Showing posts with label How to. Show all posts
Showing posts with label How to. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The ceiling is the limit

Ceilings are often just an empty white space in a house, where furniture, accessories, lighting will never be able to fill that void.  Especially in historic or heritage houses the ceiling decoration is as important as the choice of a precious floor but in any house always remember the ceiling when decorating…in fact many times, especially in modern houses the ceilings are totally ignored.

Tiepolo Villa Pisani
So let’s remember to look up every time we enter an ancient church, a museum, a castle…or more simply when we decorate our house. There are many ways to improve any room starting from its sky, without recurring to Mantegna (as in the title image representing the “Camera degli sposi” in Mantua or the image above where Tiepolo decorated the magnificent Villa Pisani  near Venice)…here are a few inspiring ideas on how great designers created stunning rooms:

Dining room Morocco 
Exquisite Moroccan decoration on the ceiling and deep red for the walls
create drama in this dining room, the out of scale candelabra in this small room also set the tone.

SMW Design
SMW Design defined the ceiling of this San Francisco house with a graphic millwork.
This treatment can drop your ceilings down, so it needs height to be effective,
but it adds instant classic elegance.

House and home coffered
Same idea here with a coffered ceiling and wood paneled walls
for this  living room.(House and Home)

Case d'artista
Near Siena, Italy, a farmhouse with an amazing large bathroom, an old enameled tub, vivid blue antique rug and a collection of art on the walls. The ceiling  was painted with a lavender blue between the original old beams (From the book “Case d’artista” image by Mario Ciampi).

Milan apartment
A delicate Liberty style flower garland enhances the entrance
in this beautiful but otherwise minimalist apartment in Milan.

  The Adeeni Group, a ceiling of antique tin tile
Antique tin tiles ceiling by The Adeeni Design Group,
another beautiful feature in this stunning room.

kelly wearstler-bel-air-villa
Kelly Wearstler project in Bel-Air with a mirrored ceiling
reflecting light and the exquisite marble floor.

Look how beautifully the light plays with this high gloss ceiling.

 Eric d'Hérouville
Old beams can be a perfect juxtaposition for antique furniture as in this dramatic setting.

“Thousands of sheets of silver leaf were hand applied to the recessed ceiling, reflecting the crystal chandelier, sunlight through the floor-to-ceiling windows and the water of False Creek”. Project by Patricia Gray at The Erickson, in Vancouver.

Islamic art Architectural Digest
A simple bedroom with a rich Islamic artwork on the ceiling.

We don’t need to go to the extent of the above images but with a simple ceiling medallion, white or colored,  a new dimension will be added to any room, I can especially see a medallion in a bedroom to create more atmosphere and a focal point, personally I even often dream of having framed paintings on the ceiling, as I have on the walls…I did not have the courage so far but maybe soon?

If  a medallion is not your choice, why not paint the ceiling the same color as the walls to create a more intimate feeling as Sarah Richardson effectively succeeded to achieve in this bedroom. (House & Home)

-elledecor Jupiter Glow B.M.
Or choose a contrasting color to draw eyes up as in this
high gloss Jupiter Glow by Benjamin Moore (Elle Decor).

Using wallpaper is also an effective treatment to create interest
as in this delightful home office designed by Annsley Interiors.

Muriel Brandolini
Pendant lights and chandeliers of course contribute to decorate
a room like in this stairways and landing by Muriel Brandolini

"Don't dismiss your ceiling with a coat or two of white paint. The least you can do is tint it with a dollop or two of your wall color. Or paper it with pattern. Or make a sky of golden stars with rubber stamps and a metallic ink pad." -Lee Melahn. 

And there are many more ways but now I leave it to your imagination on how to create some interest in an otherwise blank space.
Remember… after all ceilings are the fifth wall so now please share your ideas on how to enhance them.

©2012 Brillante Interiors writes about new trends, timeless decor, iconic pieces, design ideas, or at times just musing about "a certain Italian way of doing things".

Brillante Interiors now offers also online consultations so please send an email and we can start the process. It will be an investment in happiness at home, a well designed house is always a good part of a great life and a beautiful room will make you happy every time you walk in!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Busted!…how to use sculptures at home

From Belgian Pearls blog

From Velvet & Linen blog: Giannetti's Studio

Sculpture has been an art since prehistoric times, in fact all ancient cultures  produced an enormous number of masterworks, Egypt and Mesopotamia, pre-Columbian Americas, ancient Asia and of course ancient Greece and Rome. Today we can admire centuries and centuries of art but we also have access to modern and contemporary sculpture.

