A Taste of NYC, MOMA and the Concrete Jungle

Changing up the scene and taking you to the East Coast, I’ve traveled to New York City to bring you all a taste of the Concrete Jungle, where dreams are made! Being born and raised in New York and taking many trips to the city, I never truly understood the magic it has to offer. It was not until I was older that I appreciated the art inspiration and the “hustle and bustle” of the city. Walking around and soaking in all of the designs everywhere I go from people’s fashion, buildings architecture, or street art outside a pizzeria, everywhere you look is truly magical.

There is a special feeling you get in New York City when watching the buzz of NYC’s most stylish residents running to their next meetings, calling for taxis, and being trendsetters all at the same time. One of my favorite things to do is look at everyone’s fashion sense as they walk down the streets. There is a lot of simplicity in New Yorkers’ streetwear, but you’ll also see many unique fashion prints year round. There is so much inspiration throughout this great city!

In Hell’s Kitchen, NYC I captured this marvelous street art of a man and a woman eating dinner. This painting truly captures New York City and the urban street art that is all around. I love the combination of colors and how it pops from miles away. This was displayed outside of a restaurant and definitely attracted many customers, (like me!)

I headed over to the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) to get some design inspiration. All around there was incredible paintings that would act as great wall décor in your home.  As I headed to the museum there was a work of art parked on the street that I had to capture with a picture and show you all! This convertible with European license plate was painted and decorated inspired by the Amalfi Coast. The intricate detailing and props in the trunk were truly beautiful, and such an inspiration for the summertime. Who knew a car could make you want to travel to Europe in a heartbeat!

Artwork by Frank Stella

One of my favorite pieces of art that was in the MOMA was this sculpture from artist Frank Stella, which he describes as a painting, construction, or whatever you imagine it to be. It was created in 1984 and it was inspired by an Italian fairytale. The 3-D effect and pops of color make it so unique. Incorporating sculptures or paintings similar to Stella’s work in the MOMA can give any room a modern- European look!

See below some of the most eye-catching pieces of art that I captured as I toured the MOMA.

And for a taste of NYC street style, here are a few things that caught my eye. 

By Raisa Forte – Interiors by Jacquin intern

Headed to NYC anytime soon? Don’t miss the chance to visit New York City’s Museum of Modern Art (MOMA). You won’t be disappointed. And while you’re in the neighborhood taking in the NYC sites, people watching and taking in the local street style is always a free activity that will leave you inspired. 

Fashion meets Interiors: featuring Nneka Elliott

I hope everyone is enjoying the tail end of their summer! I am back with a brand new Fashion meets Interiors post featuring creator, host, and fashion blogger Nneka Elliott, whose foundation is based in her Caribbean roots. Nneka infuses Caribbean style and culture throughout her blog and personal style, bringing Caribbean heritage to her life in America. Meet Nneka and explore how she styles an original outfit based on this vibrant interior design and wall art by Leah Bartholomew.

I’m a long time tv news girl, with an island soul, chasing my dreams as a host, actor and content creator. I blog about my life as a woman on screen and the things that help me shine on camera. All the clothes, beauty/hair products and lifestyle tips that work for me. I recently quit the news biz after more than a decade of reporting and anchoring in Toronto, Canada. As such my style has also transitioned to be less conservative. I’d describe my personal style now as classic with a side of island chic.

That’s why I felt most drawn to this particular design photo. The botanical feel of Leah Bartholomew’s art work gave me a slight island vibe. The leaves, the citrusy vibrant colours. I could definitely see myself hosting an episode of my online lifestyle talk show in this room! I often talk about the intersectionality that is my identity as a Canadian woman of Caribbean descent (St.Vincent & the Grenadines & Trinidad to be specific.) I’m getting a bit of that dual identity when I look at this room. The artwork juxtaposed with the more neutral, classic tones in the furniture and decor.

