Designing with High-Style Armoires

From Britain’s Victorian era and ancient Rometo the days of King Louis the XIII, armoires have been an effective home feature for centuries. Not only can they solve just about any storage problem, but they also add character like few other furnishings can.

Believe it or not, the life of the armoire started out as much more than a pretty piece for the corner. Roman soldiers relied on timber boxes known as “armoriums” to transport weapons. Over time, as people began to thrive, they needed a secure place to display their belongings. As such, those timber boxes were turned on their sides, legs were added and they evolved into chests or “caskets” that could hold a family’s possessions and valuables.

It doesn’t matter if your armoire is a Victorian antique or a sleek new model from a high-end furniture store – it deserves to be the focal point, especially in important spaces like bedrooms and living rooms. Armoires take up a vast amount of space, so the right placement will help match it to your surrounding decor.

Don’t feel that you always have to force your armoire flush against a wall. Here, we placed this unit at an angle beside the fireplace. It almost feels like there’s an extra wall in this small, cozy space.

Much like our 14th century predecessors, this built-in armoire is a seamless continuation of the rest of the room’s wood finish. In fact, it fits like a glove!

There are times when an armoire looks best when pushed flat up against a wall. We adore this space because the storage unit acts as a continuation of the room’s massive built-in fireplace.

Finally, don’t let your armoire go to waste! You can use it to store all kinds of things – bed linens, towels, a wine or China collection – whatever can fit inside is fair game. You could even use it as a mini closet, perhaps in a guest room!

If you think that adding a charming armoire to your home could never work, think again. Contact Paul Berg Design Associates for help with getting your space and storage up to par!

Airy Design – Floating Shelves Décor

There are no rules when it comes to arranging floating shelves. They can be adorned just as much or as little as you’d like. If you get frustrated with cluttered coffee tables and other surfaces, a floating shelf feature at home could be the perfect solution for displaying things without a messy look. Here are some ideas for making your floating shelves stand out:

  • Do you prefer a precise and tidy look? Arranging items on floating shelves by color or stacking books on their side instead of straight up can add visual interest. Books can also lean on shelves without being completely vertical or horizontal.
  • Don’t think that shelves are just for books. Paintings, framed photos, a cherished collection, trophies and even accessories that you can’t quite seem to fit anywhere else can make their home here.
  • Balance is key. Without it, your shelves run the risk of looking either too cluttered or too bare. For example, if you’re displaying a few small items, don’t group them all together. Place some on either side of your floating shelves in opposing spaces.
  • Will your floating shelve be an area that the family has to access often? If so, place heavier items on the lower shelves, so they’re easier to reach. Lighter items can be safely placed up top.

Another way to create balance is with a specific theme or color. In this room I designed, we incorporated plenty of warm earth tones in the mix. Spreading them out adds symmetry to the floating shelves, not to mention the entire room. This is harmony at its best!

You can also take advantage of shape. In the room above, notice how the left shelf houses a long, slim vase that fits the opening perfectly. Even if your tall and short items don’t seem to make sense together, they will once they’re dispersed. It all goes back to balance!

If you think floating shelves would work wonders for your home, Paula Berg Design Associates would love to work with you. Contact one of our studios in Park City or Scottsdale today!

Designing Kitchen Layouts

The kitchen has long been a secluded space. But these days, homeowners want to prepare meals and mingle openly without feeling confined. As such, open-concept kitchens are in high demand. If some privacy is still a must, you’ll be surprised that even the most open kitchens can still leave something to the imagination.

This kitchen is shown twice from different angles. Even if entertaining is a priority, that doesn’t mean you want your kitchen mess on display. And perhaps you don’t want the aroma of your meals to linger long after everyone’s eaten. This kitchen achieves openness, while still managing to hide behind a clever passageway.

This warm and cozy kitchen is all about the island. There’s plenty of counter space to serve goodies, but did you also notice there’s no seating? Guests will get the picture — grab some grub and keep moving.

