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


Zen Oasis: A Brooklyn Backyard Transformed in time for Spring!

March 20th just passed and while we did indeed have a truly spring like day this past Saturday, the next few days will be right back to the 30's, cold and devoid of green.  That, however, will not stop us from willing Spring into permanent existence, allowing our lucky clients to enjoy the beautiful backyard we transformed for them awhile back.  From a pile of dirt with no hint of promise, we turned their lifeless backyard into a private escape, a zen oasis in the heart of Brooklyn.  
Spring where are you?  A peek at our client's newly transformed backyard featuring spotlights by Hinkley.  All after photos by: Niya Bascom Photography
The backyard underwent two transformations.  The first occurred when the entire brownstone was renovated by the architect, Robert A. King.  During that initial go around, the architect claimed square footage from the yard to extend the back of the owner occupied portion of the home, adding a deck off the parlor floor and two small bedrooms on the ground floor.  One exciting feature of this renovation was the addition of large sliding doors on the parlor level, which now allows amazing light to flow into the home.  For those of you who know brownstone living, getting daylight in can be wishful thinking.
Before any renovation of any kind, the back of the house looked like this.
Architect, Robert A. King, did major renovations to the brownstone including adding a deck to the back, sliding doors and a stair case to access the back from the parlor floor.
Before any renovation of any kind, the backyard looked like this
While the building saw major change, the yard still looked unwelcoming from the newly added deck.
The second transformation happened once we came on board.  We took an otherwise ordinary and bare backyard and created a lush oasis replete with a metal and wood pergola, outdoor lighting from Hinkley and flexible seating in the form of movable planters.  From a construction stand point, we added another drain to resolve ongoing flooding issues and built a deep cement pit underground to restrict the spread of the bamboo in the back.  We love, love, love this backyard transformation and have visions of sipping cocktails all summer with our clients surrounded by all its lush glory.

The Afters:
That view?  So welcoming now.  
Once we got our hands on the space, we immediately went for warmth, employing cedar for the privacy fence and adding pockets of greenery throughout.  
A key request of the clients was for us to include a private space within the backyard where they could relax together.  Our pergola design with a cement accent wall to break up the monotony does the trick.
Zen backyard design by Ishka Designs.
Do you love how we transformed our client's backyard?  Let us know in the comments below.  Want us to create your own backyard escape?  Call or email us!

Photo credits: Niya Bascom Photography (all after) and clients (the before's).