Wellness may be a hot topic, but not everyone is sure what it means.
Every year one topic seems to dominate real estate. This year it’s wellness. Yet, if you ask designers and architects what comprises wellness in he home you are apt to get a variety of responses ranging from connections to nature to spaces for meditation or yoga to air quality. Some might point to certifications such as Wellness Within Your Walls or the WELL Building Standard or biophilic design. Others say LEED and other green certifications address wellness.
“I think health and wellness is still in the ‘public education’ stage of what it means. All last year you’re hearing it more and more and more. But I still think it’s educating the designer,” and the public, says Beverly Hills designer Christopher Grubb, president of Arch-Interiors Design Group. Designers often understand the term as it applies to LEED accreditation or to aging in place, but not necessarily the overall concept.
“It might mean one thing to one person and something else to another,” says designer Allie Mann with Case Architects and Remodelers in Washington, D.C., noting that some might be caught up in the movement without fully understanding it.
“I think that this is really being driven by a lot of consumer behavior. When it comes to the builder-developer world, I think our consumers are much more educated. I think they know what they want. They just don’t know how to get there,” says Angela Harris, creative director and principal of TRIO, an award-winning, market-driven, full-service interior design firm in Denver.
“Health and wellness is a new frontier for all of us, says Jacob Atalla, vice president of sustainability for KB Home. KB Home, along with Hanley Wood, KTGY Architects and Delos, a tech and wellness company, created a concept home outside of Las Vegas in Henderson, Nevada, to illustrate what a home designed with wellness as a core value looks like and how it functions. “It is the home story of the future,” he says.
Even though wellness seems to have suddenly burst onto the housing scene in the last year, the idea of connecting home to health is not new. More than 20 years ago, health issues potentially linked to building materials and toxic conditions such as black mold gained attention, giving rise to the term sick building syndrome. Since then, awareness of the relationship between the built environment and health has been growing. A decade ago, new technologies led to the development of products that either reduced the level of toxic contaminants released into the indoor ecosystem or scrubbed the air of VOCs (volatile organic compounds). Other concerns about noise, water and connections with the natural environment were also beginning to surface. At the same time, health and wellness was becoming an important value for consumers worldwide, expanding beyond fitness to include personalized medicine, mind-body connections, spa, wellness tourism and also the built environment.
By 2015, wellness had morphed into a $3.7 trillion industry worldwide, according to the Global Wellness Institute, and climbed an additional 6.4 percent annually to reach $4.2 trillion in 2017. One of the fastest growing sectors in the wellness space is a category called Wellness Lifestyle Real Estate, which includes everything in the built environment that incorporates wellness elements in design, construction, amenities and service. In addition to physical well-being, wellness real estate also addresses social wellness and mental, emotional and spiritual wellness.
The biggest difference between homes designed to promote wellness and homes that address air quality or other environmental factors that impact physical health is that wellness is integral to the design and permeates every aspect of the home from floor plan to amenities. “Overall you are programming the home to be more livable,” says Harris.
Frustrated by the lack of attention to the ways in which indoor environments influence health, Phil Scalia, a former partner at Goldman Sachs, founded the initiative that eventually became Delos, which has been on the forefront of wellness in the built environment for more than 10 years. In 2014, Delos established the WELL Building Standard, which was initially applied to commercial buildings. Over 1,200 projects in 45 countries, across over 250 million square feet of commercial real estate, fall under the WELL umbrella. The WELL standard focuses on seven categories of building performance: air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mind. Additionally, it takes connections between a building and the surroundings into consideration.
During groundbreaking work on EcoManor, the first LEED Gold certified single-family residence in the U.S., designer Jillian Pritchard Cooke discovered that both consumers and design and construction professionals lacked accurate information on how to reduce toxins in the interior environment. That was the inspiration for Wellness Within Your Walls, another wellness certification that offers education on building and designing healthier interior environments. The focus is on materials both for construction and also furnishings and finishes.
Another more recent wellness initiative centers around the principles of biophilic design and the benefits of bringing natural elements into buildings. In 2016, Amanda Sturgeon, a biophilic design expert and CEO of the International Living Future Institute spearheaded the Biophilic Design Initiative. In addition to designers, builders and architects, current proponents include tech companies who have added natural elements to buildings to increase productivity and reduce stress for workers.
