Work in progress. Putting together an exhibition requires mathematical precision and good attitude. We are always thankful for all the hard work and effort of many people involved in our projects. Thanks to them the final results are astounding! Color scheme, wall finishes, carpeting, window treatment, and exhibition display by Eisemann Design.
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.
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.
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.
How often do we realize that a restaurant we go to for lunch actually has a nice decor?
Do we even see what surrounds our lunch table any more? I think that in today’s fast paced world we tend to just take an hour long break and rush to a lunch place to grab some quick food. We mostly end up having an ok lunch for almost exactly the same price – around $10 per person in the Washington DC area. If the price for a lunch is artificially maintained at the same level no matter the cuisine, why would anybody care to put some extra attention into decor to make a restaurant any different or nicer than the others? So, all the lunch places in the area look more or less the same, lacking personality.
I think it takes away so much from our dining experience. Pushing out local business and growing domination of chain restaurants is part of the reason. That’s why it is important to point out chain restaurants that actually stand out against the crowd and put some extra effort to create a nice ambiance for dining. Nando’s Peri Peri is one of those places.
I have been to the Washington, DC and Silver Spring locations of this international chain. They carry a common African theme presented in contemporary manner yet the decor details are slightly different. The furniture layout is always unique to each place with booths and nice oversize tables that can accommodate larger groups. There are different clay pots with exotic wood limbs. Sculptural pendants create accents and set the mood. Colorful paintings on the walls are original!
I love how the unique flavors of this South African cuisine were translated into the color schemes. Warm shades of reds and oranges used in paint, chairs color or artwork represent a signature spice – Peri Peri (red pepper in Swahili). Bold wall finishes with reach texture (photo below) make me think of an African desert. The food is very tasty, but an interesting and unique decor makes it easy to pass on many other restaurant options in the area and return to Nando’s.
My best design ideas are usually inspired by nature. Today I came back from my local farmer’s market in Silver Spring with delicious fruits and veggies… and also with some fresh paint color ideas.
The paint colors below come from the Infinite Beauty Collection by Mythic – a low VOC, non toxic paint.
Let’s talk wallpaper, and I don’t mean old fashioned overwhelming dark wallpaper that covered entire interior walls of Victorian homes. I mean contemporary wallpaper with funky designs and interesting textures. We don’t want them to cover the whole room any more, we just want a small taste of it, simply to set the mood.
I love using wallpaper on small areas, on accent walls or on those architectural elements that stick out (walls that cover fireplace chimneys) or inside the nooks. Wallpaper draws attention to those bumps or hollows in the walls and give them new significance and character.
I like the wallpaper with repetitive patterns in particular. They cannot be produced by faux painting as the repetition requires absolute precision. The wallpaper shown below and hand made by an English based company (www.handmadewallpaper.co.uk) is inspired by graphic art and printmaking.
The black pattern on white background looks sharp covering an accent wall while the other walls remain white. It could work both with sleek contemporary furniture and in more traditional homes filled with antiques. The wallpaper by Dunford Wood below shows another version of an iconic chevron pattern. It works great in small areas like narrow hallways, staircases or powder rooms. Warm and faded color creates an interesting background both for antique and more contemporary furniture.
If your room is in a desperate need of color you may want to get a roll of two of this beautiful wallpaper hand made by the Paris based company Minakani (shown below). I would use it only as an accent on one wall or inside a nook. It can be used in residential and commercial settings adding warmth and interest to any area with no need for further accessorizing.
Commercial spaces are great to test some more funky wall coverings. This textured wallpaper by British company Beware-The-Moon features a repetitive golden Ostrich pattern on a navy blue background. It adds warmth and interest to a restaurant setting.
Another textured wallpaper by the same boutique company features a velvet skull pattern on the oil slick background.
Hand made wallpaper can also come in eco-friendly additions that are perfect for kids rooms. This non-toxic wallpaper by Paperboy is inspired by the ancient art of shadow puppetry and features screen printed animal shapes.
Cherry petal shaped paper boxes by artist Denise Sharp
Cherry Blossom Bedding Collection from Restoration Hardware
Chocolate cake sprinkled with blossoms by Martha Stewart.com – yummy!