I very much enjoy appreciating art in paper form, specifically, in those large hardcover photo books. They are perfect for casual viewing on your coffee table with breakfast or for guests to browse.
On my coffee table right now, I have 3 specific books that just never get old. Even if I have read them 100 times, they still fascinate me with every gander. Additionally, they are printed beautifully and are almost a decoration for my living room. In this post I’m going to show you what I have for my coffee table. Continue Reading →
A great example is Quentin Tarantino’s latest movie Django (the “D” is silent), which uses fantastic cinematography, soundtrack, and script that creates a masterful movie piece with such a unique style that anyone can guess it’s his work. I love that.
I have a lot of favorite movies though and each one has many fans, as they should. Continue Reading →
The holidays are a perfect time to showcase your flair for décor and design against the backdrop of a custom-built home. This year my plan is to invite current and potential clients to a festive gathering at my home, which is one of my architectural masterpieces.
I have already determined the guest list. Now I need to plan the occasion before I write the Christmas invitation. In my world, design is everything, so I want the invitation to match the theme and flavor of the event. First, should this be a cocktail party or an open house? That choice is dependent upon the number of guests. In this case, I think an open house is the better plan. It is such a short holiday stretch and people already have other commitments. Therefore, a Christmas invitation to an “Open House” between 3 P.M. and 7 P.M. on December 16th seems appropriate.
My reasoning for a weekday, especially Monday, is to give my working friends and clients the chance to arrive after their day at the office and stay until they wish or need to attend another party. My retired clients have the chance to attend any time, early or late. My holiday collection of decorations is eclectic. I will set up Christmas trees in the parlor, dining room, and great room. Then I will theme the trees and accessories to fit my diverse decorations. One will be the style of India sparkling and exotic; the dining room will be traditional English, formal and elegant. The parlor must be warm and cozy with traditional old country or early American influence.
Since I am showcasing my home and its design, I will need a touch of Christmas in every room. The baths can be accessorized with the themes of the entertaining room, only simpler. The bedrooms will be tastefully decorated with low-light shades and warm throws and rugs. I am not an electrician so outside lighting will be limited to spotlights that shine up on design features I wish to highlight on the exterior. Plantings will be limited to simple pots of poinsettias and garlands in key areas around the entrance. The food choices are next. An open house, fortunately, requires simplicity in preparation. I will hire a local caterer to prepare a smorgasbord spread in the dining room and finger foods placed strategically in the parlor and great room. The bar needs to be in the great room near the spectacular view of my garden.
I now have everything I need to select my Christmas invitation. I find that paper invitations by post tend to get lost in my stacks of mail; therefore, I must assume that is the case for others. I have everyone’s email address, although I do not have all the mailing addresses. Therefore, online design is the best option I have.
I found a tasteful Christmas invitation that has room for all my details and it includes a place to insert a photo. I will use a photo of my home that I will insert into the design I chose. I will also include my email link for the RSVP. I can print the invitation for those who are out of internet reach and email the rest. This is just too easy!
My architectural, decorating and Christmas invitation design styles are now consistent with my event theme, “A Warm Holiday Welcome.”Now I will certainly enjoy my own party. Cheers everyone!
Since I have worked as a designer and studied architecture around the world, I have noticed that people’s perceptions of architects and lifestyle designers tends to focus on the more glamorous and “artsy” side of the vocation. This side of the business is not always evident, however. The fact of the matter is that true architects and lifestyle designers are artists with a discerning eye for detail and aesthetics, but they are also business people at heart.
No designer will ever make it if he or she isn’t grounded in simply business principles. At the core of these principles is the concept of inventory management. Every business has inventory of some kind or another. Architects generally don’t buy and sell inventory, but they do sell their time and resources.
Designers, on the other hand, often need to purchase goods and even maintain display cases in their studios in order to bring on new clients. Being able to maintain and manage key levels of inventory can make or break a designer. If a designer buys too much inventory and is unable to sell it fast enough, the designer could lose a lot of money on a client.
Think about it this way. The inventory turnover rate for a designer is the amount of times inventory can be bought for clients and sold to these clients. For instance, a designer might purchase a dining room set as well as wall hangings and other decorations for a client’s dining room. If the client likes the style, he can purchase the set from the designer, but if the client doesn’t like the set, the designer is often stuck with all of the furniture and decorations. Obviously, this can be a costly mistake.
When I was studying architecture in London, I was introduced to an architect named Jean. He told me that true architects and designers not only focus on the overall look and feel of their art, they also figure out how to make that art a reality.
