Welcome to the latest round of Designer Insights. We’ve got a great treat for you today – An interview with Alex Ray of Five Senses Art Consultancy. Alex has the distinction of being a three-time designer in San Francisco’s Decorator Showcase. In her most recent design, Alex featured several elements from our Pavé Collection.
Today we get to take a look inside the mind of this brilliant designer.
So Alex tell us, when did you first find your aptitude for art and design? What sparked the fascination?
It was as soon as I could walk I am afraid. I saw Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon and I was SOLD!!! I noticed bold statements in art from an early age. I also saw the power of the way good design and living with art can literally change the way a person lives. I saw how it makes a person feel and how it challenges a person to strive for better comfort, quality and good materials.
And now you’ve turned that passion into a successful career. But you aren’t just an art lover, you’re a designer. How do you think design and art interact?
They need each other and yet it is a fine line to be aware of. One must try and elevate their interiors with good quality art and not just decorative art that has no meaning or content. As soon as the art looks too decorative it falls away—when it holds some weight it makes the viewer more interested in the personality of the owner.
You did a great job of that with your recent garden design. Very fresh and unexpected, I mean Photography in a garden? That’s bold. Did this idea come from your history as a photographer?
I assisted Nick Knight and Herb Ritts back in the late 80’s. and went on to have an editorial photography career for seven years in London. I think all the art practices are inextricably linked: photography, fashion, fine art, why not garden design???
The boundaries of photography are really getting pushed and re-defined right now and I think it is an exciting time for photography in general. I was very excited to show how one can live with Photography in a garden outdoor context, because the possibilities are endless and vastly less expensive than sculpture. I have fabricated an outdoor weatherproofed light box that illuminates the garden at night, which is great for entertaining and it also gives a garden no matter how big or small a captivating focal point.
That is a beautiful thought. You definitely made that concept come to life. So what drew you to the Pavé collection for this space?
I discovered it through Coup d’Etat in San Francisco, and it really stood out as being such a sculptural and refined line of furniture and bath products. It has sophistication, simplicity and is beautifully crafted.
I loved Pavé for the bench because it is the perfect piece for a small space. It provided really economic seating options. I can now fit 5-6 people comfortably in front of the art piece in the garden and it is so beautifully sculptural. It also has such smooth curves and finish that compliments the neo-classical style of the light box photographic image.
As an art consultant and designer, you must work with a lot of architects and interior designers. What qualities matter to you in the artists and companies you partner with?
I think architects and designers can sometimes have different agendas for their clients and its really getting the clients at the end of the day to connect with whatever you are showing them. The architects tend to like works that are perhaps a little “purist and quiet” as they want form to speak, and the designers, definitely want that pop and something that makes a statement. That can sometimes be a challenge when you are working with both on a project! The qualities that matter to me most are ‘collaboration and generosity” to make the best results happen together.
And your experience working with the team at Kreoo? How did that measure up?
It was fantastic! Everyone at Coup d’Etat has been so helpful and effortless to work with from the start, and everyone from Kreoo so supportive…..besides I tend to agree, Italians do it better!!
You heard it from the expert! Huge thanks to Alex Ray on her artistic insights. Don’t forget to check out Pavé at this year’s San Francisco Decorator Showcase.
And for more information on the Pavé Collection, visit us at our website.
The kitchen may be the “heart” of the home, but the bathroom is the oasis.
An escape from every-day life, a well-designed bathroom must be a tranquil respite, and evoke a sense of peacefulness, no matter the style. As every designer knows, each room has its own centerpiece, and for the bathroom that centerpiece is a gorgeous marble bathtub.
By now, you probably know Kreoo crafts the best marble seating, sinks and shelves on the market. But have you ever seen what our master sculptors can do with a bathroom space?
Kreoo and parent company Decormarmi have been designing custom marble projects for international royalty and diplomats for decades. Many of these private residences have never been photographed, but you only need to look at Kreoo’s Nabhi Bowl no. 1, or Decormarmi’s 50th Anniversary sculptures to see the possibilities. Sometimes the designs that are on the market just aren’t what you need. What you see in your imagination can come to life. With the right artist, the right stone anything is possible.