This year, it’s fair to say wellness is coming home as attention shifts from commercial to residential applications. The KB ProjeKt Home takes wellness in residential structures to the next level. Not only are established practices regarding connections with the outdoors, indoor toxins and air quality embedded in the design, but a synergy with smart home tech transforms wellness from a passive attribute into one that is active.
“The motivation was to examine how we can make the home healthier and at the same time how do we engage that home in partnering with the occupants, with the people living in it, to enhance their health and wellness or engage them in making the environment they live in better. We know that about 90 percent of our lives are spent indoors, and a lot of that indoor living is in your own home,” Atalla explains. Recent research from Hanley Wood shows that homeowners believe housing is essential or extremely important to good health, and two-thirds say the right housing environment could cut annual medical costs by 40 percent.
Central to the home’s wellness quotient is an innovative smart system, dubbed DARWIN, developed by Delos. This first of its kind, home wellness intelligence network constantly monitors the home environment and interacts with and adjusts systems in the home as needed. A network of sensors built into the walls — there are nine in the ProjeKt Home — constantly tests air quality.
If it detects problems with air quality, containments or chemicals from everyday products, DARWIN directs the climate control systems to bring more fresh air to that room. Water quality is also monitored, and purified water is delivered to every fixture in the home. “You have a wellness intelligence system that is constantly doing things on your behalf to increase your wellbeing,” says Atalla.
The system also monitors the plumbing system and alerts homeowners to leaks. Sleep is an important wellness component and the master bedroom in this home is primed to promote slumber. Special noise-damping drywall ensures quiet. Motorized shades block out exterior light. “Total quietness, total darkness, and circadian rhythms help you sleep,” adds Atalla.
Lighting is another mainstay of wellness formulas, both natural light from large windows and expanses of glass as well as interior lighting keyed to circadian rhythms. DARWIN adjusts lights to match the time of day. But what makes this function more worthwhile is the homeowner can change the lighting to produce a desired effect, which means the lights can create an energizing morning environment even if morning comes at 5 a.m. on a stormy day.
A living garden wall enables the home to grow herbs and microgreens. Turning the home and kitchen into a place to produce healthy food is an emerging area of innovation for kitchens.
Social interaction is another wellness component, and community design increasingly takes social interaction into account with spaces such as walking trails, parks and coffee houses designed to encourage interaction and encounters among residents as part of everyday life.
It might seem like a big jump to add wellness to typical new homes, particularly production homes, but Atalla says the KB ProjeKt Home is an example of what can be done. Additionally, Harris says it’s often an easy tweak to add features such as water filtration in the kitchen and master bath. “That doesn’t cost a whole lot. And again, I think it’s just about livability and how you’re programming your floor plan to be more livable.”
Looking ahead, most research points to continued growth of the wellness economy, with new initiatives approaching wellness from the perspective of design, construction, materials and function. There are now more than 740 wellness real estate and community developments built or in development across 34 countries — a number that grows weekly according to the Global Wellness Institute.
Right now, the $134 billion wellness real estate market is about half the size of the global green building industry and projections call for the pace to continue. “But the wellness market isn’t just growing, it’s extremely dynamic. We believe that the three sectors that represent the core spheres of life will see the strongest future growth — wellness real estate, workplace wellness and wellness tourism — while other sectors will also grow as they support the integration of wellness into all aspects of daily life,” says Ophelia Yeung, senior research fellow, GWI.
Lauren Behfarin saw a need for sophisticated design geared toward growing families.
Arriving home from the hospital with your newborn for the first time, rocking your infant child back to sleep, reading a book with your talkative toddler — a nursery will become the setting for endless, lasting memories as your child grows.
From falling in love with their first smile to cheering along their first steps, parents will inevitability spend many heartwarming hours in their child’s nursery — which means the space should bring joy to both parents and children for years to come.
Designing the perfect nursery may seem intimidating, but luckily this interior designer understands the importance of creating a space filled with love, care and joy.
