All the lights here are LEDs and as you can see they come in many different shapes and sizes. Each have their own output and shape of light beam. Over the last year I have done extensive research to find the best LED light sources for clients homes.
The hand drawn sketch draws directly from the imagination of the designer. The flows, textures and colours applied with pencils and markers gives me a chance to imagine and think through the design.
The colours, type of fabric on the shade and height of the sconces in this scene were worked out at the drawing board. In the digital age, the hand sketch is still essential in creating a harmonious and workable design.
We will create visuals and material boards online in Canada and the United States.
This kitchen definitely took a lot of collaboration. The clients had a very specific vision. With the collaboration and thoughtfulness of design professionals, cabinet makers, countertop fabricators and tile setters, this kitchen came together with impact.
There were 10 distinct problems to overcome in this space. Can you spot what they were?
Ok here are the answers:
1) A wedged shape floorplan.
2) Huge support columns.
3) Too large of kitchen area.
4) Laminated cherry floor transition location.
5) The work triangle (fridge, range and sink) was set in one-third of the overall space, leaving a question of what to do in the rest of the space.
6) Severe mid-century architecture that has no character.
7) Concrete ceiling required a drop for lighting.
8) Only one vent for the range in the pre-demoed kitchen, that dictated exactly and only where the range could go.
9) Open kitchen had to relate to the rest of the space.
10) It’s a rental – not a high budget but had to be a design that stood the test of time…
It’s not fun to live through the dust of a reno, but with a good plan you can enjoy the process and be happy with the results.
To make more space, consider taking out a wall, making a niche behind the range, or taking out an unused bump-out.
Repurpose the space in your interiors to enjoy a feeling of newness, sanity and peacefulness in your environment. My team can take you from concept to completion.
Before we started we removed the walls and the kitchen actually was moved into the family room area.
See the picture here to the left.
The chimney behind the gas fireplace (next picture below) provided a space for a deep niche behind the range to store oils and spices.
33. Where Do You Start From?
I find that if you cannot determine what is good about a place and be able to look closely at its attributes, and its occupants, and how they use the space, you’ll miss the opportunity to help intensify and bring out the individuality of the place, to their delight. Start by just looking.
32. Designing a Solution for Your Areas of Trouble
How many areas do you have stopped looking at because they are just too much work?
Over the years it seems that the beauty in a room or a small part of a room comes from having to figure out the most difficult problems.
A sunny nook, a dramatic kitchen transformation or just a simple backsplash each take their own time to evolve into the perfect choice that will stand time and delight their owners.
Attack your biggest challenges and make them more workable, or beautiful than you thought was possible.
Families are the strongest groups we have in society. I think any activity that helps to strengthen families should be helped. My own family meet-ups involve frequent gatherings around a large granite island at my sister’s country home. That’s why when my daughter Hillary’s new in-laws asked me to help them design their family kitchen, I could not have been more grateful for the opportunity. (Photos are featured in this article).
Do you ever have a moment – you are trying to make something, cook a great meal, pick an out fit and you start to hear your mother telling you what to do? You feel trapped by the “now I’m supposed tos”.
Break out of that! Learn how to work freely between the two guide posts: 1) the desired message and 2) the technical expertise sufficient to obtain the communication of that message.
With those two things in mind you can create a grand work of art!
29. How to Make a Room Speak
Is it the finest of materials that make it art?
Or is it the application of the language?
It’s both, as when the language is artfully applied it creates a clear communication.
28. How Does a Designer Stretch a Dollar?
I learned early from excellent Mennonite carpenters that even with simple materials, such as wood, with a bit more care and attention, that the motifs could be repeated to create harmony throughout the home.
You can create an interior with more impact by closely observing the details and bringing them out in the selections throughout.
27. How To Tell a Story With Color
Have you ever noticed in a movie how the production usually has a colour scheme that is gently woven all the way thru the movie? The same can be done in a home. You can start with a neutral pallet and add a strong color in strategic placements, all the thru the home. Be brave but don’t over use and sprinkle generously.
26. What is Your Favorite Shape?
The Architect gave us a cue to how to design this room with his signature oval-shaped window. If you don’t have any inspiring shapes given to start with, here is what you can do.
