Before + After / Sunnyvale Scandinavian

Transformations don’t get more dramatic than this! While our clients had owned their Sunnyvale ranch for almost a decade, very little had been updated since the house was built in the 70s. Being avid cooks, the most important updated needed for the clients was improving the kitchen layout and organization. The clients wanted a fresh Scandinavian-inspired look and feel, and we delivered a solid foundation on which to continue building their home piece by piece.

For this project, we pushed out an exterior wall to make room for a new and larger kitchen, removed a wall in the dining room to open up the layout, replaced the flooring, and refreshed the paint and lighting throughout.

BEFORE: A tiny, cramped kitchen

BEFORE: A tiny, cramped kitchen

AFTER: A spacious, well-organized kitchen designed for two cooks

AFTER: A spacious, well-organized kitchen designed for two cooks

BEFORE: Not enough storage and counter space

BEFORE: Not enough storage and counter space

AFTER: Optimized storage and spacious counters for prep work

AFTER: Optimized storage and spacious counters for prep work

BEFORE: A characterless office

BEFORE: A characterless office

AFTER: Color and a cozy reading nook added to the office

AFTER: Color and a cozy reading nook added to the office

Learn how you can create a Scandinavian-inspired kitchen through our recent feature in Rue Magazine.

What’s your favorite part of this renovation? Share with us in the comments below!

Modernist Designers Series / Jacques Adnet

For our third modernist designer to know, we’re taking you into the heart of French art, culture, and history: Paris.

If you missed February’s featured designer, read here!

(   source   )

Jacques Adnet (1900-1984)
France
Architect, Designer

Jacques Adnet and his twin brother, Jean, received their artistic education at the École des Arts Décoratifs in Paris in 1916.

Following graduation, the twins founded their own design firm, Jean & Jacques Adnet, where they would work together for the next four years.

During this period, Adnet’s work was largely inspired by the popular Art Deco style of the early era. He used it to update traditional furniture in new ways and placed heavy emphasis on materials like leather, metals, mirror, and woods.

In 1928, the brothers’ paths took different directions when Jacques Adnet accepted a directorship at the design firm La Compagnie des Arts Français. It was here that his style began to shift towards the work he is most famous for…

He continued to use luxurious materials and to reinvent traditional forms, but he began to embrace the svelte lines and shapes of modernist design.

Campaign chair and ottoman, 1940s  (   source   )

Campaign chair and ottoman, 1940s (source)

Lounge chairs, 1950  (   source   )

Lounge chairs, 1950 (source)

Coffee table with mirror, 1930s  (   source   )

Coffee table with mirror, 1930s (source)

His unique modern style continued into the 1940s, when Hermès commissioned Adnet for nearly a decade’s worth of furniture designs. Adnet’s most famous pieces include the leather mirror, Circulaire, and his table lamp, Quadro VII, which was produced in Italy.

Circulaire, round leather mirrors, 1950  (   source   )

Circulaire, round leather mirrors, 1950 (source)

Quadro VII Lamp, 1929  (   source   )

Quadro VII Lamp, 1929 (source)

Adnet also renovated and designed several high-profile interiors in the 1940s and 50s, including French President Vincent Auriol’s private apartments, Paris’s UNESCO headquarters, and several luxury ocean liners.

When La Compagnie des Arts Français closed in 1959, he resumed his work as an art school director.

More Modern Designs by Jacques Adnet

Hand-stitched leather lounge chairs, 1950s-1960s  (   source   )

Hand-stitched leather lounge chairs, 1950s-1960s (source)

Leather magazine holder designed for Hermès  (   source   )

Leather magazine holder designed for Hermès (source)

Stitched leather desk, 1950s  (   source   )

Stitched leather desk, 1950s (source)

Leather table, 1950s  (   source   )

Leather table, 1950s (source)

Keep an eye out for our next featured designer in April…

In the meantime, tell us your favorite modern designer in the comments below!