Currently Kreoo does not offer a standardized line of tubs but when it comes to a custom marble bathtub, our designers are who you want in your corner. Whether that means creating a design around a specific space, or a concept that no other designer has hit on, Kreoo is ready to make the tub you’ve been dreaming of.
We don’t take design lightly. Through a master’s vision, marble becomes art. This is our passion and our life. As an artisan company, we can do much more than the average bathtub manufacturer. When a sculptor makes a tub, he creates a work of art.
At Kreoo we train the most skilled marble workers in the business. Due to our over five decades of experience and training, our artisans can do things with marble that few others can. Through a knowledge of structure, ergonomics and physics we use the laws of nature to create solid, durable structures in extremely thin widths of stone.
We have access to the world’s most sought-after materials so your designs can come to life exactly as you envisioned them. Going beyond “type” of stone, we’ll find the exact piece of stone to best suite your project, down to the exact color and veining pattern.
We’ve partnered with renowned designers in every industry, working in everything from royal palaces to private homes, from public art to hospitality. With this international experience, we are well versed in the art of meeting price requirements. Whether that means finding alternate material options, adjusting the final design, working out quantity discounts we can make luxury work for nearly any budget. Most people are surprised to find that a Kreoo quote is often significantly lower than local companies who can’t provide nearly the selection or design capabilities.
Design, price, and quality – everything a design needs. Next time you find yourself searching for the perfect centerpiece for your bathroom overhaul, think custom marble bathtubs. Think Kreoo.
Are you designing a bathroom or spa? How has your search for the perfect tub going? Let us know in the comments below!
Designer Insights – Gino Castano
Today on Kreoo’s Designer Insights, we’re talking with award winning interior designer Gino Castano of Paletteur. Gino’s bold, dramatic designs have been lauded worldwide as genius.
This month at Modernism Week 2015, Castano’s designs were featured in The Christopher Kennedy Compound, and included Kreoo’s Pavè Stone and Pavè Drink as part of a breathtaking patio space. Today we get to hear from the artist himself!
First of all, congratulations on 2015 Designer Distinction award for Hospitality! What would you say makes your work distinct?
Thank you so much! We were very honored by this award and the recognition from our colleagues.
Paletteur distinguishes itself by designing spaces that have a strong sense of history and place. Bold architectural gestures and a seamless blend of beauty and function are also hallmarks of our work. Ultimately, we strive to create seamless, memorable experiences for our clients and their guests.
What was your inspiration for the Modernism Week design?
The powerful architectural gestures and patterns found in the South American Modern movement were our jumping-off point. We channeled the sculptural architecture of Oscar Niemeyer and the bold patterns of the iconic landscape designer, Roberto Burle Marx.
You’re being featured in the 2015 Modernism Week but your work doesn’t seem restricted to a specific “style”. How do you incorporate your personal taste in your projects?
What’s most important to us is not necessarily expressing our own personal taste and style, but drawing out and expressing the signature elements and nuances inherent in each project. We work closely with all our clients to understand their needs and goals, and we channel their specific wishes through our design principles: luxury, drama, wit, and, of course, function.
What drew you to Kreoo’s Pavè Stone for your Modernism Week design?
Kreoo’s Pavè Stone pieces are unexpected, sculptural, and chic! They have a simplicity and ease that embodies the spirit of modernism.
How have you incorporated natural stone in your past designs?
Besides more traditional applications for natural stone, such as flooring and countertops, we’ve used stone extensively in our furnishings. Most recently, we designed custom stone and wood nightstands for the Four Seasons Lana’i. In addition, we love natural stone light fixtures and lamps – we’ve sourced carved onyx and marble pieces for numerous projects.
What is most important to you when choosing furniture for your designs? How have Kreoo’s pieces measured up to your expectations?