Artwork by Leah Bartholomew

I pulled out the least prominent colour in the room, which is the orange (my favourite colour) and made it the dominant colour in my outfit.  I paired some comfy wide leg trousers with a hieroglyphic patterned tank from Caribbean designer Fashion is Payne. Then I threw on a faux suede moto jacket to tie in the pinks/blush in the painting and the texture of the couch. I recently got the african print clutch from a black owned pop up market. I really wanted to add a tiny bit of the electric blue from the painting, plus I love orange and navy. So it was a no brainer really. I love outfits that are multidimensional and represent who I am and this room provided the perfect opportunity to do so!

SHOP THE LOOK!

Thank you, Nneka for sharing your eclectic and colorful style with us. This outfit is perfect for the summertime, can be transformed from a business meeting to a night out on the town!

Be sure to follow Nneka Elliot on Instagram and Twitter @nnekaelliott and on Facebook. Go to her blog for more great content. For more of Interiors by Jacquin “Fashion meets Interiors” features click here!

 

DIY Shibori tie-dye cotton napkins!

There is still time left to do some crafting this summer! This Shibori tie-dye tutorial is the perfect excuse to get outdoors and create something. As seen in the August 2018 edition of Modern Luxury Interiors Texas magazine (page 16-17), here is the step-by-step tutorial for creating your own Shibori tye-dye napkins. If you’re new to Shibori, it’s a Japanese process of dying fabric by using special folding techniques to create patterns. I’ll show you how… 

INSTRUCTIONS:

Step 1: Gather your materials – Soda Ash, Indigo dye powder, Natural twine/rope, 2 Large buckets, Protective gloves, and a set of 100% cotton white napkins. You will also need clothespins to hang your wet Shibori creations to dry. 

Step 2: Fill 2 large buckets with water. One bucket will be to wet your folded cotton napkin before dying. The second bucket will have the indigo dye added and will be your bucket of dye.

Step 3: Prep your indigo dye solution. This indigo solution will need to sit for at least 30 minutes before using. (You may also use Rit dye in “denim blue” for an easy option, although not the same as the natural indigo.) Please use instructions for mixing your dye bath with soda ash as provided on your indigo dye instructions. For people using Rit dye, you will not need soda ash at all. 

Step 4: Fold your napkins into your desired design. I have provided a folding tutorial video at the bottom of this post for creating 4 different patterns in your napkin. You can also try your own abstract ways of folding your white cotton napkins.

Step 5: Once you have determined how you will fold your napkins then you will need to use the twine to wrap and hold in place your folds. The twine will create a resist pattern in your finished napkins as well, so using twine adds another added abstract feature to your designs. 

Step 6: Now you’re ready to get started! Wet your folded cotton napkin in your bucket of warm water first and wring it out gently.

Step 7: Dip your damp folded napkin into the indigo dye bath and leave inside the solution for a minute or two. When you pull out your napkin gently wring it out again.

Step 8: Rinse your dyed napkin with a hose. (This is another great reason to work outdoors.) Lastly, carefully cut away all of your twine from the folded napkin.

Step 9: Gently unfold your completed napkin and then hang it to dry. Afterward wash and dry your napkins to complete the process. Now you’re ready to decorate your next tablescape with Shibori tie-dye napkins!

Remember to RINSE your Shibori creations after dyeing, and before you hang your cotton napkins to dry. For additional guidance on folding your Shibori napkin into a pattern, watch the brief video below with instructions on creating 4 different Shibori patterns with your folded napkins. We are so pleased with how our cotton napkins turned out! We hope you enjoy your Shibori creations as well! 

The BEST Coffee Table Books

 

Have you been struggling with your coffee table décor? There are many options to choose from, but sometimes the best option may be the simplest one. Coffee Table Books. Oversized, usually hardcover and deluxe editions that are meant for people to interact with while they look at photographs and learn from them. They are everywhere you look, from stores like Anthropologie, on Amazon, at that amazing art gallery gift shop, and perhaps even your home, stored in a box from an old housewarming gift. Don’t miss out on the enjoyment of coffee table books in your home!  

They are meant to be enjoyed, that’s why they are all about the visuals. Definitely not a heavy read where you spend tons of time figuring out what each sentence means, instead they are a little side dish to inspire conversation and accompany your coffee.

