29 posts categorized "travel"

November 09, 2010

DASH NYC: Kim Kardashians Haute New Space and Colors

If you're in New York, you know that the hottest new opening is DASH NYC!  The scene at the opening event last week was a mob of design hungry patrons excited for the store to unveil itself.  The Kardashian sisters are officially a chain with stores in LA, MIA, and now, NYC.  In the Big Apple, they worked with Studios GO's Gregory Okshteyn to create a space that is bold and feminine.  Yes, I said bold AND feminine.  What better concept to describe the trio behind DASH?


Photos via Kim's Blog

I'm planning to catch up with Gregory on his adventures with DASH NYC in the next few months (and there WERE some dramatic moments!) but for now, here's what you want to know from me.  What they used to get that unmistakable look for DASH NYC!  The space is a contemporary expression in style that emphasizes contrast to focus on the merchandise in the store.  

Will this palette do the trick? 

 Colors DASH NYC

They made some smart choices with the paint, too.  Here's why.  

Aura Interior was used for the main walls of the store.  It's durable, low VOC, comes in any color, and covers in two coats.  Sold!  Oh, and it's easy easy easy for touch ups which I'm sure will be required after the occasional dressing room brawl or general reality-tv wear and tear.

The Studio Finishes Metallic Glaze creates an accent band at the top of the walls and in the entrance area over a base of Edgecomb Gray.  Changing sheen or adding a bit of shimmer with a metallic glaze is like using a good bronzer-- it adds a glow that makes your look come alive.  I've used metallic glaze with hand drawn floral patterns in tight spaces to add some punch and reflect light back into the space.
Meet the Fifth Wall-- your ceiling.  You can make some major statements by what you do with it and at DASH NYC, they used Benjamin Moore Ceiling Paint in Black on a stamped tin ceiling and on trim.  Go here for more ideas for ceilings.  Who says ceilings or trim always have to be white?  Not Kourtney, Kim, Khloe...or Gregory

In Kim's own words, they used Benjamin Moore's "amazing eco-friendly Aura paint in Violet Pearl for the walls, with a super-shiny black trim and pearlescent glaze! It’s so gorgeous!"  Thanks, Kim!

October 13, 2010

Master Bedroom Makeover: A Customized Color and Pattern Story Part II

On Monday, I shared the beginnings of my Master Bedroom makeover project.  Three simple steps with a few moving parts-- Gorgeous bedding from DwellStudios and awesome paint and color from Benjamin Moore!  Some would say new color, new bedding...you're done.  I prefer to personalize it just a little bit more.  My design goal was to create a contemporary take on traditional Indian design. 

Here's what I did to give my room a touch of drama and even more color.

 Step Four: Personalize it in your own way and use what you have when you can.

Turquoise Smoke Color 

The color combination of my custom turquoise and Smoked Oyster on the walls, and White Blush on the ceiling set the stage.  To layer a touch of pattern into the design, I searched for a stencil pattern that would remind me of beautiful Indian sari fabrics.  For color, I used what I had sitting around.  I love re-purposing what I already have-- it's economical, it's not wasteful, and it actually is a great design trick.  Using a few of the same colors throughout your house in varying proportions helps to create that "flow" so many of us are after.  

So, the leftover Natura paint from my dining room project in Autumn Cover 2170-30, a bold orange, is used in the tiniest of proportions with a stencil, but adds that pop while tying in nicely to my other room.  For the stencil, I also used the custom turquoise from this room makeover in Aura (incredible coverage), a 2oz. Color Sample, and a little bit of Benjamin Moore's Pearlescent Tint Glaze!


It took me a while to find the perfect stencil pattern, but this one was worth waiting for.  You can see a glimpse of the color scheme I began to create here.  This stencil is known as a two layer stencil.  I brushed on Autumn Cover first, used a paper towel to dab on a bit of Benjamin Moore's Metallic Pearlescent Tint Glaze and let it dry.