Five years ago, Lauren Behfarin designed her daughter’s nursery in preparation for her first child’s arrival. She quickly discovered a gap in family-friendly design, and created Lauren Behfarin Design. “Once I had a family, I wanted to do more work geared toward children and younger families,” says Behfarin, who previously worked for Drew McGukin Interiors.
With a growing clientele, the trendy NYC-based interior design firm now designs spaces for new parents and growing families that are vibrant and sophisticated yet comfortable and livable. Understanding the emotion and love that goes into each space created for a child, Behfarin has found that “nurseries and children’s spaces often become an extension of a home.”
Although she designs a range of spaces, Behfarin’s favorite projects are always nurseries for first-time parents. “Nurseries are always so fun, and so full of hope, life and excitement. It is such a special time to watch new mothers experience pregnancy and for parents to experience a baby for the first time. We are always honored when families include us in that time,” says Behfarin, who works alongside her associate, Abby Gruman.
As a parent of two, Behfarin values convenience and function. After designing a nursery, first-time parents may soon realize that a makeover is required less than two years later. In order to keep the transition as simple as possible, Behfarin tries to “anticipate the next steps of a child’s life” with her designs.
Using various patterns, textures and bold colors, the team is sure to incorporate fun elements that feel young while also considering the next five or 10 years of a child’s life. “As I experience these phases with my own children, I am really learning what works and what does not work long-term in a space. We are learning what elements transition with your child and which do not,” Behfarin says.
Born and raised in Manhattan, Behfarin also understands the need for storage in a compact apartment. Utilizing items such as cribs that turn into toddler beds or bunk beds that double as two twins beds, Behfarin “makes sure that clients have the best items for their children to grow.”
Whether it’s furniture that won’t cause injuries to a newborn or toys that won’t grow tiresome, first-time parents often look to Behfarin and her team for more than simple design tips.
“They’re looking for great design, but they are also looking for advice. We take relationships to heart when we have clients who are experiencing this for the first time,” Behfarin says. “I am here to guide, push and challenge clients, but I always deliver something that they love.”
How to Design the Perfect Nursery
Accent Walls — “There is always an accent wall, whether it’s a really cool decal, cool paint color or interesting wallpaper,” Behfarin says. “There should always be a fun backdrop to one of the walls in a nursery, and it’s usually the one with the crib.”
Minimal Themes — Cautious to not take a theme too far, Behfarin always suggests incorporating components from a theme, such as accent pieces or different colors. “There are ways to bring in a theme that are not too thematic,” she notes.
Neutral Colors — “There has been a shift toward gender neutral colors, such as grays, creams and whites,” Behfarin says. “People are prioritizing style. The standard pink and baby blue are not popular right now, and I think it is because style, form and function are so big in the city right now.”
Acrylics — This year, Behfarin is seeing a lot acrylics. “Homeowners are loving acrylic cribs with acrylic bars, or chairs with acrylic legs,” she explains. “Acrylic accents have shown up a more recently, I think as way to make a nursery modern.”
Organized Spaces — Whether it is a bunk bed with shelves, a coffee table with compartments or an ottoman with storage inside, Behfarin appreciates and understands the fluidity of space. “Homeowners are constantly reimagining how their space is being used,” she explains. “The hustle and bustle of the city has caused us to pay attention to creative and innovate ways to save space.”
When it comes to maximalist design, more is definitely more, and walls are no exception. We’re not going back to the retro chintz of bygone eras, instead, current wallpaper patterns are bold, edgy, fun and available in huge variety.
Oversized tropical leaves, prancing golden zebras, floral prints in a neon palette, animal prints, geometric shapes… even world maps designed to fit whole walls.
They’re becoming huge works of art within a room with many wallpaper designs taking inspiration from famous artists — Van Gogh, Matisse, Andy Warhol to name a few. Wallpaper designs are refusing to fade into the background.
So how are home designers putting the trend into practice? Bold wallpaper creates a huge impact so it tends to be the starting point for a room design. One or two statement walls is often enough. They’re striking without being overpowering.
Dark colors, big patterns, embracing the bold wallpaper trend requires bravery, but the courageous are able to create unique rooms full of life and edgy charm.
