Dusy Plum, Cream & Gold

Design & Color Trends
Last summer while traveling in Europe, dusty mid-tones and pale colors saturated the showrooms.  You may have seen our Facebook post with the images I took.  Then in late summer, Sherwin-Williams presented Color Trends 2014 featuring Exclusive Plum SW 6263.   With Exclusive Plum painted walls and accented plum table cloths, layering the color of the year throughout the room was simply exquisite.
Plum has always been a favorite of mine and especially this grayed tone which provides a neutral backdrop to most colors found in nature.  There is a subtlety and richness without being overbearing.  Plums work just as well with brown, green and fuchsia as with cream and gold.  I found this color story quite timely, as we had just planned our clients living room using cool grey walls, warm wood floors, plum, lilac, silver and gold iridescent fireplace tile surround with a beige sofa and brass accents.  Follow us on Facebook to see the photos later this year.  In the meantime…check out these available pieces below.
V250671S.JPG basset furn
Pillow from Basset
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Thayer-Coggin
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Harvey Probber Chairs from 1stdibs.com

Hot Design for Keeping Cool

Written by Guest Blogger Kayla Harvey

Its summer, its hot, and its not showing signs of stopping.  Wouldn’t it be nice to enjoy some cool breezes rather than bake in the sun?  If you are trying to beat the heat here are some helpful tips to keep your outdoor spaces cool as the dog days drag on.
1. Green is Cool
Energy efficiency is always a good idea, but in this case literal greenery will help to keep you cool.  We all know that shade trees reduce heat, but did you know that grass and other plants can help to keep temperatures regulated in your yard as well?
Take a look at the driveway and patio shown in these images.  Concrete and pavement absorb heat and radiate it back long after the sun sets.  The use of grass and concrete pavers together helps to limit the amount of water needed as well as reduce heat retention.  This creates a more comfortable outdoor space, and happens to be a sharp looking design.
2. Catch the Breeze, Block the Rays
If your outdoor space receives frequent afternoon sun a shaded area is a must. A patio with an overhang provides an excellent opportunity to utilize outdoor curtains. Your best bet for keeping cool is to open up cross ventilation so that you can enjoy the breeze.  Be sure to hang the curtains with a bar or wire that allows you to move them as needed.  This way you can make the most of the wind while blocking any direct sunlight.
If outdoor curtains are not for you, try this novel planter wall.  The wall and plants provide shade, and the slats through the middle will allow air to circulate.
3.  Light Up the Night
When the sun goes down so do temperatures, so make the most of your yard with illumination.  There are a variety of ways to create outdoor rooms through the use of solar powered light fixtures, outdoor lighting, and even illuminated furniture.
If you are unsure you want to commit to new furniture or lighting try this simple trick to light up your yard.  Take oversized balloons filled with air, and just before you tie them off add a small neon glow stick to the inside.  These are great tossed into a pool for parties, or if anchored, to line a driveway.

Now that you know these tips, get on out there and enjoy your summer!

Design 101 – The Golden Ratio

Written By Guest Blogger: Kayla Harvey

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Prime the Flux Capacitor, and secure your time-travel helmets for this installment of Design 101.  We will be reaching back, way back, to discover the origins of modern design through the birth of geometry and the Arabic numerical system.  If all that does not sound like enough fun for you, there are even algebraic formulas you can try out for yourself!  So, hold on tight, here we go!

Cartoon_Euclid

Our first stop on this trip is ancient Alexandria around 300 BCE.  There the “Father of Geometry”, Euclid, is writing what will become one of the most influential works of mathematics the world has ever seen.  Amongst the many significant geometric observations Euclid records the Golden Ratio.   Simply put this means, a+b is to a as a is to b.

 

Da Vinci Vitruvian Man

Fast forward several hundred years to the middle ages and a man who became known as Fibonacci is exploring the Arabic Numeral system and its advantages compared to the then standard Roman Numeral system.  Fibonacci is credited with a series of numbers, and a subsequent formula, for determining a golden ratio.  Numbers in the Fibonacci Sequence work on a recurrence relation.  This means that it can be infinitely scaled larger or smaller.

 

The Golden Ratio via HongKiat

Fheeew!  That was getting heavy!  What do all these formulas and complicated mathematical lingo have to do with modern design?  If it feels abstract and irrelevant, know for sure it isn’t.  These are simply attempts to explain why we find certain things to be beautiful.  Why across cultures and centuries humans have gravitated toward specific proportions in design.  It might be because these ratios are an expression of our own, as seen in Leonardo Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man, or possibly because the Golden Ratio is everywhere in nature.

 

Golden Ratio In Nature

Regardless of its origins, the Golden Ratio is one element of design that is here to stay.  Interior Designers constantly find this principal at work.  The Golden Ratio is the reason why rectangular rooms feel the most comfortable, and typically have the best furniture placement options.  It is not just a number or a mathematical concept, it is just as much an intuitive feeling that you get when entering a space.   If things feel pinched, or out of balance, the Golden Ratio might be the answer.  So next time you see an ultra modern house, or a blooming flower, remember the Golden Ratio and see if you cant find this design concept at work.

