02/07/2015 § Leave a comment
There are many many talented designers and architects practicing throughout the world. But once in a while, you see work that personally speaks to you and stops you in your tracks. Every detail, every choice feels deliberate and contributes to a greater result than the “sum of it’s parts”. Joseph Dirand is definitely one of those. In the past few years others have been taking note and this French architect has become “trés populaire”. Well, popular or not, I’m a fan. I think you might become one too!
#1. JOSEPH DIRAND
Dirand’s projects are masculine and minimalist yet set against the softer & refined elements of French architecture they achieve a sense of balance. Opulent finishes like marble & gold leafing are used sparingly to allude to those quintessential Old World French interiors. He then makes them new by introducing modern and often minimalist forms with a restrained neutral palette. Grays and whites set the scene while black defines.
Residential Project – Bellechasse (The Designer’s Home):
Residential Project – Varenne:
Commercial Project – Monsieur Bleu:
For more of Dirand’s work visit josephdirand.com
01/30/2015 § Leave a comment
IT’S HERE GUYS, SUPERBOWL SUNDAY! You might be wondering “why is this design/decor blogger getting all excited about football?”. Well I’ll be honest, it’s not really just for the sport. Although I surprisingly enjoy watching American football (more than soccer – which is kind of scandalous since I’m Brazilian). Really it’s for the chance to hang out with friends, eat yummy caloric goodies, drink my favorite beer/wine, and simply for the opportunity to celebrate being an American (an identity that so easily gets lost in Miami).
So to celebrate this quasi-American-holiday I thought I’d round up some Superbowl inspired gear to get you ready and excited for hosting game day!
FOR THE LOVE OF FOOTBALL: 1. “Football Nation: 400 Years of America’s Game from The Library of Congress” from Amazon | 2. “Flag Football Game Set” from Crate & Barrel | 3. “Leather Head Vintage Style Football” from Urban Outfitters
VINTAGE ATHLETIC DECOR: 1. “Sports Talk” Decorative Pillow Covers from Restoration Hardware’s baby & child | 2. “Vintage Leather Sports Ball Bookends” from Restoration Hardware’s baby & child |3. “Vintage Sports gear Photography – Football Helmet” from Restoration Hardware’s baby & child
Happy Saturday (& Sunday)!
01/26/2015 § Leave a comment
So for Part 2 of our Fresh Paint Feature we have the fresh bold hues for those of you that like a bit more drama and a maybe a little edge to your decor. Here they are, my favorite colors with real personalities.
FRESH PAINT – BOLD:
#1. Hague Blue – Farrow & Ball (The Mysterious One)
It doesn’t get much deeper or moodier than this navy blue. It’s not too purple, not too green and just dark enough (which is quite dark depending on the lighting). The Balcony Gardener herself, Isabelle Palmer, (mentioned in my earlier posts about my own Balcony Garden here and here) chose this deep tone to bring some drama to her London flat. Check out the rest of her home of 14 years right here.
#2. Blue Danube – Benjamin Moore (The Wanderer)
A medium blue that works well in modern spaces. Here it’s used in a teenage boy’s bedroom designed by Anthony Todd.
#3. Teresa’s Green – Farrow & Ball (The Sassy One)
#4. Split Pea – Benjamin Moore (The Unapologetic One)
A fresh chartreuse-inspired green that’s just bright enough without being too overpowering. The kitchen, designed by Anne Marie Midy and Jorge Almada, uses a pop of the color in the backsplash amongst neutrals. This is a great way to bring just a pop of color into a space without letting it get too bossy! I’m always looking for interesting colors and unique combinations that make bold choices work. What about you? What are your favorite BOLD colors?
01/20/2015 § Leave a comment
When it comes to finding fresh and classic paint colors for your walls there’s the tried and true and there’s the bold statement colors. After recently spending many (many) hours looking for those perfect colors for my own place, I thought I’d share some of my finds along with some of my favorite selections from recent projects.
Some are just classic so they’ll appear as fresh and relevant now as in a decade from now. And others are bold and beautiful allowing you to create spectacular statement moments in your decor. Whether you use them for an accent wall, the edge of a door, or to refinish furniture, these hues are sure to bring that “wow” factor to your home.
Like an artist with an easel I find myself itching to splash them onto bare walls!
FRESH PAINT – CLASSICS:
#1. Gray Owl – Benjamin Moore
A perfectly balanced light warm gray. Here’s it’s well lit by the windows so it’s very subtle but in darker spaces it’ll provide a little more contrast. This lovely room is from CCG Interiors from Chicago.
