Jul 18

How We Find Inspiration

How We Find Inspiration

By Joshua Colt Fisher

On a recent family road trip I decided to pull off the highway and enjoy a scenic route. After a while of enjoying the open fields and large oak trees over hanging the road the skies opened up to a torrential downpour. I decided it would be best to pull off to the side of the road and wait out the rain. Unfortunately, the rain was distorting the view of a grassy shoulder that was actually camouflaging a deep muddy quagmire. As our gas peddle quickly became useless, we came to the realization that we are going to need help. In my quest for a scenic route I have landed us out of cellphone range and it’s apparent I will have to have to exit the vehicle to find help. As I considered my options I remembered not more than a mile back seeing the red glimmer of a reflector precariously hanging from what I could only hope was a mailbox. So the family crawls over the back seats in search for anything that would help keep me dry on my trek to find assistance. As I make my way back to what I hope is an occupied residence, I realize the only part of my body even remotely dry are my shoulders which are barely covered by my daughter’s tiny purple poncho, my daughters’ favorite color. Thoughts of my circumstances continue to distract and I barely realize that 45 minutes have passed when I reach that red glimmering reflector that was in fact hanging from a mailbox. Through the down pour I can barely see lights that not only outline a structure tucked into forest but shed light on the end of my adventure.

"Walking in the Rain" by Canadian Artist Rosie Sherman

“Walking in the Rain” by Canadian Artist Rosie Sherman

 

A tin roof is not only practical, but also musical

A tin roof is not only practical, but also musical

Inspiration is often an emotional reaction linked to personal experiences. As designers, we find that it’s integral to have conversations with our clients that reveal elements of their lives that we can use to inform our design decisions. As in the narrative above, there are two paths of inspiration to explore: you could either steer clear of falling water, grassy expanses, dimly lit spaces and the colors red and purple or you could choose to embrace them.

When working with a client who just told us about one of their memorable adventures, here are a few examples of how we may try to embrace and incorporate some of those elements into our design:

 

The winding path of a gravel road

The winding path of a gravel road

- The client from our narrative may want lots of large overhangs around their house but made of a thin metal so that it will provide for protection from the rain and while creating an enjoyable background symphony while sharing breakfast on the porch.

- A gravel driveway may be preferred by this client instead of a typical paved material. The crunch of tires traveling over gravel driveway will remind them that they are traveling on firm ground.

 

Purple is not only whimsical and fanciful, but is also the 2014 Pantone Color of the Year

Purple is not only whimsical and fanciful, but is also the 2014 Pantone Color of the Year

 

- This client may also want to include the color purple in some inventive way as it helps remind them of the strength of a supportive family and would signify the daughter’s presence, even though she is now off at college.

- The client may also want to include the color red somewhere on the front of the house to remind them of the red reflector that lead them home. The color red could be integrated into the front door to strengthen the meaning of arriving home.

 

 

Red doors are popular for many reasons - religious traditions, family heritage or just because it's a great color!

Red doors are popular for many reasons – religious traditions, family heritage or just because it’s a great color!

 

Remember the in-depth conversations with your designer serve not only as a means of connecting but will also help unlock the initial flood of inspiration that will carry you both through the design process.

Jul 05

How Design has Shaped Our Country

How Design has Shaped Our Country usa-flag-map

By Jeff Mills

Design has influenced and shaped the United States in many ways, bringing worldwide ingenuity into our melting pot. Over the last hundreds of years our country has opened its arms to accept people from all over the world and those people bring with them inherited tastes in design. These different backgrounds and lifestyles help broaden our thoughts in design possibility and help us to see how design works in other countries.

 

The famous Charleston County Courthouse in South Carolina

The famous Charleston County Courthouse in South Carolina

It also presents ideas to combine design cultures together. For example, a man named James Hoban designed the Charleston County Courthouse in South Carolina after the Leinster House which is found in Dublin, Ireland. Not surprising, James was originally from Ireland and immigrated to the US after the Revolutionary War.

The elevation of the White House submitted by James Hoban

The elevation of the White House submitted by James Hoban

Bringing cultures together and seeing the result also influences other countries to take part as well. With doing so, America’s design has already and will continue to excel to greater heights.

Pictured at top: the White House. At bottom: Leinster House

Pictured at top: the White House. At bottom: Leinster House

Wishing you all a wonderfully designed Fourth of July from the Collins & DuPont Design Group!

