"renovation"

Introducing Elberta Part 2

We completely redesigned and installed a new façade for the restaurant.  The header of the new skinny metal "barely-there" frame (built by Lennox Ironworks) provides a strong contrast to the new name and logo finished in stainless steel.  It also conceals the security gate which was a major eyesore before.
Design - Ishka Designs; Copyright of Niya Bascom Photography; Styling Assistance - Sana Keefer
The façade BEFORE.  The old wooden structure was taken off-site and upcycled by Eddie's Ft. Greene salvage company located at Greene and Grand Ave's. 
Although only a few days have passed since our first post on Elberta Restaurant, this project took about 4 months to complete counting from the day we signed the contract up until the last construction day.  For the clients, a bit longer on the back- and front-end.  Construction itself took 3 months, delayed by crazy spring weather (impacting façade and sidewalk installation), site issues, product delays, etc.  But nothing before it's time eh?  Seriously.  Elberta's very first up and running event (friends and family) was held on the owners' anniversary, which is very symbolic as their wedding reception was held in this very same space under the previous banner a few years ago.  How's that for timing?
The lighting design plays a very important role in setting the mood of Elberta particularly for the dinner crowd.  We aim to capture the essence of that beautiful time of day just leading into dusk by using a sprinkling of warm edison bulbs throughout.
Design - Ishka Designs; Copyright of Niya Bascom Photography; Styling Assistance - Sana Keefer
BEFORE.  The afternoon light was decent in the old café but there was a ridiculous glare at a certain hour that we mitigated by tinting the exterior glass on the new façade. 
So here we are.  A few days into the opening of Elberta Restaurant.  She has finally exposed her multi-layered personality.  From the strong-willed temperament that is reflected in the newly designed steely exterior to the soft feminine wiles that is the more intimate back section of the restaurant.  Since we laid the ground work on how we got here in PART 1 of this post, let's take a look at the embodiment of Elberta's physical persona:
Clockwise from Top Left: 1. Material palette; 2. Bathroom walls painted black (a very specific black to match the floor tile) and covered in various vintage frames; 3. Wallpaper being hung by our favourite hanger Chris; 4. We painted white the exposed brick, beams, etc in the dining area to match both wallpapers; 5. A tone on tone textured wallpaper goes up by the bar and 6. Up-close of installed bar top.
Design - Ishka Designs
The material selection came together beautifully once the main element was determined: the bar top.  Fated to be built out of a gorgeous green material made from sorghum stalks, this resilient and beautiful plant by-product became the starting point of the entire palette.  With a focus on the 1920's prohibition period, we felt it only right to bring in metals and brass metallics to complement the bar top and to reflect her tough exterior.  To speak to Elberta's sensuality we married these elements with black and white in various textural forms, from wallpaper to hard laminates to the now beautifully painted brick walls in the dining area and bathroom.  In addition, darkly stained bamboo floors were installed.  Once we peeled back the tough layers, her softer feminine side is reflected in the vibrant floral wallpaper as well as in the beautiful frame details in the more intimate areas of the restaurant.  Overall, we believe we've successfully created a sophisticated environment, from the completely open storefront re-design right through to the black bathroom in the back.  Whether from the images, or your own intimate experience with Elberta, we hope you share our sentiments too.

And here she is, BEFORE & AFTER.  Interior and façade designed by Ishka Designs, captured by our Niya Bascom with styling assistance by Sana Keefer...
BEFORE.  Despite the yellow walls, the old café bar and cash-wrap felt heavy with the dark stained wood and wainscotting.  We kept the TV for the new bar patrons but neatly tucked it away so as to minimize the disturbance to dining patrons.
AFTER.  The brass faced cabinets help to create that early evening glow.  An aside: the bar-front material never turned up so we had to go with plan B, which worked out pretty well to say the least.  The white back wall here is the white textured wallpaper above.
Design - Ishka Designs; Copyright of Niya Bascom Photography; Styling Assistance - Sana Keefer
The daylighting in the restaurant is amazing thanks to the new façade.  To help reflect the light further, we used a subtly antiqued mirror for the bar back.  All told, we employed quite a bit of subtlety throughout this design.
Design - Ishka Designs; Copyright of Niya Bascom Photography; Styling Assistance - Sana Keefer
Thin metal shelves with cove lighting were installed in the bar area below the antique brass faced cabinets.  Subtle lighting under the bar picks up the glass details nicely.
Design - Ishka Designs; Copyright of Niya Bascom Photography; Styling Assistance - Sana Keefer
The kitchen walls when examined up close have a linear textured finish running in alternating directions.  When you visit her, be sure to check it out.  Btw, some of the black squares are actually cupboards.
Design - Ishka Designs; Copyright of Niya Bascom Photography; Styling Assistance - Sana Keefer
BEFORE.  While we have an eclectic sensibility, the mix and match furniture in the old café just didn't work. Not to mention the unflattering light fixtures.
AFTER. Elberta now feels open and bright.  The kitchen, partially exposed, has excellent ventilation.  You are not overwhelmed with cooking smells, though that couldn't hurt :)
Design - Ishka Designs; Copyright of Niya Bascom Photography; Styling Assistance - Sana Keefer
Though singularly subtle, we stocked up on these multiple light fixtures to create a romantic feel.  The tables were custom built using marine grade plywood topped with a black laminate surface.  Just love how the lines on the plywood play off the bar top.  Details can be seen on our website.
Design - Ishka Designs; Copyright of Niya Bascom Photography; Styling Assistance - Sana Keefer
As you can tell, we really love the light fixtures.  Could not be more happy with this made in the USA product. The brass and black housing with brass coloured cords were the right touches for the space.
Design - Ishka Designs; Copyright of Niya Bascom Photography; Styling Assistance - Sana Keefer
BEFORE.  The café was a haven for those who would rather work in a quiet environment away from home.  Fortunately for these folks a really cool looking café has opened up a few blocks down the road.
AFTER. It is the expectation that the restaurant's new found cohesiveness, once viewed from the street, will attract a wider audience for dinner and brunch.  This long view emphasizes the exposed beams and brick walls leading to the pretty focal wall at back.
Design - Ishka Designs; Copyright of Niya Bascom Photography; Styling Assistance - Sana Keefer
The detailing on the kitchen wall/storage unit is pretty cool.  Antique brass nailheads and laminates, black textures and the bar top material give it a nice depth.
Design - Ishka Designs; Copyright of Niya Bascom Photography; Styling Assistance - Sana Keefer
We can now see upclose the softer side of Elberta towards the back...
Design - Ishka Designs; Copyright of Niya Bascom Photography; Styling Assistance - Sana Keefer
One of our favourite perspectives in the space.  Very happy with how the textures, patterns and palette came together.
Design - Ishka Designs; Copyright of Niya Bascom Photography; Styling Assistance - Sana Keefer
Yes, there is a chimney and pseudo fireplace.  Very typical of Brooklyn brownstones.  And for those of you who were originally asking, you finally get to see what we did with those vintage frames.
Design - Ishka Designs; Copyright of Niya Bascom Photography; Styling Assistance - Sana Keefer
The remaining images can be found HERE on our website.  Feel free to leave comments below if you have any :)  And yes, Elberta is open to the public...go eat Southern cuisine and support this amazing couple!  Elberta restaurant is located at 335 Flatbush Ave, Brooklyn between Prosect Place and Park Place.

