Sunday, August 31, 2008

Top Design Season 2: Getting to know Wisit Prapong



Guided by a love for all things beautiful, Wisit, 30, studied art history, fashion design, interior design, and music. Wisit holds a Bachelor's Degree in Art History from the University of California at Davis, and a degree in Fashion Design from Parsons School of Design. Some of his favorite design icons are Stephane Boudin, Billy Baldwin, David Hicks, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Yves Saint Laurent, Ralph Lauren, and Oscar de la Renta. He describes his personal style as modern classic elegance. Also a trained countertenor, Wisit performs the work of Handel, Mozart, Strauss and others. Born in Gibson City, Illinois, Wisit credits his midwestern upbringing for his love of nature and gracious demeanor. He is currently a self-employed designer and fashion design instructor in Los Angeles.

Here are some sketches from Wisit's website:




Business website
BravoTV
Blogging Top Design



Read all my Top Design posts here.

BravoTV's interior design reality show Top Design Season 2 premiers on September 3rd. I'll be doing the bulk of my blogging on the show over at Blogging Top Design , so visit me there as well!

Top Design Season 2: Getting to know Teresa Keegan




Having grown up in the home her mother designed and her father built, Teresa, 35, established a love of art and design at a very young age. The Oklahoma native has a contagious energy, is down to earth, and has a genuine passion for design. This midwestern gal accumulated an inherent sense of design and creativity with nature at the core of her inspiration. She loves the perfect balance of color, texture and scale that nature provides, and describes her design style as a type of Modern Zen, balancing the Organic and Modern in her projects. The first 10 years of her career were spent in Seattle, Washington where she was influenced by Asian minimalism and the abundance of lush landscapes that the Northwest provides. During her professional career, she has worked for Margaret Appleton Design, The Terris Draheim Showroom and has been fortunate to work with Tom Kundig of Olsen, Sundberg, Kudig & Allen Architecture. Teresa has been involved and designed a mix of commercial and residential projects including a boutique hotel and many exterior landscapes. Teresa currently runs her own design firm, Keegan Designs, which specializes in modern interiors and exteriors for custom residential & commercial projects. Teresa's trademark in her designs always includes a bit of shimmer interwoven within the earth elements.

Here are some images from Teresa's website:





Business website
BravoTV
Blogging Top Design



Read all my Top Design posts here.

BravoTV's interior design reality show Top Design Season 2 premiers on September 3rd. I'll be doing the bulk of my blogging on the show over at Blogging Top Design , so visit me there as well!

Top Design Season 2: Getting to know Shazia Kirmani



Born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, Shazia, 30, was part of the first generation of American born children in her family. From a very young age her father pushed her to become a doctor, but after her first semester at The University of Texas at Austin studying Biochemistry, Shazia realized she was more passionate about redesigning her bedroom than anything that was going on in the classroom. Upon graduation, she accepted a position at the Gap as a visuals specialist, where she finally found the direction she needed. At the age of 25, familial and societal expectations thrown to the wind, Shazia entered The Art Institute of Dallas studying Interior Design. Three short months after graduation, she was awarded a contract with a multi-billion dollar healthcare services company and from there she started her own company, Egospace Interiors, Inc. Shazia is inspired by everything – the environment, politics, fashion, etc. She prefers her designs to be functional, with a touch of contemporary edge. In 2006, her apartment was recognized in Dallas' D Home and Garden Magazine and she was named the 'It' gal of interiors. Now at 30, Shazia is as successful and ambitious as ever. Her company is growing and she is taking on commercial/residential rehabs and clientele such as The Trelivings, whose patriarch, Jim Treliving, is star of CBC's Dragons' Den and owner of Boston Pizza International. By staying true to her deepest desires, whether business or personal, Shazia has mastered the ability to take on any challenge without letting fear of the unknown stand in her way.

Here are images of Shazia's work via Nirali Magazine. Shazia's website is currently under construction.





Business website
BravoTV
Blogging Top Design



Read all my Top Design posts here.

