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


Plumb Street: Before & After

Plumb St. Project. Photos by: Niya Bascom Photography
A few weeks ago we finally specified the last item for our Plumb Street project.  What a process it has been.  It was almost a year ago, that we rode our bikes down to meet our lovely clients, their 3 kids and the upheaval that had already begun at their home.  Asked to provide space plan solutions for the basement and kitchen, design solutions for the bathrooms and master bedroom, and lighting plans and fixtures for all, we began the project in earnest excited by the prospects.  This was our first major residential project that did not include furniture selection, just space planning and finishes, fixtures and fittings selection.

Our kitchen design solution incorporating all storage and equipment needs of client.  The kitchen is the most impressive room in the house.  The husband is in the restaurant business...can you tell? 
One of the 3 bathroom finishes selection
Trying to choose the perfect medium tone for the bathroom vanity...can you see a difference? :)
Demolition was underway our first day on site, as the architect approved drawings had the construction crew extending the back of the house approximately 12 feet and the front of the house on the second level a few extra feet.  All of which meant their kitchen would more than double in size, the basement could get a home office and a more spacious laundry area, and that there would be enough room for a master bathroom on the second floor.
Top: Basement Solution featuring rec room, home office, and spacious laundry room; Bottom: Ground Floor Solution
Aside from lengthy time delays with construction and millwork that continued beyond our final photoshoot, the project went pretty much as expected and the results...well let's just say I want to give our clients the biggest hug ever for their extremely kind words.  I know they will be surprised to read this but despite the completely opposite tastes of the husband and wife and as you can imagine the many hours of compromise that ensued, they were amazing to work with and the challenge to convince one or the other and sometimes both was in the end worth all the time consuming effort.

Over the next couple of blog posts we will show how this process unfolded for those interested.  But below are the before and after shots.  Hope you appreciate the transformation as much as we do.
Master Bedroom Before: Looking into the bedroom shared with their little girl.
Master Bedroom After featuring grasscloth wallpaper, arch window and no baby bed :) The extension at the back of the house allows their baby girl to have her own room.  (Styling by yours truly)
Master Bedroom Before
Master Bedroom After with new giant arch window, grasscloth wallpaper, wood panel accents and layered lighting solution.
Bathroom Before
Master Bathroom After: the architect managed to squeeze in extra sf for a master bathroom, the rest was left up to us. The new bathroom features our custom designed walnut vanity with leather pull handles and waterfall corian top, axor fixtures, and glass tile.
Kitchen Before looking from back door
Kitchen After looking from back doors featuring 10' island, 9' wide pantry (right of pic), custom cabinetry and Kenmore Elite appliances
Kitchen Before looking from living room
Kitchen After looking from living room: maximized the additional 100+ sf with 9' pantry (not shown), island to seat 7 - 8, french doors (with unfinished screens), and tiny bar sink facing in-wall TV (also not shown)
Stairwell Before leading to basement
Stairwell After: newly designed staircase made from white oak (glass banister to be installed soon) with textured sand wallpaper from MDC Wallcoverings
Basement Bath Before
Basement Bath After featuring recycled content tiles that lead from basement, corian counter top and custom cabinetry.
Basement Before 
Basement After featuring over 100 additional sf to include new home office leading off hallway and spacious laundry area  and boiler room at the end.  Storage wall in foreground conceals water main access.  Recycled tiles on floor throughout.
Living Room and Staircase Before
Living Room After featuring open staircase made of white oak (glass banister to be installed soon), walnut floors and larger windows.
All colour images taken by Niya Bascom Photography with black and white photos provided by clients. We want to give a huge thanks to them for allowing us to share these with you all and most of all our hard-working team!

idi team


More Pillow Talk

If you saw our previous post "my pretties", you would realize that we are currently in accessory mode.  We have been amassing ideas for on-going projects these past few weeks while simultaneously prepping for an upcoming photoshoot.  I tend to default to the tear sheets and cards hanging around on my desk, and I remember these beautiful pillows by Brooklyn based textile company, Aviva Stanoff, on our walk-through of the Architectural Digest Show last month.  I am really drawn to the technique and the beauty of these textured textiles.  The company employs an interesting process by pressing real materials (feathers, leaves, etc.) into the fabrics, each done individually by hand using beautiful silks as the base.  I remember running my hand over the impressions on the pillows and was sold.  Click here for more images from the wonderful Aviva Stanoff.

All images from avivastanoff.com
Thought the styling of the pillows to be quite beautiful too.  Can't wait to see these in person again.  I love Brooklyn!


My pretties!

Just happened upon these GAWJUSS [gorgeous] pillows over at Sylvester & Co.  So many I want for projects and self...sigh!  Check out these few in gold:


and silvers & greys:

All images sourced from sylvesterathome.com
Aren't they a pretty bunch?



Tell Your Story

Anishka & mom. Photo by Niya Bascom Photography
Yesterday was a long day, less about work for a change and more focused on family.  I spent most of it in Long Island, half the day killing time at the immigration office and the other half trying not to get lost amongst the gorgeous homes in the suburbs.  Eventually made it back to Brooklyn in time for drinks in Tribeca at the stylishly simplistic bar, Weather Up, joined by mom, NB and our new friend, colleague and excellent personal stylist, Kalyn Johnson.  Check out her site when you have a chance, we have a lot in common!
Weather Up. Not pictured here but had me very intrigued was the ram's head taxidermy juxtaposed against the clean white walls of the restaurant. Photo source: nybarfly.com; Credit: The Gothamist
Starved, we eventually wandered past the beautiful court houses of downtown Manhattan to grab a late night meal at our favourite Chinatown restaurant nestled comfortably between several bail bond offices.  Yes, with all the excursions around NY and the glaring differences of our destinations, the irony of ending up at our guilty indulgence in gritty Chinatown was quite interesting.
Chinatown. Niya Bascom Photography
Even more interesting was happening upon this pop-up booth sitting quietly in the middle of Foley Square, opposite the Supreme Court building.  Besides my ongoing fascination with pop-up shops and booths, the words sprawled across its glass walls really spoke to me...

love this.
write our own history.
So powerful!  The booth belongs to the Story Corps organization, and was originally located at the WTC path station in 2005.  Ok...so why am I only now seeing this???  Anyhow, the organization is an independent nonprofit whose mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of their lives.  Such a great idea to have the actual people record their own history as opposed to someone else's interpretation of it.  Even more interesting is that our day began and ended with the same context in mind...from the journey to the Long Island immigration office and ending up in one of the largest ethnic neighbourhoods in New York City.  Beyond that my journey really began in India and Africa, through the Caribbean and ending up here.  We all have a story to tell about who we are and where we came from...
Photo: Niya Bascom Photography
anishka for idi