Category: Contemporary Home

Art Underfoot

By , September 8, 2009

I am interested in products that are created using new technologies but that still have strong ties to the traditional origins of the craft. I love it when the product has a contemporary edge, yet still retains the warmth and refined sensibility of the classics. Looking at the latest Italian Architectural Digest, I noticed an unusual hardwood floor inlaid with marble.  Continue reading 'Art Underfoot'»

JAID in Apartment Therapy!

By , July 27, 2009

Apartment Therapy recently did a piece on California Home and Design’s May 2009, Reader’s Choice Dining Room Contest. We were excited to make their list of top favorites! If you would like the opportunity to vote in any upcoming competitions that we are in, simply drop us a line and we will ensure that you stay updated on our latest happenings.

All the best to you,
Jane

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Our New “One Day Makeovers” For The Home

By , April 7, 2009

Early in December of last year, my team and I were installing new family room furniture in a client’s primary residence. I had finished their second home the previous year, so they knew the capabilities of the firm, but I hadn’t done much for them in this house. She asked me to “take a look at the dining room and living room” to see what the rooms might need to make them look better for the big party she was planning.

The first thing I noticed was that there was a lot of nice art, but it was hung in a way that was not very effective. I knew that by rehanging the existing art, we could help the areas to be much more dramatic and engaging. So I had our art installer come by and help us hang the work that I had reorganized and placed into groups. The groups are much more powerful than the pieces scattered about, which you can see here:

Before and After Art Placement

Before and After Art Placement

Then, I noticed the furniture in the living room was not showing the room to its best advantage. I Pushed the furniture around a bit, opening the room up more to the fireplace and suddenly theroom appeared larger! I noticed an area by the window that was not furnished with much of anything. We moved an antique sofa table into the window area and decided that it would benefit from some new lamps and accessories. With that, an area that was once dead was now alive and interesting, both from outside the house viewed on the way to the front door and from the inside as well.

Window View Before and After

Window View Before and After

I inventoried the lamps. There were not enough to create the warm glow I had in mind. So with the clients permission, we brought in some new lamps and lampshades, some new pillows for the sofa and other accessories for the room.

The book case in the living room had a few items on it, but needed help. I picked the raspberry accent color that was in her fabrics and had the painters who were working in the family room paint the back of the bookcase that color. The client had a few pieces of blue and white Chinese Export Style ceramics. So we filled the bookcase with more of the blue and white ceramics, interesting wooden boxes and beautiful old books. And a couple of small pictures that we took down from the walls and hung inside the bookcases added drama, scale and perspective to the shelves. The shelves went from drab to dynamite!

Bookcase Before and After

Bookcase Before and After

The living room was looking very good by now, so on to the other rooms!

When we had started the re-do, I put all the clients accessories from the three areas in one area of the floor so I could see them all at the same time. This allowed me to notice patterns of items that worked well together, small collections we could place and also let me know what was missing. I brought in a carload of accessories to add to the group and then everything began to sing. We were able to restyle the bookshelves, tabletops, kitchen counters and desks. We also brought in some containers for plantings and orchids to make the rooms feel really alive!

Mantel View Before and After

Mantel View Before and After

We then raided the clients other rooms and found a wonderful antique Italian leather stool that we placed next to center table in the central foyer. We added large branches to her beautiful Chinese planter, found a lovely antique chinoiserie sewing box for the table and removed the rug from underneath the table. You can see below what a spectacular difference that made.

Entry Before and After

Entry Before and After

The chest of drawers, and the rug beneath it, that were in the entry area was off center in the hall. I centered the piece, hung an antique gilt wood mirror above it, placed candlestick lamps with charming shades, and refreshed the planter that the client had placed there. Now there was a space next to the chest that cried out for a chair. My favorite vintage store had an old Michael Taylor style chair that would fit the bill. We placed a small oil painting above it and the entire area felt warm and inviting, instead of a bit “off”.

Chest of Drawers Before and After

Chest of Drawers Before and After

In the dining room, we rearranged the display areas on her antique French buffet and the sideboard by using her silver tea set and other family pieces. We found a new mirror that was painted in just the right shade of blue and rehung the art there as well. Again, one of the clients beautiful containers was repurposed for just the right touch in the dining room. The room felt fresh and completely revived!

The clients were so thrilled with their new look. They just loved it. They told me over and over how delighted they were with everything. And of course, the joy that our clients feel when the project is complete is what we live and work so hard for!

Living Room View Before and After

Living Room View Before and After

As we were considering our marketing plans for the new year, I remembered how much we enjoyed doing that small project in a short amount of time and how incredibly happy my clients were with the dramatic results. They couldn’t have been more pleased! I thought others might be interested in “refreshing the nest” also. And we enjoyed providing that small service so much. I decided to put together a special offering of packaged services that would allow us to have some fun from time to time by doing a small service for a client, instead of the very large estates we are used to working on. Those are usually 3-5 year projects that take quite a bit of stamina! So our new offering is going out to a few selected homes this spring.

That was the birth of the “One Day Makeover” idea. It is nice to know that we really can help families feel like their homes are refreshed, fluffed up and looking their best, without breaking the bank this year!

Please read my earlier blog called “Spa Packages for Spring,” – the original name of our special services – for more information on our offerings. Our “Total Bliss” package even includes a treatment at La Belle Day Spa on the day we are working in your home!

If you or any of your friends are ready for a makeover for your home, let them know about our special offers for Spring!

All the best to you,

Jane

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Spa Packages for Spring

By , April 6, 2009

Announcing a new service at JAID!