Just like any business, the business of designing and building buildings and other structures comes down to being able to run the numbers on a project. Can a project be built under budget and within a certain time frame? If it can, the job can start. If not, more often than not the company will go with a new design.
Jean told me to study the financial ratio analysis of different architectural projects around the city to understand what happens on the business side of the industry.
This was good advice and it took me a while to fully understand how important it was. It wasn’t until I realized that a designer or architect can design the most beautiful structures in the world, but if they don’t make fiscal sense, they will never be built. I know. It’s kind of a strange way of looking at the industry, but it is true.
Take that into consideration next time you look at Big Ben in London. Think about how much it cost to build, the man-hours it took to create, and the amazing achievement it is rather than just the design. I assure you. You will have a much greater appreciation for the structure after that.
Toronto, like any other city, needs good architects to design homes and other residential structures that are safe to inhabit or visit. In fact, I have many families who live in that beautiful city and I visit them almost once every year. One way that architects can help homeowners is by designing the house so that personal injuries can be prevented. One severe kind of personal injury that an architect can prevent is dog bites.
Dog bites are the result when the structure of the house somehow fails to bar the homeowner’s dog from escaping into the street. For example, the architect may have designed the perimeter fence in such a way that a small dog can easily wiggle under the fence and escape outside. This dog can wreak havoc by running around and biting people. If the dog is still young, then the danger of dog bites is not that severe yet. However, if the dog is older and more vicious then it becomes hazardous to allow the dog to roam the street. This is especially true if there are toddlers and other young children playing in the street. It is the homeowner’s responsibility to make sure that dog bites do not result. And in connection, the architect has to help the homeowner by designing a perimeter fence that does not have any spaces or holes which a small dog can use to reach the street.
However not all architects anticipate this problem well in advance. In fact, they may even feel it is a non-issue and not worth their time considering. A homeowner whose dog bites someone may then have to face a personal injury lawsuit initiated by the person who was bitten. Although it may seem a bit extreme to file a lawsuit simply because of a dog bite, the nature of the injuries can dictate the charges that will be filed against the homeowner. For instance, there are cases where the dog of the homeowner may have bitten a child in the face to the point that vital parts of the face like the nose and cheeks could be disfigured. The child may heal from the wounds but there may be scarring. This is the situation that an architect has to prevent by creating good designs for homes.
Let’s say that the architect you hired for your home construction failed to anticipate the ability of your dog to find a way out of the compound. This is why I try to give this advice to my Toronto relatives. I tell them that if your dog bites someone, you will probably need a Toronto injury lawyer on your side to help in your legal defense. You might even notice that the architect you hired will also be named in the lawsuit, depending on the degree of injuries your dog caused and the way your home was constructed. If the lawsuit does not name your architect, you also have the option of filing your own lawsuit against the architect for negligence or any related legal violations.
Searching for a home in England will mean choosing between many types of architecture and dozens of different styles, but the English style of home is often very distinct from styles you see in other countries. This isn’t unique to just England, as homes from all different regions and cultures usually carry with them a unique style and flavor. If you’re coming from America or Canada and are looking for a home in England, it’s good to understand the basic style you might expect before you even check out mortgage rates for yourself.
The traditional style of English homes typically includes lots of wood and a darker look. Although somewhat drab to look at, these usually have a homey and cozy feeling as well; this hominess may be a result of the often dreary English weather, which makes a nice warm home a necessity for keeping a happy family. Inside English homes you may find lighter colors that match the earthy materials used for the homes; cream and beige tones are very popular. Because many English homes are centuries old, you rarely find modern décor and modern style. You aren’t likely to long for that modern touch though, as the historic look that many English homes have is something that just can’t be reproduced. Look for gabled roofs and oversized stairwells with the traditional style as well. Brick and stone are also very common building materials so you may see exposed brick or stone on the inside of homes as they may not cover them with drywall as you see in American homes. Large and ornate chimneys are also very common, and windows are often multi-paned as this was commonly used during the Tudor transition.
Larger homes may also resemble castles because of the Victorian influence. They may include heavy iron gates and more steel and iron features, as these materials were becoming more common during Victorian England. These features may increase your mortgage payments as they are considered more modern and sturdier, for more information on mortgages and payment tools visit Rateline.
The English country style or English cottages are so popular that you may see this style imitated around the world. English cottages are built to be quaint and welcoming; they are often built with wood materials rather than stone or brick, and include smaller rooms with a cozier feel. Inside you’ll see dark wood floors and paneling and typically many fireplaces.