First work out the message. For example do you want a masculine or feminine message in the room? Each mood has their own shapes. Start out by looking up the moods created by shapes. I have included a link below.
Select the right shapes in your fixtures furnishings and decoration, and repeat them to create impactful interior design.
25. Overwhelmed By So Many Styles?
In other words don’t worry about the style until you work out the message.
After you work out the message the style comes easily.
24. Flow is the Movement of the Users Through the Space
Though it sounds elementary – so many spaces are not designed for a good flow. Even a small space can be well planned to have good flow. The best way to work out a flow is to draw out a plan then trace the basic flow of the users through the space doing different activities. The final space is really the imprint of the most important flows in the space by its users.
23. Great Spaces Large or Small Have Life in Them
Well designed spaces are only complete once the users are there in the space living and working. In other words it is the life in the space that completes the beauty.
Add life to your space with well planned areas for people, pets and plants.
22. Every Colour Scheme Exists in Nature
If you pay attention to the colours in nature, you’ll see unlimited ways that colour is combined harmoniously. It’s a the perfect inspiration, wide open and free for everyone.
21. How Do You Make Colours Harmonize?
The first thing you have to do to find colour harmony is to find the KEY colour, that is the largest colour in the room that you can’t change. For instance you have a blue bathtub and you just can’t change it but you want a more modern look. Blue is the KEY colour. From there you can work out the colours that harmonize and communicate the style and mood you want to have. Use a colour computer, from any art store, to work out the combinations of colors that could work. Choose the colour scheme that best conveys the mood you want.
20. Why Not Take the Easy Way?
When someone wants me to design something “simple”, I’m never wanting that to mean easy. Simple is brought about after you work out the design correctly-only then can you make it seem simple or easy.
“Easy” is usually the worst thing to go for because it creates shoddy products and poor quality things that deteriorate quickly. Tried and true methods might take longer but last the test of time. Don’t choose the easy way, choose the most effective way.
19. What Is More Important Than Perfection?
You can drive yourself silly trying to have the perfect room or the perfect home or perfect hair! In this interior we worked with the existing side board and the client added a new in expensive dining set and carpet. Because all the planning with the right colour scheme was figured out ahead of time, the client did not keep changing her mind, she just followed the path laid out by the designer.
If you START by figuring out first what is the look or mood, you want to communicate – you know how much quality and quantity of workmanship which to apply and what it will cost and how long it will take. Its ok to work toward perfection but it’s more important to achieve a result that meets the goal of what you want it to look like first.
18. Which Rules Should You Never Break?
My head was all cluttered as I fled the studio. Proposal after proposal was getting rejected. I was flustered and felt betrayed by my “education” especially in historical design. Or more likely I didn’t pay enough attention to historic design. But later I went back to college and studied Art History — hard.
What I learned was that design makes more sense and is much easier to follow and apply knowing the past historic styles. It helps tremendously to know what worked and why.
The lesson learned is ALL design today is rooted in historic styles of the past. How those styles came about is fascinating and very applicable.
I learned to respect classic design to create designs that are powerful and evocative. When you break historic style “rules” you get discordance and disagreement from the viewer.
17. Can you have more than one focal point?
The client presented me with a three sided fireplace she planned to put in the room to divide the living and dining areas. Although it was a great idea, the fireplace as a focal point, is too small to actually be THE focal point. A more dominant focal point was needed to ground the space and give it a center of interest. I planned a large area that is to have a large wallpaper mural or painting that pulls all of the colours and elements of the rooms together. We put in the mouldings per the plan so art could be added later.
16. What is Wrong With This Design?
When I presented this headboard to the client, it had all the elements she wanted, a focal point for the room and place to provide comfort for her and her hubby. But what I did wrong was the introduction of a diagonal diamond shape in the button tufting. Although it matched the traditional style-it’s look was not soothing enough-the diagonal lines contrasted with the rest. We opted to leave this element out of the design and provide a wood headboard with pillows, which was practical as well. Perhaps down the road we will add a simple horizontal squared built in headboard behind. The room still needs a tall element behind the bed to act as a focal point and visually support the sloped ceiling.
