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 www.ishkadesigns.com.

Follow them on their social channels:
Facebook: Ishka Designs
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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.

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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.

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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 www.paulagracedesigns.com

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