SDG was recently featured on Texas Homes. You can view the full article here.

 

Check out my interview, Interior Design That Fits Your Lifestyle and Personality on Texas Homes, one of the top sites for Texas real estate, including Plano, TX real estate. Texas Homes also services New Mexico real estate and Oklahoma homes for sale.

Aging with Elegance

Traditionally, growing older is associated with hospitals, nursing homes, or institutionalized equipment for those who choose to continue living at home. However, this is 2014! Forget everything you think you know about disability-friendly bathrooms. There are many more options these days for people who want to live comfortably in their home as they age.

Old bathroom equipment Seliger, Susan. Bathroom Equipment. Photograph. 14 Jan. 2014. Preparing for a Loved One to Die at Home. The New York Times. Web. 1 Mar. 2014.

Old bathroom equipment
Seliger, Susan. Bathroom Equipment. Photograph. 14 Jan. 2014. Preparing for a Loved One to Die at Home. The New York Times. Web. 1 Mar. 2014.

Walk In Tub. Photograph. N.d. Walk In Tub Installation. Ameriglide. Web. 1 Mar. 14.

Walk In Tub. Photograph. N.d. Walk In Tub Installation. Ameriglide. Web. 1 Mar. 14.

Modernized equipment allows for a seamless look in the home. Just because we grow old doesn’t mean our house has to reflect it! One of these great advancements is a ADA (American Disabilities Act) compliant tub from Kohler. Typical walk-in tubs can take up to 15 minutes to fill and drain. That’s a long time to be just sitting in the shower, waiting for a warm bath! The new Elevance series in the Kohler collection solves this problem stylishly and efficiently. Instead of the swinging door that most walk-in tubs use, these tubs have a rising side wall that is pulled up once you are seated on the wheelchair height bench. While this setup allows you to get out of the tub much quicker, they also went to the added conveniences of a dual draining system and heated seating. Bonus- it doesn’t look ugly! Check out this beautiful bathroom full of Kohler appliances:

Kohler ADA Compliant Products

Kohler ADA Compliant Products

Kohler

Kohler Elevance Series

One last cool new gadget that can be useful for refrigerated medicine is the M Series Cold Storage medicine cabinet from Robern. Now you can keep all of your medication together instead of making the long trek to the kitchen! This cabinet is a trendy solution for bathrooms. It fits seamlessly into the overall look of the room.

Accessories finish out any room! Check out these photos of grab bars (and more!) from Moen:

Iso collection from Moen

Iso collection Kingsley collection from MoenKingsley collection

Sage collection Brushed nickel mirror

Sage collection
Brushed nickel mirror

Eva collection Brushed nickel towel shelf

Eva collection
Brushed nickel towel shelf

 

Bathroom Therapy

The bathroom has evolved from a simple place to take care of business to a place expected to be serene and relaxing, much like a spa. People love to spend hours lounging in the tub or singing in the shower. As the demand for these luxury spaces increases, the variety of options explodes to meet the wants of the people.

Many people are already aware of the hydrotherapy options that are available, including bubbles or jets in whirlpool baths. Another less well known (but equally relaxing) option in tubs is heat. Several companies have combined these two therapies to create a bath that is even more luxurious. Most recently, music therapy has been integrated into bathing systems. Kohler has a new tub in their VibrAcoustic collection that uses Bluetooth technology to take advantage of the relaxation caused by music. Through the Bluetooth integrated into the bath system, your smart phone hooks up to the tub, allowing you to create a giant speaker out of the empty basin, or fill the bath and allow the vibrations to soothe your body. Lastly, there in an increased use of chromatherapy, added lighting in the bath to make the mood. With the wide variety of therapies available through tubs, you can choose your favorites and let the stress float away.

Kohler VibrAcoustics Tub

Kohler VibrAcoustics TubMore trendy features that can help create a spa-like environment in your bathroom are bamboo backsplash tiling, large, heated tile flooring, natural paint colors, frameless glass showers, and polished nickel features.

