Monthly Archives

January 2008

Handmade, Objects, Rooms

Le Souk

January 25, 2008

One of my dear friends in the Netherlands authors a fabulous blog called the Style Files, and though I’ve talked about her and her blog a million times on this site I just realized that I’ve never formally announced the opening of her online shop Le Souk. You may remember Danielle, we went to Stockholm together in October. I can’t believe how I let Le Souk slip from my radar, but not today!

Le Souk Familjen wallpaper by Swedish designer Lisa Bengtsson.

Danielle’s life dream was to set up her own business so while she still has a day job, she’s hoping that Le Souk and her blog will someday give her the opportunity to work from home full-time. She’d also like to widen out and work more with clients as an Interior Stylist, and I know for a fact that she’d excel at this because her taste level is so exquisite — her rooms would be magazine worthy and gorgeous. I can’t wait to see Danielle continue to march towards her dreams, it’s so empowering to see women going for careers that they’ve often only dreamed about before. And though it’s only baby steps that get us there, Danielle has made so much progress in one short year being online as a blogger and a few months as a shop owner that I know she’s got a lot of great things in store!

Le SoukLe Souk

Le Souk ships worldwide and offers a range of home accessories for modern living, most with an ethnic flavor to them, and she offers personal accessories too. Mixing traditional ethnic pieces with modern and handmade items, each Le Souk item is carefully sourced by Danielle so you can be sure everything is made well and looks wonderful. From rustic, wooden stools to authentic vintage silver tea trays from Morocco and even beautiful crocheted pets for the kids, Danielle’s growing shop is a real treat. Enjoy!

Would you like to read more about Ethnic design? Click here.

(images from le souk)

Designers + Stylists

Meet Kishani Perera of Fuse-id

January 25, 2008

Contributed by: Vanessa De Vargas, decor8 West Coast Correspondent.

I was at a store opening in Venice, California and I was introduced to interior designer Kishani Perera of Fuse-id. Kishani?s look is timeless and so well executed. Within her interiors, she has an ability to place unexpected design elements that never seem totally obvious. Such a wonderful design trait. I hope that you enjoy my interview with Kishani and continue to watch her career as a designer. Enjoy. – Vanessa

Meet Kishani Perera of Fuse-id
Vanessa: How did you come to be a designer Kishani?

Kishani: I?ve always been obsessed with design, but didn?t always realize it! When I was young, I would redesign my room over and over again, paint the walls different colors at every whim, take salvage out of the garage that I would reinvent into ?art?, and attempt to refinish/ reupholster vintage things that I picked up at the local thrift shop. This design bug followed me into my college years, where in between classes I would go from dorm to dorm, helping friends out with their ?design? needs. So after college, when I was not quite sure what career path to pursue, everyone in my life kept telling me that I should go into interior design — it seemed so obvious to everyone but me! I decided to take their advice and try out a class at the UCLA interior design and architecture program, just to see what I thought. From the very first day I was hooked! I went on to work with some great designers in the consequent years who taught me a great deal, until ultimately I started my own company 4 years ago.

Vanessa: What’s your favorite color to work with and why?

Kishani: I love all colors, so that?s a hard one! But if I had to pick, I would have to say that I enjoy working with shades of grey. I feel like grey is the new beige, a great neutral that brings balance to a room and also allows vibrant accents to really pop.

Vanessa: What color/texture/material combinations do you see using in the future?

Kishani: With the Green movement gaining such momentum in the design world, and with the concept becoming more and more mainstream, I foresee clients requesting that I incorporate more eco friendly materials and products into their projects.

Vanessa: What are your greatest sources of inspiration?

Kishani: I find inspiration all around me — anything from fashion, nature, art, fabrics, people and places, I never know what will trigger that light bulb! Some of the most interesting ideas I?ve had, have been inspired by the most seemingly mundane of things.

Meet Kishani Perera of Fuse-id
Vanessa: Which interior or furniture designers, past or present, do you most admire?

Kishani: Two of my favorite designers are Tony Duquette and Muriel Brandolini who are both eclectic and fearless in their designs.

Vanessa: Describe your design theory in 4-6 words.

