Every year I am inspired by wonderful new design concepts from the Hospitality Design Convention in Las Vegas. HD Expo is the leading trade show and conference for the hospitality design community. Bringing together thousands of designers, owner/operators, brand executives, architects, purchasers and manufacturers for three days of inspiration and exceptional networking.
I get plenty of exercise walking through the three day show viewing thousands of new designs from all over the world. It is a wonderland of new color, fabrics and inspiration I can bring to all of my clients.
I am also inspired by the design of my shoes. After three days of walking through the Las Vegas Convention center I am thankful I continue to be
Thank you for your continued interest in Lynne Usinger Interior Design. I enjoy working with all of you!
This neon trio has been introduced as a set of new colors for 2019. "If we look to the ideas influencing culture today, technology stands at the forefront," writes Eleanor Innis at Shutterstock. She feels color is "a universal communicator, a dynamic force of the visual world that brings life and meaning to everything we see. There's an excited energy driving this movement, so it's no wonder that 2019's color trends pack a digital punch."
UFO Green can evoke lush countrysides with binary code, as we saw in the movie The Matrix.
Buzzing neon signs, humming devices and vibrating phones are reflected in Proton Purple.
A sizzling hue with lots of depth, Plastic Pink captures the electric glow of cities at night.
Planning a trip abroad? Popular colors vary in different countries, from lavender blush in Japan to plum in the U.K. Going to Canada or Mexico? Think blue. Staying in the U.S? Think green. We found it fascinating how color preferences vary around the world.
Eleanor Innis at Shutterstock also writes "the colors we love in any given season reflect more than trends in fashion, home decor, or design – they represent our cultural moment. Take the subdued, pastel shades of the '50s. Clean robin's egg blue or pale, pat-of-butter yellow gave people a sense of peace and safety after a tumultuous decade. The natural greens and browns of the '70s aligned with the growing conservationist movement, and the first Earth Day."
Can World War One ship camouflage influence interior design? We found an interesting article by Megan Swoyer of Sherwin-Williams paints about this interesting concept. Imagine using art as a wartime defense. That's exactly what the strategists behind Razzle Dazzle Camouflage had in mind during WW1 when they suggested painting warships in a way that distracted and confused the enemy. Today, the influences from this defense tactic are showing up in unexpected places: On the walls of cafes, stairways and clients' homes as an element of interior design.
These bold, geometric patterns are now being used in commercial and residential projects as a design element on painted walls, wallpaper and fabrics. Of course, the last thing interior designers and color experts want to do is confuse homeowners with strange interior patterns, but there is certainly something to be said about the idea of injecting a dose of dazzling excitement and complexity into interior design.
How did this type of art go from warships to walls? Dazzle camouflage, also known as razzle dazzle was a ship camouflage technique used extensively in WW1 and to a lesser extent in World War II and subsequent wars. The designs featured complex patterns of geometric shapes in contrasting colors, interrupting and intersecting each other intending to mislead the enemy about a ship's course.
These patterns can also be used on a monochrome rather than a color basis, but it is suggested it be used in smaller spaces, like powder rooms or entryways as it could be overwhelming if used on a large scale.
I would have to carefully study this technique prior to recommending it to my clients, but thought from a design and historical perspective the concept is very interesting.
Have you purchased paint lately? The cost is soaring, along with the high labor costs of painting contractors.
We found a very informative article by Tara Mastroeni at freshhome.com about how to pick the color for your interior design projects correctly the first time to avoid expensive repainting errors.
Selecting proper paint color is never easy. The color of the paint can change throughout the day with sun and shadow, and can change during the evening hours with artificial lighting.
The author of the article suggests you pick your textiles prior to selecting the paint color. If you base your color palette on an existing product, you're far more likely to find a coordinating shade of paint. Start your design projects by building off a single piece that catches your eye. Patterned items are particularly good options because they often incorporate multiple shades and can be used as the basis for your entire color scheme.
I attempt to make all elements in a home "talk to each other." Paint color can be a unifying element. Avoid giving each room its own distinct style and color scheme while forgetting to account for the fact that your home needs to feel cohesive.
Ask your paint supplier to provide a large color sample of each color of paint you are interested in and tape them on the walls of your home. The colors will change throughout the day so be sure to evaluate any color shifts prior to selecting the final palette.
Paint finish is sometimes not considered when choosing colors, but it is a very important consideration. Paint can vary from a flat finish, to egg shell and satin, to a semi-gloss and high-gloss finish. Each has a significant impact on the final result of your painting project-- so choose wisely. If you are unsure of your choices an interior designer may be able to help with the many considerations in choosing the correct paint color the first time.
Below is a link to this very informative article on how to choose the correct paint for your home or office design project.
Tax season again? I was jokingly asked by a client if I could design a whiskey bar to help her through the tax season. I found an interesting
article for her on The Salonniere website showing how to design a whiskey bar. If she is serious, I will head straight to Bevmo! to further my design education.
The author recommends stocking your bar in the following way:
1) Limit your options. Stock your bar with with one higher-end "Snobbish Sipper" whiskey, another for the "Experimental" drinker, and a go-to brand for cocktails. These should be labeled accordingly to inform and inspire your guests. "By limiting the options, you reduce the stress of having too many choices, create conversation starters, and decrease the footprint of your party setup."
