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


Before & After: Then & Now

Some time ago, we were asked by a client to recommend changing out the tiles in her master bathroom or keep as is.  There was white marble everywhere, floor to ceiling and all up in the tub, and while my conscience would kill me after, we decided to renovate.
before - floor to ceiling marble everywhere
Despite some major hiccups along the way (and I mean hiccups of the epic kind), we produced a very clean design that we think complimented the beautiful layout.  We are still very much agog over the separate shower, standalone tub, and the double vanities.  Love all the modern details.  Unfortunately, we didn't shoot this for portfolio purposes, though we really wish we had.
after...in addition to new tiles, we added a shelf in both tub and shower area
before view of vanity and light fixture
after...changed out light fixtures in vanity areas as well as shower head and tiles
photography by NiyaBas.com Photography
So why the guilty conscience?

1. Missed opportunity.  This project was one of the firsts for IDI.  As such proper documentation of in-progress work (photography) was not a priority for us, waiting instead for total completion.  As a result, we missed the boat when the client decided to shelve the project half way.  Though we have some bathroom images to show, there were a few more spaces throughout the home that were never photographed.
2. Totally environmentally "unconscious".  Our biggest issue lay in the fact that we agreed to renovate the bathroom.  Despite its unattractive appearance, there was nothing technically wrong with the bathroom.  It just was unattractive to both the client and us.  The client more so.  In retrospect, could we have waited for the first signs of deterioration to renovate? Yes.
3. Waste.  Where did all that marble go?  I'm not sure.  And did we really have to get rid of all of it? Could we have kept the existing tub cover, at a minimum? Yes.

Lessons learned from this project have been applied to all projects since then.  The biggest of all is we are being a lot more conscious of our carbon footprint now.

Side note: our current clients fell in love with the above accent tiles so we are working with them again.  But we paired it with a new combination of tiles for a totally different feel.  More anon.




From the Sand o& Snow Collection, niyabas.com photography
I haven't posted in a while and for my grand return, I had an interesting, possibly even controversial, post ready to pen.  But then in the middle of thinking it through, I ran out the studio to attend a beautiful event co-hosted by five amazing modern rug designers.  All women.  Judy Ross, Amy Helfand, Malene B, Tracey Sawyer, and Tania Johnson.  The exhibition entitled Mother Earth, aptly named for the nature inspired rugs as well as the obvious, was held in the newly opened, sparingly furnished modern showroom, Casa on Tuesday evening. The backdrop as well as the intriguing tree sculptures that dotted the showroom were perfectly in sync with the rugs on display.  Accordingly, original post has been shelved for sometime in the future.
Baobab by Malene B Custom Handmade Carpets was on display
  Apart from the drool-worthy rugs showcased, what really impressed me was the strength and power of the feminine ______...not sure what to call it yet.  Everything about the event was flawless: the designs were striking, the quality impeccable, the presentations via the iphone microphone were sleek as were the designers themselves, the light heartedness, the importance.  To me, this event was important.  I almost didn't make it as I was a bit torn between supporting my friend Malene or going to yet another "how to get published" event.  She won out and frankly, so did I.  Let me explain a bit more about myself...

Etu Liliacea by Tracey Sawyer, The Nought Collective was on display
Of the three kids in my family, I am the only girl.  Of the 19 or so kids in the neighbourhood, I was one of four girls, and really the only one if you count those who hung with the boys.  Choosing a career in finance, specifically equity research, my odds just got progressively worse.  When I crossed over into design, things began to look up. We completely outnumbered the men in the classroom.  Ridiculously so.  As I began to explore behind the scenes beyond the classroom, I saw women were everywhere, in the showrooms, at events, even in the media. It was as if they were making up for my childhood.
love this amazing forest abstraction by Amy Helfand on display
Yet, funnily enough, the males still seemed to dominate the top.  Maybe it was the architecture influence?  Or socialization?  Or maybe it's genetics?  Haven't quite found a rational explanation for it.
Tania Johnson Design, featured rug on display
Fast forward to the present.  Female designers are indeed everywhere and the numbers are amazing.  Maybe not as much in the limelight as those classroom numbers would suggest but we are definitely there and growing.  Maybe we weren't as aggressive about being in the limelight in the past, or maybe we weren't given the opportunity, or maybe because we do outnumber the men, the men seem to stand out more when it comes to the limelight.  Whatever the reason, don't fool yourself...us women are doing it big.
Judy Ross Textiles, featured rug on display
And that night's event underscored that much.  The room was filled with amazing female designers, some I had known a while, some I'd met in recent months, and some I just met that evening.  All in different stages of the cycle, some behind the scenes, others in the forefront.  The conversations were genuine and supportive and even inspiring.  As Judy Ross pointed out in her short presentation, it's great when your competition can come together to create an event like this:

Colourful.  Artistic.  Expressive.  Beautiful.  The strength and power of us females.
The designers: (L-R) Amy Helfand, Tracey Sawyer, Malene Barnett, Judy Ross, and Tania Johnson.  Photo courtesy of Malene B.
My iphone pic of the amazing female designers with Casa showroom team. See wonderful tree sculptures in back.
Former classmate Lily Yung, Anishka (Ishka Designs), the amazing rug designer Malene B, and Sarah Han.  Photo courtesy of Malene B.