Thursday, May 27th, 2010
Rather than move to a new home, more and more people are investing in their current homes. The classic conundrum is whether to design with a neutral palette to make sure that when the client is ready to sell it won’t scare off potential buyers, or to design without thought to a future owner and just do what makes you happy.
I’ve always subscribed to the philosophy that it’s YOUR home NOW, so enjoy it while you live in it!
If a future homeowner doesn’t like your style, they can change it. Frankly, often the potential buyers don’t like the overly neutral spaces that are devoid of personality, and they’ll want to change it up when they move in anyway. Certainly it’s possible to go overboard and make a home so custom that it will be a challenge to find a buyer that fits it as well. But there is a lot of ground in between these extremes.
Products that are installed in a home tend to make people especially cautious. But injecting personality doesn’t have to overwhelm a space if there is a good balance established between pattern and solids.
For example, this is a bathroom shower that I worked on with Mercury Mosaics recently that achieves that balance well.
Here is the Before condition. They have since ripped out all the tile and tub (the previous tile installation was bad and the walls are falling apart behind it) and built a new shower in the same location.
We started with elevations in AutoCAD for each wall and surface in the shower to show the client how the tile would work around the existing glass block window.
But let’s be honest. With a shower as complex as this, it’s hard for most people to visualize how all these pieces would look put together.
So we created a special perspective rendering of the shower in SketchUp so we could show the client what the shower would look like from several angles.
Now isn’t that easier to understand?!
We even did a version with the glass walls and shower door so that they could see where the glass would be placed in relation to the tile design on the top of the knee wall.
Now comes the fun part where you see how pattern vs. solids, colors vs. neutrals plays out.
Here are some shots of the tiles laid out and ready for the tile installer to pick up. All the mosaics are mesh mounted for easy installation.
Here is the tile which will run over the top and down the front of the knee wall. The gap in the middle is where the two planes of the wall will meet, so they were about to add edge glazed tiles to the end of the top surface where they would be exposed.
Here are the three sections of Bubbles that will wrap around the main walls of the shower. Don’t you love that bold mix of colors that wind like a river through the riverbed of darker tiles?!
And a detail of the bullnose half Bubbles created for the ends of the walls to correspond to the bullnose edged field tiles that will surround the band.
Here is a shot of two pieces of cove base molding with edge glazing for the bottom front corner of the knee wall. This is the color of the main field tile in the shower. This is the level of detail required on a project like this to make it really work smoothly for everyone involved (especially the installer).
Excited to see the final installation shots? So are we! Once we get photos I’ll be sure to share with you.
Now the final question to mull over is: is this design bold enough in personality to make the homeowner thrilled without being so overdone that it would scare away potential buyers if they ever decide to sell? (But why would they want to sell with a bathroom like this?!)
Friday, May 21st, 2010
As much as I adore design magazines and blogs for inspiring images, sometimes the perfect color palette can hit you over the head when you look at a beautiful photograph or piece of art.
As a self-confessed image junkie, I frequently change up the background image on my computer as an ever changing reflection of my current interests or as a reminder of a wonderful experience I had. Yesterday I was looking for old photos of a close friend, which required digging through my electronic photo archives. I think we should ALL remember to do this periodically because there are gems hidden in such places. I stumbled across this photo taken by Dan Buettner, the owner of the Lake of the Isles showcase home, on one of his research trips. Appropriately, it’s one of the featured photos in his kitchen.
But looking at it blown up on my computer screen, that tomato red against the beautiful color and texture of the woman’s hands blew me away. All the rich earth tones offer such a warm color palette to work from.
So how would I use it? The tomato red works well as a bold but approachable element on a large piece of furniture. Various shades of brown from light golder brown to deep chocolate would be used on everything from floors to furniture. Hints of green from the tomato stem and the black of the dirt under her finger nails would balance out the room in accessories and other accents. Perhaps painting the trim in black as a surprise (usually seen in cooler color palettes against whites and grays).
Here are some other examples in all different types of rooms.
Sometimes the red is on a major piece of furniture.
Other times, the red works as a strong graphic statement through wallpaper.
Or red can be used as an accent against the natural wood tones of a beamed ceiling or a backyard patio. How great is that red umbrella?!
How would you use tomato red in your home? A cozy enveloping dining room with deep red walls? Red accent pillows on a couch for a tiny pop? How bold would you go?
Picture credits: Top composition, clockwise from upper left: Patrick Connor via DesignSponge, unknown (possibly InStyle magazine), unknown (possibly FLOR catalog), Katie Kirk via DesignSponge, Traditional Home magazine 4-09, unknown.
Tuesday, May 11th, 2010
We are now only four days away from the opening of the 2010 ASID Showcase Home Tour opening to the public! This has been such a fun, challenging, rewarding process and I’ve really enjoyed working with all the team members. The staff at Vujovich Builders was a pleasure to work with, as were the staff at Mpls.St.Paul magazine. It’s amazing to see how much work everyone has put into making this house and the condo amazing over the course of five months (plus months of additinal preplanning).
This is what the bedroom looked like before I got my hands on it.
It was the older sister’s room, and she has very different interests than her younger brother.
He likes sports, sports, sports.
So the challenge was how to create a space for a 12 year old boy that likes all different types of sports, that can evolve with him as he gets older, and doesn’t become dated or too young looking.
Solution #1: A sophisticated masculine color palette of grays, deep indigo blue, crisp white, and accents of orange to keep it light and playful.
Solution #2: Incorporate art that references all his favorite sports, without utilizing posters of specific athletes. Large wall stickers, custom framed vintage baseball card art, and a spot for a rotating display of his current favorite athletes achieve this goal.
Aren’t you excited to see it?! I know I can’t wait to hear what everyone thinks of the finished product.
Be sure to get your tickets soon so you can be one of the first to see all this great design 26 interiors designers created in two different homes (available at lots of area retailers as well as on the Mpls.St.Paul magazine’s website).