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db Foster – Inside Out Site #1 Opening

Shari Grant, Architect, and Zarita de la Cerda, Interior Designer with featured Artist Daniel Foster at Foster’s Public Opening Reception. The first of his public art series revealing his contemporary art and diverse multi-media approach. Foster’s emerging artistic investigations include painting, installation, photography, poetry, public/site-specific art, and conceptual art. Pop by and see this delightful exhibition of 30 years of artistic talent unveiled. Susan Street Fine Art Gallery, 200 North Cedros Ave,, Solana Beach.

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War and Art?

345px-Madonna_michelangelo

War and Art is that an oxymoron? I just finished watching the film by modern-day nobleman George Clooney, The Monuments Men, based on Robert Edsel’s 2009 book of the same name. If you love art and art history you’ll love this film, based on a the true story of a group of men who during the second world war saved, liberated and return millions of pieces of art and literature that was stolen and destined for destruction by the Nazi’s.  One of the pieces recovered and the theme of the film was the above pictured Madonna and Child by Michelangelo, which was safely returned to it’s original home in Bruges, Belgium. The film is both well written, directed and acted – one would expect no less from Clooney, and well worth watching even if your not an art fan.  An odd mix of war-time drama and art lovers adventure, the film appeals to both men and women, a sure hit for all, but best of all it portrays a little known story about yet another group of war heros, who risked their lives to save treasured history, religious works, art and culture. Thanks for bringing the story to life and many more thanks to the real Monuments Men. To see more about the other famous pieces of art that were saved: http://www.businessinsider.com/monuments-men-famous-works-of-art-2014-2

10 Reasons Why Hiring an Interior Designer Can Save You Money!

You might think that hiring an Interior Designer is only for the rich and famous, but actually hiring an Interior Designer is a smart way to go for any budget and any project. Often the fees you pay to hire an Interior Designer are offset by the discounts a Designer can get and smarter planning.  Here are some of the tops reasons why hiring an Interior Designer can save you money:

1. A Designer can help you design a budget to help you plan your purchases. Planning, budgets, time-lines, and prioritizing. A Designer can help you pull it all together!

2.  An Interior Designer can help you get it right the first time.  Avoid making costly mistakes.  Buying the wrong carpet, furniture or paint can cost be costly when a space has to be redone over and over.  How many times have you bought an item that you love on a whim, only to get home and think now what do I do with this, because it doesn’t match or fit into your home?

3. Often the fees of hiring a Designer are recouped by the savings on purchases. When you make your purchases through a Designer, Designers will usually give you a discount off the retail price when purchases are made at trade showrooms. Many retailers also provide a discount to Designers.  I have had actual situations where the discounts my clients saved on a whole house remodel when purchasing materials through me, practically offset my total fees billed to them.  Note, that not all Designers discount on materials.

4.  A Designer has contacts that will help ensure your project will get multiple bids. One of the biggest challenges facing homeowners and business when deciding on a new project or remodel is how to find quality craftsmen and trades. Designers work with the trades daily, and they often know the best of their craft, from general contractors to upholsters to custom woodworkers.

5. Hiring a Designer will save you time, and we all know time is money.  Fresh ideas and perspective. Sometimes it doesn’t matter how talented you are and how good your taste is, if your a busy professional, you should be spending your time making money.

6. You’ll get more use out of your furniture.  A Designer can help you make quality choices in furniture that will last decades. With such quality and classic pieces, you may only need occasional reupholstering to refresh your look.  A Designer will help you purchase quality items that will last longer and can transition with moves or changes.

7. You’ll love your home so much, you’ll won’t want to eat out or take as many vacations to get away.  You can have that dream retreat you always wanted.

8. Free marriage counseling! Some couples have differences of opinions and tastes when it comes to buying something as simple as a couch. Imagine the complications that arise when redoing a whole room or renovating a home. There is no doubt it can be stressful! Hiring a Designer can help find keep your marriage sane, by offering an outside perspective and recommending materials that you will both love.

9. A Designer can have furniture custom made, often at a fraction of buying high end furniture at retail prices.

10. Sell your home faster.  Selling a home that has been professionally designed can help you sell your home faster and for multiple offers. Designers can also help with home staging (the art of preparing a home for market).

11.  On office reception area is the first impression people have of your business.   A professionally designed office space is a must have for most businesses.  Sometimes just a little help is enough to give your reception area that professional polish. An experienced and talented Designer is a must have for your businesses image.

Hiring an Interior Designer can be more affordable than most people think.  Zarita de la Cerda, principle at De La Cerda Interior Design offers practical advice, while helping to create a home or office that is both functional and elegant.  De La Cerda Interior Design can assist you with your upcoming bath or kitchen project,  furniture purchase, paint selection, decor refreshing or complete renovation.  Contact De La Cerda Interior Design for a consultation today, and start planning your dream space. De La Cerda Interior Design serving residential and businesses in the San Diego and San Francisco areas.

