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Before & After: Creating an Elegant Traditional Kitchen with Contemporary Flair

Nothing brings interior designers more joy than sharing before and after pictures from a recently completed project. It is our chance to revisit how we truly changed a space for the better. I wanted to take this one step further and provide a little insight into why we made certain changes. The project is one that JBi completed in Wenatchee, WA. When the couple approached JBi, they wanted to create an elegant, traditional kitchen that also felt new and fresh. Let's call this an updated traditional look. The design plan was simple, improve the overall flow of the space, change the configuration to allow for a better entertaining space while maintaining a family-friendly feeling, and create a kitchen that was fitting of the custom nature of the home. 

So, the JBi team set out create a space that was custom, clean and fresh, yet still a sophisticated kitchen. The big changes in the room - streamline the wall planes (get rid of that weird angled wall by the refrigerator location), create a centerpiece range hood, set up the island for large groups and make the entire space feel family friendly. A set of tall orders, but I think once you see the final result, you'll agree that all criteria were met.

BEFORE: Lots of angles, cooktop oddly placed in island and angled wall that makes the kitchen feel smaller than it really is.

BEFORE: Lots of angles, cooktop oddly placed in island and angled wall that makes the kitchen feel smaller than it really is.

And now for the big reveal!

What you'll notice first off is how we amped up the elegance level in the space. Curved mullions in the upper cabinets, beautifully detailed flush-inset cabinetry, a grand island with appropriately-sized turned legs and 6cm marble slab. In terms of layout, by taking out the angled wall part, we were able to incorporate the rest of the kitchen into the space. We created a separate coffee/beverage area with it's own sink.

Now, some may criticize the placement of the refrigerator so far from everything. Well, as a designer of kitchens, we often have to weigh certain decisions against the function and feel of a room. In this case, we opted to place the refrigerator/freezer outside of the "first view" when someone walks into the kitchen. It also allowed us to have a dramatic range/cooktop centerpiece (we also had a perfect wall through which we could run the range hood vent pipe). So, while not optimal, the benefits we gained definitely outweighed the negatives.

jason-ball-interiors-kitchen-view.jpg

Looking back across the reverse angle, you can see how this kitchen is all about the view out the (truly) picture windows. With a view of mountains and the Columbia River valley, we moved the sink over to look out the best view. That left an expanse of counter top to the right of the range - perfect for cooking prep work. 

jason-ball-interiors-kitchen-design.jpg

I'm curious to know, could you live in this kitchen? I know that I certainly wouldn't mind having such a large room in which to create perfect meals for family and friends. Here's to dreaming, right?!

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Mathematics and Science as Interior Design Elements

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Mathematics and Science as Interior Design Elements

Some of you may know my personal story (if not, take a quick read here) and my background (and slightly disturbing love) of statistics. Along with science, numbers provide order in the world and design is sometimes all about order. How does one bring math and science into their designs? There are some fun and creative ways to bring the hard sciences into our interiors. Here are just a few inspirations to get your started.

Let's get started...1..2..3.. Use numbers as a counting lesson on your stairs. These creative stairs use numbers and fun patterns to spice up what would be an otherwise normal set of risers.

Numbers as art. This simple painting of numbers creates an immediate graphic statement in the room. Typography, whether numbers of letters, provides structure to the piece and gives viewers something to ponder. Is there a pattern in the art? Would be fun to figure that out.

Geometry extends our mathematics theme. One of my favorite classes in high school was geometry. I love the idea of structure and angles, intersections and degrees. Geometric designs in interiors are the known played against the unknown (pattern against the chaos). This simple geometric light fixture plays nicely with the less structured pattern in the drapery and bedding.

Molecules are the building blocks. The design of this dining room is set off completely by the molecule inspired chandelier by Lindsey Adelman. From there you can see the cell inspired fabric in the chairs and the geometric design in the rugs. Simple structures all in an elegant setting.

The great biology experiment. For the slightly more macabre, go with a Frankenstein-inspired look. This desk area is decorated with jars of aquatic specimens. Who knows what ghastly creatures could be thought up in such a lab - followed by sinister scientist's laugh.

I hope these ideas have inspired you to bring either math or science into you interior design. I know I'm thinking about ways to bring these into my own home.

