Starting January 25, 2020 is this year’s Chinese New Year, the Year of the Rat, associated with such characteristics as wealth, cleverness, creativity and midnight hours.
If your looking to freshen up your interior style, perhaps its time to ring in the new year with some Chinese New Year-inspired design tips and tricks. From oriental furniture and art to luxurious fine finishes, you can find all the inspiration you need to start this new year right!
In Chinese Zodiac culture, Rats are clever, quick thinkers; what a way to reflect that in terms of furnishings! The best way to reflect this choice is through pieces that serve multiple purposes.
Take the Markus Multi-Functional table, designed by Marco Pozzoli, which features a gas-powered structure that lifts and divides, quickly transforming it into a comfortable desk/table with extra bench seating and generous proportions — a superb home-office desk or dining table.
Or even these beautiful Urban Chic nest of tables. The tables slot inside each other to minimise the amount of space taken up when not in use.
At Left: Markus Multi-Functional table.
Photo courtesy Go Modern Furniture.
Above: Urban Chic nest of tables.
Photo courtesy Wooden Furniture Store.
Because of the cleverness of Rats, the year of the Rat is said to encompass wealth and rich fortune. Rich tones, such as reds, deep blues, and metallic shades like gold are perfect color choices to represent this characteristic.
According to Chinese culture, the Rat is also associated with “midnight hours,” which in design terms can be interpreted as the color black, a great complementary shade to the other rich tones.
Whether these colors are utilized in furniture, accessories or painted walls, showcasing these tones throughout will help create a cohesive look throughout your space.
At left photo courtesy Maison Valentina.
Above photo courtesy Orchid Furniture.
Because of their independence and imagination, Rats often display characteristics of creativity and artistic excellence, as well as an affinity toward fine details.
To accompany the overall color palette, pieces should showcase creative design and fine, intricate detailing.
This can be found in a framed artwork or a handcrafted piece of furniture, no matter its style.
At left photo courtesy Orchid Furniture.
Above photo courtesy Artisanti.
After designing the pieces Let it Be and Come Together in 2017 and 2018, designers Ludovica and Roberta Palomba at Poltrona Frau have fortified their third installment that further pays homage to the Beatles. Get Back and the other two pieces inspired by the musical legends are welcoming, tailor-made pieces that offer a return to comfortable spaces, where one can really feel at home.
Inspired by the refrain, “Get back, get back, get back to where you once belonged,” the Get Back sofa was designed a product of “in-depth research into comfort,” according to the brand when the piece was introduced at this year’s Salone del Mobile.
With generous, spacious and open lines, reclined backrests that encourage relaxation, and numerous modular elements to combine freely in lots of different compositions, it’s difficult not to find a sense of inner peace when sitting on this sofa.
On top, soft cushions and chaise elements offer unexpected depth, as well as an alluring invitation to “Get back home” and enjoy the relaxing and convivial atmosphere of your living room.
Rejecting convention and formalism, Let it Be was the first of the Beatles-inspired modular furniture systems designed by Ludovica and Roberto Palomba for Poltrona Frau.
Channelling the popular Beatles song, this seating solution embraces and reinterprets the notion of the Roman triclinium where individuals lay down, ate, talked and lazed about in earlier times.
As a refuge for relaxation, the sofa’s infinite configurations afford individuals the opportunity to curate different arrangements to fit their space and lifestyle.
The purity of the design is accentuated with beautiful details including leather and saddle leather stitching as well as refined plush cushions.
Keeping comfort and sociability in mind throughout the creative process, Come Together was born out of a desire to offer people a place for sharing — even moreso, an invitation to rediscover the dimension of physical and concrete proximity of exchanging ideas and emotions.
Each facet of the design encourages people to come together and enjoy the company of others. With limitless compositional possibilities, this system features a series of accessories that are versatile and functional.
Differing elements were designed to connect seating compositions to ultimately create more livable, shareable and convenient arrangements.
All photos courtesy Poltrona Frau.
Photo courtesy Niio.
Smart technologies and artificial intelligence are changing the way we consume art.
