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Inspiration

Inspiration

Sé Ensemble Interiors + Meeting Pavlo Schtakleff

May 30, 2017

While in Milan last month on assignment for Kvadrat, my mission was to spot the trends and let my inspirations be my guide. Not a particularly hard job after you’ve been in the design industry actively for over a decade, especially in Milan! I recall quite a few experiences there that left me breathless, but the first was Sé Ensemble and the work of Founder/Director Pavlo Schtakleff which I’ll share with you today. Pavlo is such an inspiration – you must know more about him and Sé Ensemble! But first, some visuals…

Sé Ensemble Interiors + Meeting Pavlo Schtakleff

In warm, sunny Milan on a beautiful terrace complete with sunshine and birdsong, I chatted with Pavlo to learn more about his background, his brand, and the rooms he’d created with his team for Galleria Rossana Orlandi, his second year in a row. Under his direction, an inspiring and gorgeous “show” apartment in Galleria Rossana Orlandi was beautifully designed and curated with Sé Ensemble furnishings along with contributions from some of his dearest friends to include wallpaper, artwork, mobiles, rugs and more. When I walked in, I was instantly aware of my senses – the way I felt, the way the space felt, the dazzling display of color and pattern, texture and the overall beauty of it all… Ahhhh. I’ve included a glimpse of what this apartment looked like inside as I walked around… Dazzling!

Sé Ensemble Interiors + Meeting Pavlo Schtakleff

Pavlo and I on the terrace

Sé Ensemble Interiors + Meeting Pavlo Schtakleff

The front sitting room

Sé Ensemble Interiors + Meeting Pavlo Schtakleff

The fitting room

Sé Ensemble Interiors + Meeting Pavlo Schtakleff

Dining room

Sé Ensemble Interiors + Meeting Pavlo Schtakleff

Sé Ensemble Interiors + Meeting Pavlo Schtakleff

Sé Ensemble Interiors + Meeting Pavlo Schtakleff

It was a genuine “experience” to see the collections of Sé Ensemble in a series of four rooms. The overall atmosphere made you feel like you had stepped into someone’s private space. I loved the idea of this apartment, to not only show one collection but also to bring in other designers who inspire Pavlo to be part of this curated apartment. I’m always proud to see creative people in the interior design sector collaborating and finding success together. This is not so common in the world of fashion, to see designers supporting other designers, people who are happy to bring smaller labels into the light. Pavlo’s genuine community spirit was obvious when we spoke, his ego doesn’t drive his work – his passion and interest in design and creative people push him forward.

Pavlo was one of the best interviews I’ve had in awhile because he was so genuine, down-to-earth and open-minded – his relaxed nature the sign of a confident man who knows what he wants and even when he doesn’t, he is confident he’ll figure it out. A true entrepreneur. He was warm and welcoming to both my assistant and I; we even had the chance to join him, his wife Amalia and his hilariously funny French agent Daniel Cuzon-Verrier for dinner on the same day. Long story short,  we were roaming the center of Milan searching for a restaurant that wasn’t fully booked, when we spotted one that looked perfect and in the doorway was Pavlo! He recognized us, asked if we’d like to share a table, and the rest is history. Once you break bread with a someone, you definitely see “them”, which made me even more determined to share  Sé Ensemble with all of you.

Sé Ensemble Interiors + Meeting Pavlo SchtakleffLet’s revisit the apartment and the memorable time that I spent in Sé Ensemble‘s universe for another moment, shall we? The sheer experience of walking through each room was one I’ll remember for months to come as the overall vibe was warm, cozy, glamorous and eclectic but with a definite red thread that ran through each object connecting them to the overall scheme. As a details person myself, I instantly noticed the attention to detail placed in the overall decor, from the scented candles to the gorgeous overflowing arrangements of fresh flowers, decorative objects and plants. The result was a sensual, tactile experience that didn’t feel pretentious or too posh. The color palette was stunning and on-trend in rust, teal, brass, blush, salmon, blue and black.

My favorite room was the dining room and the first living room in the front, with the ivory sofa. I still dream about the series of three marble sofa tables in that room because I have been hunting for the perfect sofa table for so long and there it was in the most unexpected of places! My next favorite room was the dining room – the mobile twinkling in the sunlight, the massive floral arrangement, stunning artwork and those chairs! The chairs stole the show. I could have moved in to this space without hesitation. You know that feeling, right? It was that kind of space – cozy AND glamorous, two words you rarely hear in the same sentence when describing a room.

