Saturday, September 29, 2012

My Style

Wearing pink - white - blue-green in a mix of patterns and textures.

The small doses of vivid color accents - green in the necklace, the blue in the belt, and the green, red, and silver in the small bag - add intensity that subtly enlivens the subdued color palette yet they don't distract from the overall, soft, feeling of the outfit.

The asymmetrical necklace is my own design.

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My own asymmetrical necklace design

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Friday, September 28, 2012

Rectangular house in Austria

A terrible facade, a dreadful way of understanding such words / terms like 'privacy', 'intimacy' or 'minimalism' - by having your house looking from the street like a frightening place from which one cannot escape.

And the interior doesn't get any better either in spite of having windows from the back side of the building.
In the living area: a large L-sofa with a tiny, out of scale accent table in front, and three pieces of decoration hanging above is just as pitiful in terms of design.

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Austria. Kienesberger Schröckenfuchs Architektur. Photos via Freshome

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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Classic contemporary Living room in New York

Very nice.
The decorative wall moldings create rhythm, add architectural interest, enrich the plain surface, and bring a classic element into a contemporary decor.
Also, the repetition (of wall moldings) balances the variety existent throughout the rest of the room (in the furniture pieces).

The seating area greatly mixes different pieces on each of the four sides.


Living room; New York, USA. Carlos Aparicio. Interior photo via Architectural Digest.

However:
- the coffee table is way too small for such a large seating arrangement, and considering that there are no additional accent tables it's hard to imagine how several people will gather around such a small table;
- also, the coffee table is placed too far from any seat - you won't be able to comfortably reach a glass while sitting, so every time you want to get something from the coffee table you will basically have to stretch quite a bit or even have to get up which is not exactly pleasant.

The abstract art seems too big compared to the more delicate proportions of the sofa it sits above.

The asymmetrical arrangement flanking the sofa is very nicely balanced: tall secretary + table lamp on one side versus accent table + tall floor lamp on the other side.

The table lamp on the secretary will look much better closer to the sofa though - the lamp will feel integrated, not away from the composition.

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Contemporary black and white living room in New York

A refined, sophisticated yet austere decor.

The simple black and white palette has a great mix of textures that brings a lot of interest and variety.

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Living room; New York, USA. MR Architecture + Decor. Interior photo via Architectural Digest.

The contrasts are very severe: the faux-fur pillows, the calfskin rug, the velvet sofa are textures that suppose to bring some warmth, but in this case their effect is erased by the very large rough piece of art that dominates the room from its position above the sofa, and together with the black and white color scheme the decor gets a cold, harsh feeling.

The gold framed mirror in the background is a fine, subtle and unexpected detail, and color accent.

The red flowers on the coffee table bring another, more evident color accent indeed, but there is no permanent accent color in the form of a lasting decorative element.
If/when the fresh flowers are not there the room might feel really too stark.

On the other hand, by choosing fresh flowers in a different color the room gets instantly a different feel (e.g. think of a yellow bouquet for example).

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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

My Style

Wearing a black - white - blue-gray - pink color palette with yellow-green accents in a mix of classic and contemporary graphic patterns.

The black-and-white hound's tooth pattern in the skirt has a small scale, while the pinks-and-yellow-greens graphic pattern in the scarf has a larger scale, so their scale and the color palettes don't compete but complement each other.

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The blue-gray top acts as a quiet piece.

The sash belt:
- adds a color accent that relates to the yellow-green color in the scarf, 
- emphasizes the waist line, 
- the white brooch pin on the belt accentuates the waist line even further. 

Freshwater pearl light pink stud earrings and light pink rounded shoes complete the outfit.

You can see me wearing the same skirt in a different, more relaxed combination here:

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Monday, September 24, 2012

Contemporary Living room in white and natural elements

Soft and relaxed modernism. 
A great amount of wood is incorporated in the design without the room to have a dated rustic feeling, but a warm and contemporary feel.

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Living room; Beverly Hills, USA. Jenni Kayne. Interior photo via Architectural Digest.

