Concrete Jungle

Concrete JungleConcrete is no longer associated with the grey tones of the city. The material now has a warmer, more organic feel when used in furniture, lighting, mirrors and accessories. These shapes are rounder, more reminiscent of nature than urban environments. There are references to river rocks, sculpture and artistic motifs.

In a recent article posted on Houzz, ‘Interior Design Trends Expected to Take Hold in 2018’, concrete accents are gaining in popularity. Designer Yanic Simard agrees, “the humble material and its comforting cool tones mixed with light linen and pearl grays add a relaxed air to any space.”


John-Richard wins at the ARTS Awards


John-Richard received a coveted ARTS Award in the ‘Lamp Category’ at this year’s ceremony. The Dallas Market Center and ART, the Creative Home Furnishings Network, announced the recipients of the 29th Annual ARTS Awards during a gala event held Friday, January 19 at the Hilton Anatole hotel and attended by more than 650 guests. The ARTS Awards, the premier international awards program for the home industry honoring manufacturers, retailers, designers, and sales representatives, is held each January during the Dallas Total Home & Gift Market.

At this year’s ARTS Awards, eighteen industry leaders, style experts, and celebrity designers presented the awards. Guest presenters included Beatriz Ball, Julia Buckingham, Corey Damon Jenkins, Donna Moss, Greg O’Neal, Tamara Day, and Nancy Price. Also in attendance were the ARTS Awards judges, the ARTS Awards committee members from ART, and members of the ARTS Awards nominating panel.

We are excited about our new lighting introductions which will debut at High Point Market in April! We welcome you to visit our showroom at 200 Steele, Suite 223 on the 2nd floor.

INDUSTRY NEWS: ARTS Awards to Kick Off 2018!

Dallas Market Center, producer of the ARTS Awards, and ART, the creative home furnishings network, announced that John-Richard was one of the finalists in the portable lamp category for the 29th annual ARTS Awards.

The ARTS Awards, presented each January during the Dallas Total Home & Gift Market, is the premier awards program in the U.S. honoring top manufacturers, retailers, designers, and sales representatives in the home industry. The 29th annual ARTS Awards winners will be revealed during a gala event on Friday, January 19, 2018.

“These finalists are the industry’s best representatives and reflect the highest level of creativity, passion, innovation, and dedication,” said Cindy Morris, president and CEO of Dallas Market Center. “We congratulate all of this year’s finalists and look forward to a wonderful evening of celebration.”

“The 29th ARTS Awards finalists include legends and impressive new leaders,” adds Sharon Davis, executive director of ART. Sharon has been a trailblazer in the industry whose passion, creativity and drive inspires everyone in the design community.

Here are some new lighting introductions that showcase the breadth of design in this category.aas


Mark McDowell, who designed this lamp exclusively for John-Richard, talks about inspiration and the creative process. Take a moment to enjoy the video that reveals the original idea that culminated in the finished product that was brought to Market.


Blush and Beauty

There were whisperings of neutral this market and blush was the tone mentioned to pair so beautifully with cream and beige palettes. It is an evocative color reminiscent of blush on the cheeks, expectant brides and stylish women on the street or in film.

Here are several blush accents to bring this warm, pretty tone into the home.

bb1.jpgWhat works en plein air also offers chic color comfort in the home. For a little design inspiration, striking Parisian girls shows how this accent hue brings together femininity and fashion.

The art, an ottoman, accessories, and botanicals on these pages reveal the beauty of blush.


Artist Spotlight: Ashley Sullivan

Ashley SullivanAshley Sullivan grew up in northeast Ohio where the rust belt smokestacks and old industry give way to leaning barns and fields of soy. Depending on the season, or the temperament of the weather that day, the landscape outside her windows changed. Light ebbed and flowed against a field that boomed green and whispered in summer breezes and went all cracked brown and sharp when whorls of snow came tumbling out of the iron skies in winter. She chased cats through barns born a century before her and she watched how the dust lit up like fireworks when the sun slipped in through the slats and cracks of the room where cows used to mingle. There was beauty in everything, and she kept it all safe in the deepest pockets of her brain.

She’s lived in Chicago among swaying towers of metal and glass that poked at the sky. It was in Chicago that she learned to appreciate how dynamic a city can be; how the jagged lines and gentle curves of railroad trusses can spark memories of barn beams. Now, she’s boomeranged back home to Ohio to set down some roots in Cleveland Heights. Most days she can be found in her studio, chasing down moments and putting them onto canvas. She’s only just begun.

“Ashley Sullivan’s work is incredibly stimulating and interesting.,” enthused Mary Neff Stewart, Senior Wall Art Designer for John-Richard. “Her use of movement and color result in an industrial feel while remaining versatile enough for the most sophisticated spaces.”

We had a chance to ask Ashley about her background and what inspires her art.

