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Kristins Harmonious Interior Design.

Furniture, Do you ever sense overwhelmed when you go walking into a furniture retail store or are searching a great online furniture store web site ?. But maybe choosing home furniture isn`t really as really hard even as think it will be . There are 3 easy ways to take to realize beforehand what you should expect . That approach when you`re surfing the particular web or visiting any local furniture store, you understand what you want plus won`t finish up walking about for hours trying in order to decide. The steps will be as follows: one Select a style, 2. Pick the color(s), 3. Choose typically the shade of wood an individual want.

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Transforming a building into something else is a very common practice. We have seen warehouses turned into apartment buildings or private residences and houses turned into offices or stores. In this case we have a country store that was turned into a cozy private residence. It’s the home of interior designer Barbara Westbrook.

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Architect Clare Walton (of Walton Architecture + Engineering in Tahoe City, California) designed the home. “From our very first meeting, the Darks expressed an enthusiastic interest in a clean and crisp farmhouse style,” she says. The five-bedroom, five-and-a-half bathroom home is one and a half stories with the boys’ bunkroom and bath above the garage. “The home stretches horizontally across the site to capture the southern exposure and the mountain views,” says Walton.

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You travel for business, and hopefully pleasure too. Which have been your favorite places to travel to that have left a lasting impression? I have been fortunate enough to travel many wonderful places. I have a weakness for Sardegna, Italy. It is a very special island that has lasting memories for me when I worked commuting from LA to Italy monthly. I could be dropped off on the island, blindfolded, and know I was there. The smells are particular to the island, the people are fantastic, the crafts are amazing and the architecture is one of a kind and so free of symmetry. I also love many parts of Asia, particularly Myanmar. I spent three weeks there a few years back and loved the fact that my email didn’t work, credit cards were useless, and I was able to be fully present without the distractions of our modern world. The beautiful Buddhist temples of Bagan were a pristine setting that only made the people, food and experience all the more magical.

Any exciting plans on the horizon? I am traveling to southern Spain in the fall to experience the beauty of Andalusia and the Alhambra. It has been on my list for some time to see and very excited to experience it firsthand. Traveling to places I’ve yet to visit provides an opportunity to meet local artisans and expand my awareness of the craftsmanship of the region, as well as the resources. It truly is an education and I look forward to the process of discovering new inspirations.

Here’s some serious motivation to outfit your patio as winter melts away.

Good taste is timeless when it comes to interior design. This is a belief deep-rooted in the ethos behind Joan Behnke’s design acumen. It is no surprise that she is the favored interior designer of many celebrities and high-profile clients.

On a wintry morning in December, Kristin Dark drove from Los Angeles with her mother to see—for the first time—her family’s newly completed home in Lake Tahoe’s Martis Camp. Her husband Steve and their boys would join them later, in time for Christmas.

And the worst? The worst thing is being caught emotionally in the middle of people who expect that the interior design will fix all their personal problem. We have had the privilege of working on some very large homes and the risk is that couples stop communicating when the homes get too large. At that point I remind them to go camping and share a tent.

She recalls that first glimpse. “When I pulled into the driveway, it was dusk … and with the lights all turned on, the roofs and gables made it look like a collection of little jewel boxes.”

The decor of this residence is very cozy and harmonious. I would say that it features an eclectic style. some of the furniture pieces are vintage while others tend to be more modern. It’s hard to define a particular style when everything is painted in beige. Even the curtains are beige.The combination with brown is elegant and very inspired. Still, I think a few touches of red or green here and there would have been nice.{found on sierrastudiosphotography}

Describe yourself in three words. Creative, hardworking and curious.

Get that timeless alpine design with these luxurious features, sure to please for decades to come.

If you hadn’t become an interior designer, what would you have become? I would be a dance choreographer. When I watch professional companies, I look for spatial designs that I can apply to interiors and I am sure I would do the reverse if I was a choreographer.

Talk us through a timeless interior design style. I think timelessness is about quality and neutrals. If you don’t want something to go out of style, keep to neutral colors. They always can be accented with pillows, art and accessories. Quality is important because if something is made well, you want to hold on to it. If it is poorly made, you are always reminded that it is just that. I would rather have fewer items that are special and of high quality than a bunch of junk.

