Old in Art School

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When I saw the title of this book, I was immediately attracted to it. This is the year I turn seventy. At sixty-two I completed my Ph. D. in Business Marketing, not in art, although I did finish my BA in Art in 1971 and my MA in Art (although with an emphasis in interior design) in 1985. I understand going back to school when a little older is all about attitude. I laughed at the beginning of the book, as the author described the other students, the attire, the classrooms and the fear of failure, but as I listened on to the audio-book I liked it less and less.  One of the reviews of the book described how I innately felt perfectly:

“I was excited to dive into this book, hopeful for little nuggets of wisdom for my similar journey and perhaps a laugh or two in self-reflection. Instead, the reader encounters a self-indulgent, needy author who repetitively presents an inventory of her resume ad nauseam. She used this book to disparage other students all while trying to impress the reader by spewing supercilious comments and including very little about the process or art school. This book had so much potential but was so disappointing.” 

It is interesting to think that no matter how successful you were in what you did before, no one in your art classes knows that or cares about that. I had a little of that this weekend when I took a tonal painting class of street scenes.  I love the work of the man that taught the class and I learned quite a bit in the class. Mostly I learned I don’t like doing a tonal painting.  I love painting with color! Color kept creeping into my paintings in the class and I kept getting in “trouble” for adding too much color.    Sometimes in life, it is just as important to know what we don’t like, as much as what we love.

When I sat down to write my blog, I thought I would look at the artwork of the author of the book before I wrote a lot about it. Viewing her artwork, the first thought that crossed my mind was that she wrote this book, not about her real art school experience, but to promote herself and her art. Her background is in writing and history, so she knows how to write about history, but in this book, she makes being older a roadblock, not an advantage. She has gotten quite a bit of attention over the book, and thus her art. What is totally missing in this book, are all the other wonderful artists that started their art life later in life. She is certainly not alone!

Maybe I should write about starting and stopping art in your life. You start as a child and my case went on to study it in college. Then you start a career, get married, have children (oops no time for art), and in my case was widowed at a young age and raised my sons on my own and don’t have much time for art till your children are grown and have lives of their own.

When she started talking about how you have to dress to be a successful artist, I started losing interest.  Moving forward to discuss the philosophical side of the history or artists (in her opinion) I began wondering if I wanted to bother to listen to the rest of the book.

The book made me think about my own tonal experience. You can enjoy viewing art that you do not enjoy attempting. You can be award-winning in other fields and not art, and still enjoy painting. I have had many art shows, but never entered a contest with my art.

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The class was a learning experience. We worked on these small the first afternoon after watching a demo in the morning. The one on the top right was the first one with the second below and the third in ochre tones.

We moved forward painting in a slightly larger format the second day after another morning demo. My green trees are too green for tonal painting, but as I said I like “color”.

Street scene from Terry Miura Class.jpg The last and/or third day we had options of what we could paint.  I chose to paint a facade of a building, as I used to do a lot of rendering in interior design school, and as an interior design college professor.  I am still working on the facade and realized when I stood back and looked at it, I had added a shadow to the awning, and now I had shadows coming from two directions.  I will try to make the correction and add it to the post. The building and the cafe next door need names too!

I heard once, and again in this class: “If the painting is not selling, add a dog.” I think this painting may need a dog-walker with several dogs. I think it is better to laugh at oneself, that try to be pompous about what you cannot do.

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As always, I walked away having learned something new, met new people that love art and enjoyed the camaraderie of painting with new and old friends.

I will continue to listen to the rest of the book and hope it gets better, but reading several reviews I don’t think that will be the case. It makes me want to write a funnier book on a similar topic. One of the other reviewers wrote: “More of a self-congratulate memoir of past achievements than a book of more recent achievements. Disappointing … could have been much more.” 

It could have been written in a much more positive manner and encourage those of us over twenty to try different things.

Old in Art School

Oh No, I Can Do It All Myself!