However:
- the artificial lighting seems to deficient. With the exception of a lighting fixture above the dining table, there is no other source of artificial light in sight. Perhaps some general lighting comes from somewhere on the ceiling, but what about local light that creates atmosphere? 
- the floor-to-ceiling windows allow for an abundant natural light during daytime but what happens at night, when all you face are two huge dark holes - considering that there are no window treatments?
- the asymmetrical seating arrangement is off-balanced. Two visually heavy sofas are positioned on two adjacent sides of the seating arrangement while two visually very light chairs complete the third side of the arrangement.  
The choice of placing two light chairs on one side and a sofa plus another light chair on the opposite side doesn't create a happy balance.

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My Style

An evening outfit for the 'Home of Hope' benefit gala.
My hair is done in a retro style that I favor so much at the moment.

You can see me wearing the gold lace vest in a completely different combination here:

blog.oanasinga.com-personal-style-photos

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Friday, September 21, 2012

My Style

Giving a twist to a classic wrap dress by layering a sequined piece on top.
The quiet black, cream, and blue colors get a vivid touch via the yellow-green accents.
Also, the vibrant yellow-green color relates to the dynamic pattern in the dress.

The two necklaces bring in two new textures: a short black and yellow-green beaded necklace, and a long metal chain necklace.

The black rounded shoes, the vintage inspired hairstyle, the big brooch flower, and the red lipstick complete the look.

The short necklace is my own design.

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My own necklace design

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Living room and Pattern mix

This interior might have belonged once to a grand dame philanthropist and socialite, but:
- to combine a floral pattern in black and pink (the rug) with a floral pattern in blue and yellow (the two chairs) and with an animal print in yellow-brown (the ottoman),
and
- to add to the mix a very ornate mirror in contrast with the casual chairs and sofa is just an eye-sorrow. 

What's the thread that unites all these choices?
There is only a chaotic variety and contrasts. Everything demands attention at once, there is no hierarchy - which element is the most important?

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A Sotheby recreation of Brooke Astor's Holly Hill Westchester County home. Interior photo via Elle Decor.



Wednesday, September 19, 2012

My Style

Black and white, stripes, orange and purple accents - an outfit to take me through a long day of running around.

blog.oanasinga.com-personal-style-photos


I infused color into the black and white outfit via the accents in the accessories: an orange belt and a red-orange-and-purple necklace.

Additional interest and variety is added through the mix of metals too: gold in the belt's buckle, bracelet, and the details in the fur bag, and silver in the necklace.

Both the top and the skirt have loose shapes so I gave the outfit some structure by tying the blouse with a belt - this keeps the volume under control and prevents the outfit from looking too bulky.

You can see me wearing the same top in a loose way / a different combination here:

The necklace is my own design.

blog.oanasinga.com-oana-singa-necklace-design
My own necklace design



Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Minimalist living room in brown and yellow

A generous size room. A stiff, still, austere, soulless interior.

The effect of the brown colors is so strong that the attempt to invigorate the space through the yellow accents in the two tables completely fails, and the tables look just out of place.

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When doing a minimalist and monochromatic interior texture and pattern are vital.
Too little variety of color, tone, pattern or texture and the room may seem lifeless, as in this case.

Also, the architecture is very robust, and the flimsy legs in the sofas and tables create an unhappy contrast.

The artificial light looks like is coming only from the two floor lamps which provide local light.
In other words, at night there are only two pools of light behind one sofa, and the rest of the room might be sitting in the dark.
Any well designed room should have a mix of lighting: general, local, and accent.

What good to have floor to ceiling glass windows, if you don't have a proper furniture layout that allows you to seat and enjoy the view during daytime?

There is not even a single piece of art, accessory, ...

The furniture seem to appear and disappear: two brown chairs and one sofa in the first photo, two sofas and only one brown chair in the second photo.

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Living room; Barwon Heads, Australia. Inarc Architects. Interior photos via Freshome.

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Monday, September 17, 2012

Eclectic home office in white

A very nice unpretentious home office.
The ceiling beams, the layered rugs, the ladder, and the desk add so much character and texture to this white room.

blog.oanasinga.com-interior-design-photos-eclectic-white-home-office-claudia-benvenutto-los-angeles

The dark desk in a white interior makes a strong presence. And its presence is amplified by the clarity of contrast with the white and chrome chair in a contemporary design.

