Sunday, May 1, 2011

Creativity Expelled!!

I was thumbing through the latest Interiors & Sources. This was the cover article and I was so impressed with the way the designer thought out of the box on almost all elements of their design. This is true creativity.

 Who would of thought to put the back end of animals on chairs? And some how it works perfectly.
 This photo reminds me of Alice in Wonderland.
 I love the used of while. Upon first look the picture seems to have no personality due to the large amounts of white. But upon farther inspection- Its true brilliance. The designer was able to make an all white couch work against a more grey white background. The pop of color is mainly from the oriental rug and the British flag across the back of the chair. I am surprised they are harmonious, but in this setting they work well together.

 notice: the British flag is on the ottoman and George Washington is the picture on the wall... Might the designer be trying to tell us something??

I love love love this conference room!!!

To read the whole article:


I wanted to share this product. It's called ModularArts.

ModularArts come in three different forms: Panels, Tiles and Blocks.
 These products are easily installed and create a seamless look between panels.
 Each panel weighs between 1.5 and 4.2 pounds.
 Material: Cement

Each product has LEED technical information available on the website.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

another example of how design can effect people... and their beliefs.

I went to church with my family this morning for the Easter service. We usually go to the service in the chapel when we go to church, but today we sat in the large church.
Video of the Church of Incarnation

I grew up going to a traditional Episcapalian service 5-6 days a week. I was very surprised when my mother mentioned that the church had started a new service called 'Uptown' to try and reach a younger group of non-believer by having a contemporary service. Your probably asking yourself what this has to do with design. A traditional Episcopalian service is very similar to a Catholic service. We sit, stand and kneel and have a 'dialogue' we repeat each week before and after the sermon. The Contemporary service has a televisions, and a live band and generally held in a large auditorium like room, not the church.

This brings me to the question of whiether the design of the church effect how people interact and believe??

The answer is yes.

According to the Church of the Incarnation's website: Many people today don’t connect with church. They’re still looking for a place to call home. They have a hard time connecting how this ancient faith impacts their present reality. The Uptown community at Church of the Incarnation seeks to reach out to people where they are by engaging in a community where.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Lazzara Yachts

Lazzara Yachts
“God only gives you so many days, but the ones you spend at sea don’t count against you.”

I was very impressed by the Lazzara operation. Lazzara is a boat manufactoring company that desgins, creates and outfits their boats from start to finish in 10 months. The company started when the Lazzara's realized their was a whole in the yachting industry. They started creating smaller yachts that had the luxury and feel of bigger luxury yachts.

“ When the other components are ready, the interior module is lifted up and lowered into the hull.  It is precisely fitted and mounted atop Lazzara’s patented isolation system, which is series of rubber pads used to eliminate vibration.” This system of putting in the interior is truely unique to the Lazzara company/boats.
Lazzara boats have won numerous awards and are considered to be at the forefront of yacht design. 

I am truly impressed with not only the interior design but also the technology and innovation used to produce each interior. I have yet to see an interior I wasn’t awed by. Each one has a certain level of class and charm.  Lazzara is famous for putting a stylish interior into a smaller yacht, thus creating a whole new yachting market.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

RVs and 5th Wheels- Designers Needed

Two of my favorite relatives were in town this past weekend. They spend four months each year camping in Arizona. The rest of the year they spend in Michigan.

While in Arizona they live in an RV with a horse trailor attached to the back end. I'm not gonna lie, the whole rig is huge. We could barely find a spot to park it this past weekend at Devils Den with out having to trim some trees. They just bought there second RV. Linda (one of my relatives) and I started talking one night and she made the comment that the people who design RVs sometimes don't think about how someone uses the space when all the slides are in. Slides are what makes the RV larger when parked.

One example she gave was the fact that the kitchen counter has a rounder edge to it that runs parrellel to the refrigerator. When all the slides are closed there is no room to open the firdge completely. By illiminating the 4 inches of counter space, this problem could be solved. In anothor one of my relatives rigs, a 5th wheel, the refrigorator doors can't even be opened unless the slides are out..

