Charles Almonte a Design Mind for DC Design House

We are pleased and honored to have Charles Almonte of Charles Almonte Architecture and Interior Design, based in Silver Spring, MD share his design insights in our Design Minds series. Charles Almonte’s firm will be participating in the upcoming fall DC Design House, in which proceeds benefit Children’s Hospital.

Please scroll down to read the full interview with Charles about interior design and how he uses an architectural approach to create a timeless and sophisticated layout with architectural accents when designing for his clients.

Casart Coverings features Design Mind_Charles Almonte_casartblog

 

How and when did you become interested in design?

I was always drawn to colors, shapes and structures.  Growing up,  I had containers of crayons, stacks of coloring books and bins of Legos.  I think it was inevitable that I would end up doing something with design.  Lo and behold,  I got into an architecture program in college.  Eventually,  I started dabbling in interior design in conjunction with architecture.

 

How do you describe your signature style?

I think my signature style is simple but sophisticated.  Not too trendy but contemporary.  Clean lines and classic and not too fussy.

 

Do you have a main goal to achieve in your design and/ or rules that apply to your projects? What is your creative process for your projects?

Every project is different and each of them needs a slightly different approach but the my main principles of design remains.  Balance,  scale and harmony are my first rules to follow.  I usually start with the “plan” or layout.  Afterwards, I start infusing my design with my clients tastes and preferences That can be a color scheme,  a particular inspiration fabric or a certain design style.  

At the beginning of a project,  I tell my clients that the space or spaces are theirs to enjoy and live in.  I encourage them to tell me what are their likes, wants and needs.  Because at the end of the day,  it is their space so they should be able to enjoy it.

 

What inspires you and is currently on your design mind?

I am always drawn to colors and patterns.  I see them in architecture, fabrics, fashion and even food.  I just recently signed up on Instagram, from which there are so many images out there that I draw inspiration.

I was just in LA so I think I am in mod hollywood regency state of mind nowadays.

 

What advice can you share for those starting out in your industry?

Be the best you can and always be open to learning new things.  Be patient. 

 

Here are a couple examples below of just some of Charles’s client projects.

Charles Almonte Interior Design 1 on casartblog

Photo credit: Robert Dodge

 

Charles Almonte Interior Design 2 on casartblog

Photo credit: Angie Seckinger

 

Sources from his top 5 current inspirations:

1) Fabric:  Chiang Mai Dragon fabric by FS Schumacher

CHIANG MAI DRAGON_Schumacher fabric_casartblog

2) Lighting:  Parisienne Medium Table Lamp in Shanghai Brown from Circa Lighting

Parisienne Lamp_Circa Lighting_casartblog

3) Furniture: Lampert Sofa from Jonathan Adler

Jonathan Adler Peacock Lampert Sofa_casartblog

4) Lighting:  Cubist Chandelier by Kelly Wearstler

Kelly Wearstler cubist chandelier_casartblog

5) Pattern:  Shouchikubai wallpaper from Farrow Ball

Shouchikubai wallpaper_Farrow Ball_casartblog

Be sure to check out more of Charles Almonte Architecture and Interior Design and put the DC Design House on your calendar to attend this fall.

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7 Ways to Feng Shui Your Home

We’re pleased to present a guest post today from Sadia Suhail, who writes interior design related articles. Please see her complete author bio below. In the meantime, we hope you’ll enjoy her post as we do. Many thanks, Sadia, for your contribution, 7 Ways to Feng Shui Your Home.

According to famous Feng Shui master and author Lada Ray, “In its highest form, good Feng Shui signifies perfect alignment between inner and outer worlds.”

Here are 7 ways to get this balance in your home.

Feng Shui entrance_casartblog

Feng Shui entrance

Fix your squeaking door

We all have that one squeaking door at home that needs fixing, but somehow, it keeps getting ignored. Eventually, we get so used to it that its noise stops bothering us anymore. The squeaking sound that goes unheard is a scream of bad energy and disturbs the balance of your home. Consequently, it affects you with a dose of negativity that you are unaware of. All you need to do is to oil the door simply to get the job done.

