Designs to Inspire

Great design brings people home. As a residential Interior Designer I think it's important that you love the home you are in, no matter what kind of budget you are on. This site is to help you start thinking about your home in a new way.

Artistic balance… April 8, 2011

Some years ago I had purchased a stone dining table from an Italian manufacture, which will remain un-named, for my client. A sleek 60″ round stone top on three stone legs. When received by my warehouse they immediately notified me of their concerns of the unsteadiness of the tables design. The pegs that held the table top to the base did not fit the holes tightly. With that much wiggle room and too short of pegs we were concerned that the top if leaned on would tip. We were especially concerned as I knew this piece would be going on a hand carved area rug. To stabilize the top we crafted wooden pegs that went deeper into the peg holes and that fit tightly into each. We then glued the top to the base. The glue could be removed if the client chose to relocate. We fixed the problem which was very clear to us. I was amazed that a manufacturer would produce something that could be of danger to its user. Form MUST follow function in all designs! I can’t image having somebody sit at a table they can’t lean against for fear of being crushed.

As Interior Designers it’s very important that we select and specify products that are safe for our clients to use. We not only are looking at products that are better for our health and the environment, but safety in use. When selecting imports the regulations that American manufacturers are required to follow aren’t the same and this was apparent on the above mentioned table design. Thankfully my skilled Furniture Receivers at the warehouse were able to identify a possible disaster.

While I can appreciate the beauty in the designs of these tables I also fear for the safety of its occupants. The Italians put out some very interesting and unique pieces, yet gravity can be their demise. Hopefully they have perfected this in ways unseen in the photos provided.

Enjoy the following designs for what they are. They may be better suited for a museum.

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Vivid color… April 3, 2011

Filed under: What's innovative! — sarah bernardy-broman @ 12:04 pm
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Elle Decor living room by Sig Bergamin

 

Color, when used correctly can be an awesome thing. The creative use of patterns and textures is always key in the placement of color and the above room from Brazilian Designer Sig Bergamin does that and more. I pulled this image from Elle Decor’s online portfolio, but have had this article, Wild At Heart from their Dec/Jan 2011 issue, laying open on my desk for weeks now. This room has a wonderful energy about it that I just can’t put away.

 

Country French meets Asian… March 13, 2011

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This project is continued from my December 30th posting called “Just in…Custom Asian Inspired Dining Table and More.” We just completed this project on Thursday, where we hung all of my clients existing artwork and installed some custom floral arrangements. We had a slight delay with the custom sofa delivery due to a defect with the original fabric, so it was wonderful to see everything finally put together.

With careful editing and thoughtful planning we were able to create a luxurious space using much of my clients existing furnishings, artwork, and accessories. All of the upholstery we used from her previous home was updated with new fabrics, giving new life to each piece and a modern touch, thus allowing us to create a cohesive space within her two room apartment.

In the living room we developed a plan that divides the kitchen from the rest of the space by installing a custom built-in bookshelf. This not only defines the space, but allows my client to showcase her important treasures. The bookcase adds elegance and a more natural divide, so that when sitting in the living room you don’t focus on the kitchen appliances. The only new furnishings added to this space were the Asian inspired dining table with French chairs, metal and glass cocktail table, the camel back sofa, buit-in bookshelf, and window valance; everything else was brought by my client from her former home, which made the transition from the West Coast to Minnesota much more comfortable for her.

In the Master Bedroom, I designed the full-size headboard and upholstered it in a solid green cotton sateen, which we repeated on the bedskirt. I found the duvet cover at Bloomingdales and had my drapery workroom custom fit it to the bed. The soft creme of the duvet makes the transition from the living room to the bedroom flow smoothly. The creme of the soft valance echos the bedcover and balances the space. We chose a soft green for the walls and continued this same color into the master bath. To pop the bed, we used richly colored pillows, a yellow floral from Lee Jofa on the shams and a green/gold/pink trellis fabric for the center pillow is highlighted with a hot pink silk welt. All of the pillow colors are found in the corner chair fabric, which is a beautiful gold brocade mini floral from Schumacher.