When and why did you decide to become an interior designer? I was always designing various things from carpets to clothes, to dorm rooms for friends and my older sister. It was second nature, so I didn’t think of it as a career until I had worked in advertising, and in an architecture office. After the birth of my first son, my parents encouraged me to go back to school to get an interior design degree. They could tell that it was a moment in time that I could explore something that they knew all along I would excel at. I was mature enough to take their advice and the design classes were like candy; they didn’t feel like work and it was a passion that I finally could connect to a career.

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What are / have been your biggest challenges in your career? I unexpectedly became a single mom, when I was finishing design school and very quickly had to support myself and my two boys. I had planned on making design a career but easing into the profession a little more slowly than what transpired with two children under the age of four. To prove myself, I had to work very hard, which sometimes entailed long hours that kept me away from being with my kids. I was in survival mode, with one clear desire, to provide a life similar to the one I had growing up, and that meant being able to provide opportunities to travel internationally; to make them worldly and expose them to the different cultures. Hopefully, they can pass the same passion on to their own children one day

Tell us about your home (s), what is your decorating style and do you have a favorite room (s) in your house? We work on every conceivable style of home from modern to rustic to fancy French, etc… Our style relates to the architecture and the desire of the clients and infusing a sense of uniqueness with custom elements.  We do not like things overdone or too fussy. My own home is filled with art, both large and small, that I have collected from all the places I have visited in the world and of course Japanese antiques. The art I bring home are little pieces of an adventure that you get to keep as shortcuts to reliving your travels.

TEXTURE IS KEY Everything in this home is textural—from the native stone and the barnwood to the half-log dining table and leather chairs to the log-and-iron coffee tables in the living room. We also used iron, rope and basket-weave (on the kitchen chairs). EVERYTHING NATURAL IS A BIT IMPERFECT Celebrate that by letting the rough edges of the wood show, by choosing stone slabs (for the countertops) that are not uniform in color, by emphasizing the grain in the wood floors. Make nature’s “imperfections” part of the story. YOU CHOSE TO LIVE IN THE MOUNTAINS FOR MANY REASONS The views and the clean, cool mountain air are, almost certainly, at the top of that list. Make the great outdoors part of your interior design. Floor-to-ceiling windows that open wide. Large doors (bi-fold or pocket) that disappear completely in good weather. Clean, unfussy furniture that doesn’t detract from the views. ILLUMINATE YOUR INTERIORS Task lighting (in the kitchen) and ambient lighting (in the great room and the dining room)—are very important for those shorter winter days. Try being playful in a few of your lighting choices. We used a rope chandelier in the master bedroom and an iron chandelier with crystal droplets in the master bath.  

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Overall, the house has vintage and rustic furniture and most of the pieces are salvaged items. In the dining room there’s a series of wall shelves and they are actually leftover from the store. The designer gave them a new purpose and turned into something very useful. She also gathered many pieces of furniture, each with its own story but that together form a harmonious balance of styles. She also likes to collect shoes, as we can see in the picture. The designer managed to turn an apparently cold space into a very inviting and cozy home.{found on dustjacketattic}.

The shop is called FOUND and is owned by someone named Kristin. She also owns a second store called Domestic Bliss which is more of a fun boutique. Kristin is also an interior design. And what better way to judge a designer that by looking at its own home. Kristin’s home seems very cozy. It’s also elegant and stylish. She must really like the color beige because basically all her house is wrapped in that color. Maybe a few touches of brighter color would have been nice.

“The windows do so much of the talking” – Homeowner Kristin Dark

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This slope-side space in Steamboat Springs went from “mountain-hunting-lodge chic” to true mountain modern.

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Have there been projects that you have declined? If yes, why? Taking on a project is like a blind date unless it is for a client that you have worked with on a previous job. You do your best to assess the challenges and potential joys versus difficulties. The best clients trust who they have hired and let you do your work without getting too overly involved.