This striking mural wallpaper, designed by Anna Jacobs from her original painting in ink on watercolour paper, is imagined as a super large scale art work to give maximum impact in an interior. It can also be hung in repeat, used with picture rails and dado rails and cropped to fit most wall heights, without compromising the image.
Photo courtesy of Anna Jacobs
This grand Jungle Paradise Wallpaper by Santorus features ascending vines of imperial creatures amongst ferns and palms. A soft gold-metallic finish enhances the stunning imagery to set a scene of embellished colonial nostalgia.
Photo courtesy of Lime Lace
Designed by Aurélie Mathigot, this blue and green wallpaper displays a soothing design. The wallpaper is entitled “De L’autre Cote le Calme,” which translates to “The Other Side of Calm.” If you’re in search of escape, wide open spaces, and extensive greenery, this beautiful wallpaper will bring this breath of fresh air.
Photo courtesy of KSL LIVING
This paper creates a tromp l’oeil effect — appearing as three-dimensional images but on a flat surface. The designer sourced the images of old wood from surfaces in his own workshop in Eindhoven. This is a part of a new collection of six designs by Piet Hein Eek, black marble, white marble, black brick wall, silver brick wall, burnt wood and blue painted wooden floorboards.
Photo courtesy of Lagoon
Fringe and tassels have recently made their way back into fashion, and this retro look is now making its way into our homes.
While the look may not be for everyone, the new version of fringing is definitely making waves in the interior design world in 2019. Whether it’s on lights, mirrors, or cushions, fringe can be a great way to add some fun and texture to sleek, minimalist spaces. Here are a few key ways to easily introduce the new fringing style to your home:
Pictured Right: Sevillian Sofa by Covet House
Fringed furniture is definitely a more prominent retro look and will appeal to those who really want to embrace the trend and turn heads. Many furniture pieces can be ordered with a fringe added to the bottom such as sofas, footstools and chairs.
Sevilliana Bed by Covet House
If you’re not ready to fully embrace fringe in your home, a simple accent or accessory can be the perfect way to experiment with the trend. Blankets, duvet covers and wall hangings are a few easy ways to add this trend to your home.
Add a few cushions or pillows with a fringe to your space as a small introduction to the trend. Mix and match them with regular cushions. Fringes work well with a knitted texture and there are even sparkly and metallic options available.
The men and women of eastern Pennsylvania custom home builder Rotelle Studio(e) duked it out in the backyard in the ultimate battle of the sheds. The He vs. She Shed design competition was inspired by the growing popularity of tiny houses and the reimagined shed as the new backyard getaway.
“Outdoor space has been hot for some time; it’s a less expensive way to make your house larger. The shed component is an extension of that — giving you a unique getaway to spend time on hobbies or with friends,” says Peter Rotelle, president and owner of Rotelle Studio(e).
The competition not only showcased the custom company’s expertise and creative design talents, but proved to be a team building exercise that brought Rotelle staff closer together.
The He Shed team was led by Rotelle, who worked with Chief Operating Officer Anthony Holowsko, and Senior Project Manager Ken Zimmerman. Using raw lumber, the men constructed the ultimate backyard man cave. The team used repurposed antiques, including a wall lighting fixture made from car headlights and a coffee and bar station made from an old tool chest.
“What steals the show is the wall that drops like a tailgate and turns into a rear deck that has a grill that swings out adding an additional 100 square feet of living space. It’s simply spectacular to say the least,” Rotelle says.
The She Shed team was led by Chief Designer Renée Pratt, who worked with Chief Architect Heather Ryan, and Design Consultant Emily Wisler. The She Shed’s signature wow factor is a retractable roof that opens up to allow a lot of light and air into the chicly designed space, and when open provides cover over a side deck.
“The She Shed has the most outlandish feature of all, a roof that opens up to the sky with a garage door opener. It doesn’t get any cooler than that,” Rotelle says.
Clever built-ins allow for discreet wall storage, and the serving counter hides a cooler. Completing the She Shed is a hammock-like day bed suspended from a sturdy crossbeam.