Here are a few of our favorites! Take a look and decide for yourself which genre of coffee table book suits your style.

Bosphorus is a region of Turkey where you can find  incredible people, delicious food and a culture rich in history due to being a crossroad between Europe and Asia.

 

Fred Samuel was a jeweler famous for transforming original drawings by Jean Cocteau into glowing jewels. This book takes you through the history of his impressive brand and how it become an icon.

Luxury of Space is a recopilation of Oberto Gili’s work. He captures quiet moments and basic needs as the fundamental moments of human existence.

Château Lifepresents to you the best of the french culinary expertise including how to set your table and sixty recipes for all occasions.

  

When Art Meets Design, helps as a guide if you’re restoring and decorating your home. Artist Hunt Slonem’s introduces you to his work and illustrates how to combine antiques, fabrics and artwork.

There’s a perfect Coffee Table Book out there for everyone. From music, dance, architecture, cooking, landscapes, entertaining, travel and even coffee table books dedicated to specific themes, you just need to look for them, and rest  assure, you’ll find the perfect one for your coffee table.

Photos by Assouline

Coffee table books will compliment your space by adding a touch of your own personal aesthetic and by being an excellent conversation starter . And you can be certain you’ll be complimented by your guests. If you are looking for a way to take your home décor to the next level, don’t think it anymore and go find your perfect Coffee Table Book. 

At Home With Shreya Jain – Home Tour

A chat with Delhi-based designer & owner of brand La Kairos. 

Jacquin: Thank you Shreya for allowing Interiors by Jacquin a peek into your home! How would you describe the style of your bedroom decor? How does your home’s decor reflect your own personal style?

Shreya: It’s my pleasure to invite you and your readers into a place that’s essentially a sanctuary for all things me. My bedroom is basically the 16-year-old ME’s space exuding romantic, subtle, comfortable chic farm style. It draws from a modern English country look with a whimsical farm-living feel to it. I have always adored things that are classic and timeless in a stark contrast to the trendy. All the furniture in my bedroom is crafted from Indonesian mahogany with a clean white matte-finish accented with gorgeous matte-finished metallic knobs.

The Crest Collection throw pillow – a La Kairos original.

Signifying our family’s lineage and heritage; the ‘Crest’ features hand-embroidered initials inscribed within each crest – a celebration of each individual and each pair in the family tree. Each family is a circle of ‘Strength’ and of ‘Love’. And with every birth and union, this circle grows. With this collection, we celebrate love, heritage, strength, respect and power for each and every family around the world.  

Jacquin: How did you come up with your brand’s name La Kairos? How have your travels across Europe influenced your brand? 

Shreya: My mum’s been an avid reader since her childhood, which comes alive beautifully in the form of three vast libraries located around our house. They’re home to a score of titles, one of which is called ‘Simplicity’ – which caught my eye during the whole thinking process of exploring possible brand names. The book is a classic by the world-renowned writer and philosopher Edward de Bono. It speaks about making the complicated, simple – brought to life through Greek mythology where the world is divided into ‘Kairos’ and ‘Chronos’.

Drawing meaning from its essence is what absorbed my attention. I instantly connected with ‘Kairos’ – a greek word defined as transcendence, infinity, reverence, joy, passion and love, the ethereal, the sacred. Kairos comes alive as intimacy with the real. Kairos is time at her best. Kairos is to be happy at home. Kairos is spirit’s time. And that’s that, really!

Jacquin: What motivated you to launch your home decor brand, La Kairos?

Shreya: Here’s taking a trip back in time: I think it is deeply rooted in my childhood. My grandmother would spend her time knitting, crocheting and creating beautiful hand embroideries at home. Something, that truly inspired me to learn some of those gorgeous techniques from her, which are so significant of our Indian culture and who we are. Whether it was the hand-embroidered depictions of the tales of the Ramayana (An ancient Indian epic) brought alive on a sari border in cross-stitch or the illustrations of native flowers embroidered onto tea napkins. She introduced me to the art of hand crafting pieces of décor – an art form I slowly realized was diminishing given the mass production of goods taking over every industry.