Many rigs come with a full kitchen, washer and dryer, bathroom/shower, dining room table and chairs, at least two beds if not more a kitchen island...  One I stayed in even had a TV and boom box attached to the outside so they could watch football games. The ammonites are endless now.

I have camped in a few different RVs and 5th wheels. Not going to lie- Its awesome. I grew up old school camping. The kind where you pitch a tent and start a fire. I love camping both ways. The RVs do add an extra bit of flexibility the old school version does not.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Awesome Wallpapers

March always makes me think of flowers and everything turning green. While in Dallas for spring break the April 2011 Phoenix Home & Garden magazine arrived. It happened to be there garden issue. I came across some wall coverings I wanted to share with you.

The wallpaper shown is by designer Amy Butler who has teamed up with Graham & Brown to introduce a line of eco-friendly wallpapers. There are six floral patterns in six colors. The wallpaper is manufactures using the Forest Stewardship Council-Certified paper with water based inks. The one shown here is Midnight. You may find the complete collection at

The other picture is an Artistic tile's new Bloom pattern, which is Jardin collection. Moonlight Metallic Blend colorway is shown and it is one of three inspired by Botanical gardens. It comes in four hues of iridescent metallic glaze. It is available through Craftsman Court Ceramics, (480)-970-6611

By using these beautiful products in interior applications, you do not have to wait for March for your flower fix. It will feel like spring all year long.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Mixing Function with Imagination

“Watching someone move up or down a staircase presents important moments that you can choreograph. It's all about the person moving through space and providing them with drama.”

I recieved an email with some of these images and I wanted to see more! There isn't really anything written on this type of stair design, but the pictures talk for themselves!

Recipe for successful stairs
1.Form follows function
2. Comfort
3.A designer
4. Follow local codes
5. Skilled craftsman

 Crazy Stairs from around the World

A stair case disguised as a tree

The new jungle gym!

  Designers have started taking a basic, usually uneventful stair and now make it the center of attention. This building staple has been around since the first multi-story building.

This one makes me dizzy
Would you want one of these in your house?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Specing just got that much more complicated!

I met with a contract furniture vendor this week in regards to picking out furniture for a residence hall I am designing. I never realized how intense it is to work with such a large company such as the university. Did you know that in order to just purchase furniture for say a standard double student room, if it costs more that $5000, the order must go out for bid. What this means is vendors must register through the state and in the University of Arkansas' case the university. At this point, if the vendor is a member of the EIS, then the university can go directly to the vendor and buy from them. To become a member is a long process. I don't understand it so I'm not going to try and explain it.

If they are not a member, which many vendors are not, then the university puts out a bid, which is registered through the state (through the Arkansas Department of Finace and Administration) 

According to the DFA webpage the offical goals are:
"the office of state procurement (OSP) has primary responsibility and oversight for the state wide procurement of commodities, technical and professional services for all state agencies, boards and commissions and colleges and universities. OSP provides training in the procurement law, regulations and policies. Marketing and redistribution, part of the OSP, is responsible for the disposal of state surplus property and equipment. "

The purpose of the bid is to insure that the state and tax payers money is not freverlously wasted on overly priced items. While this in theroy is great, there is a problem with the system. The problem is when a company bids and say wins, and doesn't exactly provide as great a service as they earlier claimed. This means the university buyer must consitinely waste time calling and dealing with them to ensure they deliver what they promised when promised. After the final delevory, if extra parts or service is required, some vendors jump to and make sure everything is satisfactory, while others will hemm and haaa for a while. 

When I first started specing furniture for the university, I talked with vendors, picked out who I wanted to work with based on the service I received and the designs, quality of product... the usual things. I figured I could just contact my buyer and they could buy it and boom! We're done. I was quite taken back when learning about the process earlier mentioned. I still am trying to get my arms around it. If I pick out a couch and a fabric from a company, and put it out to bid, the winning bid may not look at all like what I speced. Grrr!

I am still learning all about this process, so if I mis-explained anything- I apologize.

