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


On being Patient.

Photo credit: Niya Bascom Photography | Food Styling: Ishka Designs | Delightful Flavor photoshoot

"Patience is a most necessary qualification for business; many a man would rather you heard his story than granted his request." ~ Lord Chesterfield

If you've sat in front of us of late and had a discussion about business, or life for that matter, one word may likely have come up.  Patience.  Or more like the practice of it.  The "take deep breaths", "all will be well", "nothing before its time" kind of patience that every business owner must possess.  And that has been our month in general.  Uhmmmm, probably more like the past few months.  Though we were wrapped up in a flurry of execution towards the end of 2011, we hardly noticed until now just how much of that time was spent being patient.

"Patience is also a form of action" ~Auguste Rodin

And what else we've noticed Mr. Rodin, is that  STRATEGY goes hand in hand with PATIENCE.  This is not the "sit back and wait" kind of patience.  Nope.  It's more like "the goals have been set", "the strategy is evolving" and "the tireless bleed us til we dry execution is ongoing" that leads to the kind of patience we are exercising.  That said, this month has sounded a bit like this: proposal after proposal writing, conversation after conversation over drinks and/or brunch, scheduling this call and that meeting, and just a whole lot of extra efforts and new business tactics designed to get us closer to our long-term goals.  And all this while still working on existing projects...deep breath in and slowly exhale out...

"Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

And the mental exercise is paying off.  While it comes with even more sacrifice, the rewards continue to prove that the wait is SOOOOO worth it.  We are choosing not to divulge most of what's on our plate, being superstitious that way, but we can say that we see travel and more potential for exposure in our future.  As things become a foregone conclusion, we promise to keep you in the loop on the blog.  Your turn to be patient :)

Speaking of patien(ts), we were not without progress on all projects including the start of the transformation of the exterior of that medical facility.  Saying bye to that wonderful beer wholesale "art".  In the meantime, we had some fun with cupcakes this month (see first image above).  A nice reprieve from interior design.
Job site as it was at the beginning.  Photo credit: Niya Bascom Photography
B-side in progress.  Niya Bascom Photography.
Cafeteria Chairs - stackable, affordable and small.  Niya Bascom Photography.
An aside: we've decided that our blog posts are going to be monthly for now.  A commitment we feel we can handle.  So 'til next month!



Pushing the envelope, 2012

Ok. We've been a tad delinquent these past few months. What started out as an excuse to get from behind the computer everyday all day, fast became a great habit forming ritual - nights out with the girls, the guys and then some.  It then got pretty busy for a while and blogging just didn't seem to be a priority anymore.  But alas we could not close out 2011 without reconnecting with all of you who have helped us get to where we are now: confident in 2012.

So just because we've been silent doesn't mean things haven't been happening.  We commenced this Park Slope, Brooklyn project in 2009 with a bathroom gut renovation (see story here).  This very long-term project has finally been completed. Finally! Hooray *doing a happy dance*.  Our client was a very patient one, choosing to execute phases over time all the while growing to understand her space and how she functions in it before making any firm commitments.  We are just as happy that it is completed as we are with the final result, so much so that we went about the photo shoot slightly differently.  One of those differences included producing a coffee table book to show off to all and sundry willing to give us their eyes and ears.  Here's a sneak peak:
Sneak Peak 1. Photo by Niya Bascom Photography; Styling assistance: Sana Keefer
Sneak Peak 2. Photo by Niya Bascom Photography; Styling assistance: Sana Keefer
As most of you blog readers are aware, we finished a year long home renovation in Gerritsen beach, Brooklyn for an amazing 5 member family.  Read all about it here.  They were great to work with and we so look forward to working on that vacation property they promise to get and have us design for them!
Gerritsen Beach kitchen renovated. Photo by Niya Bascom Photography
We successfully completed a cellar renovation for a couple in Ft. Greene, Brooklyn and promptly began work on their entire parlor level including overseeing the refurbishing of the brownstone's front door.  We started to show you in progress images (read here) but pulled back for no real reason really.  While the cellar is now complete, we will only show an in-progress image of the newly reformed space as we plan to do a grand reveal when all accessories are in place and more of the house is complete.
Cellar Before. Photo by Niya Bascom Photography
Cellar in-progress. Photo by Niya Bascom Photography
To round out the year of comprehensive projects, we began work in May on a medical/health and wellness facility build-out. The project was already underway with permits, plumbing and walls in place. We were brought in just in time to conceive of a concept that tied into their holistic/wellness approach and to work on all fixtures and finishes, furnishing selection and placement, bathroom designs and custom millwork in all the common and staff areas.  We also played a hand in branding development for the client which we are quite excited about.  Frankly we are amazed at the project and are so happy to be involved in something that will hopefully be a major contributor to the neighbourhood long-term.  Part of the facility is currently open functioning at just above the basic level while waiting for finishing touches to be put in place.  Phases 2 and 3 are still ongoing (including the fa├žade, which we are working on).  It is the expectation that the official launch will happen by the beginning of the 2nd quarter of 2012.
In Progress.
Of note this year was the fact that we got to do some interesting collaborations while strengthening up relationships new and old.  Special mention goes out to 33 Woodwork, Sana Keefer of Pip & Estella, Malene Barnett, Snug Furniture, The Sweeten, The Blue Griffin, D. Bryant Archie, Jhamal Ince, Sankofa Law firm and Karen Young.  We also met some amazing local artisans that we are dying to work with in the near future, including Hugo McCloud Designs and Kat Flower.

It's been a good year for us with respect to press coverage.  We ended the year with a print feature in Panache Jamaica magazine, but who can forget our 12-page spread in Rue magazine, our write up in Munaluchi Bride and feature in Prominence magazine.  We got lots of blog love too for which we are eternally grateful (special mention to From Me To You who captured our mugs below) and we look forward to more features in the printed and virtual presses in the coming year!
Our portrait by Jamie Beck, From Me To You
We started out 2011 contemplating production possibilities and where that road can lead us.  We kept the eye on the prize and we are that much closer to realizing our design-build dreams.  We've continued to research opportunities for production while producing one-off custom designed furnishings for our projects.  We are steadily building our stock pile and look forward to that day when we can say "Why yes! We do have our own line."

Having had time to reflect on our accomplishiments in 2011 we eagerly look towards 2012 for what we feel is our "buss-weh" year.  For the non-Jamaicans, that just means 2012 will be our year for super successes.  Of course, we know we have a lot of work left to do.  So we continue to push on, following our guts and taking more and more risk daily.  All this so that in 5 years time (thus making it 10 total) we can finally become that "overnight success" story.  Or perhaps in 2 (for a total of 7).  Can't hurt to push the envelope.

All the best in 2012!

idi team