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Spring has sprung and for some of you so has your green thumb! For many urban planners, rooftop gardens are a high priority. Not only for their decorative impact, but for their environmental impact as well. Roof gardens can reduce the overall heat absorption of the builiding drastically which in turn could reduce smog and energy consumption. They are also beautiful places to relax and escape from the daily chaos. Like your own little oasis perched high above the city. Even if it's not the rooftop, many condos and apartments in urban settings are creating gorgeous backyard gardens so you don't feel like you're missing out on the green. Here's a few of my favorite rooftop and urban gardens.
This one is truly picture perfect and I can just hear the water running. The bamboo against the exposed brick wall keeps the urban element alive.
So lush and so green. The vertical green wall really wraps around you to seclude you and leaves the sky open for you. I would definitely be gazing at the stars as I lie on those soft cushions and feel the warmth of the outdoor firepit.
The vertical green wall layered with the large potted trees is a great play on scale. The low outdoor seating make this a perfect place to relax with your friends and family.
This is the garden for the one with the green thumb. The built-in planters do a great job of dividing this large rooftop into smaller, more intimate sections.
The wood benches built into the perimeter planters make these rooftops very cozy and the gardening very accessible. I can just imagine the aromas of the fresh herbs and flowers. I'm ready for the rooftop garden parties to begin!
Here's a few great pieces to start furnishing your urban garden with. The natural colors of this palette will really contrast nicely with the bold greens, bright flowers, and natural woods.
1. Outdoor Floor Lamp 2. Outdoor Daybed 3. Zuo Delight Outdoor Dining Chair 4. Slate Fiberclay Ottoman 5. Souzani Circles Outdoor Rug
Images: Home-Designing, Curbed, Urban Style Vibes, Better Homes and Gardens, Remodelista
Yesterday, I introduced you to the fabulous ladies of Avenue Interior Design. If you missed the post, you can catch up here. There's no shortage of talent in this collaborative design team founded by Andrea DeRosa and Ashley Manhan. Their projects consist of a fun range including hospitality, residential, restaurants and night clubs.
Who What Wear Offices, Los Angeles (top three images) opened in April of 2011. This workplace has an open floor plan and looks super stylish. The eclectic combination of modern furniture and decor creates a unique look. The tall gold finish table lamps at every workstation are a nice detail. Here's what the girls had to say about this project:
Andrea/Ashley: Who What Wear is a fun fashion based website and after we were featured in Daily Candy in the spring of 2010, they asked us to design their offices. As you might expect, they were very savvy clients!
The Sayer’s Club, Hollywood, opened in Fall of 2011. The design delivers a chic look, creating a super cool place to hang out and listen to a band jam. The tufted leather sofas add elegance to this trendy hangout and the modern pendant lighting creates a mellow environment.
Andrea/Ashley: SBE Entertainment Group has made a name for itself in Los Angeles as having some of the hottest, most exclusive clubs in LA. Opened in the fall of 2011, the Sayer’s Club is no exception. The overall feel of the club is very relaxed, vintage, hip and industrial.
The Long Bar at the Borgata, Atlantic City opened in June of 2011. The sleek counter tops and textured wall coverings create a stylish place to mingle and relax. Here's what the girls had to say about the custom modern light fixtures developed for this project.
Andrea/Ashley: The client wanted a bar on the property that was modern, clean and casual. Previously, all the places to grab a drink on site where nightclubs or formal restaurants. The chandeliers were custom designed and were constructed of matte, black, acrylic domes with a hand applied gold leaf ‘interior’.
Thanks again to the ladies of Avenue and good luck on all your future projects, which are sure to be amazing!
Images: Avenue Interior Design
Welcome to the workspace of Andrea DeRosa and Ashley Manhan, the two stylish interior designers behind Avenue Interior Design. Individually they have worked at some of the top international design firms, but in 2009 they decided to join forces and build a design firm known for luxury interiors, attention to detail and on-trend style.
I sat down with the ladies of Avenue and we talked about their design upbringing, how they came together and what inspires them. They even gave us some great modern lighting ideas, which is often times one of the hardest stages in a design project. Here's how our conversation went.
Cori: When and how did you fall in love with design?
Andrea: My love of design started with a love of clothes, accessories and fashion in general. I was dressing myself by age six and soon after I started ‘borrowing’ my mom’s accessories…. Eventually this evolved into a love of (what I would later understand to be) interior design.
