Friday, 30 January 2009

Interior by Debra Geller

rendering by Michelle Morelan, Interior Designer, BID

Over at Beautiful Living, she has been admiring the same room that I have.

Michelle at Notting Hill says it's the work of Debra Geller. I love the space plan and colours so much I had to render it. The pendant is so amazing isn't it?

Have a great weekend!

Catch the Spirit

Residential project in Ucluelet, Michelle Morelan Design

Cleaning my office today, I found this handout by Mary Knackstedt. She shared it with us at her recent seminar. I'd love to share it with you :)

BY Mary V. Knackstedt

"Catch the Spirit, or catch the bus.
We know the power of our design spirit. How can we pass this spirit on to our clients?
One thing is certain; you can't pass on the spirit if you're not willing to demonstrate it in every move.

People today are attracted to people who have direction and are able to communicate their enthusiasm.

Interior design has a power and an excitement like nothing else in the world. If you don't love your work, do something about it. Go to a seminar. Hire a coach. Learn why you don't like it, or get out of the field.

Remember that special teacher who explained things better than anyone else? Interior designers should want to be that special "teacher" who inspires as he or she explains and informs.

People follow examples. How do you live? Do you exemplify the word "designer"? Look at yourself first. Is your home your haven? Does it suit you? My private space is austere but peaceful, like the art of Japanese flower arranging. Clients think it's really "me".

Are you really you? Be honest with yourself. We must know our field and how we fit into this sacred discipline of design. We are the high priests and with this responsibility, comes great opportunity-a chance to make everyone's lives more artistic, to give pleasure to a child, the aged, to everyone our work touches!

Express love and caring in the way you design. Help your clients show caring by creating an interior that speaks to all who enter.

How do you feel when you wake up in the morning? How do you treat yourself? Is the vision you see from your bed an experience that establishes your spirit for the day? You are affected by design as much as your clients are.

Today, business is based on high-tech humanism and relationships. We use technology to reduce the time and effort we spend on repetitive tasks so that we have more time to spend building the human part of our business. You're part of a community. In this world of the impersonal, we like to be supported, liked, and loved by those around us. This is probably more important than ever before. We expect this human element in the businesses we support. They're part of our neighborhood.

Interiors are motivation; and they speak louder than voices. People are searching for spiritual experiences. Environments featuring art and design can provide those experiences. All of us have a real need and a craving interior designers can fill.

As a human factors specialist, I've learned to fill physical needs first. But when I interview clients many years later, they will say, Yes, the space worked. But it's the emotional experience they remember and treasure.

Your clients will have only the best, if they catch your spirit."

Ucluth Lodge and Spa

There is talk of an adaptive re-use hospitality project in Ucluelet...someone has purchased a great upper harbour fish plant, and wants to keep some original components, and run it as a resort.

I will be pursuing this with everything in me, because in school, this was my thesis project, I grew up there, program requirement have been written (and will gladly be re-written), and most of all, who could be a better match?

The overlook from the spa into the pool area.

Hotel Lobby is the old "box up" area, and where forklifts would turn around and load trucks.

The spa reception area features a seating area with fireplace, large scale imagery on the walls (almost every space features this), and a natural stone floor. Off each side of this space is the entry to the spa, to the pool area and up to more treatment rooms, and a water feature.

The juice bar at the spa mixes leggy and pod like furnishings, natural materials, and features unobstructed views of the inner harbour of Ucluelet. A "Cannery Row" feeling with corrugated tin, and colourful plastics pay homage to the history of the site.

The horizontal siding used throughout gets it's reference from the numerous, utilitarian wood palettes used in the industry. A staircase overlooks the spa area, which features a tidal pool (a submerged glass box adjacent the pool), and is accessed by a second floor sky walk from the main building. The resort also includes a restaurant, a sushi bar, a lounge and a penthouse/corporate retreat.

Does anyone have any miraculous specific marketing ideas they would like to share? I have the name of the purchaser (he used to run my thesis fish plant), but know there are other investors. I just thought you ever so talented business bloggers may have some secret strategies up your sleeves :)

Monday, 26 January 2009

Where's Your Paradise?

