Design Cues from Nature

Today is Earth Day.  I thought it relevant to talk about how nature can provide fabulous direction for Interior Design. 

earth dayEarly this morning I dug up some beets from my raised garden bed.  I took the time to really look at the marvel that had been produced from a tiny seed.  The color of the beets are very on trend right now.
They are the color of Marsala–Pantone’s 2015 Color of the Year.

marsala color of the yearBeets

And nature shows us what other colors work beautifully with Marsala–a rich organic green is the perfect complimentary color.  After all, red and green are compliments on the color wheel and the two tones of those colors are the same saturation level.

Beyond the color of the beets, their stems, and leaves, I also took the time to examine the contours and shapes of the beet and it’s stems and leaves.

I have often said the easiest way to check it color combinations will work well together is to look to nature.  Flowers, trees, shrubs all seem to magically grow and bloom in just the right colors.

flowers 2 flowers 3flowering tree

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Fabric Stories

S Interior Design loves to create what we call ‘fabric stories’ for rooms we are designing.

Referencing our prior post on Design Inspiration Boards for two guest rooms we are re-designing, here are some of the wonderful fabric stories we are working with.

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Transformative Power of Art

 Trans-formative Value of Art

Below is a guest post about what I will call ‘the power of art’.

S Interior Design uses a generous definition for the word art.  We believe that art should make you smile   when you look at it. So, that said a nicely framed picture of a vineyard you visited could indeed be great art, as could a child’s drawing.  The key is in the presentation—don’t expect a poster thumb tacked to the wall to be pleasing to the eye.  Invest in the proper mat board and framing and you will be amazed at what can happen to your child’s painting from 5th grade.

Guest Post

Although I’ve always been a big fan of interior design it has only been recently that I’ve truly begun to have a full appreciation for the trans-formative values of art. I must confess, I always thought ill of those overly proud of their new painting, sculpture, or art. I was an avid fan of contemporary styles, with a minimalist approach. I was of the opinion that the sleek look, along with sparse furnishing and sharp lines, gave a real clean, organized, powerful aura.

Recently however, I’ve come to appreciate an appropriately placed piece of art. It can add true depth to a room, granting reflection and meaning where previously there was blank space. Whether you feel the way I once did, or share my current views, here is why I now consider art to be a trans-formative agent in a room.

The greatest way in which a piece of wall art transforms living space is adding a depth of reflection. Artwork inspires reflection for various reasons. Mainly for these three:

The art was made by a human being, and you can’t help but reflect on the thoughts of the human behind the art.

This is one of the most powerful ways art makes one reflect. Art, whether through beauty, abstractness, or sheer uniqueness, makes one wonder. To consider that a human made this piece of wonder causes a further wonder that someone was not only able to, but had deeper motives. Humans, being naturally curious, can’t help but reflect and consider what might have been the motivation and thoughts behind the creation.

The wondrous qualities of the artwork itself.

This is often the initial way that artwork causes us to reflect and wonder. It draws the eye, pulls us in, and suddenly, before we know it, we’re standing and reflecting and staring. Thinking about the amazing, unbelievable qualities of beauty, strength, power, subtlety, or whatever aspect the painting best personifies.

The depths of your own imagination.

A surprisingly large portion of artwork plays off the imagination of the viewer. Almost all abstract art relies on the viewer to draw their own, deep conclusions based upon what can actually be surprisingly simple. This leads the perceiver to wonder and reflect at the depths of their own imagination, and reflect upon not only what lies in the depths of imagination but also what in the artwork causes such a visceral reaction of thought.

To help capture the attention needed for reflection, and further add to the trans-formative value of artwork, one should attempt to subtly orient furniture toward artwork. Many people will throw a painting on a wall and be happy. Or, if someone is over proud of their new painting, they’ll frame it, hang it up, throw a light feature on it, and attempt to force everyone to stare at it. This can, in ways, be worse than hanging art without accentuating it.

Artwork should be subtly brought to attention. To do this, try placing it somewhere where people usually face. For example, place it somewhere it can immediately be seen upon entering the home. Or, if in a bedroom, have it facing the bed. Somewhere where the eye will naturally happen across the artwork.

I still firmly believe in a minimalist approach to interior design. However, I believe with the right piece of art a room gains much-needed depth. Try including a medium-sized piece of art alone in a clean, uncluttered room. Enjoy the reflection, beauty, and depth added. Everyone must follow their own heart’s guidelines when making their own living space, but I hope you have appreciated my own thoughts on the trans-formative properties of art.

Author Bio: Edward Stuart is an interior design aficionado, and follows all things design and fashion. He is an online publisher for the framed art expert www.framedart.com and blogs on the topics of interior design, home decor, and fashion tips.


S Interior Design “Pawprint Design Services (TM)”

Today S Interior Design had a great opportunity to be the special guest on the weekly blog radio show-FURvently Speaking

Great discussion about how we can have a fabulous looking, feeling and ‘smelling’ home even when we have one or more furry family members.

Take a listen and hopefully it will give you some things to think about when ‘designing with pets in mind’

FURvently Speaking

 

THANK YOU TO THE RADIO HOSTESS EILEEN PROCTOR!!

 

 

More Easy Ways To Update Your Bathrooms

There must be a voice somewhere whispering “refresh and update your bathrooms” as this is the second guest post in a week I am sharing on this topic.  don’t worry, it is not a repeat of the prior post, so take a read and perhaps get inspired to do some bathroom updating yourself this weekend!

Bathroom Updates

Megan Gates is an active blogger who provides written work to the blogosphere pertaining to Suffolk Rentals, NY Rentals, home improvement and the latest architecture, design and fashion.  Follow her on twitter @MEGatesDesign.