How about masking just part of the kitchen with a half wall? Here, you can see the living room on the left along with a partial dividing wall. The sink and range are out of view, so guests won’t see you rushing to get the hors d’oeuvres and drinks ready. Still, it’s open enough that if anyone needs help, you’re still easily accessible.

Some think that a closed-concept kitchen is too isolated and doesn’t allow easy access to the main dining area. This diner-style kitchen demonstrates the exact opposite. Much like a trendy cafe, this kitchen is perfect for interacting with friends while whipping up meals.

What’s great about this kitchen is that it combines the concept of open and closed on the sly. The island in the middle creates an illusion of separatism. The host’s space is to the left, while the guests can gather to the right. Although everyone can easily mingle all over the kitchen, the island helps to keep both parties in their own zones.

Which kitchen concept is right for you? It’s all about you and your family’s needs. Paula Berg Design Associates would be happy to help you design your future kitchen.

Paula Berg Design Associates Featured in Western Art & Architecture

I was absolutely thrilled to be featured in Western Art & Architecture magazine. Celebrating everything “from cowboy to contemporary,” this magazine is the definitive source for Western design inspiration and ideas.

Western Art & Architecture editor Eliza Cross devised a fantastic piece that beautifully articulates my design background and the history of my firm. The article highlights how, despite the numerous awards and success of my firm, I maintain a client-centric approach by remaining the lead designer and meeting each client in person. I love this part of my job, not only because it allows me to truly get to know my clients and see them in their natural surroundings, but it also gives me the opportunity to travel extensively.

When Eliza asked me how I was able to accomplish everything, I explained that my strong team is very selective about the clients and projects we take on. Eliza also mentioned the high level of trust I share with my clients. In fact, I was asked to design one of my client’s final resting places as a result.

The article then goes back to the beginning by recounting my experiences as a concert organist and Pan Am flight attendant before attending Ohio University and studying abroad in Europe. From there, I completed Georgia State University’s graduate program in interior design. My experiences hosting a radio program on design and running an interior design boutique eventually culminated into my very own design firm.

Finally, Eliza shares, in detail, how I navigate the design process with my clients by talking and listening and creating hand-drawn renderings to illustrate my visions and ideas. My client-centric approach explains why my designs are so diverse, as I base them on their geographic region and personal aesthetic and lifestyle.

Read the whole piece by Eliza Cross in Western Art & Architecture online. Contact Paula Berg Design Associates in Scottsdale and Park City for more information about my services and design work.

Vendor Spotlight: Hammerton

Beautiful interiors are best shown off with a series of custom light fixtures. This was my motto for many of the projects I designed involving unique chandeliers. Traditionally, light fixtures have been viewed as functional objects, but are now playing a bigger design role in creative ventures. Therefore, I decided to shine some light on Hammerton, one of the largest custom residential lighting manufacturers in theUnited States.

Based in Salt Lake City,Utah, Hammerton was founded in 1995 by Levi Wilson. Since then, the company has grown tremendously in the design world. Best known for their custom services, Hammerton has gained national recognition for creating exquisitely designed light fixtures entirely from scratch, as well as with customer-specified materials, such as rawhide and textured glass.

Source: Hammerton

From classic to contemporary and western to urban, Hammerton carries a range of collections with both indoor and outdoor products. Designers can find frontier elegance in their Log & Timber Collection or sophisticated city influences in their Contemporary Collection. But best of all, every sconce and ceiling light is finished with hand-applied paints and decorative finishes.

Paula Berg Design Associates

Here’s one of my interior designs featuring a truly magnificent light fixture by Hammerton. I designed the chandelier and had Hammerton custom make and manufacture the piece for a contemporary mountain home. The mica used in the fixture really makes the chandelier glow in an understated way. Additionally, the energy exuding from the fixture is both eye-catching and dynamic, serving as the perfect focal point for this rustic yet modern interior.

