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!

 

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

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A Classic: Black & White

Contributing Author: Amy Tran

Crisp, timeless and always a glimmer of elegance, the classic black & white color combo will never go out of style.

An homage to the great Dorothy Draper, black and white flooring juxtaposed with ornate window casings and doorways create an alluring quality.

A great amount of attention is placed on balance and proportion.  Accessories are dramatic and highly detailed while the color palettes remain simple but exciting.

 

 

 

The Art of Ikat

Contributing Author: Amy Tran

Ranging from hippie chic, to tribal safari to elegant embellishment, Ikat is a highly sought after material due to the time, effort and precision that goes into making it.  There are many variations of Ikat, as it has origins in India, Japan and many South East Asian countries.  The meaning of the word “Ikat” is “to bind”.  The tying and dyeing process is similar to “tie dying”, however the fabric is dyed as it’s woven, creating intricate geometric shapes and patterns.  The result is both interesting and exotic.  This trend has hit the market hard in the past few years.  In both woven and graphic depictions, the “Ikat” continues to populate fashion as well as interiors; trending in dresses, pillows, and accessories – even iphone cases!

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Brunschwig & Fils Showroom

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“Bayadere” By Brunschwig & Fils

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An Indigo Chair

 

 

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Ikat Robe

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Ikat iphone case by Society6

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Iman Red & Blue Ikat Decorative Pillow on Etsy

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Ikat iphone case by Tory Burch

Chasing The Rabbit

Written by Guest Blogger Kayla Harvey
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Watch the Video here: maison & objet
Entering an industry exhibit for Interior Design is nothing short of an “Alice in Wonderland” experience.  Never before seen innovations, striking new trends, and designers that have taken at least a few cues from the Mad-Hatter himself!  Go ahead, fall through the rabbit hole and experience the wondrous marvels that we have fallen in love with at the French exhibit Maison & Objet.

Flower Power: Layers of Floral Prints

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Keeping with last weeks post, and an homage to the 1960’s flower power motif, we bring you a popular design trend: Layering Bold Floral Patterns.  From wallpapers covered in lively, upbeat floral glory to upholstery in loud eccentric buds, these statement floras mix wonderfully with vivid-colored solid counterparts.  As we look ahead to Summer 2013, we’re captivated by these magnificent beauties..

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1  Jonathan Adler Malmo Wallpaper in Pink & Purple / via Layla Grayce

2  Dory Wall Mirror / via Plantation Design

3  Girly Orange Vintage Chair / via Modern House Insight

4  10-Light Modern Chandelier / Opal / via ABC Carpet & Home

5  Fera Pink Pillow Pair / via Layla Grayce

6  Bright Pink Chair / via Granger Hertzog

7  Curvey Chrysanthemum Vase / via Anthropologie

8  Ogee Pillow / via Trina Turk

 

 

Image via Elle Decor France

 

Image via Pinterest

Candy colored layers of pattern and flower power punch

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ABC Carpet & Home / Aquasilk 9’5″x16’3″ Rug

A more subdued, Psychedelic take on the bold Flower Power look

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Wallpaper by Amy Butler / Passion Lily / via Layla Grayce

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Wallpaper by Amy Butler / Field Poppies / via Layla Grayce

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Amy Butler Memento Wallpaper / Image via Layla Grayce

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Amy Butler Passion Lily / Image via Layla Grayce

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Amy Butler Temple Tulip Wallpaper / Image via Layla Grayce

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Jennifer Paganelli Back Bay Orange Blue Embroidered Pillow / via Layla Grayce

 

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Folklore Red Embroidered Pillow / via Layla Grayce

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Trina Turk / Multi Floral Pillow

Jonathan Adler Malmo

 

Jonathan Adler Wallpaper Malmo Green & Brown / Image via Layla Grayce

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Image via Bennison Fabrics

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Image via Bennison Fabrics

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Image via Layla Grayce

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Anchor your pattern mixing with vivid solids.

 

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

Metamorphosis, by Cecie Borschow

We welcome your comments on this weeks blog post!  This mixed media work by Cecie Borschow is titled: Metamorphosis.  Let the discussion begin…

Metamorphosis  300 lb Arches 22 x 30 paper mixed media

Meet Amy, our Summer Intern!

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We welcome Amy Tran, Summer intern, to the SDG team.  She is studying Merchandising and Design from Wade College.  Amy is originally from Houston,  an honorary member of National Kitchen and Bath Association, and working toward her certification as a Kitchen and Bath Designer.  In her spare time Amy enjoys literature and finds inspiration for design in the different people she comes into contact with every day.

Amy looks to people, history and her travels for design inspiration.  An avid Architectural Digest reader, Amy recommends:

Amy describes her personal design style as a clean and natural aesthetic, and is attracted to unusual materials.  Some of her favorite materials for adding unique character to interior spaces are natural stone and reclaimed wood.

Is Faux Fur For You?

Written by guest blogger Kayla

Lets face it, it isn’t for everyone, but for those who do enjoy it faux fur can make quite a statement piece.  Not to mention the warmth and just plain ol’ cozy factor it brings.  If you are on the fence about bringing faux fur into your home here are a few things to consider.

 1. Sustainability – The debate over real vs faux is for another time and place.  For the purposes of this article we are only looking into faux.  With that in mind it is important to note that the manufacturing process to create this fluffy material is not usually the most eco-friendly.  The best bet when considering the environment is to buy recycled or vintage.
2. Durability – Faux fur is a long way away from being a durable material.  For this reason take time to think through its application in your home.  Do you have young children or pets?  It is best to keep this loveably impractical fabric in a place that would be less likely to be chewed, slobbered or spilled upon.  Also, consider smaller applications like pillows or throws, because unless you have the magical ability to levitate across rooms a faux fur area rug would undoubtably be a headache to maintain.
3. Aesthetics – When it gets right down to it, do you like it?  Your personal style should have just as much say in the debate as the durability factor.  So, if you’ve found that faux fur is for you then we hope you find your perfect piece and snuggle right up to it!

Springtime Floral Design

It’s no doubt that adding a dash of floral to any space can make all the impact!  We’ve chosen tulips as our favorite floral this spring.  In countless color varieties, these blooms create a natural elegance and ambiance that so beautifully brightens up the room.

 

via Pinterest

Art-of-floral-design

1 Bright orange varieties in bunches, lined up for an outdoor garden party.  A simple, yet elegant presentation.

2 Aqua blue glass adds a touch of bold color against a white backdrop.  We just love the aqua-red color combo!

3 White pottery is the perfect accessory to any casual-chic floral arrangement.

4 Stems wrapped in greens in an ombre of purple tones create a lovely linear pattern.

5 The Estella Rijnveld species is a type of tulip identified by it’s fringed edges.

6 Long, thin branches accent this rustic composition.

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Earthy Orange Dining Room: Interior Design & Decor by Schlosser Design Group

 

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Orange pops off a dark, contrasting backdrop.

 

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Countless color varieties are available at almost every floral shop during the spring months.

 

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Have a large surface to fill?  Want to create the maximum effect?  Fill a large mouth vase with many hand fulls of blooms to really captivate your audience.

 

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Don’t be afraid to show off your roots!

Images via Pinterest