Inspiration is often a pleasant surprise. It happens with a spark that ignites a theme and the project evolves. In a very dramatic transformation of a simple yet dated living room, we skinned two walls with stacked white stone. The slivers of horizontal texture brought a clean-lined organic feel to the space. Existing sage green carpeting was a cool contrast against the clean bleached stone – we also painted the walls white to mimic the tones in the stone. The perfect punctuation in this sage and white scheme became the fresh pop of orange. Call it melon or coral our color is that somewhat rosy version to slightly soften the contrast. See more of this project at PATRICIAN DESIGN http://bit.ly/YQCyrE
Roll the footage along over the course of this last year and the finished product receives rave reviews. We are encouraged to take the scheme outdoors and continue this project now called Tangerine Dreams. Once outside the orange can be released to express brighter versions melding the coral tones with other shades more bold and brilliant.
Existing white patio furniture provided an open invitation to continue the thread of white that was introduced inside with the white stone wall. Making things look intentional and incorporating existing elements is a cost-effective approach. But the trick is not to let it appear as though the scheme was sacrificed for savings.
So with the lush green foliage of the desert’s semi-tropic offerings that were already mature in this landscaped yard – all we needed was to introduce floribunda of orange to carry through with the tangerine themed color scheme. We planned and prepared, planted and potted for the perfect patio party! Pillows, placements and pottery also brought orange tones sprinkled throughout the design.
A new water feature will replace a lemon tree lost in the last freeze. A brilliant orange trumpet bush will nestle against the towering ceramic urn of luminous green tones where cascading water will re-circulate from beneath the stone bed.
See more photos of this project in our facebook album at http://on.fb.me/13TVGUm and watch for future posts as the plantings mature and the work continues.
The WOW factor of lighting is a key element in design – both interior and exterior. Perking up dark corners, illuminating structures and landscaping, highlighting objects of importance, providing task light and spreading ambient light through the darkness, all have their place in the drama of design.
Lighting can often be seen but the source not identified. The effect is all that we want to achieve…like subtle shadows through trees at night or lighting a pathway while concealing the source beneath low plantings or rocky outcroppings, concealed recessed lighting or well-placed “up” lights also provide the drama without announcing the identity of the fixture – shhh – keeping it a secret. Yet, other instances scream for the light fixture to make a statement.
Ask a movie star. Lighting is known by all in the public eye to be a most important feature to enhance or destroy one’s appearance. Celebrities pay the big bucks to insure that they are properly lit for filmed interviews or still shots. So please when planning YOUR interiors, don’t put a primary light source over the top of your head casting downward…lest you look like a vampire. In vogue as they are, the bloodless dark-circled look is not what most people are trying to present when hoping to have an enhanced appearance during a cocktail conversation or on a hot date over the dinner table. Supplemental ambient light will dilute the singular direction of the light washing your faces with a softer, more even illume.
However, when intentionally used as a fixture of design, we want the coolest look with the best output for the function. Precise engineering paired with the decorative aspects of a well designed fixture result in an exciting art piece. Yes, a piece of art!
Recently we were visited by our regional representatives from Louis Poulsen Lighting – to be reminded of their outstanding classic collection of timeless designer fixtures bringing the best of the best into commercial and residential interiors worldwide. It got our juices going – salivating for the next opportunity when we will incorporate a magnificent lighting fixture into an interior project.
Two photos taken here in our shop feature the pierced perforations and organic cut-out designs of the “Aeros” by Ross Lovegrove and Louise Campbell’s “Collage” pendant. Two spectacular fixtures which compliment if not carry an interior design.
See more fun on facebook at http://on.fb.me/16cD99r
April 1, 2013
A couple of years ago, I did a workshop entitled “I Want to Find a Painting to Go with My Red Sofa.” And I want to do it again…because the interesting thing is that this same subject surfaces on a regular basis. It is an age-old argument about art for art’s sake and the reality that context is design. Context is ART. Whether you are in accord with the context as a compatible nod or against it as a decidedly bold statement to the contrary, art and design occur in context for or against it like yin and yang. However, buying decorative reproductions versus original art is the next layer of this conversation.
Have you read this in my blogs before? Context is a subject about which I am particularly passionate. How to begin to invest in art for the sake of your interior’s design or for the sake of investment or why…that is the question. Let’s address the “why?”
Why invest in original art when there are so many outlets for reproduction work such as posters – framed or unframed, copies framed nicely in a design-trendy or classic fashion, prints on canvas or paper that “read” like paintings, and the intriguing term being tossed about “giclees.” Wikipedia says Giclee “is a neologism coined in 1991 by printmaker Jack Duganne for fine art digital prints made on inkjet printers. The name originally applied to fine art prints created on IRIS printers in a process invented in the late 1980s but has since come to mean any inkjet print. It is often used by artists, galleries, and print shops to denote high quality printing but since it is an unregulated word it has no associated warranty of quality.” The problem with the latter of these repro options is that the prices can be frighteningly high under the guise of the inflated value based upon an artist’s signature, fresh applications on the gliclee or some limited edition – and sadly most are not worth more than the surface upon which they occur.
So “why invest in true “original” art?” Perhaps it is because if you stop to think about it, you are making a connection with someone who has captured a moment, or a feeling or an impression that attracts you and different from a reproduction, you get a “feeling” that you have camaraderie with this particular artist and this particular piece. The most common experience for most is when traveling you see something that connects you to a particular experience or scene…you want to “take home” a memory of this experience – this event – this place. Having an “original” piece of art makes you feel a connection to the place. It’s yours and yours alone – it is a one-of-a-kind – often spontaneous and is an exclusive object that happened just that one time – and now, just for YOU. This intimacy, this nostalgia is very special.