I was recently asked to write an article on why you should hire a professional interior designer.  Hope you enjoy the article.

“The Devil is in the Detail”.  Ever heard that phrase and wondered exactly what it meant?  In short, something may seem simple at a first look but will take more time and effort to complete than expected.  HGTV design shows are a great example of this, as they make it all seem so simple, but what you don’t see are the people behind the scenes making everything happen and making it look simple and easy.  They are the ones that know all the details.  Designing a space looks so simple till you actually start designing it. Making a space look beautiful and actually be functional are one in the same and two very different things.

 

A qualified interior designer will listen carefully to what you hope to accomplish in a space and will work with you to get the look you want, in the budget you want, and, in the end, it will function how you wanted it to all along. Designers do this every day, so they have “great resources”.  Even the term is now archaic. I used to tell my interior design college students to pull together your million-dollar Rolodex.  Now It would be your “Million Dollar Contact List”, but you get the idea; designers have a lot more resources than you do.  They have worked for a long time to pull together an extensive network that gets the job done for you in the best way possible.

 

Oh no, but interior designers charge you for their time.  Let’s see, do you complain about paying your lawyer, accountant, doctor or even your gardener?  They all help to make your life easier and simpler. They are knowledgeable and in the long run, save you time and money. Using a professional interior designer does exactly the same thing.  You tell them what you like, and they find just the perfect finishes and people to get the job done.  You might have paid a little money, but you have not been running all over trying to find sources for what you need to be done.

 

The internet is fabulous for finding new and interesting products, but you have not seen or touched them so you might be in for a surprise when they actually arrive.  Your designer has worked with the materials and fabricator and knows how to get them at a better price. They will save you money in the long run.  There is no promise that a mistake will “never” be made, but the chances become slimmer with the experience of the designer.

 

People get caught up in trends. Designers will help you access what trends are classic and will be around for a long time versus the here today and gone tomorrow ones. They will help you have a chic space that will look wonderful for a long time. They will share with you what can work in your environment and what may not. In other words, put the polka dots where the polka dots look good, and that might be in a closet.  Don’t get me wrong, I love polka dots, just not in my living room.

 

Professional interior designers work with you to have a solid plan of action and know how to get it done in an efficient manner. They can bridge the gap that may come up with you and your architect or builder if you are building a new home or remodeling an older home. They know the language and can work to get everything in the right place.  It is not just furniture, but the lighting and so much more, even down to proper outlet placement. They can see the space in different creative eyes and bring it all together, so it works for you. They know that you are the one going to live there, so it should work for you more than for your builder and/or architect. Interior designers work with you to give you a home that meets your criteria, looks wonderful and at the same time functions exactly as you hope it would.

 

Interior Design is an interesting form of art. Some say that interior designers have to phycologists in addition to being designers. Part of what makes the best designer is the ability to listen and really hear what the client wants even when the client may not truly know what they want.  It is the magic of taking an education in the principles of design, the history of design styles both historical and modern and pulling everything together seamlessly to create your perfect environment. Designing a beautiful living space takes skill and vision is so much more difficult than many people think.

 

How many times in your life have you gone into a space that was either overcrowded with furniture, all the furniture was matchy-matchy, or the space just did not feel inviting? If you could not figure out what to do in that space, then going forward you should hire a qualified interior designer.

by Diana Bennett Wirtz Kingsley ASID. IIDA. NCIDQ certified. NKBA

Oh No, I Can Do It All Myself!

Here are some reasons to hire an Interior Designer

There are so many reasons to work with a qualified interior designer.  Here are a few examples of what could happen if you don’t,

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Close, but does not quite work.  Anyone want to try doing dishes?

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How about a quick jacuzzi after dinner and just fill the water bottle with wine?

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Here is where you just jump into the shower to clean up after cooking?

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And the refrigerator stands along?

 

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Can you fit a glass on wine on this “huge” island?

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Maybe you should read the instructions, or is this just art?

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How much purple is just too too much?

