My Design School Grand Finale

If you read my blog regularly, then you’re probably wondering where I’ve been. Well, it’s been a bit crazy finishing up my interior design program, but the great news is that I’m done! So I’m bound and determined to get back to blogging regularly again. And to read a book. And to do some yoga. But definitely the blog!

In case your curious about what exactly I’ve been doing in these all-consuming classes of mine, here I’m sharing my final project in my final class in the program, sort of my design school grand finale. The challenge was to design a conceptual three-story live/work unit inspired by the designs of both an architect and a fashion designer. In my case, I chose two people whose designs I feel compliment each other: Daniel Libeskind (architect) and Prabal Gurung (fashion designer). Here’s a photo of my inspiration board:

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I would not say this is generally the style I gravitate toward in my own daily life but that’s exactly why I was so excited by the pairing of these two artists. What I really like about them both is each of their use of geometric shapes to create battling senses of symmetry and asymmetry, as well as the ways in which each of them use contrast to accentuate their designs. In the case of Daniel Libeskind, I was especially inspired by his combining of the old and the new in some of his projects. Often the shapes he uses in his architecture resemble a crystal or iceberg protruding from an otherwise symmetrical, grounded structure.

All of us in the class were given the same 3-story space to work within, assumed to be one unit in multi-unit building. We were given a program which included requirements like the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, offices, and common areas. After that, we were free to explore our design concepts in whatever way we chose. I knew I would need to add a Libeskind-esque iceberg-like element to the structure, and chose to do this by way of a skylight.
Exterior View

Below are four section-views (imagine cutting an apple in half, top to bottom, and looking at a perfect dissection of the inside). You can see furniture placement, materials, and the arrangement of the rooms within the space. Architecturally, I played a lot with the geometry of the walls. I wanted one cohesive set of geometry to pass through the entire space, which I used as the walls dividing each of the rooms. I wanted a person to be able to walk into the space and fully experience that geometry, not just see it visually. With that, I also wanted the overall space to feel very open, so I created a couple of double-height spaces; one is in the kitchen, which is open to the dining room above, and the other is in the living room which is open to the floor above, and then to the skylight beyond that. Section A color Section B color Section C color Section DThe first floor is essentially the “public” space and contains two offices, a common work/collaboration area, a powder room and the kitchen. The common work area also opens to the patio.
Floor Plan Level 1 The lighting is meant to be both functional and aesthetic, and includes a series of custom fluorescents inspired by Libeskind’s designs inset into the ceiling, as well as down-lights and wall-washers to highlight the entrance and the surrounding geometry on the adjacent walls.RCP Level 1

I chose a combination of geometric and industrial furniture furniture that compliment the style of Gurung’s and Libeskind’s designs while also creating a unique look that felt distinctly mine. On my materials board, I showed these as well as my custom design for desks for the offices. Throughout the design I dropped in elements of copper to brighten the look and feel of the color palette rooted in dark grays, champagnes, and whites. Finishes shown here include the carpet tile used in the private offices, paint colors for the non-sculpted walls, fabric used on the office guest chairs, a representation of the copper elements, and the kitchen cabinets, counter tops, and back splashes.DSCN5412

A rendering shows the entrance to the work-level of the unit. Notice the lighting on the ceiling and the shadows created by lighting on the walls at the entryway.
Render Floor 1

The second floor is the semi-private area, where the occupant would lounge and entertain. There is also a guest room and full guest bathroom on this level. Because I value a separation of work and home life, I designed the location of the kitchen (just below and open to the dining room) to be easily accessed from either the public work area or the semi private area without having to connect them. So if it’s a Saturday and you’re “off duty” you wouldn’t have to go through the office to get to the kitchen, and similarly you can heat up your lunch during the week without having to go “home” to do so. Also there is an additional entrance to this level so you can lock the doors to the office on the weekends and your cocktail guests can arrive directly to the party on the second floor.Floor Plan Level 2 The lighting here has the same goal as on the first floor, using similar fluorescents, down lights, and wall-washers.RCP Level 2

