Thursday, June 30, 2011

What Were They Thinking Thursday? - Murals

Murals are a tricky thing in the world of design.  They can be a work of art, something to add interest and draw your eye...but sometimes they can draw your eye in a bad way.  Here are some pictures and tips on when and how to use murals.

When I first think of a mural, I think of a nursery or kid's room.  It's very common for someone to pick out a theme and carry it throughout the room, even the walls.

Kid's rooms can be a space to have fun with decorating, but one wall for a mural is enough, otherwise it becomes a little too overwhelming.

This is a very cool modern nursery.  They chose one wall to do a large graphic, and kept the crib and chair modern and simple.  Also, the light and airy colors help not to overwhelm you.

Another option to a wall mural is wall decals.  There are many websites out there now that sell almost any image you can imagine.  Here they chose to do a tree silhouette as a feature above the crib. 

Another wall decal placed just as an accent in the room, it keeps it simple but sweet.

This is a fabric wall sticker from Love Mae.  How sweet and simple above a little girl's bed!

Now moving on to the big kids...are these wall decals from Fathead not amazing?!  I could see this used from a teenage boys bedroom, to a college dorm room, to a "man cave" or media room in a home.

This cityscape wall decal gives this space a classy modern vibe, I could see this in an very cool and modern hotel room.

This is a very cool mural that adds a bit of graphic art to this room.  The rest of the room is clean and simple lines so it really makes the edgy mural pop.

Murals like this in a corporate space can come across as a bit cheesy and they just feel out of place.  There are other ways to give someone the feeling of being surrounded by nature or remind them of somewhere else through photography, etc.

 This is a wall mural Studio B Designs incorporated into the design at Ireland Carroll & Kelley, P.C. Law Firm here in Tyler.  

 The mural was opposite frosted glass doors that lead to the conference room.

So from the conference room we achieved this blend of colors coming through the frosted glass doors.

This is a great exterior mural that catches someone's eye as they pass by.  It's fun and hip which gives you a feel of how this business will be on the inside.

This mural is on the exterior of a building & is by John Pugh, an amazing artist who can create eye-catching and realistic illusions.

Another amazing illusion.

 And another exterior mural from John Pugh.

 So murals can be fun and a great use in design, just know how and when to use them!


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Pulp: Do clients really know what they want?

I would have to say No, I don't think they know what they want.  There are a few who really do know.  This subject came to light when I was watching my new favorite show on Bravo "Million Dollar Decorators".

It is such a great show and even though they deal with the uber rich and famous, they still have the same problems I have - Clients who don't want to give up control.  That is really what it boils down to.  That clients want a great design but they can't give up control.  They can't seem to free themselves and let the possibilities in.  Of course, that doesn't mean they have to like it, but to allow the designer to show them what is possible is too much for some clients to accept.  The ironic part is they pay us for advice that they don't take.

Many times clients try to speak our designer lingo but often they are confused which leads us to misinterpret their desires.  For instance, I had a client who said he wanted a cool, Austin hip office.  I took that to mean something like this.....

Retro, cool, eclectic and being from Austin, I felt sure I was right.
But what he actually wanted was this.......

Traditional Law Office

Everyone's perceptions and understandings are different so showing the client some concept images can help make sure everyone is on the same page.  After I showed my client some cool Austin images, he decided he wasn't that cool.

It's our job to weed through the ideas and pictures and see the bigger picture, then go so far beyond that to give them a great design.  I love a client who has tons of pictures and has an idea of what they like.  Many times the pictures have a common theme that the client is unaware of.  I had a client, who in every picture they pulled had white walls and dark floors, though the pictures had a specific item the client liked, each picture had the same feel.  

My best advice for clients who hire Interior Designers is to trust them, allow the designers enough time and freedom for them to create a design for you.  Give them the tools they need; answer their questions, give them pictures, show them how you currently live and what your lifestyle is.  Try not to dictate specifics like a particular sofa or layout or whatever.  Those ideas and thoughts can come later after they show you the design.  You could be surprised at what you might like!  

A few quotes to make you think...

