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The AphroChic Micro Loft Celebrates Brooklyn Style

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_gallery type=”flexslider_slide” interval=”0″ images=”5829,5820,5831,5822,5826,5821,5823,7595,5827,5824,5843″ 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]How can you live big in 500 square feet? It’s great when design is used to answer questions. Questions about how people live, and how we as designers can give them the lifestyle they want in the space that they have. The question that we had to answer at BKLYN Designs this year was how we could create a multi-functional environment where one could live, work and entertain in a space with a very small footprint. The Brooklyn Micro Loft that we designed answered that question, as we worked with sponsors, Resource Furniture and AJ Madison, to create a concept house that was all about small space, big style.

To make the space feel like home, we started with color, inspired by Pantone’s colors of the year, and coupling them with dark and moody shades for a masculine feel. Benjamin Moore’s Midnight Dream became the perfect backdrop – an inky black hue with just a touch of blue in it. In the living room, a mix of navy, pink and black AphroChic and John Robshaw pillows created a colorful display. And when transformed to a bedroom, local Brooklyn brand, Brooklinen’s high quality bedding and their blue and white striped Bedford duvet cover added to the patterned mix, topped off by a headboard in our graphic Ndop pattern.

The concept home included a mix of natural materials to keep things feeling grounded, and that helped us blend super-modern Italian pieces from Resource Furniture with artisan and couture pieces. The space was filled with items that added texture, from a silver-speckled cowhide rug from Rugs USA, to overhead lighting by LAAF by Leah C., made of beautiful pheasant feathers. Handwoven baskets from Indego Africa became the perfect touch of African style in the space, used as planters and decorative objects. Finally, wooden lighting from Lamps Plus blended both modern shapes and natural elements together for a unique sense of ambiance.

The final layer in our Brooklyn pop-up house was art. As we always say, no home is complete without it, and it’s truly what made this space feel like a home. We partnered with Uprise Art to include a collection of original art including framed pieces and sculptures. For a cultural touch, we layered in a selection of figurative pieces by Philadelphia graphic designer, Jeff Manning. And an artistic touch even extended to the dining table with china by Think Fabricate featuring imagery of the Brooklyn Bridge and the Navy Yard.

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Everything in the loft is complete shopable, so check out some pieces from the micro loft on our #bkmicroloft pin board that you can bring home today.

Designed by AphroChic
Styling for AphroChic by Angela Belt
Brooklyn Micro Loft Chalk Art Installation by Emma Blecker
Photos by Patrick Cline Photography
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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

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]

Danielle Colding’s Chinoiserie-Inspired Space

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_gallery type=”flexslider_slide” interval=”0″ images=”4693,4692,4691,4690,4689,4688,4687″ 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]Blue floral wallpaper, bird motif artwork, and a mix of our favorite colors this season – blush pink and baby blue – could all be seen in New York interior designer, Danielle Colding’s stunning vignette for Manhattan’s premier home decor and charitable show, Design On A Dime. Every vignette for the show was created with giving back in mind, as designers raised funds for those who are homeless and battling HIV/AIDS. And we fell for the principal of the Manhattan interior design firm, Danielle Colding Design New York, Inc.’s feminine space that had a modern chinoiserie feel to it. Richly blending elements found in chinoiserie, including floral motifs, animal prints and sophisticated hues, we were drawn into the soothing, pastel decor. Our favorite element – Colding’s gallery wall featuring a mix of photographs from the Conde Nast Archive Collection, with iconic images of Beverly Johnson, Bianca Jagger and more. And we can’t forget to mention a little AphroChic touch in the room, our blue batik pillows that were hand-dyed by artisans in Rwanda through our partnership with Indego Africa. With so many beautiful cultural elements at play, this stylish vignette provides lots of ideas for creating a soft and colorful culturally-inspired space.

Photography by Patrick Cline[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Ilse Crawford’s Inspiring Interiors

Whenever we’re asked about our favorite interior designers, Ilse Crawford is always at the top of the list.  Her inspiring interiors are the perfect combination of modern and traditional. Each room that Crawford designs has a soulful character that’s brought into the mix through color and bits of pattern. Her rooms keep us intrigued, and that’s what a great designer should do. Her interiors integrate modern pieces in the most unexpected ways. In a modern country space, built-ins are painted in a deep eggplant shade, exposed beams add a rustic touch, and a floor-to-ceiling bookshelf is styled to perfection. In a living room, a teal sofa fits right into a wood-paneled living room filled with vintage pieces. With each space there are so many details to fall in love with. For more of Ilse’s work, we recommend picking up one of her books.  Our favorite is Home Is Where The Heart Is.