English cottages are built around gardens and landscaping, and these may affect your mortgage rates as they increase a home’s value in England and may do the same in other areas, if your not familiar with the types of mortgages rates find more information here. If you find an English cottage in the countryside in England you’ll no doubt be told about the flowers and outside planning, as this is considered very important to Brits. If you’re looking for a home in England, in the city or in the country, be sure you understand these details about their architecture and how they affect your overall mortgage cost.
Last week my sister came for a visit and we sat down for a cold drink and the usual discussion on ongoing problems in each other’s life. She shared with me that her fallen arches problem had worsened over the past few months and she required help. The main problem is that my sister is an active athlete and the strain she puts on her feet almost daily has led to her developing a more sever over pronation and she had to find a way to stop it. Usually people go with foot stretches and exercise to help them strengthen their feet and even form a natural arch but with my sister’s sports-oriented life there was no time for that. There was only one thing she could do and that was to find the best running shoes for flat feet!
It’s surprising how much in common the architectural arch and the arch of the foot have in common. They’re both designed to sustain the weight of the structure above them and concentrate the pushing force into compressive stress, relieving tension. Arches in general tend to push the supported structure outward as it pushes down which is usually restrained with internal ties. These internal ties for the foot are the tendons and muscles which keep feet arched; for people with fallen arches they are improperly developed. Usually when athletes run, their feet’s arches have to sustain an impact force that equals three times the athlete’s body weight. You can imagine how much stress that is for a flat foot to absorb! Eventually this leads to over pronation or when your ankle twists inwards and your knee starts to overcompensate. This in turn causes the runner a whole lot of discomfort and that’s the thing you need the least in sports.
Over the course of the next week my sister and I spent hours daily in researching different types of flatfoot running shoes. They work by providing the needed arch support artificially and, for a runner, additional support in shoes means they’re headed in the right direction. Stability in running shoes means that they are intended to reduce overpronation which is usually done by adding a layer of harder supporting material right under the arch together with the necessary raised arch inlet. Not all athletes go for the additional arch support though – it tends to get uncomfortable during runs as you can feel (and sometimes more than that) the raised supports under your feet. Stability shoes should suit those – they only include a hardened bottom part.
It took buying a couple of cheap pairs for my sister to test and soon after she decided the best running shoes for flat feet for her are the stability trainers. We discussed the matters with a friend of mine who is a podiatrist and he helped us pick the right pair of stability shoes for her. In a couple weeks’ time my sister was running more comfortably and faster than she’s ever dreamed possible!
I have always been inspired by Australian architecture and design. The architecture and design featured in the country is relatively modern because it wasn’t settled by Europeans until the late 16th century. This means that there is less worry about fitting the modern with the traditional (which is a major hurdle in England). My infatuation with the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House have existed long before I decided to pursue this career. That meant that I was thrilled to accept a temporary job working on an Australian project with a local architect. There were some challenges that I had to overcome and my biggest challenge was trying to understand the retirement pension scheme, known as superannuation.
Basically superannuation is a compulsory pension fund and your employer pays a set amount (currently 9%) on top of your wage into a superannuation fund. This money is invested in this fund, members are given basic investment options to choose from, and cannot be accessed until you reach the age of retirement. I’m sure that you can see that it is a great system for permanent workers in the country, but can be a major problem for those working temporarily in the country.
Getting a working visa for Australia was easy because my employer sponsored me. However, to work in the country I also needed a tax file number and super fund. The tax file number was an easy process, but choosing a super fund was much more difficult. Partly because there are so many options, the number of super funds in Australia is in the thousands, but also because I really didn’t understand superannuation or how it worked. Fortunately, the architecture firm I was working with was able to explain superannuation to me and they helped my choose a provider. I found that the best way to choose a fund was to compare superannuation funds via the internet . This way you can ensure that your super fund has the very best performance.
Once I had completed all of the necessary steps I was able to get started working on the project. Working with Australians was a great experience and they really are very accepting of people from other cultures. They also enjoy a laugh or two during work, which makes for a really relaxed office. Interestingly, Australians also enjoy hanging out after work and I was invited to many outside work functions from my fellow colleagues. This was a nice change from some of the stuffy architectural firms that I’ve worked with in the past and I felt so welcome in Australia.
Working in Australia was an experience that I will never forget. I made some great friends and worked on a project which will, hopefully, last a lifetime. I also got a chance to explore the country and see some of those amazing architectural designs that have inspired me since childhood. I would recommend anyone that gets the chance take the opportunity to see this great country and, if possible, stay for a bit longer and work with these great people.
