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Interior Design Tips – Yes, Sustainability is a Thing

TDFall - Interior Design Tips Sustainability is a ThingAs mentioned in a previous post, Know Your Marketplace - Millennials Influencing Interior Design Trends, the influence of millennials is growing, in many ways shifting the focus and goals of the interior design industry. Of the many ways in which this demographic is influencing our market, sustainability may be the most important – and enduring – as it become ever more important to other age groups and market influencers.As explained by the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), sustainable design encompasses more than simply “thinking green”. Sustainable design goes beyond being just efficient, attractive, on time and on budget. It is a design that cares about how such goals are achieved, about its effect on people and on the environment. An environmentally responsible professional makes a commitment to constantly try to find ways to diminish design's impact on the world around us. It is also a smart way of doing business: sustainable design is the fastest growing segment of our industry.Green Design PracticesRather, sustainable design reflects an all-inclusive approach to a designer’s professional responsibilities, by employing:

  • Integrated building design developed by collaborative multi-disciplinary teams
  • Indoor environments that support occupant well-being and productivity
  • Resource and energy efficiency
  • Social equity at local and global levels
  • Protection of the natural environment
  • Positive economic impact of optimized operational and maintenance practices, and life-cycle cost assessments

Whether the ultimate design goal is decoration, renovation or architectural detailing, all interior designers must stay abreast of current trends in the field.In the design industry, today’s fastest-growing segment is the incorporation of sustainable, or “green”, interior design. From the use of rain water collection to supplement waste water needs, to using sustainable materials such as bamboo, innovation is high when it comes to designing a sustainable space.ASID offers a series of reports on sustainable design practices, materials, and products. To learn more, click on the links below:

Have you begun to see this trend? Is sustainability a thing in your marketplace? How have you responded?

Bold or Subtle Interior Designs - Often, the subtle will draw the eye better than the bold

Every neighborhood has one it seems, the garish purple (or pink) house that all of the neighbors complain about, and that the HOA seems powerless to resolve. Yet, while bold design choices need not overwhelm or offend, the question must be asked: Which is the right choice for your client, bold or subtle?Additionally, one might ask, how bold? Or how subtle? And of course, who decides?Clients often look to make a statement when they ask you to help them reimagine a space I their home. It’s the nature of that declaration, combined with the personalities involved, that will determine just how audacious or delicate a pronouncement your client will wish to see you offer them.While none of the examples below are particularly outrageous, the differences are certainly clear, and telling. The key to success will often be to present your client with degrees of differences that address their inclinations and vision. That way, if you happen to move beyond their comfort level, you will be able to easily pull back.Which kitchen speaks to them most clearly?Though the only difference between these two kitchens is the palette used on the walls, they have clearly different feels to them. When you consider other possibilities such as alternate flooring, lighting, and appliances for example, the opportunities for making a bold or subtle statement become much more obvious. ( feel fits?Bold or Subtle Interior Designs - Often, the subtle will draw the eye better than the bold 1Bold or Subtle Interior Designs - Often, the subtle will draw the eye better than the bold 2What would you change in these family rooms?While the layouts are identical, opportunities abound for personalizing these similar spaces, based on the desires and personalities of your clients. You could easily shift the feel of the first with different flooring, while a splash of color would transform the second. Then again, perhaps each of these homeowners made deliberate choices that reflect their lifestyles to perfection.What would you ask to learn more about their bold or subtle choices?Bold or Subtle Interior Designs - Often, the subtle will draw the eye better than the bold 3Bold or Subtle Interior Designs - Often, the subtle will draw the eye better than the bold 4Personal choices like these are extremely individualized and, as we all know, homeowners can be very protective of them. Yet, if they’ve asked for your help, they are seeking alternatives and must be coaxed gently toward the direction you think best, based on the vision of the space they’ve presented. Keep in mind though that moving too far in either direction, whether bold or subtle, may cause problems in the long term.No matter how bold you believe they wish to be, it may be best to offer relatively subtle choices at first, until they tell you to “Go for it!”

