Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Refrigerator in Your Drawer

I didn't get very far into this months issue of Dwell Magazine before I stopped at  the Fisher & Paykel advertisement for refrigerator drawers.

Refrigerator drawers are not new to the market but they seem slow to make there way into the standard kitchen.  The concept seems great - no more searching, stacking, spilling in your refrigerator shelves.  Open your drawer and everything is in plain site.  You can see at a glance the vegetables that need to be used right away and how many chicken breast you have to cook for dinner.

A few drawbacks I can see are taking up storage space where you would normally have pots and pan now your cabinets.  The shelves in the fridge are adjustable if you need to make room for a giant turkey or cake where as once these drawers are in, they're not changing their size.
I think the solution is to have some of each.  Maybe cut back from the giant side by side professional freezer and refrigerator and transfer some of it to the drawers.  The Fisher & Paykel add claims, "Change from a freezer to a fridge to a wine drawer all at the touch of a button" which would make it very accommodating to adapt to your entertaining needs.
What's your take on the drawers?  Do you think you could live without your traditional refrigerator?

Images from Fisher & Paykel

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Dreamy Whites' Giveaway

While I'm reading through my blog reader this Sunday afternoon, I stumbled across in a roundabout way a great design blog called Dreamy Whites. It is definitely worth a visit and as more incentive, she's having a fabulous giveaway of a queen duvet from Annette Tatums' new collection.  Go take a look and enter to win!

Images from Dreamy Whites

Friday, March 26, 2010

Design: Sacramento

Today we head to East Sacramento to a fun place called Fence World-Iron World. Established in 1978, they have quite an offering of products.  This is a great place to find that custom railing for your staircase.  I recently used them for one of my clients and found they have so much more than just stair railing.

I love entering Fence World under the art nouveau awning that adds to the building's charm.  The showroom is a wonderful place of wrought iron railings all displayed at pieces of art, which they are.  In fact, Fence World often hosts Second Saturday in Sacramento where among many other local business on that night, they feature their own iron art or guest artists along with great food and entertainment.  I got a tour of the premises from metalsmith Stephen Lyman showing me all the impressive styles and variety of items they create.
We chose a design similar to above for my client
While I was mainly interested in interior stair railing, I saw they also offer exterior railing, balconies, spiral staircases, fencing, window grills and fire screens to name a few things.  You can visit their website for more of their portfolio and a complete list of items they provide. 

Images from Fence World

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Adorn: An Interview with Kelley Fisher

I have the privilege of introducing a wonderful designer and friend of mine, Kelley Fisher.  Kelley and I met in the interior design program at college and have been great friends ever since.  A few semesters ahead of me in the program, I was grateful to have such a gifted and creative person as a mentor.  She was highly instrumental in providing great opportunities and connections while I was starting out in the design field.   Kelley is now married, mother of two with number three on the way, yet she still finds plenty of ways to put her creative skills to work.  She currently has a business called Adorn creating headbands and clips in the latest must-have fashions.  I insisted on an interview so my readers can get inspired from her creative passion as I have.