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High Point - Gold Paradise

Twice a year ten of thousands of interior designers converge on the little sleepy town of High Point, North Carolina to attend the International Furniture Market or High Point Market. This year the design team from JASON BALL interiors made the trip across the country to see the latest and greatest furniture, lighting, accessories and lighting vendors are bringing to market. For an interior designer, it's like being a kid in a candy store! We spent 4 days walking miles each day looking through a hundred different show rooms (maybe more). There is a definite move in the furnishings industry away from the "rustic French" designs we've seen come out of the main furniture retailers over the past few years. Furnishings are trending to more refined and sophisticated with a wider range of finish options. Besides this overall move across the board, there are two big trends we saw this year (that we're really excited about) - gold and color. I'm saving color for the next blog entry, so stay tuned for that.

The current incarnation of gold is not the bright brass we saw in fixtures from the 1980s and 90s (think "builder's brass), but instead is a sumptuous gold color in fabrics, metal finishes and metallic paints. This gold tends more towards a true gold in the 24 karat vane. The gold sometimes appears in brushed, antiqued, painted finishes, gold leaf applied to glass or in rich velvety fabrics.

The JBi view on gold - it's beautiful and sophisticated when used in the correct ways, amounts and settings. Here are some our favorites examples of the new gold.

gold-fabric-by-Thom-Filicia-at-Vanguard
gold-fabric-by-Thom-Filicia-at-Vanguard
gold-mirror-and-lighting
gold-mirror-and-lighting
antiqued-gold-console-by Bernhardt
antiqued-gold-console-by Bernhardt
starburst-mirror-by-Bernhardt
starburst-mirror-by-Bernhardt
peacock-blue-chair-with-gold-finish
peacock-blue-chair-with-gold-finish
antique-gold-velvet-with-gold-accessories
antique-gold-velvet-with-gold-accessories
gold-lighting-and-accessories-by-Studio-A
gold-lighting-and-accessories-by-Studio-A
classic-gold-and-black-bookshelves
classic-gold-and-black-bookshelves
gold-accessories-by-Gold-Leaf
gold-accessories-by-Gold-Leaf

Are you daring enough to bring this "new" gold into your home?

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Making A Statement With Lighting

For anyone in the interior design world, the lighting world today provides us with so many great options with which to make a real statement in our designs. Lighting can either be functional or decorative, and sometimes both. This blog post focuses not just on decorative lighting, but on the fixtures that make a real statement in a space. Look around your house or apartment. What do the light fixtures say about you? Do they show your sense of adventure or your artistic side? If not, let's remedy he situation and bring some real lighting style to your design. From the JBi perspective, statement lighting are fixtures that are just outside the norm. We're not talking 8-arm chandeliers with little shades or a bowl fixture in the entry. We're talking about fixtures that are sculptural or especially stylistic in some form or another. While standard chandeliers certainly have their place in today's designs, a fixture with a little more "punch" can elevate your design into something special.

When selecting a statement fixture, focus on either color, shape, material or scale, or maybe all four design elements. Here are some examples to get the imagination flowing. More than anything, let the fixture be a true representation of you and your aesthetic.

Interior design by JASON BALL interiors of Portland, Oregon

Room built by SoCal Contractor

Interior design by CWB Architects

Design by Jessica Helgerson Interior Design

Design by MR MITCHELL

Design by Heather Garrett Design

Dining room design by JASON BALL interiors

We hope you get some great ideas from these examples of statement light fixtures. Now it's time to go out and find that perfect fixture for your space.

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Designer's Inspiration: Working with Light

Interior designers are given the honorable responsibility of working with individuals to take an existing space, develop a new design for that space and then implement the design. For the designers at JASON BALL interiors, we work very diligently on getting the lighting just right for each and every space. For us, light creates mood, atmosphere, formality (and informality) and is used to highlight the beauty in all other design elements in the space. Understanding light is like understanding the universe - it can take years to truly learn how to work with light. In my studies to further my personal understanding of light, I came across this video showing an installation at an art center called Storm King (learn more here) in the Hudson Valley in New York state. Solarium (2012) by William Lamson is basically an experimental greenhouse. The idea behind the installation is simple - create a glass paneled house in a field made up of a different shades of amber, orange and red. As art, the house is all about colors, environment, and the function of a space throughout the changing seasons. The greenhouse opens up completely during the summer for temperature regulation and can be closed in the winter for a completely different experience. Take a few minutes to watch the video showing the creation of the panels and construction of the house.

interior designers in portland talk about glass house art installation

Portland interior designer shows glass house picture

How is the light in your home? Does it do everything you need it to?

 

About JASON BALL interiors. We are a team of interior designers based in Portland, Oregon serving residential clients throughout Oregon and Washington and beyond. To see examples of our design work, visit the Portfolio page. For an evaluation of your upcoming projects, contact Jason Ball at (503) 267-2352 or via e-mail at jason@jasonballinteriors.com. We look forward to being your interior design team.

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