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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.  

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

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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! 

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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.

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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. 

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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. 

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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! 

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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.

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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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Designer Notebook: Drapery Pleat Styles Done the Right Way

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Designer Notebook: Drapery Pleat Styles Done the Right Way

 

From a designer's perspective, drapery is one of those key elements in any rooms that helps the room feel finished. Their presence in a room can dramatically change a room to either be formal or informal, or contemporary or traditional. Often times it is the type of pleat used that plays the crucial role in determining the finished style of the drapery.

Yes, you'll notice that I left out the fabric in the above paragraph. That was completely intentional. There are millions of fabric options and the style of the room often dictates the type of fabric selected for the room. Fabric content, pattern, etc. will all come into play when selecting drapery fabric that fits the particular style of your room.

Moving on the pleat styles...open up any drapery design book and you'll see a huge range of pleat styles and looks, from incredibly ornate to simple, contemporary forms. While every pleat style has its place, we at JBi definitely have our favorites - pinch pleats (euro or regular style), grommets and ripple-fold to name a few. I'll throw in one extra style for good measure, something for the more traditionally minded folks.

The pinch pleat is probably the most well known pleat style. The pleat is made by gathering fabric together at regular intervals along the top of the fabric panel. The number of gathers in the pleat are called "fingers." A two-fingered pleat has two gathers, a three-fingered pleat has three and so on. If the pleat is made by gathering the fabric some distance down from the top of the panel (usually about 2 inches), this is called a pinch pleat. When the pleat is gathered at the top of the panel, the pleat is known as a Euro pleat. 

Two fingered Euro pleat - design by Karen Houghton Interiors

Two fingered Euro pleat - design by Karen Houghton Interiors

Pinch pleat - design by Alluring Window NYC

Pinch pleat - design by Alluring Window NYC

For a distinctly contemporary look, many use either a grommeted look or ripple-fold. These have similar looks but use different methods to create the look. A grommeted panel has large metal rimmed holes punched in the top of the panel through which a rod or taut wire is run. The fabric simply creates an "S" shape along the hanging mechanism. Ripple-fold drapery has the same "S" shape but is created by using a special connection from the top of the drapery to ripple-fold track. The track allows the drapery to easily be moved across the length. A measured string is used inside the track to keep the "ripples" at equal distances along the hardware, thus the name ripple-fold.

Grommeted panels - Design by Tineke Triggs, Artistic Designs For Living

Grommeted panels - Design by Tineke Triggs, Artistic Designs For Living

Ripplefold drapery - Design by Heather Williamson

Ripplefold drapery - Design by Heather Williamson

For good measure, let's look at one more pleat style, something on the more traditional side of things. The reverse box pleat is one of my favorite styles for a more traditional look. Think a pleat but in reverse - the part of the pleat that normally is in the back comes out to the front of the panel and are then connected. Sometimes a button or other decoration is used to connect the pleats in reverse. This type of pleat style is best used for fixed panels.

Box pleat with button detail - Design by RLH Studio

Box pleat with button detail - Design by RLH Studio

I hope this quick primer gives you some ideas on what to do with your next drapery project. Happy drapery-ing! 

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Before & After: Gray With A Splash Of Red

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Before & After: Gray With A Splash Of Red

The kitchen design world continues to love the idea of painted cabinetry. White, black, other cool colors and of course, gray. There is no better neutral than gray. It goes with nearly every color and is a perfect backdrop for any type of design - contemporary, traditional and so on. The trick is always how to get the combination just right.

When my clients first came to JBi with the concept for their kitchen, they knew they wanted gray cabinetry and some touch of red as an accent color. Our goal became to find a way to make the gray feel fresh and contemporary in this kitchen loaded with traditional touches. The extra large crown molding, flush inset cabinetry and furniture-like island all lend themselves toward a more traditional look. Throughout the design process, we looked for ways to tone down the traditional feel and bring the design into a beautifully updated kitchen filled with contemporary design elements. The changes throughout all improved the flow and function of the space, while providing a jump off point for the look of the rest of the home.

Take a look at our design challenges and how we addressed each of these to create a true showcase kitchen.

While the general layout of the kitchen didn't change that much, we did move some appliances around a little to help with the flow of the space. By moving the range to a side wall, we were able to design a beautiful cooking station with the proper ventilation (no more inefficient downdraft!). 

The real fun, however, came in finding ways to incorporate red into the overall look. We started by adding cabinets with glass doors on either side of the range with painted red interiors. The valance fabric has an artistic quality to it in reds and grays. Red accessories and a red stand mixer help complete the look. All-in-all, one stunning kitchen with all the right details in the right proportions. Here's the unfiltered picture for one last view and a detail shot of the amazing range.

ABOUT JASON BALL interiors. Jason is an interior designer based in Portland, Oregon serving residential and commercial clients throughout Oregon and Washington, and beyond. To see examples of his 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.

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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.

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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. 

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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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Designing a Kid's Bathroom That Ages With Your Kid

For interior designers, there is nothing more fun that creating a special space just for the kids. We spend hours and thousands of dollars to design fantastic bathrooms for the parents, so why not spend the same energy level on the bathrooms for younger members of the family?

JASON BALL interiors has recently completed a number of projects involving bathrooms designed for children. I think parents are hesitant to design kid-specific bathrooms because they're worried their children will go out of style or might decide they don't like the look in a few years. So, how do you design a bathroom that will either stand the test of time or grow with your child?

Here are the ways in which I design a bathroom that can grow as your kid gets older.

Start with classic elements, layer on the details. Start with the basic design elements like cabinetry, lighting, etc., to create a solid foundation. Cabinetry with simple details, or finished in a classic color or stain color allows you to work with the other design elements to create a fun, playful bathroom. In the bathroom below, we started with a classic inset vanity and solid color counter top, and then paired them with nautical-inspired lighting and mirrors, and a beautiful wood wall for a bathroom fitting for two boys. 

Use wall color in smart ways. In this girl's bathroom, we wanted a room that was young, playful and appropriately girly. The classically-styled vanity with crystal knobs and princess-like mirrors lay the foundation. But, it's the pink wall color that really makes the statement. We didn't want just a nice, pretty pink, but a pink that had presence. And, since it's paint, it can easily be changed if the daughter decides she doesn't like pink in a few years.  

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Accent tile is your friend. Many homeowners shy away from using tile that's too specific to a certain look. However, with some thoughtful planning, using an accent tile to create a special look can be switched out down the road fairly easily (by a professional of course). This boy's bathroom is about the playful green wall color and the glass circle tiles in the shower.  If green is no longer a favorite color, change the wall color and change the accent tile. Of course, this takes a little more effort and money, but it's still less expensive than changes out the entire bathroom.

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I hope these bathrooms give you inspiration to bring some style to the bathrooms of your youngest family members. I would love to hear your stories too.

ABOUT JASON BALL interiors. Jason is an interior designer based in Portland, Oregon serving residential clients throughout Oregon and Washington and beyond. To see examples of his 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.

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