Kishani: High-end hip meets flea market chic

Vanessa: What is your signature mark that you always try to implement in a space?

Kishani: A touch of whimsy

Vanessa: If you could redo any space, past or present, what would it be?

Kishani: Hmmm, more than one specific space, there are areas I would love to work on. I would love to be involved in the revitalization of parts of Los Angeles, such as the Historic West Adams District. This area specifically is one of the oldest neighborhoods in L.A. and home to one of the largest groups of historic buildings in the West. There are so many architecturally stunning structures that are in desperate need of TLC. All I can think about while driving through these neighborhoods is what I would do to restore these homes to their original grandeur if given the opportunity!

Meet Kishani Perera of Fuse-id

Vanessa:. What have you learned about having your own business that you wish you knew when you were just starting out?

Kishani: There?s so much! Mainly, I wish I had known in the beginning how much actual business (accounting, detail, paperwork, book keeping, contracts, etc.) was involved in the interior design world. I was incredibly naive, I thought it would be all about the creative process and all I would do is shop all day long! The reality of my day to day is quite far from my young imaginings!

Vanessa: What are your best practices when it comes to client relations?

Kishani: It is vital to always be honest with your clients, even if it means you have to tell then something you know they don?t want to hear. Also, you have to really listen to what they?re saying. At times as a designer you almost have to read between the lines and virtually interpret, because sometimes a client has difficulty putting their expectations into words.

Meet Kishani Perera of Fuse-id

Vanessa: What 5 things does a well designed home need?

Kishani: Personality, first and foremost, practicality/functionality, warmth, comfort and color.

Vanessa: If you hadn’t become a designer, what do you think you would be doing now?

Kishani: Probably one, or a combination, of the following — a decorative painter, photographer, writer or vintage furniture shop owner.

Vanessa: Where do you see yourself in ten years?

Kishani: I?d like to grow my business to include offices in a few locations across the country and develop a custom furniture line which I would sell, along with fabulous vintage finds, out of a little shop somewhere.

Meet Kishani Perera of Fuse-id
Thank you so much Vanessa for this interview. For those who aren’t familiar with Vanessa, she drops in on Fridays to contribute a post on decor8. She’s an accomplished interior design and showroom owner based out of Los Angeles; click here to learn about her life as a designer.

(images: living room magazine photos by holly Becker for decor8, all others: grey bedroom and blue/grey living room: troy house; living room w/ wooden beams, pink/grey living room, pink stripe bathroom: jean randazzo.)

Arts + Crafts, Small Business

Indie Fixx {new + improved!}

January 25, 2008

Jen Wallace over at the very sweet online shop Indie Fixx just announced her newly redesigned site. Yay! Indie Fixx specializes in handmade items including prints, tea towels, gifts… All by some of Jen’s favorite artists. She has a great collection of cuteness over there, you should check it out. And by supporting Indie Fixx, you’re supporting Jen and all of her friends to be able to continue doing what they love as independent business ladies. Far more rewarding than filling your cart at some big box store, right?

Indie Fixx {new + improved!}
Thanks Jen for the tip, your site looks fantastic!

(image from indie fixx)

Arts + Crafts, Shopping + Products, Travel

Dolan Geiman {artist}

January 25, 2008

There’s nothing as exciting as finding beautiful art that is also affordable and installing that first piece on your wall. Okay, there are things more exciting, but when it comes to interiors I think art has to be my favorite thing to shop for. Because of this I’m frequently asked how to start a good collection. My advice is to frequent art school student shows, visit open gallery events in either the South End or Fort Point Channel (or other neighborhoods with artists’ lofts that are open to the public a few times each year), and for those looking for immediate gratification, I send them over to Etsy. You find just about everything there from rising stars to art world celebs and in general, the prices are always affordable and if they’re not, sellers usually offer alternatives to original works like reproduction pieces and high quality prints.

Dolan Geiman {artist}
Would you like to meet an artist with a range of prices to suit every budget who also has some great work fresh in his etsy store? Good because Ali Walsh recently wrote in about her partner’s work, Virginia native and mixed media artist Dolan Geiman who creates
Contemporary Art with a Southern Accent? and may I add, lots of it. He’s quite prolific!