While many treasured works of art are safely contained in notable museums or in the homes of experienced collectors, a new tide is cresting along the shores of the art curation field with the influx of digital art.
Digital art, more widely known as new media art, is an interesting sector of the art industry to define, even for Beryl Graham, who is a professor in New Media Art at the University of Sunderland. She notes that the roots of this art form have drawn inspiration from a range of movements, from conceptual artwork to video art, which also began in the 1960s.
“It’s broadly digital but [it’s also] the kind of art that works in different ways in different kinds of behaviors,” Graham notes. One fascinating example would be an exhibition of software art in which the software, sometimes even artificial intelligence-based artwork, can learn and grow on its own. Graham explains that an artist might start a piece of software and watch it evolve, perhaps give it a virus and watch, showing to the audience that the “end point isn’t quite under the control of the artist.”
Magdalena “Magda” Sawon, owner of the contemporary art gallery Postmasters Gallery in New York, says that the digital age has only heightened the senses of curators and artists, who are traditionally at the forefront of new developments in culture and technology.
“Technology is a tool,” she notes, “it is also a moving target and changing constantly. The question is to be aware of new developments and adapt it intelligently to one’s needs and benefit.” Fittingly, as artists have been harnessing the power of technology within the art industry, curators and galleries have had to “keep up with the times,” and embrace digital forms of artwork and the systems and methods in which they are displayed.
Donna Holford-Lovell, director of The North East of North festival (NEoN), notes how the incorporation of interaction and participation into art displays appeals to today’s technology-savvy audiences that have been gradually reinvigorating focus on the digital art world.
“The idea of ‘curation’ has become ubiquitous and our audience is seen to be curating many aspects of their own lives,” Holford-Lovell says. NEoN is an organized event that aims to advance the understanding and accessibility of digital and technology-driven art forms by having the artist and curator work together to translate “the spectacle of experience,” via digital platforms within physical spaces, like virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and even social media.
JONATHAN MONAGHAN (US)
The Phoenix and the Medusa (2018), Video, 7 min 69 sec, Edition of 30, Niio Commission Series.
With systems and platforms, from artificial intelligence to online-based forums, both artists and curators now are developing larger platforms and databases to contribute toward. As well as an educator, Graham is co-founder and editor of the Curatorial Resource for Upstart Media Bliss, or CRUMB, a resource for curators of new media art that aims to help overcome any challenges presented from this rise in digital art, from installations to networks of artists and individuals versed in these practices.
Suspensions (2018), VR and mixed reality installation, Postmasters April 2018.
Camouflage (2018), Moving Image, 6 min 4 sec, Edition of 30, Niio Commission Series
On the luxury spectrum of art curation, Niio is a brand integrating digital art and technology-driven forms of collection and distribution that surges past the limitations of traditional artwork. Niio is an art and tech company aimed to enable the exposure of digital artwork in a time that to the company feels like a fourth industrial revolution.
“Art has always reflected the world we live in,” says Rob Anders, CEO and co-founder of Niio, “and artists will create their art with any tool they can access.” In today’s world, that tool has come to be technology. Anders, who understands the eclectic background of digital art from conceptual and video art, wanted to help designers and architects best fit homes with the art of today, and after speaking with top galleries he found that what’s really needed are new models of both the business and technological side that reach a broader audience — even better: one with a subscription.
“We envision a world where in homes people will have more digital canvases with interactive or immersive works, all on a centralized connected system that can very easily change,” Anders says, with access to top artists in the world in this ecosystem of artists, galleries and collections all on the Niio platform. Luckily, the CEO notes, the technology is “already there,” from artificial intelligence in devices like Amazon’s Alexa devices to smart televisions, all devices that can easily work with the Niio platform to display digital artwork.
To those interested in having access to the “world’s finest art accessible on-demand,” Niio is open as a limited edition membership at about $5,000 a month, with access to curated exhibitions and collections, or art “playlists” of over 7,500 art pieces on the platform that can be easily changed and displayed on devices like smart TVs, projectors, screens, et cetera, which can be installed by Niio technicians as well.