Both teams were challenged to create a space that feels stylish and luxurious, yet spacious and comfortable. “The most important design feature is trying to utilize all of the space and to make the space feel larger than it actually is,” says Rotelle, who understands the importance of creating outside living space, using a lot of windows and drawing inspiration from boats and planes.
“The tiny house craze is extremely appealing, however the reality of living in one is an entirely different story,” explains Rotelle. “They are very quaint, ship-shape and highly appointed but when it comes to 365-livability, it’s may not be practical for everyone. This competition was a demonstration of how on a limited basis, you can have a tiny house, shed or cottage and accomplish the intimacy of the units.”
Online voting ended on Oct. 7, and the She Shed won the competition by 182 votes. Voters were automatically entered into a raffle to win the She Shed. Realtor Meredith Jacks of Styer Real Estate in South Coventry, Pa. will take home the She Shed.
The He Shed fetched $11,011 in its online auction. The winning bid was placed by Rotelle, who will be installing the He Shed at his 45-acre campground Simply Rustic. The check was written to Ashley Addiction Treatment.
Photos courtesy of Rotelle Studio
By Brielle Bryan
Moved by the desire to tackle the notion that comfort does not require a sacrifice in style, Jaclyn Jones has produced a selection of shoes that appeal to women of all different foot sizes. Her newest collection is inspired by the sights and smells of flowers, and consists of “summer-friendly, playful, bold colors that are immediately mood-boosting.”
“I imagine our customers having the freedom of versatility while wearing pieces in our collection,” Jones said. “They’re ready for everything from outdoor weddings to happy hour to vacationing in the Hamptons.”
Jones sources the highest quality materials, including a custom 4mm thick foam insole, luxurious lamb lining and signature features.
“Our manufacturing takes place completely in Los Angeles, and we are proud to support U.S. workers and our local economy,” Jones said.
Jones saw the opportunity to create Jaclyn Jones USA, the first luxury women’s footwear brand handcrafted entirely in the U.S., after working in men’s shoes for years. Jones worked for Pinnacle Brand Group, a premium design house that designs, sources, markets and distributes fashion footwear and accessories, before she came to a pivotal revelation.
“After some market research, I found that the industry was vastly dominated by male designers/owners, and it clicked — all of these shoes were so uncomfortable because they were designed by someone who never had to wear them,” Jones said.
Following her realization that women needed someone who understood the perils and anguish of uncomfortable shoes to design their footwear, Jones began crafting her namesake brand in San Diego in October.
After successfully taking her experiences and producing shoes that provide both comfort and style, Jones’ empowering brand for women is now available for purchase on her website in half sizes from 6 to 11.
Posey in White Multi Foral
An excellent choice for workweek styling and your wedding season wardrobe, this pointed-toe shoe will be a real showstopper for any nice occasion. The Posey style features a hand-carved 4-inch solid wood heel and custom 4mm foam insoles, which offer comfort similar to wearing 2-inch heels! This style is crafted with ultra-soft lamb leather lining and white multi floral printed leather, which is exclusive to JJUSA. $1,375.
Clover in Sage
An adorable low-heel sandal crafted in versatile sage-colored suede, the Clover style features eye-catching gold studded accents. Built for walk-all-day comfort, this style features a hand-carved 2-inch solid wood heel and signature 4mm custom foam insoles. $1,095.
Water Lily in Gold
“Our easy-to-wear Water Lily sandals are the perfect vacation companions, featuring a pebbled gold leather upper, nude leather foot bed and fashionable strap with gold-studded accents,” Jones said. “The half-inch heel is built from stacked leather and the outsole features a rubber inset for added traction.” $850.
Calla Lily in White & Gold Dot
One of JJUSA’s most-loved styles of the season, Calla Lily is designed with a comfortable 1-inch stacked leather heel and an easy slip-on style. In addition to comfort, this chic pointed-toe shoe is made of premium lamb leather with a gold-dotted pattern, making this pair perfect for the seamless transition from the office to happy hour. $1,050.
Chrysanthemum in Tie-dye
This open-toe slide sandal is the epitome of summer design with its JJUSA-exclusive playful tie-dye print and logoed stud embellishments down the front of the shoe. The Chrysanthemum is crafted with premium lamb leather and a 2-inch hand-carved wood heel that features JJUSA’s signature heel plate and 4mm custom foam insoles for added comfort. $1,250.