If you’re looking for an easy home makeover project to do this weekend, look no farther than your bathroom. With these easy tips, your bathroom will be looking fresh and chic in no time.

Bring in some bold or neutral splashes of color (depending on the wall colors) in a simple way by buying a new shower curtain and new towels. Your towels do not have to always be out of sight and can be folded over a bar, washcloths can be folded on the vanity, or you can have an extra towel or two on the back of the toilet. Don’t forget your bathmats and window curtains if you have them.  Toothbrush holders, soap dispensers or dishes, and bathroom cups will also add a nice accent of color if you match them with the towels and bathmats.

S Interior Design would say that your accessories don’t need to strictly match, but rather coordinate well with one another. 

Make your vanity look modern with some new hardware. By changing the handles and knobs, you can modify the look of your cupboards and drawers in minutes. Add a new, modern mirror and update the sink faucet. Change your old lighting fixture to a stylish modification. If you do not want to change the sink or faucet, bringing in a large mirror that covers most of the wall over the sink, and adding bright new light bulbs is a quick and easy update.  How many times have you gone into a bathroom and found the lighting is just awful for sprucing up and getting ready for the day.  Lighting makes a huge different when it comes to a bathroom. ]

We could not agree more with the lighting commentary!!

If you want to change up the entire color of your bathroom, bringing a new color to your walls is a simple afternoon project that can result in a major room transformation for little money. Your bathroom is a small room in comparison to the rest of your house so deciding to paint it is not as much of a time and money commitment as it may be in another room. Since the room is small, experiment with a bold color. If you don’t like it, it’s easy enough to change it to something else. If you decide to change the color of your bathroom, choose a neutral color for all of the accessories mentioned above.  If you decide on a neutral warm tone, spice it up and definitely add those bold accents.  Remember though, that since it is a small room, staying away from dark colors is a good idea to keep your bathroom feeling open and fresh.

S Interior Design  varies from this opinion on staying away from dark colors…..we say go bold, go dark if that is what your design scheme needs.  Small will not feel any smaller.

 

With these simple steps, you’ll be surprised at the dramatic changes your bathroom can go through in a weekend. Share any other smart and chic ways to update a bathroom here!

5 Forward-Thinking Contemporary Furniture Designs

Homeowners seeking modern interior designs for their living areas are constantly searching for a way to make their space look unique and cutting edge. This has pushed furniture designers to come up with ever more creative ways of reinventing existing pieces, ranging from anything between foot stools and electric radiators

In terms of storage, it doesn’t get much better than this Stack 8 Drawer Veneer from New York based company Matter. Designed by Shay Alkay this really is a striking piece of furniture. The draws sit in a tower arrangement but can be pulled either way, which gives an incredibly interesting form to the set and really catches the eye. (source: mattermatters.com)

Next up is this amazing Drift Bench designed by Amanda Levete, again for Matter. This piece was inspired by a piece of driftwood apparently, which must have been an incredible find, as the bench is stunning and has an equally stunning price tag. However, with its smooth lines and gloss finish it would create a beautiful focal point in any room. (source: mattermatters.com)

Staying with seating for a moment, designed by Singapore based Ministry of Design and built by Italian furniture company Saporiti Italia, the Woofer Chair, is quite something to behold. Inspired by a simple speaker, the chair allows user to feel the music around them as well as just listen to it and creates a “fully immersive soundscape”. The body of the chair is made of fibreglass with a soft canvas covering. Although it looks great in a minimal rectangular shape, the main body of the chair around the seat is designed to be reformed in order to create any number of aesthetics. (source: zillamag.com)\

Designed to examine the basic connection between human and fire, Moscow MA graduate Alexandra Mazur-Knyazeva created the Essence of Flame. This is a series of bio inserts that can be fitted to transform a normal dull looking fireplace into something that really excites the imagination and actively shapes how the fire acts, as opposed to merely framing it. (source: essenceofflame.co.uk)

Last up is the BotoxLamp. Now, this is not strictly a piece of furniture so much as an installation. However, it is a brilliant piece of design and creativity, as it is a light feature that can interact with the users in its close proximity. Bent, plasma cut aluminium geometrically houses a set of LEDs, which are attached to a sensor designed to pick up the movements of users around the fitting and alter the lighting pattern accordingly. See it in action here http://vimeo.com/27123472.

A Design Intern’s Experience

I asked my design intern to write a blog post about her experience thus far… no, I did not bribe her to write these positive words!

My experience as an intern with Suzanne Lasky of S Interior Design has been an exciting and rewarding one. To see firsthand what happens in the design world and to work with someone with exceptional design skills such as Suzanne’s is a generous gift.

In my search for an internship it became apparent that an internship with some meant straightening the showroom and weeding out discontinued products. It was called an internship, but I would not be meeting actual clients or seeing how design work was done.

Not the case with Suzanne. From day one, nothing was off limits. She shared with me everything from the business side to the design side and everything in between including her clients, a true sign of Suzanne’s confidence in her work and her client’s loyalty. She welcomed questions, encouraged involvement, and shared tips, vendors and trade secrets, all with her endearing down-to-earth style. She gave me her time, wisdom, guidance and patience. Wow, Someone in the same field who actually wants to see you succeed and help you get there! It’s called giving in a big way.

It has been a great experience to see what goes into running an interior design business. The hours planning, programming, researching, interviewing, designing, phoning, scheduling, troubleshooting and running, running, running, not to mention the time and attention given to the tiniest detail, is worth the end result – the thrill and joy seen time and again expressed by the client!

What a great hands-on learning experience! I am so appreciative to be working with a talented designer and so lucky to have met a friend along the way. Thank you, Suzanne.

Jeanine Lyles