#2. Cotton Balls – Benjamin Moore
A crisp warm white that isn’t too yellow. Perfect for trim or just a nice bright white room. Kimba Hills used it in this lovely breakfast room as a neutral backdrop for bright colors.
#3. China White – Benjamin Moore
A classy muted ivory. I recently used this as the main interior color for The Lake House project (soon to be featured on the blog) and really loved the final result. Here is a cozy living room design in “China White” from designer Jennifer Hoey.
#4. Light Blue – Farrow & Ball
A bluish gray with green undertones that give it a vintage feel. “Light Blue” is one of The Chromologist’s Key Colors for 2015.
There are of course many other beautiful neutral colors I’ve used time and again but these are some fresh alternatives to experiment with now. What are your favorite classics?
PS: Watch out for the follow up post with BOLD colors to use right now in Part II: FRESH BOLD Paint Colors.
01/09/2015 § Leave a comment
Ahh it’s January all over again. There’s that spring of hope for new beginnings and yet, that small seed of doubt if I’ll be able to keep the promises for the new year…
I think, however, the doubt is healthy! It reminds me of my own power, responsibility and free will to transform my life and that what determines my success is within me. So January 2015 at Trace Blog will be all about creating that fresh slate.
* FRESH PAINT *
* FRESH DESIGN FACES *
* FRESH PRODUCTS *
* FRESH TAKES ON CLASSICS *
In keeping with this month’s theme, I think Brazilian poet, Carlos Drummond de Andrade, said it best in his famous poem. So I leave you with his words and wish you a spectacular 2015!
NEW YEAR’S RECIPE
“If you want to have a beautiful New Year
The color of the rainbow or the color of your peace,
A New Year beyond comparing to all the time you’ve already lived,
(lived badly perhaps or senselessly)
If you want to have a year
Not freshly painted with everything back on the right track,
But new in the feelings of coming to be;
Down to the heart of the things you are least aware of
(to begin with what’s inside you)
New, spontaneous, you don’t find it to be so perfect,
But with it you eat, you walk,
You love, you understand, you work.
You don’t need to drink champagne or any other drink,
You don’t need to go on visits or receive cards
(You plan to receive cards?
You don’t need
To make a list of good resolutions
To file in your bureau drawer.
You don’t need to cry with regret
Over foolish things you’ve already done
Or to half believe
That by the decree of hope
From January onward things will change
And everything will be brightness, reward,
Justice among men and nations
Freedom with the fragrance and taste of morning bread,
Your rights being respected, beginning
With the sacred right to live.
To have a New Year
Which deserves that name
You, my friend, have to deserve it,
You have to make it new, I know that it’s not easy,
But try, experiment, be conscious.
It’s inside of you that the New Year
Has always been dormant and waiting.”
Now the original in Portuguese:
RECEITA DE ANO NOVO
“Para você ganhar belíssimo Ano Novo
cor do arco-íris, ou da cor da sua paz,
Ano Novo sem comparação com todo o tempo já vivido
(mal vivido talvez ou sem sentido)
para você ganhar um ano
não apenas pintado de novo, remendado às carreiras,
mas novo nas sementinhas do vir-a-ser;
até no coração das coisas menos percebidas
(a começar pelo seu interior)
novo, espontâneo, que de tão perfeito nem se nota,
mas com ele se come, se passeia,
se ama, se compreende, se trabalha,
você não precisa beber champanha ou qualquer outra birita,
não precisa expedir nem receber mensagens
(planta recebe mensagens?
fazer lista de boas intenções
para arquivá-las na gaveta.
Não precisa chorar arrependido
pelas besteiras consumadas
nem parvamente acreditar
que por decreto de esperança
a partir de janeiro as coisas mudem
e seja tudo claridade, recompensa,
justiça entre os homens e as nações,
liberdade com cheiro e gosto de pão matinal,
direitos respeitados, começando
pelo direito augusto de viver.
Para ganhar um Ano Novo
que mereça este nome,
você, meu caro, tem de merecê-lo,
tem de fazê-lo novo, eu sei que não é fácil,
mas tente, experimente, consciente.
É dentro de você que o Ano Novo
cochila e espera desde sempre.”