Geometric Design Trends

Geometric Designs are a big trend right now, and while I usually don’t pay too much attention to trends, I really love these designs. Perhaps because I just love geometric designs in general, and I adore Moroccan design, which is similar to the geometric patterns.  While these designs are in fashion right now, they are also very classic, hence they are trend worth following, which is why I feel they deserve attention. Here some of my favorites of the geometric design trends of this year:

 

APP of the Month: My Favorite Interior Design Phone App

Apps.  are great, but who has time to search for them? Here is my favorite handy design app.: iHandy Carpenter, a handy tool app for  your smart phone has five different tools.  My favorite is the bubble level, great for hanging small pictures in a pinch.  You can also just get the level app. which is a free download. Other tools include a plumb, protractor, ruler, and a surface level (you know for checking up on the tile guy).  What is your favorite phone app.?

Kitchen Cooktop Hood Ideas

Here are some photos ideas of kitchen hoods for cook-tops. When choosing a kitchen hood, always keep in mind the proportion of your cook-top, the scale of the room and ceiling height.  The hood should always be wider then the cook-top.  A kitchen hood can be a beautiful focal point in a kitchen especially when accented with back splash inset.

Solar Powered Indoor and Outdoor Lamps

Solar Lamps from IKEA

 Thanks to Tech Style for turning me on to these new Solar Powered Lamps from IKEA.  I love the idea of Solar Powered items, and these lamps are decents looking enough to find a use for.  I am thinking maybe kids rooms, or I could see a black and white patio lit up for summer evenings.  The future is upon us.  So run out and get one and try it out, I will. 

Key features
Runs on solar cells that transform sunlight into electricity; helps you save energy and reduce your environmental footprint.
Solar cells transform sunlight into electrical energy – requires no electrical connections.
Uses LEDs, which consume approx. 70% less energy and last 20 times longer than incandescent bulbs
Good to know
Position the product so the solar cell panel on top is well exposed to sunlight.
Approved for use as outdoor lighting, IP 44.
3 rechargeable AA 1.2V batteries for solar cell driven products are included.
Color temperature; warm white (Kelvin 3000).
Integrated light source.
LED life time approx. 20,000 hours.
When the battery is fully charged, the product will light at full power for aprox. 3 hours.
Recharging time is 8 hours in direct sunlight.
Care instructions
 
Product description & measurements
ABS plastic, Tinted lacquer

Investing in Art and Antiques – It’s a Buyer’s Market

Like the real estate and stock markets, the market for fine art and antiques also took quite a dive in 2009.  The good news is that now is a great time to buy and invest in some quality pieces.  Investing in fine art and antiques is a great way to diversify your portfolio.  Although you may not get similar returns as other investments, the joy of having beautiful art and furniture around is a value in itself.  Whatever your tastes, be it mid-century modern to to Louis XV gilt-wood, consider buying an investment piece to enhance your decor and lifestyle.  While you may not make much profit even if your investment appreciates, these are pieces that you can hand down from generation to generation.  The things that are the most valuable to my heart are items that I inherited, it is a way to stay connected with your history.

When buying Antiques and Art always buy from a reputable dealer.  The most important thing to remember when investing, is buy only what you love.  Unless you have the storage and are buying with the intent of reselling rather then passing them on, don’t buy pieces solely because they are a good value.  To make sure that you buy pieces that work well with your interiors, take along an Interior Designer with you on your buying trip, that way you don’t end up buying that piece of furniture on impulse that you have no where to put when you get home.

One fun way to buy art and antiques is from an auction house.  You can also usually get the best deal there as well, and sometimes you even get a steal.  Some reputable auction houses such a Bonhams & Butterfields in San Francisco, and Chrisie’s and Sotheby’s in New York, hold auctions several times a year.  If you can’t make it to New York you can sign up to bid by phone, but that kind of takes the fun out of it in my opinion.

When looking for Art to invest in, consider some of the undervalued works of Bugiardini and van Baden.  And don’t forget about Prints and Photographs.  Several good-quality Kertesz prints sold last fall for in the $5,000 to $12,000 range.  And according to Stephen Perloff, editor of the The Photograph Collector, the number of collectors interested in them is growing.  If you do plan on buying pieces for investment, stay away from anything that is not in excellent condition or needs reupolstering or refinishing, as doing so could considerably lower the value of the item.  For more information on how to buy at an action house check out my blog on How to Have Fun and Buy Furniture and Art at an Auction House.

Top 10 Reasons to hire an Interior Designer

You might think that hiring an Interior Designer is only for the rich and famous, but actually hiring an Interior Designer is a smart way to go at any budget.  Here are some of the tops reasons.

