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


Cellar Project: Work commences

After much contemplation, our clients decided to forego the polished concrete floors mentioned in our previous post on this cellar project.  Boohoo.  But really it was our fault, as we introduced a gorgeous tile into the equation that totally rocked the boat. As was to be expected the clients were sold on this new tile.  The result: a new design direction for the project.  Think very crisp and clean, like a brand new white button-up.  We eliminated most of the rough aesthetic too, but hung unto the idea of the white and textured concrete.
mixing concrete on-site. photo: Niya Bascom Photography
With decisions finalized, materials were ordered and the work begun!  Materials arrived and the 4-man work crew commenced operations.  Electrician, masons, and a tiler.  Things moved extremely quickly til a leak was discovered, holding up progress a couple of days.
materials arrive on a still snowy day in NYC; photo by: Niya Bascom Photography
photo by: Niya Bascom Photography
photo by: Niya Bascom Photography
In the meantime, the millwork design was an on-going collaboration between our clients and the AV guy.  Unfortunately, this too delayed the project a tad, but we finally fleshed it out with minimal impact on the existing work, except for a few outlet relocations.

Who said design is a static process???


Orley & Shabahang: AD Home Show 2011

Images sourced from: shabahangcarpets.com 
I turned the corner and fell in love.  Some of the persian rugs hanging from the walls were unlike anything I'd seen before.  The designs were graphic, bold and the colorways so harmonious.  Half of the Orley & Shabahang team was on hand to give us a historical perspective on the company and their process.  And if that was not enough to convince you that these were indeed exquisite works of art, then the coffee table bound look book would've done it.

(L) image source: shabahangcarpets.com (center and right) images on display at AD Show: Niya Bascom Photography
Even more breathtaking were a few of the pieces that looked richly coloured but were actually combinations of the natural colours of the sheep's wool.  Given the incredibly soft hand from 100% sheep's wool and the palatable price point, I look forward to working with this manufacturer in the near future.
No dye carpets. (L) image: shabahangcarpets.com (R) on display at AD Show 2011, photo by Niya Bascom Photography


Functional Art Part 2: AD Home Show 2011

Nick Davis exhibit at ADShow2011; photo: NiyaBascom Photography
Once upon a time I was fascinated with feet.  A dancer thing?  I don't know.  Odd or not, I found them to be quite intriguing.  All shapes and sizes.  Of course, my favourite were those of my nephew, but then again all of him is still my favourite.  NB has borne witness to my obsession and even once suggested I exhibit the photographs that I had amassed over several months.  We even came up with how I would exhibit them...I just needed to do it.  I've since grown out of this odd fetish, sort of...so when I turned the corner at the trade show and saw this amazing spectacle it brought a huge smile to my face and an incredulous one to NB's.
photo: NiyaBascom Photography
Nick Davis, the amazing artist behind The Foundry, told us in our mini discussion about his own fascination with feet and hands.  As an artist he constantly draws them, which I guess evolved into sculpting these awesome pieces.  Fascinating.  As I glimpsed one of the hands holding up a coat, I couldn't help wonder about their functional purpose in the interior environment.  For me, these bronze sculptures would be ideal in a retail space...and then again, just as at home in someone's flat.  What do you think?
photo: NiyaBascom Photography
BTW, my idea for the exhibit of my feet photos?  Let's just say Nick's presentation comes awfully close to it.  Different medium, same premise :)


Functional Art Part 1: AD Home Show 2011

That's it.  I am definitely a glutton for punishment.  I am the one who always falls in love when there is no hope of reciprocation.  I mean, how can a piece of furniture or a finely worked sculpture love you back?  While I silently ponder my own selfish needs for reciprocity, let me simultaneously introduce you to the work of Palo Samko displayed at the Architectural Digest Show here in NYC this past weekend.
left: Palo Samko Display at ADShow2011, photo by NiyaBascom Photography | nightstand; source: palosamko.com
Definitely not new to the scene, Brooklyn-based "woodworker", as Palo Samko calls himself (we call him artist) works out of the Brooklyn Navy Yard creating furniture that have an extra-ordinary attention to detail not always present in contemporary pieces.  The beauty of Palo Samko's work is really in the finishing touches.  From an interestingly modern take on a turned leg to the metal or leather pulls on his cabinets and lamps, his designs are well considered and appropriately stunning.  Whymsical too - take the "time machine" scene sunk into the massive dining table on display at the show or the juxtaposition of a teeny tiny sculpted chair beside his beautiful wood desk with a metal encased leg.  Needless to say his work is inspiring to me and definitely worthy of being called art.  I would love to own (oops, there's that word again) and/or specify Mr. Samko's pieces for a project and I look forward to either day.
Shepherd Table; source: palosamko.com
Compass Table; source: palosamko.com
left: Palo Samko sculpture, palosamko.com | right: Palo Samko clocks on display at AD Show, photo: NiyaBascom Photography
Breakfast table; source: palosamko.com | Rosewood Credenza; source: palosamko.com
Check out more of his work here.  So am I right to be in love?