Since I'm always looking for unique accessories when decorating a room, I often use sculptures, large or small depending on the project, expensive or flea market finds depending on the budget or the style we want to achieve in that particular home. I am also always attracted of how designers  use  sculptures, in particular busts, in their projects. In fact the use of sculptures in marble, stone, precious metals, wood and any kind of material  can add a focal point to a room, it can just create a vignette or it can set the whole interior decoration’s mood.

Let’s examine some examples together:

Doug Wright designed a stunning living room with seagrass carpet, white linen slipcovers, antique tapestry and he also placed a classic marble head on the coffee table. 
Try to imagine the room without that sculpture…don’t you think it will miss something?

Apartment in Rome
A dramatic light hits the Roman bust in the library of a classic interior in Rome.

Caldwell-Flake uses a weathered simple bust as juxtaposition to the rich warm veneer,
 the marble top and the lavish metallic wallpaper.

Claudia Gian Ferrari
Art collector Claudia Gianferrari’s  house in Milan, full of books, art and sculptures,
in one image we can see four already.

Designer Paolo Moschino’s dining room in London features
a classic bust on a pedestal, overlooking the elegant, formal dining table.

A whimsical bathroom featured in Elle Decor,
with a stern bust in an otherwise vibrant space.

Jacques Grange’s eclectic apartment in Paris, classic, traditional, contemporary, edgy.
The Roman sculpture on the column gives verticality as does the graphic ceiling light.

Some of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’ superb collection of Greek and Roman sculptures,
 in a very elegant and traditional Manhattan penthouse.

Apartment in Rome
A beautiful bronze boy’s head, as seen on my previous post A house of books (HERE).
An oil paint leaning on the antique chest, an old wood container with patina
and an ornate silver bowl compliment the sculpture.

Gianni Versace
 Gianni Versace villa, Lake Como, from my previous post The end of an era of excess (HERE).
Not a minimalist…he loved collecting antiques, everything is “real” here.

Arturo Martini sculpture
Arturo Martini’s superb sculpture on an antique “angoliera” of rich veneer.
 See more on my previous post The art's lady (HERE).

Kelly Weastler
Kelly Wearstler classic: here she used a Greek bust, an antique chair and bright mosaic tiles.

-Kelly Wearstler-
Kelly Wearstler contemporary: here we have a sculpture totally different from the one above,
with a unique table and geometric paneling.
Shapes, straight lines, curves, they all work well together.

Barry Dixon
Barry Dixon design, what not to love…proportions, scale,
monochromatic palette with just a hint of fresh, pale green.

And now a few of my own images:

Picture 002
A green beryl head I bought in Brazil, I was told that in a million years it would become emerald!
I’ll wait… and in the meantime it sits on my fireplace mantle
on top of books and in front of an oil painting!

Venice sculpture
A client’s apartment in Venice with a signed and dated 1769 bust
sitting below a delicate 18th century oil painting.

Venice Rubelli textiles
While visiting Rubelli textiles in Venice I took a picture of this fireplace with a bust of a Doge. I was told that the Rubelli family tried to find the name of this important person, but without success, after much research they could not figure out who this Doge was… from my previous post Rubelli in Venice (HERE).

Estate 2009 520
A client’s classic apartment in Milan with a terracotta bust of a young girl
and a 19th century delicate portrait.

Estate 2009 428
A client’s sleek apartment in Milan with a classic sculpture above the hidden China cabinet,
white books, essential lines (and poor photography…).

varie 251
And finally…a lovely bust seen at The Cross Decor & Design in Vancouver.

So…busted or not?
Do you have a bust in your home? How did you display it?
Let’s talk!

©2012 Brillante Interiors writes about new trends, timeless decor, iconic pieces, design ideas, or at times just musing about "a certain Italian way of doing things".

If you need help to enjoy your home more, please send me an email.  It will be an investment in happiness at home, a well designed house is always a good part of a great life and a beautiful room will make you happy every time you walk in!

If you receive this post by Email and wish to leave a comment please click HERE and go to the comments section.  I love to hear your thoughts.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

How to use ancient trick.

 An ornate, antique mirror in a contemporary bedroom. Jamie Drake design.

