Jan 31, 2012

Peek-a-Boo: Home Theater Design

All this talk about the Super Bowl, Man Caves, Media Rooms, and Home Theaters has driven me absolutely crazy!

But... there is something to be said about giving the public what it wants ~ and as Leslie Carothers from The Kaleidoscope Partnership shared with us last night on a Live Web Talk Radio event: "if there is in increase in the Super Bowl facebook page by over 3000 "likes" in less than one day, well then".. who are we to argue with those kinds of numbers, right?

So, today's Peek-a-Boo post is going to delve a little deeper into Home Theater design for every size type home! Not all of us have $6 Million dollars to spend on a specialized media room like Jeremy Kipnis

Jeremy Kipnis
But once you start searching for ideas on home theaters or media rooms, some really out-of-the-box ideas pop up!

Themed Home Theaters

Home-Theatre Design

malibu theme via tktheters.com
asktheadvisors design

Multi-Functional Home Theaters

Sweety Design

J Bilhuber

Or this more traditional setting, where a BAR has been incorporated into the scheme..
What I like about this example is that it goes against the trend of designing a media room in dark colors but instead is all white! With the right equipment, and great lighting, we really don't need to have the room designed in all dark colors which can sometimes become very overwhelming especially if you are in a basement.


But as another alternative, and if you really don't have the space for a Private Movie Theater in your home, there are always other alternatives to making movie night fun, like how Vicente Wolf uses an easel to create an extremely original support for the TV in this open plan space.

Vicente Wolf via House Beautiful

So how would I design a Media Room..
Well there are always a few elements that I like to consider so that everyone feels comfortable in this space, and at all times, besides the technical lighting, sound and all the equipment which are fundamental and are a priority for most when considering this room in their home.

Velvet, Comfortable seating
Textures - on soft furnishings, walls (grasscloth,
or fabric covered walls)

Turner David Interiors

Of course there are amazing options for reclining movie theater style seating which I have used but in this option I felt other alternatives would be a little more exciting and add that touch of flexibility ~ allowing you to be able to reincorporate some of these pieces in other areas of your home later on.

My Mood Board ~ Home Theater via Olioboard

These are some inspirational images of materials which in one way or another I would incorporate into a design scheme for this type of room right now.

Betsy Brown
I love the idea of introducing wood as another natural element into a home theater.
This is an outstanding example where the TV can be hidden if necessary.

So are you getting ready for your Sunday Super Bowl party?
Perhaps you are feeling inspired by this post to start rearranging some rooms in your home and making "movie night" a weekly event.

Give me a call.. let's talk design strategy!

Jan 30, 2012

Weekend Inspiration: Wooden Beams ~ Design for MEN?

I spent a lot of time on my Pinterest boards this weekend.

I find that while doing this for awhile I am able to spot certain trends, patterns, colors or even architectural details that seem to appear repeatedly. A type of "Trend Spotting" a la Dec-a-Porter.

This Weekend Inspiration post, focuses on exposed wooden beams in design and how to design for men.

The first thing that comes to mind when I see an image of a room with exposed wooden beams on the ceiling is, how those that practice the art of Feng Shui consider it a very negative force.

Anantara Qasr Al Sarab
It is thought as "a poisoned arrow" so the belief is that you should avoid sleeping, sitting, working, studying under it whenever possible.

Some believe that you can alleviate some of these negative energies by painting them white, making them visually less apparent, or by covering or softening their impact from them with fabric, hanging bamboo, or even firecrackers!

via aubreyroad.blogspot.com

uxus design

But on the other hand, with the Super Bowl only days away, and with so much emphasis being placed on design and room layouts that take into consideration the "male" population of the home ~ this does seem to me to help introduce a more masculine quality to the design scheme.

Jute Interior

Is it that heaviness of the wood, or perhaps the 'visual stability' that it inspires that makes me feel this when I look at some of these examples?

I'm not sure. But, I can say that when designing a basement or a TV / Theater room in a home there have been many occasions where I have been asked to introduce these types of elements into the design scheme - even though there may not necessarily be a true structural reason for them.

California Home & Design ~ Erin Martin
Cheryl Tague ID

via Scot Meacham Wood blog
Celerie Kemble

Kate Walsh's TV Room via InStyle magazine

So what do you think? Beams, or no Beams?
Do they make you feel the same way?

