Behind The Design with Annaliesse Kelly

Hi Everyone!

Today’s Behind the Design is very exciting for me as it is the first Canadian designer that I have featured on this series.  Annaliesse Kelly is the principal of Annaliesse Kelly Design & Consulting based in Vancouver, British Columbia.  AK Design is a full service interior design firm with a clear focus on working with their clients thru the design process to complete interiors that their clients have dreamed of and meet their needs.  The result is clean, elegant interiors that are welcoming and functional.  Without further adieu here is Stylishly Zen’s Behind the Design with Annaliesse Kelly:

  1. Did you always know that you wanted to work in interior design? Has it always been your passion?

Always.  My mother was an interior designer and I was always hording her interior design magazines when I was growing up.AK_Haywood_Web-18

  1. How would you describe your design esthetic?

I hate that question!  I like to say that we don’t sell a look we sell a service.  Function proceeds form and we focus on what works well for your home.  We collaborate with interior architects to design and plan what you need for your home to work or you.  This includes everything from floorplans, lighting details, staircases, etc.  Then we work in our esthetic of clean lines and balanced elegance.  We try to have fun with our spaces.

  1. Where do you find your inspiration from?

Our client’s inspiration boards (we give them the tools to help to show us what they like), partners we collaborate with, trend research from social media, fashion, and travelling.20190705_AK_DESIGNS_1055RICHARDS-09

  1. What has been your most challenging project to date?

We are currently working on a project in Strathcona that is both challenging and very exciting.  The home is 100 years old and we have to be mindful of building codes that apply to historical buildings.  The lot is very small but quite high so access is difficult.  We are lifting the house to put a basement below which again comes with its own set of challenges.

  1. How long does it take for you to normally complete a project?

That’s impossible to answer – it depends on the project.  A condo can take 6months and a house can be well over a year.

  1. You have worked on a variety of projects from residential to commercial, one on one with clients to development projects, do you have a favourite type of project to work on?

I enjoy them all, it’s about the people and it’s a privilege to help them.  I like different aspects for different reasons. One on one for helping people curate their dreams, development projects for branding.  It’s all a journey of discovery and forward thinking.AK_Design_1535_Vine_St_Web-13

  1. What has been your favourite project to work on so far?

My company.  I love working with people

  1. Any favourite travel destinations that you like to escape too?Why?

NYC for the incredible design and varied architecture and businesses.  I love the colours in California.  I also love travelling to Europe, I am headed to Spain in the spring.AK_Haywood_Web-44

  1. Vancouver is a well-known wellness city; do you have any wellness practices that you have incorporated into your life to help you deliver such wonderful projects?

Go to bed at 9 and wake up at 6, exercise, good food and meditation at times.  Even just getting outside and going to a walk can help.

  1. Any words of wisdom for someone who is just starting out their design career?

Trust yourself, try not to compare yourself to others and think outside of the box.  Be brave!  There is so much space for everyone!20190705_AK_DESIGNS_1055RICHARDS-10

Thank you so much Annaliesse for taking the time to do this interview.  All images courtesy of Annaliesse Kelly Design.  To see more of Annaliesse’s designs please visit http://www.annaliessekellydesign.com

Thank you everyone for stopping by Stylishly Zen and I hope that you have a beautiful day!  XXS

Inspiring Design

Hi Everyone!