BravoTV's interior design reality show Top Design Season 2 premiers on September 3rd. I'll be doing the bulk of my blogging on the show over at Blogging Top Design , so visit me there as well!

Top Design Season 2: Getting to know Serge Van Lian


Serge, 27, describes his biggest accomplishment as learning to live without fear, being completely in the present, and doing whatever he's inspired to do. Raised in LA by a Dutch model and Russian/Armenian meat factory owner, he is the first American born in his family. His upbringing was unconventional and domestic life was turbulent until his parents separated. His avant-garde lifestyle inspired him to become a self-taught artist at a young age. He began as a songwriter/music producer, and transitioned to painting abstract works and designing interior spaces. Serge attended Crossroads High School for Arts and Sciences and went on to earn a bachelor's degree at USC. After graduating, he worked for Chrysalis Music Group, where he screened demos and assisted their film and TV department. He then moved to New York City and discovered interior design was his true-life mission. At 27, Serge is currently running his own design company, Serge Van Lian – the name is a fusion of both his mother and father's last names. His peers describe him as a free spirited renegade with endless energy and passion for design. His style is eclectic, functional, and often times experimental. Serge views each apartment as a blank canvas and obsesses over every detail. He loves to roam around the city with no destination, looking for inspiration in architecture, nature and people.

Here are some images from Serge's MySpace page:





Business website
MySpace
BravoTV
Blogging Top Design



Read all my Top Design posts here.

BravoTV's interior design reality show Top Design Season 2 premiers on September 3rd. I'll be doing the bulk of my blogging on the show over at Blogging Top Design , so visit me there as well!

Top Design Season 2: Getting to know Robert Reid


From the time Robert received his first set of LEGO's as a six-year-old, he knew he wanted to be a designer. Originally from Canada, Robert,40, moved to New York City to attend graduate school at the prestigious Pratt Institute, where he received his Master of Science degree in Interior Design. After a few years working at a large, international, commercial architecture firm based in New York City, Robert relocated to Houston, Texas, where he was being pursued by a Top100 design practice. He and his partner quickly became known as "the New York guys in Houston," and developed a great reputation for unique, innovative and well-designed spaces in a challenging market. After only two years, Robert and his partner were able to launch their own design practice based in Houston. Since then, Robert has worked on hundreds of design projects across the United States, Canada and in Europe. He is a very methodical and serious designer and believes that paying attention to the most minute details separates a great designer from all of the rest. He labors over every design decision and can explain his decision making process on every project. His projects are each unique and varied in style – from very traditional to ultra-contemporary – with his signature being his adherence to a strong concept, use of unique materials, custom details, elegant finishes and integration of advanced technology on every project. Robert is acutely aware of the world around him and takes inspiration from everything.

Robert is principle of Brooks-Reid Studio. Unfortunately, their website appears to be down so I can't troll for work images.



Business website
BravoTV
Blogging Top Design



Read all my Top Design posts here.

BravoTV's interior design reality show Top Design Season 2 premiers on September 3rd. I'll be doing the bulk of my blogging on the show over at Blogging Top Design , so visit me there as well!

Top Design Season 2: Getting to know Preston Lee




Preston, 27, began pursuing design at a very young age in Texas. Preston studied under numerous designers, architects, developers, and furniture designers and continued formal education at The Fashion Institute for Design and Merchandising. After studying abroad for a year in Australia, Preston knew that he was meant for design. He began working with Kenneth Brown Design full-time, before establishing his own design firm, Preston Lee Design, two years later, at the young age of 21. Since then, he has worked on a number of high-profile projects including creating the set design for the Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency, the bar iCandy, green condo complex in West Hollywood, and several celebrity homes. Preston describes his style as being sexy and sophisticated. He believes it is necessary for his clients to be surrounded by beauty and comfort, but he also takes pride in challenging them to think outside the box. . "Good design should always have that 'wow factor.'"

Here are some images from Preston's website.


