Friday, November 18, 2011
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Thursday, September 29, 2011
a) How the surface will physically feel, even before we touch it
b) Our emotional response to a surface and how we might feel and interact within a space
Some universal truths about the way we interpret texture are as follows: smooth surfaces immediately seem cold (even though we’ve all heard of radiant floor heating, right?), and sleek, shiny, reflective surfaces tend to appear in modern or formal settings more often than not. In comparison, rough surfaces seem warm and approachable, and natural materials are favored in traditional or casual settings.
But what about the home-owners who like a little shine, a little sleek, a little gloss? Does that mean they have to forego “warm and inviting” altogether? My lands, no! The fast track to beautiful, balanced design is simply awareness of texture and choosing to layer, layer, layer! Mix it up! Beautiful things can happen with a little juxtaposition.
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Perhaps you love the outdoors, and you want to capture its beauty inside your home through the use of natural stone and hardwood floors. Or maybe you’re a lover of fine art, and every room is an opportunity to emulate the feel of a Rothko or a Monet or a Picasso through the use of color and texture. Maybe you love to travel, and the more you see of different cultures, the more you navigate toward that Scandinavian sofa or that Italian light fixture.
Ultimately, your design selections are an opportunity to reveal something personal about the way you define beauty, and about the people, places and things that inspire you. Without a doubt, the best designs are the ones that begin with a concept and with inspiration. An inspired room is not just a room; an inspired chair is no ordinary chair. They are creative, thoughtful, personal statements about you and about your home.
Tell us what insires you.
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Monday, September 19, 2011
I'm remodeling and have heard lighting is important in a kitchen. How do I make sure it is laid out correctly?
Great question. Often times, people will layout can lights so that they are attractive on the ceiling. It looks nice on a floor plan to have six can lights, equally spaced in two rows of three, but this can create shadowing and keep a kitchen from having the functionality it needs. Instead, I suggest you center lights over a counter top (to prevent shadowing) over the work centers in the kitchen. Your kitchen designer has likely identified areas such as your sink, your prep zone, your baking zone, island eating areas, over your cook top, etc. A can light can be placed at each of these places. Accent lighting, such as pendants or other fixtures bring lighting closer to eye level.
I've got several can lights, do I really need to invest in new decorative fixtures too?
Yes. The secret to good lighting is layering. In a kitchen, light at task level (where your hands are working), eye level, and overhead lighting for maximum effect and function. Incorporate under cabinet lighting and put a lamp on your counter top to provide task level lighting. Plan for pendants, chandeliers, or other decorative fixtures to provide lighting at your eye level. Put these fixtures on dimmers and let them be your primary light sources when entertaining. Finally, utilize task oriented recessed can lights as discussed above.
Is there a rule for hanging a light fixture over a dining table?
Kind of, but I break it fairly often. The technical rule is that the bottom of the fixture should hang 32" from the table surface. That said, if you're particularly tall, this might not work for you. As a rule of thumb, hang it lower than you think you should. Remember, you can't walk into this fixture--there's a table in your way!--and hang it so that it engages your dining space.
Why are you so set on people looking attractive while they're eating?
I met a designer while I was in design school who sought to mimic the look of dining under candlelight even while in an every day, ordinary eat-in kitchen. I loved the idea and copy him relentlessly when it comes to this. So paint your dining ceiling just slightly peach, use up lighting rather than down lighting, and repeat "dimmers" to yourself like a mantra.
What are the most common lighting faux pauxs you see during an inital consult?
1. Fixtures are too small. I see this especially with lamps. I can think of very few reasons to own a lamp less than 24" tall and very few spaces that would call for a lamp of this petite size. Large scale lighting accomplishes something for the space. If the lighting you're considering doesn't make you a little bit nervous, it's not worth it!
2. CFL bulbs. Though I love efficiency, I'm not sure I'm ready for the great bulb switch in 2012. That said, watch the type of CFL's you use. It's your home, not an operating room! Also, I am a huge fan of pink bulbs, which are only available in the incandesent variety. If I haven't combed your local shelves of them, stock up while you still can.
What bright ideas do you have for lighting?
Thursday, September 8, 2011
Did you know that there is a big difference between engineered hardwood floors? First off there is rotary peeled engineered flooring. This type of flooring is peeled off of the log with a long blade, resulting in a very thin ply. These ply’s are then glued together and milled into flooring. Because of this process the top ply is susceptible to face checking. What is face checking? Face checking is cracks in the top ply from a lack of moisture or humidity, since Colorado is a very arid state it's very easy for this to happen, if the humidity in the home is not kept very high. So unless you can keep your humidity level between 35 to 50% I would shy away from a rotary peeled products. The second type of engineered flooring is a sawn face product. This product is milled or sawn instead of peeled. Sawn face products have a thicker top ply which will hold up better in our climate. This type of flooring is manufactured the same way as the peeled product except for the top ply. These products are very versatile, they can be installed below, on or above grade. They are also normally thinner than solid wood products, so if you have you have a height issue these products will be the ones you're looking for. Be sure to ask your flooring expert these questions before deciding on your wood floor. It could be the difference between a floor that will last for years and years or one that will leave you very disappointed.