We look for singular design expressions that have high impact. Kreoo’s pieces are always impactful, simple, and elegant. We source from Kreoo when we can!
Thank you Gino for your insight!
Let us know your thoughts! Leave a comment below.
Kreoo’s Best Designs of 2014
It’s New Year’s Day! It’s a time for everyone to celebrate their accomplishments and reevaluate their priorities. A beautiful time.
Here at Kreoo we’re looking back on a wonderful year. A year of breakthrough in both design and business. Our brands launch in the United States has been a whirlwind experience and a great success! We are all thrilled at the reception each of you have had to the designs we’ve poured our hearts and souls into.
So here they are! Kreoo’s Best Designs of 2014!
Arcaico has taken the world by storm. This cantilevered marble table with customizable tops and pillars destroys the ideas of what is ‘possible’ and steps boldly into the ‘impossible’.
One design, two different functions. Based on the needs of each individual space, Pedina Torre can be ordered in two different sizes – one, an ergonomic marble seat, or go larger for a luxurious marble table.
The name says it all, this marble vessel sink is luxury at its finest. Its soothing lines offer not only beauty but functionality! The delicate extension operates as a soap holder – a breakthrough for vessel sinks!
What is your favorite Kreoo piece from 2014? You can refresh your memory with our Kreoo Catalog then leave a comment below.
The Material Debate – why REAL matters
The debate has been raging for years on which are better, Natural or man made materials? There are many different views on this intriguing subject. And of course your choices will vary based on your personal style and other needs. Technically, there is no wrong answer, but at Kreoo we believe natural materials still triumph.
The one exception
There is one asterisk that should be mentioned here. When manufacturing is done unethically, or endangered materials are harvested without regard to conservation, man made materials offer a valid compromise. Fortunately, this only applies to a small segment of natural products.
Even then, you have options. Purchase materials sourced from a different location where the material is plentiful. Or choose from the endless variety of natural alternatives! No blood diamonds for you! Support an approved diamond mine. Substitute Shorea wood for endangered Teak.
A Question of Health
Especially when designing for a home, man made and chemically enhanced materials beg the question of health and safety. Often, the dangers of artificial materials aren’t widely known until years after the fact. Asbestos was used in homes for decades before it was discovered to cause cancer.
This is opposed to natural materials which are actively used to promote health and well being, even as medical treatments in certain countries. Natural marble in particular is bacteria resistant and discourages microscopic pathogens. It emits no off gasses that impair the quality of your air, and has no unsavory chemical imbalances. How’s that for a pro/con list?
An Appreciation and a Responsibility
Choosing natural materials is inherently environmentally-friendly because it’s using what the earth provides. Being around nature gives us a vital appreciation for the earth we live on.
Think about it! People care about what they see! When we bring nature into our homes we are that much more aware of its value.
Plus, the more people choosing natural, the more say we have in how it’s managed, harvested and prepared! Sounds like a win-win.
The Luxury of Authenticity
Real pearls or fake? Diamonds or CZ? A French chocolatier’s masterpiece or some fat-free, prepackaged excuse for a brownie? There is something about the genuine article that we as humans crave. We don’t like to be lied to! When we can choose natural materials for our homes, their honesty translates into more authentic design. One has to remember that the majority of synthetic products exist to copy natural materials! Fake wood, faux marble. They all claim to be as good as the real thing because real is the standard!
There’s also something to be said for pattern. The organic movement of natural marble’s veining can never be truly replicated by a machine. And that intangible drastically affects design. This is why every Kreoo piece is made with only the finest natural stone, wood and other materials.
When you’re designing a space you’ll actually live in, day-in and day-out, the materials you choose are perhaps the most important decision.
You have to ask yourself, are you willing to settle for an imitation of the real thing?
What do you think? Which natural materials could you never live without? Share a comment below!
Luxury is the ability to choose exactly what is right for your space. And with the Filigrana Collection by Kreoo, that’s exactly what you can do.