After the first layer dried, I placed the patterned part of the stencil over it and added more of the Metallic Pearlescent Tint Glaze and a few colors on top to define the shapes in a fun color combination.  It's usually a good idea to try out the pattern and colors onto a spare sketch sheet, canvas,poster board, etc.

DSC_0214This picture shows how I reversed the effect, too.  Some with an Autumn Cover base, some with a Veil Cream base.  The variety worked for our space to add a little shimmer and surprise.

My palette:

Turquoise Smoke Color

Accent Colors

(Note that Veil Cream is a Pearlescent Tint- a glaze that is transluscent and adds shimmer when layered over and under other opaque colors)


BEFORE: A room that was comfortable, but boring for my taste.
Bedroom Before 1 

AFTER: A room that embraces color, texture, and pattern in a modern interpretation of Indian inspired design.
Bedroom After Dwell Benjamin Moore a

An overall view of the bed shows off those incredible peacocks!


I found this cool little pouf to add lots of color and texture into an otherwise boring corner in my room.  My little one loves just jumping all over it.

DSC_0206  DSC_0201 
The turquoise creates contrast against photos we framed with white matting.  Little handmade indian ornamental elephants hang from my doorknobs.  Elephants with trunks up and facing the door are meant to be good luck!

I specifically used the same pattern but in reverse color order over the two nightstands on my side and my husband's side to symbolize the balance we create together.

 DSC_0205  DSC_0464
Detail of a stencil & proof that everyone loves lounging in the DwellStudio bedding and soaking in the Benjamin Moore colors of the room!

October 11, 2010

Master Bedroom Makeover with DwellStudio and Benjamin Moore Part I

I've procrastinated on my makeover project.  How original.  The reality is that life seems to get in the way-- travel, family, work, friends, laundry...it feels never-ending sometimes and I admit that my own design projects are pushed to that forgotten back burner on occasion (read: every day).

But, I finally did it!  I finally created a new look for my Master Bedroom with a few very simple steps.  I paired gorgeous DwellStudio bedding and sultry (yes, sultry) Benjamin Moore paint and colors witha bit of my own brand of imagination.  The result?  A space that we feel is all grown up and offers a nod to the international influences in my family's life.

DwellStudio Box

Over the summer, I left you hanging-- what was in my DwellStudio box?  If you guessed Peacock in Citrine, you were right!  This pattern and color combination caught my eye-- the colors are an incredibly pronounced grouping of citrine, white, turquoise, and touches of range.  Ironically, I was looking for the right inspiration to bring in some of these colors into my bedroom already.  Color Kismet!

Peacock Citrine

Christiane Lemieux, founder of DwellStudio, and her team created the painterly effect of peacocks that I can only describe as exotic and invigorating!  I feel like my bed just became a work of art.

Before: The room was fine before.  Just fine.  Not extraordinary, not filled with emotion...just fine.  I received many compliments on the light green on my walls and I really did love my simple duvet cover in all earth tones.  But the problem was that there was no self expression, no passion, no emotion in the space.  So I set off to create a room that would be personal, dramatic, and unique as I believe all Master Bedrooms should be!

Bedroom Before 
Master bedroom just begging for some personality

There was no room for a headboard with a large window overhead.  Because the space is somewhat large and square, it left me feeling anonymous. 

The Design Concept: Create a modern and sexy interpretation of Indian design, integrating both old and new ideas.  Combine colors in an unexpected way that fills me with delight! 

The Solution: Develop a color scheme that is steeped in modernity with patterning that is a nod to the artistic beauty found in India. 

The Details: My jaw dropped when I saw this collection!  DwellStudio's Peacock pattern brought back memories of my childhood in India.  I have the most random memories, like my parent's friends who had pet peacocks.  As children, we would wait with anticipation for a radiant peacock feather to drop from their gorgeous coats and whoever was the luckiest and quickest to retrieve it would treasure the rare gift!

Bedroom After Dwell Benjamin Moore 2 
 DwellStudio Peacock Citrine DSC_0148 

Step One: Find the right Bedding and paint/colors for your wall.