 

Jun 09

Your “Off Season” is our “On Season”

Come October, the roads fill up in Southwest Florida!

Come October, the roads fill up in Southwest Florida!

Your “Off Season” is our “On Season”

By Linda Quinn

Southwest Florida has long been a vacation retreat for our northern neighbors. Around the middle of October, the roads begin to fill up with out of state license plates. “Season” has officially started. While the rest of the country is preparing to settle down for their long winter’s nap so to speak, we are ramping up into high gear for the return of our seasonal clientele.

Celebrating Christmas, Florida style!

Celebrating Christmas, Florida style!

After a five or six month hiatus, we are suddenly deluged by requests to freshen, brighten and spruce up our snowbirds’ homes. Naturally, they all hope to witness the transformations while they are in town. Thanksgiving and Christmas are particularly highly desired times of the year for furniture installations. Who wouldn’t relish the idea of spending the holidays with family in your newly remodeled home in paradise?

Balancing the surge in business between October and April can be challenging but has become an expected way of life in Southwest Florida. With a little tenacity, a lot of hard work and a sense of humor, we’ve managed to get through it season after season for the past 25 years.

Summer or winter - it's always paradise in Southwest Florida!

Summer or winter – it’s always paradise in Southwest Florida!

See you in the Fall!

May 25

Vintage Inspired Decor

This combination of modern and vintage decor create drama

This combination of modern and vintage decor create drama

Vintage Inspired Decor

By Carol Garcia

There are many accessory and furniture companies that are making a trend out of tradition, repurposing and upcycling found objects into unique decor for the home, or using these looks for inspired re-creations. Mixing antique inspiration with modern design creates contrast and interest in a space.

In our model homes, we have free reign to experiment with new looks and trends. In a recent model home on Barefoot Beach, designers Kim Collins, ASID and Alina Olinger flanked a modern abstract painting with onion-style sconces made to mimic oil lanterns. Modern white accessories from Jonathan Adler top the vintage breakfront. White washed wall planking gives the space a beach-side feel.

 

This vignette showcases a collection of vintage botanical prints

This vignette showcases a collection of vintage botanical prints

 

 

 

 

Not sure you want to go too far into the vintage trend? Why not try a small collection of vintage inspired accessories in an otherwise modern room – small vignettes within rooms can transform the feel of an entire space. Mercury glass has made a huge comeback in many designs, including pioneering its own vintage style. It is beautiful paired with rich textures, both new and old – linen, sateen, and champagne wood tones – and plays well in a group, or on its own.

 

 

 

 

The Parchment Series from E. Lawrence, LTD.

The Parchment Series from E. Lawrence, LTD.

 

As designers, we are often asked where we source our decor, and we have a few go-to favorites for vintage inspired accessories. First, there is E. Lawrence, LTD., who are the largest importer of decorative, leather bound books in the United States. These books make beautiful additions to bookcases, shelves, nightstands, and desks. There is also Lazy Susan, a company based in New York who focus on combining current trends with classic design elements.

 

Chicken wire cages, vintage glass vases, and mercury glass hurricanes by Lazy Susan

Chicken wire cages, vintage glass vases, and mercury glass hurricanes by Lazy Susan

 

Another company creates photobox collections, art prints and accessories, often using vintage wood and quotes as part of the design, along with hand painted lettering, adding to the rustic look of the piece. Sugarboo Designs has a showroom in the Atlanta Gift Mart and as I walk through their showroom, tears came to my eyes as I recalled times gone by.

Vintage quotes we all know and love from Sugarboo Designs

Vintage quotes we all know and love from Sugarboo Designs

One of the art pieces has the song “You Are My Sunshine” printed on it: when I was five years old I remember sitting in the back seat of the car (we were “going to town,” I was a country girl – born on a farm in Nebraska, in a horrible blizzard, as my mother would often remind me) and my sister and I would sing that song as loud as we could and my mom and dad would start singing along. To this day, each time I hear that song, I smile, or cry … or both. I like how there seems to be a story to tell using pieces like all of these. It stirs fond memories of life as it should be enjoyed – surrounded by friends, family and all that you love!

