Unique Modern Outdoor Furnishings

S Interior Design  is designing the interior and exterior spaces for a client whose home is nestled against Camelback Mountain in Scottsdale, AZ.  The house is unique and has many Mid-Century modern aesthetic elements.  Their main outdoor space has an amazing infinity edge pool.  Their existing outdoor furniture is resin wicker–a good choice for the severe sun and heat of Arizona. Like all things there are quality levels of resin wicker and theirs is breaking down.  Additionally the layout and types of furniture is not meeting their personal and entertaining needs.

Photo Jan 07, 5 40 42 PM

So what to do?  A higher quality resin wicker ?  Different colored outdoor cushioning?

NO!!  Gloster Outdoor Lounge Cloud and Nomad  is our design solution. The main upholstery will be neutral- Lunar fabric. Pops of bright color will be used on accent pillows and on the Nomad seating

Cloud (2)_0 Cloud (42)_0

Page-New Measures-08 Page-New Measures-09Page-New Measures-11

Under the high top table, an outdoor area rug will be placed to provide color and visually tie the area to the rest of the furnishings.

Outdoor Rug 2Page-New Measures-01

We are very excited to see this outdoor living space become reality.  Our clients who value unique design are thrilled with the design plan!

It will be about 8 weeks from order placement to installation.  In Arizona this actually times very well as our weather will be on the way to bearable temperatures again beginning in late September.

Inspiring Offices – 5 Creative Green Workspaces

Great guest post that speaks to the benefits of Green Design in the work space.  Many of these principles and practices are scalable to the residential environment too.

S Interior Design encourages eco-friendly design elements where ever feasible for their projects residential and commercial.

 

Inspiring Offices – 5 Creative Green Workspaces

Protecting the environment has become a vital issue for many people. As the need for environmentally conscious ways of living increases, businesses are now doing their part to introduce green initiatives into their workspaces.
Listed here are 5 examples of the most interesting and creative green work environments that have been developed by companies in recent years. Each example goes out to prove the various tactics that industry leaders are tackling in order to accomplish, essentially, their most important job: preserving the environment!

green 1
Seattle’s Bullitt Center
Considered the greenest business building in the world, the Bullitt Center in Seattle has over 50,000 square feet of space and uses a small percentage of the energy normally required for commercial buildings.  It has been designed to create its own energy source by using solar panel technology. But because Seattle has relatively little sunshine throughout the year, the Bullitt Center also utilizes the grid when needed.  The building contains showers on each of its floors and has no automobile parking on its premises. It does provide covered parking for bicycles, encouraging occupants to use bikes in place of cars.

Skanska, Väla Gård 120925Foto: Klas Andersson
Skanska’s Green Building
Skanska’s office building is located on a former farm in Sweeden. It’s the nation’s first Deep Green building and has a net-zero energy consumption level. No hazardous materials were used for its construction, and none of the waste produced during the process ended up in landfills.

Similar to the Bullitt Center, Skanska’s green workspace uses a solar power system for its energy. The building uses heat recovery units that help reuse a large percentage of heat that would otherwise be lost in outgoing air. The building cost $5 million and used locally sourced materials in its construction.

The Jones Lang LaSalle building prioritized non-hazardous materials in its construction and recycled approximately 75 percent of the waste produced. The building uses sensors to monitor daylight and occupancy as a means of controlling its energy requirements. This creative green workspace was able to reduce its water use by 40 percent along with an overall energy reduction of 13 percent. But perhaps more significant was the result it had on the building’s occupants.  When looking at the number of sick days of its employees, the company discovered that absenteeism was lowered by over 30 percent. The green technology led to fewer sick days among workers, pushing the notion that going green isn’t just beneficial for the environment, but for the people as well!
Lohre and Associates
Cincinnati saw the green workplace revolution appear in the workspace of Lohre and Associates. It saved considerable costs both in its construction and in its operation. Scraps from carpet and wood were recycled and composted in the building process, while old window blinds were reused. The building features creative green bathroom technology that uses hand-washing adapters that funnel sink water into toilets, which in turn, reduces massive amounts of water usage.

