Thursday, April 10, 2014

Imagine This: 3D Models Part II

Sometimes what's available in the local furniture store just isn't quite right. So, I often design custom furniture to work with a design concept, fill a client need and/or fit in a non-standard place. Three-dimensional design is a great way to show a client just what the furniture I'm envisioning will look like. And, 3D printing actually brings it to life! Check out this example:

Here's the inspiration:

My client and I liked this type of design, but we needed a specific size for his banquette. We also needed to make sure the table base left enough room to easily get to the back of the banquette.

Here's what we came up with—this was the custom design I worked up in 3D:

Once the client approved this look, the file was converted to something printable, and voilà—a custom 3D table in miniature! 

The water bottle shows the scale. It is really incredible to design a piece of furniture and see it right away in a reduced scale. It gave my client a chance to really see the design, and it gave the wood shop what they needed to make it.

We used an ultimaker 3D printer to create the sample. Here's the video of it at work—so neat!

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Imagine This: 3D Design Bathroom Makeover

Some design concepts can be complex enough that a mere description won’t do. Three dimensional design is a great way to show a client just what the room will look like.

The Before:

Plain white walls, but a great little niche with the sink.  I really wanted to do something great to transform the room. 

On a recent visit to the Greenbrier Hotel, my client fell in love with Dorothy Draper’s elegant style:

Schumacher's Imperial Trellis wallpaper pattern had Dorothy's frequently used kelly green, and her strong preference for geometric patterns.

The After:
I built the room in 3D and placed the powerful trellis on all walls except for those in the niche—the pattern adds style to the small space, and the white niche is unexpected and stylish. 

Here, the niche is hand-painted with Dorothy's bouquets—a fresh interplay of patterns. 


The Movie:
The snapshots of my 3D design are nice, but it's the animated version that walks you through the room that makes this so exciting:
See the difference? The animation makes it easy to envision the geometric pattern mixing with the soft floral bouquets for a fun take on a small space. 

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Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Endless Search: Live Edge Wood


Live edge wood slabs are one of the hottest trends in interior design. These pieces of wood, which have been finished to incorporate the natural edge, are upscale yet rustic. Furniture pieces featuring them are an automatic centerpiece in any room. I’ve got some ideas for coming up with live edge wood in Richmond, Va.

Here is a custom cocktail table by Seth Woods. He cut the shelf underneath to match the live edge lines of the top—expert craftsmanship at its fines. 
All photos are courtesy of Jeff Saxman of Saxman Photography.

When you shop for these exotic woods, you'll be looking at unfinished raw wood like this maple. An expert refinisher will work with you on getting the finish you want—plain old varnish, stain, or even more advances bleach washes. 

While selecting live edge wood, it’s important to make sure it’s been properly dried for indoor use.
“Eight to 9 percent moisture rating is the range for Richmond”, says Seth Woods of Woods Refinishing and Restoration. There is a great debate among wood workers as to whether the wood should be kiln-dried or air-dried.

Some of my favorite places for finding exotic lumber include Exotic Woods in Annapolis, Md. And Woods Refinishing and Restoration here in town.

Check out these looks to emulate:

Walnut is a beautiful dark wood. It's hard to find it wide enough for a table, but two pieces from the same tree can be joined with the grains matching for a flawless look. 

 This Sapelli mahogany is another dark wood that's super hard. 

This is belli—I've never heard of it before, but love the grain lines. 

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Monday, January 13, 2014

Imagine This: Stone Veneer

Stone on an accent wall or to update a mantle and fireplace surround.

Stone veneer is a fun way to update a room. The options are endless and can be used in so many different ways. Here are some of my favorite looks:

This is how stone veneer looks installed in a display at Mosaic Tile—beautiful, high end and modern. I love it!


Here are some different natural stone options. There are so many styles and color palettes to choose from.

This is man-made stone veneer from Riverside Brick Supply on Roseneath Road. It's called stone veneer, but make no mistake—its thickness varies from 1-to-3 inches!

There are so many great brick options at Riverside.

This slate/bluestone at Mosaic Tile is perfect for a cozy fireplace.  

And this white stone at Mosaic Tile would make a gorgeous accent wall.

This exotic look from Mosaic Tile could be used for a stylish bar area backsplash.

This is the before. My client’s challenge is to warm this up and soften the hardness of all of the white built in shelves.

