Berlin Designs, Inc. Blog: Design Rituals

... a passionate revelation of my design rituals ...
a passionate account from a South Florida award-wining interior designer who is blessed to celebrate her 20th year anniversary of designing "interiors that lift your spirit™"
Welcome! The search is finally over. That perfect marriage of understanding without words:one look, one image, a breathtaking view... Someone who will know how to interpret her client's wishes by listening to all the unsaid words, seeing the cues, perceiving the feelings with a simple gaze.
I am the lucky designer who will get to go into the personal spaces in your life, your office or home. That place you call your own, where you can be you. Your surroundings matter to me, my passion is to let the best of you shine through the space you occupy. No antiseptic rooms, catalog photo-shoot ready, rather the elegant comfort of a back porch at sunset is the feeling I want in the interior of your private spaces. The sink-down comfort of being in your OWN space.
Let your smile shine as you enjoy learning about my passion for design. Then, you will see why we say: experience Interiors that lift your spirit™.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Cancer Centers: A Design Model in Patient Care

Cancer centers are quickly evolving into symbols of medical prestige and excellence. Driven by an unfortunately growing market of patients, institutions are busily bringing in experienced designers to turn these sterile, medical environments into homey, relaxing settings. Consequently, things like natural materials, full spectrum lighting, warm woods, nicer finishes, natural light, soothing colors, aquariums, and fireplaces are headlining the spec sheets of architects and interior designers.
“Patients want to be reminded of the good things in life,” this being the case, inspirational-type spaces such as “healing gardens,” water features, atriums and outside views are key. Connecting cancer patients to nature has been proven to be a powerful component of healing. In addition, with patients spending extended periods of time for treatment inside the facility, as well as returning for multiple visits, it is important to provide cancer patients with control of their environment and to incorporate positive distractions into the design, for example, artwork, colors, patterns, and unique murals lighting ceiling panels.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Holiday deadlines driving you to drink...

I have been threatening (much too often lately) that I will start drinking VODKA very soon...
Michael's Genuine Food and Drink in the Miami Design District shared their recipe for their holiday martini
The Interpretation
1.5 oz. Smirnoff blueberry vodka
.5 oz Frangelico
1 splash of dry vermouth
1 strawberry, muddled with 1/4oz. pure maple syrup
1 splash of cream or half & half
Combine the ingredients in a shaker with ice. Strain the mixture into a chilled martini glass with a nutmeg and sugar rim.
For a lactose-free variation substitute the cream with a splash of fresh lemon juice. Serve on the rocks with either club soda or (my favorite) Champagne.

Monday, December 10, 2007

20th Anniversary of Berlin Designs, Inc.

"Party - time" = paella party time
Well, we got December's holiday season off to the right start with our
20th Anniversary of Berlin Designs, Inc.

Clients, family and friends honored us at our home as we celebrated in a very Spanish style. My mom flew in from Spain for a great surprise and the weather cooperated with a star-studded sky.
We are looking forward to many more wonderful years creating Interiors that lift your spirit. Specially if the sangria keeps flowing. Cheers! Salud! L'hayim!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Wynwood warehouse gallery district

For the locals, in Miami this is where we feel at home. Local representation at it's best, alleys, and off the beaten path galleries not to be missed.
This year Art Miami takes place in two locations simultaneously, including an exciting new event located in a warehouse in the Wynwood gallery district, just a few blocks from the Rubell Collection, and close to other important venues such as the Margulies Collection and the MOCA Goldman warehouse, and a number of other satellite fairs including NADA, Pulse, Scope Miami, Art Miami, Photo Miami, and The Photography Show. Off the beaten path yet not to be missed!

Art is everywhere

Happy Hanukkah!
Get ready, pack your bags, here in Miami, Art is everywhere this week!
Across my desk and my inbox there must be, oh about 100++ invites to attend the parties and after parties, the openings and the previews to the art explosion we encounter every year when Art Basel opens in Miami.
Art Basel Miami Beach takes place December 6 - 9, 2007.

Art Basel Miami Beach is the most important art show in the United States, a cultural and social highlight for the Americas. As the sister event of Switzerland's Art Basel, the most prestigious art show worldwide for the past 38 years, Art Basel Miami Beach combines an international selection of top galleries with an exciting program of special exhibitions, parties and crossover events featuring music, film, architecture and design.
Artists and galleries from across the world flock to South Florida and welcome the New Year in grand style.

Thursday, November 29, 2007


Fridays through December 14
The Miami International Film Festival (MIFF) presents their cutting-edge Friday Night Shorts Program in the Restaurant at CASADÉCOR, Miami's avant-garde design house. Every Friday Night through December 14, MIFF will screen innovative short films from all over the world. The program will vary each week. Miami Film Society members and sponsors will receive 50% off an All Access Admission Pass ($27.50 for a $55 value) and an official CasaDécor ‘07 catalogue. Screenings are at 3, 5 and 7:30 p.m. every Friday.

CasaDécor '07
1444 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami
888-882-2349, Ext. 88

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

REGREEN: Guidelines

REGREEN: Guidelines For Sustainable Residential Remodeling and Renovation

The Strategy Library offers suggestions on the greenest alternatives. This is, perhaps, the heart of REGREEN, offering more than 200 (and growing) green design tactics. They are listed by the familiar and proven LEED categories—innovative design process, sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, and indoor environmental quality. Browsing the table of contents will help users locate a specific strategy but also alert them to other related opportunities.

An important aspect of REGREEN, its focus on whole-house, systems thinking. It is rarely a single product or building component or even a collection of attributes that result in a building being labeled green. Green building is almost always about how systems . . . work together to reduce environmental impacts.

