interiors

  • The Goods: Oly Studio

    Hi friends. We have recently completed a bedroom installation that included this fantastic Oly Studio resin pendant light, and our excitement is literally bubbling over.  The Muriel Chandelier light fixture adds great drama to the bedroom lighting scheme, and casts a very warm golden glow.  You can see that we opted for a

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  • A Place To Hang Your Hat

    CHRISTOPHER GAONA DESIGN STUDIO
    CLOSET SCHEMATIC
    A client has recently asked me to help spruce up a petite master closet.  We have settled on the idea of using dark cabinetry in the space with brass rods and simple dark shelving.  We hope it will have a bespoke effect.   For lighting we plan to add a small chandelier and possibly some picture lights mounted at the top of each cabinet.  For the flooring a bold pattern axminster or cut velvet carpet will provide warmth and comfort.  A full length inset mirror will also play an integral role in amplifying the space and of course provided the grand dame a place to see all her outfits.  Above and below are a sneek peak at one of the more conceptual sketches and preliminary elevations done for the closet.
    CHRISTOPHER GAONA DESIGN STUDIO
    PRELIMINARY ELEVATION
    More than any other room, your closet should be an extension of who you are and how you dress.  Don’t skimp on the details, as this is one space you will be confronted with day after day.  Depending on whether you are a slick fashionista or a natty gentleman about town, your closet should reflect that aesthetic quality.  Don’t be afraid to install photos, lamps, and memorabilia that help inspire your sense of dress.
    For the project below we integrated the wardobes along both walls of the master bedroom optimizing space and maximizing clothes storage.  The closets have integrated lighting powered by a jamb switch which are great for those early mornings.
    CHRISTOPHER GAONA DESIGN STUDIO
    Master Bedroom Wardobes
    CHRISTOPHER GAONA DESIGN STUDIO
    Closets in the open position
    CHRISTOPHER GAONA DESIGN STUDIO
    Rear of headboard wall
    Integrated storage including cedar lined sweater cabinets and laundry bins
    For the sake of my relationship my partner and I have seperate wardobes in our dressing room but we share the shoe and coat closet.  My wardobe (below)  allows for double stack hanging, a valet tray for belts and what nots, two lower drawers for casual wear and has an ingenious space saving pant hanger.  A seperate chest of drawers does double duty as an island.  Shoes are stored in the mirrored cabinet to the right.
    CHRISTOPHER GAONA DESIGN STUDIO
    CHRISTOPHER GAONA DESIGN STUDIO
    Built in cabinetry, banquette and cedar lined cabinets for sweaters. 
    The windows are coated to prevent UV rays.
    Small projects like this are a fun way to let your imagination run wild in the wonders of small details. Closet rods for example…you can have chrome, brass, iron, steel, whatever the design aesthetic calls for.  Nailheads, window coverings, wallpaper, wall upholstery, drawer liners, and on and on.  Given that most closets are small the expense is usually manageable.  So have fun and start doing some spring cleaning and create the closet of your dreams.
    A few of my favorites from here and there:
    Poliform
    Alberto Pinto
    Poliform
    Collett & Zarzycki
  • Gentleman On the Go: California Bespoke Exhibition

    Recently my studio was engaged to design an exhibition showcasing a variety of artisinal product designed and fabricated in our great state of California.

    This sort of design project always is exciting to me, as it is more conceptual and poses a challenge to the space but allows for great creative freedom, not unlike the Dreamscape installation I wrote about some months back.

    As I began developing the concept and how I would showcase the varied products such as furnishings and textiles to stationary and soup bowls….even surfboards designed by the incredible Thomas Meyerhoffer (http://www.meyerhoffer.com/)

    I decided that the answer, at least part of it, was in the beauty of California’s natural landscape.

    Half Dome in Winter
    Yosemite, CA

     

    Joshua Tree, CA

     

     

    Big Sur, CA

     

    With the concept set we began developing a space which would simultaneously provide a neutral backdrop being curated by our friends over at The Editor at Large (http://www.editoratlarge.com/), and at the same time force you to engage some aspect of California’s beautiful landscape through either imagery, greenery or through the artisinal quality of all the various products.
    It was an absolute pleasure collaborating with the producers of the exhibit (Merchandise Mart Properties), as well as the entire team at the Los Angeles Convention Center, not to mention having an opportunity to meet many of the very very talented artisans producing so many beautiful things that have the ability to inspire us in all aspects of our lives.

     

    California Bespoke
    Photo: Jim Harris
    California Bespoke
    Photo: Jim Harris

     

     

    California Bespoke
    Photo: Jim Harris

     

     

    California Bespoke
    Photo: Jim Harris

     

    Bye for now.
    CG

     

     

  • The Spaces of Our Lives

    I am working on a new residential project for a family of five…and two dogs.  A family whose main project objective is to have a home where they can entertain and have a well worn comfortable feel. 

     

    Dining Room
    Interior: Christopher Gaona, Inc.

     

    Entry
    Interior:  Christopher Gaona, Inc.

     

    As I worked out the details of their living room space plan I was listening to some Shirley Horn.  At some point Here’s To Life queued up.
    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2Zv01Irzj0]
    The craft of design has always been something I have cherished and make every effort to bring my clients along for the ride.  As a craftsman, you are always looking to improve, to build on past projects, and gain a deeper understanding of the rituals of our lives.  As such, I enjoy making sure every detail is set in a home and exiting the party before it starts.  Part of that is a selfish desire to keep my imagination actively engaged in the space.
    Outdoor Dining Space
    Design: Christopher Gaona, Inc.