I was in Ucluelet this weekend, and have been really excited about Black Rock Resort opening (I talked about it here). BBA Design in Vancouver did the Interiors, and the architect was Vancouver's VIA Architecture. It's managed by Boutique Hotels and Resorts of British Columbia. It's our first resort hotel, and I think it is fabulous.

What BBA has done so well, is kept to the strong wave concept, tying it to the rocks and situation, which is dynamic, straddling a surge canal and with windy western exposures.

The entry, towards the lounge, which it shares a double sided fireplace with. The movement of the curve starts at the approach to the building, and continues into finishes like these great laminated wood curves. The circulation, which creates surprises at every turn also follows a wave.

A simple finished log graces the entry, is really understated, but true to the natural surroundings, where trees fall to the forest floor. It faces the blow hole, past the outdoor balcony and railing of glass.

These stool/chairs in the entry bring the outdoors in, but in a refined manner. I wonder if they are Brent Comber pieces? The stone floor and fireplace are the same colour as the rock outcrop that the resort is perched upon.

I loved this chandelier in green glass planes; it references the kelp forest beds perfectly, and would love to know the source if anyone knows. The light and shadow was cast upon the black slate wall and white ceiling.

The staircase to the bottom floor, the gym, spa, infinity pool and hot tubs. The smooth maple handrail is beautifully contrasted against an unfinished concrete wall.

This view from the lounge is so dynamic! You feel safe from the storm, but connected and part of the energy at the same time.

One of the only things I am unsure about is this wave bar, which I thought I was really going to like. I will wait for the resort to be finished, and reserve my judgement for now.

The view across from the lounge to the restaurant, past the surge canal, or, as we call it the "blow hole"

I bought my sister lunch in the dining room called Fetch, and I snapped a few pictures. Can you believe that walkway that perches you right above the blow hole? I can imagine the noise of the driftwood smashing against the rocks during a fierce storm.

The entry to the DR has a hostess stand that re-enforces the logo of the resort.

I think the white pendants look like sea urchins!

Banquettes are always the most comfortable seating, and the luminaries here are round like fish floats or traps.

My sister Raylene, on the way to the car. We were talking about how much we couldn't believe we were still in our home town. The grand opening isn't until April, but they have a local special for 99 dollars a night right now!

Where is your paradise?

Friday, 23 January 2009

Bailey and PVE

Every once in a while, something great happens to make you realize you are on the right track. This morning when I opened my email, it was filled with bold Times New Roman potential...and also...this little beauty. It's a beautiful watercolour of my sister's new Westie puppy, Bailey by Patrica at PVE :)

Thanks doesn't really cover it...but thanks be able to get this from a photo is something lots of us are really jealous of! You have caught her playful, but loving a T!

Visit Patricia, and say hi...she does beautiful illustration work; I especially love her storefronts with people out front...her watercolours have a movement to them.
Thank you so much Patricia!

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Mrs. Robinson Goes to Washington

The Queen's Sitting Room
renderings by Michelle Morelan

There has been so much talk about the election, and I have been so warmed by the images of this beautiful young family moving into the White House. I didn't know until recently that Michelle's mother, Mrs. Robinson, is moving in as well. She is there to take care of her grand kids- what a great family!

Here is my idea for her sitting room, off the Queens bedroom. It's a cute little space in the corner of the building with two windows and a fireplace. A great place for the kids to gather, grandma to grab a book, have mother/daughter chats, and a place to escape all the chaos.

As an Interior Designer, I started with research...looking at the history of the spaces, heritage fabrics and furnishings, opening up a can of worms that would take months to sort through, then START designing from; so this design does not consider the research and history that is involved in a project like this!

Good luck to Michael Smith; and I can't wait to see what you come up with! I read on Wickapedia that there is a whole storage "shed" full of antiques and art from renovations through the years. Can you imagine walking through there, and getting to chose from these items? It's more than that though...each piece has meaning and respect must be paid to the histories and the stories they represent.

The mirror over the fireplace is original to the room, and the seamless door style as well, but the remainder of the space is changed...with all due respect :)

The Queens sitting room is in blue, on the 2nd floor of the White House; the residential floor

The room now...I could work with the carpet, and possibly the chest...everything else must go!

rendering by Michelle Morelan

Jackie Blue Home

OMG...I am so touched to see that Jackie and Jackie Blue Home has done a post on my blog...she does amazing drawings, and has published books of her work (take a look at her website and books on her sidebar)...thanks are so sweet!
You will have to come and join us one day in Vancouver...what a treat that would be!