The use of mirrors to enlarge a space, to reflect objects and even to reflect upon ourselves…. is an ancient trick that never fails.
The mirrors used in ancient Greece or during the Roman Empire were slightly convex disks of polished metal,  reflecting light. More modern version were mirrors, either made of glass or cristallo di rocca (quartz), that were produced in the 13th-century but only during Renaissance they became more common. Famous became the mirrors produced  in Venice during the 16th-century, and after that the ones made in France and other European countries.

Leonardo da vinci
Camera degli specchi” at the Leonardo da Vinci Museum, in Florence, is part of Leonardo’s study of optic science: in this small space enclosed by 8 mirrored walls he discovered that you could see every side of an object put in the center without moving.

Royal palace in Genoa, the Sala degli specchi built around 1650.

Royal Palace in Versailles is famous for the magnificent  Hall of Mirrors (La Galerie des Glaces), 73 meters long…  built around 1650.

So we talked about ancient Rome, Renaissance, Leonardo,Venice, France in the 17th-century, but now fast forward to how to use mirrors in our houses.

Here are some splendid examples of contemporary use of reflecting surfaces:

House B. Josephine Sacabo 

From House Beautiful: "I collect beautiful time-ravaged mirrors, and when I saw this one in an antiques store in New Orleans, I fell in love. When I went in, it was sold. I pined for it. I left my number and went in every week for six weeks. Finally, the shop owner said whoever bought it probably wasn't going to pick it up, and I could have it for $600. It's a four-panel screen and very heavy. The glass is fogged and splotchy, the way glass gets, and there's a border around each panel with painted birds and flowers, all worn away. Everything that's reflected in the mirror looks unbelievable, like a poeticized version of itself. It gives every view a history." 
Josephine Sacabo, photographer.

house beautiful a.branca
From House Beautiful:  "Powder rooms are such an opportunity to wrap yourself in whatever indulgent feeling you want. The mirror that wound up in my Chicago powder room is 18th-century Venetian — sober, clean, not goopy, and it's from a neoclassical tradition that's so familiar to me. I love the dark wood frame and those beautiful etchings. I bought it 20 years ago in Rome on the Via Margutta, a street of antiques dealers, and it has followed me from house to house — living proof that if you buy something you love, you'll find a place for it."
 Alessandra Branca, Interior Designer

V Wolf House Beau.
From House Beautiful: "I've leaned a massive, over-scale mirror against the wall of my bedroom, as I do in so many houses. It's taking an architectural approach to a decorative object — like cutting open a wall onto a space beyond. It's also more casual and interesting to lean something than to hang it. Once a mirror is hung, it's isolated on the wall. But when it leans, the floor runs right into the glass." 
Vicente Wolf, Interior Designer.

From Elle Decor: “Everyone knows that a mirror will make a room look bigger, but mirrored walls are considered passé. A nice alternative is the customizable Anichini mirror, designed by Vicente Wolf to lean up against a wall”.

Elle decor
From Elle Decor: “Mirror doesn’t have to be limited to walls; it looks great on furniture, too, giving the impression that the piece is not really there at all, as in this Chicago dining room by Douglas Levine, where a custom buffet stands in front of a wall where paned mirror on the wall reflects French doors”.

Some more examples of illusion that mirrors can give: in this flat of only about 500 square feet, in London, the use of reflecting surfaces can give you the impression of a much larger space, almost as doubling it.

gioco al raddoppio
Mirrors here hide cabinets, closets, kitchen gadgets so even if the space is limited everything is orderly.

Notice also there are no handles on cabinets, another trick for the eyes.

In the bathroom even the door is mirrored and the walls reflect light and enlarge the beautiful floral Bisazza mosaic wall.  (Mackay and Partners project).

I can go on forever and I am sure you have many more ideas on mirrors but I will end with a cautionary note about mirrors above fireplaces, not my favorite place, in many cases mirrors there or above a bed as in the image below, reflect only a plain ceiling so I suggest you hang them not flush to the wall, to create a more interesting reflection of the room.

This is perfection…

3-17-2012 6-50-10 PM
Alex Papachristidis Interiors

So, no matter if you live in a castle or in a small studio the use of mirrors can be magical, can sometimes make you dream and at times can even help you to… reflect !

©2012 Brillante Interiors writes about new trends, timeless decor, iconic pieces, design ideas, or at times just musing about "a certain Italian way of doing things".
If you receive this post by Email and wish to leave a comment please click HERE and go to the comments section.  I love to hear from you!

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