Pro Tip / The Mexico City Guide

Architect Luis Barragán’s Casa Pedregal

Architect Luis Barragán’s Casa Pedregal

Last month we took an inspiring trip to Mexico City, which in recent years has become a top food and design destination! After five days of leisurely exploration, we distilled our trip down to our favorite stops for design-minded travelers. The best part? The flight from SFO to CDMX is only 4.5 hours!

TETETLAN + CASA PEDREGAL

Founded by art collector César Cervantes, Tetetlán is a modern cultural center housing a restaurant, café, local store, library, wellness center, and cheese cellar. It began as an effort to preserve and restore Luis Barragán’s Casa Pedregal, located in a suburb built on volcanic rock on the southern outskirts of Mexico City. The new architecture of Tetetlán is just as impressive, so visit for both the restaurant and the guided tour of Casa Pedregal. Make sure to reserve your tour spot in advance via email.

The restaurant at Tetetlån - built on volcanic rock   (image source)

The restaurant at Tetetlån - built on volcanic rock (image source)

BLANCO COLIMA

Located in the hip, historic neighborhood of Roma, Blanco Colima is a perfect lounge spot for food, drinks, and good music. Housed in a restored mansion, the space holds three restaurants as well as traveling exhibitions, movie screenings, and workshops. Reservations are a must for tables, otherwise you can take food at the bar!

Blanco Colima’s beautiful setting   (image source)

Blanco Colima’s beautiful setting (image source)

KURIMANZUTTO

La Condesa is one of the best neighborhoods for a stroll with its beautiful small streets and modernist architectural gems such as Kurimanzutto. Check out the contemporary art exhibitions and the stunning gallery spaces.

Contemporary art gallery Kurimanzutto

Contemporary art gallery Kurimanzutto

TAMALES MADRE

While in Mexico City, we caught up with our friend Regina at her minimalist, jewel box of a tamales shop, Tamales Madre. With a simple menu of gourmet tamales and sides such as cactus salad, this was hands-down my favorite meal of the trip. Save room for the dessert tamales - they are not to be missed!

Hand-made tamales are at Tamales Madre

Hand-made tamales are at Tamales Madre

BIBLIOTECA VASCONCELOS

Built in 2007, Biblioteca Vasconcelos is a massive library that feels both futuristic and magical at the same time with its endless, cantilevered shelves of books. It’s a sight to see in person.

Biblioteca Vasconcelos

Biblioteca Vasconcelos

NIDDO

Both restaurant and cafe, Niddo is a beautiful and delicious spot to take a break from sightseeing. The attention to detail that went into the design of the cafe is an absolute delight, and we’re only showing you the exterior! Try the locally bottled Tamarind kombucha for a refreshing drink.

Niddo Café

Niddo Café

STUDIO DAVIDPOMPA

For a functional souvenir, stop by Studio davidpompa and pick up a light fixture designed and fabricated in Mexico City! The lighting and objects are displayed alongside the raw material from which they’re created, elevating the showroom experience.

Studio davidpompa

Studio davidpompa

CASA GILARDI

Last on our list is another Luis Barragán work: Casa Gilardi. What makes Casa Gilardi and Casa Pedregal interesting to visit is that people still live there! The tour for Casa Gilardi is run by the sons of the man who commissioned Luis Barragán. While a small house and Barragán’s last work, the use of color is brilliant and a sight to behold. You can book the tour directly through Facebook Messenger.

Casa Gilardi

Casa Gilardi

There’s still many more places on our list that we didn’t get a chance to visit this time around. Tell us your must-see Mexico City destinations in the comments below!

Modernist Designers Series / Clara Porset

Our featured designer for February played a strong role in expanding modernist design beyond Europe. After being exiled from her native country, she adopted a new home and forever changed the way it would see design. We had the privilege of seeing her work in person on a recent trip to Mexico City!

If you missed January’s designer, read here.

(   source   )

Clara Porset (1895-1981)
Mexico (born in Cuba)
Designer

Clara Porset is credited for revolutionizing modern design in Mexico, though she didn’t start there.

Born in Cuba to a wealthy family, Porset studied at Columbia University’s School of Fine Arts, the École des Beaux Arts in Paris, as well as the Sorbonne, the Louvre, and Black Mountain College in North Carolina.

