Monthly Archives

October 2009

Designers + Stylists

Meet CG Creative Interiors

October 22, 2009

CG Creative Interiors is a full-service design firm based in Atlanta owned by the talented Caryn Grossman. I met Caryn recently on Facebook and after seeing images from her home, I decided to share it with you today thanks to Caryn who so nicely sent a slew of beautiful photos to me. Her home reminds me a movie set, it feels very southern and like the homes I visited growing up whenever we went on field trips to Charleston. Her home, a converted telephone factory with an original concrete floor, is very charming and glamorous unlike it’s roots, and there is genuine personality here. The texture and pastels mixed with jewel tones looks very pretty and in Caryn’s creative home, it all really, really works. I can see that she is very creative but also artistic, and her home seems to be an ever evolving series of art installations almost like a theater, gallery or retail space — I love that. And in a way, it almost does function this way as she frequently holds art events in her home. Nice!

Meet CG Creative Interiors

In addition to seeing her space, I thought I’d ask her a few questions about her business and inspirations. Would you like to sit in on our chat?

Holly: Have you always been a designer? What got you interested in design as a profession?

Caryn: I’ve always been entrepreneurial, working for myself since I was in my 20s, but my first round of business was in marketing and communications. I would concept, write, and act as art director and creative director for all of my client’s campaigns. I specialized in architecture and design firms, and somewhere along the way it occurred to me that I was far more intrigued with what they did, than what I did. I took some additional courses in design, and loved it so much I asked the chair of the interiors department if I could join his program. That was more than 10 years ago, and I’ve never looked back!

Holly: Who are some great people who have influenced your work along the way?

Caryn: I’m inspired by just about everything visual, and love designers who take risks, who aren’t afraid — whether it be film, fashion, interiors… I am wholly inspired by Javier Mariscal’s animated brilliance, Nani Marquina’s whimsical designs, Philippe Starck’s often sarcastic style and Ingo Maurer who makes it all look like play. Closer to home, Clint Zeagler, inspires me in all forms fashion and style, while Christopher Moulder, a sculptor who plays with light, helps to ignite my own creativity.

Meet CG Creative Interiors

Holly: What is your design philosophy?

Caryn: Awhile back, when I was first finding my own style, a friend gave me a book called ‘Breaking the Rules’, and I guess I have been, ever since. I believe that spaces are meant to come alive, to express, to evoke. They should have meaning, resonance, for all who pass through. Great spaces render emotion; they comfort, they enliven, they convey. I believe that good design is magic, that each space tells a story.

Holly: How would you describe your style?

Caryn: Each of my projects is decidedly different, yet each tells a story. I think that’s the common denominator, the story, rather than a particular look or style. For my own personal space, I’ve created what feels, to me, like a Paris apartment, full of salvage and vintage finds, set within the stark walls of an old industrial surround. I love the play of contrast, the opulence of silk taffeta drapes, pooled on a concrete floor. Prior to that I lived in an old bungalow, where the focus was on color, rhythm and flow. There’s a Japanese theory, Shakkei, where there are three views, the immediate, the one that’s beyond, then the one that’s beyond that. My little bungalow was all about those views, one room leading into another, and then the view beyond.

Meet CG Creative Interiors

Holly: Do you gravitate towards a specific palette and if yes, what colors and why?

Caryn: My palette changes with each client, with the feelings we are trying to convey. For an ad agency, we chose a deep red and mustard, lively bold colors, while for a residence the palette was pale — blues and lavenders, very soothing, very relaxing.

Holly: If you could design a room for anyone, who would it be, which room and why this particular person?

Caryn: Goodness, that’s a hard one. I think it would be for a fashion designer, like Coco Chanel, her dressing room perhaps.

Holly: What things inspire you as a creator?

Caryn: Everything! I love fashion, tiny opulent touches, silhouettes and contrast. I love the way music can fill a space, the way a certain refrain ‘feels’ like a particular color or scene. I love when, even in discord, there is an absolute harmony. I’m also tremendously curious. I love the creative process, even more than the result.

Meet CG Creative Interiors

Holly: Can you suggest some of your favorite design books that may inspire decor8 readers?

Caryn: Just about any book published by Phadion inspires me — I love the way they put the books together, the binding, the pace of the pages. Taschen is another great publisher. Books of botanicals, with arrangements of glorious colors and textures. As for titles, I can’t really say. It’s rare that it’s an interior design book that inspires me; rather its books on fashion, industrial design, graphic design.