Ashley: My love for design definitely stemmed from my creative parents. My dad is a set decorator and my mom is a costumer for motion pictures, so I grew up on movie sets, watching creative visions come to life for the big screen. Its hard to not fall in love with design when that’s your childhood.
Cori: What is your design background, school, first design jobs, etc.
Andrea: I studied interior design at UW-Madison and my first design internship was at a firm specializing in (residential) kitchen and bathroom design and eventually I interned at a high end, full service residential design firm for a number of years. Once I moved to LA, I did a brief stint at a couple hospitality firms before landing at Dougall Design Associates in Pasadena.
Ashley: I had always taken art classes growing up and focused on painting and design in high school and college. It was always a goal of mine to get into the field of design as quickly as possible, so I started interning for a hospitality design firm during the day while doing the UCLA interiors program at night. From there I fell in love with designing hotels and worked at Cheryl Rowley Design and finally SBE.
Cori: How did you meet?
Andrea/Ashley: We met at a design firm in Santa Monica back in early 2006.
Cori: What triggered the desire to start your own firm?
Andrea/Ashley: We've both always been interested in having our own firms - something I quickly realized most people don’t want! When the economy slowed and our industry took a dive, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to make the leap. We didn't have too much to lose at that point, so we thought we might as well start building our own brand.
Cori: Where do you find inspiration?
Andrea/Ashley: Fashion continues to be a huge source of inspiration for us. We find inspiration in it all - current and past collections. Historical places and travel in general are also huge sources of inspiration.
Cori: Avenue's list of completed projects is an exciting range, which was your favorite (hotel, nightclub, office space, restaurant) and why?
Andrea/Ashley: That’s so hard! We’re fortunate our portfolio showcases so many styles. Borgata is a great client who often gives us creative carte blanche and we love the VIP dining lounge. The Society Club, that we designed for them (opened in June of last year). The Sayer’s Club, a nightclub we designed with SBE here in LA, was also really fun and it has a completely different feel.
Cori: Your current projects are in different locations (like New York for example), since you guys are based in Venice, California how do you balance travel, work and the creative process?
Andrea/Ashley: Last year was an insane year. We were traveling, on average, one week per month. At the time, the majority of our clients were based in Atlantic City or Manhattan so it worked out well. Constant access to the internet really allowed us to continue work as usual. The creative process is always interesting... you really have to nurture that aspect of the business. It’s so easy to get tied down to the administrative aspects of the job. Luckily, staying creative is the part of the job that comes most naturally.
Cori: Can you tell me a little about your super cool I Heart Design blog?
Andrea/Ashley: I Heart Design is a bit of a blog/designer resource hybrid where we really make home furniture, accessories and lighting the focus of the site. Through IHD we're providing an accessible and immediate service based on our background as design professionals. It starts with an inspiration image, typically a picture of an interior or a mood/fashion image, identify the core elements that make that image intriguing like color, texture, pattern and scale, and select furnishings around that image/mood to create a unique room. Our marketplace acts as a basic search engine where you can view everything we've ever posted (don’t blame us if it’s no longer available. Just click on a piece you like and we directly route you to a retailer's site so you can view the product details and purchase the pieces instantly.
Cori: Now for some design insight. For each project, at what stage do you select lighting?
Andrea/Ashley: Along with the other furnishings, the lighting for a project is selected in the beginning after we establish the client’s programming needs. Lighting can be so dynamic and such a focal feature, it sometimes sets the mood for the entire space.
Cori: What are a couple of your favorites from Eurostyle Lighting?
Andrea: The Vienna Manhattan Wall Sconce from Eurostyle is such a little gem of a piece with just the right amount of glamour.
Vienna Full Spectrum Manhattan Wall Sconce
Andrea: We designed a fixture similar to this Crystal Cloud Suspension Halogen Chandelier, but much larger in scale for one of our projects. Suspension fixtures like this are stunning and have a little bit of a magical feel to them.
Crystal Cloud Suspension Halogen Chandelier
Ashely: The brass and wood accents make this fixture feel very upscale and stylized. We love the mid-century modern feel.
Jonathan Adler Ventana Brass Wall Lamp
Ashley: The classic industrial style of this pendant is perfect for any office space or kitchen.
Hudson Valley Haverhill Polished Nickel Pendant
Stay tuned for Part II of this interview where we'll take a look at some of Avenue's wide range of fun projects.