This looks like the Tenango sofa used by John and Michael in TD Season 1, Epi. 1. The window treatments look like Kelly Wearstler's trellis fabric. Feels like Preston is meant to do Top Design!

Love this outdoor room!



Business website
BravoTV
Blogging Top Design



Read all my Top Design posts here.

BravoTV's interior design reality show Top Design Season 2 premiers on September 3rd. I'll be doing the bulk of my blogging on the show over at Blogging Top Design , so visit me there as well!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Pottery Barn Fall 2008 Color Palette Give-a-way

I was at an event last night and ended up with three of Pottery Barn's new Fall 2008 color palettes. PB was brilliant to have partnered with Benjamin Moore in co-marketing the wall colors used in their spreads.

The colors in their new collection are truly beautiful. If you would like a paint palette, please email me your mailing address and I'll mail them out to the first three responses I receive.


Top Design Season 2: Getting to know Nathan Thomas





Originally from Denver, Colo., Nathan Thomas, 30, was exposed to blueprints and drafting tools at a very young age, by his mother who worked at an architecture firm. His passion for design was instinctual and he always yearned to see more art and architecture. Although he had a love for design, Nathan originally entered college thinking that he was interested in science, but it didn't take long for his true passion in the arts to come through. He became inspired by photography, drawn to the art of manipulating space and time. To further his education in the arts, Nathan transferred to Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, N.Y. in their interior design program, transferring again shortly thereafter to the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, where he received his BFA in interior design. Following graduation, Nathan went on to become a Junior Designer at Alexandra Champalimaud & Associates, where his projects included The New York Palace Hotel and The Marriot Financial Center. Nathan is currently a Senior Designer at Nathan Egan Interiors, where he focuses on high-end residential work from Manhattan to the East End. He is inspired by the world around him and finds beauty and inspiration everyday.

Here are some images from Nathan Egan Interiors' website. Nathan Thomas is actually not the Nathan in the company name - that belongs to Wayne Nathan. The Egan is Carol Egan. I selected the images that appealed to me most from their website - although there is no way of knowing if Nathan Thomas worked on these. But in general, all their work has a lot of drama. Even the most traditional spaces have something - whether it's the artwork or a signature lighting fixture that really makes the spaces pop.






Business website
BravoTV
Blogging Top Design



Read all my Top Design posts here.

BravoTV's interior design reality show Top Design Season 2 premiers on September 3rd. I'll be doing the bulk of my blogging on the show over at Blogging Top Design , so visit me there as well!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Top Design Season 2: Getting to know Ondine Karady



Ondine Karady, 38, lives in New York City has been a successful set decorator working on major motion pictures and television shows in New York City for most of her professional life, including on the hit television series Sex and the City, where she served on a small team that continually pushed the limits of high-end, interior design. When the series ended in 2004, she opened her own boutique design studio in SoHo. Four years later, Ondine Karady Design has already developed an impressive client list that includes major celebrities, Hollywood directors and Washington opinion makers. In addition, she has also developed a robust catalogue of custom-made furniture, wallpaper and ceramics. It is Ondine's dream to build her business into a design powerhouse specializing in glamorous homes, hotels and restaurants, with product lines in major retail stores. An avid world traveler, she ultimately intends to design and manufacture furniture with artisans from villages around the world while supporting developing regions in the process. Ondine has a gift for transforming even the most sterile spaces into elegant, comfortable, and livable, works of art. She began her career in set decorating after graduating from Barnard College of Columbia University. Among other major projects, her credits include the films Requiem for a Dream and "25th Hour." Ondine splits her time between New York City, Montauk, N.Y. and Washington, D.C., where her husband Jim Rutenberg is a political correspondent for the New York Times. She lives with her black cat named Norman and a Blue Chow named Little Bear.

