Outlook and Results

November 10, 2010

A Little Inspiration from finegreendesign.com

These past few years I have become more and more aware of the power and importance our outlook on a situation can greatly influence the end result.

 This morning I read an article reminding me of this and how it relates to the design world. The article was talking about how our negative outlook on the economy and how it relates to interior design can be a great hinder to our businesses. Instead of actively pursuing clients and building our business we focus on the negative and how the economy has resulted in a downturn in interior design. I, myself have become one of those people, blaming the economy for my business not succeeding. But, is it? Is this negativity directly impacting my business? I believe it is.

 So, if this negative attitude is greatly hindering my business and my ability to get clients, how do I change my attitude and my outlook and get clients?

 First, I think it starts with realizing that yes, outlooks and attitudes do have a direct impact on results. With this realization, transforming our mindset becomes easier. We have to shift our thinking and beliefs about the current state of the interior design world. We have to remind ourselves of our goals and why we have those goals. Believe that people are looking for interior designers, they want to make their space their own, and they are looking for us.

 Second is making a commitment to actively pursue a client base. As Tony Robbins says, you have to take Massive Action for anything to change. This may mean reaching out to former clients or finding creative ways to contact potential new clients. Whatever it is, it has to be a directed and focused effort.

 Third is following up with all potential leads, whether they seem big or small. Every lead has the potential to turn into something great.

 Lastly, as the article stated, be grateful. Our lives are full of abundance and it is our responsibility to recognize this abundance and be grateful for it. Daily, think about and remind yourself of all of the things you are grateful for.

 I know this is a different type of post for me, but I felt it was necessary. I needed the reminder and I think many designers are in similar places. So, who is with me? Who is ready to change their outlook, get rid of the negativity and actively pursue growing our businesses?

 Ready. Set. Go!

Restaurant Design

October 27, 2010

If you could choose any restaurant to dine in based purely on its interior design, where would you choose? Below, I’ve gathered a few restaurants that I think show unique and harmonious design.

A Cliff's Edge

I recently went to a restaurant in LA called A Cliff’s Edge and I fell in love with the design of the outdoor space. It got me thinking, what is it that makes this space so unique? The one obvious reason is the huge tree right in the middle of the patio! It added character, dimension and a little bit of fantasy.

The second reason was the lighting. I was there at night and the combination of candle light and string lights in the tree was perfect. It created an atmosphere of intimacy. Another thing that helped with the lighting was along the outside edge behind the booths were large mirrors that were angled to maximize the reflection of the lighting.

The space had a dynamic layout all balanced around the tree. Overall this space exuded great natural, organic design.

L'Atelier, Paris

Above is Joel Robuchon’s restaurant in Paris L’Atelier. Notice the use of color in this space. By staying with a basic 3 color scheme of red, dark wood and white place settings, the food becomes center stage. I visited this restaurant when I was in Paris a few years ago and one of the main reasons this design works for this space is because it creates an interaction between the patrons and the chefs, much like a sushi bar. It is a comfortable, sophisticated space that isn’t overwhelmed by multiple design elements.

Felix Restaurant, Hong Kong, Designed by Philippe Starck

 

Banq, Boston Designed by dA

These last two restaurants are places I would love to visit. Both offer a unique experience. I love how Starck created a light and airy space. His use of minimal color and negative space draws the eye to the large expanse of windows. By hanging floor to ceiling curtains he was able to delineate different areas of the restaurant.

Wouldn’t you just love to dine at Banq designed by dA? The complete and total focus on the ceiling combined with the minimal design of the tables and chairs creates a very intimate space.

I am feeling inspired! How about you? What are some critical design elements in a restaurant that make it or break it for you? Please share and hope you are having an Outstanding week!

Balance

October 19, 2010

I’m so excited to be back! I know I haven’t written in a while and I have missed it so! So let’s get started again!

I have been thinking a lot about balance lately. Balance in my personal life and balance in design. Since I am still juggling to find the most ideal balance in my personal life, let’s talk about balance in the world of design.

One of the core principles of design involves creating a space that is balanced harmoniously. There are two major types of balance: Symmetrical Balance and Asymmetrical Balance.