 

 

 

May 09

The Top Trends from April Market

The Top Trends from April Market

Great textural pattern on a chair from Century

Great textural pattern on a chair from Century

By: Jessica Bradford

 

Twice a year High Point, North Carolina hoststhe largest home furnishings trade show in the world. For six days hotels, rental cars, flights, and restaurants are booked beyond capacity as designers and other industry professionals fight for a chance to see new introductions from over 2,000 exhibitors. The weather for this year’s High Point Furniture Market may have been grey and dreary, but the new design trends kept it hot!

 

 

This April Market focused on exposing the natural beauty of wood grains

This April Market focused on exposing the natural beauty of wood grains

 

 

- Wood, Exposed

From Macassar ebony to mahogany, show casing the beauty and variation in natural wood graining was hot this market. But, by far, the show stopper was burl. Showcased on case goods, mirrors, and accessories, we saw burl reinvented in rich, dark java and warm grey. Wood also took center stage on upholstered pieces, in the form of exposed frames and banding, which can help a piece be beautiful in 360 views.

 

Furniture faces are given relief through intricate carvings and dimensional inlays

Furniture faces are given relief through intricate carvings and dimensional inlays

- Carve Your Niche and Accent Your Inlays

In addition to heavy wood graining, we saw a resurgence of intricate marquetry and carvings, creating beautiful relief on otherwise simple pieces. Mother-of-pearl inlays are ever popular, defining table tops and accenting accessories. Carved details range from classic fluting to stipple patterns and were featured on creamy painted tones, contrasting with rich dark woods.

Gold, silver, bronze - all were first place winners this April!

Gold, silver, bronze – all were first place winners this April!

 

- Metallica

Bronze, pewter, gold, silver, champagne and any combinations there of were prevalent through-out furniture, accessory, lighting, and fabric introductions. Although metals have been popular for the past few years, we are now seeing metals combined with each other, adding a whole new dimension.

 

Spot tables are hot tables

Spot tables are hot tables

 

 

 

- Spot on Spot Tables

Who doesn’t love a great spot table – they are so small, but can have such a big impact. Spot tables are an excellent way to bring in a bold color, pattern, or shape in a subtle, yet important way. From the classy martini table to the rustic log table, everyone has a spot for a spot table.

 

- Creature Comforts

Horses and jellyfish and birds, oh my! Wildlife is back, and not just in animal print! Bronze sculptures, lamps and artwork are all featuring animals, putting nature at the forefront. Natural elements, like hair-on-hide and abalone shells take the motif a step further and create a dichotomy with their otherwise transitional backgrounds.

We've seen animal motifs at many markets, but this spring creatures were the main event

We’ve seen animal motifs at many markets, but this spring creatures were the main event

 

Apr 25

Concept to Completion IV: Finishing Touches

This custom designer staircase creates a stunning focal point from almost any angle

This custom designer staircase creates a stunning focal point from almost any angle

Concept to Completion IV:  Finishing Touches

By: Brooke Brimacombe

What sets Collins & DuPont apart from all other design firms is our attention to detail. Throughout the design process, we make sure that a design concept is taken from the beginning phases of construction all the way to completion. We are not only responsible for your design development, but also permanent installations such as tile specifications and details, exterior detailing, and cabinetry drawings – our architectural detailing is absolutely stunning and stands out among the rest.

 

These custom designer draperies feature tape and button detailing

These custom designer draperies feature tape and button detailing

 

 

To bring a project to completion, we make sure the finishing touches do the architectural detailing justice. Once the interior shell is ready for installation, the area rugs and furnishings are placed. This is the point in the project when the designer sees their vision coming to life. The space is not quite a home yet. It takes those final finishing touches to make the house feel like your home. Custom draperies and bedding are a great way to soften a space and emphasize the concept and design style. We take the time to get to know our clients and they enjoy being a part of the design development, and we love their input.

 

Custom pillows with various trims and details for the Lily Pulitzer themed room

Custom pillows with various trims and details for the Lily Pulitzer themed room

 

 

 

 

A project we have in Grand Cayman is a great example of how important the finishing touches are to a project. For example, this client had two clothes hampers custom designed for their Master Bath and Powder Bathroom. One hamper is meant to be a showcase piece much like a jewelry box, upholstered out of a gold metallic fabric with detailing in gold and crystal nail heads in a harlequin shape to resemble the wall covering in the space. These same clients had intricate trimming details on their bedding and draperies to personalize every last inch of their home. Custom tapes and trims set their furniture, bedding and draperies apart from the rest. We even designed custom lamp shades in the Library Retreat so that the Lily Pullitzer fabrics could contrast the stained wood of the custom built credenza.