Today’s Inspiring Design is a gorgeous Victorian home located in San Francisco.  Victorian homes have always had a special place in my heart since I saw Mrs. Doubtfire when I was younger.  When I first saw pictures of this house, I was expecting beautiful and classic design, but with each picture that I saw my jaw dropped further to the floor.  It is widely billed as the former home of actress Meg Ryan but the home has undergone quite the transformation since. When the current owners purchased the home in 2014, they hired local architect Tim Murphy to update the home which included a new kitchen, master suite, family room and upstairs lounge.   IMG_7761Murphy was able to retain a lot of the original magic of the space by keeping the gorgeous crown molding and millwork throughout the home.    IMG_7762Interior design firm Nicole Hollis was also hired early in remodel process to consult on interior finishes, hardware and custom cabinetry along with the furnishings and the majority of the decorative lighting among other things.  The front living room is particular favourite (first image).  I love the contrast of the marble accents with the chevron walnut flooring against the navy, grey and white colour palette.  IMG_7755IMG_7756The house is 7050 square feet with five bedrooms and five and a half bathrooms.  The blend of classic and modern throughout the home is stunning, but the incredible bay views is what really made this Victorian home stand out to me.  IMG_7759Sliding doors in the kitchen which open onto a terrace offer breathtaking views of the San Francisco Bay.  The kitchen itself is a dream with a waterfall marble island, exquisite custom cabinetry and top of the line appliances.  IMG_7758Adjacent to the kitchen is the family room and the dining room, both of which offer beautiful views of the bay as well.  Aside from the beautiful view, I am completely in love with the sculptural smoked glass lighting fixture hanging above the dining room table.  Gorgeous!IMG_7757The most incredible room in this house though is on the top floor.  The upstairs lounge offers panoramic views of the city and the bay, including offering unobstructed views of Angel Islands and Alcatraz.  The lounge opens to a stunning terrace which houses a fire pit to help create a cozy atmosphere.  The views from there both day and night are fantastic and it looks like the most incredible spot to unwind with a glass of wine after a long week.  IMG_7753IMG_7752All information and images are from http://www.dwell.com and you can find more images for this gorgeous home here.  

Thank you for stopping by Stylishly Zen today and I hope that you are safe and have a beautiful day!  XXS

Behind the Design with Carola Vannini

Carola Vannini is a talented Rome based architect whose designs are the true definition of timeless sophistication.  With a minimalistic yet elevated aesthetic, Carola has the ability to transform worn and dated interiors into timeless, elegant, dream worthy spaces.  Since discovering her work, I have spent a lot of time admiring her designs both on Instagram and on her own website.  I absolutely love how she uses backlighting to create beautiful lit from within interiors in a variety of spaces.  As an admirer of her work, I was very excited when she agreed to be a part of Stylishly Zen’s Behind the Design series:

  1. Did you always know that you wanted to work in architecture? Has it always been your passion?

I actually didn’t.  I never thought of being an architect before signing into my university classes.  It was a surprise for me to find out such an interesting world.
44F463D3-7FF9-4FF6-8391-0DA1954CFE3E

  1. How would you describe your design esthetic?

I would describe it as a balance between ancient and contemporary minimalism.  My motto is “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” and I totally believe so.

  1. Where do you find your inspiration from?

It depends on every peculiar case. I always adjust my taste to the environment I have to deal with and, of course, with the clients’ taste and needs.
EB73F562-82CF-44B8-89C0-7F8AD4EC5396

  1. What has been your most challenging project so far? Why was it so challenging?

It is definitely the one I am still working on at the moment. It is a new construction Barn House in Tuscany. A very big project that I had to design from scratch.  Now it is almost completed even though I am still working on the garden and landscape design of it.

77A33465-7469-40F5-B9A8-34B8649A16C9

  1. What is your favourite project to date?

Among the completed ones, it is Navona Penthouse. I am very attached to that project because I had a great feeling with my clients and brought me a  lot of satisfaction when it got published on last April issue of AD Italia.

  1. How long does it take for you to normally complete a project?

From the design to the final step, I would say one year. But then, again, it depend on the case.
4F375BBD-3906-4401-A70F-C9AF74000533

  1. What is your favourite part about working in architecture?

The design part, where creativity can flow out of my head. Afterwords, the works themselves can get pretty stressing and tiring. Less creative and more practical.

  1. Any favourite travel destinations that you like to escape too?Why?

I really enjoy Greece, especially the small islands. But my heart is actually in Thailand. A little too far from me to escape there only for a few days though.
C256A7C8-1D47-4D0D-8CDD-9E0B70BDF0DF

  1. How would you describe the design style/esthetic in Italy?

There is always a cassic and elegant touch. No matter what, if you were born in Italy, you breath beauty since your first day of life and I truly believe that this effects us all. Not  only architects.

