When Soap Gets in Your Eyes

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Soap IThe shampoo shelf, the glove compartment of the shower is resting place for our various clean up materials.  The ubiquitous island upon which truly after the invention of the modern bathroom is the place where civilization begins.  The dirty truth about it is that as important as the place upon which the soap and shampoo rest, the shampoo shelf is not a design feature.

A properly designed shampoo shelf should be functional enough to hold the daily clean up materials we need as well as blend seamlessly into the ‘designed’ environment.  More specifically, it is an amenity, not a design feature.  It is not a place to store things, it is a place for things to rest that we use on a daily basis.  Recessed, corner or surface mounted the shampoo shelf should enhance the bathing and showering experience holding the possibility of yet another fresh start.

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When The Circus Comes to Town

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Ever think about running away and joining the circus?

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I first saw the image of Cole and Son, Geometric II, Circus on the walls of the cutest little powder room at the 2015 Denver Showcase House.  Inspiring!  Let me try to describe it.  Geometric, colorful (nearly every color in the rainbow), bold, large-scale. circus 5Take note, I said ‘powder room.’  Generally the smallest room in the house.  But wait, I also said bold and large-scale.  How could this be? This is where “a picture is worth a thousand words.”

Nothing left to chance, this powder room is bold, striking and well planned.  The vanity is upholstered with nailhead trim repeating the geometric of the wallpaper, the sconces are ebonized shofar horns topped with white glass globes, there is a swan at the sink. The details are many and well thought out.  The result?  Definitely not a circus!

A striking large-scale wallpaper panel of overlapping multi-coloured harlequin shapes Circus panels can be repeated around a room for an immersive, kaleidoscope of colour or used singularly as a feature.

When doing research for this blog post I came across more than a handful of images where this uniquely designed paper became the background for many a room; used boldly or fleetingly, Circus can bring life where none existed before.  Somewhat like when the circus comes to town.

 

Master Bath

Minimal contemporary grey bathroom with bathtub and sink

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sleeping Quarters

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Office

Stairwell

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Circles of Water

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The only gallery of it’s kind in Laguna Beach. Todd Kenyon specializes in large-scale hyper-realistic ocean-scapes which express the ethos of the ocean and capture the multifaceted spirit of contemporary painting. Kenyon

Todd also works with clients and designers to create a perfect palette for their interior spaces.Ocean Series 3, pictured to the left is available at the Todd Kenyon Studio Gallery in Laguna Beach

North Laguna has become the epicenter of fine art and a destination for interior decorators locally and internationally.

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Sit On This

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“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” – Abraham Lincoln Sit On This 1

And so goes the successful process of selecting just the right sofa.  In a word, what Abe meant was prepare.  Well, more over; prepare, prepare, prepare.  If you visit my blog on any regular basis I am sure you have read here, “No one element is important unto itself”.  It means that as you work through the puzzle and scavenger hunt of putting together a successful room design you must weigh each selection against other possible selections for the room.

Outside of the focal point (view, fireplace, architectural feature ~ you get the picture) the sofa is generally the anchor to the room. sit on this 2 The sofa will provide the place where much of the time will be spent whether watching TV, reading a book, entertaining friends.  Regardless the function, careful consideration should be given to style.

Contemporary, modern, transitional, traditional, this you already know when developing your concept.  The range of style possibilities are endless.  Within that however there are three basic styles of sofa of which to consider:

  • Lawson
  • Tuxedo
  • Chesterfield

The Lawson Sofa

Skirted, on legs, with a plinth base, contemporary or otherwise, the Lawson sofa is typified by an arm that tracks lower than the hard frame back of the sofa.

If you land on a Lawson style sofa, beware the placement.  A sofa placement where it will float in the middle of the room requires a nice transition from the hard frame of the back to the arm.  Lawson_007Sometimes the transition from the back to the arm is not attractive and may have been originally designed to be placed against a wall ~ like the one pictured to the right.  No carefully selected sofa table will ever camouflage that!