 

This custom designed hamper features hand placed jewel accents

This custom designed hamper features hand placed jewel accents

 

 

 

To give a space warmth and personalization, we fill tables and shelves with lamps and accessories, which make all the difference in the world. We were presented the opportunity in Grand Cayman with custom built-in bookcases all across the library retreat and up and down three flights of stairs. The client was amazed at the detail work involved to make these shelves look lived in while still maintaining a balanced composition.

 

Accessories, knick-knacks, chotskies - not matter what you call them, these small details are the finishing touches

Accessories, knick-knacks, chotskies – not matter what you call them, these small details are the finishing touches

 

 

 

 

Collins & DuPont offers a turn-key service – upon request, our clients can come down for season with their home completely stocked. We can have sheets cleaned and pressed, beds made, silverware in drawers, appliances under cabinets, tables set, and even champagne chilled for the client’s homecoming. We take detailing to the next level to ensure the client will be happy with their design for years to come. What makes this process so rewarding for Collins & DuPont designers is to receive a phone call from a client raving about a new detail that they just unveiled months or even years after a project’s completion. To Collins & DuPont, it is “all in the details.”

 

 

Perfectly color matched details for the outdoor living area

Perfectly color matched details for the outdoor living area

 

Apr 11

Concept to Completion III: Developing Every Client’s Unique Style

 

One of the ever-changing vignettes in our showroom

One of the ever-changing vignettes in our showroom

Concept to Completion III:  Developing Every Client’s Unique Style

By Bonnie Caruthers

Sixteen years ago I walked through the front doors of Collins & DuPont Interior Design into a beautiful showroom and I immediately felt a sense of arrival and belonging. This is the feeling that every client should have every day when they open their front doors. We are now Collins & DuPont Design Group, emphasizing our focus on the extensive design team that will work hand-in-hand with the client through-out the process, striving to help the client enjoy every step along the way.

 

Here's an example of blending elements to create your signature design style - furnishings that are more modern, with traditional accessories and some rustic touches

Here’s an example of blending elements to create your signature design style – furnishings that are more modern, with traditional accessories and some rustic touches

 

 

 

 

 

How do you begin to achieve this end?  You need to develop creative ideas in collaboration with your designer.  The more you share with them about your lifestyle, likes and dislikes such as style, color, texture, etc., the easier the process will be for everyone. Help your designer understand what you are drawn to and your inherent style. Don’t feel locked into a defined style – traditional, country French, coastal – instead, combine elements to form your own personal style.

 

 

 

One of the many design boards we've created to help client's envision their completed project

One of the many design boards we’ve created to help client’s envision their completed project

 

 

An “idea book” is a great tool for developing your style and putting one together is easier today with sites like Pinterest and Houzz, as well as the ever increasing number of design and style magazines. Using your inspirations, the design team will put together a design concept taking into consideration all of the knowledge that you have shared with them. During the meeting you will see that all of the selections are displayed in a way to help you visualize all of the aspects of each room and they welcome your comments as to what you love, like or dislike.

 

Five of our wonderful designers at the 2012 Aurora Awards wearing coordinating colors

Five of our wonderful designers at the 2012 Aurora Awards wearing coordinating colors

 

 

Remember that we are designing this project for you and only you! We are thrilled to share this journey with you and as you get more excited about your project, it becomes contagious. Don’t be surprised to arrive to our offices and see your design team dressing to compliment your project – we want you to feel comfortable and be surrounded by the things that you love!

 

 

 

Mar 28

Concept to Completion II: Importance of Design Production

From concept: we start with sections and detail drawings

From concept: we start with sections and detail drawings

 

To completion: a beautiful ceiling detail, built to our specifications

To completion: a beautiful ceiling detail, built to our specifications

Concept to Completion II: Importance of Design Production

By John Biggs

From the initial concept meeting with the designer to completion and move in, design production plays an intricate role in the process of designing your project.

