Friday, February 25, 2011

Big Small Rooms

I was recently reading a journal article about what are the best colors to use in a small room that will give the illusion of the room being larger. The answers were actually very diverse. Some said that lighter colors opened up the room to give it an airy feel. Others said deeper colors would remove the visual of boundaries. I thought it would be interesting to look up the colors that designers suggested. So if you are dealing with a small space, try using one of these colors. I think that stark white and solid black would be too extreme and defeat the purpose. These are collors listed in the House Beautiful article (Pittel, C. (2008). Color for small rooms. House Beautiful, 150(4), 26. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.):

Benjamin Moore
Super White 02

Benjamin Moore
Witching Hour 2120-30

Nomadic Taupe DE6192

Fine Paints of Europe
Delft Blue 4003

Farrow & Ball
Claydon Blue 87

Forrow & Ball
Brinjal 222

Christopher Peacock Paint
Mercury CPP1 18

Benjamin Moore
Horizon 0C-53

Benjamin Moore
Alexandria Beige HC-77

Porter Paints
Fresh Curry 6254-2

Benjamin Moore
Shades of Spring 537

Benjamin Moore
Appalachian Brown 2115-10


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Brand & Price Tags

Now that we have done a few commercial projects, we have been introduced to the idea of branding the design environment. I was recently on a shopping trip to buy a pair of Tom's shoes. Since Tom's shoes are only sold in a limited number of stores, my quest took me to Mason's.

It is a high end clothing, shoe, and accessories store located in the Northwest Arkansas Mall and on Joyce Street. The Mason's on Joyce Street definitely had a brand appearance to it. As a college student trying to pay my bills, I felt very out of my element in such a high end store. I started to analyze that the sophistication of the store was not just because of the high price on the tags, but also because of the interior design.

High ceilings give the space a lofty feeling. There are also very large chandeliers with down-lights that made the crystals sparkle like diamonds. The area set aside for the dressings rooms had sweeping curves and upholstered walls. The sconces on the wall were glass shells over a mirror faux fireplace.

Everything about Mason's says luxury. The visual appearance of the store aids in giving the products greater perceived value. A person who desires luxury would definitely feel that they were getting a luxurious and sophisticated product. The experience further emphasized the importance of giving our commercial clients a brand appearance that fits their products and needs.

Sunday, February 13, 2011


The last two weeks have been marked with record snowfall in the area. School was canceled, and there was more snow outside than I had ever seen in my life. We decided to let the children inside us out and build an Igloo. Of course, we built it for fun as southerns that already had a home. Our method was to pile the snow into a large mound, pack it down, and then carve out the inside. The entrance was on a downhill slope. So, to enter we would lay on a sled and slide all the way in. The inside was comfortable enough for three people to sit up in. It was also surprisingly less cold inside our southern style igloo than it was outside.

It got me thinking about how igloos are often the primary homes of individuals in colder climates. I can begin to understand how proper construction of the igloo along with furnishings can make an igloo comfortable enough to live in.

As the snow melts and the temperatures rise, our little temporary igloo is shrinking. In colder climates, I imagine that the low temperatures keep igloo homes from melting.

For your viewing pleasure, I am including more sophisticated igloo designs. After all igloos are a form of residential design.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Wedding and Event Design

An unexpected career path has found its way into my head lately: wedding and event design. The joy and excited that surrounds weddings and other special occasions would be a wonderful thing to be a part of on a regular basis. The design process that we undergo for other interiors would be similar, if not the same, as that of a special event space.

Research: to start, the designer would need to sit down with the client and find out all of their expectations, desires, wants and needs. The designer could get an idea of the style of wedding or event that the client desires and then look up some precedent studies of that kind of style. In this stage, the main goal is to get inspired in the right direction.

Concept Development & Ideation: many soon to be married couples and hosts of events have a theme or some kind of style on what they want. This theme can be the co ncept for all the design that follows. The development of the concept will begin to give shape t o more specific ideas for the design solution. The designer could then show the multiple ideas to t he c lient and get feedback for which one the client would like best.

Space Planning: This is my favorite step in the design process, so I know I would love it in wedding and event design. The two main spaces for a wedding would be one for the ceremony and one for the reception. The image above is a furniture floor plan for a wedding reception space from /reception.html.
As I was looking around I found that sometimes event designers use the same software we use. The images below show an AutoCAD creation juxtaposed with the end result (see for more).

There are many design steps in between space planning and final decoration decisions (FF & E or furniture, fixtures, and equipment in interior design). The final design is completed and specifications are made for installation and set up.

All around I am intrigued by the thought of carrying a design out to the end for a wedding or event. It would take attention to detail, meeting and exceeding the clients needs and desires, and creating a space that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing. This career path could be very exciting and rewarding, so I will keep it as a definite option.