 

Tuxedo Sofa

The Tuxedo sofa is typified by an arm that tracks evenly with the hard frame back of the sofa.  Lawson_008This alone makes the Tuxedo style perfect for floating placement.  The back of the Tuxedo sofa is usually quite architectural and thereby attractive

 

Chesterfield Sofa

Typically traditional but often updated the Chesterfield is characterized by rich, deep diamond tufting.  Usually with a rolled arm, again sometimes updated, with or without nail heads, usually on legs but sometimes skirted, there are a myriad of Chesterfield sofas from which to choose.

So, before you start chopping away at your spendable dollars do like Abe and take some time sharpening your axe!

 

 

 

Tray Chic!

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When the over-sized ottoman as cocktail table gained popularity as a staple in the family rooms of the modern home so too became the dilemma of what to do with the stuff requisite to family life.  tray chic 1Outside of objet d’art we needed a place for remotes, magazines, (a cocktail) collections of stuff that backs up our American life.

A comfortable place to prop your feet up it’s no wonder the ottoman became so popular. In regard to the tray, the same equal care should be taken in selecting it as was given to your ottoman; likely a furniture piece with a style of its own which was carefully considered.  Size, shape, color, material, even quantity all play an integral part in your final tray selection.

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Of special import would be scale.  A standard size tray perched upon a large scale ottoman would look like a postage stamp.  Even paired with another item it just doesn’t work.  However two of that size on the very same large scale ottoman would serve the principles of design well. tray chic _003 The selection of two matching trays paired side by side would be a wise decision should you ever choose to use the tray for the purpose it was intended, to serve things.

Regardless of its intended use, the tray is an integral part of any room where an ottoman takes the place of a cocktail table.

Take your shoes off, pour a drink, grab the remote and put your feet up and enjoy! As the French say Tres chic!

And Toto says, “Nope, Clearly Not Kansas”

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The home office.  That’s a mouthful!  For me it is the converted guest room. Requisite with desk, chair, credenza, printer, it is stacked to the gills with samples, client files, notebooks, drawings, papers, supplies and all manner of design materials.

repetition.jpg (3)What goes in NEVER leaves.  This creates quite the conundrum.  I have a serious case of “I might need that someday”.  Should I submit to the purge?  If I do I feel like I will never be able to find that ever again.  Truth be told, of the countless “thats” I have picked up, pondered and set aside yet one more time, I have rarely had need for that again.

So why the image of the dining table to the left?  It has been my work space for the last 8 months or so.  My desk has reached full clutter impact.  Oh wait, understatement, my office has reached full clutter impact.

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This is how I expect my office to look.  Surfaces to work upon, ample storage, stylish.  What I would design for a client.

 

 

 

Damage and Debris after EF-5 Tornado

Toto, I don’t think we are in Kansas anymore. ~ Dorothy Gale

This is how my office sometimes feels.  Even Dorothy Gale would be taken aback by this.  Clearly this is not Kansas.  Nor is it, metaphorically speaking, any type of organization. Its chaos.

I guess the first step is admitting that there is a problem.  OK, yes, there is a problem. Given that this is where I proof this post one last time, tag it and publish.  You’ll know where to find me.  I’ll be in my office.

 

 

 

Salad Bar

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Located just off  Interstate 8 on Arizona State Route 85 you’ll find the Space Age Lodge Motel in Gila Bend, AZ.  Pictures 162As you enter town a quirky sign welcomes visitors to the town boasting a population of 1700 Friendly People and 5 Old Crabs. GilabendsignYou can’t miss the Space Age Lodge Motel.  With its pothole ridden parking lot, patchy lawn and street side swimming pool embraced in a ‘cozy hug’ of a steel picket fence the motel and restaurant beckon to meet your every hospitality need.space age

Certainly such concepts are relevant to the time in which they were created but what separates style that endures from style that does not when the inspiration for both may be exactly the same? One thing is for certain, the salad bar has never gone out of style with these intergalactic travelers.space age 3

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A Little Bit of This; A Little Bit of That

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You may wonder what eclectic style is. Well the inside story is that it’s a mix of everything; a little bit of this a little bit of that. In interior design that means that in the same room could be really old and classy furniture near to super minimalist and futuristic objects. Colors and textures could also be mixed up because eclectic style is all about mixing rather than matching. Of course all elements of interior should looks good with each other.

“Eclectic interiors are usually quite individualized and creative so think about designing your home in this style” – Carla Aston

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