A conference room dedicated to women

Finally, I have some photos of my latest commercial project to share with you! I had the pleasure to work with the American Pharmacists Association in Washington DC on the Women in Pharmacy Conference Room. It is a special place at the APhA’s beautiful headquarters in downtown DC dedicated to the women who significantly contributed to the profession of pharmacy in the USA.

Floral motive on the glass partition and the family tree is inspired by the cherry blossoms native to the Washington mall located just outside of the APhA headquarters by the Lincoln Memorial.

I tried to be sensitive to the contemporary design of the building and its green principles – I selected materials that are environmentally friendly and mostly made in America.

We present our selection of five great tables on the market!

One of my recent projects took me to a few local stores to carefully inspect their table selection. I did my research and selected five “fearless” tables that met my five basic criteria:
1. To be equally beautiful and practical.

2. To be stable enough to support me when I want to stand on top of it to change a bulb in a light fixture above it.

3. To have a durable surface so that I am not afraid to destroy it by using warm plates and sharp objects on it.

4. To be universal enough to be used both in a dining room or a kitchen. 
5. To have an interesting design that it could stand on its own in an empty room and still be fearlessly beautiful.

Presenting five “fearless” tables:

1. Beautiful and sculptural Cross Extension Table designed by Matthew Hilton, sold by Design Within Reach. Made of a solid oak base and an oak veneer top. The Cross table can go with matching chairs in Scandinavian style or some plain slipcover chairs. $3,500. Available in Oak:
Or in Venge:
2. Beautiful in its simplicity Dakota Table from Crate and Barrel is reduced to a large sanded plank of oak wood based on four smaller planks serving as supports. The European oak has a sophisticated shade of gray achieved by “fuming” – a technique of changing the color of wood without staining. Dakota table can be paired with almost any kind of chairs. Starts from $1,399.

 3. Built from solid French oak the Mendocino Table from Wiliams and Sonoma is modeled after a carpenter’s workbench. The visible mortise-and-tenon joints reveal the honest origins of the table and create interesting accents.
Mendocino table comes in a warm honey-hued hand-rubbed beeswax finish. The table can complement both traditional and contemporary decors. Yours for $2,250.
4. Parsons Reclaimed Russian Oak Dining Table from Restoration Hardware is the ultimate rustic choice. It is handcrafted of solid white oak timbers reclaimed from old buildings in Russia. Free of any ornamentation or finish this simple and honest table can be used best in contemporary interiors filled with metal, glass and plastic finishes. From $2,495.
5. And finally a round option from Mitchell Gold & Bob Williams. The Townsend Table is made of stainless steel and tempered glass. As MG&BW best describe it can be a star without taking over a room. It is perfect for smaller rooms and for apartments, and surprisingly enough it can go both with contemporary and antique furniture pieces. Seats four for $1,370.

The Quest for the Best Chest

While looking for some “feminine” rustic chest options for one of my clients I came across a few nice pieces at the Highpoint furniture market last week. There is a reason why chests sometimes are qualified as accent pieces. Some of them have strong enough character to stand out on their own and create a bold accent in a room. But in today’s market that tries to please everybody it is hard to find a chest that would not have too many things going on at once. Here are some pieces that caught my eye for their clean and honest look:

A Messina chest from Noir could have been my favorite piece with its gentle curves and unusual zinc finish. I kind of liked its exaggerated width even though it made its drawers hard to open. As I said it would be my pick if the construction quality was not so poor. And here is another nice piece:

I was attracted to that plain and simple chest for the very same qualities. Seams like it could go with almost everything still maintaining its own unique style. I could not open its drawers though. It is too bad because I would not want to destroy its nice clean lines with any pulls. This chest on the other hand is screaming for some new pulls:

A set of plain and larger pulls or just some simple round metal or glass pulls would make that piece a winner. I love its weathered wood finish and gentle feminine curves.

Finally, I can’t stop thinking of the Restoration Hardware Directoire chest. There is something very graceful and timeless about that piece. It has such an honest look and perfect proportions. That’s my pick:

A Well Read Table

Here is a creative approach to sustainability. Belgian artist Jens Praet builds limited editions of furniture from shredded magazine and newspaper pages. Praet mixes strips and pieces of paper with resin and let the pulp sit in a mold of his design until it hardens. With bigger pieces like his 6-foot table Praet uses a metal skeleton for stability. The recycled material gives his furniture a unique texture and color. Check out Praet’s work at the Industry Gallery in NE Washington DC. http://industrygallerydc.com/Site/Current.html

Images © Ivo van den Baar and Violetta Markelou

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