I was sent over some renderings from Thom Felicia Interiors (of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy fame and current host of Dress My Nest – which I love) that I thought you’d like to take a peek at since I know so many of you, like me, are Thom fans. He is currently working on the upcoming redesign of the W Hotel in San Diego, California. I was at this hotel in June 2005 for my anniversary and thought their current lounge areas were lovely, but it really did need to be freshened up a bit. I really liked the bar area so I’m glad to see that they’re leaving it in the same position as before near the stairs. I think it’s quite exciting that the redesign will be complete in June, perhaps I will have to fly out and stay there this summer for our wedding anniversary all over again.
I love all the bold prints and was told that they are going with organic materials and interior cabanas lined with rich wood louver paneling. Sounds very luxurious and sophisticated. The new lounge areas will also feature one-of-a-kind art installations inspired by the culture of southern California, an eye-in-the-sky DJ booth, and a redesigned poolside bar and sundeck. I can’t wait to see the finished photos in June, I’ll make sure to post them here on decor8 and hopefully even get an interview with Thom himself if he’d be interested in visiting design blog land to hang with us. :)
What do you think? Would you stay at a hotel that looks like this? I hope that this is a new trend, for hotel chains to start commissioning high end ‘celeb’ designers to update their look. So many need major help. I think the color palettes and furnishings in most hotels I stay at feel so cut n paste boring. I’d also like to see more hotels work with local artists to pull together unique one-of-a-kind rooms that feel a bit more quirky, like Hotel Fox in Copenhagen or the Arte Luise Kunsthotel in Berlin.
(images from TFI)
Your opinion is needed for this budding new surface pattern designer… Alexandra Bedoya is based in Spain and is not only the resident Barcelona editor for Luxe City Guides but also runs a design studio called Pop Pervert that just launched a new line of over 120 prints and patterns & prints that can be applied to jewelry, textiles, wall paper, ceramics. The designer is her business partner, Ana Montiel.
Though Pop Pervert is still in the beginner’s stage (no product for purchasing), Alex contacted me to present their work here on decor8 to see what type of reaction it gets from readers. A little market research. :) They really wants to get Pop Pervert out there and could really use your feedback, or if you are in a position to discuss something project-related, feel free to contact her for that too. What do you think, would you like to help? All I can say is that if Smeg produces refrigerators with their patterns on them, I will definitely order one. I would love to see washers and dryers go this route too, a little surface pattern would make for a great touch to otherwise boring appliances. Especially patterns that you can apply to that can be removed and replaced with other patterns, like giant decals or those shrink wrap ads you see on public transportation.
Pop Perverty has a very creative website that you may enjoy browsing too. I love that they took the time to show renderings because it really gives me a solid idea of what she as a designer is looking to do with their work, hers creative vision for it — but also helps me to better see it in a real world environment and to see the scale of the patterns because on paper a print may look great but once on the wall, the print is much smaller or larger than you envisioned which is sometimes a negative. This way, you can see things how Ana and Alex would like them to be. They pulled together an extremely professional pdf file (download it here for your viewing pleasure) with her patterns and renderings that I think makes for the perfect presentation to show to potential buyers, I love what they’ve done and am thankful for the sneak peek.
(images from pop pervert)
With a shop called All Things Original it must be quite a challenge to curate, as the name alone gives hope that you will not only be exposed to designs not seen already a thousand times over, but that everything is handmade by the maker and very, very special. All Things Original does a fantastic job at living up to it’s name…
As I click through their gorgeous product offerings, I’m reminded of how much exists out there that we still have yet to discover and it excites me because I think many worry that all this instant gratification on the web will leave us high and dry at some point with nothing left to blog about. Many readers ask me about this and my reply is always the same, I think we’ll always have plenty of new designs to be exposed to as long as these designers are supported and products are being purchased. Schools are releasing thousands of design-hungry motivated grads each year so as long as they have a place to show their work and others pushing them along to succeed, we’ll continue to have designs to drool for. In addition to the grads, we see growing numbers of men and women who may have missed their earlier calling in the arts to pursue an unrelated field only to return to art and design later in life. The massive following that the indie craft culture has right now is exciting and though I believe it will continue to gain popularity, I think that at some point it will level out a little and growth won’t be quite as aggressive as it is now. But despite all that, there is enough to go around so don’t worry. The well isn’t drying up anytime soon!
The curated collection of wares found over at All Things Original exposes us to some amazing work from homewares to furniture all from independent British designers. Ceramics by Hanna Melin, lighting by Rose Cobb, and Jo Heckett ceramics are a few of my favorites all shown above. Thanks Beverly for writing in about your unique shop!
(images from all things original)
When I was in Stockholm this past Fall I mentioned here on decor8 that I continuously found quality fabric that wasn’t to the trade only as the Swedes believe that good design should be available to all, with or without a designer. As I investigated this further by researching how to the trade works in other countries, I found that most don’t have such a thing, that to the trade just may be uniquely a North American thing — I think they do this in Canada but maybe my Canadian readers know better and can leave your thoughts here.
that you can have access to with a designer.