green 3
Energy Systems Design

Energy Systems Design utilized environmentally-friendly energy controls, plumbing and lighting systems within their green workspace. Although limited in their ability to renovate the existing structure, they found creative ways to design a greener workspace.   Throughout the building, recycled materials such as used glass and wood were utilized in a remarkable act of turning junk into something new. Also, rubber cork tiles were used for the building’s flooring, which helped to further the project’s resourcefulness and aesthetic appeal. The result of is a set of high-efficiency units that save energy and reduce costs.
The possibilities are endless…

Plenty of other companies now, too, are joining the green workspace revolution, by initializing smarter design tactics that consist of recycled and eco-friendly materials. To some it may mean resorting to more heavily involved projects such as harvesting solar power and implementing smart water systems to cut down wasteful consumption, but to others, it may be something as simple as installing glass balustrades, such as those offered by Aqua Vista Glass. A solution like this allows for the use of more natural light to indoor spaces and less dependency on timber resources. This saves energy and costs for business owners, while creating a more naturally lit open space that promotes a smarter, eco-friendly standard.

As more people become conscious of the need to reduce waste and energy consumption, eco-friendly workspaces will become the norm. Employees will reap the benefits of a greener work environment, and will have the satisfaction of knowing that they are part of the solution, and not the problem.

Image credit: wikipedia.org and http://www. group.skanska.com/
Mary Ann Keeling is a freelance writer and business consultant who travels frequently. She is interested in all forms of green design, particularly those modern, clever ideas that can help in protecting the environment.

 

Unique Ways to Bathe in Style

There has been a heightened interest in stand-alone bath tubs for master bathroom remodels.  Not surprising given the amazing selection being advertised from contemporary  to traditional styles with everything in between.  If you were to do a master bathroom remodel, which would you want to have in your bathroom?

 

ImageImageImageImage

Image

Laundry Rooms Deserve Design Love TOO!

If you are among the fortunate who have an actual laundry room (not space, a room!), don’t forget to give the space some design attention.  While doing laundry is not among the favorite of the required chores, if you have a space that makes you smile because of the colors, textures and other design elements you have integrated into it, it can certainly be a more pleasant experience.

S Interior Design  just completed accessorizing the laundry room of one of our clients.  It is a beautiful and interesting room that reflects the home owner’s sense of style that flows through-out her gorgeous home.

Image

Image

Oriental Rugs De-Mystified

Below is a guest post about Oriental Rugs. My grandmother, an antiques collector had fabulous Oriental Rugs through out her home. Of course as a young child I had no idea how amazing they really were. The guest post below explains a bit about the Oriental Rug and what to look for when purchasing one.

oriental rugs

Guidelines for Selecting the Best Oriental Rugs from Sales
Oriental rugs are considered to be one of the best rugs as they add beautiful hue to any room. These are generally hand woven rugs and come in rich colour, texture and intricate. The rugs are unique and expensive and no two rugs come in exact similar pattern. These handmade pieces of arts are generally made of wool and silk and a worth buy for your home. Many stores and online shops have huge collection of oriental rugs and offer rugs for sale. To select the best of the rugs, following tips can be useful.

Know the vocabulary
The dealers of oriental rugs generally use their own lingo and jargons for describing their stock. It is easy to communicate with them if you learn some of the vocabulary before. Also negotiation about the price becomes much easier when the seller and buyer speak the same language.
There are certain key words those are used much in this business:
• Field: It describes the background colour of the rug
• Border: This is the particular colour and pattern that surrounds the outer rim of the rug.
• Medallion: This term is used to describe the circular or diamond pattern present on the field of rug.
While selecting a rug for your home, concentrate more on the field colour, as this is important to match the hue of your room.

Select the rug of proper size
Oriental rugs are generally larger in sizes and used for covering the major portions of the floor. There should be two- three feet area left free around the rug. Though there is no hardbound rule for this and you can use your own aesthetic sense for decorating the room, but it is still better to buy a rug of proper size, otherwise it might destroy the beauty of your room. Some small sized oriental rugs are also available that enhance the look of certain corners or accent a piece of furniture.