Earlier on, when you bought something it would last you a lifetime because its quality and workmanship was just ‘on-point’, where you would hand down those special pieces onto the next generation. I wanted to create the same level of products and tell stories through them whilst keeping the hand artistry and sustainability as my focus.

Jacquin: I know you lived in London for a few years. How have your travels across Europe influenced your brand? 

Shreya: Europe is a place where whichever city you visit, you experience a very homegrown attitude of the people, rooted in their culture and traditions. It truly inspires one to strive for originality and to be a reflection of one’s true self – an influence that travelling around Europe brought about in me. Being rooted in Indian arts and culture while bringing about an aspect of innovation/originality is what I have always strived to bring about in the work we have done so far and continue to do at La Kairos.

Europe also indulged my love for history of art, architecture and the confluence of many other disciplines. My love and absolute admiration for Antonio Gaudi to Rembrandt, Michelangelo to Vincent Van Gogh was realized during these very travels. The masterpieces and stories of their lives continue to inspire me in every sphere of my work today artistically and also intellectually. 

Jacquin: How has your experience been as entrepreneur so far? What has been most difficult? What has been most exciting?

Shreya: It’s really been a fascinating journey so far. Manufacturing in India has its rewards and its challenges – a fact that I experience through its fragmented textile market. A constant fluctuation of raw material prices keeps us on our toes. The irregular supply of quality raw materials and skilled craftsmen is contrasted by some really exciting international and national collaborations whether it be interior designers, architects or artists from around the world. What has been most memorable is getting the opportunity to interact with fabulous people, artists and drawing from their experiences, this is a part of the journey I have truly grown to love. What’s really unnerving and exciting at the same time is letting go of mental blocks and truly seeking what I wish to bring to this world. And of course creating and being able to bring art into home textiles with the amazing craftsmen in India has been spectacular.

Jacquin: For our readers with trips to Delhi coming up, what is your go-to shop in Delhi for fashion accessories? For vintage home furnishings?

Shreya: Must visits for me are Ogaan in Haus Khas Village and Ensemble at the Emporio. Some of my most unusual finds have been in shops dotting Shahpur Jat; an urban village crowded with upcoming fashion and accessory designers, promising something for everyone. If you’re seeking accessories and souvenirs with some fun bargains attached, the quintessential Janpath street market located in the heart of Delhi is a great place to visit. Some of my most interesting finds here include fashion accessories, quirky décor objects and some really unique handmade vintage fabrics – love at first sight. I highly recommend this market as it gives you a real taste of what an Indian street market feels like surrounded by a capital cityscape.

Follow La Kairos on Instagram to stay up to date on the latest La Kairos designs.
 

Kisabeth Furniture Factory Tour

When it comes to furniture, some say that it was made better 100 years ago, but there are still quality furniture companies out there making furniture in the traditional way, creating heirloom quality pieces for the masses. If you are officially over quickly made, temporary furniture then you’ll want to consider furniture company Kisabeth, based in Forth Worth, Texas.

This company has showrooms in Dallas, TX and cities across the U.S. and they recently took me on a tour of their Fort Worth factory location. I was greeted by Kisabeth team members Laurel McEuren and Alan Novikoff, both of which are very knowledgeable on the important details of furniture construction & design. Watch the video of my factory tour experience at the end of this blog post.

If you can dream it, Kisabeth can create it! (Kisabeth’s custom furniture)

While touring the Kisabeth factory I gained a real sense of just how Kisabeth has managed to create heirloom quality furniture as a standard over the last 60+ years. It seems the secret is extreme attention to detail, handmade craftsmanship, and using time-tested traditional furniture making skills just like 100 years ago. 

As I entered the factory’s large workshop space, I braced for loud noises and a busy, chaotic environment, but I was pleasantly surprised by the calm and focused workspace. Each of Kisabeth’s highly skilled craftsmen works at a moderate pace, careful not to rush the manufacturing and assembly process. Their factory equipment combines the best of old-world furniture techniques and modern technology. 
If you’re curious about exactly what Kisabeth can offer you as a furniture company, the answer is, the sky is the limit! Kisabeth’s custom furniture creation means that if you can dream it, they can create it. If you’re not quite ready to mastermind a fully custom furniture shape, that’s ok too! Kisabeth offers an extensive catalog of base furniture shapes that can be customized with one of their fabric selections, or you can even bring your own special fabric with you for upholstery. 