Sunday, February 20, 2011


 I work for the university and my job requires I live on campus. But a few weeks ago partially due to the number of incoming freshman, I will get to live off campus next year!! I am so excited. So in between looking at houses and apartments, I started talking to my parents about what furniture I need to purchase. In this economy, and with being a student, I just don't have the money to go crazy buying furniture for next year. It will be my last year in school (yay!). So I decided that what ever furniture I find I will refurbish and reupholster... Keep on the look out for photos and tips as I find and personalize my furniture.

I found this website and thought it was worth sharing:
It has tons of green products as well as educational resources and more for the home!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Fine Art Giclee

 “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” – Pablo Picasso

 Giclee art prints is the newest medium in the art world. This technique of reproduction paintings has earned much attention and debate.

What is a Giclee Fine Art Print?

A Giclee fine art print refers to a machine-made reproduction using the latest and most sophisticated ink-jet technology. The name comes from the French word GICLEE (pronounced Zhee-Clay) that means “spray". In this printing method, the media is carried by a spinning roller while infinitely small pixels of rich, vibrant archival inks are sprayed on it at a very high speed. This renders an amazingly smooth and consistent image true to the original painting, a superb quality fine art reproduction.

Here is the Original and the Giclee so you can see the difference.

Original Giclee

Green Dreams by L.AFREMOV 

The Process of Making a Giclee:

Step 1: Calibrate your monitor.
Step 2: Photograph Image
Step 3: Edit photo
Step 4: Select medium wished to print on.
Step 5: Profile your printer, ink, and media.
Step 6: Print a proof.
Step 7: Color Matching
Step 8: Embellishing by hand, if desired (most artists skip this).
Step 9: Apply Top Coat
Step 10: Clean up edges by trimming or deckle; Any other finishing procedures
Step 11: A process called "curating"
Step 12: Pack and Ship to the customer

Top Coat Effects: The Brushstrokes Effect

Main giclee pieces have a brushstroke effect added after printing. This this textured pattern is applied by hand and makes the print more realistic. The pattern is applied to look like the brush strokes from the original thus reflects light very similarly.

This is what a Giclee Workshop looks like:

“Since technology has become an important part of life, it is inevitable that it be employed in the creation of art.”- Ben Laposky

 Additional Comments on Giclee:

-Can enhance color to achieve 
-Lasts up to 15 - 20 years
-Sold by the square inch or square foot
-Can be printed on any medium, Canvas is the most popular
- Printed using Pigmented ink 
-Considered to be museum quality
-There is usually a minimum when buying. Either a price or quantity.
-An excellent tool for artists that don't have the customers to mass produce their work, but wish to make reproductions as needed/on-demand
-Each piece is archived to allow for ease of reordering.

My Thoughts
 I have mixed feelings on this application. While in some respects it's amazing what technology has allowed up to do, but with this new application do we lose that appreciation for art (and the process)? I have painted for years. As an artist I feel almost cheapened on the true appreciation of art from society. But the thrifty college student says this is great. Now we are able to more artwork in peoples hands. So from here I ask my self, what is the true reason we create art. We are trying to express this feeling inside of ourselves. This is a quote that caught my attention, it is from a scene in the TV series Friday Night Lights- 
 Matt: What is the most important tool for an artist to have:
 Sherman (artist):The most important tool an artist can have is selfishness. It means you're going to spend your life trying to express some dark corner of your life…you'll express your love, thoughts on God and everything else. So you gotta push away everyone in the way and be selfish to get it out.

Many photographers print their photos using this application. In that regards I think it's brilliant. It allows their work to be displayed at it's best. 

I think what it really comes down to is that I am going to be an interior designer- and to be able to spec a painting, any painting, enhance the colors/change the colors and in any size is wonderful and allows for endless possibilities.  These prints are also much more rugged then a print in a frame with glass in commercial settings. 

For lesser known local artists this is also a great tool. It allows them to sell more copies of their work thus allowing them more time and money to paint what ever they please. 