The latter is where she met Josef Albers, the former Bauhaus designer and educator famous for introducing color theory to modern design. Porset’s time with Albers would largely influence the modern forms of her future designs.

In the early 1930s, Porset attempted to return to Cuba to teach and design, but her support of the Cuban resistance led to political exile. She finally landed in Mexico, where she would spend the rest of her career and life.

Totonaca Suite, Low Chair, 1959  (   source   )

Totonaca Suite, Low Chair, 1959 (source)

To her great credit, Porset embraced Mexico’s culture and fused it with her work. She traveled around the country, soaking up its craft traditions, art, and culture. When she designed furniture, she kept the existing forms and edited out the ornate details, creating a simplified, modern take on tradition.

Her most famous designs were her new interpretations of Mexico’s butaque chair, a low, curving lounge chair with history dating back to Spanish rule.

Butaque Lounge Chair, 1940s  (   source   )

Butaque Lounge Chair, 1940s (source)

Butaque Lounge Chair, 1950  (   source   )

Butaque Lounge Chair, 1950 (source)

Butaque Lounge Chair, 1950s  (   source   )

Butaque Lounge Chair, 1950s (source)

Porset won many design awards within Mexico and received recognition from MoMA’s Organic Design for Home Furnishing contest in 1940. Several renowned architects of the age embraced her work as well, including Luis Barragán. Porset worked with Barragán personally to furnish his own home and many of his architectural projects. We’ll be sharing photos of their collaboration on the blog in the future, so stay tuned!

Porset’s lasting contribution to modern design was not only to spread it to Mexico, but also to give it a new flavor, one representative of the Mexican people themselves.


More Modern Designs by Clara Porset

Totonaca Suite, 3-Seat Sofa, 1959  (   source   )

Totonaca Suite, 3-Seat Sofa, 1959 (source)

High Armchairs  (   source   )

High Armchairs (source)

Woven Rush Folding Screen, 1950s  (   source   )

Woven Rush Folding Screen, 1950s (source)

Chairs in mahogany and cotton, 1950s  (   source   )

Chairs in mahogany and cotton, 1950s (source)

DM Nacional Desk, 1950s  (   source   )

DM Nacional Desk, 1950s (source)

Lounge chairs, 1950s  (   source   )

Lounge chairs, 1950s (source)

Keep an eye out for our next featured designer in March…

In the meantime, tell us your favorite modern designer in the comments below!

Before + After / Ayesha Curry's Homemade Pop-Up Shop

Homemade Pop-Up Shop Window.jpg

In case you haven’t heard, we had the incredible opportunity of designing Ayesha Curry’s Homemade Pop-Up Shop in Oakland’s Jack London Square! Ayesha recently relaunched her Homemade brand, and the pop-up shop was a way for her fans to experience her brand and products in real-life. We had a blast creating a retail space that embodied her vision!

You can visit the store throughout the month of February at 423 Water St, but in case you can’t make it in-person, here’s some before and after photos to show you what we accomplished in TWO WEEKS start to finish. Big thanks to partner Cost Plus World Market who provided all of the furnishings!

BEFORE: Sad white walls

BEFORE: Sad white walls

AFTER: Never underestimate the power of paint to transform!

AFTER: Never underestimate the power of paint to transform!

BEFORE: Blue walls left over from the previous tenant

BEFORE: Blue walls left over from the previous tenant

AFTER: Beautifully styled shelving and tabletops to show-off the wares

AFTER: Beautifully styled shelving and tabletops to show-off the wares

BEFORE: Depressing ceiling tiles

BEFORE: Depressing ceiling tiles

AFTER: No one’s looking at the ceiling tiles when there’s a bedroom scene this beautiful

AFTER: No one’s looking at the ceiling tiles when there’s a bedroom scene this beautiful

BEFORE: A depressing, poorly lit space

BEFORE: A depressing, poorly lit space

AFTER: A peaceful retreat while shopping

AFTER: A peaceful retreat while shopping

Looking for more? Read the short Q&A with Ayesha herself in the Rue Magazine feature.

What do you love most about this retail space transformation? Share with us in the comments below!