Filigrana is a luxury system by Kreoo, made up of three different patterns designed by Enzo Berti, the creative genius behind many Kreoo works. This collection has recently been featured in several online publications like Busa & Associati, Design Chronicle, World Interior News and more.
Choose a bowl design from Kreoo’s exclusive Nabhi Collection and your perfect marble from our extensive list of stone options. Pairing the right color with the right design can take a space from lovely to breathtaking. Choices range from the airy whites and creams to the dramatic blues of Brazilian marble. And as the crowning achievement, a Filigrana finish adds an extra layer of personalization to an already vast range of options.
Three Filigrana designs are standard, however with Kreoo’s capabilities, any design you imagine can be brought to life.
Filigrana 1: elegant sticks scattered apparently random like in a game of Shanghai. It is a decoration mentioned in an elegant way, an aesthetic render that celebrates the aesthetic properties of marble.
Filigrana 2: a detailed engraving inspired by gold filigree, precious and slightly raised. This finishing gives movement and unexpected softness to bowls and create extremely sweet and feminine atmospheres.
Filigrana 3: a delicate classic sign that recalls the ornament of acanthus leaves typical of decoration and Corinthian capitals of Ancient Greece.
Braided Marble by Decormarmi
This is the story of incredible passion and skill coming together in art. Of a daring conceptual display and thematic installation. This is the story of “Living Stone”
As many of you know, Decormarmi is the company that birthed the Kreoo brand in 2010. As a standardized branch of a family of artists, we at Kreoo are able to bring all the experience and mastery of the experts into each design we create.
Decormarmi’s heritage of excellence gives us the opportunity to design marble pieces with no equal on the market today. One brilliant example of this is the “Living Stone” exhibit” at the 2014 Marmomacc.
For context, this is the famous expo center, designed by Miralles Tagliabue EMBT; featuring twisted wicker panels.
The following however is not wicker…
It’s braided marble.
The Living Stone event, a series of thematic installations, selected both Italian architects and manufacturers to celebrate the excellence embodied in the phrase “Made in Italy”. The concept of each exhibit was a Mediterranean style home and patio. You can view more pictures on our Facebook page.
For this display, Italian architect Benedetta Tagliabue, came together with the artisans of Decormarmi to mold one of nature’s most glorious materials in a way most would call impossible. The challenge of this idea was great – Creating a workable concept that would encompass the full capabilities of Decormarmi, as well as the essence of the artist. It called for a change in the way we think of marble.
“We decided to think at stone as flexible vegetable fibers that would follow a wavy surface as in our famous Expo Shanghai Pavilion; this would give the stand the wicker lightness”. Says Tagliabue
This fresh way of thinking gave the stone a light airy quality that is rare in stone work, more known for its solid beauty.
The installation called for 69 “wavy sails” all carved from solid marble. It was a tall order, crafting pieces that had never been created before, but Marco Farinon, Decormarmi’s production manager was confident: “We immediately fell in love with the project. Benedetta Tagliabue put on paper the expression of who we are and what we wanted to express in this setting: our ability in inlays and three-dimensionality, even particularly tricky, and a challenging project to carry on together with the architect. It is cooperation and a professional exchange extremely exciting for us.“
Kreoo’s US representative Julia Sirakova gave similar thoughts “Working with creative architects it’s a marvelous inspiration. The more complicated the details are, the more excitement gets our team finding engineering solutions, sometimes to the most ‘impossible’ projects. ‘Everything is possible’ is our answer to the most challenging creative ideas.”
Decormarmi’s purpose for existence is to take ideas like these from the minds of true creatives and bring them to life in the physical world. We at Kreoo are proud to be a part of this heritage of design. We look forward to the future, and to celebrating grand design in the homes around the world.
As a brand stemming from the illustrious heritage of Italian design, we at Kreoo wanted to give you all a look into our home. Italy is a beautiful place, filled with history and gorgeous architecture. It’s a top destination for luxury travelers and design aficionados everywhere.
So here is everything you have got to see when you’re in Italy!