After the designer meets with the client to discuss concept development, the designer then meets with design production to interpret the client’s desires and translate this into a cohesive design. It may seem time consuming for the designer to review this again, but that is where the magic starts for our department. Sharing all of the personal nuances and preferences of the client results in the most imaginative details throughout the home. An insignia, a preference for shape, a fondness of an architectural style could mean the difference between a beautiful space and a space that totally reflects the personality of the client. These details and intricacies are worked into every aspect of the drawings from flooring to ceiling mouldings and everything in-between.

 

Our details are what set us apart, and they wouldn't happen if we didn't have the drawings

Our details, like this custom railing, are what set us apart

 

Staying in touch with the latest electronics advances is vital for our department. This knowledge allows us to anticipate trends and imagine new ways to display these devices. The next generation flat screen panels that are curved to reduce distortion will now need a gently curved wall or built-in to anchor the space. This will also reflect in the furniture layout to achieve optimum viewing depending on the space.

 

This banquette base was customized, per the designer's request

This banquette base was customized, per the designer’s request

 

In an age where bathtubs are being eliminated from most homes there is a growing trend for freestanding tubs. Thus, the plumbing fixtures and layouts change eliminating the need for an enormous tub deck for a traditional tub. Walls are now tiled behind the tub or it floats in a space and becomes another focal point. Detailing these individual components affords our team the opportunity to study each aspect of the space. The same can be said for a unique ceiling detail or a custom railing.

 

Our department has seen a rebirth with the advent of using more efficient and modern design techniques in the preliminary design phase and cutting out the need for as much hand drafting. Using the latest programs such as AutoCAD, SketchUp and others, allows us to bring clients into a new era of design and imagination.

 

 

Utilizing 3-D programs, like Google SketchUp, can help the client envision the project before completion

Utilizing 3-D programs, like Google SketchUp, can help the client envision the project before completion

Mar 14

Concept to Completion I: Development of Conceptual Design

 

As designers, we often reference sites like Houzz for inspiration - like this unique ceiling detail.

As designers, we often reference sites like Houzz for inspiration – like this unique ceiling detail.

Concept to Completion I: Development of Conceptual Design

By Michael J. Pineau

 

Concept (noun): an abstract idea; a general notion, a plan or intention.

 

Textiles, like these fabrics, can help visualize a design concept

Textiles, like these fabrics, can help visualize a design concept

 

 

A design concept, as it goes with any developmental process, starts with an idea. This idea (or sometimes multiple ideas) might begin with a scribble on a napkin, a tear out from a magazine, a snapshot of something inspiring. You may not know why, but this idea speaks to your vision, what inspires you and most importantly, how you harmonize with your surroundings. As design professionals, it is our job to help formulate this idea into your design concept, and create a fabulous space from that concept.

For larger projects, or models, we may create a concept board

For larger projects, or models, we may create a concept board

 

 

Conceptional design is the first phase of the design process and helps define the feeling that will be conveyed. During this phase, drawings are the primary focus – from floorplans to detailed elevations (or full scale architectural plans, if required), a background is created for the rest of the design process. The initial concept shows you where to go with specific design decisions and will be your road map to reference again and again.

 

Conceptual Development will help pave the way for details, such as this custom tile layout

Conceptual Development will help pave the way for details, such as this custom tile layout

 

 

Whether it’s a new home, an extensive renovation or a single room, the same amount of thought and energy should be placed on the concept – an entire home is just more work!

 

Keep in mind as the conceptual process begins your design team will be your anchor. Allow them the necessary time to review the scope of the concept, do their research and formulate ideas during this formulative process. They will work hand-in-hand with you to develop a productive partnership which will help achieve a beautiful end result by transforming those early-on, scribbled visions into reality.

 

In a fast paced world, many clients want to hit the ground running and hurry through the developmental process. To speed things along, there is some homework you can do before meeting with your design professional. Here is a check list of things to consider:

- Have an idea of what you want to achieve with the design process. Are you looking for a full scale renovation that drastically changes your home, or just a little freshening up in one room?

- Share strong preferences – both likes and dislikes! It is just as important to know what colors you truly dislike, as it is to know your favorites!

- Have a clear understanding of your budget and your time frame. This will help dictate the direction of your design development.

- Keep the communication channels open. Ideas, budgets and time frames change often – keep your design professional in the loop to assure your project is on track.