This leads me to telling you about L.A. Design Concepts and you’ll see why in a moment. I’ve been in conversation with Frank, owner of L.A. Design Concepts, because he contacted me via email and I had to get on the phone and learn more about the services his company provides. When he first wrote in stating that he has the first company of its kind offering national access to designer furniture without having to hire an interior designer, I was a bit skeptical. Now I’m a believer as this really does open up good design to all in a sense, of course with a fee.
To sum up our conversation, L.A. Design Concepts offers direct access to design centers throughout the United States and via their website to over 300 to the trade only manufacturers — all without having to hiring a designer to work with you. In other words, anyone can get in on so many products you crave that you couldn’t purchase otherwise from either the convenience of home or they offer a letter of introduction where consumers can shop any design center in the nation without having an interior designer present.
What about fees? They offer a processing fee of 20% above designer wholesale cost. This represents a large savings compared to the traditional 30-40% designer mark-ups, plus hourly fees charged. So you can pretty much bypass the designer and get your goods on your own. Or if you wish to have design help, they offer a complete range of interior design services for a fee.
So I have my opinions about this and I’ll state them here. If you need a lamp, a coffee table, or some accessories this may really work. If you are going to purchase an entire room, I still would consider hiring on a decorator or designer and work through them because you don’t want to make huge costly mistakes. Designers aren’t hired merely for access to trade only items. They are hired because they, or shall I say we since I work with clients myself, understand how everything works together from proportion to color, and we do all the run around work for you so you can sit back and just watch your room come to life with little vendor involvement. Consider that while you can save money in some areas, you risk to lose more if you install that $180 per roll wallpaper-of-your-dreams only to realize once it’s up that you hate because it’s out of scale and looks horrifying in your entryway. Then you have to spend days removing it then more time ordering something else. But I think that so many amazing talents are running around out there who are perfectly capable of decorating their homes without professional help so if you consider yourself in this category by all means, consider L.A. Design Concepts. If you are willing to admit that you have a terrible time pulling together a room, then go the route of hiring a little help.
And thanks Frank for taking the first step to open trade only products up to all because I still think good design should be available to everyone especially here in America where freedom is something our country was founded on. Shouldn’t we have freedom in what we’re purchasing as well?
(image from ironies)
Reading through Vanessa’s post, I’m reminded that I seriously need to start taking on design clients again. I really miss working with people in their homes, and it’s taken a bit of a backseat in my life as I’ve been extremely tied up with other things. Plus I have a lot of writing deadlines, and decor8 to maintain, so it’s been a challenge for me to write as much as I do and still maintain everything else in my life. Did you know that my husband and I now have a 2nd home?
I can’t wait to talk to you more about it in the upcoming months. I am officially bi-continental! The gut renovations are complete in our apartment in Germany so between now and July, I’ll start ‘decorating’ it from afar, ordering furniture and accessories online and having things shipped there so we can have things like a bed and a sofa when we arrive later this year. If you’re interested in seeing the apartment and the things I order just let me know and I’ll share that on decor8. We’ll only be staying there a few months each year since our primary residence is in New Hampshire, but to have our own apartment will be worlds better than staying in a hotel suite as we usually do. And if anyone needs a vacation to Hannover, you just may have to ask nicely. :) I’m really close to Berlin and Hamburg and a 45 minute flight to places like Amsterdam and Copenhagen, so it’s a great hub in Europe. So! I’ve had a lot going on in my life over the winter but very soon I want to start taking on client work again and sharing some of it right here on decor8. For now, I’ll share some of Vanessa’s work. She’s my new sidekick out in L.A. who posts on decor8 once weekly. I call Lady V my decor8 west coast connection. Check out this penthouse she designed in Los Feliz.
Penthouse Living in Los Angeles by Vanessa De Vargas
Bordering Hollywood in Los Angeles is an area called Los Feliz. When the movie Swingers came out that featured Vince Vaughn and John Favreau it ended up making Los Feliz a household name. With many bars and clubs like the Dresden Room and The Derby, Los Feliz became a desirable neighborhood in the 90?s for the hipsters of Los Angeles to move to.
As a native to Los Angeles I have seen this side of town go through a huge transformation and was honored when a very busy movie producer asked me to help her consult on a penthouse in the area. She wanted a space that did not feel cluttered, was calm and had room to entertain. She wanted the space to feel like you were either in a New York loft or a modern penthouse in Europe.
The space was transformed into a chic bohemian place where she could display her wonderful eclectic vintage finds, like the chrome and glass coffee table and vintage walnut chairs (in the wallpapered room) which all came from the Pasadena Rose Bowl. The vintage 1960?s entry cabinet she inherited from her grandmother was a perfect fit and the brass sconces located in the living room were purchased from Rewire. We mixed new custom pieces to look old, like the custom leather dining benches and the red bathroom cabinet in her powder room.
The tufted bench against the wallpapered wall came from Lawson-Fenning and the pillow is Jonathan Adler. The tall vintage orange poster was a San Francisco find from a vintage shop on Haight Street. We still have some more work to do and unfortunately the bedroom was not finished in time to post this. I do promise to add those pictures when we are done and hope you enjoy the space, decor8 readers! – Vanessa
(Photos taken by Vanessa De Vargas)