A Vibrant Kitchen Design in Mexico

In recent years, the kitchen has moved steadily towards first place in design importance. Functional and simple kitchens once satisfied most homeowners, but now this room is often used for entertaining guests and, with that, its design has become more important. This holds true in Southwestern style homes as well, so I always make sure to combine vibrant colors and interesting decorative features to create a welcoming atmosphere.

southwestern interior designer

Warm, lively colors work very well for kitchens and are said to stimulate the appetite. The southwestern palette is fortunately rich in vibrant colors, so we put it to great use in this kitchen design I created in Mexico.

The colorful tile backsplash provides the design focal point. The tiles’ bright gold, orange and yellow ochre, soft desert rose and cactus green provide the cheery elements needed against the backdrop of dark wood, neutral walls and a rustic range hood. Wood stools match the island while the woven seats add textural appeal. Natural southwestern flora, displayed peppers and other regional edibles lend this design an inviting, organic appeal.

southwestern interior designer

At this angle, you can get a better look at the wood beams on the kitchen’s ceiling, which immediately adds a rustic charm to the space. For the countertop, we used the same material as the island top and extended colorful tiles along the walls. Both of these design elements work to facilitate visual cohesion in the room.

Adjacent to the counter, a rustic refrigerator armoire in green and red brings in a touch of class and sophistication. This adds interest and character to the space, but we kept the hues subdued so they wouldn’t compete with the colored tiles. Red and green fruit, stored in clear glass containers, cheerfully connect with the armoire’s colors, as do the carefully selected green pottery and a bowl full of red edibles positioned on the island just opposite the fruit. The effect as a whole is both vibrant and inviting!

When your kitchen needs a new, uplifting Southwestern style, we can help you achieve your dream design. Contact us today at Paula Berg Design Associates to learn more about our design services.

Geometric Rugs Add Depth and Dimension to Desert Homes

I love adding rugs in interior designs for their practical and aesthetic appeal. A rug muffles sound, adds comfort underfoot and increases textural interest in designs. A rug’s pattern can also emphasize a design style, as shown here in these Southwestern-inspired rooms.

southwestern interior designer

This rug serves many design purposes. It defines the conversation area and pulls the room together, while the dynamic pattern enhances the room’s Southwestern vibe. While this space is rich in colors and textures, the rug doesn’t feel too busy because its soft blue, taupe and rust colors harmonize with the fireplace and mantel, the focal point of the room. The unified effect of these design elements is peaceful, warm and rustic.

southwestern interior designer

Here, we chose a rug with a dark red-brown, gold, black and cream palette, as well as a bold Southwestern geometric pattern. It has a more modern appearance than the previous rug, in both style and texture, which blends well with the contemporary feel of the room. All of the rug’s colors are represented in the chic square coffee table, which helps to connect the room’s design features and create cohesion. Such a bold and active pattern wouldn’t suit some rooms. However, with neutral walls and flooring, plus the solid-colored armchairs, the rug adds the right degree of warmth and interest.

southwestern interior designer

One thing that I find inspiring about working with patterned rugs is that there are so many colors and styles. A beautiful rug really can make or break a room. This rug’s main colors are desert rose and black, which complement the love seats. While the pattern has enough character to add Southwestern appeal, notice that it doesn’t overwhelm the wall art. Both coexist in the space without a sense of discord. Other colors in the rug, plus the symmetry, are also represented throughout this conversation area, creating soft, comfortable visual harmony.

Whether you want to update your Southwestern style home or you want to create an entirely new look, we can help you today. Contact us at Paula Berg Design Associates to learn more about our interior design services.

A New Look at the Modern Southwestern Style

When some people think of Southwestern style interior design, they might picture design elements such as Navajo tapestries, rustic wood furniture, adobe walls and cow skulls. While these features are commonly used in rustic renderings of this style, Southwestern design as a whole is much more versatile. There are many subtle ways to add touches of the Southwest to your home, and I often use this approach to contemporize spaces with a sleek and modern aesthetic.

southwestern interior designer

In this open plan home I designed, wood and stone architectural features add earthy, organic qualities, but the space is clearly modern. To imbue some Southwestern charm, we added chairs upholstered in an updated geometric Southwestern pattern, a contemporary sculpture in the colors of a desert sunset and small decorative touches throughout for additional visual hints. While there are no bold Southwestern accents, the feeling is nevertheless congruent with a modern Southwestern style.

