29 May 2012

The Cherry on Top of the Cake.

 Sometimes a little glamor, sparkle and pizazz can transform a room from the ordinary to the extraordinary. The beauty about interior design is that there are so many different ways to express our individual style. What one person finds aesthetically pleasing, another person may not. Excellent interior design pays attention to design concepts but doesn't necessarily follow any set "rules".

When asked why I chose this 1940's Colored Crystal Chandelier as the background image for the Patrick J. Baglino, Jr. Interior Design Blog, my reply was quite simple. I chose this retro chandelier, as ornate as it is, because it represents an integral part of my style direction. I brand this direction, "Urban Sophistication". It is an eclectic intermingling of both traditional and contemporary elements. Special, unique and perhaps unexpected accessories or furnishings, such as the chandelier shown here, can really make a room sing. Provided, of course, they are not used excessively. This chandelier is only meant to crown the design of a contemporary dining room. It is a "jewel piece". This handmade crystal creation is one singular element meant to boldly punctuate a room, not define it. Think of it as the Cherry garnish on the top of a Chocolate Ganache Cake!

24 May 2012

Be Bold. Latika!

 Memorial Day weekend is almost upon us. Summer is just around the corner. This Summer I am seeing bright and bold colors.  I am craving dinnerware that has some "punch," power and rich patterns. The porcelain dinnerware shown here is from the Latika collection from Echo Design. This collection celebrates a 70's spirit with a sunny palette and exotic paisley pattern perfect for the contemporary table. All pieces are dishwasher and microwave safe and appropriate for use every day. Another wonderful detail is the price. An assortment of twenty pieces is available for around $150.00. It is also possible to purchase individual place settings as well as accent pieces. A table set with these attractive porcelain dishes, bowls, platters, etc. is certain to be cheery and fun. The colors are uplifting and the paisley pattern is interesting and eye-catching. What a lovely way to get set for summer!

23 May 2012

Refreshingly Simple.

Sometimes it is best to just keep things simple. A room that is overflowing with "things" can not only be tiring on the eye but uncomfortable to spend time in. This cocktail table from OGGI Design features a satin nickel base and a 42" wide table top. While it is an uncomplicated look, the various directions each of the "multi-directional" lines of the base makes this an interesting piece. It is a sculptural table that is worthy of being the centerpiece of a room. I have no problem mixing this very contemporary table with more traditional or transitional furnishings to create an interior design that is Urban Sophisticated and eclectic. Paired with furniture just as contemporary in value, the will result will likely be fresh, modern, understated, yet beautiful design. The glass and metal table is priced at around $1,800.00. It is also available with a solid stone table top. I am not as fond of the stone table because the stone top blocks the clear view to the very interesting table foundation.

21 May 2012

"Steampunk" Sculptural Art Lamps.

 I consulted the Urban Dictionary for this definition. "Steampunk" is a type of subculture that mixes the styles of past generations (such as the Victorian era) with modern conveniences, creating inventions that look as if they could have been created generations ago. For instance, a Gameboy would be powered by steam and contain clockwork parts rather than silicon and electrical wiring.

My friend, Stuart Dymond of DymondDesign, has taken his hobby of creating Steampunk Sculptural Art Lamps to the marketplace. These brilliantly fashioned lamps are like none other that I have seen. They are individual works of art that have been created from reclaimed and salvaged mechanical or building parts, vintage wood boxes, stained glass, porcelain, exotic wood, aluminum, brass and copper to name a few of the materials. 

Stuart is a local artist currently living in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His shop has recently had it's grand opening on Etsy.com and his selections of Steampunk lamps are fantastic. A one-of-a-kind lamp, such as Stuart's is not necessarily favored for the light it emits, but for the originality and creativity behind the work of art. It is a piece of sculpture for a room. A "jewel" piece. Certainly a conversation starter.

Stuart Dymond's Etsy.com profile sums it up well. As he states, 

"I am a local artist in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
I specialize in unique, one of a kind Victorian "Steampunk" style art lamps but also build a variety of contemporary and Asian inspired lamps.
Each piece is handcrafted from vintage/new materials and professionally fitted with new wiring and electrical components.
My lamps are truly "out of the ordinary" and cannot be found in stores.
Every lamp is an original work of sculptural art lighting and none of my designs will ever be duplicated.
Scale, proportion, asymmetricality and whimsicality are incorporated in all of my designs."

 He goes on to say that he is available to be commissioned for custom pieces that may incorporate sentimental or special objects. These lamps or art pieces are worth checking out. You may do so by clicking here.

17 May 2012

Want to experience the ICFF in New York City?

