Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Turquoise Tuesday: Adventures in Boston

I previously blogged about Turquoise and Red being a beautiful, if tricky, color combination.

I still love it. On a recent trip to the Boston Design Center I was reunited with one of my design weaknesses: Printed Linen fabrics by ROMO! .
Romo hails from the UK. I have yet to see a Romo fabric or wallcovering that didn't inspire me.
 Their shade of blue is "mineral", while I understand its not a pure turquoise it's in the same family and the shade pairs beautifully with Red.
Lovebirds. Love them!


Saturday, September 25, 2010

Chesterfield Madness

Modern interpretations of  the classic chesterfield sofa have been trending strongly for several years.

For the more technical folks: The term "chesterfield" is a Canadian term equivalent to couch or sofa. The use of the term has been found to be widespread among older Canadians, but is quickly vanishing from Canadian English according to one survey done in the Golden Horseshoe region of Ontario in 1992.[4] In the United Kingdom, the word refers to a particular style of sofa featuring a low rolled back and deep buttoning.

For you visual types, here are my favorite interpretations of the chesterfield. In some cases I use the term interpretation VERY loosely:

Ahhhh the sofa at the top of the frenzy (Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams)
Traditional Upscale Manufacturer Drexel Heritage getting their hipster groove on, above and below.
Horchow/Neiman Marcus' stylish selections:

Some crazy/glam tufted fabulousness from Haute House. I love their boldness!

Some other great inspirations for you-when on a hunt for a specific look, bring photos of your style as your search! It helps furniture stores help you!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Creative Uprising: Online Shelter Magazines Alive and Booming!

Earlier in the year we wrote about print magazines closing (see article here) and great online magazines such as Lonny launching (go here).

Here is the current round up of shelter magazines.  One of the nice things about being online is they are FREE to enjoy. However,  if you lust for  the feel of glossy heavy weight paper, like to bookmark with folded corners, and the habit of keeping design magazines in stacks brings you joy...several of these magazines are ready for subscribers!

Kelly LaPlante (Organic Interior Design) founded "The Standard" and launched it this month. In a nutshell, she believes green should be a standard and not a trend.

As a NEW resident of Maine I find it so much easier to live sustainably in Portland than I did in Los Angeles. The magazine connects with my soul. I am so over green washing and applaud this step forward. The article about graypants is my favorite...

Lonny Magazine is still going strong...still has a decidedly east coast flair with a BROAD range of topics.

New to the scene is RUE. Because it is SO NEW I will let you discover it for yourself:

While printed shelter magazines are making a recovery in 2010 (details here), I find it encouraging that out of a rough economy came wonderful online shelter magazines...that are free for all to enjoy. The inherent cravings for creativity and beauty cannot be dampened or denied. Fiore Studio believes that good design should be accessible to everyone, regardless of budget.

p.s. Alice this is for you

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

How to hire an Interior Designer: Part 2

Ok This is part 2, the nitty-gritty details about hiring a designer.
My personal choice at Fiore Studio is to create an agreement, or contract, after the first meeting with prospective clients. I recap what I understand to be their priorities and how I charge for services and goods. It explains what and where we purchase, how long we work together, etc. The client has time to review, make additions and changes, and we each sign it. It's truly an agreement. Legally it's a contract. It's only one page long! :) I encourage every consumer to ask for and expect a written agreement whenever they embark on custom projects. The clarification it provides it priceless and keeps the design process running smoothly.

From Wisegeek

An interior design contract is a legal document which spells out the terms of a relationship between an interior designer and a client. Professional organizations of interior designers highly recommend that everyone who embarks on an interior design project obtain a contract and review the contract carefully. Many interior designers maintain basic contracts which can be adjusted to fit minor jobs, and a contract can also be customized for a project with the assistance of a lawyer, as might be the case with major projects such as completing the interior design scheme for a hotel or office building.
In an interior design contract, a number of stipulations are spelled out. The contract clearly lays out the scope of the project and the responsibilities of the interior designer, and it establishes deadlines for various stages of the project. Interior design contracts also include a discussion of the fees involved, including an explanation of the estimate for the project, and the types of expenses which may arise while the project is completed.

As with other types of business contracts, an interior design contract also includes a section which discusses dispute resolution options and what will happen if either party involved decides to break the contract. This section may mandate that the designer or client retain the services of a particular company which specializes in arbitration, in the event that the relationship becomes problematic. It also spells out which party is responsible for which costs in the event that the contract is broken.

The goal of an interior design contract is to make sure that both parties have a clear understanding of the expectations of the other party. It also acts as insurance in the event that the project goes sour, and outlines responsibilities of all parties. The contract may also discuss the use of subcontractors and consultants, and spell out special concerns like ecologically friendly sourcing of materials or the use of hypoallergenic materials in the design scheme.

The contract is typically written by the interior designer after a consultation with the client about the project. Clients have the right to take the contract home and review it, and for large projects, it may be a good idea to get a lawyer to review the contract. If clients have a dispute about a clause in the contract, want to add material to the contract, or are concerned about parts of the document, they should bring up these issues before signing the contract. Clients should never sign an interior design contract without reading it, and they should not be afraid to request changes to make sure that they feel comfortable with the terms of the interior design contract.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Out of the Box: What Watt? Chandelier- A Green commentary

What Watt?

What Watt? is a memorial to and a celebration of the humble incandescent lightbulb. It’s a spherical chandelier, 1010mm in diameter made up of 1243 suspended bulbs of various shape and size, illuminated by a single low-energy light source. By 2011, all forms of incandescent light bulb will have been phased out in favour of greener alternatives. What Watt? marks the passing of a beautiful design that has remained relatively unchanged since its invention 130 years ago.
Only 10 of these were made-obviously it was detailed and time consuming work. I think of how delicate the glass is and wonder how the installations went!

Incandescent bulbs are a way of the past. They are outlawed in many EU countries. Most of us Portland Maine (ers) are well versed in CFLs already. I love this artistic farewell to what was a part of life for over 100 years. Onward!