Visit the Hammerton website to view more of their beautiful fixtures, and be sure to check out Hammerton’s blog, The Spark, as well. And if you’ve had a piece by Hammerton installed in your home, leave a comment to let us know about it. We would love to hear how you’ve incorporated one of their gorgeous designs into your space.

If you are in need of assistance designing a new home or remodeling your current space, let my team and I help you achieve the look you’re dreaming of. Contact Paula Berg Design Associates in Park City or Scottsdale to schedule a design consultation.

Unique Materials for Fireplace Mantels

The fireplace mantel is an important surface within the home where families often place their photos on display. It’s also a natural focal point that the human eye can’t help but take a look at. But when the mantel itself is a work of art, there’s little to no need for predictable extras.

The fireplace is an obvious location to install stone in the home. Together, fire and stone create a harmonious, warm and classic atmosphere. It’s also the perfect focal point during the rough winter season. This cozy living space is a great spot to catch up with friends over coffee.

Over-accessorizing the mantel is a mistake you’ll want to avoid. Too many knick knacks will create a feeling of clutter, which is not relaxing. A simple pairing of large urns on either side here is more than sufficient. After all, the floor-to-ceiling stacked stonework is what’ll really catch everyone’s attention. Even so, the mantel doesn’t feel unfinished or bare – there’s a happy balance.

A mantel with a metallic finish like this one needs no further adornment. Some people may think that a bare mantel needs a predictable vase or picture frame, but that’s not always the case. The combination of rugged stone, metal and tile here will give you plenty to admire. Materials like these are perfect for creating a one-of-a-kind mountain-style home design.

For centuries, natural stone has been trusted and admired for its strength, durability and longevity. But we can’t forget the beautiful masterpieces that can be created. This natural stone fireplace mantel looks perfect just a few feet away from a peaceful, inspiring and equally natural view.

This rare wood piece above the fireplace is surely a sight to see. It’s not your traditional mantel, which makes it a distinctive and unique feature in this home.

These rooms are so inviting, don’t you think? Paul Berg Design Associates would love to design a custom fireplace mantel that you’ll enjoy for years to come. Contact us to find out how our team of design experts can bring out the best in your home! 

Billiard Room Designs that Inspire Fun Times

Pool tables have come a long way since the rich history of billiards began in the 15th century. Today, pool tables can be constructed using a wide range of materials, colors and styles, opening the door to endless possibilities for billiard room designs. With the help of a professional, a billiard room can be designed as not only a fun and entertaining gathering space, but also as a unique expansion of your home’s style and your own personal aesthetic.

One of my clients wanted a spacious billiard room complete with sitting areas and a media center so there would be something for everyone to enjoy. I have to admit, I had a lot of fun with this design project. Inspired by the backgammon board, I used a diamond motif to add eclectic interest and highlight the unique angles of the pool table and media center. The two handcrafted bar tables became the perfect finishing touch to add intriguing shapes and fun pops of color.

A modern pool table perfectly suits the contemporary look and feel of any space. Curving arches immediately catch the eye to create an intriguing focal point. I love the warm, glowing palette, as well as the textures of coffered ceilings, which can give pool rooms a rich, rustic elegance.

A traditional billiard room has a fabulous Old World feel. Dark greenery not only adds sculptural appeal, but also brings out the green accents in a gorgeous red and gold rug. Decorative carvings of a stately pool table and tray ceilings can be beautifully echoed by wall patterns and scrolled iron railings.

I’d love the opportunity to design another billiard room or other special purpose room that’s beautiful and enjoyable to entertain in. Browse the gallery on my website to see samples of my design work, and then contact me at 435.655.9443 in Park City or 480.998.2344 in Scottsdale when you’re ready to discuss a potential home design project.

Buffets – A Homey Addition to Dining Areas

An attractive buffet not only lends functionality to a dining space, it can enhance or even change the appearance and ambiance of a room. I incorporate them often to add the right touch of homey and grounded energy to cozy living spaces.

