Thursday, December 16, 2010

Magazines that Inspire

This week I am going to share three magazines that inspire me.  These magazines help me come up with new ideas and also unique ways of using everyday items in new ways.  A couple of them are more for the do-it-yourselfer (which I am), and the other one is a leading design magazine.  They all have good qualities and show interesting new things on the market.  A new weekend project is never further away than the next month's issue.
The first magazine is one my mom introduced me to.  I love this magazine.  It is called My Home My Style.  This magazine is filled with do-it-yourself projects and decorating ideas.  They usually have a fun way of using everyday items to store things.  They also have money saving ideas for home decor.
One that my husband has a subscription to is called Family Handyman.  This magazine is wonderful for a new weekend project for the do-it-yourselfer in all of us.  Every issue has a project that can be completed in a weekend.  I have seen unique storage ideas to traditional bookcases and everything in between.  Complete directions accompany each project so the project moves along smoothly.  This magazine has been a big help in our home.  They even offer money saving ideas for water and electricity.
Dwell magazine is one I found doing research for this blog.  I haven't had much experience with it yet.  It looks like it is packed with new ideas and even has an events calendar which is really cool.  It has new products and pictures to inspire you to create.  People is another section in the magazine which keeps you informed of the designers that are keeping the industry interesting.
Thanks for following my blogs throughout the quarter.  Hope you enjoyed sharing my inspiration.  I hope some of these things sparked some inspiration in you too.  I have come up with so many new ideas.  Don't be afraid to create, you may come up with the next "new thing." 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Furniture that Inspires

This week I had to find furniture that inspires me.  I found two pieces that I thought I'd share with you.  The first piece is a bookshelf, but get's made out of cardboard!  The bookshelf is also a unique shape and could add some pizazz to any room.  Since it is cardboard it is recyclable and it's cheap!  I love the shape of this bookshelf.  Much more interesting than the traditional bookshelf.
The other piece I found is not in production yet, but I thought it would be really cool to have.  It is a chair that has all of our "can't live without" media in the chair!  It has a TV, computer, and spots for all of our gadgets to tuck away in a really modern design.  What person wouldn't like to have this as "their chair?"  I love the shape of this chair and the multi-functionality of it. 

Next week...Magazines that Inspire...

Project Spotlight

I found this project on a blog on the internet.  This staircase was all wood before the start of the project.  The person decided the stairs needed some sprucing up.  Normally, when people carpet stairs they do all of the stairs, rise and run.  This person decided they only wanted to do the rise part of the stairs in carpet.  The result is genius in my opinion.  It adds a lot of interest to the space without being overly done.  The pattern is interesting and makes for a beautiful space without taking away from room.  This idea definitely added to the room and made it personal. 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Inspirational Design

This week I need to share a design for a space that inspires me.  I decided to use Tillman's Roadhouse in Fort Worth as my inspiration.  Our class had the pleasure of going there on a field trip and it was absolutely fabulous.  I have always loved designs on the rustic side, but prefer a modern touch to it.  I have not seen this combination before.  Tillman's combines these two styles perfectly.  There is an outdoor seating area and also an inside seating area for dining and a bar.  The entrance to the restaurant is also part of the design.  The cut log wall that guides you into the restaurant is the divider wall that cuts off the outside seating area from the entrance.  The door handles are shotguns.  Very rustic.
The cut log design continues inside on the bar and also above the bar.  The stools for the bar have a more modern touch.  While the couch near the bar adds an eclectic touch and a pop of color, with peacock blue. 
The chandeliers add elegance while the pine on the walls keeps the rustic feel alive.
 This restaurant has rustic charm, with a touch of elegance.  It is very much my style and my inspiration for this week.  Next week...Furniture That Inspires.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Coffee House Research

This week I had to do a site visit to a Coffee House to do some research for a project I am working on.  I had to watch how the customers and employees move through the space, how the layout and finishes work, and what kind of customers come in.  I went to visit a Starbuck's on Sunday afternoon.  There were a few customers that went through the drive-thru in the time I was there, but the majority of people came in to get their drinks.  The customers would come in, go directly to the counter, order their drink, and then mill around looking at the various gift ideas since it is the Christmas season.  There was a couple that came in and sat on the comfy chairs to chat while waiting for their drinks. 

