Paola Navone’s Industrial Interior

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_gallery type=”flexslider_slide” interval=”0″ images=”5458,5452,5454,5453,5451,5460″ img_size=”full” onclick=””][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_empty_space][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]It is an honor to meet a designer that you admire. A designer who in their career has done so much to literally alter the landscape of the field. We had that honor when we met Italian designer, Paola Navone over the summer. Known for her work with companies such Alessi, Egizia, Natuzzi, Reichenbach, Roche Bobois, and Crate and Barrel, Navone has been the creative director of the Italian furniture manufacturer, Gervasoni, since 1998. Her work as an architect, designer, decorator and creator is iconic. And her style is eclectic, as evidenced in the industrial interior that she calls home.

At home in Milan, Navone has created a space that is equal parts global and industrial. Punctuated with a cool color palette and unique silhouettes in the furniture and decor, her creative eye shines through. In the living room a textured floor is made of inset pebbles, while floor tiles in blue and gray create a unique carpet. Raffia lamps designed for a collaboration with Crate & Barrel hang from the ceiling in the dining room for a global touch. And the kitchen sports a collection of cookware fit for a chef, with red pendants that add a cool color splash.

Her own home just may be the starting point for her latest design collaboration – creating the Partner Country presentation for Ambiente 2016, the world’s leading international trade fair for products for the table, kitchen and household. Following Denmark, France, Japan and the USA, Italy is the fifth Ambiente Partner Country to debut at the show. Navone shared with us sketches of her design for the trade show that will celebrate Italian heritage, including food, design, and culture. Visitors and exhibitors can look forward to an impressive presentation by Navone, that will truly bring a piece of her eclectic vision of home to the world.

Sources: Surface Magazine, New York Magazine, Ambiente[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Kenesha’s LA Bungalow

Sometimes it’s nice to just get a peek into someone else’s world. To see just a slice of their life and the place that they call home. We absolutely enjoy such peeks, and loved seeing a little bit of the LA home of illustrator, ceramicist, and animator Kenesha Sneed of Tactile Matter. We know Kenesha for her beautiful ceramics that we’ve spotted on Pinterest and Instagram. Her stoneware ceramic pots, planters and cups are one-of-a-kind pieces, all handcrafted in her Los Angeles studio. Her work is inspired by her California roots, a cool blend of natural and modern influences. And Sneed’s home is a reflection of that style as well.

With a neutral color palette, white walls keep everything minimalist and refined, while natural elements add texture and soul to the space. A happy fiddle leaf fig adds a pop of green to the living room. And a Moroccan-style rug creates coziness under foot beneath the coffee table. One of our favorite spaces in Kenesha’s home – the bedroom, where a black and white Malian textile has been draped on the bed.

This is just a peek, but a lovely look into the place that this talented artist calls home, and the space that nurtures her creativity.


Go On A Global Journey With How We Live

How We Live takes us into 18 homes around the globe, exploring the personal spaces of creative thinkers and the environments that they call home.

The AphroChic REMIX Lounge At BKLYN Designs

It’s cool to create something unexpected. Those are the projects we love the most at AphroChic. Projects that take a space from what? to wow! When we created the AphroChic REMIX Lounge at BKLYN Designs this past May it was absolutely a wow! moment. Click the slideshow above for a before and after of what is truly one of our favorite interior design projects, and our first here in Brooklyn.

The REMIX lounge was inspired by our book. We started with our favorite cultural elements – color, pattern, art and global furnishings – to create a space that visitors to BKLYN Designs could relax and chill in. And, just for some fun we decided to house all of those elements under two, 600-square-foot a-frame structures that we designed and built over two days. Yes, we’re a little bit ambitious over here, but isn’t design the most fun when you’re pushing the envelope?

Then we decided we needed some entertainment, because what lounge doesn’t?! So, we worked with our friends at Saatchi Art to not only include an art exhibit of local Brooklyn artists in the space, but a live graffiti art exhibit as well. Our friend Rodrigo Valles created a massive street art mural in the lounge. A progressive piece that took two days, and that visitors got to watch develop as they walked the show. And no AphroChic event would be complete without a DJ, so we invited DJ King Leo to come and spin some old-school hip-hop in the lounge for that authentic Brooklyn vibe.

Our partners for this space were the best. Colorhouse, our favorite paint line that has the best eco-friendly paint around, provided us with paint to create two colorful statement walls that would become our gallery walls for the space. Their colors are so pure, and we went with six gorgeous shades for the statement walls – Petal .04, Petal .05, Air .07, Wool .01, Wool .03, and Nourish .06. The mix of bright and bold shades, with neutral soft colors was stunning on the walls we built. To add a layer of art to the lounge, we worked with Saatchi Art to deck out two gallery walls featuring works by local Brooklyn artists. And then of course, for a lounge we needed lots and lots of furniture, so we worked with Patina, a vintage rental company in Bushwick to bring in some cultural furnishings, including Hmong textile-upholstered ottomans, mudcloth covered seating and some stunning Moroccan rugs for bold pops of color and pattern.

The AphroChic REMIX Lounge was fun. It was fun for us to create and we’re glad that the thousands of people who came through BKLYN Designs got to enjoy it too. Some danced, some ate, some held mini-retreats, some kicked up their feet, some enjoyed the art and took pictures of the live graffiti art, and all took in the experiential space that we designed focused on Brooklyn art and design. The only thing that could make this project any better is doing it again next year!