G.I.N. Designs inspires

Forgive me, I'm still in a fashion week state of mind.  But I'll get to that in a minute.  When we recently got an invitation to a colleague's exhibit at the Design Within Reach Brooklyn showroom, we were inspired to post about his work.  We first met artist Orlando Dominguez at last year's Architectural Digest Home Show, where he was primarily showcasing his sculptures under the G-I-N Designs label.  Amongst the pieces on display was a stand out neon yellow re-finished armchair that we could only describe as punk!  A few months later we visited a pop-up shop in the LES where yet another re-upholstered beauty was on display.  This one, funky!  So we were more than eager to check out the collaboration at DWR.  The few chairs on display looked fantastic in the showroom juxtaposed against the store's typical clean modern lines.  The exhibit got us thinking about a few of those fall runways.  So to round up my fashion meets furniture series, I did a bit of juxtaposition myself taking inspiration from the colour blocking and fabric selection of Mr. Dominguez.
Our favourite piece in the exhibit, www.ginartdesign.com
The stand out selection on our favourite G-I-N chair is the mustard animal hide fabric.  The textured nature brings the piece to life and reminds me of the gorgeous fabrics of Suno and Doru Olowu this season.  And of course the blues, aquas and icy tones of the chair definitely mimic the hues found in Gucci, Diane von Furstenberg and Prada.  Love it!
From top left: 1. G-I-N chair, www.ginartdesign.com 2. Suno fall 2011, nytimes.com 3. Gucci, nytimes.com 4. Doru Olowu, nytimes.com 5. & 6. Diane von Furstenberg, nytimes.com 7. Prada, nytimes.com and 8. Suno again, nytimes.com
Fuschia meets green and animal hide in the most interesting way in the more feminine complement to our blue favourite.
The pink, www.ginartdesign.com
The pink chair definitely had a more electric feel, which found me pulling on Bibhu Mohapatra's funky evening wear and Prada's sleek animal skin coat.  The eclectic nature of the colour combo took me back to the on target pattern mixes of Doru Olowu and Suno.  It's interesting what can happen when you tone down fuschia, as is the case of the more earthy palettes of Dior, Gucci and Peter Pilotto.  It made me wonder what would happen if we just threw a deep purple throw on this funky chair.
From top left: 1. Pink chair, www.ginartdesign.com 2. Prada, nytimes.com 3. Bibhu Mohapatra, nytimes.com 4. Gucci, nytimes.com 5. Doru Olowu, nytimes.com 6. & 7. Dior, nytimes.com 8. Peter Pilotto, nytimes.com 9. Suno, nytimes.com
It really is interesting how items, whether furniture, textiles or fittings can lead us down different paths of artistic expression.  We are truly motivated by the fabrics, textures, and colours of the fall 2011 season and will be keeping a lot of this on the inspiration board for upcoming projects.  Hope you were able to find inspiration from ours...



be s"TEAL" my heart

Last week we were crushing on red, today our hearts have been stolen by TEAL.  And so what if it was soooo 2010, I really can't get enough thanks to Gucci's fall collection below:
Teal never looked so good as in the Fall 2011 collection for Gucci. Combined with olive green, sky blue, and navy, teal is to-die-for. These colors would make one hot-to-death interior palette.
Source: Catwalking photography for NY Times
and some other really beautiful inspired finds in all ranges of teal...
From top left 1. Gucci Fall 2011 2. we adore this teal chinoiserie wallpaper, as seen on designsponge.com 3. glass tile, glasstilehome.com 4. deer damask wallpaper, wallpapercollective.com 5. jade drum stool, mecoxgardens.com 6. english glass lamps, 1stdibs.com 7. olive green ottoman, jonathanadler.com 8. david flower 2 wallpaper, anna-hill.co.uk 9. bugs and butterflies wallpaper, wallpapercollective.com
The Gucci collection wasn't all about teal, there were some other fab colour combos too including plums, rusts, and mustards, all of which have got our juices flowing.  This collection is on our inspiration board, in our heads, and hopefully in our next designs...has it inspired you?