Colors and Accents – When Just a Splash is Enough

White remains the most popular color for rooms in most homes, mainly because they are versatile and “feel” clean (even when they’re not!). White rooms might create a modern sophisticated feeling of serenity, or make a fun artistic impact on the energy of a space when you add a splash of color.If your goal is to avoid overwhelming a space with too much color, the use of colorful accents may be exactly what you, and your client, are looking for.The examples below may begin with a pure white canvas but, with the judicious and intriguing use of colorful textiles and accessories, these clean and simple styles are accented to create gorgeous central focal points within the spaces.Pencil in some colorWhether a home office, child’s playroom or an artist’s studio, the way these colored pencils are used to add color to this space is far more than just creative – it is inspired!Colors and Accents – When Just a Splash is Enough 2Clever accents for a white bedroomAdding color to this white bedroom, along with enhanced spacial definition and character, could not be simpler, with the addition of a colorful Mexican weave blanket. ( and Accents – When Just a Splash is Enough 3Off-targeted, focused accentsOff-center yet still a clear focal point, this splash of yellow at the window in this room helps to balance the other colorful accent pieces in the room.Colors and Accents – When Just a Splash is Enough 4Good morning rainbows in the kitchenIt’s hard to argue with the colorful kaleidoscope that have been added to enhance this otherwise simple kitchen space.Colors and Accents – When Just a Splash is Enough 5While many clients will ask you to add color to their spaces, and their lives, many will also fear overshooting the mark. This is when a splash of colors and accents is just enough to keep them happy.

Somerset Bay

somersetbayEscape to Somerset Bay... and you enter into a realm where a coastal palette seduces your senses, where relaxation washes over you, and the chaos of everyday life fades away. Timeless designs and evocative textures blend seamlessly to create a superbly appointed environment... a place to live, entertain, or escape.With a collection inspired by some of the most impressive coastal locales - Nantucket, Newport, Carmel, Bar Harbor, to name a few - you can expect an equally impressive product. Somerset Bay raises the standard in design and construction. Each piece is handcrafted from the finest plantation grown mahogany and premium veneers and trim. Craftsmen use state-of-the-art techniques to produce the timeless soft Somerset Bay patina. Their skills can further be seen in the distressing, dry-brushing, and antiquing that shapes the character of each piece of handcrafted furniture. And a closer inspection will reveal drawers constructed of renewable, plantation grown mahogany and made with traditional dovetail joints.

Modern History

modernhistoryClassic, timeless, well-styled and quality…the foundation of exceptional design and the foundation for the furniture of MODERN HISTORY by Yorkshire House. Built on the ongoing family tradition of Yorkshire House, MODERN HISTORY is a fresh and exciting approach to Fine Furniture and High Design.Hand-crafted in small quantities, the quality of manufacture, finish, proportion and attention to detail are reminiscent of generations past when anything less would not be tolerated. Solid brass hardware, dovetailed drawers and dust proofed cabinets are just a few of the many benefits of furniture by MODERN HISTORY.When you invest in furniture by MODERN HISTORY you not only get exceptional quality and value but also a product backed by a second generation family tradition of supplying furniture of the highest standards. MODERN HISTORY offers you more than simply a piece of furniture. We offer fine furniture that will define your home environment and help you create a sanctuary to escape from the stresses of everyday life.

MacRae Designs


Tradition meets Transition

With timeless appeal, this classic collection hints of the past with a certain familiarity, and holds its own next to period antiques to fit today’s interiors.

Antiques of Tomorrow

All of MacRae Designs reproductions are made with the finest woods available, using traditional methods of furniture crafting. Our workshops are filled with expert cabinetmakers who take pride in their craft and trade. Each design is bench made in our workshops in order to achieve the look and feel of a period antique but with a modern design twist.

Holland & Company

Holland & CompanyFor over a century, Holland & Company has imported English and European antiques and reproductions for sale to the design trade. It all began in 1903 when Walter Browne formed a company (W.E. Browne Decorating) in Atlanta, which became the South's first full-service interior design firm, decorating only the finest homes throughout the country and even decoration rooms in the White House. The Browne Company tradition continues today at Holland & Company, which was founded in 1971. Holland & Company Antiques was the first antiques importer in Atlanta to serve the trade exclusively. Thus, antiques have been a passion with Holland & Company for many years. And through years of antiquing in Europe, we have gained an in-depth knowledge of period furnishings and an eye for great design.