One,
idi

Plumb Street: Before & After

Plumb St. Project. Photos by: Niya Bascom Photography
A few weeks ago we finally specified the last item for our Plumb Street project.  What a process it has been.  It was almost a year ago, that we rode our bikes down to meet our lovely clients, their 3 kids and the upheaval that had already begun at their home.  Asked to provide space plan solutions for the basement and kitchen, design solutions for the bathrooms and master bedroom, and lighting plans and fixtures for all, we began the project in earnest excited by the prospects.  This was our first major residential project that did not include furniture selection, just space planning and finishes, fixtures and fittings selection.

Our kitchen design solution incorporating all storage and equipment needs of client.  The kitchen is the most impressive room in the house.  The husband is in the restaurant business...can you tell? 
One of the 3 bathroom finishes selection
Trying to choose the perfect medium tone for the bathroom vanity...can you see a difference? :)
Demolition was underway our first day on site, as the architect approved drawings had the construction crew extending the back of the house approximately 12 feet and the front of the house on the second level a few extra feet.  All of which meant their kitchen would more than double in size, the basement could get a home office and a more spacious laundry area, and that there would be enough room for a master bathroom on the second floor.
Top: Basement Solution featuring rec room, home office, and spacious laundry room; Bottom: Ground Floor Solution
Aside from lengthy time delays with construction and millwork that continued beyond our final photoshoot, the project went pretty much as expected and the results...well let's just say I want to give our clients the biggest hug ever for their extremely kind words.  I know they will be surprised to read this but despite the completely opposite tastes of the husband and wife and as you can imagine the many hours of compromise that ensued, they were amazing to work with and the challenge to convince one or the other and sometimes both was in the end worth all the time consuming effort.

Over the next couple of blog posts we will show how this process unfolded for those interested.  But below are the before and after shots.  Hope you appreciate the transformation as much as we do.
Master Bedroom Before: Looking into the bedroom shared with their little girl.
Master Bedroom After featuring grasscloth wallpaper, arch window and no baby bed :) The extension at the back of the house allows their baby girl to have her own room.  (Styling by yours truly)
Master Bedroom Before
Master Bedroom After with new giant arch window, grasscloth wallpaper, wood panel accents and layered lighting solution.
Bathroom Before
Master Bathroom After: the architect managed to squeeze in extra sf for a master bathroom, the rest was left up to us. The new bathroom features our custom designed walnut vanity with leather pull handles and waterfall corian top, axor fixtures, and glass tile.
Kitchen Before looking from back door
Kitchen After looking from back doors featuring 10' island, 9' wide pantry (right of pic), custom cabinetry and Kenmore Elite appliances
Kitchen Before looking from living room
Kitchen After looking from living room: maximized the additional 100+ sf with 9' pantry (not shown), island to seat 7 - 8, french doors (with unfinished screens), and tiny bar sink facing in-wall TV (also not shown)
Stairwell Before leading to basement
Stairwell After: newly designed staircase made from white oak (glass banister to be installed soon) with textured sand wallpaper from MDC Wallcoverings
Basement Bath Before
Basement Bath After featuring recycled content tiles that lead from basement, corian counter top and custom cabinetry.
Basement Before 
Basement After featuring over 100 additional sf to include new home office leading off hallway and spacious laundry area  and boiler room at the end.  Storage wall in foreground conceals water main access.  Recycled tiles on floor throughout.
Living Room and Staircase Before
Living Room After featuring open staircase made of white oak (glass banister to be installed soon), walnut floors and larger windows.
All colour images taken by Niya Bascom Photography with black and white photos provided by clients. We want to give a huge thanks to them for allowing us to share these with you all and most of all our hard-working team!

One,
idi team