Monday, February 28, 2011

The Classic and Detailed Designs of Ernest de la Torre

We first spotted Ernest De La Torre's name on that fabulous website resource, 1stdibs. We didn't know what kind of designer he was, but you could just tell with a name like that he was probably right. Perusing his online portfolio, it's clear our baseless assumption was spot on!



Ernest's work is immediately recognized as a kind of breed of restrained, classical, masculine beauty. If you're looking for over the top, too bold, garish or dramatic spaces, you won't find them here. That's not to imply that these are boring spaces; that couldn't be farther from the truth. It's just that Ernest's work's beauty comes from exquisite materials, high-quality element decisions and subtle but effective details.



The projects he works on are pretty huge, and they serve as perfect laboratories for his unique brand of understated elegance. He mixes styles fluently, but does tend to lean toward more traditional styles, if only because of the clientele he serves. We do spot a lot of really neat modern details that are unexpected and a sign of his youth and talent. One ceiling in particular is like a modern take on a coffered, vaulted ceiling, only with a really fresh, random geometric pattern.



Like we said, he doesn't use bold colors or patterns as a gimmick in spaces, preferring instead to rely on sweet details to carry spaces into the realm of awesome. As lamp lovers, we can't help but notice all the details of his sconces and lampshades! We suggest paying extra attention to that spot on his website if you love lighting as much as we do.

We just adore these spaces, and know you'll get a lot of inspiration looking through his online portfolio! 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. 
Images: 1stdibs, Glam.com, Decorati

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Young and Bold Designs of Kyle Schuneman

It's pretty close-minded of us to say that today's featured contemporary interior designer doesn't quite look like someone who would create the sort of interiors that take our breath away, but it's true! Kyle Schuneman's youth, boyish good looks and casual demeanor seem to be more fitting for a young guy just getting out of a school, rather than one of the top interior designers to emerge in recent years.


Kyle's only 25, but man does he have an eye for amazing details, creating interiors that are at once spectacular and accessible. Comfortable, sophisticated, colorful and bold: his interiors make a statement, and that statement is "we are awesome."


We think we're most stunned by his use of color and pattern in such a fresh, modern and gender neutral way. Mixing bold wallpapers with wild rugs and complementing them both with furnishings that tie it all together. He's got a knack for throwing in textures that somehow steal the show and offset all the rest of the accessories to create the perfect balance.



His rooms aren't the least bit stuffy, but they're not so trendy and young that you don't know how to sit in a piece of furniture. We also love how his spaces have a very strong feminine feel to them-a lot of softness and loveliness-but they are definitely masculine in the details, as well.



We just adore these spaces, and know you'll get a lot of inspiration looking through his online portfolio! 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. 

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Colorful and Fun Designs of Vanessa de Vargas

We feel a little embarrassed we haven't featured the brilliant design mind behind the firm Turquoise, Vanessa de Vargas, as a featured designer before on the Swank Lighting blog. We've mentioned her great blog in a post before, but she's more than just fun-to-look-at ones and zeroes on a blog; she's an amazing interior designer whose work is inspiring to anyone looking to infuse their space with personality.




Over two years ago we wrote this about Vanessa's amazing interior design work: "Our favorite element of de Vargas' work is her great use of color, pattern and detail. Her work is fun, sometimes feminine and frankly, flirty. She's not afraid of any of these elements, and uses them all to enhance spaces, not overwhelm them. Flipping through her online portfolio you will see an inspiring array of color palettes with which to inspire your own home makeovers."



Not only does all of that still ring true, but in two years, she's done nothing but infuse her spaces with even more talent, life, sophistication and color. The best things about her spaces is that even though these are "grown-up" rooms with real furniture and wall coverings, she makes sure these homeowners remember to have fun in their houses! All of her spaces always have a lot of fun, wit and cleverness sprinkled throughout.



We just really admire her ability to mix and match styles and elements to create one-of-a-kind spaces. It's not easy combining styles in way that doesn't seem contrived or too busy, but she does it beautifully, and every time, too!



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 Vanessa and Turquoise here.

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Natural and Textural Designs of John Jacob

John Jacob's interiors are not for the faint at heart, and they aren't for anyone who might have pre-conceived notions of what a designer's portfolio from Cape Town, South Africa might look like. John has us gasping with delight and surprise with the interiors he's been creating down in Africa, and we think you'll find loads of inspiration.