 Tell us a little about yourself! 
I'm an Interior Designer and Artist with a love of photography, fashion, cooking and all things creative!  I worked full-time for a design firm in Sacramento before staring a family.  I now work full-time as a mom of two sweet little ones (with baby #3 on the way!)  I love being able to raise a family & work part-time on various projects as they come my way. 
Kelley with her husband Jesse
What sort of design projects do you take on now?
I do design consulting & space planning now, as opposed to full service interior design. It is more concise and easier to manage while raising my kids full time.  I really enjoy helping those who need some direction and a vision! 
My husband is a very talented carpenter and we’ve been able to work professionally on projects together, which has been fun.  I have to admit, the most rewarding projects have been our own- designing, adding-on, renovating and building our home… being able to do it together is awesome (although I have the easier job by far!).
 Kelley's daughter Kate sporting one of Kelley's creations
What kind of hobbies do you have?
A lot of my work is also my play!  I have a passion for designing, painting/artwork, photography & creating things.   I also love cooking, entertaining, concerts, shopping (for my kids, house, husband, clients or of course myself!)  and vacationing (who doesn’t!?).  I enjoy planning & organizing things too- probably need to focus on those last two hobbies more!
 Agave: Commissioned artwork painted by Kelley
How did you get started in the hair accessory business?
I don’t know how to sew yet... so whenever I see something that I can make for my daughter or myself that doesn’t involve a sewing machine- I love it!  I sold my hair accessories locally for a while & then created an Etsy site a few months ago when I started to have people outside of my circle of friends interested in purchasing. 
 Headband available from Adorn
How did you come up with your business name?
I wanted one word that captured more than just “hair accessories”.  I chose “Adorn”  because I loved the definition: “to enhance or decorate… to lend beauty to”.  I felt it captured all of my hobbies: designing/decorating, painting, photography, AND creating accessories.  I know I have the option to introduce those into the mix if I ever wanted to venture out!  From a graphic standpoint I also wanted a name that had the definition beside it.    
What are your inspirations?  How do you get new ideas?
I definitely try to follow style & color trends for each season.  I always enjoy looking through style magazines or catalogs when I find the time.  Anthropologie is always inspiring.  I design what I like & would wear.
 Hair clip available from Adorn
What are some of your favorite sites that give you inspiration?
There are so many!   I’ll stick to the ones I have a personal connection to!
 blog which recently featured one of my headbands.  Awesome site!
talented designer & former co-worker… great resource & always inspiring!
talented graphic designer & cousin… check it out!
friend with great taste in vintage finds!  Super chic!
and last but not least!!!
talented designer, former co-worker and sweet friend!   Love this blog Bec!  Keeps me up to date design! 

Thank you Kelley for sharing with us! 
Enjoy these other peices available from Adorn
 I know you will want to see more of Kelley's great creations on her etsy site and also stop by her facebook page!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Kitchens, Baths and an A-ha Moment

I recently had an "a-ha" moment where everything just clicks into place.  This one was regarding Kitchen and Bath design.  I have to confess that these moments are often followed with a feeling of semi-stupidity for not recognizing the thing earlier when now it is so obvious!
At any rate, my "a-ha" moment was almost immediately followed by my jumping on my iphone, the closest computer to me, and registering myself for a membership to NKBA, the National Kitchen and Bath Association.  While filling out the forms, I pondered the reason this made me feel a bit stupid for not doing this earlier.  I mention frequently to people how many cabinet drawings for kitchen and bath remodels I have been doing recently and the fact that I love working with tile to create creative backsplashes in the kitchen, flooring patterns and shower wall designs.  I am spending a lot of my design time in kitchens and bathrooms and enjoying it, why not join an association where that's all they talk about?  Makes sense to me. It would most likely open up more opportunities for my business as well.
Now after looking of the website and benefits of membership, I have to say that you will probably find me signing up to become a certified kitchen and bath designer (a CKD and CBD) before the year is out.  But first I must pass my interior design certification exam, which is a few weeks away. 

Friday, March 19, 2010

Incandescent No More?

At least, incandescent light bulbs will be no more for the Toshiba company who has been manufacturing these bulbs for 120 years.  They are now streamlining their production with more efficient, low energy bulbs as the demands for them increase.  The production of incandescent bulbs last year at Toshiba was half of what they produced in CFLs (compact fluorescent lights).  With many international governments restricting the use of incandescent bulbs, Toshiba is most likely the first of many manufacturers to start phasing out these less efficient lighting.  Here is an article which gives more details.

My only hope is that we go farther in our lighting technology to emulate the wonderful light an incandescent gives off in a more efficient way.  It's getting better, but there's nothing I'm excited to use as a great substitute.  LEDs (light emitting diode) and other low voltage lights usually give clean looking light but are weaker.  I love to use natural lighting as much as possible but obviously, you will have to turn on a light at some point in the evening or on a cloudy day. Lighting can affect greatly how color is cast in a space so this topic is very important to my line of work.

I thought this t-shirt design my husband found for me from threadless.com would shed some humor on the subject: It's a lightsaver!

Images from google images and threadless

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

5 March Favorites

In California, March is definitely the beginning of spring and all things green!

First March Fave: Storms
I love storms, especially thunderstorms, which we get very rarely.  March usually has a few pass through with magnificent cloud shows.  I especially love clouds at sunset where light and shadows show how massive these clouds can get!

Second March Fave: Green Buds
In between the storms we get clear sunny skies that wake up the plants from winter.  All around, there is a haze of fresh spring green to the bare branches.  Just in time for St. Patrick's Day!

