Everyone loves a good makeover story, and I’m certainly no exception, which is why I’ve been so tickled with what we accomplished in a recent Queens renovation. Motivated by one goal – warm up the client to an apartment he felt rather chilly towards – we set about maintaining a modest budget while not scrimping on the design details. After receiving high contract quotes previously, Henry was under the impression that he’d have to do minor aesthetic changes and could choose one point of focus for a major overhaul, either the bath or the kitchen, despite the fact that both were in desperate need of sprucing up. Thankfully however, by playing with a mix of high and low (Ikea cabinetry married with porcelain floors, an Overstock faucet paired with a luxe glass tile backsplash) we were able to complete both renovations within the targeted budget. Not to mention the installation of new window treatments, a fresh coat of paint, and new light fixtures – all of which resulted in a tremendous change in the apartment.
And after only two months of (tough) work, Henry now feels much better about spending time inside his home. For more pictures of this transformation, including some nifty before shots, click here, or visit the Portfolio page.
Over the holidays, a friend whose renovating his upstate house asked if I knew of Roy McMakin. Without hesitation I said yes, but then I realized, I’ve sort of forgotten all about him in recent years. A Seattle-based artist, designer and furniture maker, McMakin also helms Domestic Architecture. Yet another incredible West Coast talent that doesn’t get nearly enough exposure here on the East, McMakin’s use of color and scale thoroughly inspires. If you like the above shot and want to see more, click here, or visit the Inspired Ideas page. I’m already feeling reinvigorated after rediscovering his work and hope to find a client in 2012 willing to paint their fence green. Any takers?
A couple of months ago I attended a lecture moderated by my former boss, the brilliant Michael Wollaeger. In conjunction with the Decoration and Design Building, Michael had invited a couple of designers published in his magazine, Interiors, to discuss their featured projects. I learned a lot that day; it’s fascinating to listen to incredibly talented people discuss their methods and thought processes. One of the most captivating aspects was Vincente Wolf’s thoughts affordable art. A mega-collector, Wolf spoke of the beauty in children’s drawings and in converting unusual objects into sculpture.
The above shows the foyer he designed. Pictured at right stand two Dogon ladders. An ethnic subgroup that reside in central Mali, the Dogon are known for many things, including stunning cliff-side architecture and wood carvings. When mounted, the everyday ladders they use to access their homes become beautiful, simple works of art. I’ve currently been working with a socially responsible gallery in Boston, the Hamill Gallery, to acquire two for a Westchester project. I truly can’t wait to see how they transform the space.
When measuring, drapery designers always ask whether shades will be mounted inside or outside of the frames. I opt for inside as it seems the most modern and clean of the solutions. Then I saw this image from UK’s House and Garden and realized that perhaps I’ve been incorrect. Designed by Leroy Street Studio – one of my very favorite architectural firms – and a British-based interior designer whose information I have yet to track down, the home is a brilliant mix of textures and materials. While the window design fits with the contemporary aesthetic, the woven roller shades look modern and luxurious outside mounted, so much so that I can’t imagine them any other way. I’m very excited by this revelation and can’t wait to incorporate the same style into a Westchester project I’m currently developing. It will be the perfect solution too marry very contemporary (and luxe) living room furnishings with very traditional Cape Cod architecture.
Gratuitous plug: Here’s an article I wrote for HC&G several years ago about another incredible Leroy Street Studio project. (toot toot)
After visiting my client’s Brooklyn Heights apartment for the first time, I was shocked. Never before had I met a non-designer with such a wealth of knowledge about trade fabrics and resources. A young mother of two, she already had nearly everything picked out, but simply needed some assistance with the implementation. Essentially, I acted as a design contractor and recommended as well as supervised a roster of artisans (painters, upholsterers, wallpaper hangers, vintage furniture dealers) and helped source some key pieces (ottoman, dining chairs, a desk stool, sofa fabric).
Together we were able to bring the apartment together in remarkably little time and while the family was away I supervised the majority of the construction/installation. However, the credit for the eclectic and colorful space truly belongs to my client and her strong sense of style. It was her vision to work with bold palettes and patterns, I simply offered encouragement and practical solutions as needed. To see more of this vibrant creation click here, visit the Portfolio page or check out Jami Supsic Designs new Facebook page.
Currently I’m designing a black, white and red nursery for the sweetest, creative, most out of the box couple. While they’re practical when it comes to sourcing durable, sturdy, timeless materials, they love to think bold and unique when it comes to color (yay!). To that end we’re wallpapering a section of the room in a vibrant red pattern from Marimekko, but I wanted the remaining walls to be a little calmer while maintaining the scheme. To fight boring white walls I thought “add black molding”. But two seconds later I wondered: “Do people do black molding? What if it looks tragically wrong?” So I googled “black crown molding” and voila! The above image from a Brian J McCarthy’s project popped up and I love it. Problem solved! Thanks you Mr. McCarthy! This nursery will have super chic black trim and I couldn’t be more excited about it.
Recently I completed my most challenging and rewarding project to-date. Located in downtown Manhattan, the apartment, a pied-a-terre for an amazing, kind, trusting, Australian couple with impeccable taste, is now for rent (quite the unexpected twist!). They’ve returned home and are offering the place, beautifully furnished of course, for either short or long term leases. If you’re interested, email me and I’ll happily provide the details.
Miraculously Alice and Danny found this blog from all the way across the world and hired me right after our first Skype conversation, which is something I’ll never get over. You also think it’s something that would inspire me to update the blog more regularly, but I digress……
Purchased as an investment for the future (they hope to live here for extended periods in the next few years) Alice and Danny wanted to create a beautiful, eclectic, serene environment from what was basically an entirely blank canvas. Start to finish this apartment was truly a labor of love and trust and lots and lots of emails. They actually saw very little in person until arriving.
Right from the start, they were incredibly supportive of local craftsman and artists, whom we involved whenever possible and some of whom I’m going to give a special shout out to…right, now. First and foremost, the space would not be the same without the hard work and dedication of my contractor and electrician, Ivan Lockett. Ivan – you rock. It was a thrill to finally collaborate with Shanan Campanaro and to incorporate her AMAZING wallpaper collection Eskayel, into a project. Alice and Danny absolutely fell in love with her talent and the designs, all of which come from paintings she creates in her Williamsburg studio. I also have an abundance of thanks to direct at Jay Kiecolt-Wahl of Bushwick’s Plumbline Custom Furniture. Jay brilliantly crafted a custom desk and media cabinet that were vital to the project as they really brought everything together. The collaboration was not easy (I can be particular), but I love them and he crafted both flawlessly. Other artists include: Brian Volk-Zimmerman, whose 7 Drawer Miniature Chest stands proudly in the corner; Eric Slayton whose concrete bench is truly a work of sculpture; Doban Architecture’s walnut mirror in the entry and Fort Standard’s walnut floor mirror, which we mounted above the dining room table.
See it all for yourself by clicking here or by visiting the Portfolio page. And let me know what you think!