Holly: And finally Caryn, what is your most cherished possession in your own home and why?

Caryn: Teacups passed from my greatgrandmother, to my mother, and then to me. Each one is different, like notes in a melody.

Thank you Caryn for connecting with me on Facebook, and for accepting this interview – it has been a pleasure to get to know you better.

Oh and readers…. I have to comment on this: don’t you LOVE the idea of having your home function as a space in which you hold events that are centered around art, design and good music? Oh yes, I love this idea. And I vow today that if I happen to find a larger flat here I will host some events and invite whoever will come because seriously, what a nice way to get to know others and share with them some of your favorite things!

(images: cg creative interiors)

Color Inspiration, Inspiration

Raúl Martins: Interior Design

October 22, 2009

Nuevo Estilo Magazine, or “New Style” in English, is a design magazine out of Spain that also has a website where they share some beautiful rooms and decorating tips, all in Spanish of course. This particular home in Madrid is one such home and it was flawlessly pulled together by interior designer Raúl Martins. I love how purple and yellow were used to brighten up an otherwise neutral palette, don’t you?

Raúl Martins: Interior Design

Raúl Martins: Interior Design

And of course, the neutrals here aren’t completely flat and boring, but there is texture and a variety of materials used to make this space cozy and warm. This is such a good way to bring to life a room that may be a bit blah in your own home. Introduce two complementary colors (colors directly opposite of one another on the color wheel) to your neutral palette and see what beautiful things can result. Complementary colors are useful when you want to make a point: when you want something to really stand out.

Lovely work by Raúl Martins… and I cannot seem to locate a website for this talented designer so if you know, please comment with the link below!

(images Nuevo Estilo Magazine)

Arts + Crafts

Ruthi Auda

October 22, 2009

Ruthi Auda is a talented young lady that you’ll love to learn more about and here’s why… Born in East L.A., she’s currently pursuing her degree in graphic design out at Biola University in southern California while simultaneously working as a display coordinator at her local Anthropologie store in Newport Beach. On her blog she shows lots of the work that she assists on in-store, which I find fascinating and fun to watch – it’s neat to have an insider take on the magic that happens in the world of visual merchandising. I love their current installation – paper ostriches! Tell me you don’t want to craft one of these bad boys yourself?? :)

Ruthi Auda

Look into those eyes… can you resist that come-hither, you know you want me, stare? Oh try… Just try. But you cannot. Because you know you want a big ostrich in your living room to keep you company on nights when your sig other is out. Or near the dining room table.Well in reality, this only works as a display in a retail store vs. in the home but it’s still quite magical and lovely to look at, don’t you think?

Now do you want to see something else that’s kinda cool? No, not more birds…

Ruthi Auda

Ruthi made this Polaroid camera out of cork to give to her boyfriend with a card inside instead of a normal envelope. How genius is this? More crafty and creative Ruthi can be found weekly on her blog, so make sure you bookmark this girl!

(images: ruthi auda)

Objects, Rooms

Studiopatro: New!

October 22, 2009

Studiopatro is a newly opened pattern studio based in San Francsico by former art director Christina Weber.  She loves to collect her inspirations and turn them into patterns and so as a result her leaves, maps, love of typography and architecture are now prints and patterns on tea towels. Her studio grew from her vision and unique translation of her favorite things, a dream of what could be, into a collaboration of local friends, screeners and sewers who share a passion for beautiful, eduring, high quality textiles along with Christina.

Studiopatro: New!

I personally enjoyed the page on her site where she shows you 12 ways to use a tea towel outside of the intended purpose. I find these tips very helpful because as I’ve always said in regards to tea towels and sheets and anything else made from fabric – these items can absolutely function outside of what they were made to do — they’re just fabric and fabric is so versatile. To quickly summarize Christina’s great tips: You can use a tea towel: 1. as an apron, 2. to frame as art, 3. to line a tea tray, 4. as a potholder, 5. to dry salad greens, 6. to make a cushion, 7. as a housewarming present, 8. as gift wrap, 9. to line a bread basket, 10. as a large napkin, 11. as a placemat or runner and finally 12. to wrap a wine bottle. If you can’t imagine how some of these examples would work, you can see visuals of all of these examples here.

Lovely! And if you’d like to purchase a few tea towels, you may click here. I love the fern and fig patterns!