Dark describes her house as nature on the outside and coziness on the inside. “When I sit in the great room—windows on three sides and the snow coming down—I feel sheltered and protected.”

You have done some exquisite interiors, for celebrities and high-profile clients. What challenges did you face and how did you overcome / embrace them? The risk of becoming famous is that you start to believe you are more special than others. Tom Brady and Giselle Bündchen are the nicest people in the world and I would do anything for them. They have managed to remain humble and kind despite their fame. I consider them friends. Wealthy clients that are self-confident are fantastic. They let you do your best work and trust in themselves that they have made a choice to hire you based on solid decisions.

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Weiland doors can slide out of sight behind the hand-cut native granite fireplace. Glass-and-metal chandelier by PumpHouse Studios. Iron-banded coffee tables from local wood by Epoch West Furniture in Bozeman, Montana

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How does one keep things modern / timeless without having to break the bank? One way to keep budgets under control is to find good pieces that need to be refurbished or reupholstered. Bringing a piece back to life by changing the finish or finding a new wonderful fabric and re-upholstering the item can really help with starting out on a budget. I found two chairs on the sidewalk recently that a neighbor was giving away. I had two more made identically and selected some great leather and made them for my son’s home. They cost a fraction of buying something new that was of a lesser quality.

Leather chairs (sewn with reversed seams) surround a locally made half-log dining table. A 14-by-10-foot tree by artist Andrea Davis, from Studio Artique, reinforces the indoor/outdoor theme. In good weather, the window wall can open onto a dining terrace

Doors on either side of the fireplace swing open to a private terrace off the master bedroom. Playful elements include a rope-and-metal chandelier and hanging-basket chair MOUNTAIN VIBE

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You started your design firm Joan Behnke & Associates in 1999 and nineteen years later, you are still going strong. What and who inspires you? My design sense was fairly well established from the time I was growing up in San Francisco. My parents had Japanese antiques and so I was always drawn to the Wabi Sabi, Japanese aesthetic. I tell all my designer’s in my office to read, “In Praise of Shadows”. It is an old book for architects and designers written from the Japanese point of view. The author describes aesthetically how a bowl of white rice in a beautiful black lacquer bowl is more beautiful because of the high contrasts in color and texture. This is just one example of how to take design to a different intellectual level, that affects aesthetic decisions. There are of course many people along the way that have provided inspiration, but I try to go back to the basics.

Important lessons along the way? I always tell younger designers that being ethical and respectful of clients’ trust and their money will provide opportunities in the future. I think remaining humble is the best approach. 

Do you have different taste in interior design of your partner / husband and how do you negotiate / solve that amicably? My husband completely defers to me with regard to furniture and fabrics. I always include him, but he tends to just let me make those decisions. As far as the art selections, sometimes we end up with two pieces if we cannot decide what to bring home. They represent a shared experience, so it is fine with me if it is not my first choice.

Trusses in the dining room and great room (left) were built on-site and lowered into place by crane

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I know I’m not the only one that likes to look at things and that’s fascinated by those stores that basically have everything in there. I like to just look around, like in a museum. It’s not very productive for the owner of the shop but it could be, if the store would sell functional and practical items. One such shop is the one located in downtown Mesa.

She currently lives in the village of Whittier Mill, Atlanta. What is now her home was originally a general store. Even though the structure of the store differs from that of a private home, she saw the potential in this place. She decided to turn it into something personal so she took over the project. Many changes had to be made. However, she didn’t want to completely eradicate the history of the building. As a result, she decided to keep some of the original elements and to adapt them and include them into the new design.

What ethos do you have behind your designs? I see interior design like sculpture and want the experience for the end-user to be much more than walls, finishes, layouts, furniture, fabrics and lighting. It is about the whole of the design. It is ideally conceptual and intellectually driven and aesthetically surprising. It is a tall order we put on our design process in our office, but worth it in the end, as it is an exploration into a more evolved deeper sense of commitment to the process. A finished home should feel like a symphony; beautiful individual contributions that complement each other, creating a harmonious experience.