Having been to a giclee gallery, I can see that people are buying more art- because its affordable.  This is great! As a whole, Americans have lost the appreciation and application of art. (In all mediums, singing, painting, dancing, etc.) But that people are buying any art during a recession fabulous.  

Personally for me, I want the original. There is something about being able to see the brush/palette knife strokes, see the paint 3 dimensionally piled up that you just can't express any other way. To me that is half the beauty of a painting.

What are your thoughts on giclee?

“The intrinsic value is in the original, not the reproduction, but the emotional value is in both.”-Gary Kerr


Sunday, February 6, 2011

oh candice...

I love love love Candice Olson. Well who doesn't? She has a new show on HGTV. (yes, I said the word.) I only watch 3 shows on the channel. Its the staging one, I'm drawing a blank as to the name(she stages houses for sale), David Broomstad (not really the miami ones-but I love seeing how he applies strong colors...) and Candice. So her new show is to explain how she goes about designing. I found that I don't really like it. Noted I only watch maybe 2 episodes, but overall I felt it lacked a certain charm the first one did. Well thats the only thing I can think of as to why...

Ending note: my father always said you could tell a good designer from a bad one with this one trick.... A good designer will go touch walls, samples, anything really. its the need to understand it, what ever it is on a different level then just how it looks. Oh how true. I started watching for this and I must say... you will see most designers do it.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

...a house to LIVE in

Today as I was flipping channels on my TV, I came across a show on the travel channel about the most extravagant ski houses. I loved it, and if you have any interest in doing residential design I would suggest watching it. It shows what the top of the residential chain looks like. I went under the website to try to get the name of the show... no luck!(I will keep trying to find it and post it when I do.)

There was one house in perticular that really captured my interest. It was a 'retirement' home for a couple. The wife designed every room. The over all style of the house was the a big rustic lodge. What made the house so interesting was the way the owner incorperated all of her art into the house and the design. The artwork consisted of statues, rugs, paintings from around the world and from various cultures. With so many different ethinic symbols in the house, one would think it would feel so overwelming and busy. But not so! She was able to weave each peice in so that it was showcased, but the didn't overpower any other piece or the architecture of the house.

Another interesting fact about the house, is most of the materials are all reused...Ex: The boulders (yes boulders! a crane was used to put them in) for the fireplace, to the beams (reused from the previous house on the property) or the stonework (found around the area). So in essiance the whole house was part of the place it was built. 

In the basement was a movie theatre room. It was constructed to look like a cave (the ceiling sort of resembled a obscure barrel vault). Local stone was used on the ceiling and walls. The room looked amazing! The atmosphere that was created was the perfect for movie viewing. The only question I had was about the acoustics. With that much stone the noise would bounce around.

I think what grabbed me most about the house:
-was the fact that the designer was able to talk about her goal in captureing the views from surrounding mountains
-use of local materials
-show off the owners interests and hobbies
-have room for the whole family (many grandkids!)
-Each room was so well executed for its purpose. And done with style.
-It was absolutely beautiful. I'd move in, in a heart beat.

On a final note: 
When the wife homeowner told her husband she wanted to design a house for them, he said "I already have the house I intend to die in." She said, "Then let me build you a house to LIVE in." ...What an interesting concept.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

and we're off and running...

I have never done a blog before- so bare with me as I get the hang of this. A little about my self... I am an interior design student with a love of all things art. When not looking for the next inspiring picture/design/texture/etc. I enjoy singing and dancing and a

Today one of my friends and I met with a very successful Interior Designer in Dallas. It's rare to find a designer that can articulate well when explaining how they make their mark in this field. She was so passionate! I feel that when you ask someone about something their passionate about you can learn so much by just sitting back and listing. People just begin to open up and you learn more than you ever thought you would.

Next we went to the Dallas Market Center and the World Trade Center for the Annul fair where buyers come out and acquire new pieces for their stores(ie. Pier 1) I've been to several design convention shows but this was overwhelming in a fun way though. I'm not sure what the best part was, getting materials from different vendors to stock my materials library with or getting to see all the displays and learn about new companies. I can't wait to go back when it's not so crowded and I can spend more time in the different shops.