08/25/2014 § Leave a comment
One of the most common questions I get asked by friends and family is where to find good quality art at reasonable pricing. For some reason most of the art I see readily available is either really boring stock photography, tired beaten down reproductions (like Starry Night by Van Gogh or Water Lilies by Monet), or are just plain bad. So then where do normal individuals with good taste and limited budgets find decent unique pieces for their homes?
Many clients want beautiful pieces but don’t necessarily have the interest or pocketbook to acquire a serious collection*. So what do I do? Yes, I peruse the shelves of popular vendors (like West Elm, Anthropologie, Williams Sonoma, Horchow, etc) as well as some local showrooms but I also have a growing list of online resources that I turn to. Art is very personal so finding that one piece that speaks to you and that works well within a given space is sometimes a tricky affair. You might have to spend a good amount of time searching for that perfect piece but it definitely helps if you are looking in the right places.
These online shops are good places to start: Good luck with your search!
Prints are modern & abstract. Most start around $350 for smaller sizes and go up to about $1,500 for larger pieces. (medium – high price range)
Founded by designer Cynthia Rowley, the pieces are contemporary, edgy, conceptual and avant garde. Signed limited editions by contemporary artists. Most sizes are very reasonably priced starting around $200 and reaching $500+ even for the larger prints (low – medium price range)
“It’s Art for Everyone”. As they claim, this is REAL fine art at affordable pricing. Pieces are conceptual and intellectually engaging but are also easy on the eyes, balanced and modern & work well within many different interiors. Prints are signed limited editions signed by the artists. Smaller formats are very affordable (ex: 16″ x 20″ $240) and larger formats quickly jump to typical fine art pricing (30″ x 40″ $2,400). (medium price range)
If you are looking for one-of-a-kind pieces without the gallery prices this is a great resource. Though the overall aesthetic seems to be more commercial than the other shops I’ve listed here, if you dedicate some time you can find some great original pieces directly by the artist. Smaller formats can start as low as $100 and can go upwards of $3,000 depending on the medium and sizes. You must remember these are original pieces though, not prints like the others. (low – high price range)
If you’ve planned an event like a wedding or a baby shower you’re probably familiar with Minted.com for their beautiful and affordably priced stationary. Turns out they now also sell art prints! Beautifully curated (like their stationary) the site conveniently offers very affordable pricing, a wide range of sizes and the option to purchase framed or unframed. Starting at about $20 for 5″ x 7″ prints and around $325 for framed 30″ x 40″ prints.
Sells smaller prints at very affordable pricing. Pieces have a contemporary/psychedelic/hipster vibe. Not for everyone, but if you sift through the collection you’ll find some quirky unique gems. (low price range)
* For those interested in fine art collecting (or window shopping), The Drawing Center‘ s Viewing Program (estab. in 1977 in SoHo, NYC) is a spectacular online Art Registry of curated works by emerging artists. Be prepared to be impressed & intrigued.
08/06/2014 § 2 Comments
Hello World! So it’s been a long yet extremely fast and fruitful two years since my last post here on Trace Blog. It’s amazing to look back and see how much has changed and to observe what has remained constant.
In this time I worked as project manager for Valeria Lopes, a Brazilian designer based in Miami, FL. I spent a year going to The Setai once a week for a remodel of a beautiful penthouse with North to South ocean views over Miami Beach. I also spent about half a year going to the Icon Brickell to completely finish a 2 bedroom apartment from the bare concrete slabs to final accessorizing. I was ID project manager in a design team collaborating with STA Architectural Group (as well as many other consultants and engineers) on a 17,000 SF new construction home in Star Island. I also managed and assisted with numerous other projects at the firm.
In the meantime, I opened the doors to Trace Design Studio to begin to fulfill the requests of personal clients that had come knocking on my door. First, was a young Brazilian couple that had purchased a vacation apartment at the Trump Towers in Sunny Isles. Then a renovation for a young family with a Mid-century modern aesthetic. Then a professional grade minimalist kitchen for a personal chef. And, luckily, it goes on and on…
I also took a creative hiatus the latter half of last year to experiment with display design and installations as a Display Coordinator at Anthropologie in Merrick Park. The company (part of the Urban Outfitters Group along with Free People) is truly amazing and having the opportunity to take a peak behind closed doors, even if just briefly, was truly inspirational. It gave me a glimpse into the corporate retail world as well as the foundation of their compelling visual merchandising and story-telling.
Finally, (woof – I didn’t actually realize how much I’ve been up to!) I decided to open The Studio full-time and focus all my time and energy into synthesizing all this experience and information into Trace. I hope you will stay along for the ride.