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And here is one of my all time favorites..  If it is good enough to eat it is good enough to be a kitchen island?

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It’s all about the color or colors in this case.  Don’t think I could cook or eat in this kitchen.

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Hello Kitty – you do not belong in a kitchen.

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It’s all about the color.  Oh no, I think I am going to be ill.  Guess this is one way to diet!

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Opps or is that child-proofing solved?

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Maybe a good installer makes a difference?

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Don’t open these all at the same time!

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Might be hard to empty this one.

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Something is just wrong here!

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Oh no, not again??

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This may not be the look you wanted; so be careful ordering IKEA?

 

 

Here are some reasons to hire an Interior Designer

Working Projects

 

Ad for BPA

As a working designer, I sometimes forget that it is important to share projects I am currently working on.  This a remodel of a kitchen that is about to start construction. We completely re-designed the area with a sitting area to enjoy the view, lots more storage, and more light.  Can’t wait to see the work begin.  satre Orr Front Door in Color

The front entry will be enhanced with a Store Front door and side windows, to let in additional light and make more of a statement entry.

Satre Kitchen Floorplan

The kitchen is completely re-designed to make the space open and user-friendly.

Kathy_Bill Living Room View 6_20

There will be lots of storage and a raised bar area at the entry to the house.

Kathy Bill Window Wall Cabinetry 6_20

The window wall will give you lots of storage with a view.

Kathy_Bill Kitchen Aisle 6_20

The inside aisle will be a cooks dream with a gas cooktop and two ovens.  I will keep you posted as the work begins.

Happy to help you with all your interior design needs.

 

 

Working Projects

Kitchen Trends You Should Know for 2018

This is an article from Home Polish that I thought was very interesting.

The Kitchen Trends You Should Know for 2018

Whether your goal is a full makeover or simply sprucing up your space, when it’s time for a kitchen renovation, you want to know what’s in, what’s out, and what’s here to stay. Which is why we’re constantly polling our designers and contractors for the details on what elements are worth the investment.

 

 

Most importantly: what are your goals? Kitchen renovations typically have a 65 to 80% return on investment when you resell—but that too can vary depending on materials, features, and budgets. If this is your dream kitchen, go ahead and try out those custom wood emerald green-painted cabinets, but if you’re focused on resale, remember that what you adore (and what you adore right now) could isolate a potential buyer. That doesn’t mean you can’t create an of-the-moment kitchen, you’ve just got to know which features are best for long-term.

For most homeowners, countertops and brand-name appliances are the biggest splurges. Brand name appliances mean something to people having Sub-Zero or Wolf appliances is similar to having a nice car in your garage. It ultimately depends on the style of the kitchen a person is interested in and what they want to prioritize.

So, what trends and materials are of the moment?

 

 

Goodbye Granite?
According to a recent study by Houzz, granite has been on a three-year decline among homeowners.

The small-scale texture of granite feels more dated than the larger scale texture offered by quartz and marble. People are willing to invest in their kitchens, so they will often choose higher-end materials like marble. Quartz is more durable than marble but looks very similar, so homeowners are able to get that high-end look without having to deal with the expensive upkeep of a material like marble.

Granite countertops stain easily and are not as durable to the everyday wear and tear of a family using their kitchen. So people prefer the less expensive option (quartz) that is also much more durable.”

But plenty of developers are still reaching for the classic, despite its price (depending on where you live and how much is needed.

Calcutta marble continues to be a go-to for high-end developers and clients alike. Its gray veining is quite universally liked and is never too aesthetically controversial for resale purposes.

 

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White Out 
The all-white kitchen, adorn by modernists and minimalists alike, might be taking a backseat. Dana is noticing some people straying to the other end of the spectrum.

White kitchens are always de rigueur, especially in modernist homes, but we are seeing many clients opt for black now too. We recently even did a kitchen that was navy, which looked great.

And it’s no wonder people might be shying away from that all-white look, besides the stain factor, it can also be tricky to achieve.