Photos courtesy of Jaclyn Jones USA
Using architecture and design as a vehicle for social justice, Emily Pilloton works alongside youth to co-design and build public architecture projects that transform communities.
The Furniture Society has announced Emily Pilloton as its keynote presenter for its annual conference, NEXUS. Pilloton’s lecture, “Fear Less. Build More,” will be presented on June 14 at 11 a.m.
The Furniture Society is a nonprofit, educational organization founded in 1996. Its mission is to advance the art of furniture-making by inspiring creativity and promoting excellence. The Furniture Society’s 2018 NEXUS conference will be hosted by Dogpatch Studios, an event venue in the Dogpatch area of San Francisco. The conference will take place on all three floors of the location, with separate presentations taking place simultaneously for the majority of the time. There are restaurants and cafes within walking distance from the venue, offering a variety of lunch and dinner options.
Pilloton is a designer, builder, educator and founder of the nonprofit Project H Design and its sister program, Girls Garage. Pilloton was chosen as a keynote speaker because of her nonprofit work. Pilloton’s work seeks to cultivate power in underestimated communities, specifically young girls, undocumented youth and communities of color.
Using architecture and design as a vehicle for social justice, Pilloton works alongside youth ages 9 to 18 to co-design and build public architecture projects that transform communities. She has built a farmer’s market with high school students, a playhouse for the daughters of abused mothers, a school library designed by its own middle school students and micro homes for a transitional housing agency.
Pilloton’s work is the subject of the documentary If You Build It, has been featured on the TED Stage, The New York Times and The Colbert Report, and has been awarded recognition by the Obama Administration’s Office of Science and Technology Policy, the SEED Design Award and the Curry Stone Design Prize.
Pilloton holds a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from the University of California Berkeley, and has a Master of Fine Arts in Architecture, Interior Architecture and Designed Objects from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is currently a Lecturer in the College of Environmental Design at the University of California Berkeley, and is the author of three books, Design Revolution: 100 Products that Empower People, Tell Them I Built This: Transforming Schools, Communities, and Lives With Design-Based Education and Girls Garage: A Fearless Builder Girl’s Guide to Tools (forthcoming, 2019).
Photo courtesy of The Furniture Society
Arteriors, a leading provider of luxury lighting, occasional furniture and decorative accessories, is debuting its latest guest designer collaboration with interior designer Celerie Kemble. The collection recently launched online in advance of the April release at the Spring 2018 High Point Market.
“Celerie brings a different design vision to the Arteriors assortment with feminine, soft designs that bring a light and playful element to interior spaces,” says Mark Moussa, founder and creative director for Arteriors. “She has a special sense for shaping materials that, when combined with the skills of our factories, resulted in a truly exciting collection that we are thrilled to share with our customers.”
The Celerie Kemble for Arteriors collection features an assortment of wicker, rattan and bamboo pieces showcasing the natural materials that are signature to Kemble’s design aesthetic. “I designed this collection to be very tactile, with materials that pull from the natural and the handmade, where coastal informs the urbane,” says Kemble. “These pieces are meant to add levity and warmth to interiors — a touch of whimsy or flight of fancy, balanced with a modern edge.”
Ecru Ottomans, Set of 4
This neutral set of leather ottomans, offered at $5,670, can fit together to form one larger ottoman featuring a platform base plated with an antique brass finish.
Tinsley Bar Cart
This sleek bar cart is crafted with a vintage brass finish, featuring two tiers plated with antiqued mirror glass with a whimsical pattern. The bar is footed with 360-degree swivel casters for mobility and available for $1,800.
Rich in organic textures and lifelike details, this aluminum bowl has a polished brass finish to accentuate the intricate veining, leaf textures and natural curves. This piece, offered at $450, makes a great table accent or can be installed on the wall.
Made entirely from brass from stem to petal, this sconce is finished in a warm polish for added gloss and shine. Hand-punched details in the six lampshades cast dots of light around the room. At over two feet tall, this light is offered at $570.