Third March Fave: Corned Beef and Cabbage
My favorite part about St. Patrick's Day is having an occasion to eat corned beef and cabbage, a tradition in my family since we all love it and have some Irish in our heritage.  I don't know why I don't have it any other time of year.  I loved seeing the fixins' all displayed at my local Trader Joe's.

Fourth March Favorite: Fondue
We celebrated a friends birthday last weekend and went to The Melting Pot for dessert.  There's nothing like melted chocolate to make me happy!  I love all the yummy items they bring you for dipping!

Fifth March Fave: Victorian Style Books
I have a new potential job in the Victorian style so I bought some books too brush up on the details of the Victorian Era.  I will definitely be adding these to my bookstore.

What are some of your March Favorites?

Images by Rebecca Ward

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Reclaiming Wood in Interiors

I am loving the look of reclaimed wood furniture and flooring.  It's so natural and "green" that it makes me happy to simply see the wonderful pieces cropping up everywhere.  I noticed the reclaimed wood being featured all over the Las Vegas Winter Market this year.  I particularly loved everything in the Dovetail Showroom, which featured much of this style.  Some of it is very rustic and provencal while others look cleaner and washed in the Scandinavian style.
Image from Dovetail
As I looked through my magazines this last weekend, I especially liked the spread in the April issue of House Beautiful called "The New Look of Wood" with categories of reclaimed, washed, tinted, graphic, and white.  The pictures are so inspiring and exquisite that I recommend picking up this issue.  I give you just a sampling here to whet your appetite.
Images by Rebecca Ward

Thursday, March 11, 2010

More on the "New and Improved"

Last month, I posted this about the improvements I have been making to this blog.  I have been taking a 7 week course called Blogging Your Way hosted by Holly Becker of Decor8 and co-taught with Leslie of A Creative Mint.  It was so helpful to learn tips from such successful bloggers and get feedback from all the students in the class.  (If you are interested, check back with Decor8 in August when the fall class is announced).  As you can see I have made massive changes to the blog even in the past few weeks!

Here are a few of the changes you may have noticed:

I added pages with links to them running below my new header.  Besides the standard "Home" page that I have had all along, I have added:

This page will showcase some of my interior design projects that I have highlighted in my blog and can also be seen at my business website: www.rwarddesign.com
 Image by Rebecca Ward
Inspired from the class, I have started two monthly columns: 5 Favorites - a column where I post some of my monthly favorite things and Design:Sacramento - a column where I highlight some local businesses that I have found useful in my interior design business.
Image from lumens
Worth Checking Out
This is where I feature advertisers and links to various blogs.  You will also find badges here to use if you would like to link back to Design R

An easy way to find a past posting, organized by topic
I started a bookstore on Amazon that I will post most of the design books I own and others I recommend or may mention in my blog.  It's easy to find and you can purchase it here!  So easy!
If you have any questions or comments, I provided my email and a link to my website

You may also notice that the blog template and colors have been adjusted as well as the header.  I feel like I have tweaked this blog into a good place now and I think it will be like this for a while.  However, I'm sure down the road you will find me craving some change, just like rearranging the furniture in a room.

Enjoy and let me know what you think!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Chandelier Love

You know I love a classy chandelier to add a little jewelry to a space. I love this hand blown glass chandelier from William Sonoma Home.
I thought this lantern was also fun for an entry.
It wouldn't hurt to at some of these glass base table lamps to dress up a hallway table or buffet.
Would you use any of these in your home?

Images from William Sonoma Home http://www.wshome.com/

Monday, March 8, 2010

Noteworthy Blogs

I have recently added to my noteworthy blogroll some new blogs, 5 of which I will highlight today.

I hope you enjoy these as I have!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Design: Sacramento

I decided to start a column for my local readers and anyone interested in Sacramento.  I will highlight some great companies and finds around Sacramento that I have found useful in my profession or worth taking notice.

Today's Sacramento Source is Lumens Light and Living.

I have been familiar with Lumens since the company's conception.  This great lighting showroom used to be housed at the firm of Benning Design Associates, where I did my college internship and worked for a time.  At the time, the lighting showroom was a part of the firm.  The lighting showroom portion of the firm was sold and Lumens was born.  Soon, it was too large for its location and moved not far away to the heart of Sacramento's artsy midtown.
This great showroom is known for their contemporary lines of lighting but carries most styles as well as ceiling fans, some furniture and accessories.  Lumens is definitely one of Sacramento's best sources for lighting.

Images from Lumens.com