“Art curation is telling a particular story,” he says. “In order to give people these digital works, it’s not about just finding the individual works, it’s about giving people the ability to learn about the works they are looking at,” he says.
New York designer Aimée Wilder explores Eudaimonia, a Greek word commonly translated as happiness or “human flourishing,” in her collection of wallpapers, fabrics, rug and accessories. From the effects of the moon on the evolution of the natural world to the impact of astrological phenomenon, Wilder captures the many ways surroundings can influence our psychological state, and contribute to overall wellness.
“This collection was born through finding balance and stability in my own life,” says Wilder. “Once I learned that living to work instead of working to live, along with incorporating methods like Vedic meditation and natural healing into my daily routine, was able to create a peaceful environment around me, I hoped to thoughtfully reflect that feeling in each design.”
Eudaimonia consists of two wallpaper and fabric patterns, Pyramide du Soleil and Earthlight, with an additional rug pattern, Eclipse. All three patterns reflect the natural balance between the Earth, the Sun, and the Moon, evoking the beauty of cosmic balance. With this collection, Wilder introduces a new construction for commercial fabrics, tested for 50,000 double rubs and available with a range of protective coatings including anti-microbial and stain coating. In addition, for the first time, Wilder will offer wallpaper printed in Brooklyn, New York, where she resides and operates her design studio.
Pyramide du Soleil is a subtly optical pattern manifesting the ancient Sun’s shadow and its balance with the earth, Pyramide du Soleil features pyramid and Sun as they represent the illusive quality of time. It integrates pyramids and circles with sophisticated diagonals and horizontal stripes, inspired by the continuous synchronicity that exists between the earth and the Moon.
Earthlight focuses on the waxing and waning cycles of the Moon’s phases in an eye-catching, geometric pattern across wallpaper and fabric design. Named for the scientific phenomenon in which sunlight reflected from Earth’s surface indirectly illuminates the otherwise dark side of the Moon, Earthlight is sure to brighten any space.
Eclipse showcases the inversion of colors in this rug design suggests the effects of an Eclipse, a harbinger of change in the daily life that acts as a guiding hand when questioning one’s path. With a boldness that invokes a new take on a vintage aesthetic, the Eclipse rug comes in a range of warm tones that will add a welcoming touch to a room.
Pyramide du Soleil
Photos courtesy Aimee Wilder.
Photo by ©Dylan Chandler 2018.
Photos courtesy Aimee Wilder.
The powder room used to be an afterthought, but for people who entertain this space has become an important design moment. In fact, when it comes to luxury condo buildings, developers are now going above and beyond to create distinct powder rooms that leave a lasting impression – with details like custom wall paneling, unique custom lighting and specially made marble vanities that highlight today’s style trends. To perfect your own powder room, we’ve come up with a few tips based on stylish New York residences.
Embrace the Selfie Lighting
Often small spaces, powder rooms can still offer a great place to capture that perfect Instagram photo, especially if there is good lighting. To create the perfect selfie space, lighting must be on point to not only adequately brighten up the space, as well as both capture the best pose and highlight the style and decor of the room.
350 West 71st Street
Photo by Alan Hill / Redundant Pixel.
There is some flexibility in this regard. For example, this chic powder room located in one of the residences at 350 West 71st Street offers flawless, bright lighting, making it the perfect spot to apply makeup.
Soft light, however, offers some of the best places to take photos. A great example is seen at 555 West End Avenue, where the mellow glow of the lit mirror highlight the powder room’s luxurious features, from the custom Calacatta gold countertops to the Lefroy Brooks fixtures.
With this lighting choice, you achieve a warm, inviting aesthetic that people will spend trying their best to capture.
555 West End Avenue
Photo by Hayes Davidson.
Staying on trend can sometimes be difficult when it comes to home design, so the best way to do so is highlight classic, elegant finishes that remain stylish over time, while incorporating accents and decor that is on trend. Some classic finishes are beautiful marble counters and sinks, black and white tiles or wallpaper, and metallic detailing.