(photography: wendy nordeck)

Rooms

Océchou

October 21, 2009

Aw…. this makes me want to decorate a kid’s room or nursery! These forest creatures and the little red riding hood made me smile today… Nicole from the Swiss brand, Océchou, lives and creates in Switzerland with her 3-year-old who inspires her work and goodness, I just adore her cute style. Launched last year, Océchou publishes stationary and fashion accessories like postcards, posters, gift tags, badges, magnets, stickers for children, with alphabet posters in French. And whether you speak French or not, I think you should watch this video about Nicole and her process and products, it’s very, very sweet. I really enjoyed it… And goodness, I’m using a lot of commas lately aren’t I? I’m suffering from comma-overdose.

Océchou

Océchou

Océchou

Océchou

In addition to being extremely conscious of the cuteness factor, Nicole considers where things are made so Océchou products are manufactured in Switzerland and France and she ensures that all materials are of the best quality and environmentally safe. For instance, her papers are all FSC certified and 100% vegan and so they’re biodegradable. All digital illustrations begin as hand drawings and after using her magical tablet and Photoshop, she transforms her sketches into digital works of art.

(images: océchou)

Inspiration

Jennifer Davick Photography

October 21, 2009

Ready to slip into la la land together and drool at some truly remarkable photography shot in some fantastic spaces and places? I am… There is nothing I like more sometimes than to simply peer into the life of someone else and examine all the little details of a shot to see what went where, why, and also to consider how the colors relate, why they were chosen, etc. Jennifer Davick, who specializes in photographing food, is based in Birmingham, Alabama and she’s able to take you by the hand and lead you into some very special places (and moods) because she captures so much emotion through lighting, subject, depth… that it’s hard to not feel inspired by her work. See for yourself…

Jennifer Davick Photography

What I love about the images I’ve selected to share from her portfolio above: the colors! Soft yet vibrant, that peach and green looks so fresh and I love the orchids on the porch along with the sweet”heart” swing. They look like this typical laid back country look that I admire a lot and though living in a city, I still work to achieve a laid back feel in my home because it has an impact on my life — when I’m at ease everything naturally unfolds for me. I also like laid back living at home because it so closely matches my own personality.

Jennifer Davick Photography

So now I have a more personal question for you… do you think your home is laid back with a little pile here and there? Or would you define your home as being very organized and buttoned up – everything perfectly in place and looking like a magazine home? Or is your home a big chaotic mess that you feel ashamed about? Have you ever tried photographing your own home to see what it really looks like? I know, sounds strange. But I suggest doing it. Clean your rooms, make the bed and such, and then pretend you are a photographer and go through each room with your camera, shooting in natural daylight (no flash). Upload the photos and take a critical look at each nook, each room, and see what can be moved, improved, stored, fixed, etc. This is a fun exercise and worth taking the time to do.

You can even pull together a binder with your photos – store your notes and even your during and after photos there as you complete your rooms. When you photograph something you notice the details. That is why the photos you see of rooms in magazines look so perfect. The photographer takes the photo and they look at the picture on their computer (especially if they are shooting tethered) to see what’s what. They mostly are looking at the technical stuff, while the stylist and others involved in the project are looking at the actual shot from a creative perspective – what could be altered, moved, etc. to make the photo look even better.

Maybe those vases on that mantle instead, and that tea towel can be moved over to that table and off of the kitchen counter, etc. Once all of this combing and processing has been accomplished, the end result is the magazine photo that you drool over. And even then, sometimes color editing and other image editing is done to perfect the actual shot – perhaps the color correction is needed. That is called, “magazine perfect” and what we think is just another “normal” home that we don’t have. Well, it’s not. And then we swing open our door at night to our shaggy apartment thinking What The Heck Is My Problem, feeling insecure about our homes because they don’t look like a magazine image.

So remember… one way to help you to achieve a more pulled together home, or perhaps a neater “laid back” home, is to photograph your space as I’ve mentioned and go in with a critical eye to examine what needs help. Style a fireplace mantle and photograph it. Don’t like it? Style it again. And again, and again…. Then once you you really like it – well, it’s done and you can move on to another area of your home. Take inspiration from other rooms that you love — arrange things in a way that you liked from the home of another person — it’s not copying — your objects and colors will no doubt be very different. But it can be helpful to train your eye in the beginning as you start to take more interest in the details of styling and how it’s done. Gosh, I could go on and on about this, I’m passionate about the whole art of making something look beautiful. :) Wow! Looking at the work of Jennifer Davick gave me a lot to talk about, didn’t it? :)

(images: jennifer davick photography)

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