Schlosser Design Group Large tiles

Schlosser Design Group
Large tiles

IMG_0234

Schlosser Design Group
Large tiled shower

Having a clean, spa-like bathroom can positively affect your health and attitude. You will feel like you can relax, slow down, and enjoy the time your spend in your personal oasis.

Blurred Lines

Written by Cristie Schlosser

As I draw close to the completion of my own project, it has never been clearer to me how the industry and disciplines fit together. The past two years, I’ve been both the client and the Interior Designer. Of course, my husband Rodney is the real client, but I’ve chosen to play that role as well. My goal, when Rodney suggested we “build,” was to put together a “team” that could collaborate to design the home we plan to live in for the next phase of our lives together. Not only would this “team” collaborate, but also to have others to bounce my thoughts and ideas off of and get professional feedback was critical. I’ve enjoyed the process. I’m anxious for the completion and the results. I believe my shortcomings have challenged me to change the way I work, to improve my process, and to rise to a new level of expertise. I have come a long way, but have much further to go. I am a perfectionist to some degree – always thinking I can do better.

The blurred lines became apparent to me in multiple ways. Not only am I am the client and the interior designer, but I usually work on behalf of the homeowner to manage the contractor. I am also the project manager placing orders and following up on deliveries – in new construction this in normally done by the contractor. I am used to working with my own trades, many of which in this case our contractor uses. Funny thing is I had no prior experience with the architects or the contractor. In some ways, the blurred lines worked to our advantage. In other ways, it has been more difficult for the architects, the contractor, and me; but most importantly, I really enjoyed designing with this team. Putting all typical home building frustrations aside, I know we will be pleased with the outcome.

For as long as the industry has existed, there have been blurred lines between registered Architects (RA) and registered Interior Designers (RID). Both are creative and have vision. Both create design drawings and stamp drawings for construction purposes. RAs and RIDs can create lighting, plumbing, and electrical plans.

They can space plan and layout the flow and interior non-load barring walls of a structure. Both can specify finish materials, cabinet details, and interior millwork. Both can complete a built space with furniture and decoration.

So what’s the difference? Each discipline specializes in their specific area of expertise, which requires rigorous education, apprentice work, and intensive board testing. An architect’s area of expertise is the building systems and how the structure is melded into the environment. An interior designer’s area of expertise is a psychological examination of human nature and needs as they are affected by the built environment.

So where do contractors and designers (non-registered) fit into the picture? Contractors execute the design vision as it pertains to construction, and designers adorn and beautify spaces that require no building modifications. There is no education requirement, licensing, or maintenance of continuing education. There is no ruling body mandating regulations. There are great contractors who are very responsible and run impressive operations. Generally, these contractors are members of organizations that require CEUs and have certified programs. NARI is an example of such an organization. Some contractors are as naturally talented as some RAs and RIDs. Decorators who call themselves interior designers don’t quite understand the meaning of the term. They aren’t trying to mislead; they simply don’t realize what the big deal is. There are plenty of non-qualified talented designers whose experience counts. However, there are plenty that don’t know what the codes are, or how to resolve construction complications. Their role is to make selections that beautify the interiors. That’s just plain decorating.

So you get the idea now; there are plenty of people vying for your business. How do you know whom to choose? It certainly depends on your project, but the best results come from a collaborative effort. Respect between the disciplines and working together to create your dream home or office. Starting with your design team will lead you down the right path and through the process that flushes out the options and creates a unique space for you.

Silk of the Future

What is stronger than Kevlar, more rare than a four leaf clover, and shines like an Olympic gold medal? A textile made entirely of spider silk. On display at the American Museum of Natural History, this incredible piece took four years and over one million spiders to create. Although the title of “largest textile made of spider silk” now belongs to an embroidered cape, this cloth measures 11’ by 4’, not something to laugh at!

Current Kevlar vest
Quick, J. L. “A Better Bulletproof Vest.” Bob Johnson’s Toughbook Stuff, 2012. Digital file.

The full textile
Leggett, Hadley. “1 Million Spiders Make Golden Silk for Rare Cloth.” Wired, 2009. Digital file.