In this open-concept, mountain-rustic home, I nestled a buffet between two wood support columns that separate the dining room from the rest of the living area. The buffet, along with the subtle steps leading into the dining space, distinguishes the area sufficiently to emulate a private retreat without detracting from the grandness of the home.

Any well-crafted buffet may serve as a visual anchor to a dining space, but this buffet takes the rustic style to new and beautiful heights. The attractive art across the front ties in with the painting placed directly above. The brilliant gold throughout connects with the warm glow of the lamp, the blooms on the table and other gold elements within the room.

The right style of a buffet can also be at home amidst contemporary styles. Here, we kept the lines simple and made sure the buffet blends with other decor elements. It provides unobtrusive function that won’t detract from the large contemporary painting or other works of art.

When buffets are not being used to display food, they provide a place to display decorative items. A stately buffet offers an ideal setting for displaying valuable china and attractive accent lamps.

Built-in buffets link the kitchen and dining areas, which is a practical and attractive way to add visual spaciousness to both rooms, in lieu of an open-concept design. Dishes can quickly be placed directly from the oven onto the buffet – a big time saver and space saver for parties and family gatherings.

Does your dining room fit your personal style? Let my team at Paula Berg Design Associates help you with your design needs. Contact me for a design consultation today.

Energize Living Rooms with a Home Bar

Why limit your living room to a fireplace and media center when you can amp up entertaining power even more with a full home bar? Great rooms and open floor plans that lend themselves to large living spaces offer perfect opportunities for incorporating functional and sophisticated home bars. These additions can be thoughtfully designed to seamlessly flow with the rest of the architecture and decor, while also enhancing the space with gorgeous finishes.

For a client who loves to entertain, me and my team designed this open kitchen and great room in a way that allows the kitchen island countertop to be a breakfast bar by day and a full cocktail bar by night. This multi-purpose design encourages gathering and socializing no matter how casual or formal the occasion.

I used clean lines, natural stone countertops and rich wood finishes to seamlessly connect this sleek and cozy bar area to the rest of the living room. Open shelving holding collections of art also extend around the bar to create cohesiveness, while adding color and interest to this space.

Whether you want a home bar for entertaining or a spacious library for studying, me and my design team can help you achieve luxurious living spaces tailored to your passions, hobbies and lifestyle. Contact Paula Berg Design Associates in Park City or Scottsdale online or by phone to learn how we can transform your home not only into a sanctuary, but also into a work of art.

Hanging Works of Art

Art can be so important to interior design that it should never be just an afterthought. When I introduce wall art to a space, I consider it carefully, including details such as how it should be positioned on the wall, the size of the work of art and how it affects the overall design.

This open space would be dull without the splashes of color this work of art provides. Blank, white walls provide the ideal backdrop for hanging art. Because each are detailed and colorful, I gave them a designated space on the wall to prevent overcrowding.

Large paintings like this one serve well as a primary art piece or focal point. The nearby sculptures don’t detract from the overwhelming sense of majesty — their similarity to persons portrayed in the painting only enhances it. One almost senses the sculptures are sentries, holding watchful vigil.

A mammoth stone mantel is the perfect backdrop for this immense painting, which contains enough southwestern flair to fit in with the room’s rustic style. Black chairs tie in with the black in the painting to bring design cohesion. We illuminated it to prevent the dark colors from fading into the stone background.

This painting enhances every element in the room above. The background is nearly the same color as the nearby walls, aiding the design flow rather than hindering it. The frame delineates the painting just enough without overpowering it, and nearby pottery underscores the art’s theme.

The style of this dining room is elegant, but also possesses a laid-back charm typical of most southwestern design. We chose art that injects comfortable charm, inviting guests to relax and take things easy for a while. Its colors connect with the decor, and we hung it low enough to be at eye level for everyone seated to see.

I love bringing out the beauty of a space with art. When you’re ready for an amazing change, contact Paula Berg Design Associates for all of your home design needs.