Native granite, cut on-site and stacked in a natural-looking random pattern, gives the home a strong sense of belonging to this place. “The wood—inside and out—is new but has been left out in nature to age, giving it that always-been-here patina,” says builder Mark Neave. The home “draws you in, quite literally, through a large entry door and to another door that leads directly to the outdoor entertaining area,” he notes. In the great room, pocket doors on either side of the granite fireplace open the room to the great outdoors.

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Do you believe in repurposing dated pieces or should one just shop for new ones? I very much believe in repurposing older items. Upholsterers can change the shape of an arm, the back height, the density of a cushion etc. It is much more ecological as well. Case pieces can be altered with new finishes and new hardware. It is a creative process and if the piece is no longer good for you, find someone else that will appreciate it. It is always nice to donate items.

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How important is it to accessorize? We finish out our homes with accessories /art and they can be personal items from someone’s own collection or additional items we have found and recommend. They help to make a house into a home and reflect the overall style of the house. It is hard to find good accessories and also not to select the same ones again and again. It is always a bit of a battle at the end of the project. I love items from around the world, but we do not warehouse items for this purpose.

Is there a right and wrong when it comes to decorating? Please explain. I think we all know when something is done right and you fold down the corner of a page in a magazine because everything just works in the photograph. Personal taste is obviously a factor, but there is a universal language that is not about outrageous taste or shocking the eye. There have been some designers that aim to start trends. The question is how lasting are those designs? Good taste, well done homes have longevity and don’t go in and out of style.

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About the photographer: An award-winning photographer, Karyn Millet’s images of luxury homes and commercial buildings have appeared in the nation’s leading travel, design and architecture publications. Her photographic artwork has garnered four solo shows and she has photographed four books, including The Well-Dressed Home (Clarkson Potter) and The Accidental Photographer: Dare to Do Something Different (Bellus Press). She is currently working on her fifth book. Leading hospitality venues including The Beverly Hills Hotel, Montage Resorts, The Grand Del Mar, and The Beverly Hilton are among her clients with many installing her vivid images in their hotels. A recipient of the illustrious “Stars of Design” Award for Photography, Millet is an inveterate traveler and explorer who is always looking for the perfect shot, be it a home, resort or special undiscovered beach. CBS LA named Millet one of the “Best Photographers to Follow on Instagram.” In 2017, she launched the Instagram magazine, Krush iMag, a 10-page glimpse at decorating and style trends.

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Dark was very much involved in the design process, but she admits to feeling “nearly speechless and very emotional” on that December evening when she first set foot inside the high-ceilinged, many-windowed home. “Having four children … it was not a simple task for me to get up here,” she explains. “Most of my correspondence with the team was via computer and phone.”

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Inside, the home was grand but simple—just as Dark had imagined when she assembled the team of experts to design, build and furnish her family’s dream home. Builder Mark Neave (of Truckee-based NSM Construction) was on hand to greet the two women. “We popped a bottle of champagne,” recalls Dark, “and drank to the joys of the season and completion of our amazing home.”

Interior designer Julie Johnson-Holland talks with us about creating a grand and sophisticated home that’s also comfortable and open to nature

What is the best thing about being an interior designer? The best thing about our work is that every day is different and that every day is about creative problem solving. It keeps you on your toes, never gets boring and can be very rewarding.

Cabinets in the kitchen (top) have a gray-blue (gun metal) glazing. Floors are local old-growth elm. Countertops are Brazilian granite. Basket chairs with black cowhide seats add texture

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Marble, wood, iron and tile give the master bath a haute style with a rustic edge. Geometric tiles in the shower convey a sassy vibe

The journey that culminated in these festive and congratulatory Christmas toasts started more than two years earlier. The family was looking for a retreat close enough to Los Angeles to make it possible to escape for long weekends as well as extended vacations. They settled on Martis Camp because it offers easy access to world-class skiing and, in the summer, a beach, clay-court tennis and a Tom Fazio-designed golf course and numerous other amenities.

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“The windows do so much of the talking,” says Dark. “I wanted to make sure the outside-inside harmony was not interrupted by heavy trim and weighty window curtains.”