REGREEN is still a work in progress and its next iteration is up to you. ASID and USGBC have posted the draft version of the guidelines and invite the public to comment. USGBC will respond to all comments, and post the comments and responses (without commenter names or organizations) online on the same site. The survey will ask you to comment on the technical aspects and organizational structure of REGREEN. You will have an opportunity to add strategies and suggest changes and clarifications. The comment period ends December 10, 2007. This is a terrific chance to participate in the process, and the more of you who do, the better the final product will be.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

a time to say thanks

Another year gone by, ... marked by the passing of thanksgiving...
In contrast with other years past, I managed to squirm my way out of hosting this years dinner, so in light of that and in a futile attempt to plan ahead I actually played hookie on Wednesday to spend the better part of the day shopping and cooking up a storm, to bring over my delightful sister's home.

Thus, on Thanksgiving day we spent the day with the boys and grandpa at Miami's New Jungle Island. We are truly blessed and thankful!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Before, during and after...

While most clients love to enjoy the fabulous interiors we create, I believe that most designers love to live in the 'during' phase.
Personally, as a designer, I enjoy the process the most. Not the final product when I have to turn the project over to it's rightful owner, but the construction phase where I get to inject my most creative flow. Final cut decisions happen on the job and being able to feel the beat of the project as it develops is something I crave.
While I use highly sophisticated CADD and 3D rendering tools to put our ideas down and present the client with a photographic image of what's to come, the thrill comes from seeing one's concepts develop in front of your very eyes. An interior design remodeling project is a breathing, live endeavor. The dynamic nature of a job under construction result in real-life solutions for a better outcome and can only evolve and mature while on the job.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Opposites attract

The juxtaposition of opposites poles, poses in our minds such a contradiction that it actually appeals to us. This loft apartment -overlooking Biscayne Bay and the very islands that Cristo draped in his famed fucsia tropical silk fabric- can take such stands and marry in a perfect blend the exotic old world carved wood doors with the sleek high gloss white lacquer cabinet finishes and stainless steel appliances. The farmer sink too poses a contradiction in styles with the industrial professional series faucet. An extra thick Irish green slab of marble brings the old world charm of European castles to this very modern loft.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Bringing organic home

HOT Rocks!
Clients are not just enjoying hot rock massages at the spa, they are now enjoying the outdoor feeling that rocks evoke right in their showers. That feeling of showering outdoors can be the one thing we want most: a bit of RELAXATION.
The rock motif brings the organic natural lifestyle to condo or beach front home, weather river rocks or pebbles, flat or on edge, rocks are showing up as zen elements in the home.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Goulish halloween

Imagine trick o' treating with this monumental palace in your backyard. It gives new meaning to haunted house. The goulish lanterns hang on the walls to dimly light your path as you walk the halls.
Children and grownups alike gasping at every corner, and the pictures on the walls have eyes that follow our every footstep...


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Tropical colors

Living in the tropics we crave sunlight, palms and colors derived from nature.

Murals of this tropical nature are usually found in many lobbies, lounges and entertainment areas. This homeowner a tropical bird lover requested from our artist this trompe l'oeil rendition of a tropical rain forest. Quite a colorful addition to the home's otherwise monochromatic interior.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

new buzz word: ECO-friendly

Of the 30 invitations across my desk this weekend, the new term of choice is ECO-friendly.
This particular company sells gorgeous artisan enhanced wood accessories and furniture all which are true conversation and conservation pieces.

Examples shown are elegantly handmade by craftsmen who are best described as artists. Some pieces are made from wood that is over 300 years old. The wood is often found in old barns, decaying bridges, reforestation areas, and rare tree trunks found at the bottom of rivers.

These hidden treasures are still well preserved in the remote areas of Brazil, waiting to be discovered and given a creative touch to transform them into works of art. All of these featured wood pieces are certified by accredited environmental organizations strict standards.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Dine in white

white /(h)wït/
1. of the color of milk or fresh snow, due to the reflection of most wavelengths of visible light

What about this dining area becomes so appealing to me a color lover?
Perhaps the absence of all color is the attraction itself. Perhaps the idea of the food and wine coloring the environment or better yet the people themselves and all their garments will change the design on a daily basis.

That's it a truly dynamic interior one that changes qualities and color much like a chameleon. There is a play on textures, sheens and shapes. Geometric shapes superimpose one another, vertical elements draw the eye upward while the lighting highlights yet another blanc wall.

White on white, pristine yet inviting. One can hear the noisy voices and laughter even when the room is vacant. A breathing interior whose soul is a vibrant when occupied as when it quietly awaits.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Madrid: classical architecture

Architecture in my native country is totally taken for granted. Civilians walk everyday by these magnificent sites which take a tourist to be pointing their camera in a direction for their eye to notice the frieze detail on a landmark.

As much as the young generations scream for modern architectural elements and interiors, the very foundation and total attraction in a city of yesteryear is the reminder of past civilizations.

As if such historical conquests gave birth to this gorgeous city. Sure there are arches of triumph to commemorate the victories, but long after the battles were won, the triumph rest on the opulent carvings, statues of galloping horses and ornate balconies, so well lit they command attention to the passerby.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

A little Italy: La Murrina

Known for its contemporary designs and traditional glassblowing methods, La Murrina, started on the island of Murano, Italy, in 1968, continues to introduce innovative lighting, and its latest collections are no exceptions. New fixtures range from an ultramodern suspension piece by Karim Rashid to the whimsical six-arm Glamour chandelier. Tao Night Club in Vegas exhibits with pride their alluring exquisite designs.