One surprising thing I learned during my visit to Kisabeth is that they are committed to reusing and recylcling. Kisabeth goes through quite a lot of wood and fabric during the course of their services and this often leads to a ton of scraps. Instead of throwing away their material scraps, Kisbeth has thought of two great ways to reuse and recycle these extra materials.

For the wood, Kisabeth has created custom wall installations with scrap wood blocks that become a work of wall art on thier own (see above example). For the textiles, Kisabeth has created a range of tote bags with their leftover heavy-weight fabrics, using scrap leather trim for the handles. Below you’ll see a photo of the very tote bag Kisabeth gifted me during my factory visit. Thank you Kisabeth!

The custom nature of Kisabeth’s furniture allows them to offer you a range of solutions for your decor needs. Kisabeth can create custom banquette seating like shown above, or beautifully tufted furniture accents to fit your own specific space. Kisabeth is also very experience at meeting the furniture and seating needs for commercial spaces, as well.

Kisabeth is a design lovers one-stop-shop for custom furniture!

INTERIORS BY JACQUIN VISITS THE KISABETH FACTORY VIDEO:

Bastille Day – A Taste of France

Bonjour! There is always so much excitement over all things French, and it’s likely because this beautiful country has so much to offer from the food, Parisian style, historic, art and the infamous love stories.

Let’s start with the celebration of Bastille Day, where every 14th of July people commemorate the independence of the country that shares romance, champagne, and great facials. This year we visited the Dallas Bishop Arts District, whose streets were filled with the sound of saxophones, the smell of crepes, and the taste of wine. People spent their evening enriched by the country’s customs and learned how to experience French culture all throughout Dallas.

If you’d like to venture into the highlights of this lively event, then keep reading! Below you’ll also find amazing inspiration for adding a touch of French living in your own daily life!

 

Photos by Paula Esguerra

Interested in bringing a taste of France into your daily life? Check out these 5 ideas to add a dose of french to your lifestyle!

1. French Style

Dress me like one of your French girls – it’s easy, stylish, and comfortable! You’ll feel très chic. 

When you think of French fashion, your mind may instantly pictures images of  striped tops, silk scarves, and berets, but there is much more to French style and fashion. To look like a true Parisian, the goal is to appear classy and effortless. Ensure your clothing is flattering to your body, yet still leaves the rest to the imagination. Top off your outfit with a bright red lip and you’re ready to take on the streets of France…or your hometown!

(Left) via Glamradar // (Right) via Glowsly 

2. Natural Glow

A tale as old as time – SKIN CARE. French beauty is all about a healthy glow and skin as soft as silk.

A full face of makeup is not the goal here, instead the French focus on how to best take care of their skin and embracing the au naturel. Since youth, both French women and men are taught to welcome this everyday ritual of skincare into their lives, and we should too. Developing a good skin care routine can be very simple and so impactful. Start with a facial cleanser, toner, serum, and a moisturizer as your foundation. The French offer some of the best skincare brands in the world, so it’s all about finding a product for your skin that will meet your own personal needs and skincare goals. We recommend Paris skincare brand Decleor, known for rich face creams and potent essential oil-based serums. Our favorite Decleor products are the Hydra-Floral Face Cream and the Aromessence Neroli Hydrating Oil Serum. Seriously the best and most luxurious skincare products around!

 (Left) via Decleor // (Right) Via Anthopology

3. French Food for the Soul

Bon appètit! – French food doesn’t have to be complicated even when the names feel unpronounceable. 

Delight yourself with the sugary deliciousness of crepes and pastries, in the morning,  and finish the day with a lovely glass of your favorite wine for a taste of French life at home. Try this recipe for fresh crepes at home!

