Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Offices You Wish You Worked At

I finally had the opportunity to meet with a big time architect today.  I've been wanting to get in the door with this guy for a while, and it was everything I hoped for.  The office was awesome!  A hipster's dream!  So let's envy where some people spend their 9 to 5s...

Capitol Hotel inTokyo

FGMF Arquitetos

Clive Wilkinson Architects

Buster and Punch

Moroso Showroom

And of course, Google

Monday, November 24, 2014

Designing a Child's Bedroom

At work today something terribly unfortunate happened....we were supposed to be preparing for a furniture presentation when it went off the rails  The kids bedrooms took a turn for the worst!  I was powerless in the disastrous decision which included a black and red scheme for a 5 year old boy and about every neon color under the sun for the little girl.  Yuck, right?   Let's talk about what makes a kids room successful.

I think finding a good patterned fabric is a great place to start the scheme.  Then you should pull out two color ways from the fabric, one will be your neutrals, the other will be the accent.  I like to look for the color that offers the biggest pop, something like celery green, chartreuse or turquoise.  You'll need to select multiple solids, but they can differ slightly.  Try a good solid, linen solid and a weave.  Next, as you select you patterns make sure you have a variety of sizes and scales.  The patterns don't need to the same, but they do need to make sense next in the same room.  Let's look at a couple of great kids bedrooms for inspiration...

Ok next let's talk about furniture. You need to strike a balance between practical and fun.  Maybe you have a bed that's going to last the next 10 years, but you have totally funky nightstands...yep I think that's a compromise people.  You can play with finishes more in children's bedrooms.  Don't be afraid to have the legs of your dresser be fire engine red.  You can bring elements like steel in as well.  Basically, don't get stuck in the old "espresso is the only finish ever" mindset.  Pop some gold in your daughters room, maybe a little black lacquer for your son.  

Lastly, always have a fun, even weird, element in the room.  Nothing ages a room more than being too 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Oak vs Walnut Flooring

Ok everyone says they want hardwood floors, as they should because they're just fabulous.  But do you know about the different species of wood?  Do you know how to use the flooring to fit into the genre of your home? Let's talk about hardwood flooring, I mean, we only dream about it enough....let's make sure you get it right when your dream comes true! 

Oak is the most durable choice for your floor.  If you have young children or dogs with nails, oak is a great option.  The stuff is pretty bulletproof.  You need to be careful with Oak because it can go yellow very easily! Below is a picture of oak flooring...

Now the way the log is sawn makes a difference as to how the graining will look. 
Quartersawn boards have two advantages: they are more resistant against warping with changes in moisture and, while shrinkage can occur, it is less troublesome.  
The second advantage of quartersawn wood is the decorative pattern on the board, although this depends on the timber species. Since in quartersawn wood the saw cuts across the growth rings, the visible grain is much straighter; it is this evenness of the grain that gives quartersawn wood its greater stability.  

Below is a picture of quartersawn oak.

Rift sawn oak is the rarest cut due to the amount of waste, but at my job, it is the most requested.  This will definitely give you a modern feel.  In my experience, you should keep your planks to 4" in width because the wider it gets, the more likely you will have some rays sneak up on you.  Below is a pic of rift sawn oak.

Done with oak, now let's talk about walnut.  Without a doubt, this is my favorite, timeless wood floor.  I love it when it just has a natural stain.  The cathedralling effect of the grain is something you won't be able to replicate.  However, walnut is softer than oak, so this flooring isn't for everyone.  Below is a pic of a walnut floor.

As with oak, there are different types of walnut flooring.  If you are more traditional, or just want to save a little money, character grade walnut is the way to go.  This means that there will be knots in the planks.  If you are more modern, and have a little bit more to spend, you would want select grade walnut.  These are the planks without any knots.  It truly is beautiful either way.

Photo credits:,,,, 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Defining Transitional Design

Have you suddenly be hearing about transitional interior design all over town lately?  I feel like, have I been missing out on something?  Suddenly it's the go-to genre.  Not for no reason though, it is tasteful and calming.  So the big question is, what exactly is transitional design?

As the name implies, it's mix of traditional and contemporary styles.  Some clues would be calm fabrics, mixing plain, geometric and floral.  Lighting fixtures that have white linen shades and mixing oil rubbed bronze and satin nickel finishes.  Below are some good examples.....

Photo credits:,,, 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Thanksgiving Table Design

Yikes Thanksgiving is only a couple weeks away, and I'm still in summer mode!  Halloween is so fun but such a wake up call.  Forget the feast, have you given any thought to how you will be decorating your thanksgiving table this year?  I'm personally thinking a sage runner with a little eggplant and gold accent.  Something similar to the photos below...

Yes I think that will be just fabulous.  But hey, that's just me.  Let's look at some other options for your holiday table.....

Love how they put it on a platform!  Simple, yet adds that something special.

Love the pine cones!  Could be the perfect gold accent I was looking for!

Oh this is beautiful! Spray paint twigs