Romance

My design style is simple, clean and classical. I have always been drawn to romantic architectural and landscaping detailing and I am often heard saying to my staff "we need to romance this up"! I strive to create an atmosphere of refined livability and find great satisfaction in the smallest of details - a simple, yet romantic iron scrolled handrail

Beautiful hardware that requires handling to open and close the door.

Or this lovely pathway that is layered in, what must be intoxicating scents. Plants that cascade over and grow between rocks providing unbelievable visual stimulus.

The Tile File

Whenever we start a new project at S&A, one of our main design goals is finding great tile that is not only beautiful, but functional. Tile can be used for everything from flooring, backsplash, to accents on a fireplace. Deciding what tile works for certain areas depends on your design aesthetic and how durable the product needs to be.  With so many brands, styles, materials, and colors, there are endless options to create the right look for your project. 

When deciding on tile, you want to have something that will be eye-catching, yet also timeless. We have a few go-to products that never fail to encapsulate all the adjectives described above.That's why we decided to dedicate today's blog to some of our favorite companies and their designs as a guide for all things tile. We also included some photos that are inspiring us at the studio right now. Check it out below!  

 

Kitchen backsplash using the Duquesa Fatima in Mezzanotte tile. Image via Walker Zanger.  

Kitchen backsplash using the Duquesa Fatima in Mezzanotte tile. Image via Walker Zanger.

 

Paris Metro 2 by Tabarka studio. image via Tabarka Studio

Paris Metro 2 by Tabarka studio. image via Tabarka Studio

New Ravenna

New Ravenna

New Ravenna

New Ravenna

Alyse Edwards - London Fog Series - "Dont Get Your Knickers In A Twist".

Alyse Edwards - London Fog Series - "Dont Get Your Knickers In A Twist".

Tabarka Studio

Tabarka Studio

Illuminate Your Space

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When it comes time to choose lighting for a project we get excited (and a little overwhelmed!) because there are so many fantastic options. Lighting fixtures can help to define the style of the home, or they can add a different twist as well. The lighting can change a traditional home into something more contemporary by just choosing the right fixtures. Changing light fixtures is also an easy way to update the look of a home without having to do a lot of work. 

Fixtures range from chandeliers, pendants, sconces, and everything in between. Not only are there so many brands and styles to choose from, you can easily find artists that will make a custom light if you can't find what you're looking for. Prices can vary from around $100 to several thousand, so there is something for all taste and budgets.

So today, we at S&a wanted to share a few of our favorite light fixtures. Check them out below! 

Our custom made Spanish iron fixtures. Similar ones will be featured on our soon-to-be launched  online shop!

Our custom made Spanish iron fixtures. Similar ones will be featured on our soon-to-be launched  online shop!

    The Kyle pendant from Hudson Valley lighting is a great transitional fixture.  

    The Kyle pendant from Hudson Valley lighting is a great transitional fixture.  

      This beautiful antique metal pendant from Restoration Hardware is a great choice for an industrial look. 

      This beautiful antique metal pendant from Restoration Hardware is a great choice for an industrial look. 

This clean design by Ilex Lighting is perfect for a more modern look.   

This clean design by Ilex Lighting is perfect for a more modern look.   

The classic looking Jane sconce by Circa lighting is perfect for hallways or bathrooms.  

The classic looking Jane sconce by Circa lighting is perfect for hallways or bathrooms.  

Today's Inspiration

We are beginning to prepare for several upcoming projects, so today I wanted to show you readers what inspires me.  A few of these homes will favor a Spanish Revival look, which is one of our favorites here at the studio. Take a look at what inspires us here at S & A.

 

                                                   Beautiful Spanish tile accent in a fountain. 

                                                   Beautiful Spanish tile accent in a fountain. 

                                  Mexican star lanterns helps add to the ambience with soft lighting. 

                                  Mexican star lanterns helps add to the ambience with soft lighting. 

                         Vintage hardware is a great, and easy, detail that brings a unique quality to the home. 

                         Vintage hardware is a great, and easy, detail that brings a unique quality to the home. 

                                          Hand-laid rock wall adds texture and a natural element. 

                                          Hand-laid rock wall adds texture and a natural element. 

                                                   A beautiful ceramic sink to add color. 