(Left) via House Made Interest // (Right) via Monika  Hibbs

4. Home Interiors

Be Our Guest – Have you always dreamt of living in the French countryside? Transport your home with this tasteful French-inspired decor!

Try incorporating French country style into your space with rustic furniture pieces, pastel hues, and floral patterns. You can also add a touch of French glamour with beautifully ornate mirrors. French inspired interiors should feel graceful and refined. 

(Left) Antique Louis XV Gilded Mirror fromInessa //(Right) Coffee table via Ballard Design 

5. Language of Love

Parlez-vous Français? – Step up your game and learn some basic French you can integrate into your everyday conversations!  

Here are some Instagram accounts that can help you improve your French while also making you feel like you’re drinking champagne next to the Eiffel Tower. 

French Words – Learn some day to day phrases and empowering words while taking a peek of the French Style.

Slice of Paris – Paris is a dream, with the streets, the buildings and the people, take a look at some of the most inspiring places and start taking notes for the next time you visit the city of lights.

Photo via Lindsay Tramuta of @Lostncheeseland // Visit her Instagram page for more French inspiration!

Ta-da! You’re now a little bit more French! Be sure to enjoy all the marvelous things this culture can bring into your life. 

Bastille Day celebrations in Dallas – The Video!

 

Interview with Fine Art Jewelry Designer Lora Nikolova

Today we head to Milan, Italy to interview artist & designer Lora Nikolova  about her uniquely abstract jewelry collections. Lora is a fine art jewelry designer who creates exquisite works of wearable art like nothing  you have ever seen before. Each piece is inspired by abstract design, found objects, and bold colors. Lora’s goal is to inspire women to adorn themselves with bold works of art as a way to stand out and express themselves with jewelry. Read on to see our interview with this innovative European designer.  

 

Jacquin: You have had such an interesting career Lora! From beginning in theater & film set design during your studies, how did you get started in fine-art jewelry design?

Lora: Since my early childhood I started experimenting with polymer clay (fimo) creating different kinds of forms and shapes, as well as brooches and beads for necklaces. As a child, I had a special interest and need to interact with arts and crafts in general. This led me to study textile design at the School of Applied Arts. I had the opportunity to develop my sense of color and drawing skills, as well as deepen my art history knowledge. I also had the chance to study set design at the National Academy of Arts Sofia in Bulgaria, where I earned a master’s degree in set design for cinema and television in the National Academy of Arts Brera in Milan. I acquired many new artistic skills there, all of which helped me to develop my own abstract style.

Throughout my school studies at the Academy, along with various work experiences in set & costume design, fashion, and photography, I was always tempted and inspired to create imaginative jewelry. When seeing a woman wearing an ordinary necklace, I often imagined what it would be like to re-create their necklace and transform it into a crazy and abstract piece of jewelry; something beyond the boundaries of the normal, like a work of art to be worn.

 

Jacquin: What is it about creating jewelry that you connected with?

Lora: Jewelry making combined many of my artistic interests and studies – mixing colors and patterns, applying my drawing skills, paper creativity, decoration, and fine art. This artistic heritage helped me create my own abstract style. In a way, I apply this style on the body which literally becomes a “set” (a scene) where I have the ability to create the design for an abstract screenplay, a composition which tells a story through colors and forms. Eventually it transforms into a wearable art object. The jewelry I design and make is the most significant way to give expression to my creativity, which comes from within.

Jacquin: How has your experience been as a woman entrepreneur building your creative business? What or who has been most helpful to you during your journey as an artist entrepreneur? 

Lora: Being a woman entrepreneur is not an easy job actually, I admit that I have not yet built my business completely but continue building it slowly day by day. Entrepreneurship is a hard and creative process which has to be nourished daily with experimentation, and by actively utilizing different strategies. As an entrepreneur there is no recipe or manual, so you have to think outside of the box. Every small business and growing brand has to find its own way in order to become bigger. Sometimes it’s also a question of luck, to be in the right place and with the right people, and of course investing is fundamental. I am grateful to my parents for encouraging me to study arts and also to my partner who is one of the people who has helped me develop my own brand.