You grew up in the country among fields and barns. How did the landscape effect or inspire you?
There are quiet, still, and restful places out in the country. Which is not to say the country is boring or dull. I love the repetition of lines in a field — freshly seeded rows of turned earth, or corn stalk bases that remain after the fall harvest. There is texture and pattern in a dense arrangement when viewed up close, and yet taking in the field as a whole, there is a calming uniformity. With more open space, you can take in a wider expanse of a field or sky. I love the feeling of being a part of and connected to nature, but also feeling a very small creature in a vast space.

Conversely, in the city of Chicago, did you find it infused you with a different type of artistic energy?
A city certainly has life and energy. At times I am completely starry-eyed enchanted, but can also find myself overwhelmed by the inexhaustibleness of a city. I would love to bottle the vibrancy and spark of a city lit up at night, but I don’t think it has a long shelf life. Part of what makes a city so appealing to me is its constantly changing nature. You could paint a city street forever and never paint it the same way twice.

GBG-1406Do you have any favorite color palettes?
I am always drawn to a layered neutral palette, pulling from both warm and cool tones to give depth and interest to the calm areas of a canvas. For the focal point I bring in more saturated neutrals and bolder colors. I’ll use various colors from the same color family — instead of the accent color being only “red”, I will use orange, rust, pink, cranberry, salmon, coral, burgundy, and so on.

Are there artists, past or present, whom you particularly admire?
Narrowed down to top ten: Alphonse Mucha, George Hendrik Breitner, Franz Kline, Sol LeWitt, Eva Hess, Gerhard Richter, Nick Cave, Kai Samuels-Davis, Jeremy Mann, Robert Szot.

When did you start producing art with John-Richard?
November of 2016.

What new art are you working on right now?
I came home from a vacation on Lake Erie with a collection of stones (agate, quartz, slate, etc.) and plan to do a series of paintings using their color palettes.


Marcel Breuer Inspired


Marcel Breuer was a Hungarian-born, modernist, architect and furniture designer. Known to his friends and associated as Laikjó, Breuer left his hometown at the age of 18 in search of artistic training and was one of the first and youngest students at the Bauhaus – a radical arts and crafts school that had been founded by Walter Gropius in Weimar just after World War 1.

Breuer was immediately recognized by Gropius as having immense talent and was quickly placed at the head of the carpentry shop. Ultimately Breuer left Bauhaus to start his own firm. Best known later in life for his iconic chair designs, Breuer often worked in tandem with other designers, developing a thriving global practice that eventually cemented his reputation as one of the most important architects of the modern era.

Breuer’s affinity for concrete made him a key figure in the emergence of brutalism, which has drawn much criticism due to his designs heavy handed massiveness. However, Breuer counterbalanced this tendency in his small-scale houses that are notable for their sensitive handling of traditional materials such as wood and brick. Here are some images of his architectural gems.


Here are some John-Richard pieces that draw from his modernist aesthetic. It is easy to see Breuer’s influence on many furniture designs that are so popular today.


Three Questions with Ishka Designs

5 resizeIshka Designs, a Brooklyn-based interior design firm, has a diverse portfolio of work that includes five level brownstones, vacation properties in the Caribbean, residences in France and beach-front estates. The principals, Anishka Clarke and Niya Bascom, define their design aesthetic as ‘clean, modern, eclectic and simplistically beautiful.’

Niya Bascom’s background in film set design and a sojourn at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden contributed to his extraordinary visual creativity. He is also an accomplished photographer whose work has been featured in galleries, embassies and museums. Anishka Clarke worked a decade in finance, both in Jamaica, and on Wall Street, but in early 2006 she left to pursue her real passion, interior design. A Brooklyn resident, but Jamaican at heart, Anishka received an Impact award from the largest Caribbean news publication, Caribbean Life for her contributions to the Caribbean American community. Anishka is an Interior Design honors graduate (Summa Cum Laude) of the Fashion Institute of Technology and holds an MBA from Stern Business School, New York University. Both talented designers have a nature-inspired and minimalistic aesthetic that puts the spotlight on uniquely crafted furniture, accent pieces and art.

Ishka Designs has been featured in numerous publications including New York Spaces, Anthology and New York Magazine as well as on the NBC television series, ‘Open House’. We recently met up with the designers to ask them about what inspires them and their design philosophy.

Each piece of furniture, art or accessory seems significant within your overall design. Do you choose all forms so they can live on their own as well as within the setting?

An interesting question. Whether intentional or not, there are certain pieces that are chosen for their uniqueness or as you put it, their ability to live on their own. It is, however, important that the remaining pieces complement those unique pieces and the overall environment. Our goal is always for overall harmony.

Do you tend to choose art before or after the design of the room?

We don’t have a particular way of doing things when it comes to art. Sometimes the art is the actual inspiration for the space and other times, we find pieces during the process that fit right into the solution like a puzzle. Oftentimes though, art is sourced after the project is installed and we tend to leave the design solution open ended enough to allow for art to be added.

What is the most important connection between the interior and the landscape?