People think that design is styling. Design is not style. It’s not about giving shape to the shell and not giving a damn about the guts. Good design is a renaissance attitude that combines technology, cognitive science, human need, and beauty to produce something that the world didn’t know it was missing.
— Paola Antonelli
The dumbest mistake is viewing design as something you do at the end of the process to ‘tidy up’ the mess, as opposed to understanding it’s a ‘day one’ issue and part of everything.
— Tom Peters
It’s really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.
— Steve Jobs

Thursday, June 23, 2011

"What Were They Thinking Thursday!!??" - Un-wanted Uniformity

Living in Tyler, TX provides the problem of resources. When it comes to furniture and home decor, we are very very limited, and the few stores that we do have all look the same. I preface this post with that because I know it is the reason for all the uniformity in decorating. There is a major lack of creativity in Tyler homes, not all of them, but a lot that I see all have the same look. For example, dining rooms. Everyone has the dark wood dining set with red accents, fake floral arrangements and an ornate iron chandelier to light the unimaginative space.

The same goes for master bedroom. I know we don't have a lot of places to shop for bedding here in Tyler but that's what the internet is for! It seems that everybody has a heavy dark wood traditional bed and matching furniture. Traditional bedding with a pair of chairs in the corner and not mention heavy drapery. Let's get creative and mix it up some!

I think one of the reasons we have so much of the same look all around Tyler is because people don't know what their style is, they don't know what they like so they just buy what everyone else has. It can be hard to find out your design style. This is where an interior designer comes in to play. 

You may have a misconception when it comes to an interior designer thinking that they will just take over your space and do whatever they like. This is so wrong, yes we do have good taste and know what looks good but a big part of our job is to try to get your own design style discovered. We show you concept pictures and sketches to try to find out what you are drawn to and what you like. We then design  a fabulous and creative space around the client's personality, taste and function of the room. Stay tuned for Brandy's blog tomorrow about how sometimes, client's just don't know what they like!

Here's a look at some fabulous spaces with very different looks than those pictured above. If you are drawn to any of these pictures don't fret, you can have a space like this! You don't have to stick to the "Tyler look" of things. We are here to think outside the box for you and stretch your imagination and make your dream space a reality. Just like your mama said when you were dating all those losers, "Don't settle!!!". 

The thing that I like so much about all the bedrooms above is that they all feel relaxing the way a bedroom should feel. A peaceful retreat from a busy day! None of the "Tyler look" bedrooms feel that way to me. 

Here is some free advice for you, scour the internet and magazines and see what your eye is drawn too. It may just be one thing in the room like the wall color or the bedding. You don't have to like everything in the room to tear the picture it and save it, just make sure to label what you like about the picture because when it comes time to make a change in your space you might not remember what it was! Put everything in a notebook. You can get those clear page protectors and just put the magazine tear outs in those to stay organized. You can even get crazy and make dividers for each room! Then when it comes time to do some remodeling or re-decorating you will have notebook full of everything you like.

 Give us a call and we can help you discover what your personal style is. Everyone has one, you just might know it yet! And believe me, once you give up that "Tyler look" and what you think your house is supposed to look like, you can surround yourself with things that actually make you feel better and inspire you and that will make living in your house feel more like home.


Monday, June 20, 2011

Vitamin B Boost: Neocon 2011

Chicago weather was beautiful as usual!!  We walked and walked and walked!!!  We stayed at the Palomar Chicago.  

We had a great corner view!

We got in Sunday, June 12th and we hit the streets shopping.  We went to see Jayson Home and Garden and it was even better in person!  

What a great idea, succulents in a basket!

 I loved these great little works of art!

 Stone Source had really cool wood grain tile in vibrant colors.

Loved Benjamin Moore's display of color.  The dresses are made of painted canvas.

The Herman Miller Model Sayl Chair by Yves Béhar (he is so cute!!)

The actual Sayl Chair.

 Mood Chair by Cabot Wrenn 

 Flexx Chairs by Cabot Wrenn

Media Scape by Steelcase 

Cool workstation storage by Turnstone.

This is my vote for the coolest showroom!

Johnsonite has cool new wood grain and stone millwork bases.


Mohawk- Lees, Karatan, Bigelow- Designs based a nature


Shaw Contract 18x36 carpet tile

 Cassie on Haworth Modular Seating

 Haworth Stool

Neocon was busier this year compared to the past few years.  It's a good sign the economy is picking up.  The trend for office design is bench type workstations (low partitions) and workstations that are flexible and movable.  Nucraft has a great new flexible workstation.  Areas for teamwork or meeting areas and incorporating technology within the workstations and conferencing is still very important.  The trend in seating is modular, every manufacturer had their version of modular seating.  Can't wait to use some of these products in our designs! ~ Brandy