This materials board hightlights both the furnishings chosen for the dining and living areas as well as the typical finishes used throughout the entire three-story unit. You can see images of Libeskinds lighting and furniture design that inspired the lighting and furniture designs throughout the space. All the common area spaces are designed with polished concrete floors, and the sculpted walls are finished with a gray-washed wood finish. (This same wood color is also used for bedroom flooring.) Other finishes shown here include fabric for the custom Libeskind-inspired sofas, sheer drapery fabric, and paint colors for the non-sculpted walls.DSCN5413This rendering highlights the living room area of the second floor, and shows that it is open to above, with a chandelier hanging through the two stories.Render Floor 2Finally, the third floor is the private area consisting of two master suites connected by a landing which overlooks the living room below.
Floor Plan Level 3 Again, the lighting here has the same goals, but also includes bedside sconces and general ceiling lighting in the bedrooms that will be softer and warmer than the typical fluorescent lights used in the more open areas. Since the two-story chandelier would need to hang from the same location as the skylight, There will be a designed series of tension wires, one of which would deliver electricity to the chandelier hanging from the center of the skylight. This provides a practical solution with a designed execution.RCP Level 3

This is my favorite of the three materials boards, and includes bedroom furniture (my favorite is the upholstered leather bed) and fabrics for the bedding and lounge chair. You’ll have to take my word for it, but they are the kind of fabrics you just can’t resist touching! And the bathroom is intended to be high contrast, using black hexagonal floor tiles, a black and metallic geometric wall covering, and white marble on the counter tops and at the wall behind the tub.DSCN5414This rendering shows your view as you have arrived at the top of the stairs on the landing. There is one minimal railing to keep you from stepping off the edge. Clearly there are all sorts of building and safety codes that would not allow this to be built quite like this, but that’s why it’s so important to have an outlet (class) to explore conceptual ideas without restriction.Render Floor 3

In the end I had eight full presentation boards, plus an architectural model made from foam core, chip board, bass wood, and sheets of clear acrylic (below).IMG_0220 IMG_0221 IMG_0222 IMG_0223<big sigh of relief> And there it is! It took many hours of work to complete: finding materials and furniture, sorting out how these crazy shaped walls were going to work, and executing a cohesive presentation with all the documents to clearly express my design. But overall I had a lot of fun working on it!

What do you think? I’d love to hear!

My Favorites from the 2014 Dwell on Design Event

Last weekend, Dwell was in town at the LA Convention Center, showing off the latest in home decor trends. I’ve been meaning to see this show for several years, and somehow there’s always something unexpected that gets in the way. Well this year, I was lucky enough to finally make it there with a coworker… a little work research, so to speak. Here are a few of my favorite things from the show.

This was one of the first booths we saw there, VIT. I just love the colorful modern glazed finish on such organic shapes.
DSCN5058Vertex Design Studios had some fantastic concrete-made decor.DSCN5069 These pendant lights were my favorite!DSCN5070 Cerno is a local company that designs and manufactures lights. I just loved their use of wood, and take a look at this incredible large-scale cantilevered lamp in the foreground. I love its angles, and it was big enough to just walk right under!DSCN5099 Being an interior designer on a student budget can be frustrating sometimes, so I’m always super excited to find low-budget good-design ideas. There were two booths there that got me excited for low-budget design solutions. The first was Stikwood.DSCN5107 Stikwood is a wood plank product with a sticky back, so you can literally peel and stick the stuff to whatever your heart desires! I think it wood be fantastic for a wall-covering or ceiling treatment. You could also use it as a make-shift headboard, or even stick it to the face of some simple Ikea furniture pieces.DSCN5108 DSCN5111