                                                   A beautiful ceramic sink to add color. 

                                                        Door clavos transform doors into pieces of art.

                                                        Door clavos transform doors into pieces of art.

Spanish Contemporary Project

The Jewel Property in downtown La Jolla, Ca.

    Today I am excited to share with you some photos of our new project in the Bird Rock area of La Jolla. This new construction home will be a unique blend of Spanish and Contemporary styles. I have partnered with a notable San Diego home builder to bring this high end spec home to life. I will share more images of this beautiful project as it progresses. Until then, check out some of the beginning stage photos below along with a few of my inspirations for this house.  

Enjoy! 

 

 

                                                               Quite a view while hard at work! 

                                                               Quite a view while hard at work! 

                                                               Main living area layout

                                                               Main living area layout

Kitchen inspiration photo from Design Studio 2010

Kitchen inspiration photo from Design Studio 2010

Fireplace inspiration by architect Thomas Thaddeus Truett 

Fireplace inspiration by architect Thomas Thaddeus Truett 

Inspirations

Very often I am asked by my clients how we start a project.  It has always been an interesting process to me. There is always some source of inspiration that begins the process, be it a photo inspiration, a piece of furniture, a view, a beautiful fabric. I have even been given a scarf from a client that told me "this is everything that I love". I am big on pulling inspiration photos - everything from architectural details, landscape views, kitchen, bath and fireplace photos. If my clients have started their own collection of photos I pour over them - it tells me how focused they are on the end result. If their collection has contemporary Spanish photos and also has rustic Tuscan details, I need to find the details within the photo that are drawing them in.
A compilation of photos that will end up being the thread that keeps us moving on a consistent path. I will open these photos many times during our designing and building process to re-focus us back on track.

Kohler portrays it perfectly. The smallest inspiration can be the whole basis on what a home is designed around!

Sneak Peek

Here at Strandemo & Associates, we have been working on a great project in La Jolla.  The Classic Spanish design and details are coming together beautifully, and we can't wait to share the finished product with you. Until then, here is a sneak peek of some of our favorite details in the house. Enjoy!

Custom hand forged stair rail

Custom hand forged stair rail

Custom designed chandelier 

Custom designed chandelier 

 

Custom Tabarka Tile backsplash above the range. 

Custom Tabarka Tile backsplash above the range. 

Archways

I thought you might find it interesting to see how these beautiful corbeled archways get created. First, the shape and size of the corbels are determined. The corbels are made out of foam from a local manufacturer. A hard resin coating is applied to make them very durable. They are cut into the corners of the arch and secured in place

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Then, the seams are covered with plaster or drywall mud to give them a smooth and seamless finish. The walls will be painted with the final coat as the project progresses. When the house is completed the archways will be a beautiful detail.

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Sunday Morning at the Long Beach Flea Market

One of my favorite Sunday morning activities, is visiting the Long Beach Flea Market, held the third Sunday of every month. 

I came across this unique display of crates. I loved how they creatively stacked them.

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I have always have been attracted to Dough Bowls. They are great for displays, storage items, and always come in handy when hosting a party.

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Love this display of wagon wheels, especially the unique shape of the hub. 

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Job Site Dilemas....

On this remodel project, we are working with the Contractor to make sure the finished wall designs will look like we have envisioned them. One of the challenges when working on a remodel is the discovery of conditions that are not desirable. In this case we have walls framed that have different finished elevations. The question came up about how to frame from the beam to the ceiling. Do we step it back and create a ledge? Is that small space created between the beam and ceiling wood or drywall? Do we cover the beam or expose it?

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In the end we decided to frame the walls straight up to meet the ceiling and cover the beam.
 

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Lights!

Today we will be walking the job site with the owners and the electrician to verify the placement of  lights.  We have the electrician staple paper plates up wherever we have decorative or recessed lights. As we walk the site with the owners we can add, delete or move the fixtures before the electrician actually installs the fixtures and pulls the wire to the fixtures.  All the door swings are marked on the floor so we can make sure all the switches are in the correct position and are switching the correct lights.   In this project we have a lighting control system.  Rooms will have keypads that will enable the owners to set different "lighting scenes", adjust temperature settings and monitor the house when they are away.

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