Monday, August 31, 2009

Interior Design Stars? Are you out there?

I must vent. After watching last night's episode of Design Star, I am once again disappointed in the cast as well as the challenges and the claims of being talented interior designers. First of all, I thought this was a show about interior designers, not landscape designers. Why was it necessary to re-design a yard? And why another group challenge at this point in the game? No one from this episode stood out as a design star with any real talent or ability to comfortably host their own design show. Not to mention the embarrassing budget oversight this week! $11,000 for a white vinyl pergola? $5,000 over the total budget? Ouch. The only saving grave was when Clive offered up another $5,000 so that they could actually buy furniture for their clients to sit on in their backyard.

Week after week, I have been watching this show hoping to see something exciting or creative from the cast and every week I see nothing. I mean not only are the time restrictions ridiculous for these challenges, but often times the budget is too. When they do seem to have a big enough budget, the designers are not using it wisely in the least. And the judges? I love Candice Olson's work and I like Genevieve's show and Vern is great, but I am appalled by the things they praise on this show. I'm hoping that they are just trying to squeeze out a little bit of praise for these people from what little good is part of their designs and that they are not truly impressed with the designs. I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels this way because I have been reading on other blogs pretty much the same things I've been mentioning here. I truly hope next season shows a much better choice of design star wannabes and a better mix of challenges without such crazy time restrictions so that these people can actually design something creative and inspiring. I honestly don't think I will watch the winner of Design Star's show this year because I can't stand any of them. Here's a before and after of the yard from this week's challenge. You be the judge.

So, what do you guys think? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

images from

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Why don't you...

Switch it up and try a painted floor in your house?
I love this look in the following images because most likely your neighbor is not going to have these kind of floors and painting floors is a simple way to change up your flooring in a snap! Make sure to add a few coats of polyurethane though so they are protected and also know that part of this look is loving the little scratches and inevitable wear and tear that will come with them. But that's part of the greatness in my opinion.

Most images from House Beautiful

Monday, August 24, 2009

Renovating an Industry

I came across this great article in the NY Times last week and although I'm sure many people have seen it already, I thought I'd post the link anyways. I think it really speaks to the future of interior design and how designers have to be more willing to work with clients that have much smaller budgets these days than they have been used to in the past. I love that I am part of the generation that has grown up using computers everyday and can easily use things like blogs and social networking sites to offer design services to people more readily than what was available in the past. It's exciting! You can go here to read the article for yourself and feel free to leave me comments about your opinion on this article! Thanks!

Monday, August 17, 2009

What's that thing called, again?

One thing I always had a tough time memorizing in my History of Art and Architecture class was furniture styles. I tend to get bored trying to memorize things and instead focus more on the way a piece looks and I learn to distinguish furniture by certain features, rather than by their proper names. Am I the only one who does this? Or does memorizing furniture types come naturally to you? In order for the names to really sink in, I made myself a handy little chart to study or take a glance at when I forget. :) Usually "doing" is one of the best ways for me to learn. So I thought you might like to see my chart and maybe it will help those of you that have the same problem as me!
{Click on picture to enlarge the furniture goodness}

A few of the pieces are always especially difficult for me to distinguish because they look very similar to other pieces that we all know and love. Here are the distinctions:

Channel Back Wing Chair- this chair is exactly the same as a typical wing chair that we all know and recognize except for the back of the chair has "channels" or large ridges in the way it is upholstered.

Breakfront-this piece is extremely similar to a china cabinet, but you'll see that the difference lies in the detail on the top of the piece.

Tuxedo Sofa-this sofa is characterized by the tall, straight lines of the arms and a high back.

Pembroke Table-similar to a Butterfly table but the difference is in the legs. A Pembroke has long, skinny, tapered legs.

Studio Couch-this is a half-sofa, half-bed type piece that reminds me of a classy futon.

Spoon back Chair-this chair is a larger chair that has a deep curved scoop to it's shape, similar to a spoon.

So there you have it! Hopefully this will help some of you out if you are studying for a quiz, furniture shopping or just trying to figure out what style of furniture you like and just want to know what to call it!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Design Styles

So I was reading jeune marie's blog today and she was talking about the Home Goods StyleScope quiz and what her results were for her design style. I thought it might be fun to see what my results would be so I took the quiz too. Here's what it said about my design style:

I thought it was a pretty good description of what I like and I think the pictures above are a good representation, although my home definitely does not represent this right now. My home is more earthy casual in my opinion. And while I like earthy casual and all that goes with that style, I have been wanting to shake things up in my home for quite some time now. I've been realizing that my style tastes are constantly evolving and I have a much greater appreciation for all different types of design styles than I ever did before. One thing I do really like about my home is all the different textures that I have in different objects around my house. I've always been drawn to texture in fabrics, vases, baskets, ceramics, furniture, etc. Just for fun, I went around my house and took pictures of all the different textures that I currently have out in my space. Take a look! What kinds of cool textures do you have in your house?

Would you do this in your home?

After seeing the fish tank toilet that I previously posted, I figured there must be other weird/cool ( ?) design elements using fish tanks. My husband has been jokingly wanting a unique fish tank built into a railing in our home that looks from our entry down to our basement and so I decided to see what is out there in they way of fish tanks. I've been pretty iffy on whether or not these tanks are cool or just plain tacky. Although these first few images are okay, I'm still leaning towards tacky. What do you think? I'll let you decide for yourself...

Hanging Aquarium


Coffee table


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Fish Tank Toilet

Cool or crazy?

I kinda like it, but its kinda gross too. It must be an ordeal to clean. I could see it in a unique hotel or restaurant possibly. What do you think?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Summer Boredom=New Header

Playing around with a new image for Re:Fresh Design.

You like?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Catching up on Life

So, it's been sort of a crazy few weeks. I've been out of town spending some time with family as well as working a few design events including the USGBC Mississippi Headwaters chapter LEED Home Tour. On the interesting side, I got to meet a cast member of the season 2 HGTV Design Star show while working the LEED tour. Josh lives in MN and is a huge proponent of the green movement. It was interesting to hear a little about his background and how he has really catapulted into success since his tv stint on Design Star. I got the impression that he wouldn't do reality tv again but that he has been able to leverage his time on tv to really position himself as a green expert and get some marketing for his business through other tv and trade show appearances. He now has a pretty successful green design business with offices in both MN and CO. Pretty inspiring! I found out that we actually went to school together for a semester as well before he left for design star-what a small world!

In other fun design news, I attended the Elkay Evening on the Lake again this year which was a blast as always. A large yacht on Lake Minnetonka with sushi, an open bar and great weather. You really can't go wrong with that! It was a fun event to network with other designers and see some of Elkay's latest products. I didn't bring my camera along, but here are some photos of the boat we were on that evening. Not too shabby...


I'm starting to feel the summer coming to a quick close and I want to be sure to take full advantage of the last few days. We'll be going out of town again this weekend to do some camping with some friends and I'll be back next week with some interesting posts, I hope!
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