Turquoise Smoke Color 

I worked with DwellStudio Peacock Bedding in Citrine and Benjamin Moore Paint (a little Natura, Aura, Metallic Glaze and a few Color Samples).  Use the bedding as inspiration if you're stumped, but remember everything does NOT have to match perfectly.  Also, try pulling out the least obvious colors for your walls and you'll be surprised at how well it works with the look.

 Bedroom Makeover Painting 1
Step Two: Decide if you want to do the project yourself or get some professional help.

I hired a contractor that friends recommended.  References are a must if you're hiring a painter.  Often, your local Benjamin Moore retailer can even offer some local painters they know.  A good painter will be willing to try new things, make you feel confident in your color and paint choices, and be a professional in every way from being courteous to cleaning up after themselves. 

In my case, this contractor was great!  There was just one problem.  He didn't use Benjamin Moore.  He didn't know what he was in for with me!  Because I knew I really needed a durable finish that would be self priming, use minimum paint, and be extremely easy to clean, I told him to use Aura.  He said he loves that Aura is self priming (saving him time), that it's low odor (low VOC), and the fact that he used less than a gallon for over 200 sf of a deep turquoise over a pale green.  I love that it's exactly as I imagined it.

 Step Three: Be experimental and follow your design vision

In my case, I decided to do what I call a Reverse Accent Wall.  Three of my four walls are in a deep, rich turquoise that I had custom mixed.  My last wall, behind the bed is wrapped in more of a richly hued neutral, Smoked Oyster 2109-40.  I had the contractor tape off at about 3' from the wall on either side so the Smoked Oyster would create an envelop of color around the bed.  My way of creating a visual niche.  (Side note:  They did think I was nuts to paint part of a wall in different colors, but were excited to see what the final design would reveal)  It started to come together nicely, but it wasn't quite complete.

Bedroom After Dwell Benjamin Moore 3 

Check in on Wednesday, when I show you how I decided to personalize the look and make it my own.

September 23, 2010

A First Date With Nate Berkus- Will He Call Again?

We've all had awkward first dates, right?  This is the story of about 100 design bloggers and Nate Berkus on a first and somewhat blind date...

Many of you already know that the Moggit Girls started a twitter revolution in the design sense when they began a blog and tweet craze around Nate Berkus last summer.  Their bold and inventive shout out to Nate convinced the folks at The Nate Berkus Show to do a design blogger audience on Tues, Sept. 21.  I was excited to be invited! 

Nate berkus tix
 Tickets to hang out with Nate

Almost 100 design bloggers actually sent rsvp's and showed up.  We were graciously invited a week in advance, so many people rearranged their lives to get to the show from all over the map.  I wasn't one of them.  I sent a couple of friends/cohorts (Andrea & Lisa!) that would be my eyes and ears at the show since I couldn't get there.

Nate berkus holding room 
"Holding Room" at The Nate Berkus Show 

They sent me photos that I tweeted, told me about all the great segments and the awesome q&a where Nate opened up to the audience.  There was even a reference to Nate's favorite grays, Dior Gray and Silver Lake, from Benjamin Moore.

2133-40_Dollop4_2x2_72dpi    1598_Dollop3_2x2_72dpi

Dior Gray 2133-40 and Silver Lake 1598 

What was missed was the connection to the design blog audience.  The segments didn't relate to the specific audience or the potential of the free good publicity they could have created because of the special event.  Perhaps it's a chance to get back to basics?  A chance to remember the golden rules of any public engagement?  Acknowledge your guests and know your audience.

Nate berkus q a
Q&A after the taping 

The audience was disappointed and felt undervalued, to say the least, that there was no on-camera acknowledgment of a unique audience filled with people who love to gab about design, color, ideas, and Nate to millions of fans.  Susan Serra, of The Kitchen Designer, calls it as she saw it here.  Whether from LA or Long Island, several people moved around personal and professional priorities and used their own funds to get to the show.  So, there's a great deal of Nate bashing going on right now on twitter.