And speaking of Ikea, this company has a brilliant Ikea-hack business model. Semihandmade makes doors for Ikea cabinets. From the looks of it they are only a little it more expensive than Ikea doors, but significantly more aesthetically pleasing. Here’s your chance to have unique kitchen cabinet facing on an Ikea budget.DSCN5208 DSCN5209 DSCN5210 I’ve been falling increasingly in love with Loll outdoor furniture, so I was happy to take a look at their line in person. They make durable outdoor furniture out of recycled plastic.DSCN5113 DSCN5114 DSCN5115 This display totally tickled my fancy. Wouldn’t you just love to go camping with this!?DSCN5119 DSCN5120 DSCN5121 Clei had several great small-space solutions: everything from your standard murphy bed to desks that fold down into beds. This queen size bed was fun to see transformed into more storage space.DSCN5129 DSCN5130 DSCN5131 DSCN5132 I thought this chair by Sitskie looked like such a cool design, but I didn’t fully understand until I sat down on it. Each little piece of wood you see here moves, allowing the chair to form to your body. I have never sat in a wooden chair so comfortable as this one!DSCN5135These side tables from Karabachian Design are modern and simple, but the dip-died legs make the piece. I always love a surprise pop of color.DSCN5191There were a variety of modular and pre-fab homes on display there, which I was most excited to explore. I’ve been hearing a lot about some of the really cool architecture and design that’s happening in pre-fab homes so I loved seeing them in person. This is a scale model of a modular home called the Pinwheel series. This was an incredibly elaborate, perfectly hand-crafted model.
DSCN5143 DSCN5144 I mean, look at the miniature lamp!! DSCN5145 This prefab home by Altius was my favorite exterior of the homes on display. DSCN5148

Wheel Haus had a creative set up. This is more like a mobile home in that it is literally on wheels and just needs to be plugged into the utilities and you’re all ready to go! But look and the awesome, huge overhang over the porch. DSCN5167 And I just loved the wood plank ceilings. This feels nothing like your stereotypical mobile home.DSCN5165 DSCN5162 This 3-bedroom/1-bathroom house by Living Homes was by far my favorite prefab home on display. Its layout was well thought out, the finishes inside were top notch, and even the decor of the model made it easy to get a feeling of what it would be like to live there.DSCN5168

The people wandering through even looked at home inside. DSCN5169 DSCN5179DSCN5171 DSCN5172 DSCN5174 DSCN5180I’m so glad I was finally able to make it to Dwell on Design this year. It really got my creative wheels turning!

Which one is your favorite?

Lighting at the Las Vegas Market 2014: Light Up Your Life

To round out my review of some of the awesomefurnishings and home decor items I saw at the Las Vegas Market, let’s talk about lighting. Lighting can be functional: It can give you vision in an otherwise dark room; It can provide an ideal reading spot; It can help you see your food and friends at the dinner table. But lighting can also be decorative, beautiful and exciting. An interesting lamp can completely change the look of a room, and a unique chandelier can be the centerpiece of a space. So here is a collection of interesting lighting that I hope will inspire you.

This chandelier is part modern sculpture, part theatrical marquis. It could be really interesting in a large, open loft space.

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This is kind of a more organic version of the light above. I love the little globes around each tiny light bulb.LVMarket2014_141 These pendant lights remind me of fireworks! I love this whole vignette, with the firework-like pendant lights reflected in the mirrors on the wall behind, both in literal reflection and in similar shapes.LVMarket2014_133These pendant lights are also firework-like, but much more mid century modern. They’re striking and sophisticated, but still very playful.LVMarket2014_170Probably the most interesting use of these antler-shapes that I’ve seen.

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This task light is a little modern, a little art deco. Kind of reminds me of the Rocketeer!
LVMarket2014_143 I love these little table lamps, and especially that they come in a variety of colors!LVMarket2014_165 These are also great little lamps. Notice the inverted, open design of the one in the middle.LVMarket2014_172On a more traditional note, I do love this style of light as well. The combination of polished metal and linen shade are very sophisticated. This could be a great light for a formal dining room.LVMarket2014_167 I like this one as well, maybe for a living room. (I’m considering it for my own!)LVMarket2014_180 This light immediately caught my attention when I walked into this showroom. Such an interesting use of the organic tree branch shapes. I love that the branches are bright gold.

