Defining Design – Wainscoting, the Band-Aid of wall coverings

Saturday, July 22nd, 2017

Dating back to 16th century England, wainscoting was associated with the most modest of dwellings, initially used on the lower interior sections of stone walls to insulate the room from cold and damp weather elements. With better construction methods and the popularization of HVAC systems, wainscoting transitioned from a dampness and coldness Band-Aid, to being increasingly used by homeowners in the dining room as a sort of a bumper to protect walls from possible scuffing damage caused by dining chairs.

It is one of the world’s most ancient forms of custom-made decor, and has become quite a source for creativity and personalization as can be seen through examples of wainscoting in the modern dining rooms featuring Giano and Plisset dining tables by Cattelan Italia.

Giano dining table by Cattelan Italia

Giano dining table by Cattelan Italia

Plisset dining table by Cattelan Italia

Plisset dining table by Cattelan Italia

Today, wainscoting is no longer a Band-Aid for imperfect walls but rather a decorative element that can upgrade the style of any room, adding dimension to an otherwise dull wall surface, symbolizing prestige and casual elegance.

Defining design – bachelor pad

Thursday, June 29th, 2017

A term first coined in the 50’s in United Kingdom and widely commercialized by early James Bond films, is a living space occupied by a career-minded, unmarried and highly cosmopolitan gentleman. While not big in size, the bachelor pad is perfectly suited for entertaining and courtship as well as smartly designed to accommodate common male hobbies and activities. The stereotypical American version of the British bachelor pad went through a style downgrade when it landed on our shores and was widely associated with messy, poorly decorate spaces until the term and the space started to evolve again into a stylish, highly perceived living quarters of successful men.

Today, the bachelor pad is fitted with the best that modern design has to offer while being sophisticated and comfortable. Decorated with intense tones like grey, dark blue and black, the bachelor pad will typically include features high-tech equipment, lots of leather, metal and hard materials like stone.

An example of what the modern bachelor pad represents today could be seen in 2016 advertising campaign by Bonaldo which focused on the cosmopolitan male and featured its star dining tables – Ax, Big and Amond. The setting, photographed in the Pirelli Tower in Milan, is subliminally suggestive of high fashion, modern architecture and successful career, all of which are symbols of a prestigious lifestyle, elegance and innovation.

2016 advertising campaign by Bonaldo featuring Ax table

Ax dining table in 2016 advertising campaign by Bonaldo

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The New Stone Age

Monday, February 6th, 2017

Stone and ceramic surfaces are growing in popularity, reaching beyond their typical utility on the kitchen or bathroom floor with increased presence in products ranging from modern dining tables, contemporary wall units as well as bedroom furniture.  Paralleling the craze for rustic drift woods, stone finishes that feature rough, almost primal textures offer enhanced tactility and a rugged contrast to the sleek minimalism of modern design.

Balancing interiors with character and aesthetic dimension, marble surfaces like White Carrara and Black Marquina are often seen on tables like Penta coffee table by Cattelan Italia or Hoola Hoop dining table by Bonaldo as well as on wall units like I-modulART collection by Presotto Italia.  Sophisticated pieces like these create an unexpected edge and a counterpoint in the interior while helping balance softer materials with hard surfaces, complementing glass, wood or metals.

Penta coffee table by Cattelan Italia

Penta coffee table by Cattelan Italia

Hoola Hoop dining table by Bonaldo

Hoola Hoop dining table by Bonaldo

Investing in Luxury: top decorating tips for investment properties

Wednesday, November 9th, 2016

It’s utterly lucrative to invest in the next hottest real estate opportunity and many of these are disguised as vacation homes that get rented occasionally.  With sought-after high-rise condo properties that offer ocean views like those steadily springing up along South Florida’s coastline, luxury living is inevitable.  But beside the obvious luxury perks like full concierge and full amenities, these properties are blank canvas and require an equal amount of luxury design to make them on par with their backdrops.  Here are a few decorating tip that guarantee exactly that:

Function is key and most of the time, storage is one of the most important elements which is why it is pivotal to invest into custom closets and wardrobes.  Ranging from simple to elaborate, functional closet organization is truly essential in every room as well as at the entrance, kitchen pantry and bathrooms.  Some stunning examples include Plana collection by Pianca and Tecnopolis collection by Presotto.

Plana collection by Pianca

Plana collection by Pianca

Tecnopolis collection by Presotto

Tecnopolis collection by Presotto

Sophisticated window treatments and ambient light fixtures are also popular luxury barometers as are wall coverings and smartly placed furnishings.  So choose wisely by selecting finishes and materials that have a wide appeal and also are consistent with the look and feel of the condo property.  Some properties have a clean modern look while others offer a more transitional vibe.  Check out Big table by Bonaldo with the colorful base in an all-white condo space that certainly gives off an art-deco, Miami-like style.

Big dining table by Bonaldo

Big dining table by Bonaldo

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Color Trend: Pink is not just for nurseries and Barbie houses

Tuesday, November 8th, 2016

When thinking about pink interiors, one’s immediate association is with a little girl’s room and of course with every doll’s house on the market.  But there is a grown-up way to use pink color in interior design that is not blatantly feminine but rather soft, sophisticated and full of style.  Powder pink, or any unsaturated shade of the color with dusty hue will yield a fresh and elegant result whether through an accent or a backdrop or even when taking on the center stage.

With a visible yet not overwhelming contrast, pink is compelling as an accent to a generally white room like the one featuring white Vendome glass table and Paris sideboard by Tonin Casa that are contrasted by pale pink leather upholstered Vivienne dining chairs.  On the other hand, equal amount of pink and blue makes for a striking and highly noticeable combination that’s often used on furniture and accents as shown in Luca Papini’s Liber Showcase collection for Tonelli.  Emanating elegance and tranquility, the subtle nature of pink makes its presence sinuous with almost any color, from grey hues like the accent pillows on the Charcoal colored Lars sofa by Giuseppe Vigano for Bonaldo, to a single cabinet in Presotto’s I-modulART composition that is by and large graphite and charcoal brown, pink proves as a subtle and sensible element in modern decor that departs from its childish relatives.

Pink modern interior design