Feel the material before buying
A good quality oriental rug should have fabric that feels smooth and soft, not brittle and hard. Make sure to avoid the rugs which are soft and too shiny, as there might be a chance that these rugs are treated by chemical materials and have less durability.
Older rugs are more expensive
The rugs which are more than hundred years old are considered antique and those which age between seventy-five to hundred years are semi-antique pieces. Generally the prices of rugs go up with their age. Make sure that there is no damage or faint colour before buying an antique rug, as it might reduce its value. If you are buying antique or semi-antique oriental rugs, ensure their proper care. Buying oriental rug can be a good investment and resale value will gradually go up if properly maintained. The newer ones are easy to replace in comparison and need lesser effort for maintenance.
Get information about the knot-count
Knot count is a term for oriental rugs that is equivalent to the thread count for quality sheets. Knot count means the number of hand-tied knots present in each square inch of the rug. The rug becomes more expensive with increased knot counts.
If you follow simple guidelines to buy oriental rugs, you can select the best one  from the rugs for sale. To redefine the interior decor of your home, oriental rugscan be a good option and investment.
Summary: Many oriental dealers offer rugs for sale. Buying a good oriental rug is not easy, since you need to know certain rules for good selection.
Author’s Bio : Diyana is the owner of a renowned antique shop of London. She has many antique pieces in her store, like furniture, jewelery boxes, lamps and rugs. She buys beautiful pieces of oriental rugs from the dealers of Turkey and puts the rugs for sale. Diyana also writes regularly in different blogs and websites about different antique goods.

Basic Family Room Design

Here is the U.S. we call them Family Rooms or Great Rooms. In other countries they are sometimes called Sitting Rooms. No matter what they are called, it is a space in every home all over the world where families and friends gather on a daily basis. Below is a guest post that speaks to the basic design elements that everyone should consider when designing their Family Room space.

The importance of creating the perfect family room
All family homes need an appropriate sitting room. The room can act as the centre of the household and serve a number of functions. A perfect sitting room should be a space where everyone can get together and spend some time enjoying each other’s company.

Designing the perfect sitting room doesn’t have to be challenging. Individuals simply need to think about their requirements and how to meet them appropriately. The key element is having sufficient seating; there needs to be enough room for all the family to sit comfortably. Individuals who often entertain guests may choose to purchase some extra seating to accommodate them.

The Sofa

The importance of creating the perfect family sitting room Image 1

A comfortable sofa is of course an essential. It’s important to think about using space efficiently when selecting sofas. Purchasing a stylish corner sofa is a great way to add extra seating to a room. These luxurious items are versatile enough to cater for any situation and don’t look oversized when not being used. A corner sofa can comfortably seat the entire family and create a cosy, warm atmosphere.

Pets

Many people think of their pets as family members, so the perfect sitting room should also cater for their needs. Making room for a basket – or saving a dedicated space on the sofa – is an excellent way to do this. Consider using carpet rather than laminate flooring, as slippery surfaces can cause some pets problems when walking.

TV

Once the ideal sofa has been chosen for the room, the next important item to consider is the TV. This can be a difficult decision. Choosing the right size of screen can make or break the room – if it’s too small, family members will go elsewhere to watch their favourite programmes, and if it’s too large, it will overwhelm the room. Children may also want the capability to play video games in the sitting room, so purchasing an appropriate TV cabinet will ensure that they have somewhere to store the console and games when they are not in use.

Finishing touches

A good sitting room is a place to celebrate the family. Using a bright colour scheme that everyone likes is a good idea, and hanging photos of family members on the wall will help to create a sense of togetherness. A coffee table can make a nice centrepiece to a room, but those with young families may want to leave the space open and obstruction free so that children can play without causing any problems. Storage is also worth thinking about. It is sensible to have somewhere to store toys and books, and furniture that is large enough to keep the room tidy will be required. Don’t focus the room too closely towards young children, however. It should also be a comfortable environment for the parents to relax in.