LVMarket2014_181 And this one is like fabulous jewelry for your lighting. Talk about making your lighting the central piece of a room!LVMarket2014_186

I hope you enjoyed seeing some of my favorites from the Las Vegas Market. Next week, one of my favorite shops to visit in New York’s SoHo.

Furniture of the Las Vegas Market 2014: Things and Places to Put Them

Since I came across so many things I loved at the Las Vegas Market, and I didn’t want to cram them all into one post (because who has the time to read a post that long) today I’m featuring furniture (not seating) and accessories.

The first showroom we wandered into was full of Jonathan Adler accessories. (We even saw a few items that were used in our hotel rooms at the Cosmopolitan.) I love these modern interpretations of some of our favorite animals.

LVMarket2014_003 I am a total sucker for anything made with natural wood grain on display for all to see. This is a great dining room table for spaces on the smaller side.LVMarket2014_004Speaking of natural wood grain, this showroom was full of it. And they took it one step further: a lot of the pieces here had one or two edges that looked as though someone had sliced a tree and left a side unfinished. I loved this detail about these tables.LVMarket2014_009 They also used these little butterfly notches in all their tables, which doubled as structural reinforcement and aesthetic design detail.LVMarket2014_010 I think this chair is so interesting and organic looking. Probably not the most comfortable, but definitely a conversation piece worth having in the right space.LVMarket2014_011 These are paper! Not cut to look like this, just made like this. The showroom rep suggested them as room dividers or artwork. Very cool.LVMarket2014_013 LVMarket2014_014How about these books carved from wood? They don’t open, but would still look awesome on display in a living room or home office.
LVMarket2014_018 These sculptures are great modern pieces for a mantle or large bookcase.LVMarket2014_020 More accessories to love, especially the combination of white and gold in the shelves on the left. And don’t you just love that rhinoceros pillow on the right?LVMarket2014_028 Sometimes it’s the simple things done well that get me excited. I thought this grouping of pillows was a well curated collection of shapes and patterns.LVMarket2014_030 Cow hide? No, it’s wood! So striking, I love the high contrast wood grain.LVMarket2014_036 This photo does not do this table justice. It is a shimmery silvery metallic with some kind of layer of acrylic over top. It felt like it would be very durable, yet it looks so delicate.LVMarket2014_047 This credenza is so unique, with metal sliding doors and circular handles the best part is in the next photo…LVMarket2014_052Just look at the texture! This material covered the frame on all sides.
LVMarket2014_053 This is more or less the headboard I want in my bedroom at home. (Hopefully soon!)LVMarket2014_068 There were a few vignettes I really enjoyed at the Market, like this one. It just looks so cozy. Again with my love for natural wood grains, and the unexpected use of chrome I mentioned last week.LVMarket2014_089 This combination of wood and lacquer is really interesting, and actually reminded me of a wood and marble cheeseboard my sister gave me for Christmas.LVMarket2014_091 What a great outdoor dining solution for a small space, like many of the small gardens and patios here in LA. The benches mimic the pattern on the table top, and they tuck under the table perfectly like puzzle pieces.LVMarket2014_094I LOVE this bold area rug!! Now, where can I put it?LVMarket2014_097 Another fun vignette, at the entrance to the Jaipur rug showroom.LVMarket2014_099 These plants may all be fake, but lent plenty of inspiration for the real thing. I would love to have a little collection of these hanging planters, maybe with some air plants or succulents.LVMarket2014_100 Books at an angle are so much more interesting than books straight up and down!LVMarket2014_112 This tree trunk stool looks like it would be surprisingly comfortable.LVMarket2014_118

This media cabinet is so pretty. The shape is definitely a little mid century modern. But there’s also an element of unfinished or reclaimed wood on the left, and beautiful finished natural wood grain patterns on the right.LVMarket2014_153 So, I did a double-take on this one. It is literally made entirely of carved marble! I’m guessing it is incredibly heavy to transport.LVMarket2014_188 A little glamour for the bedroom. I love the gold star knobs and the combination of te dark wood frame and white drawers. LVMarket2014_190Next week it’s all about lighting, so stay tuned! 