Jacquin: How do you go about creating your jewelry designs? Do you sketch out your designs in advance, or do you work out the design as you go and simply begin creating?

Lora: Most of the time I sketch my designs, as it helps me to project and visualize my idea of composition – like the balance of volumes and colors. But I admit that sometimes I prefer to design as I create. When I take this more spontaneous approach I like to use white cardboard and place all of my materials on this neutral surface, then try different combinations of my multi-colored materials to create a new piece, without copying it from a sketch. Most of the time this spontaneous artistic appraoch gives the best results and proves to be more authentic. 

Jacquin: What has been your favorite or most memorable creative collaboration you’ve worked on so far? Why was it your favorite?

Lora: One of my most creative collaborations thus far was with a fashion brand called Ultràchic a couple of years ago. I had the opportunity to invent a collection of paper jewelry (paper sculptures) following the story and moodboard of the colorful and witty patterns designed for their FW-2016 fashion collection. The collection was actually called “The Apartment” and it interpreted in a cute and ironic way patterns reflecting your home decor and all the things that you might find in your apartment. The jewelry collection I created consisted mainly of brooches, necklaces, and earrings all handmade and hand painted by me. I liked it because I had the opportunity to express myself thoroughly. All the pieces were entirely handmade by me and I totally absorbed the exciting mood of the collection, which was very satisfying. 

Jacquin: Now that you’ve made your home in Italy, where is your favorite place to go for home decor? for fashion?

Lora: I like exploring Cargo & HighTech in Piazza XXV Aprile in Milan – a really cool labyrinth store with everything from clothes to furniture, fragrances, and many household objects. Another one of my favorites in Milan for fashion is the concept store, Corso Como 10 – it also has a beautiful bookshop and gallery, as well as a top floor terrace with a fabulous view in the middle of Milan’s skyscraper district. I also adore Antonio Marras’s stylish showroom and store located in Via Cola di Rienzo in Milan. 

Jacquin: What is your favorite hobby when you aren’t creating jewelry?

Lora: My favorite hobbies when I’m not creating jewelry are all the activities that precede the artistic process and expand my visual boundaries in order to create new things. One of which is going around fairs in search of new materials, traveling and visiting museums and exhibitions and getting inspired for new projects. I love taking pictures (ultimately with my phone), or if I do with my camera I love editing the pictures with photoshop. I like to play with photos, editing, and creating interesting effects and colors. I adore getting lost in Pinterest – it’s a ocean of inspiration. One of my hobbies, for which unfortunately I don’t have much time nowadays, is painting with acrylics. Eventually I hope that someday this activity will also have the possibility to become something more than a hobby.

A special thank you to Lora Nikolova for taking the time for this exciting interview! I love the idea of wearable art and will be following the career of Lora to see what’s next. Visit her website to stay up to date on her artwork & jewelry!

Touring the Lebanon home of designer Chantal Jerdi

We’ve landed in Lebanon today for our virtual home tour feature! We’re showcasing the home of Chantal Jerdi, an architect turned interior designer with eclectic style. 

Jacquin: What inspired you to become an architect? What was the most unexpected part about your training? -or- What was the most unexpected part about actually working as an architect?

Chantal: I was born and raised in a family of architects; my father is an architect and my mother is an interior designer. So I was immersed in the architectural field ever since I was a child, and decided to pursue it further by becoming an architect myself. After working in the architectural family business for several years, I found myself more and more drawn to interior design. I started taking on more interior design projects and a couple of years ago I decided to start working on my own as a full-time interior designer.

Jacquin: How would you describe the decor style of your home? What was most difficult about decorating your space?

Chantal: My décor style at home and in my work is eclectic. It can be mixing between classic and more modern elements or mixing between different design movements, such as Scandinavian, bohemian and so forth. As an interior designer, I grew to appreciate many different decorating styles and wanted to incorporate them all in my home! I was in love with certain design elements of the industrial movement, the modern one and even the vintage one! I believe incorporating vintage décor elements into a space makes it more personal and gives it a unique touch. It makes it full of personality and more ‘homey’. That was my biggest challenge: mixing all of the elements I love in order to create a harmonious home.