     

    My most successful client relationships has been those in which I have been afforded the ability to live in the imagination of my clients and have them live in mine for a while.  That’s a small often overlooked pleasure of working with clients.  To see life, not necessarily through rose colored lenses, but optimistically, full of hope and share in their dreams of a happy home bustling with festive occasions for family and friends. 
    A good friend gone to soon
    Interior:  Christopher Gaona, Inc.

     

    Landing
    Interior:  Christopher Gaona, Inc.

     

    I always remind my clients that the interior should also be an intensely personal reflection of themselves.  If photography is an interest incorporate it.  If your dogs have run of the house we will make sure your furntiure is dog friendly.  I can’t do anything about the hair…yet.  Fill your home with photos of friends…even the  ones you no longer speak to.

    I also always remind my clients not to cut corners in the areas that really matter…bedrooms, closets, bathrooms and the like.  In fact I have often encouraged clients to begin their decoratingin the bedrooms, so that the areas they enjoy the most are completed first…private luxuries.  After all, those are the luxuries that matter.  What good is it to have a beautiful living room, if your closet is a mess and you don’t have a comfortable and inviting bedroom. 

    Master bedroom
    Interior: Christopher Gaona, Inc.
    Mrs. make-up vanity
    Interior:  Christopher Gaona, Inc.

     

    Mrs. Dressing Room
    Interior: Christopher Gaona, Inc.

     

    Friends at home.

    So here’s to life…and here’s to you.

    Bye for now.
    CG

  • What Lies Underfoot

    One of my favorite elements in a room is a rug.  Bold and sleek or neutral and textured, there is an intangible change that happens in a room both accoustically and just in how it feels when a beautiful rug is underfoot.

    Serratura. Designed by Piero Fornasetti for Roubini Rugs
    Tai Ping Carpets
    While I certainly appreciate the beauty of a well crafted floor, a room does not feel completly liveable without rugs to me.  I have been a fan of the bespoke rugs offered by The Rug Company for many years and continue to find great inspiration in their collection after first becoming aware of their product while living in Los Angeles.  In the living room shown below we engaged the atelier to produce an emerald green silk chettah motif rug originally designed by Diane Von Furstenburg as a runner and customized it into a full scale living room rug layered over wall to wall seagrass.  A bold decision but one that instantly energized this apartment’s living room.
    Apartment Living Room with rug from The Rug Company
    Interior Design:  Christopher Gaona, Inc.

    Much is made of the design advise to select your rug before starting a project and build the palette from their.  While in many instances this is sound advise, I am not convinced that this is necessary.  In many cases you can make the rug the final accent to a room often times resulting in something totally unexpected.  When you build a room up from the rug the result is often a very prudent and safe room.

    Interior Design: Christopher Gaona, Inc.
    Rug:  The Rug Company

    Other client’s I have had look to rugs as an investment.  A reputable dealer can assist a designer and client in sourcing a rug that is both appropriate visually and is an element that the client can purchase confidently knowing that with proper care the piece will appreciate in value.  This is definitely not always the case with other elements in the home.

     

    Antique Caucasian rug anchoring entry of historical craftsman home.
    Interior Design: Christopher Gaona, Inc.
    Simple and crisp.  Wool sisal.
    Interior Design: Christopher Gaona, Inc.

    Bye for now.
    CG

     

  • In The Space Where Dreams Meet Design

    I love projects like this.  It is design at its best.  A question is posed by a client, a concept is developed, and installed.  The freedom to create without limits or hesitations.

    The question posed to each pairing of designer and artist by the LA Mart Design Center for their DreamScape installation was, “What do our personal spaces reveal about the essence of who were are?”

    As one of the participating designers I had the good fortune to work with artist Joe Davidson (http://www.joedavidson.com/).  I was not familiar with his work and was incredibly inspired and moved by his talent.  The common thread I found in his work was a great depth in the simplicity and silence of his message.  A stoic elegance evocative of a modern world and a yearning for nature.  His installations sometimes look like cityscapes but could just as easily be a coral reef.
    Here are a few examples of his work:

    After meeting several times to get to know each other better and understand our individual points of view, we agreed upon a study of light and dark.  We decided to call it Shadow Garden.  The exploration of what happens in the interplay of the spaces that are not spaces.  His gentle spirit as an artist made the entire process possible as we created a space that brought his work to life in a way that had not been installed before.  We also installed his Scotch tape bottles which are skeletons of actual bottles of various libations. They are as haunting as they are beautiful.  My contribution was to introduce a palette and furnishings with a whimsical touch but not loosing the serious nature of Joe’s work and wanting the art to speak volumes while the furnishings anchor the space but receed at the same time.  Lighting played a huge role to guide the guests through the space and gently lead the eye.  A Ruhlman-inspired burlwood coffee table, a driftwood lamp, a danish chair, a black glass table all added to the eclectic message.  Below are the results.  Can you tell which shadows are real and which are painted?
    In design you make decisions guided only by your inner compass and your eye.  It is only when the work is done that the design will reveal itself to you, slowly and if you are lucky enough, ever changing.  Hopefully our point of view was clear.   So remember to be daring in your decisions, confident in your eye and most important of all be true to yourself.
    Thank you Joe I look foward to our paths crossing again.