The size and placement of windows and doors play a literal part in connecting the interior to a landscape. Beyond that, however, the choice of material finishes in the home can also aid in bringing the outdoors in. Natural materials and textures that are minimally manipulated, i.e., bamboo and unfinished woods, can feel more in tune with nature. Interestingly, there are ways to keep the vibe modern vs. rustic by keeping forms clean, simple and unified. Other important ways of connecting spaces to the outdoors is with the use of color.

To learn more about these talented designers, visit their website

Follow them on their social channels:
Facebook: Ishka Designs
Instagram: @ishkadesigns
Pinterest: Ishka Designs

Room Spotlight: Minimal by Nature

room spotlight

This spectacular Master Bath Design by Benjamin Johnston is perfect in its chic simplicity. Such a pretty setting for our Crystal Martini Side Table! The room is both minimal and dramatic; every piece stands out and no piece is superfluous.

“Behind this feature mosaic wall is a pass-thru double shower with every amenity!
Form and function at its finest!”
Benjamin Johnston

To learn more about this designer, visit

Brâncusi Inspired

BrancusiConstantin Brâncuși was a Romanian sculptor, painter and photographer who made his career in France. Widely considered to be one of the foremost pioneers of modernism, and one of the most influential sculptors of the 20th century, Brâncuși is often referred to as the patriarch of modern sculpture.

As a child in Romania he displayed an aptitude for carving wooden farm tools. His formal education first took him to Bucharest, then to Munich and then to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. His artwork emphasizes clean geometrical lines that balance forms inherent in his materials with the symbolic allusions of representational art. Brâncuși was also known for paying an unusual amount of attention to the bases on which his sculptures were displayed, believing that the pedestal was part of the sculpture itself.

The Brâncuși sculptural aesthetic has influenced many designers. These lighting pieces by Mark McDowell and accessories by Margaret Fisher show how the artist is still a source of inspiration.


Three Questions with Paula Grace

pgPaula Grace is the principal and founder of Paula Grace Designs, a Virginia-based interior design firm. Paula has an exceptional design style drawing inspiration from her clients, nature, fabric, the human form, and music. Her thoughts on people’s relationship to their interiors focuses on the feeling created by design: ”Here’s my belief: your home should be a place where you feel at peace, where you function effortlessly. It should portray who you are today, remind you of happy times from the past, and provide lush ground for you to create new memories.”

Prior to studying Interior Design, Paula Grace earned Masters Degrees in Clinical Social Work and Business Administration. She held a Directorship of a large behavioral health program and was a Senior Instructor, graduate level, in a prestigious university medical center. With this level of experience, Paula Grace runs a seamless ship when implementing designs. The process flows until each furnishing is placed and the design realized.

Paula Grace’s interior designs have been featured in many publications. Additionally, she has been hand-selected to participate in designer show houses and is regularly asked to speak at interior design industry events.

We recently caught up with Paula Grace at High Point Market this April to talk to her about her design style and what currently inspires her.

Design by Paula Grace

1. You have said that you draw inspiration from your clients, nature, fabric, the human form and music. Can you elaborate on that?

The last two are unique so I’ll focus on them – the human form and music. So many things are designed to adorn or comfort our bodies. Clothes, seats in a car, furniture. The body is very important; each one different and beautiful. I see the human form as a living sculpture that I simply pay homage too.

Music is feelings and moods that you hear. How my clients want their rooms to feel, the mood it creates is very important in my designs. When they tell me the feel and mood they’d like, a song inevitably pops in my head that evokes the same feeling and mood. Music and design share key principles – rhythm, balance, harmony, proportion, and emphasis. These principles inform the elements chosen for the space. I interpret the song into the design. Music is especially significant when I design furniture. The lines, form, and shape I draw are directly from the principles of a song communicated with instruments and voices.

2. You use both lighting and wall decor in very bold and beautiful ways. What role do they play for you in the overall design?

The art and lighting are the soul of a design. They need to be layered in. Art on the wall and dimensional pieces placed around the room, on tables for example. A great lighting plan includes ceiling, table top, and accent for overall illumination, task, and sparkle. I select classic styled furniture so it stands the test of time. Much interest comes from the jewelry – art and lighting. Think little black dress with statement jewelry. It’s the statement jewelry that communicates the feeling – aka art – and the lighting is integral to the mood. Chandeliers and sconces are both – sculptural art and lighting. They can create a statement all by themselves, which is often how I use them. John Richard chandeliers and sconces are fantastic for this.

Design by Paula Grace


3. How would you describe your design style?

Classic elegance with a hip vibe. Given the inspirations I just discussed – imagine furniture with clean, traditional lines creating comfort paired with evocative art, lighting, and accessories.


To learn more about this talented designer, visit her website

Be sure to follow Paula Grace on her
social media platforms:

Facebook: Paula Grace Designs, Inc

Pinterest: Paula Grace Designs

Instagram: Paula_Grace

Twitter: @PGraceDesigns