We at JAID have been known for 25 years for providing interior architecture and interior design services on large and complex estates and vacation properties.

We are pleased to offer some new, smaller service packages to a selected group of our neighborhood friends. See our blog “The Birth of the Spa Packages” to see how we came up with this idea for a special offering and some photos of the difference it makes in a home. As happens so often, we got the idea from one of our dear clients. Continue reading 'Spa Packages for Spring'»

Liz Hager and the Digital MetalType Medium

By , September 16, 2008

Today, our guest blogger is my multi-talented COO, Elaine Triber. Here is what she is interested in right now:

Liz Hager is a versatile mixed media artist who often uses non-traditional materials and processes in the pursuit of artistic statement. As a result, I find her work unusual—because she prints largely on metal, it looks different from a lot of art out there. Her images are witty and imaginative and I always become engaged in the story her work is telling. Continue reading 'Liz Hager and the Digital MetalType Medium'»

“Not Your Momma’s Wicker!”

By , August 11, 2008

That’s what he says about his outdoor furniture. That’s his tag line. And that’s a point of view I agree with.

A friend recently sent me an email update. She was at a party, and a young man was there who was an outdoor furniture designer. He had brought several pieces along with him for the crowd to enjoy. She loved them so much that she sent the catalog to me since she knows I love messing with traditional furnishings to make them fresh. Continue reading '“Not Your Momma’s Wicker!”'»

Modern “Louis Zinc”

By , June 16, 2008

As a professional firm, I get so much promotional mail everyday. I look forward to it, as it keeps me updated on all the latest art openings, invitations, special shows and fun new products. Today I got a card from a British furniture designer, John Reeves, showing his new collection called “Louis Zinc”.

LouisZincTable#1 Continue reading 'Modern “Louis Zinc”'»

New Indian Chic

By , June 5, 2008

A book I am currently enjoying is India Contemporary by Henry Wilson. India, with its fast rising economy and burgeoning middle class, has developed a breadth of design styles, retaining its history of arts and crafts while embracing modernity.

New Indian Chic 1

The traditional jali or pierced screen used on windows is reimagined in an ingenious “bamboo” pattern and fabricated of metalwork.

Always deeply creative in its arts, the new designs fast forward the tribal traditions to the present.

New Indian Chic 2

Here a courtyard is painted by a Madhubani tribal artist, taking ancient folk art and adapting it for today…

New Indian Chic 3

…the same tradition is made glamorous in a gold-leafed mural in this entrance.

India was never shy with its colors. As Diana Vreeland famously said, “Pink is India’s navy blue”. Rich and wonderful color combinations enliven the designs of everything from India.

New Indian Chic 4

A balcao (covered walkway) in Goa is perfectly charming due to its colors and lush greenery.

New Indian Chic 5

A very striking modern home made of concrete, stone and wood consciously focuses on indigenous contemporary arts.

blogpic7

Here, traditional black and white herringbone tile floors, classic furnishings in neutral colors, and old wooden doors from a private prayer room create a bold and modern look.

Maybe this is one of the reasons why the country has been known as “Mother India”, its very nature is one of creativity and a great valuing of the arts.

All the best to you,

Jane

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Joyful Clients

By , May 13, 2008

As a professional designer, I’d like to say something about clients.

Where would we be without them? I consider my profession as a residential designer to be one of an artist, one who can only create art when it is commissioned by someone else. (The rare exception is doing small bits in my own home.) So, without clients I would not be able to produce exquisitely beautiful interiors that you see below.

Media room Before

Media room Before

Media Room After

Media Room After

Nor would I be able to push myself as an artist to keep one step ahead of trends, to combine things in an unusual way, or to search out that unusual object that makes the rest of the room just sing.

Terrace in black and white

Terrace in black and white

Nothing is as gratifying as when, after years of hard work, paying excruciating attention to details and struggling to stay on budget, we install a new home and the clients and their families are truly delighted with the results. The joy and the gratitude that the clients express when we have exceeded their dreams and expectations is what keeps me and my team inspired to serve the next client with a true dedication to perfection.

Master bedroom sitting room

Master bedroom sitting room

Over the years, I have received amazing letter and emails from clients who simply cannot believe how beautiful their home is. I keep a file of “love notes” from them, and when we are struggling with a gritty detail on a particular project, I pull out that file to reread some of the notes. In them are words like “gorgeous” “majestic” “charming” “thoughtful design” “works of art” “exceptionally beautiful” and my personal favorite, “great job…well done!” Ah, yes. It makes it all so worthwhile and keeps us digging away in the design trenches to create another beautiful home that contributes to the happiness of that particular family.

Master bedroom in browns and ivory

Master bedroom in browns and ivory

A special thank you to all my clients who have given me the opportunity to create real beauty and joy for them in their homes. Without you, I wouldn’t be able to do the work I love!

All the best to you,

Jane

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A Favorite Spanish Artist

By , April 14, 2008

During a recent trip to Napa Valley, I stopped into Caldwell Snyder Gallery in St. Helena, (they also have locations in San Francisco and New York), and there I found a wonderful artist from Spain who I would like you to know about.

The artist I am so taken with is Regina Saura. She is from the Ampudan region of Spain where she lives with her husband and daughter. Her work is fresh, vibrant and lively. It fits perfectly with the latest taste in classical interiors, which honors the comforts of tradition, but invigorates the spaces with a nod to the modern. She works in mixed media, with collage on top of paint, and text -stream of consciousness poetry -added last. Her colors are radiantly harmonious. The lines are simple and sure. Continue reading 'A Favorite Spanish Artist'»

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