What do you do for fun? I have many fun things that I do, travel, spending time with my family and friends and very important are my dance classes. I have been a student of dance since I was very young and studied it very seriously through college and for years after. I currently take contemporary, ballet and hip-hop classes each week.

A chandelier with iron “branches” and crystal “droplets” hangs over the tub

Heléne Ramackers is a freelance journalist who enjoys interviewing local and international celebrities but thinks she has found her calling amongst the travel writing fraternity. A creature comfort girl at heart, she loves all things opulent.

Her first taste of the bushveld was all it took to get bitten by the ‘bush-bug’, an absolute life-altering experience. She now longs for the expanse of wide open spaces, a pollution-free sky and the roar of a lion lulling her to sleep.

When she’s not fantasizing about her next leopard sighting, she thrives on taking photographs of her family and loves capturing the beauty of sunrises, sunsets, rainbows and the magnificence of the full moon.

Born and bred in Cape Town, this wife and doting mother loves visiting the beauty that is right on her doorstep – the splendor Table Mountain, the crashing waves at Bloubergstrand and the alluring scenery of the winelands.

To add Upscale Living to her portfolio is a dream come true!

Inside-Out Harmony This Martis Camp home sports a Scandinavian vibe for an active family with four boys

“Kristin’s first words to me were ‘let’s not do anything normal,’” says Truckee-based interior designer Julie Johnson-Holland with a smile. They chose stone slabs to go over the stove and on the counters in the kitchen, the half-log dining table custom-made by NSM Construction, the iron-and-crystal chandelier in the master bath, the fake lynx headboard and the basket swing in the master bedroom. The homeowner especially likes the rope-and-iron chandelier in the master bedroom. “Traditional with an industrial twist,” says Johnson-Holland, who notes that most of the furnishings and accessories, while unique, are completely within the spectrum of both comfortable and normal.

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What key pieces in your home can you not live without? I have one piece of art that gives me great pleasure. I bought it many years ago at a side-walk art sale and it is a charcoal of a little Moroccan boy asleep on a ledge. I have often said that if the house caught on fire I would grab this piece. I have no idea if it is worth anything, but the quality of the drawing is impeccable. That along with personal memories of my children would be carried out the door.

You are a world-renowned interior designer. Did you have an influence in your youth that shaped your career path? My family shared cultural experiences in all forms with me from literally the time I was born. Music was always on in the evening, museums were a regular form of entertainment, going to the theatre was part of our life. Art classes were provided as extracurricular activities and we travelled a great deal. My family certainly exposed me to beautiful cultural experiences.

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DINING ROOM TREE ART Custom made through Studio Artique DINING TABLE Custom ½ log table from Highmark Enterprises and Innovative Forge KITCHEN GRANITE COUNTERTOP AND SPLASH Pegasus granite from Brazil from Bedrosians BARSTOOL Vero black hair on hide seat from Palacek METAL HOOD from Innovative Forge CABINETS from S & S Signature Cabinet and Millwork GREAT ROOM CUSTOM CHANDELIER from PumpHouse Studio CUSTOM COFFEE TABLES Firewood Tables from Epoch West SOFA Custom from Brownstone Upholstery (no longer in business) MASTER BEDROOM CHANDELIER ROPE AND METAL Noir Chelsea Large Chandelier SOFA Custom from Brownstone Upholstery (no longer in business) MASTER BATHROOM CHANDELIER AND EXTERIOR SCONCES from Steel Partners Lighting

The favorite part of your job? I love the front end and very back-end of the projects. The front end is getting to know the clients and heavy on designing. The middle is a tremendous amount of organizing, paper work and follow through. The best part of the middle can be working with the individual trades people and working through problems. The back-end is the installation and it is having a chance to see all the hard work come to fruition. Our goal is always to exceed our clients’ expectations and we have been really fortunate to work with some incredibly appreciative clients over the years, which makes all of the hard work absolutely worth it.

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ARCHITECTURE Walton Architecture + Engineering  INTERIOR DESIGN Julie-Johnson Holland  CONSTRUCTION NSM Construction  

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