So, if this material is so strong, why don’t we use it for everything? Well, the reason the production took four years is because one spider can only produce a certain amount of silk at one time!

But…What if it could be created synthetically? It’s not out of the question; nylon was developed as a substitute for silk. All that needs to happen is for one person to have an idea.

That’s where Randy Lewis comes in. This professor transplanted a gene from the silk-producing spiders into several goats. A mutation of sorts is created, and the milk taken from the goats contains an extra protein. The protein is extracted from the milk through a several processes, one of which involves taking the fat out of the milk. Eventually, the protein is concentrated enough that it can be used to create spider silk. The liquid protein is then slowly injected into alcohol, causing the protein to solidify and form silk.

The big question now would be: “Is the process worth it?” Right now, one quart of milk creates a vial of the protein that can make a silk strand 2-3 meters long. Those aren’t fabulous stats, but Mr. Lewis hopes that as the goats keep reproducing, the protein content of the milk will jump from 2% to 10%. Who knows, perhaps in the future we will be able to afford textiles created from these special spider-goats.

For more on the spider silk, follow the link below.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYlkJyG1Oik&feature=player_detailpage

Defy Convention This Spring

Written by Amy Tran

At SDG, we are ecstatic over the refreshing yet rebellious color palette for this spring. In 2014, there is a powerful balance between vivid and fearless hues paired with subdued and calming pastels. Normally these colors are not paired together. They are defying convention, and we are in love.

Eye Pleaser:

SpringPalette_Page_1

This palette includes vibrant yellows and blues, along with the color of the year Radiant Orchid. These are balanced with soft mints, sandy taupes, lazy blues and a hint of pepper with subdued reds and oranges.

Objects of Our Affection:

The Dacey Stool
This fun seat adds sunshine and conversation into any room.
Designed by Arteriors Home

  From our pals at Sherwin Williams, we used to Color Visualizer to make these Fun Scenes:

blue room

SW 6212 Quietude, SW 6886 Invigorate, SW 6509 Georgian Bay

orange room

SW 7620 Seaworthy, SW 6237 Dark Night, SW 7695 Mesa Tan, SW 6615 Peppery

Here is a sample of these new color palettes at play featuring recently designed rooms we just completed for one of our clients.  The girls loved their “new looks”!

2014-01-27 23 copy

2014-01-27 17 copy

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
thayer-coggin-hero__banner
Thayer-Coggin
HarveyProbberPlumChairs_l
Harvey Probber Chairs from 1stdibs.com

Not Your Grandmother’s Chantilly

August 2013


written by Amy Tran

This is not your grandmother’s Chantilly; this season lace is a staple. Bedding, wall covering, and rug patterns to dresses, shoes and nail design, retailers are a huge fan in both home décor and women’s apparel. Lace in black or dark colors creates a demure and sultry vibe; white or beige gives lace a crisp innocence that everyone can appreciate.

 

 

 

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!

