Friday, February 25, 2011

Decorating For China

I recently got a long distance client, and in long distance I mean Bejing, China of all places.

I had only one request from the client actually and that was they wanted a reward/picture wall, which I call a "Hero Wall".

I thought the bones of the lobby were nice already, just a little cold.  So I thought incorporating the 5 traditional Chinese elements could be a nice way to create something warm and inviting for this space....Water; Wood; Fire; Earth; Metal.

So here are the pictures of the space before and my drawings of what I have proposed...

And here is the other end of the lobby...

I wouldn't mind waiting in this lobby now would you? 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

#1 or #2?

I love those toilets that now have dual buttons...1 for a pee and 2 for anything else if you get my drift.

Whenever we are replacing toilets for clients I always recommend these and 95% of the time after my clients are educated on them, end up owning on AND usually come back for more.

But now I just discovered something that prevents you from tossing out your old toilets (3.5gpf and 1.6 gpf toilets), you can now convert them with the HydroRight by MJSI for less than $20 at big box retailers such as Home Depot.

It takes less than 10 minutes to install and requires no tools, sounds so easy I could even do it, probably not in 10 minutes but more like 20 minutes but even that is good. ;)

This has been the only dual flush converter to receive an IAPMO Green UPC certification.

They are really are things we can do to save water and this just seems like a no brainer...Are you ready for the switch, share your thoughts here, would love to hear them as always.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Take Cover

First a personal note.....
If you have posted any comments on my recent postings in the last week or two they never got to me....I had a glitch that has been repaired so they are now in blogger heaven I suppose.  If you would like to comment on any of these, please click on these links....
Very cool and innovative lightswitches...Make the Switch
An intimate view of the Biltmore Estate rooftop....Up On The Roof
New film covers for privacy....Film Star

And I want to thank you all for your comments, I always love reading them. :)  And now onto today's posting.....

I am not a contractor nor a landscaper for that matter and most of my projects stay inside because I am after all an Interior Designer.  But I got a call from a client, referral from another client, who wanted me to look over their plans for their back patio and give them some ideas.....Here is what I got....
I immediately thought they were making a big mistake with the architecture of the house to add what looked like a lean to, to their really nice home.  So I carefully told them and they liked what I had to say, whew! :)

At the first meeting I took this "before" picture...

I am sure at one time it was really nice back here, but the elements had destroyed the deck and them wanting something more substantial than an umbrella to get away from sun wasn't going to do it.  They already had a gorgeous backyard and now they wanted to enjoy it.  Can you blame them?

Here is what we came up with...I think it turned out absolutely beautiful and a definitely a nice place to hang out whether it is sunny or rainy don't you think?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Make The Switch

Here is something we all have, and other than some slight variation, they all look about the same.....It's the light switch.

What England has known about for 20 years thanks to Forbes & Lomax, is now in America....Virtually invisible light switches or at least a more aesthetically pleasing light switch. ;)

It's basically a simple/transparent acrylic plate which allows paint or wallpaper to show through with a stylish metal toggle to actually turn the light on and off.

Here is the fun part of their site. In here you can play with different backgrounds and choosing between the toggle switches and push buttons and all the finishes they come in as well.

I am sure your burning question after all of this, is the same one I had...Where is the dimmer?

Let's face it the BEST way to add ambience to any room is adding a dimmer to all lights.  Well they have that too.  I love the Antique Bronze and Nickel so had to show those.  Oh and of course you can still get the acrylic too.  I think these faceplates are sooo sexy don't you?

And lastly it wouldn't be complete without invisible plates for electric outlets.  Look at all their choices here for that.

On remodels you are probably thinking, "well even if I wanted these, what am I supposed to do with the big hole in my existing wall?".  They got that covered too....

For a designer, I love all of the customization I can get with these and I am very much looking forward to adding them to my next job.

Now my question to you...Would you consider these for your own home?  If so, do you have a favorite combo?  It's a toss up for me....

Friday, February 11, 2011

Up On The Roof Top

A couple of months ago we went to the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina.  It truly was an awe inspiring mansion to say the least.

Because of my love for architecture, we took the rooftop tour to see up close the details that were put into the rooftop alone.  They were amazing!

Fun fact:  This particular rooftop was surrounded by copper...Other than it being gorgeous do you know why?  When it rains the slow release of copper prevents the growth of moss, lichens and algae so in essence it keeps the roof clean.

Oh and yes that "brassy" shine you see in this photo is gilded gold, it's still there after 115 years of standing...

I always assumed the little faces you see on buildings were called gargoyles, but they are actually called grotesques....

Gargoyles are a carved stone grotesque with a spout designed to convey water from a roof and away from the side of a building so as to keep the water from running down the walls which over time would cause erosion.  In this particular picture you see both, a grotesque guarding over the gargoyle, pretty cool huh?

Here's another fun fact....The architect of the Biltmore had the foresight to get enough tiles for the roof to repair or replace the entire roof at least one more time and do you know that over 100 years has gone by and the roof hasn't needed to be replaced yet?  Who knew? ;)  They are actually still stored under the mansion.  They don't make many roofs like that anymore do they?

The views up here didn't suck but that coollllldddd wind sort of did, the day we were up there it was 11 degrees and I had no jacket.  I get the chills just thinking about it.

Have any of you been to the Biltmore Estate?

Please share your thoughts when you first turned that corner on the road and entered through the gates and saw this....

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Film Star

Not this kind of film star....

But this kind....

This is the coolest, NEW, innovative window film by 3-Form that I have seen in a while. It's called the Gecko by Creation Baumann. It's actually fabric and available in lots of patterns and colors too.  It can be cut to custom shape as long as you have a great pair of scissors and have an idea of what you want.

They are designed to be movable and you can reposition them if you need to....In other words, they easily peel off and can be restuck, so no gooey mess.

I think on a home with a more contemporary feel, think loft, how cool would these be for privacy but still get the light in...

Ohhh I just had another idea...How about these cut in some privacy shape for your glass shower door....

Don't be afraid by their commercial feel on their website....They sell to anyone and because it is made for commercial usage as well it just means to me that they are better made. :)

Friday, February 4, 2011

This Isn't Your Grandmother's Rocking Chair

As you all may know, I am really picky about promoting contests and/or raffles.  But I wanted to help out the good people at Contemporary Art Center of Virginia, so I thought I would do a blog posting for them.

For all of you savvy design enthusiasts, here is your chance to win a piece of classic mid century furniture....

5 iconic Eames rockers have been re-imagined by 5 contemporary artists and are being raffled ($5.00 per ticket) for a good cause.....All proceeds benefit exhibitions and educational programs of the Contemporary Art Center of Virginia.

Now through February 25th, please visit Art Rocks and consider buying a raffle ticket to not only help them out, but to possibly win one of these as cool chairs as well.

I think it would be awesome if one of my readers won one.  If so, you'll definitely have to share the good news with me. :)

Soo of these 5 rockers do you have a favorite?  It's a toss up for me between the turquoise one by Ragan McManus and the purple one by the Levesque's...I love rich colors can you tell?