15. What to Do if Your Client Does Not Like Your Design
Ultimately the designer’s job is to provide a design that the receiver likes and can make his own. This is a skill. It’s taking on the viewpoint of the person you are designing for. You have to look from his point of view when you are selecting and putting together all the parts. I try to show the person what is good about his space, what to keep and what to emphasize.
14. How to Figure Out if a Design is Going to Work
Sketching is the best way to work out a design. My sketches are loose and messy but they are usually for my own use – to make sure all the parts and pieces I’m choosing are working together. I can throw-out what is not working at this point.
13. How to Create a Mood in a Room
An interior design should communicate a feeling or some kind of message. With line you have so many ways to say something. Any lines you use should match the mood you are trying for. Take a look at how many things have lines – the carpet pattern? your Venetian blinds? Do they match the mood you want in the room? Look for unstable leaning lines in your home, like low ceiling slopes that make you feel uneasy. Visually support them with stable upright lines like a vertical wall covering , or a drape on a rod.
12. How Do You Know When a Design is Done?
To integrate does not mean everything has to match. By definition (transitive verb) 1: to form, coordinate, or blend into a functioning or unified whole: unite, to bring together into a unified whole. It does not mean everything all the same colour or that you can’t contrast things. It’s easy to go overboard in design so I go by the rule of thumb that when everything is integrated – it’s good design.
11. My Secret Weapon
When a designer can easily see a better space, a better arrangement, or a better flow, it’s based on his professional design ability. It’s based on talent, but more importantly a gathering of knowledge of what is good design. It’s my secret weapon.
10. How to Choose a Designer
A professional can execute and complete a project. A design enthusiast can appreciate good design but has very few techniques evolved on how to execute.
It’s no secret that a professional interior designer makes a career commitment, has many hours of applied know-how, and has a wide breadth of exposure and study of historic design and many associated subjects. Business and administrative techniques are definitely a part of his/her know-how.
When choosing an Interior Designer take the time to chose a professional.
9. How I Start an Interior
8. How Design Helps to Strengthen the Family
A design can bring people together to enjoy the fruits of their labour and share with one another.
A well designed space will nurture good habits in the family and the children by allowing them to help and work together to prepare good food.
7. How Design Improves Life and Culture
When you look around your community and see that it has many artistic and creative individuals and their products you can be rest assured that that community is thriving. A community void of artistic creativity is not thriving. Artistry can be in its architecture, goods, foods, and interior surroundings. It takes many people working together to make an aesthetic work and these people are valuable to the health and longevity of a society.
6. How to Imprint Your Own Unique Design Style
Everyone is different, each person has their own unique “vibe” or tolerance for motion and pattern. Therefore the tension or the stillness of a space is determined by design choices which will communicate the client’s unique outlook.
Therefore I do not design for self satisfaction- I’m the vessel for the client to achieve his.
5. How Design Can Get You Out of a Funk
It may be a no brainer to some but if you have experienced a loss or a shock one of the best ways to overcome and shake it off is to go somewhere that has good design. When my kids were small it was IKEA and then it was Los Angeles and now it’s just a walk around the block in Kitsilano. Take a break, somewhere – and take in beautiful design.
4. How to Know When a Design is Done
I am satisfied we have completed the design stage when I have looked through my client’s eyes, it’s all laid out and is garnering appreciation. The design is not built at this point but the work is appreciated and the client is ready to carry forward.
3. How Design Relieves Anxiety
Have you ever enjoyed the predicable rhythms of drums or waves? Rhythms are in architecture as well. The structures we live in should have elements that repeat through out or carry you from one area to another.
2. How to Achieve High Quality Kitchen Design
High quality kitchen design is achieved by first knowing all of the rules in planning, building, interior design, lighting and selection of materials. Proven methods and techniques can be learned cold so that a designer can strive higher than that and bring about truly high quality work.
1. How to Collaborate with an Interior Designer
I love it when I see the clients have settled in and have added their things and personal items, everyone comments and it looks like it all belongs. That comes about from a tight collaboration between the designer and clients. Ideas and discussions during the design process are a welcome reminder that it is all going well.