Along with the collections of Sé Ensemble, rooms were filled with La Manufacture Cogolin rugs, artisanal wallpapers by Calico Wallpaper in Brooklyn, and metal sculptures by Ane Christensen whom I had a nice chat with last year while attending a craft fair in London. I’ve linked a complete source list below if you’d like to view all of the designers and artists who were part of this collaborative design experience.

Sé Ensemble Interiors + Meeting Pavlo SchtakleffBefore I wrap up, let’s chat briefly about Pavlo himself now that you had a virtual visit to the Sé Ensemble apartment (if you’d like to download the apartment tour as a PDF, click here). Pavlo founded Sé over a decade ago after working in furniture sales in New York for Flou, where he established their first US store, their largest worldwide. He then returned to Europe and connected with a man who would become his new business partner, Marc Sharifi, who wanted to partner on a furniture venture together. Pavlo had a vision to start a furniture line so it made sense to work with Marc and jump on the chance. He thought to bring some of the world’s most talented designers together to build a single brand of gorgeously curated design objects – Sé was a result of that vision. Through his company, he works mainly with French designer Damien Langlois-Meurinne, Slovenia-based Nika Zupanc and Spanish-born Jaime Hayon (who was one of the most talked about designers at the Salone this year) and his small staff, including his wife Amalia, based in London where they have a new flagship showroom on Fulham Road.

As Director, Pavlo works closely with the London team and his satellite design team on a collection and simultaneously employs the best European crafters and artisans (read more about their production here) to form each piece using the best materials, most recently in Slovenia. The strong lean to Hollywood Regency is clear but to my American eye, much fresher as he and his team bring their unique European design sensibility to the collections through a “less is more” aesthetic, clean lines, fine craftsmanship and that forever coveted casual European elegance.

In summary, I hope you have enjoyed learning more about this brand today and are inspired by what you see, along with the apartment, and that you’ll visit Sé Ensemble online to peruse their beautiful work. Before I went to Milan, I was suffering design burn-out. I felt like I’d seen it all and was getting really bored with the direction interiors seemed to be taking (overly minimalist or super brashy/color chaos) but Milan was the cure and I have Sé to thank for being a big part of that since I’ve been buzzing around with new creative energy and vision ever since. Grazie Milano.

Apartment Resources:

(images: with permission from sé ensemble)






Inspiration

IKEA Kitchen Hack Into Minty Green Gorgeousness

April 25, 2017

I came across an ad on Facebook today and I clicked it (yes, horror!) and landed on the website for Reform, a company that hacks IKEA kitchens with custom cabinets, counters, etc. I really like what they’ve done to this Danish home in minty green so I had to pop in for a moment to share it. I’m currently pretty dissatisfied with my standard IKEA kitchen (quality is good but everyone seems to have it so it feels boring) so I would love to customize it. Seeing Reform made me feel a bit inspired and encouraged to perhaps give my kitchen a makeover. I am so bored with the shiny white cabinet doors and the standard metal hardware that my son sliced his head open on during the first year of his life and his scar is proof of those sharp IKEA handles – I am ready for safer hardware and something a bit more personal.

IKEA Kitchen Hack Into Minty Green Gorgeousness
IKEA Kitchen Hack Into Minty Green Gorgeousness
IKEA Kitchen Hack Into Minty Green Gorgeousness
IKEA Kitchen Hack Into Minty Green Gorgeousness
IKEA Kitchen Hack Into Minty Green Gorgeousness

IKEA Kitchen Hack Into Minty Green Gorgeousness

Shown: homeowner Tikkie Elsøe

IKEA Kitchen Hack Into Minty Green Gorgeousness

Great touches of black throughout this open kitchen, dining and living space too – don’t you agree?

Note: The kitchen is a Basis 01 design. The color of the fronts is S2005-G20Y (green), and the countertop and handles are in natural oak. Their fronts fit all the cabinets from IKEA’s METOD and FAKTUM kitchens.

(Photos: Courtesy of Reform, Taken by Karen Maj Kornum, Post processing/editing: Holly Becker)






Inspiration

Summer Inspiration For The Home in Peach + Green

July 26, 2016

I love this fresh, summery palette. Imagine having a summer home on the coast in pale shades of melon, mint and clear blue – that would be heavenly, wouldn’t it? I was dreaming of Autumn tones and colors last week but this week, I’m definitely back on summer mode. All I can think about is the beach! Coastal living! Weeee! Anything to get my mind off of all of the violence and the crazy politics, especially in my country at the moment. My goodness, it’s definitely draining. So for a moment, I hope that these images inspire you and some of your decorating projects at home as you look at them… And I hope you are having a very nice and happy summer despite this crazy news lately. Stay positive!