There are a few downsides to an all-white kitchen. Making all of the whites match each other—from cabinets, tile, paint, and more—is incredibly difficult. The whites need to be complementary and blend well together. Even if all the whites do match perfectly, sometimes this palette can result in a less interesting, flat looking kitchen.

 

 

Hues You Can Use
So what colors are on the rise specifically?

White kitchens will always be popular, but we anticipate we’ll see less of the all-white kitchen this year. We are seeing two-toned kitchens and colors like navy, gray, and hunter green.

The trend of white/dark kitchens will make an adjustment and we will start seeing more colorful kitchens like we see in Europe.

While these bold colors can seem daunting, especially if you have resale in mind, there are plenty of ways to inject color into your space without investing in red tiles or emerald green cabinetry.

There are ways to make a colorful statement without breaking the bank: using accent colors on staple kitchen accessories like teapots, KitchenAid mixers, toasters, and linens can really bring the space to life and add personality.

A fun backsplash always adds pizzazz to any kitchen. Something in the blue family can add punch without being too loud, and patterned mosaics are always an artful option too.

All Matte Everything 
From finishes to hardware to kitchen appliances, you might notice things are sleeker than ever. Enter matte black

Companies like LG and Vipp have released entire lines of matte black stainless steel appliances that can add a layer of sophistication to any kitchen.

It’s all about matte black: kitchen islands, hardware, faucets, and refrigerators.  Paired with a glossed countertop or glazed backsplashes, the matte finish adds a contemporary twist.

 

 

Embrace the Dark Side 
Speaking of dark, while quartz and marble continue to reign supreme among countertop types, expect to see some experimentation.

Marble and brass hardware are not completely out, and for a good reason  The crisp and modern combination continues to elevate drab kitchens, but now designers are playing with higher contrast combinations. Instead of Carrera marble, designers are opting for Nero Marquina.

And this trend of moodier and darker kitchens goes beyond countertops.

Darker countertops, matte black, brass hardware, and deep forest green and navy kitchen cabinets are paving the way.

 

 

Beyond the Farm
While large, farmhouse sinks have been on the rise, our sources are noticing people opt for a more simple approach.

The Farm sink trend will slowly fade away this year and we will go back to under-mount sinks.  The farmhouse sink fade also goes back to convenience.  They look great initially but you’ll get splashed all the time and they don’t wear well at all, grit and grime shows up too much against the white!

However, considering the rise in vibrant shades, your classic steel under-mount sink just won’t do.  We will start seeing the trend of stainless steel sinks fade away. Colors will be big this year, even for sinks.

 

A Better Backsplash
In search of some creative inspiration? Lean into a global, old-world style.

This past year has seen a high number of kitchens using the countertop as the backsplash on the walls.  We will see less of that this year and more Spanish-style tiles in the kitchen and throughout the home. These trends are making a strong come back, and I expect to see a lot more of them this year.

Easy Access
Kitchen design has always been about balancing fashion with functionalism. (What good is a new kitchen if you can’t actually cook in it?) According to a recent study from Houzz, three-quarters of remodelers obsess over decluttering.

One trendy way to reduce counter clutter and achieve organizational bliss: Open cabinetry for spice racks, storage bins that are behind glass cabinets for easy access.

One other idea for a functional space isn’t so new but back in vogue: the pantry cabinet: a full height pantry cabinet can be incredibly useful, even if it means you need to give up a bit of counter space.

 

 

Mix and Match
Beyond bold color choices, designers are also being a bit more playful in they are put it all together.

With the trend of seeing more colors in the kitchen, we will see sharper contrasts than before. For example, making the island cabinets a different color than the kitchen cabinets (which is very common now). Or perhaps extreme contrasts between the cabinets and the appliance colors in order to help incorporate a different look for the kitchen.

We see people experimenting with mixing different types of countertops. For example, perhaps the kitchen island serves as a showpiece and is a high-end material like marble because it is a place of entertainment, but the rest of the kitchen countertops are quartz. The quartz still has a high-end look, but is more durable and better suited for food prep.”

