Monday, January 31, 2011

The Sweet and Youthful Designs of Tamara Kaye-Honey * View * Edit

Tamara Kaye-Honey might be young, but her talent is so apparent from the start of her fabulous firm House of Honey that it's obvious she'll be famous and creating gorgeous homes for some time to come. It's also apparent that she's got a bit of a leg up when compared to other older, more traditional designers: she's got a quick-witted, youthful streak in her designs, which sets her apart from the rest and makes her work irresistible.

Tamara's style is one which is very popular for homes right now: a sort of new versus old, traditional versus modern eclectic mix that combines a lot of different elements throughout the years to create dizzying yet logical rooms that speak to the uniqueness and personality of each client.

Color definitely plays a huge part in all of Tamara's spaces. It's as if she uses color to introduce you to a room, grabbing your eyes and your senses to make an immediately impact, then seducing you further with her use of patternsometimes bold,sometimes simpleand texture. 

Though she certainly uses a prolific mix of beautiful vintage pieces, mainly from the Mid-Century Modern era, her rooms are also very modern, but not necessarily because of the furnishings. She takes a very modern approach to the layout of her spaces, both incorporating unique furniture layouts and also a very sparse idea of accessories and art. 

You can also tell she's a pretty big fan of fabric and upholstery, using new and vintage patterns on furniture pieces like couches, chairs, ottomans and more, but also incorporating them in other important spots like window treatments to maximize their affect. 

Love what you see in this post but want more? Like fun perfect pairs, designer influence profiles and profiles of contemporary designers? Thank goodness for you we've got a Facebook page and tweet a lot; you can keep up with everything Swank Lighting does. Read more Tamara here.

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Fresh and Airy Designs of Bear-Hill Interiors!

We hate to use cliché phrases like "breath of fresh air" and "took my breath away," but when it comes to the interiors of the fabulous Arkansas firm Bear-Hill Interiors, there's just something breathy and breathless about all their spaces that just makes us fall back on tired phrases because they're the only ones we seem to be able to remember.

Bear-Hill Interiors
goes for the knockout when they decorate a home. And we don't mean like a technical knock out; no their interiors punch us so hard we're seeing stars. Sorry...more cliché phrases. Back to the interiors. Gorgeous! Bright! Airy! A perfect mix of traditional and modern to create that ever popular transitional style.

Take for instance one of their projects named Brighton. The color palette is a lovely mix of neutrals and a gorgeous aqua blue that pops up in accents and highlights throughout the home. Mingling with that color palette is a group of home furnishings that are comfortable, fun and unexpected. Interesting details like surprising floor patterns or wall art bring in pops of personality.

We really like how each home project they feature in their online portfolio exudes such a unique personality. This is evidence that the folks at Bear-Hill are masters at getting to the heart of what a client needs and wants and designing for them-not for the designers.

We especially like how each home has a similar color palette or concept that flows through each individually decorated room, giving the whole house a very cohesive, comfortable and comforting feel. 

A common thread that we spot flowing through all of their interiors? An amazing knowledge and ability to use lights. There are gorgeous table lamps that bring in a warm glow. There are modern and interesting hanging lights that bring in excitement. There are even paper lanterns for interest, texture and casualness. As a lighting company, you know we can get behind a designer who knows how to use lights so well! 

Love what you see in this post but want more? Like fun perfect pairs, designer influence profiles and profiles of contemporary designers? Thank goodness for you we've got a Facebook page and tweet a lot; you can keep up with everything Swank Lighting does.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Fresh and Stylish Designs of Tamzin Greenhill!

Today's designer certainly gets the prize for most creative and sleek website-but that's not really what's important. Spotted on 1stdibs, one photo of one room had us convinced she's one of our favorite designers we've seen in a while, and perusing her portfolio lets us know for sure she's a skilled designer.

We really are bowled over by these images found in designer Tamzin Greenhill's portfolio. The first and most overwhelming word is "clean." We don't mean devoid of dust bunnies (though we bet that's accurate), we just mean that the design is very streamlined and tight. There aren't frivolous items in rooms, and each interior is carefully put together to elicit just the right response.

We also feel like these spaces are very fresh. Fresh in the sense that they all feel very light and airy (yes, even the rooms that feature darker color palettes.) Each room has this amazingly strong "uplifting" feeling to them; I can see where someone who has been in a bad mood all day could be instantly recharged by just walking into one of these spaces.

These interior projects are also fresh because they have a very subtly unique style, that is very modern in that it seems to be combining a number of styles. None of these rooms are strictly contemporary; you spot modern elements, but also vintage elements-all of these mixing and melding to create intensely personal spaces.