Sultry, wine-colored glass is hand-blown to form this bottle-vase lamp. The iridescent, deep lavender hue casts a natural allure in this sleek and modern lamp, offered at $900.
With over 150 stainless steel metal disks, this chandelier, available for $3,300, has an antique brass finish and a unique design. Three fittings hold standard-size bulbs, and a frosted acrylic plate beneath filters downcast light beautifully.
Photos courtesy Arteriors; headshot courtesy Josh Gaddy
Kettal’s outdoor decoration collection includes a wide variety of products, ranging from planters and fire pits to floor lamps and side tables.
Kettal, a designer and manufacturer of timeless outdoor furnishings for home and commercial uses, has developed a range of exterior decoration and design products in its new puff design and rope collection, Kettal Objects.
Kettal Objects is a range of outdoor decoration products, which includes puffs, planters, fire pits and oil lamps designed by Emiliana Design Studio. Emiliana Design Studio was set up by Ana and Emili in Barcelona in 1996 after they graduated from London’s Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. Their work is characterized by its ability to give each project a fresh conceptual approach, experimentation with materials and for proactively involving the user without compromising functional, technical or production aspects.
Kettal has extended its new collection with the introduction of a new puff, constructed of aluminum and one of the ‘Bela Ropes’ 17-color rope range designed by Doshi Levien. Doshi Levien is an internationally acclaimed design studio founded by designers Nipa Doshi and Jonathan Levien. The two designers have been working together for more than ten years in their London-based design studio.
The Kettal Objects collection also includes a sideboard, room divider, floor lamp, parasols, side table and tray by Kettal Studio, an oil lamp and fire pit by Emiliana Design Studio, candleholders and outdoor rugs (200 x 294 cm) by Patricia Urquiola, rugs (200 x 300 cm and 300 x 400 cm), terrain cushions and geometrics fabrics by Doshi Levien and three models of lamp — floor, table and battery-powered — by Michel Charlot.
Photos courtesy of Kettal
Updated traditional kitchen with herringbone floors, brass accents and a La Cornue range in Beverly Hills. Photo courtesy Lou Trapp.
The allure of interior design was not always at the forefront of Lindsay Chambers’ mind.
By Kristen Ordonez
Growing up in Palo Alto, California, she had ambitions of being a history college professor, pursuing a PhD at Stanford University. But while attending, something happened that would ultimately change her career path.
“One day, I got a knock on the door from a couple who worked at Google asking to buy my house. I didn’t have anywhere to move, but I realized I had an idea of what people wanted design and home-wise in Palo Alto,” shares Chambers. With this idea in mind, she bought a nearby home, gutted it out and updated everything in the home, even adding a basement.
That home was just the start. Enthralled in the process so much, Chambers then finished getting her masters degree and became a full-time custom home developer, founding Hazel.Wood Design Group. “The custom homes sold so quickly, and people were asking me to design their home like my houses,” says Chambers.
It did not take long for her to realize her strengths and love for interior design. Hazel.Wood was renamed Lindsay Chambers Designs in 2015, and rearranged its focus to both home and interior design. Now, along with home development, Lindsay Chambers specializes in interior designing with a focus in the transitional style of mixing contemporary trends with classic pieces, and vice versa. Much of her work is inspired by her surroundings, particularly the modern styles of Los Angeles and the “Old is New” aesthetic of San Francisco, blending together effortlessly to create what she coins “understated elegance.”
“I prefer clean lines, and a highly edited aesthetic,” Chambers notes. “I prefer to work with materials, textiles, and furnishings that are of a high quality but are also understated.”
When it comes to the business side of running her firm, Chambers has found that her clients tend to understand the simple yet sophisticated elegance she loves to incorporate. “Most of my clients are on the younger side,” Chambers analyzes. “They like the traditional aesthetic, but they want something cleaner, younger, hipper — but not in the cold modern genre. That is why I think the transitional style has become so popular.”
“A room in someone’s home should not feel like a museum. It needs to be a place that is beautiful as it is warm and welcoming,” she says.
