Recently I had the opportunity to design my dream kitchen – a collaboration with Cosentino Group, Kohler Kitchen Fixtures and Benjamin Moore Paint – all leaders in the world of Interior Design and Architecture. My design is inspired by the idea of an organic loft in an urban setting that is connected to views of the nearby city skyline through an inner courtyard garden. In this blog, I share the evolution of my design from the early sketches, to the final construction.   

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I designed this space for a creative couples’ urban loft featuring soothing, warm finishes in a clean architectural setting.   To bring this project to life I created my own clients.   They are a couple in their 30’s -  he is a writer and she is a photographer/artist.  They both work at home, have 2 kids and enjoy living in an urban setting.  Their home was inherited from her grandmother - it was formerly a stable.  Access to the outdoors was always something she remembers from her childhood visits where ongoing sculpture projects by her grandparents were created in the outside walled garden with a constant flow of artists and writers who came to the salons in the kitchen/family room.  The new owner wanted to continue this tradition while also bringing the space into the present.   This kitchen/outdoor space is the center of their home. In spring/summer/fall they eat outside, and in the colder months they enjoy making the winters more livable by creating a magical winter wonderful-land to look out through the two story windows.   Outdoor lights, green ivy everywhere and bird feeders make this space an all-year-round focus.

Here is one of my early sketches.  

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The Finished Room!

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In the Bar/Library I like the unexpected art wall and library which speaks to the clients passion for art and books - always incorporated into my work is a reflection of the interests of my clients.  I incorporated hand-made details to enliven the space and these 1930’s Italian handmade sconces are perfect for this clean space because of the texture and interest they bring. The installation of the art in the bar area is termed “Salon Style” and brings an organic quality to create tension and interest.  Similarly, the accessories throughout are installed with this in mind.  Too much symmetry can dull a space!

The Silestone Eternal-Marquina Stone by Cosentino in the archway between the kitchen and the bar area, creates a bold transitional space into the unexpected library beyond.  See above the original sketch and the finished space. 

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Balance and symmetry are key components in this design. This is apparent in the above shot showing the view from the kitchen to the Bar/Library. 

It was an absolute pleasure to collaborate with the Cosentino, Kohler and Benjamin Moore! Keep an eye on our progress, and the Silestone Trendspotters team by following @SilestoneByCosentino! Keep an eye on our website for future blogs that talk about the finishes.

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AuthorTheresa Casey

Over the years, I have used urns as timeless decorative pieces for either indoor or outdoor.  There is an immediate connection to the classical architectural world and bringing this to your home can offset contemporary, clean styling  or be right at home in a  traditional one.  According to Judith Z. Cushman Hammer, teacher of furniture, industrial design and architectural history at Appalachian State University, urns have been employed as  universal symbols in furniture, the decorative arts and architecture since the Neoclassic period. 

This is the view from my art studio - I love my antique urn that I found languishing at the back of Decorum Decorative Finds.  It had been sitting there for years until I spotted it and convinced my husband that it would be the perfect centre piece for our new garden.

This textured gem of an urn will immediately add a touch of the ancient world  indoors or out.  It reminds me of the urn that I had for years in my first house - a classic Toronto Victorian with the bay window in the living room.  I placed my urn in front of the centre window with lovely draping ivy.  Nice memory.

Lovely shaped urn above and the gorgeous lion head and flora below.

Lastly, when doing some research I discovered this amazing history of the "Waterloo Urn" below.   This photograph, taken by Sir Cecil Beaton, of Queen Elizabeth standing in front of the 15 feet tall urn is from 1938 at Buckingham Palace. Carved from a 20 ton piece of Carrara marble, Napoleon laid claim to this block during his travel to make war in Russia.  Today, it is still stands at Buckingham Palace. Love.

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AuthorTheresa Casey

It is one of the pleasures of my work to create custom furnishings for my clients.  There are a variety of reasons why we take this route such as a special size requirements or material combinations, lack of availability on the retail front or the desire to have a unique piece designed especially for you.  This is the world of "Bespoke" design.  To understand how I go from an idea to the finished product, I thought I would take you through the process of how I designed the brass & terrazo coffee table below.  

 

My work always starts with my clients,  their point of view and how I interpret their needs to fit their home.  These clients are two busy professionals with three young active toddlers.  The brief was to design something that was first and foremost safe (which meant absolutely no glass, no sharp concerns), basically indestructible, beautiful, and sophisticated.  I had already designed the curved custom sofa in the room with beautiful nubbly wool fabric so I looked at materials that would complement the solid fabric and found this beautiful patterned slab stone which I combined with brass.  I then went on to develop the form  and how to make it structurally sound.

The finished product installed in the living room.  See below for initial sketches, photos from the manufacturers studio and getting it into the space.

Preliminary sketch for the coffee table.

One part of the design process of this table was the structural engineering component which ensured that this table was completely solid.

By creating an inner sleeve in brass we were able to add structural stability while keeping the design integrity.  The underside of the table would not be seen unless little ones were crawling underneath which they could safely do with this amount of structure.

Four Delivery men were required to get the table in - coordination details that come up in my world all the time.

Arrived!

The new table in the living room with a view to the dining room beyond.

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AuthorTheresa Casey