Ondine's website is still under construction, but here are a few images from her homepage:

Her IMDB profile credits her work on 39 episodes of SATC, including work as assistant set decorator for the last season of the series, which included Charlottes Park Avenue townhouse, Aleksandr Petrovsky's apartment and last last episodes "An American Girl in Paris" which included the hotel, museum and various eateries. Pretty cool!

image from Sex and the City courtesy of HBO

Other places to get to know Ondine:

Business website
IMDB - Internet Movie Database
BravoTV
Blogging Top Design



Read all my Top Design posts here.

BravoTV's interior design reality show Top Design Season 2 premiers on September 3rd. I'll be doing the bulk of my blogging on the show over at Blogging Top Design , so visit me there as well!

Top Design Season 2: Getting to know Natalie Williams





At only 24 years old, Natalie Williams is already a head designer at a major design firm, Yessicks Design Center in Alpharetta, GA. She is passionate about design in numerous mediums including fashion design, graphic design, architecture, and her main focus interior design. Natalie is best known for putting colors together and learning peoples' styles quickly. She is also a firm supporter of mixing contemporary style with traditional style. Her goal as a designer is to find a perfect balance between beauty and function. She says that her passion is driven by the ability to enhance her client's world and make their visions reality. Natalie currently resides and works in Georgia.

Here are a few images from Yessicks portfolio gallery. Unfortunately, they have only one residential design image (1st image below) and several from what they call "Show House" but I think they are show room images. Also, there is no way of know if any of the work is Natalie's, but their overall portfolio gives and idea about their "look".



Other places to get to know Natalie:

Business website
BravoTV
Blogging Top Design



Read all my Top Design posts here.

BravoTV's interior design reality show Top Design Season 2 premiers on September 3rd. I'll be doing the bulk of my blogging on the show over at Blogging Top Design , so visit me there as well!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Travel Tuesday: Château de Chenonceau and Chambord Castles

I was going through some old files on my computer this weekend and came across these pics from my January 2003 trip to Paris. My friend Rob and I did a day trip to the Loire Valley to the Chambord and Chenonceau castles. The weather was gray and cold, a little misty, but the trip was well worth it. Even better, we were the only ones on the guided tour that also included a visit to Leondardo da Vinci's manor house Le Clos Luce in Amboise. I didn't get photos, unfortunately. We had lunch in a little restaurant nearby that was very tasty!

This first is the Chambord Castle (note, the following two images are not mine).

Image courtesy of France Monthly


Image courtesy of Wikimedia


Built in the 16th century, the Chambord Castle is the largest in the Loire Valley. Read more here. The architecture was completely awe inspiring - it was hard not to take a million photos.




The Chambord Castle is famous for it's double helix staircases.

Some pretty spectacular bedding.
Ahh... the lovely parquet floors!


The long view looking out the rear of the castle.
Image courtesy of Wikipedia.
Looking back towards the caste.


The Chateau de Chenonceau is much smaller (though hardly small!) and more charming of the two. According to the website "Château des Dames as recorded in the French history books, Chenonceau owes a large part of its charm to women: it was built in 1513 by Katherine Briçonnet, then made even more attractive by Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de Médicis, and saved from the rigours of the French Revolution by Mrs Dupin.

The lovely surroundings, the formal garden and the park surrounding it add to the impression of delicate grace emanating from the castle."

Yup - it's all about the ladies! Read more here.



Being from New England, I am constantly amazed at how green the grass is in January in France. The weather may be cold and raw, but the grass stays nice a green!



The leaded windows are just gorgoeus.

I remember the green velvet on this carved chair was so lovely. And the flowers throughout the castle were just luscious.
I was really struck by how the white marble and black marble have worn differently.The white marble seemed much more worn down. I also recall standing there and really feeling the souls of all those who had walked this hall over the hundreds of years.

Catherine de Medici's bedroom. She was the wife of King Henry II.
Some more Renaissance furniture and another spectacular floral arrangement.

The romace of these castles is palpable, but so is the unrelenting cold that permeates the rooms. It must have been lovely in the summer, but the winters must have been long and cold!

Have you been?

(all images, except where noted, by Linda Merrill)