Jan 27, 2012

Dec-a-Porter 360* - Ben Silbermann, Pinterest and Alt Summit

Ben Silbermann & I
 (*OMG this is becoming my screen saver)

I wanted today's Dec-a-Porter 360* to be special.

One of the incredible keynote speakers during ALT Summit was Ben Silbermann, a Founder of Pinterest, and his talk on "How Pinterest Became the Next Game Changer" was the best way to end this amazing week.

Haven't heard about this life changing site yet? Here is one of my earlier posts on How to Get Pinning yourself.

all images via Ben Silberman slides at ALT summit (*apologies for poor quality)
First a little background on the man - Ben. From a family of doctors, and studying Chemistry, there was a moment where "I realized I should 'do business"! That was his junior year at college.
So off he went to buy himself "a leather folder, and made a resume" to look the part.
First job landed, and Ben became the Whiz Excel machine.. whipping out charts like there was no tomorrow.. analysing numbers, and producing reports.

Year: 2004. Tech Revolution taking place.

Ben realizes that "THIS was going to be the STORY of his TIME"..
Move forward in time - > Hello, SILICON VALLEY! Hello, GOOGLE!

This is the phrase Ben uses to get a job at Google. And it worked... but again the job was all about the charts..analysing data, customer service, etc. But this was "a special place. an idealistic place..".

"Main lesson from that time: DREAM BIG!"

"Being able to have a bigger impact and connect with people so far away".. Exciting & frustrating!
"I want to build a product!" - so he decides to leave Google. 1 week later - Market Crashes!

 SO while he struggled to find funding and put together his motto:
"people succeed because they don't stop" and you must have a great support system.

Fast forward... and as an avid collector and a firm believer that "what you collect says alot about who you are" .. and meeting Evan Sharp.. (co-founder of Pinterest, Architect, "Ex-Facebooker") is quoted as saying... "an enjoyable part of [moving to web design] was learning to take abstract ideas and concepts and then solve them tangibly" (source)
Pinterest was born! It launched in March 2010, by the hard work and perseverance of Paul Sciarra, Evan Sharp and Ben Silbermann and by October 2011 it had surpassed 421 million (yes, MILLION!) page views.

*again all images via keynote address - apologies for poor quality

From these really early stages, and 50+ versions later, we are at the amazing user friendly version of Pinterest as we know and love it now.
..."it is no accident that all the images are a specific width in pixels, or that the text is on the bottom, or that the feed is on the left...etc"

and Pinterest starts.

a badge created by Steven for SFGirlByBay
See Post talking about launch - MAY 2010        
Yet again, another great chance meeting changes the course when Ben attends ALT Summit a few years ago, and meets Victoria from one of our favorite blogs, SFGirlByBay.

They discuss an idea which is further developed by a plane ride back to California together and "Pin It Forward" begins May 12, 2010.
It was an event which involved approx 300 bloggers creating pin boards and like a chain link they would share this experience in their blogs and other SM outlets as well as pass it forward (so wishing I had been a part of that!)

Every day for thirty days, 10 bloggers would describe their pinboard and introduce the next blogger.
As time goes on, more and more join Pinterest, and it begins to be used by the most incredible people, bloggers, brands and institutions in order to share..share..and share some more. Where great ideas are found and shared, the Pinterest revolution starts to take shape.
PBS News Hours: Asks viewers to share their stories about the way pediatric cancer
had touched their life by sending in a photo
And what it the goal of Pinterest? "To get you OFFLINE, to inspire you to enjoy life, do things, be creative... You can articulate what you like and what you are looking for through images".

This is why the Pinterest Meetups have been such a huge success (and why many at ALT Summit begged for more to be organized). Meeting people in 'Real Life' that share your tastes, desires and inspire you is an incredible feeling. This can happen from meeting those you connect with on Twitter as well.

The beauty of Pinterest is "what people have put inside it".

So much can be understood and is instantly captured through each and every image. It transcends all barriers - whether language, religion, age, race or culture.

What is Pinterest?     It is the NEW UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE.

Top Tip for Pinners: "Pin Wisely. It's not about the Quantity but the about the Quality of your pins."
Pinterest 2.0 - What does the future hold?
  • Possible privacy settings ("it's very complicated to make this simple" ) - This would allow working designers to use with clients, or family members to share private images, etc
  • Better categories (yay!)
  • Better quality control on the type of images being pinned. At the moment, they rely a lot on us flagging the malicious content.
  • Better control of original attribution to images.. and a few more but better not let everything out of the bag, right?

