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Designer Notebook: High Point 2015, part 1 - Details Abound

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Designer Notebook: High Point 2015, part 1 - Details Abound

Twice a year, tens of thousands of interior designers and home decor store owners descend upon the small, sleepy town of High Point, North Carolina for High Point Market. The event brings together more than 2,000 exhibitors across 180 buildings in one location. It's a designer's dream! For me and JBi, this is an opportunity to see the latest products from the top manufacturers in the home product industry. I'm looking for new furniture, lighting, accessory and art I can use to put together great rooms for my clients.

While attending a trade show can certainly be fun with numerous parties and meeting leaders in the industry sounds, it's also a ton of work. On average, I'll visit 100 or more showrooms over a 5 day time period - that's 20 or more showrooms per day. It's a lot of walking, talking, sitting (trying out all the furniture from trusted and new manufacturers so I can be assured the highest quality for my clients) and learning about all these products.

And, yes, there are certainly some great moments. This year I had the privilege of meeting Gary Inman, a distinguished designer in the resort and hospitality arena. He gave a great talk on the Art of Collecting (look for something on this topic in later post). Previous years gave me the opportunity to meet Thom Filicia and Barclay Butera, two amazing designers and founders of great brands of products I use on a regular basis.

So, back to Market. Each year, I look for a common thread in the products manufacturers are showing. A few years ago, in the midst of the recession, I noticed that furniture had a distinctly simple feel. Manufacturers had simplified their profiles and used more reclaimed materials. Everything appeared very modest, even for the higher end manufacturers. As the economy continues to improve and the furnishings industry is seeing a great rebound, manufacturers are starting to be bold again in their design choices with an increased use of patterns and finer details in casegoods. I believe these trends will continue for a years to come as the industry continues to bounce back and homeowners want to fill their homes with the finer things in life.

In this room by Thibaut, the wallpaper and chair fabrics  (three different ones, by the way) fill the room with color and pattern. I saw this over and over in manufacturers of all levels and types of products.  

thibaut-showroom.jpg

This beautiful use of ribbon by Hancock & Moore is another example of details done the right way. 

hancock-and-moore-chair-detail.jpg

Over and over, casegoods are moving away from the overly simple and rustic look to a more refined aesthetic with beautiful details. Taracea's small bar cabinet is created using wood inlays in a houndstooth pattern. A contemporary use of the inlay technique and simply stunning! 

taracea-bar-cabinet-wood-inlay.jpg

Another example of detail in casegood by Century Furniture shows a bar with stunning chrome details as metal inlays and other details on the base.

century-furniture-bar-chrome-details.jpg

And, Bernhardt, one of my favorites, dare not be left out of the game with this stunning aged brass bed and lacquered capiz shell nightstands. 

bernhardt-bed-nightstands.jpg

Even the live edge movement is getting into the groove. This maple table by The Table Factory has a metal zipper detail down the middle that would be the talk of any dinner party or gathering around this table. 

table-factory-metal-detail

Even art is getting into the game. These screen prints of geodes by Natural Curiosities are highlighted with gold leaf details that make them shine! Literally! 

natural-curiosities.jpg

Upholstered furniture is seeing an increased use in details as well. These two pieces, one by Henredon and one by Taylor King, show the level of detail possible with upholstered furniture.

henredon-sofa-back-detail
taylor-king-nailhead-detail

So, where does this leave us? Well, I believe in a good place. Designers have more and more great products from which to choose and homeowners will likely start desiring an increased use of details in their own homes. That sets us all up for some great design to come down the road in the coming years. 

And, of course, if you're ready to start bringing some extra detail to your home, you know who to call (that would be me, right?!) - go to this page to get started redesigning your home.

 

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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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Designer's Notebook: Playing With Scale

For interior designers, the idea of scale is one of the most important guiding principles of great design. Whether having a consistent and appropriate scale throughout a design, or mixing scale up to create something truly unique, when it's done right, you'll know it. Scale is simply the size of an object or design element (e.g., pattern on a fabric or wall covering). Since scale is an intangible aspect of the design, it's important to understand the principles that guide the proper use of scale. Here is how the designers at JBi use scale on a daily basis in designing our clients' homes.

