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™.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Industrial Chic: get in gear

Rooms already dressed in mid-century furniture seem the most receptive to these elements, which require the balancing effect of more masculine silhouettes, heftier textures.

When high-tech entrepreneur Matthew Hill designed his condo in Lansing, Mich., he wanted decor to reflect his personality and "pretty wild lifestyle."

California-based Motoart had what he was after. They buy up junked aircraft -- everything from WWII fighter planes to modern jet parts -- and transform them into furniture: desks, tables, even sofas. Hill opted for a coffee table devised from a section of a C-119 cargo plane.

"I wanted something with a real edge that spoke to the influence of ultra-lounge atmosphere, as well as pure modernism," says Hill, who founded a company called Liquid Web.

Call it industrial chic. Furniture and accessories this year are flaunting their rivets, welds and obvious mechanical origins.

Interior designers are making liberal use of vintage components. While many pieces are sleek, almost aerodynamic, others emphasize the drama of scale -- think gigantic kleig-like floor fixtures, factory work tables or Hill's coffee table.

Industrial-style furnishings aren't new. Marcel Breuer and other Modernists in the early 20th century embraced the idea that man and machine could coexist. Mass production techniques and new materials excited these designers, who sought innovative ways to adapt them for the home. It was a marriage of purpose and aesthetics.

The retro trend is advancing throughout the home furnishings marketplace. A wave of commercial-grade trash bins, bread boxes, toasters and other kitchen accouterments has come ashore, at pricepoints high and low.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Obama Chic: Time to Measure the Drapes

The Obamas have many design choices to make when they move into the White House in January.

They will also be involved in restoring public spaces like the Red Room and State Dining Room, and the White House grounds -- although they will be required to consult with official groups like the Fine Arts Commission and White House Historical Association.

"Get one person whose taste you really rely on and make sure that person knows Washington," advised Letitia Baldridge, Jacqueline Kennedy's former social secretary and chief of staff. "You can't bring a pal from Chicago or anywhere else who is not going to know Washington enough to be your adviser." And consider the budget. Congress appropriates money for the furniture and decor of the residence. The budget -- allocated once every four years -- was set at $100,000 for President Bush and First Lady Laura Bush. But there can be some leeway in the allotment. "If there's something the president wants that will improve the building or the grounds, the budget can be stretched," Baldridge said.

Obama's daughters -- 10-year-old Malia and 7-year-old Sasha -- will have the same bedrooms occupied by John F. Kennedy's children, John and Caroline, and the Bush twins, Jenna and Barbara. "It's the White House, it's a home, it's a museum and it's a place of work, but it is going to be a home for the Obama girls and they certainly can have some fun at their residence," Sally McDonough, special assistant to the president and director of communications, told FOX News. "The girls can certainly add their own personal touch if their mother and father say that is OK," McDonough said. "I'm sure they'll have wonderful rooms," added Baldridge. "They can use all that furniture in the storage house, including four-poster beds for young girls."

The president and first lady also have the authority to restore more public spaces like the State Dining Room, which has seated royalty, including Queen Elizabeth II, and almost every head of state. "The White House used to be very bland and stuffy and unexciting, and Jackie changed the lighting in the dining room," Baldridge said. "The original painters had painted the walls in three shades of white and suddenly there was all this light ceiling and light molding that nobody had ever seen before." Kennedy also introduced new color schemes to the White House, Baldridge said. "It was was just a fairyland," she said.

Perhaps the most sacred room is the Oval Office -- the president's formal workspace -- where the decor is most carefully considered in characterizing the background and personality of each president. Each president designs a rug bearing the Presidential Seal.

White House recreation rooms -- like the movie theater and bowling alley -- might also see a change or two when the Obamas move in. In an interview in June with comic Jimmy Kimmel, Obama joked about his less-than-impressive bowling skills, saying, "So we're getting rid of the bowling alley and replacing it with a basketball court in the White House." Such dramatic changes are not unprecedented.

"The Kennedys created a magnificent swimming pool, and then President Nixon took it out and painted it over," Baldridge said. Another piece of advice from Baldridge to the Obamas: "Develop a strong skin. You're always going to have people screaming and shouting no matter what you do, and therefore you have to have a strong point of view and be able to defend your decisions."

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Sign the petition!

please take 1 minute to sign this important petition
from our own personal experience seeing how much was done for our son Ivan
we are so grateful to March of Dimes and all their efforts in preventing and educating the public about premature births
here is your chance to do the right thing!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Spa at home

Spa features for master bathrooms a growing trend.

Kitchen & Bath Design Magazine (Nov. 2008, Filipelli) reports that clients "like to be pampered, so what better way to meet their needs than to re-create the spa experience in their master bath? These are the sentiments of Christopher J. Grubb, president of Arch-Interiors Design Group in Beverly Hills, CA, and Orlando, FL, who notes that clients no longer want, but in fact need a space that will rejuvenate or relax them in equal measure." Deirdre Eagles, Allied Member ASID, of Deirdre Eagles Interior Design in Laguna Niguel, CA, "agrees: 'The master bath is becoming an oasis of personal care as well as a retreat from the stresses of daily life. More than ever, people are investing in this important part of their home to make it a space that reflects their own preferences and needs.'
In this master bath remodel we combined a larger spa suite and did away with the separate his and hers smaller bathrooms. The addition of the cantilivered angled window allowed the owner to bathe while enjoyed the view of the Intercoastal waterways. Further by tucking out of the way the tub into its own niche the bathroom gained a central open space which became even grander with the new mirrored coffer ceiling. The honey gold onyx and black absolute granite dotted with gold fixtures adds all the elements of luxe to this personal spa retreat.