Interiors

mood board monday: wallingford residence by Claire Grotz


Owners of the Wallingford home are looking to make their current residence more usable according to their daily needs. They are attracted to wallpaper and statement pieces in what would otherwise be a very simple, traditional room.  The rooms will be used as an informal private retreat with smart storage solutions to keep their space organized and functional. Happy Mood Board Monday!

lighting illuminated: 5 key considerations by Claire Grotz

Aesthetically, lighting fixtures can be like jewelry for an interior, adding a bit of sparkle and just the right finishing touch to a space. Functionally, there is a lot more to selecting a fixture than just its dashing good looks. The right (or wrong) lighting selection will make or break a design, regardless of how well the rest of the space has been crafted. Below are five key concepts to understand when selecting the right fixture.

UL listing
The UL, or Underwriters Laboratories, is an independent US company that tests and verifies consumer products to ensure their safety for the public. It is important to select a fixture that has been tested and approved by the UL, especially if it is going in a bathroom it will need to be UL listed for use in damp locations.

Lamping
Lamping refers to the type of bulb (or lamp) used in a fixture. Different types of bulbs have different light outputs, require different amounts of electricity, and have varying lifespans. For example, LED lights have a much longer lifespan (as much as 10-15 years which is great for fixtures in locations that are difficult to service) and they are also a great option for saving on energy costs. Some fixtures can accommodate different types of bulbs, but others cannot. Be sure to check the specifications to see whether the fixture uses a bulb that is readily available in your local store, or whether it is something you will need to special order, as this will impact the ease of maintenance over time.

Lumens
Lumens are the measurement of light output from the lamp, or bulb, as mentioned above. We are accustomed to understanding light output in relation to the watts of an incandescent bulb, but with so many other options (LED, halogen, fluorescent) a little math is needed to determine light output: The total output (lumens) you will get from a fixture is equal to the wattage of the bulb, times the lumens per watt for the bulb type. Therefore, a 60w incandescent that produces about 15 lumens per watt will give off only 900 lumens, whereas a 60w LED that produces 30 lumens per watt will give off 1800 lumens. (Hence the energy savings of switching to LED lights.)

Color Temperature
Color Temperature refers to how visually “warm” the light output appears. It is measured on the Kelvin scale of 1,000K (warmest) up to 10,000K (coolest). This influences the “mood” you want to set. Psychologically, a room filled with “warm” light (2,000K-3,000K) gives a sense of cozy intimacy and is desirable in restaurants or living rooms. A “cool” white light (3,000K-4,500K) tends to make a space feel vibrant and bright, which works well in offices or bathrooms. Daylight falls around 4,600K-6,500K, which feels energizing and crisp and is great for task lighting.


CRI
Finally, the CRI is the Color Rendering Index, measured on a scale of 0-100. Different light bulbs (and hence the fixtures that require them) will vary when it comes to how accurately colors appear under the light. This is separate from Color Temperature, and gets very scientific very fast. To simplify the concept, what is important to note when selecting lighting for spaces where color accuracy is crucial (like a design studio, salon, or your dressing area at home) is that the higher the CRI number, the more accurately you will see color. Daylight has a CRI of about 75 and typically in a living space you will want a CRI of 70 or higher.



As you can tell, the art and science of lighting can be very complex, and we haven’t even touched issues like beam spread or control systems. For large projects or public buildings where lighting plays a critical role it is often desirable to engage a lighting consultant. However, understanding these five key concepts is a great starting point for discussing the basics with your architect or designer, or shopping for fixtures on your own.



bringing inspiration to life: from mood board to reality by Claire Grotz

One of the first deliverables (and arguably one of the most important) of any design project is a mood board. This collection of inspiration images serves as a visual road map throughout the design process, allowing you and your designer to create a cohesive look & feel (concept) for your space. Inspiration images can be as abstract and seemingly unrelated to architecture as fashion, artwork, food or travel photography. Sometimes, the more unrelated the better as it allows for more creativity to design a truly unique and personalized space.  Below are a few inspiration images from a New England concept paired with ideas for how to relate them back to the final design.




To start, the color palette can be derived from one main inspiration image with the look & feel you are going for. Here, it is beachy, light, casual and clean, with lots of blues and soft neutrals.


For example, here we took the weathered wood look from a boat deck and used that as inspiration for the flooring.


Here the color & texture of nautical rope can appear in a chunky knitted throw.



The bathroom fixture on the right was inspired by nautical equipment, both in the design and finish.


The stripes on these boat covers can be referenced through the color and pattern of fabric choices.

By creating a comprehensive collection of inspiration images for the mood board, and referencing it periodically as the project progresses, you and your designer will be able to build a final design that clearly reflects your desired outcome for the space. If you have a future project in mind, I recommend gathering images as early in possible. That way you are ready to hit the ground running when it comes time to start the process. Happy collecting!

beyond carrara and chrome by Unknown

Spring is in the air and it is finally time to break out those bright colors.  Here are some pops of color for the kitchen and bath to beat out the Seattle gray:

Vola faucet in pink

Vola faucet in orange

Orange kitchen by VMX architects


Vola faucet in yellow

Vola 321 faucet in light green

Vola faucet in light green

Silver Lake House, LA CA by Bestor Architecture

Vola KV-1 faucet in dark blue

Dornbracht tara faucet in “matt black”

tv time by Claire Grotz

According from the stats from Nielsen (2009*), the average American home contains 2.86 televisions.  When designing homes, we discuss specific locations and visual prominence of the television early on in the design process.

Do you prefer your television prominently displayed in your home or hidden away until viewing time?  Perhaps you live in a condo where the homeowners’ association restricts wall-mounted televisions on a shared wall.  Maybe you need the flexibility of pivoting the television or even easily moving it between rooms.

There are many options available to provide secure, convenient and eye pleasing displaying of your televisions.  Here are a few that caught our attention:

Floor Mounted

The Sail by Desalto 




Wall Mounted With Pivot

Side System Wall Units by Fimar






Mobile

The Cobra by Mario Bellini





Hidden

Riddling Rack TV Cover by Pottery Barn






Reclaimed

Vintage Stand by Etsy

kids table by Unknown

With the holidays right around the bend we’re thinking it’s time for the card table and folding chairs to get an upgrade: here is some furniture that makes us want to sit at the kids table this season:

Even the littlest guest can partake in the festivities in these beautifully designed high chairs.


Spanish children’s furniture maker Micuna’s Ovo highchair. Practical without sacrificing on design, the wood legs are made of sustainable beech and the white tray is dishwasher safe. And it doesn’t take a kids imagination to see that the packaging may be their favorite part of the deal


Finnish birch plywood Onni chair comes in festive colors and forgoes the tray for inclusion at the family table




Danish furniture maker Small Design’s “cirkel” table comes with four stools that can be tucked away when not in use or arranged to create a second smaller table.



Also by Small Design, the “cube” is a table and chair in one


And last but not least, reminiscent of the tolix stool but in mini, the Lemonade table & stool set by babyletto is stackable washable and works as a stool or side table as well.

Will your kids table resemble any of these? Let us know what you have planned for your holidays!