The dark ladder is the kind of a small thing/choice that makes a great impact - the ladder greatly punctuates the white bookcase's expanse. Also, the repetition of the same dark color as the color in the desk gives a pleasant rhythm and unity.

Not sure though how the oblique arrangement of the desk and the small rug feels when you are in the room. 

Home office; Los Angeles, USA. Claudia Benvenutto. Interior photo via Elle Decor.
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My Style

Wearing yellow-greens and gold in a mix of textures.
The shiny top is balanced by the linen texture of the military inspired jacket, and the matte white cotton in the skirt.
The green scarf that has yellow undertones relates to the colors of the other two upper pieces yet at the same time it expands the color palette, and adds to the visual impact.

blog.oanasinga.com-personal-style-photos

I choose a blue sash belt to add a small amount of contrasting color.

The combination on the upper part of the body claims for enough attention so I opted for a pair of sandals in a neutral color.

My final touches are two accessories in contrasting textures: a blue-and-gold metal bracelet and a pearl bracelet worn together on the same wrist.


blog.oanasinga.com-personal-style-photos

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Friday, September 14, 2012

My Style

Giving a glamorous spin to a military inspired dress by layering a gold lace vest on top.

I kept everything else very simple: the shoes and the small bag are very casual, and in a neutral color.

I finished the outfit with an easy green-and-gold seed beads necklace that adds a color accent.

blog.oanasinga.com-personal-style-photos









Thursday, September 13, 2012

Traditional library - for show?

At first glance this traditional library with built-in bookcases and wood paneling looks lovely, and pleasantly comfortable. 

However this is actually an extremely poor design:
- the sofa is positioned exactly in front of the bookcase, AND, together with the end table and with the desk that flank it these pieces fully obstruct the access to what is behind - so you cannot reach anything on those shelves without having to climb on the sofa (or on the desk, or on the end table - at your choice);
- art is hung in front of the books - so you are not even able to see the books;
- a desk is squeezed into a corner - so you can barely get in and out.
This is a furniture layout meant for show, totally artificial, or simply unbelievably bad.
A layout for someone who doesn't appreciate a library, for someone who perhaps never gets to read a book from those shelves (plus, where is a good reading light anyway?), for someone who never gets to sit at the desk ... 

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Traditional library. Phillip Sides. Interior photo via Traditional Home.
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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Silver cabinetry in a luxurious minimalist Kitchen

The cabinets clad in hammered silver create a dazzling effect in this kitchen. 

Although the room is so small and narrow the glamorous polished surface diverts your attention and it makes you overlook the dimensions of the space. The perception is that you are in the presence of a tiny precious piece of jewelry.

However, while the marble tops, back splash and flooring, the hammered silver cabinetry, and the lighting source transmit a cohesive luxurious minimalist feeling, the mirror with an ornate frame with a classic inspired design (on the wall at left) and the industrial looking window are puzzling choices. 

blog.oanasinga.com-interior-design-photos-silver-cabinetry-kitchen-jean-louis-deniot

The intention might have been to keep the glamorous effect under control and to give a twist to the presence of the fascinating metallic and the luxurious marble tops and floors, but the 'luxurious-minimalist-glamorous-classic-industrial' mix creates rather a disturbing tension.

Perhaps a contemporary piece of art, or a mirror with a contemporary design frame will manage to both tone down, contrast, and balance the shimmering effect yet at the same time to create a connection with the industrial looking window.

Kitchen. Jean Louis Deniot. Photo via Elle Decor.



 

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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Winter Garden in a chateau near Paris

This space is filled with many wonderful pieces.

Yet, as a whole it feels too cluttered and stuffy.


The mix of patterns on the walls has successful ingredients - the green and orange color palette has unity, variety and contrast that come from the blend of patterns in the same color and size but with varied forms:
- stripes in the window treatment,
- diamond pattern on the walls,
- floral pattern on the painted portions on the walls.
A solid orange color (actually this is a subtle pattern) combined with stripes on the upholstery of the two chairs and their cushions in the forefront of the image continue and complete the scheme.