For those individuals lucky to be in New York City or traveling to the New York City area this weekend into early next week, there is a Contemporary Furniture Fair at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center that is not to be missed. If you are not a member of the Trade and would like to experience this exciting event, the good new is that there is a "Public Day". This is a day when design enthusiasts, students, or anyone who would like to check out the very best in contemporary and modern design may attend the ICFF. "ICFF" stands for "International Contemporary Furniture Fair." The day to mark is Tuesday, 22 May 2012. Here is what the ICFF website has to say about Public Day:

"Design is everywhere, and it's here to say. So, if you want to discover more about what's new and what's next, what's in and what's out, what's hot and what's not, make your way to the ICFF at the Javits Center. That goes for your design savvy friends, too. Tweet them. Text them. E-mail them. Phone them." Or, just send smoke signals into the air. (I added the part about the smoke signals).

For more information, or to buy tickets, please click the link to the ICFF website here.

16 May 2012

Decorative Garden Party Chairs.

These chairs, designed by British artist and designer, David Le Versha are perfect accent pieces for an outdoor garden, a porch or for use at an Al Fresco Afternoon Tea Party. These colorful chairs with their loops, swirls and curls make them whimsical and interesting garden decorations. Perhaps they are not practical seating for a large family barbecue, but they would look beautiful nestled amongst some wild flowers, fragrant lavender and rosemary plants. Set the chairs at a slightly distressed white wrought iron table. In the evening, place an ivy topiary in a weather beaten terracotta pot on the table, and surround it by a few vanilla fragrance candles to punctuate this decorative furniture ensemble.  

15 May 2012

Where? A Green Chandelier!

Every so often I run into a piece of furniture, an accessory, or a light fixture that grabs my attention, yet I have no idea where I would use it. Oftentimes it is a decorative element that "speaks to me". One such piece is this green crystal chandelier from Cyan Design. The question that goes along with this light pendant is where would I use something so elaborate? Many individuals would run away from this ornate and very unique lighting fixture. I, on the other hand, may hang it predominately over the dining table in the interior design of a slick, modern home, hotel or restaurant in Miami, for example. Similar in theory to the striped stairway runner I featured yesterday, this bright green chandelier could hang quite magnificently in a space designed with a tone on tone neutral color palette. In that case, the chandelier would be the star of the room. It would be a glimmering but bold detail. I think it is sometimes great to be bold in design. BUT I caution, it is best to be bold at the right time and in the right place with some knowledge of what the final outcome will look like. It's not for everyone and simply won't work in just any space.

14 May 2012


I am often asked where I get my design ideas from. The answer is very simple. I extract ideas, creative thoughts and inspiration from all those things around me. I find inspiration in very simple things, from places I travel to, from books I read, pictures I see, stories I am told and feelings I have. I wish I could remember where I found this particular photograph. I would love to give the appropriate person credit for the stunning and very unique striped stair runner in this monochromatic room. This photograph excites me. It has sparked my creative senses and inspired me. It has fueled my appetite for colored stripes. I think  this design is absolutely wonderful.

07 May 2012

Cast Iron Jacks.

I am not fond of excessive amounts of "things" and clutter on every table top in the house. I do, however, think fun, whimsical, decorative details placed selectively and sparingly here and there is a nice touch. I think these cast iron jacks are a delightful way to add a bit of playfulness to a room. Each weathered, antiqued, different colored jack is made of cast iron and measures just about 3"h x 4"w x 5". For just $40.00 for a group of three, they are an interesting way to spark what might be a lifeless tabletop. They may look nice tossed together on a bookshelf. I wouldn't mind seeing them as one of the few decorative details on an entry console table. They would look interesting combined in a mantle top display with other materials like a glass vase, a ceramic bowl, and/or stone abstract sculpture. Done correctly, the look could be quite dynamic and sophisticated. 

Most importantly, have fun. They certainly are.

02 May 2012

the rules.

 I think these "signs" by SignsofVintage are simply charming. A variety of different sizes of wood are artfully painted with some great 'pops' of colors. Each hand made sign is unique and one-of-a-kind. The "Family Rules in Our House", pictured above and below, include the following rules:

"In Our House We...
Choose Happiness
Welcome Friends
Listen & Don't Judge
Are Loyal, Grateful, Sincere
Use Our Manners
Have Fun
Try New Things
Respect Each Other
Smile, Laugh, Hug
Never Go To Sleep Angry
Clean Up Our Messes
Keep Our Promises
Forgive & Forget
Say I Love You"

The signs are available at the SignsofVintage store at Etsy.com