  1. Do you have a favourite type of project to work on (private/public)? Why?

 I mainly work on residential and I like it very much. I would really to go back to some public space design though, such as restaurants or hotels.
FE20F0B1-44F2-41BB-935C-7678E60A9D80

  1. What wellness practices do you incorporate into your lifestyle to help you deliver such beautiful projects? (This can range from workouts, nutrition, meditation practice, etc)

I am a pilates and yoga fanatic. I really think that my daily workout is the best moment of my day; so useful for me to take a break and go back into myself. It helps me to face the rest of may time with much more energy and positive attitude.
50B90780-3435-4915-9C5A-11B759990A7E

  1. Any words of wisdom for someone who is just starting out their design career?

Don’t give up your ideas for your clients’ ones. If you are really convinced that something is right that way, try to take them by hand and gently make them understand  your point.  You are the architect, right?
DEF39E79-8470-46C6-9BDB-7D82D2B629CD

Thank you for stopping by and special thanks to Carola for taking the time to participate in this month’s Behind the Design.  To see more of Carola’s work you can visit her website at http://www.carolavannini.com or check her out on Instagram @carolavannini

I hope that you have a beautiful day!  XXS

All images courtesy of Carola Vannini

Behind the Design with Gori & Yoon

Gori & Yoon is a young design studio that I discovered on Instagram earlier this year.  Founded in 2018 and based in Florence, Italian architect Elisa Gori and South Korean interior designer Jaehyun Yoon have combined  their diverse experience and backgrounds to design modern, elegant and functional spaces for both private residences and public spaces.  I have been a fan of their work from the moment that I first saw it, and I especially love how they use distinct shapes and materials to create timeless and refined spaces.  Needless to say I was very excited when they agreed to be interviewed for the Behind the Design series.  Here is my interview with Elisa Gori and Jaehyun Yoon:

  1. Did you always know that you wanted to work in interior design?Has it always been your passion?

JAE – When I was a child, I always liked doing something with my hands, for example painting or modeling something with clay. I remember above all that I spent so much time playing with lego block. Perhaps it was a sign that I was doing something creative in the future, that is, becoming an interior designer.

ELISA – Since I was a child I wanted to become a fashion designer. I have always been a creative person and fascinated by fashion, art and architecture, that is, everything that is aesthetically beautiful. For this reason I wanted to work in a sector that could express it.
FD2FBFE5-3A74-40CE-B59D-64BD011E5860

  1. How would you describe your design esthetic?

JAE and ELISA – We prefer simple, clean, minimal shapes that can be easily understood. This always shows our personality, especially through the use of color, light and furnishings and decorative objects, also taken from different eras and styles, but always finding a common line, so that they can be combined perfectly with each other.

  1. Where do you find your inspiration from?

JAE and ELISA – We like to take inspiration from the things we observe and that happen in everyday life. For example, we find inspiration from travel and from observing what surrounds us.
C1E6ACB1-EB77-4840-9DD3-3605627A863A

  1. What has been your most challenging project so far? Why was it so challenging?

JAE and ELISA – All the projects we do are challenges.  We must always achieve a result that is the best possible to satisfy our customers and at the same time ourselves. Surely, in a project the most difficult part is to create a dialogue with what already exists.

  1. What is your favourite project to date?

JAE and ELISA – Our latest project, “via Lovanio” is a project that reflects a lot our identity and our style. Furthermore, the Sarnese project in Tuscany was interesting, because the villa was on several levels and the rooms were very small but we managed to create open spaces and hide the pillars that were in the middle of the rooms through the use of furniture . Now, If we look at the old pictures of the house, it is unrecognizable.
D95492DB-0FBA-4786-8F38-5B9DB1E88201

  1. How long does it take for you to normally complete a project?

Jae and Elisa – It depends on the size of the project and on what we are asked for, on average it takes about 3 to 6 months.

  1. What is your favourite part about working in interior design?

JAE – My favorite part is to create a new concept. I find it very satisfying to carry out a drawing with initial inspiration at the end of the project concept.

ELISA – The creative part and the human part, that is the relationship established with the customer.
FB5545EB-9B5B-4C69-AD65-EDAEEF4EABF2

  1. Any favourite travel destinations that you like to escape too?  Why?

JAE – Every once in a while I would like to leave for some place where there is nobody to disconnect from the tiring life of the city. Where could it be? Perhaps an island half of the ocean? If I found a place like this, one day I’d like to go there.

ELISA – Whenever I can, I like to make short trips to Italy or Europe. I need to get away from the routine and to visit the cities where I haven’t been.