 

Golden Ratio In Modern Design

Golden_Ratio_FP_Perspective

A Nod To Mod

Contributing author: Amy Tran

Glamorous pearls, florals and feminine lines meet funky patterns and bold accents.  Inspired by fashion design and ranging from large floral prints to bold stripes and bright eccentric patterns mixed with pastel hues, this new wave of design aesthetic suggests its roots are from Sixties Mod.  In 2013, this is a fresh take on the sixties using lavenders, baby blues, mints, and peaches that are anchored by black or white.  This design style easily incorporates mid-century pieces with a feminine and youthful twist.

 

For more inspiration visit our Pinterest Board: A Nod To Mod

Lighting As Sculpture

Written by our guest blogger Kayla

Lit Dale Chihuly Sculpture

Alright, so maybe a lit Chihuly is a bit much as a chandelier for your home.  But that’s no reason not to incorporate sculpture with a glow.  Lets explore the world of sculpture as lighting, and see where your space can be illuminated with art.

In the vein of organic modern art, Hive has produced a series of light fixtures aimed at takes on basic shapes found in plants and animals.  As the name indicates, many of Hive’s pieces are reminiscent of the hexagonal shape of a honeycomb.  This fixture reminds us of plant roots, but is actually comprised of tiny human stick figures.

If you had any doubts about the certifiably artistic nature of this chandelier, then finding out that this item was designed specifically for the 2009 Milan Design week might just be enough to knock your socks off.  The beauty of the Hope Chandelier is that it is capable of standing in the place of a traditional chandelier, and can still transcend that role through sheer force of design drama.

If streamlined is more your thing then this Agnes 20-Bulb Chandelier might just do the trick.  With angles galore this brilliant fixture will bring a sense of enlightened geometry.

An iconic homage to the urban landscape these quirky sneakers fit the profile for something different, and can add a touch of whimsy to a casual space.
The effortless flow of metal woven softly as silk combined with an internal glow gives this feminine sconce a glamor all its own.  In a guest bathroom or other small space this could be just the jewelry to finish off the space.

If Art Deco fell in love with Space Age Design and had a baby, this is what their light fixture offspring might look like.  Not a pendant or chandelier, this fixture mounts flush against the ceiling with a spray of bulbed arms to light up the room.  It gives a softer look at what can typically be a more hard edged design concept.

Blue & Gold Design Inspiration

Complementing each other for years, blue & gold are a favorite combo for all of us at SDG.

Compatible in any design style, this pair shines in every light!  Shop these favorites online.

March Inspiration Board_2013

March Shop

Blue_Gold_Room_Design

via Lucy & Company

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Blue & Gold Collage / via Automatism: Sibella Court

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via Material Girls Blog

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Cobalt and Jewels / Original painting by Jennifer Latimer / via Etsy

 

Space Age Design in 2013

Slide1Mid Century modernism has always had a strong following, especially among artistic types such as architects, graphic designers and interior designers – to name a few. In 2013, trendy items making the strongest comeback in this design era are lighting and décor accent pieces.

In the late 1950s, Sputnik sparked the Space Age of Design, a period of Mid century modern style. Technology development and innovations in science drove the design aesthetic not only in architecture, but also in industrial, commercial and interior design. These influences continue to impact design some 60 plus years later. We find interpretations reflected throughout our culture in the way modern architecture frames exterior vistas through the use of storefront windows or glass walls with flat roofs, and in crisp, clean modern tile designs.

Consider the work of Austrian American architect Richard Neutra, who was one of the most influential modernist architects of the period. He was described as creating an “innovative stylistic balance between domicile and environment.”

Here’s a wonderful interpretation of Mid century modern design today with dark floors and the use of a tiled accent wall above the fireplace. Take note of the window wall systems that open the rooms and bring the outside in.

 

Now: Moraga Residence, J.Weiss Interior Design

 

Now: Spanish interior designer Mikel Irastorza

Today, we define the return in popularity to this design style, which originated in the ‘50s, as Retro-Futurism. We love the combination of linear and curved outlines in the furniture, the orb-like extensions of the lighting fixtures, and the mixing of traditional paired with Space Age-inspired furniture that lends to a delicate balance. Very low profile furniture and the juxtaposition of wide chaise frames with slender legs beside slender accent tables are characteristics of Retro-Futurism.

Italian lighting manufacturer, Stilnovo, produced one of the most iconic symbols of modern Space-Age design. The original “Sputnik” chandelier was produced in the 1950s. Consumers can find originals available at sources such as 1stdibs.com. Newer versions can be found at varying price points, all boasting space-themed names like the “Orbit” or “Satellite” chandelier.

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From top left, down: www.1stdibs.com  / www.practicalprops.com  / www.1stdibs.com  / www.yatzer.com/Two-Is-Company

 

 

Isn’t this chandelier a stunning feature in this dining room? What a statement in modern style. The Space-Age style light fixture fills the room with its delicate orbs and sparkling imagery.

 

 

Metallic decor is making quite a comeback in today’s design. We’re seeing metallic in all design avenues, including interior design. Metallic in the small details, especially vintage brass, is a terrific way to add a touch of glamour to any space.

See the post on Design Guide Blog