- Think outside the box and try not to micro-manage your design team. You hired a professional for a reason – let them help direct you towards a great design, even if it’s a little bit out of your comfort zone. That being said, make sure you stand up for things that are important to you.

- Most importantly, enjoy the process! Design is supposed to be fun and exciting, but can often be frustrating and tiring. Have faith in your design team and the concept you’ve developed together, which will survive the bumps along the road and result in a wonderful new space!

 

 

Feb 28

Design Style Feature IV: Transitional

This sitting area, design by Sherri DuPont, blends traditional and modern elements

This sitting area, design by Sherri DuPont, blends traditional and modern elements

 

Design Style Feature IV: Transitional

By Emily Roberson

 

 

Wanting a fresh look in 2014, many of our clients are asking for a more simplified approach to design: classic, practical, easy to live in and comfortable. They are looking for something that tones down the traditional details of heavy ornamentation and blends the linear and simplistic aspect of a contemporary aesthetic. The merging of these two is what is known as “transitional” design.

 

 

The high contrast in this design create drama and modernizes an otherwise traditional setting

The high contrast in this design create drama and modernizes an otherwise traditional setting

Transitional design is recognized by more of a cool-tone color palette of greys and blues. Shying away from the beige, on beige, on beige that we have all become accustom to in the last decade. Not to say that yellow toned tans are a bad color choice, we combine these with the cooler colors to add drama and interest by changing the hue or intensity. Contrasting elements can be your best friend.

 

This wallcovering from the Romo Black Edition is described as a "classic damask motif accentuated by a bold outline"

This wallcovering from the Romo Black Edition is described as a “classic damask motif accentuated by a bold outline”

 

 

 

 

Another staple in traditional design is to use traditional elements in a new way. We see this done in fabrics, wall covering, light fixtures and architectural details. A traditional pattern done in a more modern scale and color way helps to merge the two design styles and can be the starting point for a new design or the bridge between the traditional and modern.

 

Transitional design is an excellent design style for remodels, or when a client wants to “freshen things up” in their traditional home without replacing every piece in the home. We can blend the new with the old and create a new space full of life and vibrancy through the use of new colors and patterns.

 

AFTER: A fresh color palette, transitional light fixtures and soft finishes bring this space to life

AFTER: A fresh color palette, new light fixtures and soft finishes bring the space to life

BEFORE: An all white background and dated fixtures do nothing for this home

BEFORE: An all white background and dated fixtures do nothing for this home

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The use of more current colors and transitional touches, in the form of fabric, lighting, and accessories, create an inviting and fresh aesthetic to bring your home into the 21st century.

 

 

 

 

Feb 14

Design Style Feature III: Traditional

This traditional bedroom is classically elegant with panel molding and warm wall sconces

This traditional bedroom is classically elegant with panel molding and warm wall sconces

Design Style Feature III: Traditional

By Colleen Wilson, ASID

 

Traditional design varies, depending on location, from Victorian to French Country to British Colonial to Mediterranean here in Southwest Florida, but always evokes warmth and comfort. Detailed moldings, tailored window treatments, oil paintings, crystal chandeliers, and carved furniture are the cornerstones of traditional design.

 

 

The ornate molding details and chandelier are trademarks of traditional design

The ornate molding details and chandelier are trademarks of traditional design

 

 

Architectural Details

Traditional design starts with architectural detailing, including layout, window style and molding details. Wainscoting and paneled ceilings provide a classic backdrop to floral fabrics and sumptuous upholstery.

 

 

This chandelier from Fine Art Lamps has traditional elements with cleaner lines

This chandelier from Fine Art Lamps has traditional elements with cleaner lines

 

 

Lighting

As in many design styles, lighting plays a major role in defining the traditional style. Chandeliers and sconces are often brass or bronze and are dripping with crystal. Portable lamps have fabric shades with tassels or fringe. Traditional lighting is not simple or stark – it is ornate and frequently overdone.

 

 

Tradtional color palate and bold floral patterns from Kravet Fabrics

Traditional color palate and bold floral patterns from Kravet Fabrics

 

 

 

Fabrics and Color Scheme

Traditional color schemes vary by location, but are always rooted in historical colors – no Caribbean blue or flamingo pink here! Golds, peaches, rusts are off-set by warm greys or soft blues. Large floral patterns and fabrics with high sheen are indicative of traditional design and are accented by small scale patterns.

