Thursday, March 24, 2011

Focal Point

In every design it is important to have a focal point.  Something that catches your attention immediately in the space.  This week while I was researching for my beach home project I wanted to find some kind of retractable wall for my design and my teacher recommended the NanaWall.  It is a retractable glass wall system that can fold, swing, lift, or slide depending on the version that fits the space the best.
They can be used in just about any building.  Beach homes are a fantastic choice to let the breezes in and have a wonderful view.  Hotels, restaurants, showrooms, and venues are some other buildings that the NanaWall would add a little extra flair to. 
This example is a restaurant that uses the NanaWall to create an open feeling with them closed.  It also can extend the area to join outdoors and indoors for a large event. 
I think the NanaWall is the perfect choice for my design.  What a cool idea to have a wall of windows that can open!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Maximizing Space

This week I received an email that was promoting LEED certified high density storage.  I decided to use this storage for my blog this week.  This is the type of shelves that can store large amounts of files or boxes and you can move the shelves to access different ones.  LEED stands for leadership in energy and environmental design.  These shelves reduce the footprint needed for the company which is why they are certified.
This is one example of shelves that can be moved to hold inventory.  Much more can be held per square foot than with normal shelves that don't move.  The shelves are moved with by hand with a rotary handle. 
This set of shelves is moved automatically with an electronic control box.  These shelves have so many uses.  Offices can keep their files on them, warehouses can keep their inventory stored, libraries can put their books on them, and museums can store their artifacts to name a handful.
What a great way to save space and the environment.  

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Dream Vacation Homes

This week I was doing some research for a project.  I am designing a vacation home on the beach.  I remembered some fabulous homes that my family was looking into for our next dream family vacation.  6 adults a teenager and 3 kids in one place is not an easy challenge.  Finding places that appeal to all of the age groups is sometimes difficult.  Tennessee offers some spectacular vacation rental homes in Pigeon Forge, they are not beach homes but definitely give me some cool ideas for my design.  Sugar Maple Cabins have some unique and very luxurious options to please people of all ages. 
Home theaters are becoming a very popular room in a home for those that have the space and can afford it.  This vacation home has 3 rows of very comfy seating to kick back and watch a movie after a fun filled day. 
Having a pool is something that immediately comes to mind for a vacation home to me, but an indoor pool with a hot tub is over the top!  What a way to spoil yourself when you are on vacation!  The tile floor compliments the wood on the ceiling to give a warm tone to the room.  This would be the way I would want to relax.
For those people that LOVE golf...there is even a home that has indoor mini golf!  I think adding the tree in the golf course was the most fun.  This interior with the rocks and tree helps give the illusion of playing golf outside without having to leave the house.  The way the windows are positioned helps complete the illusion with using the outdoors as the art on the walls.  How fun!
There are obviously endless ideas for vacation homes and the sky is the limit.  This project is going to be a lot of fun.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Entryway envy

So...this week I was doing some research on entryways and stairs.  I found some really grand entryways and some very unique stairs.  I did not realize how many different things could be done to stairs to make them more interesting. 
This entryway is a very open and inviting space.  The tile work with the design on the floor adds a nice detial.  Having the arch shaped door and windows that surround it create a nice change from the typical door.  The columns that create a break between the entryway and the dining room are a nice touch instead of a plain wall.  Above, the chandelier casts a warm glow on all who enter. 
These stairs are really neat.  Instead of being so bulky and taking up so much space the floating stairs are open and allow a line of sight right through them.  These also allow for all of the space underneath the stairs to be used.  Normally a closet or maybe a powder room would be all that could fit. 
These tree railings are a natural touch to bring the outdoors in.  They create an organic feel instead of having a chunky railing that doesn't lend much to the decor of the room.  So many options are available.  Look around and see what you can find, or better yet, use your imagination!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Fun Aquariums

I came across some cool ideas for aquariums recently, so I thought I would share some.  It just goes to show you that you don't have to have a typical rectangular aquarium in a room, it can be a part of the design. 
This is a bathroom sink that is an aquarium.  This sink would be a fantastic addition to any bathroom, especially one with an underwater theme.  Can you imagine the conversation piece this could become if you put it in a guest bathroom?!  This would go very well in my dolphin themed bathroom!
A perfect match for the aquarium bathroom sink is the aquarium tank on the toilet!  That tank is much nicer looking than a typical porcelain ones we normally see.  This piece would definitely add some interest to a normally invisible item in the bathroom.
This table would be a great idea for a casual seafood restaurant.  Maybe a lower version with some chairs instead of stools and it could be put in a nicer restaurant.  This would be a step away from the typical lobster tank at eye level that is seen at a lot of seafood restaurants now. 
Any piece of furniture can be converted to an aquarium, including an old computer monitor!  This aquarium is becoming very popular.  They call it an imacquarium.  What a cool way to re-purpose something that we would normally throw away.  I will keep these unique aquariums in my arsenal for my clients that request an aquarium to add a little pizazz. 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Think Summer

This week I, once again, got my inspiration from The Family Handyman magazine.  This month they have a patio pergola as their do-it-yourself project.  Here in Texas, the majority of the time, we spend a lot of time outside.  In the summer months it is harder to do that with the sun beating down on us.  A pergola is a great way to give partial shade to an area without cutting the beautiful sunshine completely.  With a pergola, vines could be coaxed to climb it to provide a more natural environment that blends more into the outdoors.  Adding to our living space by creating a usable outdoor area is a great way to enjoy the normally fabulous weather that Texas offers.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Camouflage Televisions