The first thing we notice about his interiors is how rich, sophisticated and classy they are. They are fully decorated, richly accessorized, full of classical furnishings that are of a specific time period and style and they are just lush and thick and full and exciting and wonderful.



No decorating stone is left unturned in these interiors. They're not cluttered, but they are full to the brim with furniture pieces, window treatments, tabletop accessories, wall art, sculptures, plants and everything else that goes into a full, gorgeously-decorated interior. 



Another wonderful thing about his interior design work is how connected to nature and African culture his interiors are, and very non-pretentiously. African motifs, patterns, textiles and textures are brought in to mingle with other traditional styles to create unique, personality-filled rooms that must match their owners' personalities to a "T." 



Another fun thing about John Jacob is actually his website. Not only is it full of truly inspiring photos that could give you plenty of ideas for your own interior design adventures, but he's taken the time to describe in detail his ideas, themes, concepts, thoughts and processes of each interior project. That sort of dedication to explaining his process can really add to the overall inspiration you receive from a designer. 



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 John Jacob here.

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Lovely and Colorful Designs of Angie Hranowsky!

As interior design writers, we must learn to appreciate a number of different design techniques and styles, even if said style isn't exactly in our own tastes. That's what makes coming across a designer who mirrors your tastes perfectly all the more sweet. We're delighting in today's contemporary designer profile: Angie Hranowsky.



It's quite perfect that today is Valentine's Day, because we are totally in love with all of Angie's spaces. What makes them so lovely? Let us count the ways...Firstly she has a keen eye for color palettes that are uplifting, relaxing and feminine. Not so feminine a male wouldn't want to live in these rooms, but definitely feminine in how lovely and sweet they are.



She's also definitely got great skills when it comes to interest in a space; she combines a number of different techniques together to create incredibly layered and sophisticated spaces, such as boldly painted walls, wallpaper, graphics, lots of textures, patterns and full spaces.



She doesn't shy away from furniture, that's for sure. Her rooms are pretty packed full of all different types of furniture pieces, as well as accessories and window coverings and more. The rooms don't feel cluttered, but they surely give off a full, lived-in feeling. 



And of course, you know we would notice someone who's masterful at choosing lighting, and Angie certainly fits that bill. She uses tall lamps, bold lights and big pendent lights all brilliantly and to their fullest to create well-lit and fun spaces. 



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 Angie here

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Soft and Lovely Designs of Cozette Coffman

Man we really love the simple, soft and lovely designs of Cozette Coffman. Maybe it's because she herself is so young, but her spaces are full of youthful vigor, sophisticated splendor and a subtle, quiet kind of style that doesn't ever feel stuffy.



Now, it's true she's on the younger side of life, but she's still got plenty of experience in the field of interior design. As taken from her "about" page: "Cozette Coffman Design, the namesake boutique design firm launched in 2008, has been a decade or, arguably, a lifetime in the making. Since obtaining her interior design degree from The Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in 1999, Cozette Coffman has perfected and honed her craft at two Los Angeles-based design firms. Both experiences left an indelible mark, giving her a strong background in custom kitchens, bespoke bedding and window treatments, as well as custom-designed and locally manufactured furniture."



You can certainly tell it is from this vast body of experience that she draws from in creating her interiors, which boast calming color palettes, fun patterns and textures and a masterful execution of furnishing choices and furniture layouts.

We particularly like her use of grays, deep navy blues, neutrals and whites. These colors combine to really highlight architectural details or create just really grown-up feeling spaces-but with still a lot of feeling of fun.



As mentioned, we really love her attention to details. These rooms aren't too full of furniture or accessories, and as such, she must maximize the visual impact another way-with choosing items with rich textures, or placing beautiful graphics on walls or just choosing items that really mean something and add to a space. She knows how to make the most out of every item in a space.



A quote from Cozette: "My client's lifestyle really guides the design process. I love to discover a unique angle for each project and tap into what the client will likely appreciate, whether that's selecting fabulously modern stainless steel door knobs, organic bedding and vintage pillow trimmings, or using a favorite nail-polish color as inspiration for a color palette. I feel strongly that each one of my clients has a color personality that I've been able to reflect and incorporate into their d├ęcor; it's my innate sense of this that ultimately makes them shine in their space"



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 Cozette here.