I confess, I love My Pinboards! It has added so much to my life - both professionally and personally. Have you checked out my pinboards lately?

Here is an example of my "Color Palette Inspiration" Board:

Although it is an invitation only site, if you leave a comment on this post letting me know, I will happily send you an invite to join.
So on that note, I sign off this post with some really exciting news to share:

I have been asked to speak about Pinterest & Olioboards with Leslie Carothers from The Kaledscope Partnership: "From Inspiration to Income".

This talk will take place during Highpoint Market ~ Sat, April 2, 2012 at the Antique & Design Center.

For those that don't have never been, the High Point Market is the largest Home Furnishings Industry trade show in the world; bringing more than 85,000 buyers to High Point, North Carolina every six months. Professional designers and home furnishing buyers over 6 days will gather contacts, seek out trends and product shop till they drop. www.highpointmarket.org
Please join us, it's going to be lots of fun and really informative.
Have a wonderful, "Pin-full", Weekend.

Pinterest Team Motto

"Don't hold out onto your idea for ever..and NEVER compromise in the quality of it's execution" - Ben

Jan 26, 2012

Color Wheel: Red Hot

Is it really a surprise that today's Color Wheel post is all about RED??!!

Whether I am taking inspiration from the Chinese New Year this week, or from My Trend Spotting at ALT Summit, and not to mention that Valentine's Day is just around the corner.

It is all about Red.

So, I think that red is my new favorite color (ok, so this kind of changes on a weekly basis..) Luckily, that's ok in my business, right?

So with these different leading my thoughts on how to look at the color red, and thinking of how I to translate that into color palettes for my work (and this post) there are a few combinations for each event that scream out at me.

Letterbox house by McBride Charles Ryan architects / Vogue China / by thenewdomestic.com

My Chinese New Year Mood Board via OLIOBOARD

Domino / Veranda / via awarchitect.com

Steven Gambrel / Vogue China

unknown / Oscar de la Renta Spring 2012

Home&Garden_July 1988 via littleaugury blog / Jamie Drake

Homes & Gardens

hanspunbambooyarn via papernstitch com / earmark at etsy / emma stone

Hair catalogue / Salvatore Ferragamo 2012

Vogue Australia March 2011 / Jay Jeffers

Tina Fey via 30 Rock Tumblr / red heart slippers via smilingknitting @ etsy

Hope you are feeling inspired to use RED in your life.. I am seriously considering buying a red dress... even with my reddish hair! I have a favorite... mine is RED & PINK!

Of these four color combinations, which is your favorite. Leave a comment, or send me a tweet..

For more on Red Hot inspirations:
Check out my Pinterest board on it

Jan 25, 2012

1-2-3: Top Trends from ALT SUMMIT

Sticking to the weekly schedule I thought it would be a nice way to share some of the great trend spotting from ALT Summit...

TREND #1 ~ and while trying to avoid sounding repetitive - It Is ALL About The Cards!

P.S. If you spot yourself, make sure to say hi & leave a comment with your link.

These are only a few of the many cards I took home with me. All from fellow creative types - Bloggers in all shapes and forms (Artists, Photographers, Graphic Designers, Moms, Designers, DIY and Crafts, ...) and I could keep going.

TREND #2 - Gotta have the right shoes!

TREND #3 - You might as well not go outside without your lips on!

More ALT Summit recap headed your way!

Special shout out!
Last night was a highpowered - fastpaced night for my regular (and some new) twitter chats!
They are THE place for information and meeting like minded people...

A few special friends helped me make it to 1000 followers last night on Twitter, so as a big thank you, they get a special mention on this post for so much fun last night. Please check them out!

  1. Barbara Elza Hirsch @elzabdesign  http://www.facebook.com/elzabdesign
  2. Carmen Christensen @Time2Design http://time2designinc.blogspot.com/ 
  3. Mark Johnson @MarkJohnsonFAIA @markjohnsonckd http://www.linkedin.com/in/markjohnsonfaia

and my new best friend: my 1000th Follower Melissa Allen Heath @melisheath http://sustainablesuburbia.wordpress.com/ 

If you are on Twitter please follow them too...
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