The importance of creating the perfect family sitting room Image2

A well-designed living room will be one of the most popular rooms in the house. For this reason, individuals should prioritize practicality in their design. Making it easy to clean will save hours of time and ensure that any spilt food, drinks and mess can be cleaned up quickly. The perfect sitting room takes some planning, but will benefit every member of the family over time.

Basic Family Room Design

Here is the U.S. we call them Family Rooms or Great Rooms.  In other countries they are sometimes called Sitting Rooms.   No matter what they are called, it is a space in every home all over the world where families and friends gather on a daily basis.  Below is a guest post that speaks to the basic design elements that everyone should consider when designing their Family Room space.

The importance of creating the perfect family room
All family homes need an appropriate sitting room.  The room can act as the centre of the household and serve a number of functions.  A perfect sitting room should be a space where everyone can get together and spend some time enjoying each other’s company.

Designing the perfect sitting room doesn’t have to be challenging.  Individuals simply need to think about their requirements and how to meet them appropriately.  The key element is having sufficient seating; there needs to be enough room for all the family to sit comfortably.  Individuals who often entertain guests may choose to purchase some extra seating to accommodate them.

The Sofa

Image

A comfortable sofa is of course an essential.  It’s important to think about using space efficiently when selecting sofas.  Purchasing a stylish corner sofa is a great way to add extra seating to a room.  These luxurious items are versatile enough to cater for any situation and don’t look oversized when not being used.  A corner sofa can comfortably seat the entire family and create a cosy, warm atmosphere.

Pets

Many people think of their pets as family members, so the perfect sitting room should also cater for their needs.  Making room for a basket – or saving a dedicated space on the sofa – is an excellent way to do this.  Consider using carpet rather than laminate flooring, as slippery surfaces can cause some pets problems when walking.

TV

Once the ideal sofa has been chosen for the room, the next important item to consider is the TV.  This can be a difficult decision.  Choosing the right size of screen can make or break the room – if it’s too small, family members will go elsewhere to watch their favourite programmes, and if it’s too large, it will overwhelm the room.  Children may also want the capability to play video games in the sitting room, so purchasing an appropriate TV cabinet will ensure that they have somewhere to store the console and games when they are not in use.

Finishing touches

A good sitting room is a place to celebrate the family.  Using a bright colour scheme that everyone likes is a good idea, and hanging photos of family members on the wall will help to create a sense of togetherness.  A coffee table can make a nice centrepiece to a room, but those with young families may want to leave the space open and obstruction free so that children can play without causing any problems.  Storage is also worth thinking about.  It is sensible to have somewhere to store toys and books, and furniture that is large enough to keep the room tidy will be required.  Don’t focus the room too closely towards young children, however.  It should also be a comfortable environment for the parents to relax in.

Image

A well-designed living room will be one of the most popular rooms in the house.  For this reason, individuals should prioritize practicality in their design.  Making it easy to clean will save hours of time and ensure that any spilt food, drinks and mess can be cleaned up quickly.  The perfect sitting room takes some planning, but will benefit every member of the family over time.

Candice Olson & Area Rugs

How exciting–2 of my favorite things in the world of design COMBINED!

Candice Olson is one of the ‘celebrity designers’ I truly admire.  She has partnered with Surya rugs and designed a line of rugs for them exclusively.  Attached is a short video of Candice talking about her inspiration for her beautiful new rug designs.

Here is a link to her rug designs

And a  picture of one of my favorites

Image

Design A Room Around This

Does anyone recall the television commercial where a successful looking couple is being led upstairs in an architectural firm while the principle goes on and on about their accolades?  They get to the office to discuss detail he asks them  “And what can I do for you?”  and the wife pulls out a faucet from Moen (?) and says
“Design A House Around This”

As an interior designer I am often faced with a similar challenge–there is often existing  furniture, artwork, flooring that needs to be a focal part of a room design.   I am here to tell you, that challenge is addressable.  A different design challenge is when there is NOTHING to start with, literally a blank slate.  That is when S Interior Design
begins a process to uncover what the individual client’s functional needs and aesthetic desires and style preferences are.   Some clients are eager to dive in and uncover their design preferences, others need a bit of prodding.   We do our best to make it fun, not painful……sometimes there is a reluctant spouse that needs extra convincing.