1.  Hiring an Interior Designer will save you money.    How many times have you purchased something and have no where to put it, or purchased something and it doesn’t fit or look quite right and you end up getting rid of it shortly there after?  Hiring an Interior Designer can help save you money by suggesting purchases that will work and fit into your home decor.  A Designer will help you purchase quality items that will last longer and can transition with moves or changes.   Designer’s also have trade access and discounts that are often passed on the client, so you can purchase higher quality items for the same or lower than you would pay buying retail.  An Interior Designer can help you get it right the first time.

2.  An Interior Designer has access to trade only showrooms and products.  Buying retail is like have a choice of vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry ice cream.  But buying through an Interior Designer opens the world to a whole rainbow of colors.  When you purchase through an Interior Designer you have access to a fabulous world of fabrics, furniture, and other products that cannot be found in retail.

3.  Designers have an array of associates.  One of the biggest challenges facing homeowners and business when deciding on a new project or remodel is how to find quality craftsmen and trades.  Designers work with the trades daily, and they often know the best of their craft, from general contractors to upholsters to custom woodworkers, a Designer has contacts that will help ensure your project is done professionally.

4.  Coordination and Project Management.  Projects such as renovations and remodels can involve a lot of different processes and a lot of different people working on the same space.  A Designer has experience coordinating such projects, and can facilitate the work flow and timing of the installation.  A Designer can also act on your behalf to manage and oversee the project, and ensure that the work is proceeding according to schedule and most importantly correctly.

5.  Fresh ideas and perspective.  Sometimes it doesn’t matter how talented you are and how good your taste is, when you live in a home for a while, you can lose the ability to have an objective perspective.  Bringing in a Professional can give you a new and fresh perspective of the space.

6.  You’ll get more use out of your furniture.  A Designer can help you make quality choices in furniture that will last decades.   With such quality and classic pieces, you may only need occasional reupholstering to refresh your look.

7.  You’ll get more use out of your space.  A Designer can help you get more use of out of your space by designing a space that is functional and usable as well aesthetically pleasing.

8.  Free marriage counseling!  Some couples have differences of opinions and tastes when it comes to buying something as simple as a couch; image the complications that arise when redoing a whole room or renovating a home.  Hiring a Designer can help find keep your marriage sane, by offering an outside perspective and recommending materials that you will both love.

9.  You’ll have more time to do the things you love.  Let’s face it not everyone loves designing and buying for their home.  Hiring an Interior Designer will allow to you avoid the things you dread, and move on to enjoy the things you do love.

10. Your home is still not done.   And it may never get done!  Give your home the priority it deserves.  Bringing in a Professional Interior Designer to get those rooms and projects done once and for all, and enjoy your home the way you dreamed it to be.

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By: Zarita de la Cerda, an Interior Designer in San Diego and San Francisco areas.

Now This Christmas Tree is Really Green

I confess, I love a fresh Christmas Tree, but I always feel guilty for wasting a beautiful tree, even if I do recycle it for composting after Christmas.  Artificial trees are very popular now, and although they save trees, they may be bad for the environment, plus they don’t have that Christmas pine smell.  “Scotty Claus” – Scott Martin in Redondo Beach, CA has the perfect solution – rent a potted living tree.  It even comes with delivery and pickup, how convenient!  And the best part is that you can request the same tree again the following year!  Once this idea catches on, and I predict that it well, I am sure the prices will come down and they will be available in your area.  Here is a beautiful green tree from http://livingchristmas.com.  Bookmark this so you’ll remember next year.

green christmas potted tree

Watch the Living Christmas Tree Video

Featured Artist Liu Bolin, aka the Invisible Man

I love Beijing based Artist Liu Bolin’s “Hiding in the City”  camouflage series, perhaps because they remind me of the performance art of the 80’s.  I think his work his fresh and innovative.  The series is an exploration of human nature and animal instincts which features Chinese citizens painted to blend into their surroundings, the subjects are covered head to toe in paint, camouflaging themselves in front of various venues.   Here are some of my favorites from the collection:

 

Arena Liu Bolin

No. 58 of Hiding in the City Emblem of the Beijing Olympic Games Liu Bolin

Road Stop Liu Bolin

Beijing New Project Liu Bolin

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There’s something NEW in Old Town

I have to share with you this great little new shop I stumbled into this weekend.   The Urban Seed – Home & Garden Store in Old Town – San Diego, CA, is a fresh addition.   Besides their array of services and garden delights, they have lovely finds in accessories, pottery, dishware, art and furniture.   Here are a few photos.   Stop bye if you are in old town, you’ll be delighted.   And yes, they really do carry seeds from the recently purchased Reliable Seeds by Charles Ledgerwood.

Hand Painted Angels from Peru

Hand Painted Angels from Peru