Intimacy evokes emotion and emotion is so much a part of art appreciation – from the inception on the part of the artist to the viewer who responds to the piece. Positive or negative, the emotion of response is THE primary element in the expression and appreciation of art.
Wait, this is getting too personal…let’s continue with the generic, “one.” If one were to experience a moment of connectivity with a piece of art – a painting, let’s say, that so grabs the attention, speaks directly and strikes a chord – all these sensations that represent those feelings that draw one into a piece and say “buy me, have me, own me – take me home – that’s what it’s all about. And, it’s fun. It’s exciting. It’s satisfying. It’s spontaneous. It’s stimulating. It’s pleasing. It’s rewarding. And, it can be challenging too.
So, is it a crime to want to find and buy a piece of art to go with one’s red sofa? Is it against all objectivity and intrinsic value to pair the two? I think not. It is not the only way to select art, but it is a valid way. If context is such an important element in design and art…then, having a piece work well, be compatible with another contextual piece will create a harmony that works – it is perfect for some in those instances. So let’s not be such snobs. Juxtapositions can work, contrast can work and other manner of objectivity obviously works, but subjectivity is equally valid – not to necessarily value a piece in the chronicles of art history, but in the value that it means to one in one’s personal world.
So, as an investment, it comes right down to the fact that anything is worth what someone will pay for it – right? Ask Steve Martin in his book An Object of Beauty, where he so effectively paints a picture of the art world and it’s fleetingly changing whims, trends, values, and those that chase them.
Buy original art because it makes you happy – because you want to.
March 24, 2013
So it becomes very apparent – design is contextual. Whether with architectural style and the context in which it occurs, or geographical context against which it is presented, I always stress that. And it is no more apparent than when traveling between different temperature zones. I do this often – visiting warmer climes in the colder months…but that too is a relative thing…
So MY norm is the enchanting 4-season temperate zone of Albuquerque, New Mexico. It is from there that I base my perceptions…until I leave. Yes, we have four distinct seasons….we actually HAVE to have different wardrobes – unlike some areas that force a change in clothing just to create that difference, just to buy those cool seasonal togs and accessories…OR the truly freezing locales that demand warm layers for mere survival from the cold.
However, in Albuquerque, at a mile and more high, we experience those Rocky Mountain elements – high altitude temperature extremes and otherwise lovely moderate temperatures all summer long. No humidity to speak of and no bugs – unless of course you board horses down in the valley by the Rio Grande!!
I digress…back to design…it is always contextual. Whether to boldly design against context, or embrace it for the natural order of things, the fact is that context is the “it” of design.
As I posted on our facebook from Albuquerque in the last couple of weeks, where we were experiencing true bursts of spring…”bring in the branches” – which are now in full bloom on their very own trees – bulbs are bursting from the warmed earth – daffodils, hyacinth and the phlox are lovely!! Bring in the branches to force the beauty of spring into your homes to expedite the glory that is the birth of a new season of growth and wonder!
Ok – I get carried away. However, the sobering experience of being enveloped in one of the largest snowstorms in the “whatever” amount of time – a long time – is awesome. A word often over-used…but apt for this tremendously magnificent late winter expression (its technically spring now) of the chilly, fluffy white precipitation of well over a foot that we have experienced in Innsbrook, Missouri today.
My design direction in this environment is to grab a warm snuggly throw, start the fire, pour a toddy, surround yourself with warm colors, soft textures, and for “hope,” have a brilliantly blooming bouquet to remind you that spring is only temporarily delayed, it is right around the corner and next week’s higher temperatures are sure to get you chomping at the bit to be outside, unveil the patio furniture, grill a few steaks, and start planting!!!
February 6, 2013
Whether winter where you are is freezing, cool, warm or even hot – the art of color and flavor will brighten you winter scene with table dressings full of color and spicy warm flavors.
Specifically to escape the cold, color can be a key. While most of us react to red as a color of warm temperature, and blue as one of cool perceptions, color can also be rooted in very personal life experiences and certainly even cultural influences. To create an environment that incorporates color to change the perceived temperature, what might you think to do? In this case, bright, bold colors add vibrancy to what might be considered a more dormant time of year. We dined at this table last week. The colors and the spicy flavors instantly created a scene of warm, exotic indulgences.
Soft lighting, warm colors, inviting materials all contribute to comforting sensations when one is trying to escape from the violating effects of the cold. The colors can be somber, earthen and muted tones of red, rusts, burnt oranges, browns, smoky olive greens, yellows, gold and ochre…but add bright splashes and the scene comes alive!
On this trip, as we head south and gravitate to the tropical climes of Mexico, these bright, bold colors are warmed further with the soft lighting, and punctuated with spicy salsas that further infuse the experience with a warm feeling of utter contentment.
Try adding bold accents to you table dressing – the tropical accents are not limited to summer, here I found a Bobby Flay recipe that is easy and very warm and spicy.
Coming soon to PATRICIAN DESIGN – Watch for our new oilcloth table cloths to bring more exotic and fun fabric to your dining scene!
December 16, 2012
December 16, 2012
What a great idea – so great, I’m stealing it! A ScaRf EXchAnGe!!! A little whacky, fun and practical too! A gaggle of girlfriends gathered in San Diego to have cocktails and a gift exchange -the theme was scarves! At PATRICIAN DESIGN we have several talented fiber artists nestled in the mountains of New Mexico who make exquisite one-of-a kind scarves. Many people are exploring the craft stores for DIY ideas to make their own. In any case, gift exchanges are fun and with a theme like this is focuses the idea and expectations– making it a bit easier to decide what to get and know that everyone can always use a pretty scarf! Decorative, wearable art! http://www.patriciandesign.com/retail/new_products.html