Photographer: Ben Sottak and some iPhone photos by AphroChic

Kia & Jason’s Passionate Bed-Stuy Home

Bed-Stuy is one of our favorite neighborhoods in Brooklyn. You walk into Bed-Stuy, and you can still feel that old-school Brooklyn vibe – it’s effortlessly cool with an amazing creative community. It’s one of the remaining homes of an authentic Brooklyn, where artists and designers flocked creating a new Black renaissance in the last decade. Among its many talented residents are Kia Dyson and Jason Reynolds. Hailing from Baltimore originally, the two have a Bed-Stuy home where the things that they are most passionate about are on full display. Kia, a photographer and artist and Jason, an author, have a home where creativity comes first and where their passions are nurtured.

“We dedicate the majority of our time to our respective passions and careers as artists, so the collection of things — beautiful, interesting, new, old — is a natural bi-product,” remarks Kia on the home’s decor. Chocked full of pieces that they have written or created themselves, everything in this Brooklyn home has meaning to it. Above the fireplace is a digital piece by Kia. The stacks of books in the living room contain the four written by Jason during the couple’s time in New York, kept in good company among the many others.

Taken at once, the home is quite literally a snapshot of their lives. In each nook and corner of this home, we see vignettes of this couple’s life – a story of creativities explored with the promise of more to come. A guitar seated in a living room corner is just waiting for the right mood to strike so that it can be played, just as vintage cameras on the mantel wait patiently for their next shoot. “Trinkets, tchotchkes, books, art, plants and photographs, make up our living space simply because they make up our lives,” says Kia, pondering their collections of unique and interesting pieces.

“It’s almost as though over time we’ve created an incubator, a space warm enough, and with the perfect stimuli to foster creativity at all times. We just so happen to also eat and sleep here. But if this weren’t our apartment, we would probably still want to come to this place to hang out, listen to music, drink wine, talk and spark new ideas for fresh work.”

Photographer: Kia C. Dyson

A Modern Marrakech Oasis

We spend a lot of time looking at what’s inside a home, but sometimes the exterior of a home can be just as stunning as the interior. This modern Moroccan home is a perfect example. A beautiful Marrakech oasis, this home’s exterior offers a cool and serene environment for rest and contemplation. It’s the perfect Moroccan retreat. With a soft color palette as the backdrop, every element shines outside this home. A quick tour highlights so many beautiful architectural details. A soaking pool sports a modern design. Freshly scattered rose petals add a layer of unexpected color. To add texture, grass-hewn furnishings have been used. The chaise lounges are the perfect place to sit and enjoy the great outdoors for a moment, or maybe even all day. Black framed doorways and windows continue the modern feel of this home. They are truly a unique architectural detail, adding picture windows that allow you to look onto the home’s gardens from the inside. A look outside, and you see cacti arranged like sculptures – perfect pieces of outdoor art. The pop of green adds a wonderful natural touch. Down some stairs, and a hidden nook is another place to retreat. Black and white fabric has been used to upholster an outdoor bed, just hidden beneath a carved stone wall. The entire design of this exterior is a call to stay outside just a little bit longer to enjoy the great outdoors.


An Urban Retreat in Milan

Italy is known for effortless style, and this urban retreat in Milan by architectural design firm Quincoces-Dragò & Partners is an exercise in absolutely beautiful design that all at once feels casual, lived in and very chic. In this gorgeous space it is the bones that first catch the eye. Gorgeous herringbone floors are in keen condition. Moulding along the ceiling and doorways frame each room. For a fresh approach, the furnishings in the space are thoroughly modern, a juxtaposition to the classic architecture. Tables and chairs in the dining room sport unique legs. A clean and modern bookshelf has been mounted to the dining room wall, showcasing just a few books and accessories. Modern pieces are met with vintage ones as well. A chest of drawers used to catalog cards or files is a bridge between the open plan living and dining area. Atop it, a glimmering collection of glass and metallic objects. The kitchen is old and new all at once. You can imagine meals being prepared there over a century ago, and yet the navy blue line of paint adds an up-to-date feel to the space. In the bedroom it’s all about the light. The way it displays shade and shapes on the simple white bedding. Our favorite touch, boxes upon boxes of Italian shoes marked by polaroid photos of what’s inside. This is absolutely a perfect urban retreat by a design firm that gets every detail just right.

Benjamin Vandiver’s Contemporary Interiors

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_gallery type=”flexslider_slide” interval=”0″ images=”5012,5014,5013,5010″ img_size=”full” onclick=””][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_empty_space][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The word contemporary is not often used in interior design today. We talk about modern spaces, classic and traditional rooms, but contemporary design can be difficult to wrap your finger around until you see it. The work of Nashville-based interior designer, Benjamin Vandiver, defines what we mean when we say contemporary interiors. Spaces by this designer are up-to-the-minute and fashionable. You can see that a little bit of southern charm and urban sophistication are married into each space, a reflection of Vandiver himself who has southern roots, but an affinity for the cosmopolitan style usually reserved for Manhattan penthouse apartments. Yet, Vandiver has a way of fusing the two styles to create warmth is his polished spaces with layers of cozy textiles, warm wood accents and intriguing art. One of our favorite spaces in his portfolio is a living room filled with clean-line furnishings and an oversized boombox piece overhead, the JVC logo jumping out at you. In other rooms sculpture and photography are used to add an artsy note in each space. The designer, who works on the coasts as well with projects in New York and Los Angeles, has an aesthetic that defines contemporary and sophisticated interior design. Vandiver’s portfolio leave us wanting to see more from this up-and-coming interior designer.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]