I was at Michael's this week getting a piece of my artwork matted in the custom frame shop.  While I was standing there waiting a small flyer caught my eye.  It was how to use a custom frame to put around your flat screen television.  I have seen this done on the decorating shows on the television before but never really looked into it.  So I decided to do a little research to find out more. 
This frame is one example of a custom frame from Michael's.  I found a website called  This site has so many more ideas than just putting a frame around the television to disguise it.  Artwork that moves out of the way when you turn the television on is one example.  Another choice is to have a mirror where the television is when it is off, with this nothing moves, the glass is a special kind of glass that allows the picture to show through with no distortion when the television is on. 
This artwork is one of the choices that is offered on  An artist can use their own artwork instead if they can make a digital copy of it.  A family portrait could also be used, for example, with the photographer's written permission.  With the technology of flat screen televisions and this unique way to camouflage them the ugly television no longer has to be the focal point of the room.  The television can be hidden away and a beautiful piece of artwork takes its place until the television turns on. 

Kitchen organization ideas

This week...after the roads cleared up...I headed to Home Depot to check out the kitchen cabinets.  A well organized kitchen is necessary for us to be able to function well and safely while preparing our meals.  I spoke with the person in the kitchen department and asked about any new kitchen organization that was available for cabinets.  She gave me a Thomasville catalog that is strictly devoted to cabinet organization units.  She also said that is THE place to go to get organization ideas, not just for the kitchen but for closets, bathrooms, anywhere you can think of. 
This Lazy Susan is one example of a way to organize things more efficiently in a cabinet.  This type of shelf swings out to allow easy access to an otherwise hard to get to cabinet.  Notice that the door folds out of the way too.  No more having a cabinet that you can't use because you can't reach into it easily.  Lazy Susans come in different finishes and materials depending on your cabinets. 
This cabinet has a door that pulls out with shelves attached to it.  Shelves like this are much more convenient instead of multiply drawers or doors to look through.  Easy access is available from two sides.  Organization would be much easier with these shelves.  The shelves are as deep as your cabinets and can be custom made to whatever width you choose. 
Pull out shelves in a bottom cabinet allow for easier access.  Instead of having to bend way down to see what is in your cabinet just pull out the shelf.  This idea would also work well in a Universal Design to allow easier access for someone in a wheelchair.  These shelves are as deep as your cabinets.  You can custom order them to the width of your choice.
I thought these small shelves mounted on the inside of a door would be a great idea to replace a spice rack.  Spice racks take up counter space, this way you could save your valuable counter space for some kind of neat kitchen gadget.  These shelves would also be good for small items that tend to disappear in the big cabinet.  These ideas are just a few that Home Depot had on display.  Check out the website I suggested for many more ideas.  Organize your kitchen so you can enjoy creating in it. 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Simply Color

This week I was introduced to a fun restaurant.  The name of it is Zoe's Kitchen.  The architecture of the restaurant is very simple.  They use geometric shapes and lots of bright color.  The ceiling is left open to all of the duct work which gives the restaurant a casual industrial look. 
The colors are very bright and energetic.  Stripes of varying sizes are on the walls.  Oranges, reds, greens, and blues are used to add fun and interest to the restaurant.  Below the stripes shown in the picture above is a spot where local schools can put up their artwork.  Zoe's Kitchen then sells the artwork and the money that is raised is given to the charity of the school's choice.  What a fun way to give back to the community. 

This is one of the lighting fixtures in the restaurant.  Simple repetitive globes hanging from a cylinder but so interesting.  An orange color is on the cylinder to pull some of the color off the walls onto the ceiling.  Use bold energetic colors in your home.  Make it yours.  Do what you like. 
Until next week...

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Internet Inspiration

This week I was searching the internet looking for some new interior design ideas.  I came across a site called  It had a bunch of pictures on it.  One in particular caught my eye.  The Anemon Bistro is not the usual style that I like, but it was very interesting. 

This is a picture of the exterior.  It would definitely catch your eye as you walk by.  It does not have the typical rectangular windows.  It has different sized circles along with very organic shapes that create interest.  I believe this would get people interested and possibly bring in customers. 
This view is from the main entrance as you walk into Anemon Bistro.  It has a futuristic feel to it for me.  The color palette is very limited, white, black, and gray with accents of neon purple.  The organic shapes from the windows are carried through the interior as well. 
This view is of the bar, stairs, and a table and chairs.  The reflective surfaces throughout the interior reflect the purple neon accents throughout the bistro.  The stairs are a unique shape without a closed in riser which allows for a more open feeling and not having the view obstructed as much from one side of the bistro to the other. 
This design is completely out of my comfort zone, but reminds me that I need to keep an open mind and realize that there are so many different directions that design has.  From rustic to futuristic, there is no telling where a project could take me.
Until next week...

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Inspiration to get Organized

I'm back, and I will be blogging every week during this quarter again.  This week, I decided to share some great ideas I got from my husband's The Family Handyman magazine.  Getting organized is a popular New Year's resolution, so I thought I would share a few ideas that can help.
This first idea is an inexpensive way to get rid of belts cluttering up drawers.  Organization is a great way to keep a room looking well designed.  A wooden hanger with some small hooks screwed into it to hang the belts on solved the problem of where to put your belts.  
 Setting up a garage or workshop can be very challenging.  It has to be organized, but functional.  Things need to be readily accessible without having to search through drawers and cabinets.  This idea is a very inexpensive way to solve the endless screws, washers, and other little things that end up in the bottom of a drawer problem. Small craft bags with a hole punched in them can be hung on a peg board in a shop for easy access without having to dig through drawers to find what you need. 
With a little imagination we can solve a lot of our clutter problems.  Having an organized home can lead us to be more productive and more content.  Have fun and use your imagination.