The employees were very cheerful and took care of the customers immediately.  I never saw a line form, or saw a customer have to wait more than a minute or two for their drink.  I did not see anyone buy any of the food items that they offer.  The employees seemed to have little areas that were their own that they pretty much stayed in which kept them from getting in each others way.  Occasionally one of the employees would have to go in the back room for something, I noticed it was always the same employee.  That was also the same employee that was working closest to that door while he was behind the counter.  They seemed very efficient.  The store is kind of skinny and long which made the tables at the front to sit at seem kind of crowded together.  There were two comfy chairs placed near the counter that were a nice touch.  The gift section was set up in a way that was easy to view while standing waiting for your order. 
I noticed that there is a wide variety of people that come in to the store at any time.  While I was there there was a young family with a child that came in, young couples, a young mother with a baby, and a student that set up a little study area complete with her laptop.  There was also a small group of friends that came in together, an older woman, a mother and daughter, and an older man that possibly had come from church and sat down to read the Sunday paper.  The vast majority of people came in, got their drink, and left. 

The neutral color of the walls creates a blank canvas for whatever they want to do in the store.  The dark wood tones of the shelves the gifts are on stands out from the neutral walls very well.  It catches your attention.  The different wood tones of the counter add some interest to the space.  The dark tile floors add a nice contrast while creating a space that is easier to keep looking nice in a high traffic area.  The dark green chairs add a nice pop of color to a neutral palette while not being a bold statement.  They also had very minimal Christmas decorations near the gift items which reminded the customers of their shopping lists.  There are also some tables outside for customers when weather permits.  I know I will be making another visit on Black Friday early in the morning!   
Next week...Inspirational Design

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Design I Think could have been Better

This week I was supposed to find a design I think could have been done better and why.  I actually chose an outdoor space for this.  To me I think the surrounding area of a building is just as important as the interior.  At my campus there is a beautiful area with a waterfall.  You can hear the water and it is very peaceful.  The area is surrounded by trees and plants but there is no benches or a picnic table there.  I think that is the perfect spot for a couple of benches to be able to sit and relax between classes, or even sketch. 

This is the waterfall.

This is the planted area directly in front of the waterfall where I think some benches and maybe a picnic table should be.
 This is a view from the waterfall across the planted area, across the parking lot to some benches.  I think that is part of a smoking area, which is fine that they have benches, but I think that a perfect opportunity for a nice quiet place to sit for non smokers was missed here. 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

What has inspired me this week?

This week I had the pleasure of being able to visit an amazing piece of architecture in Fort Worth.  The Marty Leonard Chapel.  Every aspect of this design was part of the building.  From the walk up to the chapel to the entry, to the garbage cans.  Everything having to do with this chapel was well thought out in the design.

The chapel diamond shaped designs run throughout all aspects of the building.  I wish we could have stayed longer to watch as the sunset changed the way the light played coming through the windows.

The benches outside the chapel on the walkway and the lights along the walkway are all part of the grand design.

 The planters and stools inside the chapel were designed along with the building as well.  To think about every little detail while designing this amazing piece of architecture is just mind blowing.  There was so much planning and thought that went into this design.  I am inspired to think outside the box, and try to think of the big picture when planning my designs after visiting this wonderful chapel.
Next week...a design I think could have been better...

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Career Spotlight

I have chosen to write my blog on a career in historic preservation today.  Historic preservation is a very important career.  So many older buildings have such a deep history that they shouldn't have to die of old age.  Some people renovate and destroy the original splendor of the building.  I would like to have be able to bring back the glory of historic buildings that have become run down.  My grandmother's church just underwent a full interior renovation. 

They didn't change the look of the church.  They gave it a fresh coat of paint.  They repainted the murals on the ceiling.  They refinished the pews.  There was no need to change the church, it just needed to be freshened up.

