-level with lamps for tasks and ambiance, then from the ceiling to give ample light to illuminate the whole space. Beams on the rafters (if they show), accented by hanging chandeliers will illuminate the architecture and take full advantage of the high ceiling space.

    We mounted these amazing iron lanterns to the beams of our clients North Shore timber frame home.  This adds the light where it is needed, highlighting the architecture at the same time.

    Tuesday, September 28, 2010

    Old Things - New Life

     From fashion to environmentalism, what society holds dear is reflected in color and decor trends. During 2011, interior decorating trends will reflect a return to family and an interest in preserving and exploring the past, as money and the pursuit of things will take a back seat.

    The current trend of repurposed and recycled furniture and accessories intensifies the remaining months of 2010 and into 2011. Fueling this trend, in part, is a strong interest in green living. By reusing, repurposing, repainting and refinishing items instead of discarding them, people are doing a small part to protect the earth.

    Thursday, September 9, 2010

    introducing...our mascots

    The design studio wouldn't be the same with out our very special mascots.  Sammy (the not so tall, dark and "handsome" one) is an 11 year old mixed breed.  Don't ask what he is...other than a dog with some very unique physical features.  His underbite being one of the most endearing.  Sammy was a "rescue" dog from Last Hope... meaning he was adopted by us when he had no other hope. But he has experienced love, warmth and a full belly here!  Sammy spends his days sleeping and eating...and scratching.  Bella is a Chi Poo, aka: chihuahua-poodle.  She too is a rescue dog adotpted Chirstmas of '08.  She spends her time barking, (sorry if I am on the phone with you when this occurs), playing...or trying to get you to play with her, and making Sammy's life miserable.  But he secretly loves her - we have heard reports of this from their groomer Beth at Canine Cleaners.  Carla Bast Interior Design is proud to sponsor each year the Minnesota Valley Humane Society Woofer and Hoofer to benefit homeless dogs.  Adopt a pet!

    Carla Bast Interior Design is proud to announce the debut of our blog "design soup"! Stay tuned for design ramblings and more!