Summer Inspiration For The Home in Peach + Green

Summer Inspiration For The Home in Peach + Green

Summer Inspiration For The Home in Peach + Green

Summer Inspiration For The Home in Peach + Green

Summer Inspiration For The Home in Peach + Green

I love this palette. In fact, it’s the same as my office, the photo with the gladioli in the clear vase was taken by me where I work.

Do you like this palette too?

(Photos: Enter my attic, Dust Jacket, Behance, Dashwood Studio, Looks Like White, Danish Streets, Micasa, Bjurfors, Maria Cristina Ballarin, Meagan Floris, Modernica, 100 Layer Cake, Luisa Brimble, SFGirlbyBay, Style Me Pretty, Elena Kovyrzina, Haymes.)






Inspiration

Nature-Inspired Wallpaper + Wall Stickers

July 26, 2016

I’m sorry friends for missing a bit on my blog – I’ve been enormously busy with my e-course that just wrapped up this week so now my focus can return once again to my blog and new book coming out soon with Leslie Shewring. In fact, the first week of August I will be busy working with Koen to shoot a video trailer for it – it will be my first so I’m trying to think of great ideas, the right setting… So much involved and I’m very excited over it. Today I have a few posts to share, this is the first, it’s about some lovely wallpaper and wall stickers from Sian Zeng.

Nature-Inspired Wallpaper + Wall Stickers

Look how adorable these are for the little cute girl or boy in your life… Some are even grown up enough to put in your own bedroom…

Nature-Inspired Wallpaper + Wall Stickers

Nature-Inspired Wallpaper + Wall Stickers

Nature-Inspired Wallpaper + Wall Stickers

Or a playroom… A nursery… So many sweet spaces where you could apply Sian’s creative papers and stickers. My favorite is the tree and the teepee space. It’s something I think my little boy would love.

(Photos with permission from Sian Zeng)






Inspiration

Pose Ideas For Portrait Photography

July 8, 2015

If you want to take better photos of yourself or of others, then you need to know your camera but also your poses and angles. Every great photographer has signature poses that they use again and again that work beautifully for their clients. They often create a certain signature to their look this way. Interior photographers also have similar angles and ways they work with objects as they shoot to give their work a certain mood and when not with a stylist, many photographers style their own interiors “posing” objects in ways that look the best through their lens.

Pose Ideas For Portrait Photography

With a small son, I’m always taking photos of him but recently noticed that I’ve been taking less and less and I wondered why… Then it dawned on me that I’m bored with my angles and poses – and also that he simply cannot be posed at his age so I have to rely more on creativity and on trying new things. If you have children or even shoot for your job, photograph products for your online shop, or are looking for new approaches for your Instagram feed it’s a great idea to Continue Reading…






Inspiration

Monday Mood Boards Instagram Challenge

July 6, 2015

Hey everyone, I hope you’re just peachy and enjoying summer. I’m on my way out the door for the day for some spa time and then, park time with my little boy, but first I simply must share a new creative project that I’ve launched on Instagram that you can participate in called #decor8monday. I recently decided that I needed to use Instagram to connect more with others and to challenge myself more. I miss those days on Flickr when there were so many fun groups to participate in. Nowadays, it can seem like you’re pumping out content and getting nothing in return, but with hashtag projects you can gather people together and have a genuine sense of friendship while also challenging each other to be creative each week and share what’s inspiring you visually. Social media needs to be a little give and take to keep you inspired, right?  That is why I started a weekly mood board challenge on Instagram called #decor8monday, and it kicks off each Monday because that’s the day when most people feel the flattest creatively speaking.

Monday Mood Boards Instagram Challenge

Mood boards have been part of my life since childhood. I plastered favorite things all over my door or part of my bedroom wall, or inside of albums composed of stickers, posters, Polaroid’s and pretty papers that I collected from Japan. Then there was my school locker – I loved to decorate it with favorite papers and things. When I got my own first apartment, my fridge door was different each week with new images and photos that inspired me. One of my first jobs was working at a modeling agency in Boston and in my office, I created a giant floor to ceiling mood board of favorite top models and Continue Reading…






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