 

Furnishings

When most people think of traditional furnishings Chippendale and Queen Anne styles come to mind – although these styles aren’t going anywhere, the new traditional embraces cleaner lines on these styles. Furnishings still feature rich wood tones accented by bronze or brass hardware, but also have more contemporary elements.

Hickory Chair Furniture Co. is cleaning up the lines on traditional furnishings

Hickory Chair Furniture Co. is cleaning up the lines on traditional furnishings

Many traditional designs from 10 – 15 years ago now need a breath of fresh air. As designers, we accomplish this by incorporating the old with the new and keep the classic elements, while clearing out the clutter.

 

 

Jan 31

Design Style Feature II: Contemporary

Private Residence by Collins & Dupont – Minimalist décor in a muted color palette creates a Contemporary twist when situated within a space influenced by classical architecture

Private Residence by Collins & Dupont – Minimalist décor in a muted color palette creates a Contemporary twist when situated within a space influenced by classical architecture

Design Style Feature II: Contemporary

By Erin Brandariz

 

Contemporary is hip. Contemporary is cool. It is the ultimate. It is what the masses want. It is all encompassing, and that is probably what makes it better than all the other design styles. (Yeah, I went there!)

 

Contemporary design isn’t necessarily modern design (people often confuse the two terms), but includes an array of design styles that are currently trending. These days, contemporary design means that there is no right or wrong answer; you can combine various design styles to achieve a unique environment that reflects your personality. The trends of contemporary design are taking us to an era where anything and everything is happening now.

 

 

An example of a new style in the design world mixes rough, raw spaces and materials with modern and sleek elements: Rustic Modern… a beautiful and functional movement that reflects a deeper cultural trend. Rustic Modern is the result of hybridization; taking cues from different design eras while still being relevant to our ever-changing modern society.

 

Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman – available at Herman Miller

Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman – available at Herman Miller

A pinch of the old: Influential designers like Charles and Ray Eames had a great appreciation of the balance of nature within a home. They embraced ideas of simplicity and efficiency through technological advances to create a product of beauty and sophistication, from large scale to human scale. The Eames’ tackled the disconnect between creating both an ergonomic and beautiful chair (human scale) through inventions and methods of their own conception utilizing the technology of mass production (large scale). These concepts and designs, though designed decades earlier, still resonate today.

 

This custom reclaimed wood table designed and built by Brooklyn-based Yellow Laboratory is industrial chic and environmentally concious

This custom reclaimed wood table designed and built by Brooklyn-based Yellow Laboratory is industrial chic and environmentally conscious

 

 

A dash of the new: There has been a D.I.Y./hand crafted revival within our society. People also have a different mindset: Sustainability. Recycling isn’t enough; we must up-cycle our waste! For many, Rustic Modern design not only incorporates ideas from the past, but physical elements as well. After many years of importing products from other countries, there is now an awareness that the ability and skill to update a found object – usually of some antiquity – is more valuable than the plastic things we buy and then carelessly throw away.

 

 

 

Accomplishing a Rustic Modern design is easier than one may think. If you have a minimalist modern architectural space, you could introduce furniture that may be made with reclaimed wood, or you could hang up old, discarded dresser drawers to create a charming shelving unit. Whereas, a converted industrial space, loft or a barn, could utilize modern furniture and decor to achieve a similar balance between the two styles.

 

On the other side of the spectrum we have a minimalist space inhabited by antique furniture and area rugs, helping to create an equilibrium of warmth and character – Interior by Antonio Martins

On the other side of the spectrum we have a minimalist space inhabited by antique furniture and area rugs, helping to create an equilibrium of warmth and character – Interior by Antonio Martins

Ornate plaster work, accompanied by a gilded mirror and detailed marble mantle are all of antiquity, but add strong contrasting, modern furniture in black, and the room feels contemporary – image courtesy of B&B Italia

Ornate plaster work, accompanied by a gilded mirror and detailed marble mantle are all of antiquity, but add strong
contrasting, modern furniture in black, and the room feels contemporary – image courtesy of B&B Italia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contemporary design is eclectic. If you find that pure bred Traditional, or Modern, or Shabby Chic styles don’t quite characterize your own style, don’t be afraid to mix and match! After all, you could be defining the next new Contemporary style!

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