In the 1800′s, people of means had wicker furniture in their living areas and parlors. Sometime during the 1980′s, wicker was banished to outdoor spaces and you rarely saw it indoors. Now people are bringing wicker back into their homes. It seems to be since the advent of the shabby chic look a few years ago, which happens to be affordable and looks great. Recently I managed to add a few good-looking wicker pieces to my indoor spaces. Wicker is starting to turn up in the most unexpected rooms throughout my home.
It started when I found a unique wicker headboard at a second-hand sale. The headboard was in decent condition and just needed a coat of paint. It was a simple project and I decided to take it on. The headboard was a chipped white color that looked faded and tired. I spray painted it in a dark brown color and now it looks perfect in my bedroom. The headboard only cost a few bucks and I am proud of the results. It brings a luxurious touch to the room.
I’ll admit I found a second piece at the same sale. It was one of those old-fashioned wicker king chairs everyone seemed to have about twenty years ago. They make you feel regal when you sit in them because of the rounded arms and huge winged back. The chair was in excellent shape because it probably sat wrapped in storage for the past decade. It is a natural color and I just added a beige and brown cushion. I put it in my bedroom to match the new wicker headboard. I was starting to get hooked on wicker.
My living room sofa was showing serious signs of wear and tear. The idea of spending a lot on another leather sofa really didn’t fit into my current budget. I surfed around online to search for cheap sofas. Some of them were fussy and looked like they belonged in my grandmother’s house. Others were just not my style. I started to think I would have to keep my ugly sofa through the holidays and wondered what visitors would say about it.
Then I discovered a website offering discounted wicker furniture for incredible prices. It seems the cold season is an ideal time to shop for wicker furniture because you can score deep discounts. I found a posh wicker sectional sofa with dark wood trim. I choose cushions in a deep green with a few brown throw pillows. When it arrived at my door, I was surprised at how durable and attractive the sofa is. Now I can’t wait to have people over to check it out. It is a definite improvement over my saggy old sofa.
For someone who never owned wicker before, the stuff is starting to take over my home. I like the fact it is lightweight and sturdy. It also brings a classy touch to the house without breaking my budget. Now I find myself checking out wicker furniture and accents wherever I go shopping. I am considering a wicker accent table for my next purchase.
Good day, so it’s been just a tad informational around here the past couple of days. We’ve been looking at some recent innovations with the architecture around the cool city that is Glasgow, Scotland. Having taken a trip some years ago, I thought it would be cool to re-visit some old friends that I had met from here who used to study at the School of Art introduced to I by my ex-girlfirend (fun times I really kid you not). So we took the usual tour around the city visiting the churches, the recent transport museum and also some other museums, shops, clubs and pubs. Glasgow is a really cool and vibrant city with lots of life, style and design features that are very hard not to miss. It’s different to England in so many ways, yet somehow still has a lot of relevance with one another. The people are slightly different in the way they talk, however the United Kingdom people as a whole share very similar traits.
But anyways, aside from my analysis of people. This post is really about the inspiration that I’ve picked up along the way in this cool city. I must say that the shops in Glasgow are awesome and you can pretty much find anything here if you look in the right places. We found a little place that sold some army surplus that was just about 5 mins from the centre of town. I’ve always enjoyed the style and practicality of military design, the way it is crude yet built just for purpose. There’s a lot to be said about military design and the current trends of tower-block buildings, the way we are all crammed into a small space – as city dwellers being one myself, it seems we just find design and style in the hardiest and concrete of places.
I also visited the transport museum which had some nice cars, buses and other old vintage vehicles. However, the thing that caught my attention most in terms of style and design was when it came to the Old Glasgow trams. I mean these things were super cool, classy and fundamentally different to anything else on display in the museum. There was videos of the old Trams in operation and you could see how Glasgow used to be. They had made the museum quite nice and the museum itself is a piece of architecture made by one of my favourites Zaha Hadid, so it was definitely on my to do list whilst there. But having been to the museum and seeing the things inside, I was definitely more interested in the stuff inside the musuem rather than out.
Coming onto the nightlife on glasgow, we were recommend by the people from Goarmy, the army surplus store – http://www.goarmy.co.uk – to go and visit Subclub for some nice techno and house music. Taking a trip on the train towards town was very cool as we got to see the inner workings of the city. It was a nice trip throughout and I really enjoyed myself and hope to visit again, my three day trip just wasn’t enough to satisfy my inspirational thirst.