We have repeatedly said a good design will come from a good design plan.   Interior Design is not random shopping trips to stumble upon the right furnishings.  It must start with a        solid design plan

Here is a design challenge for you–Design a Room Around This (Pillow).  Do you get inspiration from the colors?  The geometry?  The style ?

 

 

Have you Considered Vintage Decor For Your Home?

I admit, Vintage style decor is not generally my favored style.  That said, there are wonderful re-purposed, unique decorating elements to be found in this genre.  Just take a look at what a Google search of images for Vintage Decor shows.  A search on  Pinterest or Etsy  also yield some very interesting results.

Below is a guest post on the subject of you guessed it—-Creating a Vintage Feel for Your House

ImageJust when you thought you had seen the last of the flower power wall-paper and funky brass wall art from eras gone by, vintage-inspired design has become a popular theme again. As the saying goes “old always becomes new again” and this is certainly true when it comes to the world of home interior design. So, it’s time to start digging through your grandmother’s attic to find some kitschy pieces to add to your home this year. Here are some fun ideas for bringing a touch of the vintage feel into your home.

The Reminiscent Living Room
Love to entertain guests ala “Mad Men” style? Head for your nearest thrift stores and flea markets for some serious sixties finds. Start with a redesign of your seating arrangement with a comfortable couch with glamorous wooden legs, paired with two vintage Eames-era chairs. Cover with plenty of class in velvets, rich brocades, and patterned fabrics. Go for hues of gold, green, orange and browns for a vintage touch. Create throw pillows and pinched window drapes in coordinating fabrics and textures. Use impactful artwork on walls, and include at least one large piece of metal art or a mirror painted in your favorite metallic shade. Add a vintage bar set to your coffee table or a console table nearby.

The Vintage Kitchen
If your favorite space in your home happens to be the kitchen, then a vintage-y kitchen should be your starting point as you decorate. Try taking cues from your Great-aunt Betty’s kitchen with plenty of bright colors inspired by the outdoors. Grab a classic Formica top and metal leg table, and vinyl seat chairs from a local garage sale or vintage shop. Pick your favorite rooster canisters for storing coffee and other staples. Add a big metal wall clock in a flower or star shape. Upgrade your kitchen cabinets with wooden painted doors, and add some counter top paint in a bright shade of orange or green. Then get yourself vintage inspired appliances to grace counter tops.

Vintage Inspired Bedrooms
The vintage bedroom is a romantic and soft place for privacy anytime you need to unwind. Make yours stand out with a large upholstered headboard, with matching drapes in glamorous silk brocade. If your walls need it, add a fresh coat of a soft pastel color to them. Think powder pink, light violet or teal. Then add a chenille bedspread and pillows to your bed. Replace dressers and night tables with retro-look pieces that give the look of your parents’ bedroom from the 50s. Add lamps that are old fashioned with paper shades, and an Electrolux alarm clock for the final touch.

Bathrooms with Classic Appeal
Love to spend hours in the tub soaking with a good novel from Sylvia Plath? Then a vintage bathroom should be on your list. The vintage bathroom usually starts with tile”¦lots of it. Add tiles to your bathroom vanity back-splash and around your tub and commode “” any color will do but pink or yellow is a favorite. Replace your old shower with an over sized cast iron bathtub, complete with ceiling hanging shower curtains. Add crisp cotton window curtains and monogrammed towels to complete the look.

Your vintage home can start with little things that you collect over time, or you can go big with a complete home overhaul. Remember, to have fun and add charm and personality to your home with the vintage look.

About the Author: When she’s not goggling over her new vintage-styled remodeled kitchen, Jillian Watkinson is sitting out in her backyard hammock enjoying a short nap or a lemonade.