Image credit: Avenue Interior Design
The Palihotel in Los Angeles is an ideally located urban hotel designed especially to appeal to creative travelers of all ages. Located in the heart of the Melrose Ave. Shopping District in Los Angeles making this the perfect place for the urban traveler to stay. It is also the first boutique hotel to open in this famous area and is sure to become a popular destination to both anyone visiting LA as well as for the locals.
It has the sweet neighborhood charm, like you're walking into a friends house or a local cafe. It's a place you want to be, sit, and stay. The lobby walls are wrapped in cork with deep teal velvet curtains. The rich colors in the vintage oil paintings, the black and white photography, the unique mix of leathers and soft floral fabrics mix with the solid wood reception desk to create layers and layers of stories. You want to touch and feel and be part of this story just upon entering into the space.
PaliKitchen is an easy approachable "local" cafe located right off the lobby and also has convenient street access. The communal style dining area gives you that community feel, like a neighborhood cafe that's been here forever. The green and white hexagon flooring is visually stunning and creates some real positive upbeat energy in this space. The light blue-ish green glazed ceramic tiles cover all the walls and are a great contrast to the natural wood chairs and warm leathers.
The interior design makes you feel like you're ordering your artisan coffees, fine teas, and comfort food straight from the counter at a local main street general store. The industrial pendant lights glow softly on the matching steel countertops. This is the place where hotel guests can mingle with the locals without leaving the hotel. And the locals can mingle with the guests without ever feeling like they are in a hotel. The creative freedom and unconventional vibe make this a dining and gathering point one you'll be sure to come back to over and over again.
The rooms and the lobby are very cohesive in aesthetic. The materials of the lobby are repeated in the rooms to give you a warm, inviting, and relaxing space that feels very lived in. It's not overdone, overstyled, or overdesigned. It's like a perfect guest room in an urban country home that you might have a hard time leaving. But there's so much to do on these streets that there's no way you could really stay inside for long!
The scissor arm sconce and the industrial stool in the guest rooms looks amazing against the cork wall.
With an exterior clad in reclaimed wood with bright green lights, you definitely won't miss it when you drive by. So when you're in LA whether you're coming to stay or just driving by be sure to stop in and say hi. Grab a coffee, do some work, or read a book. This is the perfect spot for the modern urban explorer. It has everything you need and nothing you don't.
Regardless of which coast or state, beach towns are most notable for their laid-back character and the rejuvenating time we spend there. It's somewhere we like to escape for an hour, a day or a weekend while we calmly listen to the ocean, maybe do some boutique shopping or have a casual picnic. Venice, California is no different, but in addition to its easy going style you can also find amazing modern architecture and design.
The Vienna Way residence (top three images) was designed by Marmol Radziner Archtecure. This clean-lined structure sits on a narrow piece of land in Venice, California which is why it was designed to use vertical space as well as the length of the lot. Floor-to-ceiling windows beautifully connect the landscape to the interiors as well as the different sections of the home. The single layer structure is a large room consisting of the entry, formal living and dining, while the double layer structure houses the family room, office and bedrooms. The kitchen is the connector and is distinguished from the rest of the house by sitting a bit lower and framed by a bronze box while the materials for the rest of the house are glass and charcoal gray plaster. To serve as a beautiful contrast, the doors are framed in a honey-tone wood. This house is stunning in every way, inside and out.
The Broadway Residences include four loft-style homes developed by Stephen Vitalich Architects. They were each designed with an open floor plan to give them a loft-style feel. There's a double height living room with a super cool open kitchen/dining room. The interiors of this residence are furnished with lots of personality, including multicolor Mid-Century style dining chairs. The kitchen features simple yet elegant pendant lighting while seamlessly opening up to a patio area. The wood paneling around the entire exterior creates a warm and inviting structure.
This sculptural style home almost seems like an art piece rather than a residence. Designed by Architect Daly Genik, this home was designed to block out the noise from the surrounding neighborhood while maximizing the amount of light and space. Minimal furnishings paired with ceiling-high windows create a very open and relaxing environment. Although minimal, the modern furniture makes a bold statement with clean lines and adventurous colors. The breakfast nook features fun over-sized pendant lighting and opens up to the outdoor patio for lots of natural light.
If you love modern design but have never thought you'd find it at the beach, then you should definitely take a trip to Venice, California. Who knows how many other homes you'll find just as awesome as these three...
Images: 1 Kind Design, Decor DIR, Daily Home Design
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