This is the kind of work I would be proud to do.  Next week...what inspired me this week?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Residential Inspiration

This week's blog is about residential inspiration.  I have always been intrigued by the magnificent historic homes here in Weatherford.  I took this opportunity to go on the Historic Residential Driving Tour in Weatherford Texas.  A Historic Downtown Walking Tour is also available.  Around Christmas every year they also do a candlelight tour.  This year it is on the second Saturday in December. 

The first house that caught my attention on the tour is the R. W. Kindel Home that was built in 1881.  It is a Texas Historic Landmark.  This house has always caught my attention, but I didn't know the history.  I had always joked about how it would make a great haunted house for a movie.  So, I thought since it was almost Halloween it would be fun to show it here.  Mr. Kindel was a local druggist for 60 years and owned a castor oil business in Weatherford.  It is the same style, Neo-Renaissance, as the courthouse in Weatherford.  It is limestone with a copper roof.  It has square porch columns and 20" thick walls. 
The other house on the tour I would like to showcase is the C. D. Hartnett Home built in 1896.  It is now Angel's Nest Bed and Breakfast Inn.  C. D. Hartnett founded Hartnett Wholesale Grocery Company, still in operation today in Weatherford.  It is a 10,000 square foot mansion with a turret from the first to the third floor, a wrap around porch, and a wine cellar. 
I would love the opportunity to restore a historic home to its original glory someday.  Don't miss out on seeing these historic homes.  I was told that the interiors can be viewed during the candlelight tour in December.  Here is the website for more information Parker County Heritage Society.  Next spotlight.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Bloggy Inspiration

This week I had to search for blogs that inspired me.  The first one I came across was Yanko Design.  They have some fun and funky items that they post.  Here is one example of "A Green, Green Bed." It's got lights above your head, speakers to listen to music and a flower box so ivy can grow up and over the bed!  Pretty neat!
I found Desire to Inspire.  They have some very interesting room designs that use color and light very well.  My favorite part of this blog is the unique light fixtures they showed.  Like this one that is a whole bunch of desk lamps put together to make a chandelier type overhead light.
 I have always been a fan of using natural elements in design.  2Modern had some terrific furniture that combined modern elements with natural materials. Here are a couple of my favorites.

Stained glass has always been a favorite design element of mine.  I found Go Erie that has a fabulous stained glass window that I just loved.
So, these are some of the things that inspired me this week.  Next week....residential inspiration.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Designer Spotlight

This week I was tasked to do some research on Interior Designers.  I was to pick one that inspired me and post a little about the designer with some pictures.  I have chosen Clodagh as the Interior Designer who inspires me this week.  Clodagh was born in Ireland and has traveled extensively.  She has a vast amount of design experience from cosmetic packaging to grand hotels, and everything in between.  Clodagh has been a designer for 26 years.  She is married to Daniel Aubry, a photographer, who takes the photos for her books.  This week I read her book "Your Home, Your Sanctuary."  My favorite quote from the book is "Your home should take care of you, calm you, and leave you refreshed."  I think that sums up Clodagh's style very well.  She believes in Feng Shui, which is an ancient Chinese art of placement where homes are seen as direct extensions of the people who live in them.  There is supposed to be a balance between the five elements of earth, fire, water, wood, and metal in each room in your home.  Her designs show clean, organic spaces.  Everything has a place, there is no clutter.  Her designs are very peaceful.  I think we could all use a bit more peace in our lives.
This is one of Clodagh's great room designs.  The coffee table is reclaimed wood.  Clodagh uses environmentally friendly materials as much as possible.  It has a slate tile floor, which brings in an organic feel from the earth.  The wall covering adds more texture and interest with a great simple line. 
 This is a kitchen that Clodagh designed.  It is very functional and has easy accessibility to items.  Clodagh believes in making your kitchen work for you.  If you do not cook much, there is no reason to have a fabulous gourmet kitchen.  No matter what you use your kitchen for it should reflect who you are. 
When I was doing my research I came across this bedroom that was designed by  I thought that this bedroom was done with the same ideas that Clodagh uses in her designs.  I love the simple lines, different textures, and how everything has a place.
So let's start to simplify our lives and our homes.  Clodagh says, "contemplate, cleanse, clarify, and create."  I'm sure we could all use some of that!  Until next week...