Natural stone is one of the most beautiful materials in the world. With a few motions of an expert’s hand, it can be transformed into a brilliant rendering of the human form or a stunning new perspective on space and line. It is the medium of art. Science and intuition combined. But not all natural stone is created equal. There are seven basic categories that include stones you may not be familiar with.
Just like Kreoo’s name is derived from the ancient Greek language, the term “Marble” comes from the Greek word “Marmaros” and means “shining stone”. In Italian, Marble is still pronounced Marmo. [read more]
Looking for a way to take your bathroom from average to spectacular? At Kreoo, the answer is always marble. Natural marble gives any bathroom an expensive and luxurious feel. Sadly, most people relegate marble to the counters.
In truth, marble is one of the most versatile materials you can use a bathroom. Still few people naturally think of marble as a workable resource. To amend that tragic way of thinking, here are the top 5 ways you can use marble in your high-end bath remodel!
1. Luxe Seating
White marble is one of the most sought after looks in interior design, specifically when creating spaces with a subtle but impressive flair. Marble in general is very strong, so it’s less likely to chip or dent. White marble in particular, with its light color mixed with the gray veining, disguises etching much better than darker tones.
So why do so many people have an overwhelming fear of using it in their homes?
Over the years, red wine horror stories have circulated, giving this incredible stone a reputation for being “High Maintenance”. And yes, to a certain extent, that’s true. Being a natural stone, marble needs a little extra care and precaution. Without it, the surface can become stained or etched.
In most cases these problems are barely noticeable, and no match for the essence the stone brings to a space. Fortunately, with a little effort and planning you can keep the gorgeous, clean look of this stone and safe guard it for years to come!
So here they are. 5 reasons you shouldn’t be afraid of white marble.
For over 50 years, the master designers at Decormarmi have gained inspiration from the effortless beauty of nature. Today we’re introducing a piece born out of perhaps the greatest, most alluring mysteries of our time – the night sky.
What defines “Luxury”?
Is it an enormous price tag? Is it a famous name holding the title of designer? Or is it something else… And how does the term luxury apply to bespoke bathroom fixtures like marble sinks? It can be a difficult thing to define in any concrete terms because luxury, like style, is subjective. To one person, opulence is luxurious. To another it’s sleek, modern style accompanied by the best of modern design.
Welcome to the first installment of Kreoo’s Designer Insights – a blog feature of some amazing designers we’ve had the pleasure of working with. To start us off, here’s a look at Interior Designer Jaimie Belew.
Marble is a natural material and as such, it lives; and like any living thing it changes shape and appearance. This can enhance the natural beauty of the stone, giving it character and a gorgeous earthy feel. But over time, any natural stone can experience negative reactions if it’s exposed to the wrong things.
When it comes to cleaning your marble countertops or furniture, there are thousands of products on the market. The problem is many conventional products pollute our homes and environments and can be damaging to natural surfaces.
The bathroom is an opportunity in every home to either raise or lower the overall style. It should be a getaway, an escape from the everyday. It should be filled with light and elegance.
Remodeling an outdated bathroom with custom marble can bring elements of peace and tranquility into any setting. Not limited to floor or shower tiles, natural stone’s potential in bathroom design is endless!
Beyond Bathrooms – Marble in interior design
When it comes to durable, beautiful building materials, nothing trumps natural stone. Any way you look at it, natural stone is the epitome of luxury, quality and beauty. Of course, different stones are better suited for different purposes. Any prospective stone owner needs to understand the difference between mass-produced stone products and custom cut stone.
Mass-produced products are usually restricted to the basics: flooring, sinks and countertops. Custom-cut stone however, has unlimited potential!
Walls and Floors
Marble cladding is a great option for walls and floors. It’s a fresh change from traditional hardwood or carpeting. Choices range from classic flat marble, to hand laid mosaic tile, to three-dimensional designs with multiple shades of marble.
Luxury Marble in High-End Residential Homes
Marble has been considered a luxury building material since ancient times. It was used by the ancient Greeks and Romans for their towering temples, public buildings, imperial dwellings, statuary and more.