My Favorite ID Texts

*Due to the horrendous formatting issues with blogger, and my long list of books, I will be doing two more entries :)

I have been reading Mary V. Knackstedt's book "The Challenge of Interior Design", and really enjoying it. Since she has been in business for over 30 years, you would think she is not very forward thinking, but to the contrary! She looks to the future of the industry, and what that means to us as growing firms.

This got me thinking about all of the great books we used in school, like my favorite, "Shaping Interior Space" by Roberto J. Rengel, or any or Francis Ching's books.

Here are some of my favorite reference books:

Shaping Interior Space- Roberto J Rengel

If you only read the first chapter of this book, you would get allot out of it. The reviews at the end of every chapter bring all the information together well, and if I had an hour or so, I would read just those.

A quote from LeCorbusier's "Towards a New Architecture" (Dover Publications: New York, 1968) from that first chapter reads:

"You employ stone, wood and concrete, and with those materials you build houses and palaces. That is construction. Ingenuity is at work...
But suppose that walls rise towards heaven in such a way that I am moved. I perceive your intentions. Your mood has been gentle, brutal, charming , or noble. The stones you have erected tell me so. You fix me to the place and my eyes regard it. They behold something that expresses a thought. A thought that reveals itself without word or sound, but solely by means of shapes which stand in a certain relationship to one another. These shapes are such that they are clearly revealed in the light. The relationships between them have not necessarily any reference to what is practical or descriptive. They are a mathematical creation of your mind. They are the language of Architecture. By the use of raw materials and starting from conditions more or less utilitarian, you have established certain relationships which have aroused my emotions"

This is what has always intrigued me about interior design...that you are capable of creating and manipulating feelings with interior space. I am an advocate of nature inspired interiors, and our relationship to the outdoors; that's no secret, and often look to the feeling of walking through the rainforest, the scale of the bog trees or the colour of bark to bring inside.

The power of design comes in creating spaces that are nurturing, in the case of court houses, or hospitals, where you feel safe and secure. In creating a space of gradure and worship that stretches to the sky, and includes an element of natural light that casts the perfect shadow; one that makes you raise your hands up. To create a getaway space that cocoons you in such a way, you can't explain it, but you need to return every year. This is the power of design.

This page on free standing, and attached masses is definitely interesting!

The Interior Design Business Handbook - Mary V. Knackstedt

An great book of business forms, and great info on managing an ID firm. How to make a profit, keep on top of changes in the industry and of daily operations. Many designers I know dislike the business element of design, but it makes more sense with a book like this.

I have used it many times, and my first contract was moulded from the one in the middle of the book. I saw Mary last week at the Seattle Design Center; you can read about it here.

This page of the book talks about fee structure; cost plus, percentage, hourly fees, and hybrids.

Home- Witold Rybezynski

The sub-title of this book pretty much says it all..."A Short History of an Idea". Ralph Lauren and his marketing genius is examined, as is what we think comfort is...not just physical comfort, but safety as comfort. He looks over the centuries to what has made us react in the way that we have to furniture, and interior spaces.

A great little book, and an perfect size read for a trip.

Designing Interiors- Rosemary Kilmer W. Otie Kilmer

Concept, FF & E, adjacency matrix, programming, bubbling, lighting, materials, history of design or technical drawing...this is the source! I have more post-its in this book than any other. This book takes you through the design process (or the domains) from programming through ideation and occupancy.

Page 164-165 features bubble and conceptual diagrams, ideation and schematics (my favorite part of design).

Colour Drawing- Micheal E. Doyle

Like I have said before, drawing and rendering can be learned! There are artists, and then there are those who read books like this, practice the techniques, no matter how much they suck, and learn to do it better next time.

Information and diagrams on shadows, blending, night scenes, materials, mediums, and indispensable techniques make this book one of my favorites. I learned later in school to use Sketch-up for perspectives, but typically use hand rendering on top of those dwgs for character.

Don't say you can't draw, until you read this book!