Space and scale go hand in hand. When designing a room, designers often begin with understanding the size and volume of a room. It might be a really large room with high ceilings (overall large volume) or maybe a smaller room with standard ceiling heights. We take into account the way the space feels as direct reflection of number of windows, openings to other rooms, etc. Understanding the volume of a space is important in selecting the appropriately sized furnishings, lighting and accessories to fit the room. Under-scaled furniture in a large room or really large furniture in a small room would both feel awkward. When done right, like the following examples, the room feels just right.

This rooms feels like it all works because all the furniture, art and accessories are in the same scale, and fit perfectly with the room's size.

Design by Dresser Homes

The larger volume of this room allows for a larger sectional and larger scale pattern on the area rug. Again, the scale of design elements fit the room's scale.

Design by Jordan Iverson Signature Homes

Scale becomes a design element with tweaked. I've always been a firm believer that really good design should stir something in the soul. This is often best accomplished by throwing in something unexpected in the room. When scale comes into play, an oversized light fixture or exaggerated fabric pattern can cause surprise and delight in the viewer, and create a special moment in the room.

The volume of this space (out rather than up) allows for the use of this over-sized ceiling fixture creating an almost architectural feature in the room.

Design by Ira Frazin Architect

The scale of these pendant lights, end chairs and mirror all play well with one another in this higher-ceiling dining room.

Design by Nicole Hollis

The scale of the art adds an interesting texture in this kitchen space beyond the clean, contemporary surfaces.

Design by WL Interiors

This extra large floor lamp adds an almost whimsical and modern touch to this otherwise traditional living room.

Design by Julianne Kelly

All in all, scale, and the way you use scale in any design, can have one of the biggest impacts on the way a room feels. Don't be afraid to play with scale in unexpected ways. You might just surprise yourself and create something that becomes a showcase in your home.

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Honoring Family in Our Interior Design

A recent family event got me thinking about how we honor our family (both past and present) in interior design. As a designer it is so easy to create a space devoid of all personalization and personal effects. But in reality this isn't the way in which we live or we should live. For most of us family represents our path through this life and honoring them highlights their impact on who we are. I've had the honor to work with a two couples recently in which the design for either the entire home or just a few rooms revolved around special family treasures. One couple had inherited a gorgeous Art Deco piano with intricate inlays and stunning details. This one item became our inspiration as we designed their new home. For another couple, we incorporated antiques passed down through generations into nearly every room of the house. One room in particular was all about the pieces (see below). But, what if your family heirlooms are not pieces of furniture? Or, what if you don't have any heirlooms but just want to honor the family around you? Well, here are some ways in which you can honor your family in your home. Create a family wall. The idea is simple. Take special photographs of family events and have them framed in a range of frame styles and sizes to create a family wall. Some might say this type of theme is busy, but I say it is a wonderful way to keep memories alive. As the years go by, change out the pictures with more recent ones. Incorporate in some family members from generations past for a true family wall. You might even have smaller "family walls" all around your home by taking special historical photos and creating unique vignettes. A collection of old team photographs for instance anchors this seating area by the fireplace.

Design by Lizette Marie Interior Design

From the blog A Few Good Things From My Life

Incorporate  family treasures into bookshelf or mantle decorations. Most of us have small items passed down to us from a Grandmother or Mom. These trinkets are great for decorating a bookshelf. They add a personal touch and are great conversation pieces with their stories.

Design by Julie Williams Design

Design by Bruce Kading Interior Design

Use antique furniture to anchor a design. My clients wanted to create an elegant and inviting guest room so we started with some antique furniture from a great Aunt & Uncle. The antiques are the real stars of this room, while the rest of the room's design elements are just the supporting cast. members.

Design by JASON BALL interiors

I would love to hear how you've incorporated your family's treasures and trinkets into your interior design.

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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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