Her use of colors and patterns is deft and skilled, and we never feel over- or under-whelmed by anything we see incorporated. Of course, the fact that she gets the opportunity to work with some gorgeous architectural spaces certainly doesn't hurt, but she always respects the structure of a room-working to enhance the natural architecture, not distract from it.

Love what you see in this post but want more? Like fun perfect pairs, designer influence profiles and profiles of contemporary designers? Thank goodness for you we've got a Facebook page and tweet a lot; you can keep up with everything Swank Lighting does.

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Bold, Contemporary Designs of Tara Bernerd

I know it sounds a bit snobby to say, but anytime we see an interior designer describe themselves as an "interior architect," we know we're in for a good time. Why? Because someone who understands that interior designers do more than just pick out fabrics are who call themselves interior architects. Interior design is about using the interior of a space to mold a person's feelings and mood. And none do that quite as uniquely as Target Living's Tara Bernerd. 


We first spotted Tara Bernerd's work on 1stdibs, and were blown away from the get go. She designs the furnishings and interiors for some really stunningly designed architecture spaces. The modern ones we are loving the most. One, for example, is a tall, streamlined room lined in warm wood.

By itself this room would be a warm, almost Scandinavian-inspired space, but Bernerd adds to it an amazing amount of luxury by taking on a monochromatic but dramatic dark plum color palette and incorporating some pretty swank ceiling light fixtures. It's amazing how the space is transformed, and how a complex conversation is started between the interior architecture and the interior furnishings.

Other residential spaces display a similar level of humor, wit and charm, like a modern apartment in London full of pop art mixed with transitional furnishings. A deft mix of styles gives each space an incredible amount of personality and uniqueness, which clients no doubt love.

She's of course not afraid of color, which is always fun to witness in interiors, truly. A particular favorite is a modern, sleek bathroom in one of our favorite colors, a deep, fire-hot, red-orange. If you are looking for modern spaces with personality, feeling and depth, Tara Bernerd can deliver a large dose of inspiration!


Love what you see in this post but want more? Like fun perfect pairs, designer influence profiles and profiles of contemporary designers? Thank goodness for you we've got a Facebook page and tweet a lot; you can keep up with everything Swank Lighting does.

Featured Blogger: Delight by Design

It's been a while since I've written posts for our blog because Adrienne Breaux has been so busy providing us with so many great articles over the last year. Adrienne also works for several other blogs and we are going to be competing for her time this year so I have to step in and fill in the blanks. I will let you know right up front that I'm not a writer. Just a retired old magazine publisher who just happened into the best retirement gig in the world.... Swank Lighting. Most of you know the story of how my partner Doug Taylor and I stumbled on this great adventure, or I should say we were showered with blessings when we founded Swank, so I won't bore you with it again here. All of that said, one of my favorite former blog duties was reviewing other design blogs. When I started searching for a great blog to review the other day, I was very disappointed to find that most of the popular design blogs now are so modern in focus. So many blogs about sleek, contemporary, stark, stainless steel & white, green design.. etc. Not that there's anything wrong with that... But, where are all the great, daring bloggers who see the beauty in the classic, glamorous, over the top swank of the Hollywood Regency style?? Well I found a great one today. Blair Friedeman of Jackson Hole, Wyoming founded delight by design in 2008 as an outlet and a way to publish her musings on how to inject style in dwellings. I love that Blair sees the beauty in a room with brown painted, or gold gilded paper walls, floor to ceiling drapes, 4 poster canopied beds, plush floral design rugs and yes even glitzy over the top table lamps. Please visit Blairs blog and start enjoying her daily musings.
Ed Sexton

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Swank's Lamps Used in Award Winning Bathroom

Congratulations to Barbara Heath of The Mercantile Atlanta for winning 1st. place in Atlanta Homes & Lifestyle Magazine's "Ultimate Luxury-Bathrooms". Barbara used these beautiful teal blue vintage Murano lamps from Swank as inspiration. In addition to owning The Mercantile Atlanta, Swank's dealer there, Barbara is one of Atlanta's top interior designers.

Photos from Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles

Joe Cariati Part Deux

Early this spring we'll introduce the second edition of our very popular Joe Cariati line of table lamps.We only have a few of the original offerings left. Phase 2 will be all new designs and made with translucent and opaque glass. We'll post updates as the design and production proceeds and an official launch will include listings for all designs and colors. We're really pleased with the designs and colors Joe is creating and we hope you will be as well. Here is a sneak peek.

Ed & Doug