Jacquin: Did you add any custom architectural features to the interior or exterior of your home?

Chantal: My husband and I bought our home when it was still under construction. It is a two-story apartment, and at the time of our purchase there were no internal partitions or walls. It was left as is in order for the future home-owner to divide it according to their needs. It was a dream come true for me, as designing the space planning was also one of my requirements when searching for an apartment.

When we first bought the apartment, I realized that we had an amazing unobstructed view on the sea from the entrance, and I designed my whole house in order to preserve that view and that connection to the outside. You can see the view from almost every room on the first floor; from the entrance as soon as you step inside to the big open space that includes the living and dining areas, as well as from the kitchen. I added a chimney on the first floor in the open space that creates the perfect cozy atmosphere on cold winter nights. Every room is thought and designed in a functional yet aesthetic way that allows us to enjoy the big spaces we like.

Our master bedroom is on the second floor and is also located on the main view of the house. It has a master bathroom and a custom-made walking-closet. The rest of the second floor is also divided into bedrooms, and there is also a master bedroom on the first floor. Our whole house is custom-made not only from an interior design point of view but also from an architectural point of view.

Jacquin: Do you have any unique custom furniture or vintage pieces at home?

Chantal: Yes!  For our wedding a family friend offered us a gorgeous vintage handmade wooden cabinet, which I have placed in my bedroom. I remember falling in love with it when I first saw it! And a few months later, I became its lucky owner.

Jacquin: Do you enjoy entertaining friends and family at home? Do you have a special recipe you like to make when you have guests visiting?

Chantal: I enjoy having friends over a glass of wine and a good dinner, and gathering with the family on weekends for lunch. We especially like Lebanese food and one of my favorite recipes that I make for my guests is the fattoush salad. It’s light, healthy, delicious and very easy to do!

Here is the perfect recipe from The Mediterranean Dish. I use the same ingredients, but tend to be looser with the dosage and this is why I prefer to share a more accurate recipe.

I enjoy having friends over a glass of wine and a good dinner, and gathering with the family on weekends for lunch. We especially like Lebanese food and one of my favorite recipes that I make for my guests is the fattoush salad. It’s light, healthy, delicious and very easy to do!

Here is the perfect recipe from https://www.themediterraneandish.com/fattoush-salad/:

I use the same ingredients but tend to be looser with the dosage this is why I preferred to share a more accurate recipe:

Ingredients

  • 2 loaves pita bread
  • Early Harvest Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tsp sumac, more for later
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 heart of Romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1 English cucumber, chopped
  • 5 Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 5 green onions (both white and green parts), chopped
  • 5 radishes, stems removed, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups chopped fresh parsley leaves, stems removed
  • 1 cup chopped fresh mint leaves (optional)

Lime-vinaigrette

Instructions:

  1. Toast the pita bread in your toaster oven until it is crisp but not browned. Heat 3 tbsp of olive oil in a large pan. Break the pita bread into pieces, and place in the heated oil. Fry briefly until browned, tossing frequently. Add salt, pepper and 1/2 tsp of sumac. Remove the pita chips from the heat and place on paper towels to drain.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the chopped lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, green onions with the sliced radish and parsley.
  3. To make the lime vinaigrette, whisk together the lime juice, olive oil and spices in a small bowl.
  4. Dress the salad with the vinaigrette and toss lightly. Finally, add the pita chips, and more sumac if you like, and toss one more time. Transfer to small serving bowls or plates. Enjoy!

Jacquin: Where are you favorite places in Lebanon for unique home decor?

Chantal: There are so many nice furniture places for furniture shopping in Lebanon! I especially love BHV and West Elm for their home accessories and Farra store for furniture shopping.

Jacquin: What’s next for your company? Any exciting plans for 2018 or 2019?

Chantal: I am currently working on my website and my blog, where I will be sharing décor tips and tricks with my readers! This is the main plan for 2018, along with working of course on my interior design projects. I haven’t planned for 2019 yet and will do so according to what I was able to accomplish during this year.

You can follow the work of Chantal Jerdi via her Pinterest profile or visit her website here.