Each and every project by Italian architecture firm Marcante Testa completely blows my mind. I guarantee you will not see their colour combinations nor the attention to details they include in their projects. For example, in this Paris apartment renovation check out the ceiling embellishment in the first photo. And the arch of the doorway in photo 5. BLOWING. MY. MIND. And I nearly dropped dead when I spotted the kitchen. It is almost as tiny and similar in layout to mine and will for sure be used as inspiration when I get around to renovating mine.
Photos: Carola Ripamonti
Kelly Wearstler is a force to be reckoned with, and one of her latest projects, the Santa Monica Proper hotel, is really something else. I would looooooove to tour this in person. It is a bit subdued in colours then she normally chooses but of course, she nailed it. The landmark building is this beautiful Spanish colonial revival style, built in the late 1920s. The hotel was thoughtfully restored and refreshed, its original rich materiality and architectural moorish details served as inspiration for the overall design. The contemporary, modern building is more monolithic in nature and a great canvas for layering with textures – natural materials, stone wood, plaster. The hotel’s palette is nature-inspired and earthy, raw materials and organic textures, art and landscape bring a rich sensory feeling in to the hotel. Wearstler intentionally worked with local artists and artisans to bring a true localized experience within the spaces.
I had to share another project by Michelle Dirkse because I am in awe once again. Drama, pattern and colour are back but in this case it’s a bit more modern/hollywood regency. With almost no updates since the original apartment grade finishes from 1960, this condominium was in need of a major overhaul along with new furniture and decor. While existing wall locations and the original periwinkle bathtub remained, everything else was updated during the remodel. After removing the asbestos popcorn ceiling, the concrete ceiling was revealed which told the story of the numbered concrete forms. Light oak floors and a custom protruding window trim contrast with the black cerused cabinets and doors as well as the wallpaper. The kitchen counter was extended into the small dining space to create more storage and workspace. Many furniture pieces were designed from scratch by our team and produced by local craftspeople. Fabric, wallpaper and the living room rug are from the Michelle Dirkse collection that is made in collaboration with local artists. Artists were also commissioned for the custom bedroom table lamps and art throughout. Light fixtures were sourced from vintage vendors. The remodel and decor result is an unexpected mix of finishes and fixtures in a functional space.
Photos: Haris Kenjar
Dream home alert!!! I am absolutely head over heels in love with this project by Seattle-based designer Michelle Dirkse. Victorian chic is what I would call this. “We want it to look like a haunted mansion.” Our clients’ request was one that we had never heard before and we were excited to explore it. The historic landmark home needed major work on the second floor. We completely re-developed the floorplan for the existing 6 bedroom 2 bath layout. By relocating walls with the help of a structural engineer and converting one of the bedrooms into an appropriately sized master bathroom, the new floorplan served the clients’ as they needed. With no plans to have others live in the home with them, we were able to convert 2 rooms into a large art studio with a lounge area. Another room was converted to a den, one to a dressing room and the last to the master bathroom. (The bathroom – OMGGGG!!!)
Photos: Aaron Leitz
One of my favourite design firms, Studio DB, created magic in this family home in Greenwich, Connecticut. The elegance of the architecture is brought down a notch with some beautiful shades of grey and an unexpected touch of glossy teal. Statement mid-century furniture and lighting mix with a bit of boho mixed in to the kid-friendly spaces create an eclectic and youthful vibe in what could have been a very stuffy, traditional home.
Photos: Matthew Williams