Dolan Geiman {artist}
Ali enthusiastically told me all about what Dolan has been creating lately in his Chicago studio, like a limited edition wood assemblage series called Valentine Lovebirds available exclusively at Sacred Art in Chicago during the month of February. She also showed me some of his latest works over in his etsy store, where I found this limited edition print featuring dogs for only $45 that I really like. My favorite is this birdie box print, a limited edition reproduction of an original that I’d love to install over my bed.

Dolan Geiman {artist}
Yes, shown together this art can appear a bit “busy”. But try to imagine your favorite piece installed over your entry table with a lamp that coordinates with one of the colors in the work, or against a boring wall in your home, over a fireplace, or for fun, in your office because work has to involve something playful sometime.

Thank you Ali for writing to me, and Dolan your work is awesome. I first saw it over on Victoria’s blog but when you wrote to me asking that I highlight it here, I couldn’t refuse so thank you for sending it over.

(images from dolan geiman)


Wish Magazine {Canada}

January 25, 2008

Have you heard of Wish magazine? From the publisher, “Wish magazine is the Canadian woman’s Shopping List for Life, offering shortcuts, time-saving tips and the best deals and trends in fashion, beauty, food and home.” I don’t have access to a hard copy of it, and only recently discovered it even existed through Apt #11, a Flickr contact and fellow design nut. Wish does have a website though and on it you’ll find lots of quick bites covering topics from styling to staging your nest. Here are a few helpful articles that you may find useful plus some pretty pictures to inspire you today. Enjoy!

Wish Magazine {Canada} The folding screen shown here behind the bed with wallpapered inserts is a great budget idea to add color and pattern and the cement block bookshelf is another good idea, especially when styled as nicely as this one! Refer to: 27 Designer Organizing and Home Staging Tips.

Wish Magazine {Canada}

Chandelier Makeover: DIY and a Living Room Makeover: Before and After.
Wish Magazine {Canada} And finally, Bohemian Bedroom Styling and 6 Parisian Styling Tips. I just love the idea of bamboo picture frames (bamboo is slim not chunky) as shown in the bottom right photo, only in lacquered colors like sunshine yellow, black, white, or navy blue. I’m also liking that pink chandelier (shown further up), the things you can do to transform black wrought iron!

(images from wish magazine)


Thanks, Boston Globe

January 24, 2008

Today has been one of the single most exciting days in my life thanks to the Boston Globe. I’d like to thank Meaghan and Hayley for everything. I have to admit, I didn’t see the paper until this afternoon after my mother called in asking if I was insane for not racing out this morning to pick up a copy. Uh apparently yes, thanks mom.

Thanks, Boston Globe
It took that call from a very proud mom telling me about her trip to the coffee shop this morning where she proceeded to show it to everyone that I realized maybe I was taking this whole press thing a little too lightly. At that, I headed to Starbucks to grab a copy. All composed and non-chalent, I opened the paper and the moment all the color and pattern from the front page of Style & Arts jumped out at me, I burst into happy tears. Yup, right there in the land of Vente lattes and GrandeMochafrappawhatevers. But more than a pretty layout, writer Meaghan really nailed it in the article — from how I feel about those I feature on decor8, the importance of design in my life, and all the great “creators” out there that I’m proud to associate with here in our online design community each day.

Thanks, Boston Globe
Since I’ve been answering emails from Globe readers today about many of the products and people mentioned in the article, I thought it would be handy to link everything below so if you’re coming over from the Globe you can easily access what was highlighted in just a few quick clicks.

Marisa Haedike
Michelle Caplan
Domino magazine
Alicia Bock photography
Chinoserie bedding from Dwell Studios
Amy Butler Fabric
Purl SoHo
Crochet Pendant Lighting by Roost at Rian Rae
Mammy rug (in blue) by Angela Adams available at Urban Living Studio
LAX coffee table from MASH Studios at Design Public
Kirin sofa by Oly Studios available at Hudson
Sunshine Cosmos pillow by Hable Construction
Devi Home
Fabric Place
Apartment Therapy

If you’re not in Boston and would like to read the articles they’re over on : A few thousand of her favorite things and Great 8.

(images from holly becker for decor8)

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