What was your favorite piece this week? What were you surprised by?

 

 

Furniture of the Las Vegas Market 2014: Pretty Places to Rest Your Bum

Last week, I had the pleasure of heading to the Las Vegas Market with my co-workers to see the latest in furnishings and home decor. This was my first trip to the Market, and it was enormous! There was so much to see, and admittedly we barely scratched the surface. With our limited time there we had to be strategic and mainly focused on the vendors and manufacturers we use frequently, with the goal of seeing what’s new this year. Since there was so much to see, and so much I want to share with you, I’ll spit it up into three posts. This week, the focus is on seating. Here are some pieces I found unique, interesting, or that I just really liked a lot (in no particular order).

I like the wrap-around metal work on this cozy club chair. Plus, it’s not a huge chair, and since a big city like LA has plenty of small spaces, it’s the perfect size for a space like our little house, or really any of the apartments we’ve lived in here.

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I love the design of the wood on the back of this dining chair, and combined with the exposed screws and bolts holding it together it feels a little like the arts and crafts movement and yet a little bit modern industrial.LVMarket2014_150 This is an industrial take on a mid-century modern classic. The metal prongs on the back of the chair remind me of leather belts.LVMarket2014_146 LVMarket2014_147 Who doesn’t love a good ol’ chesterfield sofa? The leather here looks a little pre-weathered, which I love.LVMarket2014_117

And speaking of chesterfield sofas, is this not a gorgeous interpretation of a classic? We were all dying over how beautiful this sofa is. The leather is gorgeous, the upholstery is perfect, and the lines of the sofa are accented with chrome from one front corner, all along the top of the sofa, and back to the front corner on the other side.The sofa is basically cantilevered over it’s base!LVMarket2014_080I am often a sucker for burlap (despite a mild allergy to it that I discovered after making burlap pillow covers) so I appreciate this combination of a modern wing chair with an upholstered burlap back. And look at how pretty the linen-look of the white fabric on the front is next to the burlap and nail heads!LVMarket2014_113 LVMarket2014_114 Ok, so maybe I wouldn’t put this in my house, and it might not be the coziest chair to curl up with a book on, but isn’t it interesting? A very art-house club chair, deconstructed, as though I’m looking at it with x-ray vision.LVMarket2014_106 A little Danish modern, a  little flying nun, there’s still something really appealing about the curves of this chair. And did you notice it only has 3 legs?LVMarket2014_090 I noticed quite a few vendors at the market combining natural materials with really sleek, silvery modern elements. I think the alligator leather upholstery with the brushed nickel base on this chair is quite striking.LVMarket2014_086 And how about the sweeping lines of chrome on this leather arm chair? I also love the detail of the upholstery seams  on the outside arms framed visually by the chrome frame of the chair.LVMarket2014_082 I saw a few sofas with flanges at the seams, like this one in a kind of foggy gray leather. It’s casual and interesting, but still makes quite a statement. Even though it’s very masculine, I can still envision it in several different kinds of spaces.LVMarket2014_081 This outdoor lounge set has a unique, modern organic feel to it while still being suitable to outdoor wear and tear.LVMarket2014_075 LVMarket2014_076 I thought this club chair was interesting. IAlittle industrial, a little art deco. As you can see, this was not the first time I saw chrome being used to make a statement at the Market.LVMarket2014_067 Sometimes it’s the simple things… I thought these patterned cow-hide ottomans were great!LVMarket2014_057What can I say? I’m a sucker for beautiful wood details, curves, and comfort, all three of which this chair has.LVMarket2014_038This side chair might not be the most unique in the world, but I loved the choice of pattern on the upholstery.
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And in a complete style 180, I found this chair charming, especially with the great choice of color. I love coral.LVMarket2014_183 I feel like I see industrial drafting stools just about everywhere these days, so I found this geometric, modern take on them to be very refreshing, and much more unique.LVMarket2014_137Stay tuned next week for more of my favorites from the Las Vegas Market!