Accommodating the client while also catering to her own likes and tastes is almost as easy as breathing for Chambers, whose choices in textures, fabrics, colors and pieces marry well in a style that is supposed to be a union of different eras and their corresponding aesthetics. And like any true designer, she knows how to bring a balance of both her vision and the interests of the client without the space feeling disjointed or cold. “A room in someone’s home should not feel like a museum. It needs to be a place that is as beautiful as it is warm and welcoming,” she says.
Chambers’ favorite spaces to design are kitchens and master bathrooms because of the freedom open spaces like these provide. “I love to work on both because, as the designer, you are often creating your own design from scratch and get to influence the interior architecture as well as the finishes. Whereas in other rooms, you are taking other people’s art, whether it be a sofa or table design for instance, and harmoniously putting them together.
Since her firm launched, Chambers has designed multiple homes in California and received well-deserved recognition. Her favorite project so far is the Hollywood Hills home in Los Angeles she is currently designing — for herself. “It is so exciting to try out new products and finishes that I have never gotten to work with before but have always wanted to,” she says. She has also come to find her love for art transform with every addition made into an ever-growing art collection, one she swears to never sell. “When I move into a new place, I can’t get comfortable until the art is up on the walls.”
Committing to designing a home for oneself has proven to have its highs and lows, according to Chambers, but ultimately she is loving the challenge of fitting into the shoes of a client. Her only complaint about the project so far has been over her own self-instituted standards. “I’m a perfectionist and since it’s my own house, everything has to be perfect.”
If reimagining the space for her own home was not exciting enough, Chambers is also taking opportunities to handcraft her own materials.
Photo courtesy Christopher Stork.
“I designed my own cabinet hardware, which is being manufactured by Waterworks, for instance. I’m also importing some bespoke light fixtures from France.” These practices have fortunately not stopped just with her home. In the past, Chambers has designed her own line of fabrics with Guildery, but these achievements have reached a whole new level, as she is planning on launching her own furniture line.
Light, spa-like master bath with chevron marble floors and a Waterworks Margaux burnished nickel freestanding tub in a Tudor home in Palo Alto, California. Photos courtesy Roger Davies.
This summer, Lindsay Chambers will debut a 25-piece furniture line at a new showroom located in the West Hollywood design district. She says the collection will keep a soft contemporary taste and will feature coffee tables, woodwork-based items, dining room tables, beds and other basic fundamental pieces. Similar to the size of her firm, her furniture line will remain boutique-sized, making it easier for Chambers to stay involved with all her projects and “keep [her] hands on everything.”
Her hands will have lots to do as she continues to work on getting the showroom ready for the summer debut, as well as working with clients. She is currently working on helping a Stanford history professor renovate her home on the university campus.
With so much happening presently, Chambers still keeps a determined eye on the future and where she would like to see Lindsay Chambers Designs go, which is not too far. When asked where she would like to be in five years, she says “right where I am” with her offices in West Hollywood and in the San Francisco Bay area. Along with her desires to design a restaurant or hotel, she hopes to reach farther with the furniture line and expand the number of showrooms across the U.S.
Favorite and least favorite aspect of the job?
Favorite aspect: Defining a vision with the client.
Least favorite: Invoicing.
What is the most important element you have to include or remember to keep in any home?
Durability of the kitchens and baths. Some of the most beautiful design materials are not always the most durable. For instance, if a client wants to incorporate white marble as a countertop in the kitchen, I encourage them to have a portion of the counter in another material so they have somewhere to chop vegetables and pour red wine that won’t stain.
What kind of design trends do you want to see in the future?
Master bedroom with gold and white washed tin ceiling tiles applied as the accent wall, in Palo Alto. Photo courtesy Roger Davies.
I hear the 90s are back which means green should be coming back in. I like green so I am happy to see it starting to show up in design again in a significant way.
What colors do you like to play with the most?
I have to admit I am a fan of gray, which is no surprise if you have seen my work. When I bought the book 50 Shades of Gray at the airport, I honestly thought it would be about an interior designer. First 10 pages into the book and I start to hide it from the man sitting next to me on the plane because I realized how wrong I was!
What advice would you give to someone going into interior design or starting his or her own firm?
If you are going to start your own firm, don’t dip your toe in the water to test it out. Dive in with both feet and give it your best shot from the beginning. Go for it!