Hi and welcome to the creative mind of Brooklyn-based interior design firm, Ishka Designs.
This blog allows you to peek behind the scenes of our design process; see the images, products, and events that inspire and motivate us. We are happily biased towards interior design topics with a sustainable undertone. With our international backgrounds, we definitely embrace a global perspective and influence. We hope you are inspired and sometimes provoked by our postings and we look forward to reading and responding to your comments!

One love, idi


Last call: Business Owner? Key Decision Maker?

If you are or know of one, please fill out survey or have them fill it out:

IDI team


Excellent Retail design - 3.1 Phillip Lim / Leong Leong Architecture


The next best thing to fashion design is interior design! Wish I could've done this. Excellent collaboration on design sensibility, brand image, and the built environment.

3.1 Phillip Lim / Leong Leong Architecture
Posted By Karen Cilento On December 12, 2009 (20:00) In News, Retail


Iwan Baan

Leong Leong Architecture designed a 550 square meter store for 3.1 Phillip Lim in Cheongdam-Dong, Seoul's premiere fashion district. The store is characterized by the simultaneous need for sameness and difference. "Typically, the consistent repetition of brand traits is necessary to reinforce an identity, while novelty can refresh the aura and desire for the brand," explained the architects.

More photos by architectural photographer Iwan Baan, and more about the store after the break.


Painting again? Try these alternatives...

Paint can indeed change everything about a space. But so can texture! And we at Ishka Designs love texture...lots of it. So how about combining the two...yourself!?! Try these really creative alternatives to the same old concept:

from ZNAK!
from Vitrulan at Levine Calavano. Just apply to the wall and add your favorite color paint!

Or how about dry-erase paint from MDC Wall? Now doesn't that give you options?

We really like these products and are crazy about incorporating them all into upcoming projects. Images of Tebrasa by Idea Paint (MDC) in Long Island project coming soon!

So how's that for changing the look AND feel of a room?

Enjoy the weekend!

Cool mix of materials = beautiful home

Imagine views of the beautiful aqua blues of the Caribbean sea from this home. Designed by kidosaki.com

Have nice weekend!


Guggenheim's restaurant makeover

TMagazine of the NY Times highlights a beautiful example of integration of ideas, functionality, and surroundings in a restaurant design. A Kikoski designed space.

This makes it to Ishka Design's top list of restaurants to visit. We hope the food is good too!



Business Owner? Key Decision Maker?

Hi Everyone, hope this message finds you feeling festive and excited for the holidays despite the on-going pressures of our current times. We at Ishka Designs are excited, not only about the holidays, but about potential! Ours, yours, and everyone else's.

In an effort to improve our service offerings we are asking business owners and key decision makers in firms from every and any industry to complete our online survey. It takes about 5 minutes to complete.

Ishka Designs Business Owners Survey

We greatly appreciate your time and patience and ask that you spread the word to other business owners or key-decision makers so our results will be more meaningful.

Happy happy holidays,

The IDI team!


Design Spotlight on Jamaica

Nice feature on design direction in Jamaica in the NY Times.  Props to the designers of the newly renovated Spanish Court Hotel!  And kudos to the creativity of the popular hangout spot, Truck Stop.

Happy Thanksgiving!



2009 Top 100 Interior Design Giants

My aim....#1, but I'll settle for 99 :)


NYTimes.com: Interior Designers Help Homeowners Discover Styles

Some good talking points...click on link to go to NY Times article. 

BUSINESS   | November 09, 2009
Interior Designers Help Homeowners Discover Styles
As counterintuitive as it may seem, hiring an interior designer or decorator can be an effective way to make your home uniquely your own. The business of decorating is as much about bringing peace, harmony and organization to a home as it is about appearances.


Brimming with hope!

As the business continues to grow with systems and processes running like a well-oiled machine, its about that time to re-evaluate strategies and objectives.  With the aid of a recent Harvard grad with a bit of downtime to spare, Ishka Designs has been able to re-focus our energies on growth and planning. An idea of the results of just one meeting:

Goal #1/5 is to transition business to majority commercial work. 
Task #3/15 is to define concrete objectives for the Board.
Strategy #2/4 is to spend more time on marketing/networking...