  1. How would you describe the design style/esthetic in Italy (more specifically in Florence)?

JAE – I like the style of design in Italy, especially in Tuscany, because they use colors taking inspiration from nature. For example, dark brown, beige, lightgray, desaturated green, all these neutral colors give me a feeling of calm, warmth and tranquility. They are also found in the facades of buildings and in the interiors of houses. It seems to me a good example of designing architecture, which fits well with the surrounding landscape.

ELISA – Florence and many Italian cities are historical, so the modern style is not very visible, perhaps only in the suburbs. To respect the historical pre-existences, in Florence there is a tendency to design in a classic or modern-classic style, especially in architecture.
85613976-BC4B-4102-9047-C01233CBD81B

  1. Do you have a favourite type of project to work on (private/public)? Why?

JAE – I like both. But above all, I really like designing residences and restaurants / bars.

ELISA – I like more to design for the public, because I like the idea that my project can be lived by more people.

  1. What wellness practices do you incorporate into your lifestyle to help you deliver such beautiful projects? (This can range from workouts, nutrition, meditation practice, etc)

JAE – Actually I don’t practice a lot of wellness activities, but every once in a while, when I have to create a new concept andI don’t have ideas, I close everything and go driving around Tuscany where I work and live. Sometimes I like to walk around with headphones listening to the music on my playlist. So I can take the stress out and get the energy back on with my work.

ELISA – I like reading fashion and design magazines and I really like practicing pilates, as a method of relaxation.
AC6664AD-DD37-4C2E-A784-A6AA85E25AAE

  1. Any words of wisdom for someone who is just starting out their design career?

JAE – Travel to many places to feel, see, try and touch new things by coming into contact with different cultures, so you will see that your inspiration will be enriched a lot and help create your identity in design.

ELISA – Always believe in it. Even if the desired result does not arrive immediately.

Special thanks to Elisa and Jaehyun for taking the time for this interview.  All images courtesy of Gori & Yoon.  You can see more of Gori & Yoon’s beautiful work on their website http://www.goriyoon.com or on Instagram @goriyoon_archtecture

Thank you for visiting Stylishly Zen and I hope that you have a beautiful day!  XXS

Inspring Interior

Hi Everyone!

Maybe it’s the season, but lately I have really been feeling the need to nest and get my home comfortably decorated for the winter.  My winter plans include spending a lot of time hibernating indoors and I want to make sure that my place is warm, welcoming and comfortable.  I was scouring magazines and online sites looking for inspiration when I came across today’s Inspiring Interior.

an-open-layout-connects-the-main-living-spacesincluding-a-large-dining-area-off-the-kitchen-skylights-and-walls-of-windows-usher-in-ample-natural-light

Actress Lea Michele is well known for her role on Glee and her gorgeous voice.  Her recently listed LA home is just as stunning as the actress herself.  With four bedrooms and four bathrooms this light and spacious home is both welcoming and chic.

a-peek-at-one-of-the-homes-four-bedrooms-high-ceilings-and-natural-light-brighten-the-spaces-designer-finishesthe-master-bath-includes-a-marble-lined-steam-shower-as-well-as-a-separate-soaking-tub

Just under 3200 square feet, this home would be perfect for all types of residents including families, couples or even a solo dweller like me.

the-remodeled-kitchen-features-high-end-appliances-and-a-marble-wrapped-islandafter-purchasing-the-historic-property-in-2015-the-glee-star-completely-remodeled-the-space-for-contemporary-living-fashion-stylist-and-interior-decorator-estee-stanley-assisted-with-establishing-the-homes-aesthetic

Marble countertops, stainless steel appliances, a pivoting glass door, light colour palette, textured accents and large fireplace all help to give this home a charming yet modern vibe.

a-small-pool-is-located-just-a-few-steps-away-from-the-living-room-a-flower-covered-trellis-offers-a-canopy-for-alfresco-dining-and-lounginga-look-at-the-home-after-dusk-with-the-interior-glowing-like-a-lantern-against-the-icy-blue-pool

The outdoor area features a pool and a covered area to relax and enjoy the beautiful LA weather.  Overall this house is warm, welcoming, spacious and chic which is exactly the vibe that I would like to bring into my own home.

the-airy-living-roomtucked-underneath-a-vaulted-ceilingflows-between-the-kitchen-and-dining-areas-a-staircase-leads-to-a-voluminous-double-height-gym

I hope that you have a beautiful day!  XXS

Photo Credit:www.dwell.com