Era of Art Quiz

Written By Guest Blogger: Kayla Harvey

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Think you know the era of art best described by your style?  If art embodied people as an attitude, what would yours say?  You might be surprised by it!
If the world of art is an ocean for which to swim, then lets jump into the puddle of this quiz, just for fun, and see what we find.
1.  I am a(n) __________ kind of person.
a)  Emotional
b)  Pick-Yourself-Up-By-The-Bootstraps
c)  Humorous
d)  Go-With-The-Flow
2.  I think the best art ___________
a)  Evokes strong feelings from the viewer
b)  Is technically accurate and true to life in appearance
c)  Is instantly recognizable, and culturally relevant
d)  Captures the fleeting beauty around us
3.  I think the best way to succeed is to:
a)  Fully experience every emotion
b)  Work hard
c)  Be aware of what is happening in my own culture
d)  Take each moment as it comes
4.  Images should be _________ to have artistic meaning.
a)  Emotive
b)  Rational
c)  Iconic
d)  Representational
5.  If I were touring an art museum and listening to music I would listen to:
a)  Singer/Song Writer
b)  Classical Orchestral
c)  Rock and Roll
d)  Instrumental Jazz
6. The most important component of a painting is:
a)  Authentic aesthetic experience
b)  Balanced composition
c)  Anything you want
d)  Brevity of creation
7.  If I were to pick a meal to eat just for fun it would be:
a)  Frilly tea sandwiches and fancy cookies
b)  Slow cooked and savory pot roast
c)  Fast food cheeseburger and fries
d)  Quick and colorful salad bar
8.  I enjoy art that is:
a)  Flirtatious and expressive
b)  Serious and contemplative
c)  Light-hearted and satirical
d)  Melodic and flowing
9. Finish this sentence.  The chicken crossed the road:
a)  To have himself a good cry, and fall in love while walking through a beautiful pasture.
b)  To get to the other side.
c)  To become a rocket ship and sail to the moon with Marilyn Monroe.
d)  To enjoy the sunset while it lasts.
10.  The best artists:
a)  Create sensations for their viewers
b)  Are classically trained and adhere to traditions of beauty
c)  Find common objects beautiful
d)  Capture the momentary beauty of everyday life
Alright, now that you have answered all of the questions see which lettered answer comes up most frequently in your selection. Read below to see which artistic era you are paired.
A = Romanticism
If you love emotional expression Romanticism is made just for you.  The movement began near the end of the 18th century as a reaction against the Industrial Revolution with particular aversion toward some of the downsides that came with the Age of Enlightenment.  Although the forms within Romantic paintings are still classical in nature, the color palate is much more vivid and pastel than in previous artistic eras.
Romanticism centers around the idea of validating strong emotion as an authentic source of aesthetic experience.  This system of thought spawned various other forms of artistic expression that blossomed during the period.
If after reviewing the art of Romanticism you would like to see other similar genres be sure to check out Rococo and Chinoiserie.
B = Renaissance
Alright, so this artistic period is a little up tight, but can you blame them?  Genius artists such as Michelangelo, Da Vinci and Raphael were producing precision art the likes of which have never since been paralleled.  The movement began in Italy and signaled the end of the Middle Ages.  Its name literally means “rebirth” as it is characterized by a renewal of the classical Greek and Roman traditions of balanced beauty.
The Renaissance was not a time limited to artistic innovation only.  The original Renaissance man Leonardo Da Vinci asserted, “Man is the measure of all things.”  And while Humanistic philosophy such as this may have begun with artists, it’s affects were wide spread, and may still be felt today in the belief of the advancement of humanity through its own efforts.
For continued exploration of similar artistic movements be sure to check out Mannerism and Neoclassicism.
C = Pop Art
Its fun, its comical, its sarcastic, and sometimes its just downright bizarre. Pop art began, as most art movements do, in reaction to the shortcomings of the previous movement.   In the late 1950s Abstract Expressionism was being shoved out of the way by irreverent Pop Artists fed up with the out of touch nature of their predecessors.  They felt that art should be tangible, iconic, easily understood by common people.  In a sense, art left the gallery and entered the street where everyday objects became exalted as figures of high art.
In addition to the use of found object, the movement is also characterized by the use of new and evolving technologies and materials.  One of the best examples of this is the work of Robert Rauschenberg who crafted found objects (sometimes trash) alongside neon Plexiglas and polymers.
For further research into Pop Art look into its possible origins in the movement known as Dada.
D = Impressionism
Impressionism marks a decided change in fine art.  In the late 1800s the movement began under much opposition.  The artists aim was an attempt to capture the momentary, transient effects of light.  It is bright and vivid and its paintings seem to have a swirling movement all their own.  It is an artistic style obsessed with immediacy, and the subjects contained within it are often ordinary everyday landscapes and people.
Impressionism was largely aided by the advancement in technology of paint tubes.  This allowed artists to paint en plein air, or outdoors in open air, and to capture more of the affects of light in the atmosphere.
Other artistic movements that were affected by Impressionism are Fauvism and Cubism.