I am sure you get the point!?!  While I can't tell you what the most exciting thing to come out of the meeting is, at least not yet, rest assured that Ishka Designs has a great deal laying ahead.  2010 will be bigger and better with an icing pediment on top :)

As for the present, things are transitioning nicely at Union St while softness and serenity now abound in Roslyn Heights...a new type of healing has begun.  A bit anxious over the newest custom piece but my gut tells me it'll be just perfect.  

Really just dying to have niya bascom photography take pictures but am waiting for the fine details to be worked out...ooooh the excitement!  Can't wait to update ishkadesigns.com soon.  Check back for updates.



Shine A Light Competition

My sweetheart of a client nominated me for the NBC Shine A Light competition for small businesses. Thanks East Hills Endodontics!!!! But for us to make it to the next round, we must get your endorsement. So if you feel I deserve a chance at $100K, please take some time to register and endorse my nomination. Go to www.nbc.com/shinealight, click on nominees, search for ishka, and vote for me under Roxene29's nomination!!!


Spotlight in Design Society E-Newsletter Sept Issue

People are taking notice! Check us out in this month's edition of the Designer Society of America's e-newsletter Sept issue:



Silver styling?!?

A better way to display the fine silver...

Limitless Potential

I pass on the inspiration to you...


Moving in my mind

I dream of one day moving out of my pre-war studio apartment to something like this:

The only problem?  Leaving my wonderful neighbours and NYC!!!!  But even for a minute to indulge in dark wood floors, glass walls, luscious greenery, and minimalist living, could be worth the sacrifice :)

Have a blessed day!

ishka designs 


relationships of the vendor kind

Been absent for a while but its a good thing. It means I am BUSY!!! But busy does have its downside in a small operation, as it sometimes leaves us open for the smallest of mistakes that can somehow have the biggest impact. And that's why developing great relationships in this line of business is so important. Of course, the client relationship is key as without them there will be no design. But just as important are my vendors, old, new, preferred, and potential. And right now, I am loving the fabulous Jill Hubbard at MDC Wallcoverings. Not only does she share my birthday making her a wonderful lioness, but she just happens to be the best sales person I've ever worked with...from student right through the tough 1st year of entrepreneurship. I need to take a lesson out of your book Jill! You understand the true meaning of maintaining relationships/customer service and I definitely look forward to spec'ing whatever it is you are selling!!!

For those of you not in the know, check out the enormous selection of wallpaper, paint, etc. at mdcwall.com. Right now I am thrilled about their Papyrus series and the Bolta contract stuff. And might I add that the DRY ERASE paint is genius! Will soon be photographing recently completed phases on ongoing projects to give you an idea of how these products allow me to really set moods the ishkadesigns way. In the meantime, check out the ishkadesigns website to see how I've utilized MDC on past projects.

Stay warm and blessed,


Colours of Dusk

...quite possibly my next project's inspiration.


And you thought I did all the work?


16.4 miles...

to Brighton Beach and back.  My personal best is 45 minutes in one direction.  My personal goal is 30 mins in both directions.  Hahaha...but really, maybe by the end of the summer?

In the meantime, I am feeling my connections man!!!  Congrats to C-P Design Group...the Bed-Stuy brownstone is fabu!  Love, love, love the daylighting solution.  You've given me inspiration to want brownstone living...again.  Funny enough, while the mouldings, wainscotting, and banisters are being fancied up off-site I kinda like it that way: BARE | NaKED.  

History and all its ornamentation and ostentation is a beautiful thing, but not for me on a personal level.  Clean lines, open space, and nothingness is what I personally strive for.  For my clients, sometimes a different story.

...didn't I say to "create beauty from nothing..."?  Well I would like to add to that "...to see beauty in nothingness".

The projects are adding up as are the miles.  Personal and corporate goals are continually being set and re-set.  What's up with you?



who knew?