Which of these is your favorite? What do you love about it?

Why I Love Turquoise

I have had turquoise on the brain lately! So today I’d like to share why. Firstly, it’s a fantastic color. Personally I especially love a dark shade of turquoise, but that’s the great thing about it. It looks great in dark or light shades, on walls, furniture, or even smaller accessories to give a room a certain punch. It’s a little blue, a little green, and as I learned after hours of mixing paint during my color theory class, sometimes it takes a bit of orange to create just the right shade. It’s a color that goes well with every other color, and to top it all off it’s a color that comes from nature.

As we were told during our vacation in Turkey, the word “turquoise” originated in Turkey. (Hear the connection?) Here in the US we are most familiar with the mineral turquoise as it pertains to Native American art, but in fact it was first mined by Persians thousands of years ago. And in its most natural form, straight from the earth, it even contains a bit of silver.

So, how to use it in a room? Well, I’m about to do just that. I mentioned on Tuesday that I came up with a plan to redesign my living room for one of my final projects. Well, that plan includes a dark turquoise paint, and I cannot wait. This is similar to the color I plan on using.

I also particularly like this clean, bright use of turquoise.

And this is a great way to incorporate  it if you are a little reserved about using bold colors. This light tint of turquoise is safer to be sure, but still give the effect of using such a wonderful color.

It’s a pretty easy color to find these days too, so I’ve been coming across all sorts of fun patterns and bold shades of dark turquoise. Here are a few fun turquoise accessories you can put in your house if you’re feeling in a turquoise mood.

I love the contrast of the white honeycomb patter on this dark turquoise background. It’s clean and modern, bold but understated.

This one uses the natural colors of peacock feathers as inspiration but still incorporates the blues and greens that make up a good strong shade of turquoise.

For a bigger accent to your room, try a whole piece of turquoise furniture.

Or for a more subtle nod to nature’s color, try a summer set of dishes.

Or some small accessories around the room. Maybe try mixing some turquoise accents among your other favorite colors. It goes with just about anything.

If you want a big display of turquoise but you’re not ready to paint your room yet, maybe a set of turquoise curtains.

And I loved coming across this rug with my favorite color combo, turquoise and orange. In a nod to the Turkish origin of the word, this rug almost looks like the Iznik tiles we saw all over Turkey.

Have a few ideas for turquoise in your home? Tell me about it.

Let’s catch up. I’ve missed you.

Well, it’s been a wild two weeks! Between my awesome new job and final projects for three classes, let’s just say there’s been no time to feel bored. So what have I been up to?

I made a lighting fixture out of birch veneer strips. (It lives in my guest room now.)

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I designed a lighting  plan for a theoretical Downtown LA loft.

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PS. I love these table lamps I used in the lighting layout!

I redesigned my living room. (Stay tuned for a low budget “how-to” living room makeover, with a partial execution of this plan!)

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I created a repeating pattern with gouache paint.

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I finished a full rendering of Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona Pavilion.

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And I bought an awesome second-hand drafting table. After a little elbow grease it’s as good as new! I’ll be spending the better part of the next three month at this set up.

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I’m looking forward to getting back to regular blogging again. I’ve missed you! Have you missed me?

Happy Tuesday, Anecdote Lovers!

Happy Tuesday everyone, and I hope you all had a great Labor Day weekend! I just wanted to post a quick update. For the first time since I started this blog, I am taking a short hiatus while I finish up my final projects for the summer quarter. I miss writing, and finding new adventures to write about! But I promise to be back in two weeks with new anecdotes.

Here’s a peek at one of the projects I’ve been working on. Enjoy!

Handmade Lighting Fixture

Pendant light made from birch veneer and copper wire.