Feng Shui Living Room_casartblog

Always go for the front door

It is definitely tempting to use the backdoor, especially if you park in the garage; it certainly takes less time and consumes less energy. However, Feng Shui experts claim that using the backdoor promotes the flow of negative energy. Not only that, but it also blocks good fortune and opportunities from entering into your life. You don’t have to take those extra steps every day, but at least do it a couple of times every week to welcome positive energy into your house.

Water fountains are beneficial

Water is a significant Feng Shui element that symbolizes money and career. Feng Shui experts recommend placing a small fountain in the house to achieve prosperity. The most favorable place for the fountain is right inside the front door, or just outside the front door. Be sure to pay attention to the direction of the water flow, as it should be towards the center of the house. This essentially gives wealth a chance to start flowing into your life and invites success abundantly.

Feng Shui fountain_casartblog

Fill up spaces in the kitchen

Take a look around your kitchen; see whether the spaces above the kitchen cabinets are empty or not. If vacant, these areas are prone to accumulating dust and old energy over time. This encourages the surge of negative energy into your lives and might hold you back in many aspects. This problem can be easily fixed by filling up those unoccupied spots. You can either place your beloved objects, or a small lamp for extra lighting, or even some green plants for a pleasant look; whether real or artificial.

Feng Shui Front Door Entrance_casartblog

Solve the bathroom dilemma

Many people concerned with Feng Shui are hesitant when it comes to the bathroom. As previously mentioned, water according to Feng Shui is a symbol of wealth and it is commonly believed that you can flush away your wealth through your toilets. Obviously, no one wants that. However, lots of experts say that as water drains; it returns to the house. Still to be on the safe side, we advise you to keep the toilet seat down and to keep the bathroom door closed, to ward off its harmful effects.

Feng Shui bedroom_casartblog

No TV in the bedroom, at least not an obvious one

It is much healthier to avoid having a TV placed inside your bedroom as it is a place to relax and connect with your partner; however, many people still have TVs in their bedrooms. A TV has a lot of active energy which hugely interrupts your inner peace making it a hindrance for good Feng Shui. If you still want to keep the TV, the least you can do is to cover it up with a nice piece of fabric when you’re not using it.

Feng Shui Living Room_casartblog

Create the right ambience

The home should be well-lit and airy to create a good Feng Shui atmosphere. Use neutral earthy tones in your home with some accents and pops of color, where needed. The easiest way to give your home a colorful vibe is by using Casart vibrant wallpapers, as they are less messy and easy to install and reposition than traditional wallpaper. You can use them to decorate your walls with striking patterns and reuse them as design desire changes. We have found Casart Coverings to be one of the best producers of high-quality wallcoverings.

Casart coverings Japan Reverse Celadon with Chinoiserie Panel 5 temporary wallpaper room view

Japan Reverse Celadon with Chinoiserie Panel 5 in a room view

Author Bio:

This article was written by Sadia Suhail. She loves interior design, home decor and art & craft. She recently wrote an article on Feng Shui 2016.

Feng Shui author Sadia Suhail on casartblog

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Turning Your New House into Your Home

In light of the recent series of real estate oriented posts and the recent July 4th holiday, we’re partially reposting a pertinent topic on What Makes a House an [American] Home?

Now that you own your new house, how do you make it your home?

This can be a really subjective question because “home” has specific and personal meanings to each individual but the National Building Museum in Washington, DC has attempted to put it in perspective with their House and Home exhibit, which is on view through May 2017.

house as seen on slipcovers for your walls, casartblog

Home as seen on slipcovers for your walls, casartblog

We’re all about individual expression here at Casart Coverings, and believe this is what makes our homes personal to each and every one of us. How do you do this, by collecting, displaying and personalizing what you like — making it your own.