I sure didn't.  Was I just in denial? too lazy? too Caribbean (will follow up on this statement shortly)? For those who don't know, Prospect Park is absolutely beautiful.  While I've been privy to this well known fact, I've been a terrible at taking full advantage.  What's really terrible is that it is my back yard.  And while I do take comfort in the fact that at least once a year I set up festivities in honor of my birthday, I really must hold my head in shame that that's the extent of my Prospect Park excursions...until of course, the bike!  

I love my bike.  It is opening up my eyes to a different kind of Brooklyn.  Only today I discovered Nellie's lawn on the way to measure a new client site in Park Slope.  I had to return to eat lunch there with the eagle, squirrel, kids and nannies....where do I fit in you ask?  You tell me.

See for yourself how beautiful it is...

Great, right!?!  Please note "wonderful" bike in the forefront.  Needless to say, I am charging up the laptop as we speak and dusting off the sketch books, as I intend to extend my office all the way to Nellie's lawn.  Meetings in Prospect Park anyone???

Oh, before I forget, let me speak to my comment on being too Caribbean to appreciate parks.  Growing up near beaches, and more importantly with a backyard, a front yard and in a cul-de-sac really was more than a blessing for me.  It meant I didn't have to leave the confines of my home/street to appreciate nature.  So the thought of going to a park to sit with several hundred strangers to enjoy the great outdoors was lost on me...it was more of a good real estate choice than anything else.  But now...!!!! And btw, did I mention that half the people I zipped past in the park had heavy Caribbean accents?  Clearly this is just a personal thang!!! 

A quick note on design: I am feeling India these days.  Will the client is the question!?!  Anyhow planning to get to the MET soon for further research and inspiration.  

Separately, I  am seriously thinking of heading to Florida in Sept for the Hospitality Expo.  Should definitely be fun...will you be there?



props to my peeps

i am very impressed by the latest addition to my vendor list.  a corian and solid surfaces specialist located in downtown brooklyn (yay brooklyn!).  its run by various island people and came highly recommended by corian!  to make a long story short, an issue with the client's counter top got handled in a VERY professional and prompt manner and I must say I am very impressed with the service.  so much so that i did not mind the two days of running around to make sure this got resolved FAST.  kudos to Marsha, Arthur, and Eton!

that aside I just want to state that one of my business goal's is to seek out local business and those run by people of colour in and around Brooklyn.  aside from supporting my "neighbours" i do say its very environmentally and socially conscious.  yes!  ishka designs has more than just a beautiful slogan.

now all i need to do is to remember to drive less, ride the bicycle more and to not shy away from public transportation.  that said, tomorrow i am off to LI on the LIRR, park slope on the bike and hopefully by the end of the week to cycle all the way to the beach...without stopping...care to join???


Giving it a whirl!

i suppose this will become musings from my desk, or rather the file cabinet that is currently my desk as my actual desk is full of STUFF...client related stuff, non-client..., a cat, a mask, a lamp, some invoices... anyhow, i always find amusement in the "not so amusing" behind the scenes on projects or entrepeneurship or life in general and now I've decided to share...hope you are as amused/bemused as I am.


i am whirling a lot these days with all sorts of ideas in my head...ikebana, cushions, furniture, web design, galleries, networks...ARGHHHH...slow-down, the studio wasn't built in a day. or was that rome? regardless, like the wheels on my newly purchased second-hand bicycle, my head seems to be spinning with all sorts of thoughts on how to get to that next level. and while my brain struggles to process all these ideas all the time, i manage to only get about 1% accomplished or about a centimeter closer to my goal. hmph!!! well... not really. i really am not discouraged. i know everything will EVENTUALLY happen exactly how i envision it...look at the new website (ishkadesigns.com) as an e.g.: i started out last year introducing myself to you on the www and i pretty much just threw everything plus the kitchen sink at you to get myself noticed. and it worked. but it wasn't quite how i envisioned it. but NOW i feel more streamlined (again maybe its the influence of the bicycle)...and i believe it shows in the site. and this i believe is how i will get all my ideas accomplished...after lots of whirling...and EVENTUALLY.

in the meantime i will continue to whirl...i suggest you do the same.