One Waterline Square
Photo by Noe & Associates with The Boundary.
Designed by celebrated architect, Robert A.M. Stern, 30 Park Place offers 157 residences, all managed by Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts.
Within the powder rooms of Penthouse 78B, marble vanities offer a minimalistic yet beautiful setting with its clean lines and silver accents, both elegant and modern.
The Champalimaud-designed powder rooms at One Waterline Square are jewel-box-like spaces fashioned in striking black and white marble.
Every bit as luxurious as the master baths, the sparkling powder rooms feature best-in-class materials and fixtures, including polished Bianco Dolomiti marble flooring, polished Nero Marquina marble vanities and feature walls, Dornbracht fittings, and more.
30 Park Place
Photo by 30 Park Place.
Customization is Key
No matter your style, custom finishes or accents are also a defining decor element that can make or break the style of your powder room. Detailed design elements and customized, select finishes make a strong modern statement, create warmth and elegance in every space. Not only will these be a unique focal point, but inspirational in design for those looking to spruce up their own spaces.
Photo by Alan Tansey.
Located at 110 Charlton Street, Greenwich West’s interiors have been beautifully designed by star Parisian architect and interior designer Sebastien Segers, who is known for his work with clients such as Giorgio Armani, Christian Dior and more.
A standout within, the powder rooms at Greenwich West are outfitted in Zebrino marble with custom-designed curved vanities featuring Laufen toilets and Hansgrohe Axor Bouroullec collection fittings in polished nickel.
A contrast of black and white, Segers’ signature ogee edge shape makes this a statement room.
Custom designing everything in the 61 light filled residences at 40 Bleecker in NoHo, the powder rooms leave no detail unturned.
Within the powder rooms, hand-selected statuary marble envelops the area and a unique lighting design by Bill Schwinghammer.
Photo by Bjorn Wallender.
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
Lisa Adams, CEO and lead designer of LA Closet Design, the Los Angeles-based firm that changed the way we look at our closets, is ready to unveil her very own first-ever dream dressing room and closet, and we’d love to offer you a peek inside.
After a decade of conceiving, designing and building fantasy-inspired spaces for celebrities, billionaires and tastemakers around the world, she finally put her experience to work in meshing form and fashion with high functionality in the creation of her own master closet, dressing room and handbag closet.
As she does with all her clients, her closet flows seamlessly with her home’s prevailing aesthetic as well as reflects her very own personal style. The result is a chic, elegant and soothing place in which to start her day and house her most precious belongings.
Everything in the closets reflect Lisa’s taste for timeless elegance from the pale palate and soft touches to Hermes ceiling wallpaper, custom Portola paint color created just for Lisa (she even got to name it – Closet Cashmere) and the bold but spare geometric LED brass light fixtures.
As the creative force behind LA Closet Design, Lisa’s vision is to create “personalized dressing spaces to calm the chaos of everyday living.” Her inspiration for maximizing and beautifying closet spaces came about while working for a kitchen design firm.
Seeing the great level of interest both from home owners and investors in making kitchens the new gathering space (and selling point), and a space worthy of living in and showing off, she realized that closets were the next great frontier.
Traditionally seen and used as a space for storage and a place where the door is always closed, Lisa decided to approach the closet as a new living space where homeowners could lounge, prepare, entertain and even “shop” their own closet (a concept she conceived after falling in love with the design of Armani stores).
In her career, she has created spaces for a notable client base, including Christina Aguilera, Reese Witherspoon, Tyra Banks, Khloe Kardashian, Ray Romano and Kris Jenner, among many others.
Well-designed luxury garages are a far cry from the cluttered, dusty rooms where most standard vehicles are kept. For high-end homeowners, their garage upholds the elegant aesthetic found in the main home; but instead of sheltering people, the garage protects their luxury vehicles.
Widely considered to be the perfect extension to a dream home among car enthusiasts, luxury garages are strategically designed to show off the homeowner’s collection of vehicles and related items. Some manufacturers have developed materials specifically to be used for cabinetry in luxury garages, removing the need for kitchen-like cabinets to ruin the sleek, yet rugged vibe of the space. This cabinetry can be complimented by a stainless steel sink and counter space to increase functionality.