The kitchen island can now act and look like independent pieces of furniture that do not have to perfectly match the surrounding kitchen.  Modern farmhouse islands have transformed into free-standing vintage butcher tables and the marble waterfall island is now the Vipp matte black island.”

A Natural Touch
En Vogue in the ‘90s, wooden cabinetry will likely have its resurgence (much like everything else from that era). Thankfully, it’s not in the way most of us remember.

Wood cabinets are making a comeback but in a much less traditional sense. People are interested in a form that is less detailed and more unfinished looking.  We are seeing this deconstructed premise of wood in many applications beyond cabinets as well, such as reclaimed wood ceilings or open shelving with wood.

As one of the three major investments of a kitchen remodel, cabinetry can have a great resale payoff in the long-run. You can never go wrong with beautiful wooden cabinetry as it endures and the fronts can easily be swapped out or re-painted or stained as needed in the future.

 

 

Finish With Some Drama
One of the most exciting places to experiment: lighting. And our designers encourage you to keep going wild.

Asymmetrical kitchen lighting has started gaining traction in 2017 and will continue to evolve over the next couple years. Instead of falling into the classic double or triple pendants above the kitchen island, designers are creating moments of drama by justifying pendants over to unexpected areas. By redirecting the eye with an asymmetrical pendant, the homeowner has the opportunity to create mini vignettes or highlight their favorite kitchen object.

Kitchen Trends You Should Know for 2018

 Granite vs. Quartz

If you’ve recently shopped for new kitchen countertops, you know firsthand how many options there are today. Houzz research says that for most people, the choices often boil down to granite or quartz. Two out of five homeowners choose one of these two surfaces, often for durability and easy cleaning, according to a 2017 U.S. Houzz Kitchen Trends Study. If you have whittled it down to granite or quartz, here’s a quick way to learn all about their pros and cons.
 Granite vs. Quartz

Popular New Entry Spaces

In the first three months of the year, Houzzers saved photos of grand main entry spaces and casual backdoor mudrooms that were full of great ideas. Benches for slipping off shoes, cubbies, and cabinets for storing outerwear and striking design elements such as flame-stitch-patterned wallpaper, an urban landscape mural, and log cabin siding caught our attention. Here are 10 great ideas from the most popular new entry photos uploaded in the first quarter of 2018.
Popular New Entry Spaces

Top Kitchen Innovations From Milan

Dream kitchens, live presentations of the latest smart-home appliances and cooking demos by famous chefs greeted visitors to EuroCucina and FTK (Technology for the Kitchen), the biennial events that took place during the latest installment of the Salone del Mobile trade fair in Milan, Italy, from April 17 to 22.

We kept an eye open for signs of how the most lively and innovative space in the house, the kitchen, is evolving. Among the exhibits were increasingly flexible setups, commercial appliances redesigned for the home cook and innovative new technologies. Picking up on the current trend of the integration of kitchen and living spaces, designers also presented kitchen features that either blend seamlessly into their surroundings or disappear altogether. Here are some of the kitchen innovations coming your way in 2018.

Top Kitchen Innovations From Milan

5 Layers of a Well-Lit Kitchen

When planning a lighting scheme for a client’s kitchen, I like to think about cake. Let me explain. On my birthday, a red velvet cake always comes my way, and it includes four layers with a cherry and icing on top. Just like that cake, a well-lit kitchen should have four layers for different lighting needs. I call these light layers: “doing,” “knowing,” “feeling” and “changing.”
5 Layers of a Well-Lit Kitchen

Key Measurements to a Powder Room

At one time a luxury found only in grand homes, the powder room has become a staple in new American residences. When planned for new construction, they are often given ample space. But when you want to fit one in during a remodel or into an addition, you may have constraints. No matter what type of home you have, it helps to understand how much space is needed for these little or not-so-little very special rooms.
Key Measurements to a Powder Room