Dinner at Terroni, Downtown LA

Several of our favorite dinner experiences in LA have been at the Terroni in the Fairfax district, near West Hollywood. It is well designed, has an intimate atmosphere, the service is always great, and I’ve never eaten anything there I didn’t love. Admittedly those favorite dinners also included some of our favorite people, but we always had a blast and felt inclined to stay for an extended dinner and plenty of great wine. So when we heard they were opening a location in Downtown LA (closer to where we live now), we kept an eye on its progress. We finally went there this weekend to check it out, and I was particularly excited to see the interior design after seeing some teaser photos during construction.
DSCN3526 The downtown Terroni is located at 8th and Spring, in the old National City Bank building. Above the restaurant are some loft apartments, part of the gentrification that we’ve been seeing downtown over the past six years or so.DSCN3525 DSCN3524 When we first walked in, straight ahead was this awesome bar. Comfortable seats, slick, moody overhead pendant lamps, and highly designed wood set the tone. Especially striking was the under counter lighting that highlighted the texture of the wood on the bar.DSCN3522 Around the bar were plenty of bar-style place settings. It felt like an updated version of the Terroni we have grown so familiar with, and I could just imagine this space packed with people eating, drinking, and laughing the night away. But it was right about then that I realized it was 7:30 and the place was nowhere near to becoming packed. I know that’s early for dinner for some folks, but usually we find that’s prime dining time at most of our favorite places, so we always make a reservation to eat at that time of night.  I was surprised not to see more people there.DSCN3523 I loved this striking modern chandelier, set over a large table right by the window (presumably so it can also be seen from outside).DSCN3521 The hostess walked us around to the other side of the bar, where the larger dining room was located. Immediately I was loving all the original architectural details that they not only kept, but accentuated.DSCN3519 My favorite bit of history was the ornamentation on the ceiling, just the kind of thing you would see on an LA Conservancy tour. And I loved that they were still able to include the modern sculptural design and red accents that play into Terroni’s Italian theme.DSCN3513The space was equipped with huge arched windows, another original architectural detail they embraced in designing this space. I loved the way the space looked. But after we were seated, I noticed that something didn’t quite feel right. I think a big part of it was that when we first arrived, the sun was still making its way down, so there was a significant amount of natural light spilling into the huge windows. The space was so open that, combined with the daylight and the booth-style seating throughout most of the dining area, there was something reminiscent of a food court or franchise restaurant. Also, all the walls were painted white. My personal opinion is that they need to do something to darken the space during daylight to make it feel more intimate. Plus, the service was good but way fast. We went there for a leisurely date night, but instead they had us in and out in 45 minutes. Not exactly the leisurely night out we were hoping for. (We went elsewhere for drinks afterward, because we weren’t ready to end the evening yet!)DSCN3517 The still included their signature projected old black and white Italian movies.DSCN3515 And we were enjoying trying to figure out this map, which was on the wall behind me in the booth. We think it’s some sort of recipe map.DSCN3516 And my husband the foodie is always a fan of an open kitchen, so he can watch the bustle behind the scenes. I was loving that they had continued the awesome wood pattern and under counter lighting here from the front bar.DSCN3514 As we were leaving, feeling a bit rushed out to be honest, we happened by this back room. Now, this is the environment we were hoping for. Intimate but modern, and the kind of place you could really take your time chatting over a glass (or three) of wine. Unfortunately this room is reserved for large parties only, but I really wanted to have dinner there. Who knows, maybe I’ll have a birthday party there or something sometime. (Although admittedly for a smaller, intimate dinner with my husband or just a couple friends, I probably won’t go back here. I will stay loyal to my Terroni on Beverly and Fairfax.) To me, this is a fantastic restaurant environment, which I would have loved to see continued throughout the whole space.DSCN3520

What makes a successful dining environment for you?

This Week I Loved…

Reliving our hot air balloon ride in Turkey.Cappadocia096A bill-free day of mail.
1092076_10100582355317315_1430268217_oMy first big install with the designers at work, and these awesome pillows I found for it.1237758_10100586898432875_372879956_o Turquoise and Rose-Violet.1021023_10100582714098315_1416184951_o This week’s Color Theory class project using 6 random colors and abstract shapes of our choice.

1070135_10100583045778625_49520087_oAnd rewatching The Great Gatsby.