And, ta da!—here is my design. I removed the skimpy over mantle detail and tile; then added a grey-toned stone and an earthy green paint color. This is the simulation I created to show my client what the end result will look like. Follow my facebook page to see the real deal.

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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Love Your Home: Holiday Pear Martini

Want to impress your guests with a festive drink this holiday? Try a rosemary-infused pear cosmo—it's a recipe that will have your friends talking for years to come.

To really amp your cocktail up, go shopping for fun martini glasses. These have LED lights—they're certain to make an impression. Or, if classic is more your style, you can't go wrong with Waterford.

Rosemary-Infused Pear Cosmo Recipe
Yield: 2 martinis

4 oz pear vodka
1 oz sweetened lime juice
4 oz pear nectar (this can be found in the juice aisle at many grocery stores, or at specialty food stores)
14 fresh cranberries
2 rosemary sprigs

Set aside 4 cranberries and the top 3” of the rosemary sprigs for garnishing the glasses.

Crush the remaining rosemary leaves and cranberries and place in the bottom of the shaker. Add ice, pear vodka and lime juice, shake and let sit a few minutes

While the drink is resting, get the glasses ready by adding one rosemary sprig and 2 cranberries to each. Add the nectar to the shaker, shake again and pour.

Why use rosemary? It's been known to “alleviate muscle pain, improve memory, boost the immune and circulatory system, and promote hair growth,” according to an article Medical News Today.

Cheers! Do you have a favorite holiday libation? Share it in the comments!

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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Endless Search: Furniture Hardware

Freshen your furniture at a fraction of the cost. This High Point Market trend makes it easy to update your home without buying a new piece of furniture.

I'm back from market and full of inspiration! Once I've made it home, I always look back on market trips and make a list of what I saw as key trends. Are they trends or are they just things that I liked? Time will tell. This fall I found a revival of great furniture hardware. Surprisingly, it looks like brass tones are back.

The square shape of the ring pulls on this Lillian August console is a nice update.

This swag and drape look from Stanley’s Charleston collection is eye-catching and chic.

A hint of nautical fittings for the pulls in the Stanley Coastal Living collection pack a lot of look into a little adornment.

I saw this classic Dorothy Draper chest for sale on 1st Dibs—so much shiny brass!

This is a favorite look of mine and a classic. A tailored white shirt and worn-out jeans accessorized with a gold-plated belt buckle and jewelry. Layering accessories—Janet Gregg makes some of my favorites—over simple basics is so similar to updating a classic piece of furniture.

You might have your next chic piece hidden in your garage—take those pieces out and have fun with them!

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Monday, November 11, 2013

The Mix: Camouflage

-->I have a prediction: the next big trend in home furnishings is going to be camouflage.

Duck Dynasty is the number-one TV program, and it’s rare that one episode goes by without that familiar pattern showing up. It was only in one showroom in High Point on my most recent visit, but I promise it will be everywhere soon. To keep ahead of the curve, and to make sure you up your camo knowledge for your next cocktail party, here’s a little history on the iconic pattern. 

Behold, the Homo Sapien
Camo started with the prehistoric man—he wrapped himself in animal skin for protection, disguise and the Shamanistic concept of bonding with the spirit animal hunted. 

World War I Dazzle
In the first world war, camo showed up on ships. It was called “dazzle” and sparked a fashion craze in 1919.

Iwo Jima
During World War II, camouflage was used to cover Marine helmets. After that, they went head to toe with it.

West Germany, 1950
Every country has designed an individual camouflage pattern for every war they’ve been involved in. This is a 1950s West German camo pattern—add color and you’ve got a Keith Haring painting!

Add color to this Finnish 1960s camo pattern and you’d have something strikingly similar to Matisse’s “Art With Scissors.”

1960s Mod Meets Camo
I think the designer of this Vietnam-era photo came up with this on an acid trip. Funny how it echoes the psychedelic fashion prints of that time period.

Here’s some of the latest in camo.

This is the perfect man cave chair. It’s the only item I saw at High Point that picked up on the trend. Jackson furniture has licensed theDuck Dynasty name for recliners and sectionals.

The hairy Duck Dynasty guys aren’t the ones who will inspire this trend, Korie Robertson is (note, the Duck Dynasty pattern she’s sporting). Stay tuned, you heard about it here first!

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