It was obviously a bad call on The Nate Show's part, but he, as a professional, is still talented and does a great job getting out a message on design to people.  And thanks to all the Nate Day posts, I'm sure he's now becoming an avid reader of tweets and blogs to discover the true perspective of his audience.  THAT is a gift that is not often given.  I wonder if the show is considering how to make it right?  Well, here's a silver lining from Janell.

Design blogs have always been about new ideas and I want to thank the Moggit Girls again for putting this one out there and to Nate for making it happen.  I'd say "yes" to a second date!

September 13, 2010

Flower Power In Carpets

Flower Carpets have existed for centuries.  They've tied in culture, tradition, and beauty through horticulture.  It's an art form that's as fun to watch as it is to partake in.  Here are a two cultures that have elevated the idea of a flower carpet into something spectacular.

Brussels, Belgium:

The Annual Brussels Flower Carpet was rolled out, so to speak, in the middle of August with a theme that honors Brussels' Presidency over the European Union.  Every year, they pack in about 800,000 begonias and dahlias amidst rolled turf to create gorgeous patterns bursting with color! 

How do they do it? 

Flower Carpet nigh
2010 Flower Carpet in Brussels by night

Flower Carpet Detail 1

Flower Carpet Detail 3
Flowers are individually placed by meticulous hands over a space of almost 20,000 square feet

Flower Carpet Before

Flower Carpet Detail 2
In Progress...

Flower Carpet Day
Completed 2010 Flower Carpet  

 This event started in 1971 when landscape architect E. Stautemans decided the world (or at least Brussels) should see the beauty of his favorite botanical, the Begonia, for all it's splendor.  Since then, the plans have become more symbolic, international, and beautiful every year.  It's interesting to see the changing themes and colors they've used over the years.  I bet you'll guess the decades just by the pictures below...Here are some of my favorites.

Flower Carpet 1970s
1970s (obviously)  The rust, gold and brown are are accented by pops of white and black.

Flower Carpet 80s
The complementary colors of red and green create a bold and symmetrical design in the 1980s

Flower Carpet 90s
Experimenting with more organic patterns and the use of technology by incorporating fountains gives this yellow and red flower carpet a new look in the 1990s.

Flower Carpet Fave
This one is also from the 1990s-- my favorite for it's Art Nouveau leanings and the way it contrasts the classic and ancient architecture in the area. All images are via here.

Kerala, India:

Onam (pronounced "O-Numb") is the biggest celebration in the state of Kerala, India and evolved around the legend of mythical king Mahabali who is said to have been a ruler of peace, life, and joy.  Onam is symbolic of his rule and includes festivities like the "Snake Boat" races, cultural dances like Katha Kalli, a special nine course meal served on banana leaves, and "Pookalam", the art of creating floral patterns on the ground.  The event lasts for ten days in August/September and the design of the pookalam traditionally takes just as much time.  Each day, a specific flower would be used.  You would stumble upon pookalams in public and private spaces everywhere that use local flowers like "Thumba", "Mukkutti", "Chethi", and the Red Pagoda plant, creating gorgeous works of art.  Each Pookalam is uniquely designed and created by hand.

Onam 1
Onam 2
Onam 4
Onam 3

This year, the city of Kozhikode created, Snehapookalam, the world's largest flower carpet (as determined by the Guinness World Book of Records) with the help of over 1000 locals in exactly 2 hours and 8 minutes.  A pookalam of 151 feet in diameter and over 17,500 square feet boasted over 33,000 lbs of Chrysanthemum, Chethi, Vadamalli, and Dahlias.  The concept behind the exercise was to celebrate unity, brotherhood, and harmony through creating beauty together. 

Women arranging flowers for pookalam onam
Women dressed in traditional Onam garb of off-white and gold bordered saris arrange flowers quickly!  Photo by K. Ragesh

 Snehapookalam sunishc 
Can you imagine the wonderful scent of flowers that filled the air?  Photo by C. Sunish

This art form is a site to be seen and if you're as inspired as I am, start planning your 2011 trip to Kerala and Brussels now for next year's display.