Viewing entries tagged
lighting design

What Does "Custom" Mean?

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What Does "Custom" Mean?

When you hear the word "custom furniture," what do you immediately think? I bet the first thought drifts above your head in a thought bubble and is either a cash register making a cha-ching sound or is just a bunch of dollar signs. The second thought might be either "expensive" or "I can't afford it."  Was I right?

For interior designers, custom means something completely different. When we specify something custom for a project, we are simply using something in our design that is made to fit the needs or requirements of our clients (that's the official dictionary definition by the way). Using custom pieces in our designs allows us to create rooms that unique to our clients - no two rooms should look the same since no two clients are the same. Isn't that why someone hires a designer in the first place? To create a room that isn't the same as their neighbor's? So, let's talk about the different types of "custom" to help dispel any misconceptions.

Their frame, your fabric (or finish). If you go into a furniture store and purchase something off the floor (just as you see it), you are not buying a custom piece of furniture. However, if you order the furniture with a different fabric, then you officially are buying custom furniture. Most upholstered furniture purchased these days fits in this category. Even many of the popular online retail websites allow for customization like this. Additionally, many designers work with manufacturers that allow for customization beyond just the fabric selection. We have the ability to change the finish color on legs or even entire pieces (like dining tables, etc.). This most basic level of customization gives you so many options from which to put together the perfect look.

Different fabrics selected for the inside and outside of the two chairs for a unique look

Different fabrics selected for the inside and outside of the two chairs for a unique look

Their frame, your fabric, your size. The next level of customization is a little more rare, but still available. And, again, this is something to which designers have access, but rarely consumers. Sometimes we might need a piece of furniture to be longer, shorter, taller, etc. The modifications always start with a manufacturer's frame style and are then altered to our specifications. 

Something completely new just for you. For any interior designer, this is where real design happens. The ability to design a piece of furniture and have it produced for a client is an extremely rewarding experience. And, this isn't just reserved to furniture. Custom lighting, commissioned artwork, one-of-a-kind custom rugs all provide us the opportunity to truly personalize a space for our clients. 

The nook table and sunroom sofa were both designed by JBi and made locally for truly unique pieces

The nook table and sunroom sofa were both designed by JBi and made locally for truly unique pieces

The big question now is what does all this mean for your decorating budget. In reality, the first level of customization is well within the reach of most people who either purchasing mid-level quality furniture or have hired an interior designer. There are distinct cost implications for the second and third levels. However, if custom pieces are mixed in with "off the shelf" pieces, you can still achieve a look unique to your particular style. The room below is a great example. The table, chairs and sideboard are all "off the shelf" pieces. But, combined with original artwork and you have a truly unique room.

cooper-mountain-dining-room.jpg

The big take away - custom doesn't have to be scary or expensive. It just gives you (or your designer) an opportunity to put together a room that is you - all you. 

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There's A Contemporary Chandelier In My Traditional Space!

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There's A Contemporary Chandelier In My Traditional Space!

We all remember the iconic commercial in which someone's chocolate bar landed in another's peanut butter. Well, this is something kind of like that. For anyone who's been following JBi, you'll know that we are lovers of mixing styles, especially when the combination forces a strong contrast. We are constantly intrigued by the use of contemporary lighting in traditional spaces. It is the juxtaposition between styles that makes it so interesting - and, the greater the juxtaposition, the more interesting. This blog is for no other purpose than to be inspired by well-designed traditional rooms combined with contemporary chandeliers. Enjoy!

Design by Buckingham Interiors + Design LLC

Design by Buckingham Interiors + Design LLC

Design by CWB Architects

Design by CWB Architects

Design by Gast Architects

Design by Gast Architects

Design by Martha O'Hara Interiors

Design by Martha O'Hara Interiors

Well, we hope you're inspired to "mix-it-up" on your next project. If you could combine any two styles, what would they be? We'd love to hear. 

More than anything, have fun doing it! 

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Bathroom Lighting Design: Placing Lights on the Mirror

JASON BALL interiors has designed nearly 40 bathrooms since it's inception. That's a lot of sinks and toilets! Bathroom design is mostly about function, and bathroom lighting design is all about ensuring the bathroom is functional in all it's various uses. When starting a bathroom lighting plan, we ask our clients a broad set of questions. How do you use the space each day? How many people in the bathroom at a time? What level of privacy is important? What type of lighting is important to you? And so on.  Similar to kitchen design, good lighting in a bathroom is critical to a design's success. We take into account the basic functions - showering, etc. - as well as the more detailed personal grooming tasks. One bathroom design element I've been using lately is the place the vanity lights in the mirror field - either on the mirror or as pendants in front of the mirror. This helps reflect light back into the room and properly "throws" light onto the face (especially important for make-up application). The other light sources are placed in strategic locations depending on the function of the space. Even in a smaller bathroom, having more lights is always better. Here is a the plan for a smaller master bathroom currently in construction.  The colored dots show the three distinct light zones. You can see they are spaced out and provide light for very specific functions. For further flexibility, dimmer switches are used throughout.

Portland interior designer shows lighting plan for small bathroom project

A great example of how to properly place pendants in front of a mirror.

Portland interior designer provides good example of pendant lights in bathroom design

Sconces installed on the mirror face. Notice the small recessed lights above the vanity as an additional light source.

Using recessed lights in bathroom design

In a project by JASON BALL interiors, we designed pendant lights and installed them along side the vanity mirrors. A recessed light was placed directly above the sink to provide additional light.

Portland interior designer uses pendants and chandelier in bathroom remodel

Careful consideration is taken in each space to ensure the amount and level of light is just right for the clients' needs. Working with an experienced interior designer guarantees the lighting design will take all uses of the space into consideration. Feel free to contact JASON BALL interiors to get started designing your perfect master bathroom.

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