Slatwall panels are another popular storage strategy — they double as a finished wall covering and place to store tools and accessories. Similarly, a polyaspartic floor coating not only contributes to the polished look, but also serves as a durable protective layer to prevent damage due to abrasions, spills or moisture.
When designing a luxury garage, consider shades of blue, gray, red and black. Metallic accents, such as a diamond plate backsplash, add depth to this look. Choosing a color scheme that mirrors that of the luxury vehicles will help you achieve a put-together, distinguished design.
Some luxury garage owners choose to install a car lift. This can help homeowners store more vehicles in an area with limited space, or keep seasonal vehicles out of the way during the winter. Other popular amenities include upgraded garage doors that can be controlled remotely via smartphone, as well as year-round climate control. Especially in climate-controlled garages, many hobbyists choose to include a workshop, as well as a TV or sound system to turn their luxury garage into the ultimate leisure space.
Photos courtesy of BIR Luxury Garages.
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.
From California and Utah to Vermont and Upstate New York, ski lodges throughout the country are embracing luxury mountain lifestyles.
Translating into residential real estate, it is no surprise that ski lodge mountain-style design continues to grow in popularity among homebuyers.
Blending rustic style with modern features, this stunning cabin — located in Sugar Bowl Ski Resort, California — is the epitome of a luxury mountain living.
With a pitched roof and oversized deck, granite chimneys on either end leading to generous fireplaces, and a warm-toned interior, the 4,200-square-foot estate was designed by BCV Architecture + Interiors. Boasting a bright and airy floor plan, the home’s design was inspired by a traditional ski lodge. From the large windows, cozy fireplaces, and the use of wood and stone, no detail was forgotten.
We spoke with Hans Baldauf, co-founding principal at BCV Architecture + Interiors, who shares must-have design elements when creating a traditional ski lodge. He also predicts a few upcoming mountain living design trends for 2019.
Incorporate Wood and Stone
In 2019, Baldauf predicts that homebuyers will lean toward “the balance of classic, organic materials — like wood and stone — used in a modern way, with clean lines.
Embracing stone accents, this home features granite chimneys on both sides of the house.
“The rugged natural quality of the stone felt appropriate because of Overland Trail Cabin’s setting high in the Sierra,” says Baldauf.
In terms of the use of wood, “cedar was a natural choice for BCV when designing the exterior because it adapts well to the climate and looks beautiful over time.”
Embrace Natural Light
Homebuyers are also looking to embrace natural light and expansive glazing in 2019. “Whereas traditional mountainside dwellings might feel more closed-off or protected, BCV finds that our clients increasingly want to bring the experience of living in the forest/mountainside into the home. Large windows and glass doors help to create a better connection with the outdoors,” Baldauf says.
Overland Trail Cabin was designed to take full advantage of its unique site, which includes stunning views of the surrounding forest and the nearby slopes of Mount Disney.“Windows at each level bring an abundance of natural light into the interior, and the orientation of the home creates a wonderful change in light throughout the day,” Baldauf says.
Stick with Warm and Neutral Colors
The use of warm and neutral colors helps to create an inviting and relaxing atmosphere, perfect for a traditional ski lodge. “Overland Trail Cabin incorporates natural materials with a regional focus, and BCV found that these colors complement the use of stone and wood throughout the house,” Baldauf says.
Stay cozy with fireplaces
The use of fireplaces is also very important when creating a warm and intimate home. “BCV designed this home as a place that would feel appropriate in hosting large groups and gatherings as well as providing a cozy mountain getaway. With this in mind… a fireplace anchors the living area and contributes to a cozy, intimate feel to this part of the great room,” Baldauf explains.
Build a Pitched Roof
Both practical and aesthetic, the home’s pitched roof “works to shed snow away from the deck and entry areas of the home, while also referencing the pitched roof of the Wurster-designed village lodge,” according to Baldauf.
Photos courtesy of Vance Fox