Posts Tagged ‘contributing writer’

Breaking Design Rules

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

A reader recently wrote in and asked an important question when it comes to designing a space.  Leah W.  wondered whether some design rules were made to be broken and were there a few examples or illustrations for successfully breaking those rules? 

I asked Courtney to tackle this topic, and he is back this month with his fabulous insight!  Courtney asked a group of designers to look at issues that they encounter on a regular basis with their clients, and asked what are those design rules or commandments that are made to be broken?

Design Commandments Made to be Broken, by Courtney Lake

“When I was researching this article, I was reminded of the countless essays I wrote in high school where I used the definition of a word or phrase to introduce an idea.  Strangely, using this clichéd approach makes sense when you are writing an article on breaking design rules.  There are some deeply held beliefs that have engrained themselves within our design psyches.  For better or worse, they prescribe how we have decorated our homes for decades. So when you “break” them, what exactly are you doing?  Well according to Webster Dictionary you are breaking:

One of a set of explicit or understood regulations or principles governing conduct within a particular activity or sphere…..

Design rules give guidelines for how furniture, lighting and accessories should relate and interact within your home.  But what if you “rocked the boat” as every good designer does, picking those which make sense for your space and tossing out the rest?  Before you break these design rules, it’s best to understand why they are important.

A solid understanding of the principles of design is crucial if you want to break them successfully, so I asked four design experts their opinions on what design commandments should be tossed aside.  They each gave insight on some old and new rules that we all should gleefully break to get the homes we want. 

Design Commandment #1: Thou Shalt Not Place Large Furniture in a Small Room

Common sense tells us that if a space is small, we should scale the furniture to fit the room.  Wrong!  Design legend John Dickinson built a career out of placing out of scale furniture in rooms.  A large bed can easily be placed into a small bedroom or a large couch in a small den.  The tricks to bending this design commandment are placement and color.  As long as the furniture doesn’t block the natural sightlines of the room and is within the same color palette, the furniture will read as a unified whole, tricking you into thinking the room is larger.

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Freshome

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Candace Olsen

 

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Alfresco Entertaining

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

G’day friends!  I’m so happy to be back home in Cali, catching up with my family.   Today I welcome contributing writer Michelle from Ten June to share her insights on making the most of your outdoor spaces with ideas for stylish entertaining.  ‘Tis the season! 

This article is like a breath of fresh air for me, filled with images of beautiful spaces that are sure to inspire you for your own summer soiree, so take it away, Michelle! 

“It’s almost that time of year again. Time to bring out your grill tools, pull out your picnic baskets and grab the bug spray.  As our days grow longer and there’s more daylight to enjoy, the best place to spend your spring and summer is none other than the great outdoors.  One of my favorite aspects of spending time outdoors is hosting a great outdoor party.

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Lonny Mag

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Better Homes & Gardens, 100 Ideas

The key ingredient in outdoor entertaining is fun.  Whether laid-back or slightly formal, there should be nothing stuffy about an outdoor party!

 

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Meaningful Modern Design

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

Greetings friends, today I have a very special writer contributing his perspective on a style I am finding myself more drawn to these days: modern design!   Courtney of Courtney Out Loud is here to share how to pull off modern design in your home without leaving it feeling austere, cold, or looking like a designer showroom.  Courtney Lake is a fellow Bay Area resident, and lover of thrifting, great design, and good eats. 

Please enjoy Courtney’s article on meaningful modern design:

“Modern style typically evokes images of sharp edges, clean lines and monochromatic color schemes.  This style’s “less is more” mentality makes it appealing for those looking to par down their lives, forcing its advocates to only choose and display what they love.  However, modern’s edited approach can lead to stark environments that look more ‘show room’ than ‘living room’.  So the question remains, how can you get an edited and tailored modern look in your home that doesn’t leave you cold?

I posed this question to three design and merchandizing experts to get their take. All agreed that today’s modern aesthetic is less about utilitarian chic, and  more about an aesthetic that is constantly in flux. It’s this constant evolution that makes it one of the most versatile design styles.

Today’s modern design has to look to the future as well as the past for inspiration in order to ground it in the present.  Iconic pieces such as the Mies van der Rohe Barcelona chair, the Saarinen Tulip Table or the Starck Ghost Chair, are beautiful and speak to modern design of yester year, but alone they may leave a room feeling cold.

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Mid-Century Modernist

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