Tuesday, December 17, 2013

To Bali and back

Earlier this month I took an amazing trip with my wife and another couple to Indonesia. We spent a day in Singapore, and continued on to the island of Bali.  Everything about this island amazed me. The people, the landscape, the history, the crazy driving down to every little detail. I soaked it all in. After weeding 700 photos down to my top 100 picks, here are fifteen or so that give you a glimpse at the next place you should visit. 

My favorite lighting experience is having the sun behind you, with dark clouds in the foreground. I notice this a few times a year at home, but this setting took the cake. The bottom of the photo looks like a calm sunny day, and the upper half looks like impending doom is near. 

Watch your sunglasses or purse...we saw a few get nabbed from this duo.  You will get you glasses back...after they are snapped in half in the tree top. 

Tanah Lot temple at low tide. The only time you can get to it.

Hotel with great views of a working rice field.

Outdoor showers. One thing we need more of here in the U.S

Monkeys mix well with old architecture

These Hindu daily offerings are seen everywhere. I love this color palette. Light and dark greens, light and bright fuschia with a splash of tangerine. 

An amazing little hotel with a balcony to die for. 

Breakfast at the pagoda. Fresh fruit, rice and a tamarind mint beverage. 

Primitive figures. I was able haggle the price down on a few of these unique finds. 

I have been to some amazing places; sailing the Dalmation islands off the coast of Croatia, exploring Cambodia and Thailand, the Amazon jungle and more, but there is something magic about Bali.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

10 design rules to live and die by

I have always had a set of rules that I work off of for any project. Here is a quick read on a few things that are etched into my design bible. I truly feel that any room needs most of these items addressed to be complete. If you work with or are working with me, expect me to stamp these on your forehead.

That being said, rules are meant to be broken in most interiors. Depending on the look, style, and function of a space, there are times when these rules should be broken. Here you go...grab a pen and paper for some notes.

1. Rugs- every solid surface floor in a bedroom or living space needs a rug. It grounds the space, helps with comfort, acoustics, and insulation. A room will feel naked without a rug.

2. Coffee table- When I see a room without a cocktail table, it feels like a caveman lives there. I know your kids are hard on furniture, and I know that you like an open room, but trust me your living room needs it. A coffee table will up the bar in any seating group.

3. Window treatments- Every room needs quality window treatments. If you have shutters that is fine, but I will find every opportunity to mix in other window treatments (fabric shades, drapery, grass or woven shades etc) In my opinion, great window treatments are the one thing that will make the greatest and quickest difference in a space.

4. Lamps- table lamps and more table lamps. So you already have overhead lighting? Great, add some table lamps. They give lighting from a different direction and fill that empty space between the top of your seating and the ceiling. It is amazing the difference in ambiance when you have more than down-lights.

5. Mix of finishes- Most of my clients have a hard time with this one. If your cabinet hardware is brushed stainless, there is no reason you cannot mix in a different finish faucet or light fixture. This goes for any room. A brass chandelier can look amazing in a room with black doorknobs. Brass, chrome, brushed, antiqued, bronze etc...mix 'em up.

6. Millwork- Baseboard, crown moulding, casing etc. This does not apply to every home, but do not miss the opportunity to make your home look permanent and intentional with properly designed millwork.

7. Artwork hanging- don't hang your artwork too high. Look through a magazine or book of any great designer. The artwork is low and typically at eye level. Usually 8"-12" is a great height for the base of artwork to sit above a mantle, console table etc.

8. Wall Color- don't go overboard. There is a very fine line between too much and not enough color. In most cases my rule of thumb is this: From one vantage point, avoid seeing more than two colors. This is usually relatively easy to accomplish.

9. Cheap decor- Don't buy all of your decor from West Elm, Z Gallerie and Home Goods. Sure they have some good looking inexpensive pieces, but always find unique items that mean something to you. I would rather see a single well made, antique, or tasteful item on a bookcase shelf than a grouping from a Z Gallerie display.

10. Pillows- Don't go cheap on pillows, they really do make a room. A cheap $29.99 pillow will look exactly like that...a cheap $29.99 pillow. What does it take to get a good pillow? Good fabric and a good fill. Don't buy pillows in cheap polyester fabric. They will last at most a year or two. Always use a down/feather fill...always. They will cost an extra $10-$20, but are well worth it.

Stick to these rules and you are well on your way to an amazing room!

Monday, November 11, 2013

I love sketching

AutoCAD, computer renderings, and sites like Pinterest and Houzz have reduced the need for hand sketches. Although the above tools are great to use when illustrating a concept, sometime a good ole' fashioned hand sketch is the best way to convey a design.

By no means am I the modern master of hand sketches, but I love doing them. I used to the be world's worst sketcher, but after working on a few hundred drawings, they get the job done. Here are a few from various projects.

A new staircase conceptual design, with just enough notes for the builder to build it correctly.

A custom bookcase and fireplace concept for the client to approve. 

A proposed living room scheme for a client presentation

Some updated landscaping and exterior design concepts.

How to choose the right paint color

Here is a quick video we shot with Ace Hardware on selecting the right paint color.


Friday, January 25, 2013

Merry Paint Makeover

I recently worked with Ace Hardware and their "Merry Paint Makeover" contest. Applicants nationwide sent in photos of a room that could use some help, and the winner was chosen in Idaho Falls, ID. We had a tight schedule and a lot of work cut out for us. I came up with a design for the room, started ordering furniture, and jumped on a plane to oversee the construction before the reveal. After a long few days and plenty of shopping, here is what happened!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Friday, November 9, 2012

Labor of Love

Interior design is a labor of love. Not interior design specifically, but I love creating anything tangible and visual, finding it a home and then moving on to the next project. Artwork is another perfect avenue for this.

I have been working with another artist on our "Be Happy Tree" art project. After a desert retreat and pounds of paint we have completed our first series of paintings. 

We are starting off with 15 originals, and will be offering limited edition prints on the website next month.

 This is a collaborative project. The happy tree concept was developed my Marc Hemeon. He focuses on the illustrative work, and I assist with the backgrounds and canvas prep.

 The work has a commentary and statement behind it. View the "story" link on the website to read more