 Let’s talk about Symmetrical Balance first. Imagine a vertical plane. Divide that plane in half. To achieve symmetrical balance both sides of that vertical plane would be identical.

Photo Credit: Apartment Therapy

This type of balance is generally used in formal, traditional spaces through the use of identical objects, ie: matching mirrors, as seen in the photo above.

Photo Credit: genuinestyle.net

Yet, as is evident in the photo below. Symmetrical balance can be achieved just as harmoniously in a modern, playful space. 

Photo Credit: interi0r.com

The other main type of balance is Asymmetrical Balance. Asymmetrical balance is created by achieving symmetry with the visual weight of the objects.

Photo Credit: arhzine.com

 In general when working with asymmetrical balance, the objects are not identical but they hold the same weight in the space, ie: an oversized piece of artwork opposing a modern sculpture.

Photo Credit: mspmag.com

 

Balance in a space can act as the foundation to an incredibly visually stimulating room. So, start with this foundation and editorially add details to make it your own!

Re-Imagined Furniture

November 4, 2009

I have been seeing a lot of great pieces of furniture that have been designed with the mindset of reduce-reuse-recycle. Here are a couple of them!

 

second-life-by-william-stragler-02

Second Life by William Stranger

William Stranger is know for his innovative sustainable furniture that is mostly made with acquired natural objects such as fallen trees. One of his latest lines is the Second Life line. Stranger took the remnants of a bowling alley and created beautiful works. The line is being exhibited at Fifth Floor Gallery in Los Angeles until November 14th.

 

ubico-studio-tables

Stump Series by Ubico Studio

The Stump Series from Ubico Studio was created when designers started noticing pieces of hardwood in the dumpsters surrounding the Studio. By reinvisoning these scrap pieces of wood, these great stools were created. Each piece is unique and crafted with social responsibility. And at only $195, you can’t really beat the price!

 

 

LA Design Happenings

October 20, 2009

There are quite a few design related events in the greater Los Angeles area this week and I thought I would share

First up, the Home Remodeling and Decorating Show in Costa Mesa this Saturday and Sunday October 24th and 25th. The show highlights everything from appliances to furniture to building products. It will also have an Eco-Expo Area. For more information see their website.

This Thursday, October 22nd, Silvia Barisione will be speaking a LACMA on Italian Futurist Design. More information on LACMA’s website.

On Saturday, October 24th, a Designer Tag Sale will be going on in Costa Mesa. The Tag Sale will feature the personal inventories of several Orange County and Los Angeles designers and all leftover inventory will be donated. Be sure to check it out! I know I would if I was going to be in town! More info here.

Quotes To Design By

October 14, 2009

“Rules can be broken- but never ignored.”

-David Jury

 

Color & Texture in a Bedroom

Color & Texture in a Bedroom

 

Balanced Open Plan Living Room/Kitchen

Balanced Open Plan Living Room/Kitchen

 

Harmony & Proportion in a Bathroom

Harmony & Proportion in a Bathroom

Whitewashing 101

October 12, 2009

Normally I am not one for the look of white washed furniture, but recently two friends of mine had a few pieces of furniture that they wanted to whitewash and they enlisted me for some help.

All the pieces turned out great and it’s actually quite a simple process that anyone can do it!

Materials Needed

Sandpaper

Electric Sander

Paint

Paint brushes (the wider the better!)

Water

A metal tin to mix the paint and water

The piece you want to whitewash!

 

1. Prep the piece of furniture which includes sanding down the piece to the bare wood and wiping away the dust

2. Mix 1 part paint with 2 parts water in the metal tin. Mix it well!

3. Take your brush and dip the end of it in the paint and water mixture. You dont want to much of the mixture on the brush because it will start to look like you just painted it. The trick is to start lightly and go over it to the get the desired look. Continue painting until the entire piece is covered.

4. Let dry. Touch up any areas you think need more strokes.

 

Here are some pictures from the work we did:

Cabinet Before

Cabinet Before

Cabinet After

Cabinet After

 

Table Before

Table Before

 
Table After

Table After

 
Have you ever whitewashed? How did yours turn out?