The distracting and uneasy busyness comes from the presence of too many pieces - tables and chairs - with decorative legs and decorative open backs:
- the central table that anchors the room has both very decorative legs plus decorative legs connections;
- the many different chairs and tables in the two seating areas in the background have all legs and decorative open backs;

AND

- from the introduction of additional colors and pattern on a large scale: red and blue in the busy pattern of the rug.

By choosing/replacing a few chairs with ones that have solid backs, and the central table with one that has a pedestal base the space might get to breath differently.

Winter garden/multipurpose room; France. Henri Samuel. Interior photo via Architectural Digest.




 

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Monday, September 10, 2012

Contemporary living room in Mexico City, Mexico

The large open living area is very nicely and clearly defined into three smaller parts.
The space beautifully flows from the main seating area in the forefront to the more intimate seating area in front of the fireplace and to the game/reading/library area next to it.

blog.oanasinga.com-interior-design-photos-living-room-lopez-duplan-arquitectos-mexico-city

Different rugs anchor the three zones. The rug under the table and the surrounding chairs is too small for the area though.

The changes in the floor's elevation amplify the spatial experience, and create a quiet pool of space out of the main seating area.

Beautiful layers of lighting - beside the ambient lighting at the periphery of the ceiling, the local lighting from the table lamps, and the flickering light and glow of the fireplace there is also:
- accent light that illuminates the floor plants,
- accent light that brings attention to the large artwork,
- accent light for the display of books and objects on the bookshelves.
Not clear though if there is any appropriate task lighting for reading.

blog.oanasinga.com-interior-design-photos-living-room-lopez-duplan-arquitectos-mexico-city+(2)

Living room; Mexico City, Mexico. Lopez Duplan Arquitectos. Interior photos via Freshome.




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My Style

Wearing a white cotton sheath dress.

The dress acts as a canvas for a mix of patterns, colors and textures that I incorporated via the accessories.

I tied an animal print silk scarf as a bow, and I chose a pair of long gold earrings to frame the face.

I gave the outfit an exotic flair by mixing in a pair of gold beaded Indian mules, and an Indian purse.

blog.oanasinga.com-personal-style-photos




 

Friday, September 7, 2012

Mix of opposites: spare and glamorous coexist in a living room in New York, USA

A space that pleasantly brings together a mix of opposites: the overall feeling of the room is clean and spare yet it has/incorporates a few glamorous touches.

However, the completely undressed windows look precisely like that - unappealingly bare, giving the interior an unfinished feeling.

blog.oanasinga.com-interior-design-photos-kelly-behun-living-room-new-york

The unostentatious decor is done in a blue-grey and yellow-gold color scheme punctuated with copper accents and interesting pieces of art. A beautiful rug is an unifying element, its pattern combining the existent colors in the decor.

The asymmetrical arrangement that flanks the sofa - the fig plant on the right versus a sculpture hanging from the ceiling on the left just doesn't feel right: it makes the eye to plunge dramatically from the height of the the plant's crown (a plant that looks oppressed by the ceiling and without any room to grow) to the very low position of the sculpture on the other side of the sofa.
Although the sculpture's chain creates a vertical line this detail doesn't compensate for the presence and height of the tall plant leaving the space visually unbalanced.

Living room; New York, USA. Kelly Behun. Interior photo via Elle Decor.

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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Brown and white living room. New Orleans, USA

The accents of silver and gold, and the velvety, furry, silky, glass textures add interest to the very restrained color palette of brown and white.

Still, the decor will benefit from the addition of pattern in the same brown-and-white color combination that would enliven, break the monotony, and balance the effect of solid only surfaces/textures (most of them in brown color and with no variations in tones).

blog.oanasinga.com-interior-design-photos-lee-ledbetter-living-room-new-orleans

Nice - the repetition of an identical ceiling fixture in the living and dining unite the open area.

However, there is no trace of layers of lighting to define/create an atmosphere: in the living area there is a single source of light only coming from the ceiling fixture.

The mirror above the fireplace has a very awkward shape ... In other words be careful when choosing accessories - you don't want to end up displaying objects that have a shape resembling a certain part of the human body, and that can make an embarrassing presence.

Living room, New Orleans, USA. Lee Ledbetter. Interior photo via Architectural Digest.
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