Notice the background of the shelves is shaded first, colour is added, details are brushed in, leaving white space around the rendering, and adding "glints and gleams" for lighting.

Part 2 of ID texts is coming soon!

Tuesday, 20 January 2009


Ok, so I will stop with the sentimental personal posts...but I had to share with you, pictures of my sister's new puppy Bailey...she's a westie. Such a cutie....and a good girl too!

I love the little tufts on the top of her ears...and how pink the insides are!

Monday, 19 January 2009

Where Does the Time Go?

Evan is 19! That's I have two kids over 19...where does the time go...and...I want some back! I am feeling a bit sentimental ;)

Disneyworld 1996; he was always an artist. This kept him busy on lots of plane rides from Key West to Vancouver; he is now at Vancouver Film School!

Hiking the Rainforest Trail near Ucluelet 1998....that's stingy in his hand...stuffed animals had real feelings and personalities! Before Evan would play with a toy, he would draw it.

Little Ev at Grama's house 1994...notice he always liked to have his socks off (still does), and loved multiple once! Funny to watch him grow into his personality.

Yesterday, his girlfriend Chanelle, and his brother Jes took him to the neighbourhood pub for his "first" beer...they had two and headed back to the house for birthday cake and a board game with Brian and I...made me realize....I haven't done so badly!

His songs are great...listen here...and he did the artwork as well!

Happy Birthday little Ev!
I love you and am so proud of you

Friday, 16 January 2009

Sleepless in Seattle

Checking in; I loved the laminated red glass and cabinets. And the lighting...yup!
Doesn't Nancy's hat look good on her...they both use accessories well !!

Maria, at Colour me Happy, so graciously invited me to Seattle with Nancy of Urban Aesthetics last week, and we had a great overnight trip. It's nice to have some designer girls to talk design with, do some networking, meet some new people, and to join at functions.

All day today, we were at a seminar put on by the Seattle Design Center focused on the changes in the interior design field by Mary Knackstedt, who has written one of my favorite reference books ever...The Interior Design Business Handbook (see my sidebar)...I didn't realize this, until I saw it on the table for sale! The book contains forms, including worksheets and a contract that I couldn't have done without.

Mary and I are not of the same stature...she is very petite! (and obviously gracious).

I also bought her new book, The Challenge of Interior Design, which she told me is more personal and philosophical. She has been in business over 30 years, and is Founder and President of Knackstedt, Inc. She is a seminar leader, and business consultant for Interior Design Firms.

Her presentation style is relaxed and well read, with a confident cadence. A few things I got from her presentation were:

  • Do your best work possible...always!
  • It's not cost , it's an investment (we have known that for years)
  • 20% of the time, try new things; the other 80% is do what you know in order to keep the hours reasonable on a project
  • I really wanted to ask a question about work and the economy, but have noticed for a few months, the most well read and intelligent people I know have been showing their disgust at the media when it comes to this issue; so, when someone asked (of course), she said the same thing. So...I am no longer talking about, thinking about or giving any energy to this obsession the media has with scaring the SHIT out of us...
We spent the first day shopping at the outlet malls where I bought a great pair of boots from Nine West, and some Michael Kors shirts, for 44, and 100 dollars- thank you very much! Thanks to great navigating skills by Nancy and great girly chit chat, before we knew it, we were at the Hotel Max in downtown Seattle. We did some shopping at Nordstom's and had some wine and was a bit chilly though!

The colours of the upholstery in orange, blue, and greys, with dark grey walls had a very "W" look. Great lighting!

The doors to the rooms with large b&w graphics; there were also eye charts at the end of each hallway!

The beautiful ceilings in the lobby with a Greek key and egg and dart pattern, show respect for the original architecture, and felt very Italian.

We were a few blocks away from Nordstrom's, and some great restaurants...way to go with the planning there Nancy! Nice choice!

Nancy and Maria at Red Fin; the hotel restaurant...can you believe that we all don't eat meat? That has never happened! So chic aren't they? Nancy is wearing a new shirt from Michael Kors.

Thanks you guys...nice to have spent some time with the both of you!
Tomorrow I will fill you in on the great eye candy I spotted at the Seattle Design Center!
By the time I went to bed tonight, Maria had done a post...we are so funny about this blogging thing. She beat me to it :)