 

Tis the season for Outdoor Furniture… February 9, 2011

Filed under: Fabrics,Furniture — sarah bernardy-broman @ 12:59 pm
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If you live in Minnesota or other areas of the country that are getting hit with huge amounts of snow this year, then you are probably not thinking about going out and buying all new patio furniture. My advice is to not wait until you’ve dusted off the patio/deck to go and “test sit” potential pieces.  Now is the time to prepare for the warm months ahead! Yes, in the luxury market of outdoor furniture it can take 4-8 weeks for your custom ordered pieces to arrive, so buying now will mean it’s available when the warm weather hits.

Some products to look at now and get your ideas flowing…

Outdoor fabrics are more beautiful than ever before. Manufacturers have really stepped up the design options. Solids and stripes are still very common, but leopard prints and a variety of botanicals are really taking the spotlight. So many color palettes to choose from! Check out this link from Windward Design Group’s outdoor fabric collection to get your inspiration started: http://windwarddesigngroup.com/products/fabrics-and-trims.html

Donghia has a line of outdoor furnishings by Weatherend Furniture – a manufacturer out of Maine. Check out this link to see one of their chairs displayed in a fuchsia fabric. I love the way they contrasted the welt on the cushions. It’s a very Designer way to make your look more custom: http://donghiaoutdoor.com/products/10

Century Furniture is not only a leading brand in Upholstery and Case goods for the interior of your home, but a few years back they introduced their own line of outdoor furnishings. One of their leading Designers, Oscar De La Renta, works his magic in the line of outdoor furnishings he created for them. I’ve highlighted a few of his pieces below along with some other leading lines in outdoor furnishings.

 

February deals… February 7, 2011

International Market Square (IMS) is Minnesota’s center for Design products including custom home furnishings, lighting, accessories, tile, area rugs, fabrics, and wallcoverings available only To The Trade. These IMS showrooms showcase luxury brands not available to the general public or through most retailers. 

The start of the year can be a good time for you to look for closeout deals in furnishings. IMS Showrooms and their manufactures look to highlight new products previously shown at Fall Market and therefore need to make space for these special pieces by getting rid of last season goods. Luxury furnishings available as shown doesn’t fit everyone’s design needs, but if you have a plan for what you need then it could be added reason to buy. To top off the great deals on showroom floor items, many manufactures are kicking off the new year with a steeper discount on special order items as well. Industry professionals such as myself are your ticket to International Market Square’s vast array of specialty showrooms. I’d be happy to guide you through the showrooms to find that specialty item you’ve been looking for. Call me today to schedule an appointment! Follow the link below to reach me by phone or email: http://www.sarahbernardydesign.com/contact.php

 

Nature inspired home furnishings… November 5, 2010

Most everything we do in design is inspired by our surroundings. Nature plays a big part in both fashion and interior design. Here are some great finds to help you bring the outdoors in. From wallcoverings to fabrics and furnishings let nature be your guide.

 

The color red… February 25, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — sarah bernardy-broman @ 2:25 pm
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Red can be a very important color in a room if used correctly. It can also be overpowering, especially if the color is off from the rest of the pieces in the room that need to play off of it. I like using red as an accent rather than having it boldly thrown in your face. Bounce it around the room in various small pieces to balance the space.—Think pillows, Drapery panels, lamp bases, colors in your artwork or area rugs, a mirror frame or single piece of furniture such as a chest, cocktail table, or chair.

If bold is what you seek, accent the red walls with black painted trim and various accessories throughout the room. This will give your eye that negative space it needs and is a very dramatic effect that can look very sexy or moody in a space—especially great in powder rooms or home libraries/offices; imagine all that black enameled cabinetry with a high gloss finish against deep red walls! Yum!

Above are images I collected from magazines over the years. Just a few examples of how you can work red into your homes interior.