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


Phase 3 - heavy lifting and a killer tan

Sneak Peek 1

One of our rock garden inspiration boards
In phase 3, the project progressed with some crazy muscle building activity.  Loading and unloading 50lb bags of sand, stone and soil = to over a ton was at first a deed worthy of self praise.  But then, after the second and then the third trip, no one cared what we did or how we accomplished it, we just needed to get it over and done with asap. All this during World Cup season made for a very unhappy designer and photographer.  But alas, there was enough excitement to keep it moving :)
just some of the load
more load
We dropped the ball in phase 2 - surprise, surprise! by mentioning a certain moving of the concrete slabs.  Well we weren't joking.  For reasons, both aesthetic and budgetary, but definitely not based on efficiency, we decided our best solution was to relocate two concrete slabs.  Four strong ass men and 6 hours later, we accomplished our mission, shored up the right side of the yard a bit, and got rid of our "L".  We even had time left to demo the 3rd slab and reuse the pieces to create a natural drainage in the back bed (something like a french drain) to slow down the potential sinkage on the right side that may re-occur.

Again, the clearing and demolition uncovered even more secrets of this backyard garden.  It would appear that somewhere along the way, maybe 5 years ago, maybe 15, the previous owners decided that a brick and slate paved backyard with beautiful shaded trees (remember unearthed massive dead root in center bed) was not an ideal or beautiful solution.  So instead they decided to drop concrete slabs down and give us an off-center bed and an "L" shaped back bed to work with.  Good going guys!


With little time to mourn the passing of what could've been a fantastic garden, we soon realized the upside to this discovery.  We dug up quite a bit of brownstones that we used for footing/foundation for our small brick wall in the newly formed bed along the right side.  And we found the most gorgeous and perfectly shaped slab of slate stuck to the underside of one of the concrete slabs that came in handy as a cutting stone and eventually as a beautiful focal point in the back bed, perfect for staging seasonal flowering, etc.
Sneak Peek 2

Speaking of flowering, at this point we were still considering these for our plantings: bamboo, adam's needle, pennisetum alope, japanese red maple, fountain grass, and flame grass.

The grand solution up next.
Sneak Peek 3



  1. Exciting! I love how you keep saying-more to come, next..., keeps me on my toes! :)

  2. love it but how many pound of raw product did you place in the back yard ect how many stones how many bags of sand .......

  3. Wow I'm enjoying this series! More, more more!

  4. so awesome - i'm loving this!!! I love the inspiration notes too - excites the imagination. and thanks for all the team pics and answers to what I asked in phase two. :) How lucky with the French drain! And now it all comes together - the stressing over missed FIFA fun. ;)

    cho - just go ahead and post #4 now - we're hooked!

    God I can't wait to be able to afford you!

  5. Great great stuff...can't wait to see it finished...side note..the new season of next design star on HGTV soon audition...hhhhmmmm

  6. Agree with all your other posts. hope the tremendous phsical efforts etc were worth it in every way.

  7. Ooh ooh ooh, I like Onika's comment about auditioning for Next design star....Do it, do it, do it!!!!