Timeless Trends_MoRockAnSoul_Blue Arch

MoRockAnSoul_Blue Arch paired with a timeless classic, Alice in Wonderland print

 

Evolution Home_Libby Langdon Groovy Gate for Casart Coverings removable wallpaper

A screen and bookcase backings are transformed with Libby Langdon Groovy Gate

Make a space your own with a Custom wallcovering, as seen below. The yellow birds were color matched to the yellow kitchen cabinets.

Make a kitchen your own with Custom Casart Coverings Birds & Birch removable wallpaper

Make a kitchen your own with Custom Birds & Birch wallpaper

Detail Make a kitchen your own with Custom Casart Coverings Birds & Birch removable wallpaper on Slipcovers for your walls, casartblog

Keeping this in mind as well as below, let us know what make your house a home.

This quote from Thomas Mellins, an architectural historian who organized and helped curate the exhibit, explains that it may not be exactly what you think:

“In America,” Mr. Mellins continued, “we are very connected to this idea of individuality. Even if we do inherit a place to live, we are interested in personalizing it and having it express our innermost thoughts, desires, aspirations. What is less obvious or less known to most Americans is the way in which their houses reflect major economic changes, government policy, technological advances and consumer culture.”

The exhibit tackles these themes in six galleries:  Living at Home, Building a House, Buying a Home, Models, Film, and Education. The exhibit starts with pictorials from the American Memory Institute (I didn’t know there was such a thing) as well as historical societies and Flickr.

Living at Home displays a few American iconographic items that have progressed in importance over the course of time, like a butter churn, a Farrah Fawcett poster, a fondue set and a painted front porch door. Some have become collectors’ items.

butter+churn_via_philippine genre stories, as seen on slipcovers for your walls, casartblog

 

Farrah_Fawcett_iconic_pinup_1976, as seen on slipcovers for your walls, casartblog
Painted front porch with American Flag casartblog

 

Building a House has “touch walls” with building materials with texture.

construction materials as seen on slipcovers for your walls, casartblog

Casart removable wallcoverings could be in this category as well as others.

Our Faux Glass Tile gets the look without the hassle, expense or long-term commitment.

Casart Coverings-Faux Glass-Pink-tile temporary wallpaper in room_casartblog

Casart Faux Glass Tile as full wall decoration – beyond just backsplashes or a bathroom

Buying a Home shows the progression of the modern mortgage system.

mortgage, as seen on slipcovers for your walls, casartblog

Models displays 14 iconic American home models commissioned by the Museum including Mt. Vernon among others, accompanied by photographs.

Suburban-Home-Models, as seen on slipcovers for your walls casartblog

Films show 6 movies of animated tasks such as laundry, and cooking and how these have evolved to make a home function. Another gallery shows contemporary designed architecture and examples of planned communities.

mid-Rhof-handwaschen.ogg, as seen on slipcovers for your walls, casartblog

Laundry has come a long way as seen on Chris Kauffman’s blogspot. We can now sit back and let our machines do the work while we enjoy the design of the space.

chris-kaufman_laundry21 on Slipcovers for your walls, casartblog

Modern architecture for a home has also come a long way as well, as seen in this premier property listing in Florida.

modern home in florida_via premier estate properties on casartblog

 

Here’s what the press says regarding this exhibit:

“In gallery after gallery, the show explores how the American dream of homeownership has played out over the years, in consumer artifacts…and models of architectural milestones, culminating in a double-screen immersion into architect-designed spaces.”—The New York Times

House & Home…explores a subject so wide and so fundamental to American life that it inevitably touches the pleasure buttons of nostalgia.”—The Washington Post

House & Home will take an expansive look at what it means to be at home in America.”—The Huffington Post

“…the National Building Museum’s most ambitious project to date.”—Washingtonian

If you are traveling to DC this summer for vacation or even next year, you may want to check it out.

Meanwhile, have fun turning your new house into your new home with some personalization.

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