This year’s San Francisco Decorator Showcase features many black and muted colors from purple to blue throughout many of the designs. There weren’t many vivid colors used in the showcase which was disappointing for me because I absolutely love color. My favorite room was the living room designed by the amazing Phillip Silver. He was inspired by the sophisticated 1960’s fashion house of Yves Saint Laurent. The hot pink and burnt orange accent colors are from YSL’s “rive gauche” label which just makes the room pop! It is pure luxury. Other colorful rooms showcased were the boy’s bathroom with pops of yellow on the wall and blue tile designed by De Meza + Architecture, Inc. and the girl’s bathroom surrounded by red lip patterned wallpaper designed by Nest Design Co., Inc. Other than that, a common theme among some of the designers included lots of black and white with various patterns and textures on walls, floors, and ceilings. “Her dressing room” designed by Heather Hilliard was absolutely stunning, but felt like you were walking into a boutique store. Beautiful, elegant, yet almost too delicate to be touched and used. I also really enjoyed the “En Vogue Salon” designed by Tineke Triggs, especially the photographic artwork which was the focal point of the bathroom. However, I question the functionality of the space as the tub seems too small to fit the average person. All in all, the designs were stunning, creative, and absolutely luxurious from an aesthetic viewpoint. When it comes to functionality, that’s another story as some rooms just don’t appear to be functional, especially if a family with young kids occupy the space. I believe there should be good balance between aesthetics and functionality when it comes to design. It isn’t just about how beautiful a space looks, but more importantly, how the space will be used by the people living there. I’m grateful I had the opportunity to see the showcase which is for a good cause- to raise money for the financial aid program for SF University high school students. Check out some of the designs from this year’s decorator showcase and let me know what you think of them!
I wrote a previous blog about interior design being affordable in SF and I want to revisit this topic because I feel many people still don’t really understand the value of interior design. The problem I see is these people who don’t understand interior design find it difficult to measure. It is intangible. It’s not a physical object like an iphone or a blouse that you can quantify. Therefore, many people find it difficult to value interior design in terms of dollars unless they have been exposed to the industry.
I have met with people who were only concerned with how much hiring an interior designer would cost them. They didn’t care about the RESULTS they would receive from hiring an interior designer. These potential clients didn’t understand the value of hiring a designer and what the designer could achieve for them and how they can change their life. Hiring and paying for an interior designer at market rate fees far outweighs the costly mistakes of DIY projects, loss of money from rentals with lack of renters, or the decreased value of a home. The value is in the relationship, connection, and experience an interior designer offers.
The key is educating people about interior design. Therefore, I came up with a list of positive values for hiring an interior designer.
1. An interior designer will help you increase the value of your home (ex: kitchen/bath renovation)
2. An interior designer solves your design problems functionally and aesthetically (space layout, storage issues, etc…)
3. An interior designer has access to many resources (products, materials, finishes, and contractors) that you might not have access to.
4. An interior designer has the background and expertise to help you clarify your vision, put it together, and execute properly.
5. An interior designer saves you time if you are too busy as they know the process, people, and the products.
6. An interior designer can save you $$ by helping you avoid costly mistakes which includes DIY mistakes.
7. An interior designer can help you design your rental and rent it out quickly to generate income.
8. Most importantly, an interior designer offers an experience that can change your life.
After meeting with my last potential client who was not the right client, I was reminded of Stanley Abercrombie. Stanley is one of the most influential design writers of our time and he was the editor for Interior Design magazine for many years. Stanley puts it best. “Art is worth paying for because, in these days of social discontent and random violence, in these days of homelessness, drugs, guns and plaque, when our urban environments are becoming increasingly brutalized, we increasingly need both physical and mental refuge from that brutalization. We need the solace of interiors that are not only intelligently functional but also intelligently artful. In these days more than ever, the art of interior design is worth paying for, because a heightened quality of life is worth paying for.”
Interior design has value and it is absolutely worth paying for.
Recently I was on Houzz.com researching some products for a kitchen design and stumbled on a custom plywood and furniture cabinet shop called Kerf. Their shop is located in Seattle, Washington and the custom cabinetry they create is not only colorful and fun but appears very functional and simple. The design of each of their custom project comes from a seamless integration of three essential components: the function of the item, the method of its construction, and a simple unadorned presentation of the materials from which it is made – plywood and plastic laminate. It’s a neat idea which allows you to create custom designs by selecting the colors you want and also determining placement of the custom cabinet doors, drawer fronts, and interior frames.What was originally just a simple plain kitchen turns into a fun and exciting design with a pop of color!
Below are some of their amazing custom projects.
I came across Jo Nagasaka’s Iro collection for Established & Son’s and fell in love with it. What makes his pieces so unique and interesting is that Nagasaka peels away parts of the surface of Douglas fir boards to expose the grain before encasing the wood in brightly colored resin. Adding the pigmented resin transforms the uneven texture of the wood into a smooth surface, while the intensity of the resin’s color is affected by variations in the depth of the peeled wood. What results is a beautiful, minimalistic, simplistic, yet elegant focal point that just pops with color. Anything that involves color and texture catches my eye and I was immediately drawn to Jo Nagasaka’s stunning collection of coffee tables, side tables, chairs, credenzas, and dining tables. Different colors of resin are available from red, blue, green, and yellow. At $3,000+ retail price for a coffee table, it doesn’t come cheap but it is a beautiful work of art and definitely makes a big statement in your space! Check out some pictures of Nagasaka’s lovely pieces from his Iro collection below.
This year I attended the American Craft Council show in SF for the first time and was amazed by the talented artisans showcasing their creative, handmade work of art. There was everything from wool felt bags by Audrey Modern, hand-pleated paper sculptures by Erik and Martin Demaine, fine reclaimed woodworking from Elliot Stith, intricate ceramic porcelain by Jennifer McCurdy, clothing, jewelry, and much much more! Also, this year at the ACC show, there was a special decor exhibition called “Make Room: Modern Design Meets Craft.” Six bay area designers created entertaining spaces using a suite of fine craft from the show. From cocktails in the kitchen to an outdoor oasis, the designers vignettes incorporated local artisans work to bring texture, color, and everyday materials into the space.
Below are some of the unique, creative, and handcrafted work showcased at the American Craft Council.