2) Match the glassware to your whiskey. The author recommends snobbish sippers get Glencairns and wine glasses. Experimental types find their bliss in rocks glasses and collins glasses and coupes work best for whiskey based cocktails. He states "this almost certainly guarantees dirty dishes, breakage and rings on your furniture, but this is merely collateral damage for a well-lubricated event."
3) Stock a variety of ice. People enjoy ice in their whiskey, and people enjoy correctly chilling and diluting their cocktail. The temperature and speed of dilution can affect the taste of whiskey, so you will need three sizes of ice to accommodate varying preferences. The author recommends some large cubes of ice, medium one-inch cubes for cocktail making, and then small cubes. He recommends you offer a small selection at the glassware table with additional ice in the freezer.
George Bernard Shaw once said "Whiskey is liquid sunshine." See you at Bevmo!
Holiday parties are on the horizon, and proper lighting design can make your guests feel movie star gorgeous. The Salonniere website lists ten tips for achieving perfect lighting for your party.
1. Use candles. There is nothing more glamorous and flattering than candlelight.
2. Turn off overhead lighting. Most rooms have a large light in the middle of the ceiling. Don't use it. Overhead lighting casts very unflattering shadows. Hollywood uses overhead lighting as a technique for aging actors and actresses.
3. Use table lamps. Diffused light from lamps at eye level creates the most flattering and soft glow.
4. Install dimmers. Use dimmer switches on lamps so you can control the level of illumination as the natural light changes and the evening progresses.
5. Use low-wattage bulbs. For lamps that aren't on a dimmer, use 25-watt bulbs.
6. Choose elegant lamp shades. A thin white shade will allow too much bright light to pass through. Opt for opaque shades that cast light up and down.
7. Pre-light your powder room. It can be jarring to walk from a candlelit party into a brightly lit power room, so pre-set you powder room lighting to a dim level and place a small, lightly scented candle on the vanity.
8. Include mirrored pieces in your furnishings. Mirrored consoles, tables and trays reflect candlelight beautifully and add instant glamour.
9. Add colored glass. Light that reflects off glass lamps, bowls and decanters creates the look of sparkling gemstones and adds a wonderful dimension to the ambiance.
10. Build a fire. Who doesn't feel gorgeous in front of a fire? Fire light is the ultimate romantic and flattering light source.
And most of all... have a great time!
We found a great solution to the plugs, cords and unsightly clutter often associated with home and commercial media stations. Millsoncs Corporation makes the world's first completely concealed home entertainment system. Called CinemaFrame, Millsoncs states "there are no more black boxes, bulky speakers, tangled wires or confusing remote controls." "With CinemaFrame, all you'll see is your TV surrounded by a slim frame of designer fabric." "Finally, a system designed to fill your room with entertainment, not equipment."
There is a wide range of commercial and home applications this type of design can offer. From commercial promotional video and television programming to stationary art photos, this system can appeal to a wide audience. View stationary photos of the artwork of Manet or Picasso one day and watch the Super Bowl the next.. all in a clean and uncluttered environment.
I enjoyed discussing interior design plans with a new residential client in the San Francisco Bay Area. The client was concerned our past design projects looked overly calm and not sufficiently "eclectic" for her tastes.
I let her know most of our clients desire a calm and serene theme in their residential interior designs, but we could pick a different, highly eclectic design if she wished. She could base her decisions on any theme she liked, and we could make her vision a reality.
I sent the client a photograph of an entry to the Moncler flagship in New York City, designed by Gilles & Bassier emulating a grand Parisian apartment. The design was recently featured in Interior Design magazine. The store has anodized aluminum walls and a robot, should she want a robot in her home.
This was all in fun, of course, but I wanted to show the client our design capabilities can range from calm to highly unusual. We ask our clients to tell us about their tastes and we will design from there!
Immortality discovered. In a most unusual way.
Many times builders do not carry pencil and paper when working on a project. They write memos, measurements and phone numbers on pieces of wood that will eventually be covered by wall board, paint and wallpaper. Why carry note paper when any available piece of wood will do?
During an in-progress building inspection of the home a client, a major San Francisco commercial office builder, I discovered my telephone number had been written on a wooden stud by the contractor. Who are you going to call when you have questions about interior design? I was honored to be that person. If anyone working on the project had questions about the final interior design, that was the number to call!
My telephone number will soon be covered with plaster and paint, but for now it was fun to see the writing on the wall.
Yes. Your kitchen could be in an alley in San Francisco if you combined two homes into one. A photo below shows a former alley between two previously separate cottages that was closed in and converted into a kitchen when the buildings were combined into one residence. We enjoyed reading an article in Interior Design Homes how architect Messana O'Rorke combined two residences in space limited Pacific Heights in San Francisco. What a great way to combine living units without the cost of major reconstruction! I enjoyed seeing the unique floor lamp in the interior of the building created by Isamu Noguchi, as well as some of the interesting stone objects collected by the owners. This seems like a project that could be done without major building reconstruction and easily completed on time and on budget in our increasingly crowded world.