southwestern interior designer

This is the same home viewed from a different vantage point. The color palette contains gold, beige and other hues that bring to mind sand, adobe and other elements you might find in the desert Southwest. The wall art on the far left side of this hall is rich with pink, gold tan and grey with a dash of turquoise. While the painting is stylized and contemporary, the colors evoke desert horizons.

southwestern interior designer

Here the Southwestern style is more obvious, but the look remains ultra modern. The room’s color palette is rich with saturated harvest tones, while a collection of Southwestern style pottery and some adobe-like shelves imbue the room with Old World charm. I chose a patterned textile for the furniture pieces and completed the design with a uniquely patterned rug. Other elements, such as framed wall art and a potted green plant, add a pop of color for extra visual interest. This Southwestern room contains a uniquely contemporary appeal.

If you desire unique Southwestern interior designs with a contemporary twist, we can help turn your vision into reality. Contact us today at Paula Berg Design Associates to learn more about our interior design services.

Increase Visual Interest with Patterned Upholstery

Like color, texture can enrich interior designs by adding visual interest. This is especially true with Southwestern design, which often features neutral color palettes. I often use textiles with a sturdy weave or a Southwestern-inspired pattern to give this unique style an extra boost of interest. The color and texture of certain upholstery can affect a room’s aesthetic in many ways, which I’ve demonstrated in a couple of my own designs below.

southwestern interior designer

This room is rich in textures, which are readily apparent in the flooring, natural wood grain, smooth stone tabletop and the cacti plant. I wanted to add color without overwhelming the space, so I chose a bold and colorful pattern for the chair and ottoman, keeping the fabric smooth. The weave of the seating in the foreground is more visible, but the solid neutral color keeps the look balanced.

southwestern interior designer

If you want to add Southwestern style to your interior, but your home’s architecture isn’t traditionally Southwestern, you needn’t worry. Southwestern flair can be added with just a few additions to your existing decor, and this room is a good example of that. We kept most of the seating in a solid, neutral color. Sturdy woven fabrics set the stage for the addition of colorful throw pillows. The neighboring chairs are smoother, but are covered with a subtle Southwestern pattern. With all of these decorative elements combined, the result is a chic, contemporary design with just the right amount of desert influence.

southwestern interior designer

This is another open plan space with contemporary architectural elements. Organic features, such as the natural stone slab, the firewood and tiles, add rustic appeal. We used an earth tone color palette throughout the space, but the room required more to achieve an authentic Southwestern atmosphere. The desert-inspired upholstery adds the necessary touch to complete the room’s ambience. Tiles, stone and metal design features can feel cold and unwelcoming without the balancing presence of warm textiles.

When you want to enhance your home with beautiful Southwestern designs, look to us at Paula Berg Design Associates. Contact us in Scottsdale, AZ or Park City, UT to find out all the ways we can help you fulfill your design dreams.

Add a Touch of Southwestern Flair to Your Home

Southwestern design has a comfortably laid-back character, but this shouldn’t be taken as a euphemism for “shabby.” Rather, designing with natural color palettes and materials is a great way to reflect the beauty and culture of the Southwest, while creating unique and unpretentious warmth. Below, I’ve featured a design in which I used color, texture, art and other decorative accents to add the right amount of Southwestern flair.

southwestern interior designer

In this dining room, the wall color sets the stage for other design elements. We used warm sand tones throughout the room and made sure the walls’ golden tones were rich enough to complement the room’s art and decor. This golden hue is also reflected in the wood planks between the floor tiles to create design cohesiveness.

Other colors used in this room also characterize the earthy, yet often vibrant quality for which Southwestern design is known and loved. Touches of blue evoke a desert sky, as well as precious gemstones like turquoise and lapis, which are often used in Native American jewelry. Medium to dark-toned wood furniture brings in old-world appeal and keeps the room grounded. I even added a potted green succulent, which adds an important dash of color and textural interest.

Southwestern art and patterns can be mixed and matched to add extra charm, but they should connect to the room’s overall design in some way. The wall art we used in this room contains the same color palette seen throughout the room and adds the right amount of whimsy to match the wrought-iron chandelier frame. Lashed rawhide, used in the chandelier, adds lots of rustic charm and connects with the room’s wall color. The textile patterns found in the dining room chairs are elegant enough to provide visual balance against the chandelier and wall art. Other features, such as the dynamic sculpture in the corner and the large candle on the credenza contribute to the room’s Southwestern feel.

If you’re ready to add a touch of Southwestern flair in your home, let me and my associates at Paula Berg Design Associates help you. Contact us today to learn more about our design services.

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.