Interior Design

New Kelly Wearstler from Lee Jofa Groundworks by Kevin Twitty

Everyone, stop what you are doing and get excited about the new collection of Kelly Wearstler fabrics, leathers, trims, and wallpapers from Lee Jofa Groundworks you will be glad you did!! 

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I have been a huge fan of Wearstler for many years now because of her fearless approach to interior design. She is not afraid to think way outside of the box to create some of the most one-of-a-kind designs I have ever seen. Her style dances on the fringes of what the typical everyday client is comfortable with, but that is what makes her so incredible. I often take bits of inspiration from the tenacity of her designs to challenge my own clients to step outside of their comfort zones and challenge their preconceived notions of what design is. Because of her bold and daring designs, I cannot explain to you my excitement for this new collection. Sit back and enjoy the visual beauty! 

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What I am swooning over is the unique color ways in this collection. This red and teal number has set the bar for the future of color trends. Another fantastic feature of her new collection is the breath of products in a lot of patterns. 

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Tapes and trims are back in style! The best thing about them is how they can add a graphic visual depth to any piece in your home. Kelly's trims have that deconstructed look from familiar patterns. My absolute favorite is the nod to a greek key pattern and the delightful dot tape. 

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An up close look at her wallpapers show how fantastic the aesthetic is. Most of the wallpapers in her new collection are wither on a metallic, paper or printed on fine silk. It is some of the most opulent high quality wallpaper on the market today. 

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The Ooh La La moment for me is with her new leather hides. They feature a laser cut design with a fantastic depth of color. They have a real classic yet modern flavor to them. It's the perfectly refined look for today's design. 

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If bold colors are not your style, their is even fantastic neutrals round off Wearstler's fourth collection with Groundworks. There is for sure something for everyone! If you want to see the new collection with your own eyes, head over to the Kravet | Lee Jofa | Groundworks showroom in Portland, Oregon. It is fabulous.

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Outdoor Patio Design: Relaxing Tangerine by Kevin Twitty

Being outdoors is on the top of my "list of loves" in life. It makes me so happy to breath in the fresh air and take a pause from the four walls that envelope most of my day. Over the past few years this sentiment towards being outdoors has been shared by more and more people and because of this, indoor/outdoor living spaces in homes have been raising in popularity and manufactures of outdoor safe furnishings have kept up with the pace. In honor of the summer season coming to an end and beautiful Autumn weather rolling in, here is a design you could easily do for your own outdoors. I call it, Relaxing Tangerine: A relaxing casual style with clean lines and natural textures.

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  1. Arrow Accent Pillow - Pillows are some of my favorite ways to update a space. This charcoal arrow on a cream background has a fantastic modern casual vibe. $60

  2. Tone on Tone Striped Pillow - These contrast against the charcoal, of the other pillow and add structure to the space. - $79

  3. Natural Trellis Pillow - I love how these bring in the mid-tone of all of the neutrals. $98

  4. Tangerine Bohemian Style Rug - Adding just a touch of color is perfect to give your outdoor patio just enough color without overwhelming. $629

  5. Woven Natural Stools - These wicker stools add visual texture and an extra place for guests to sit when you are entertaining. $250

  6. Copper Bowl Planter - Adding a little bit of shine plays well against the softer tones of the design. I love the warmth in the metal. $175

  7. Copper Cylinder Planter - This is the sister planter. It has all of the same material elements, but allows for something a little different. $175

  8. Outdoor Safe Table Lamp - Electric lamp outside? What! That is awesome. This outdoor lamp will keep the mood casual. $279

  9. Antiqued Side Table - Everyone needs a place to put a drink down, and this small antiqued side table is perfect for that. It also connects well with the planters and cocktail table. $199

  10. Gray Sofa/Chaise with Casual Washed Wood - Upholster is where you splurge! These well constructed pieces are going to last you a lifetime. They are the perfect classic high end look for your outdoors. $3579

  11. Gray Chair with Casual Washed Wood - A perfect compliment to the sectional above. I love how this chair is oversized. Makes me want to curl up with a cup of coffee and a good book. $1125

  12. Rusted Top Round Coffee Table - A show-stopper of a cocktail table. The simplicity in the shape is lovely and the rusty top is a worry-free way to live outdoors. $855

 

Learn to hand render like the pros! by Kevin Twitty

Have you ever seen a hand rendered design and thought, "WOW, how do they do that?" or, "I'll never be able to hand render like that." I am an interior designer and I also have those same thoughts. In college I had to learn the skills of hand rendering, however, with such a fast paced world, it was one of the skills I let slip. 

I recently reconnected with a friend from university, Shannin Williams, and she absolutely  amazed me. Shannin has fine tuned her hand rendering skills since our time as Lumberjacks at SFA in Nacogdoches, TX.  "My goal is to help you learn the basic techniques of hand rendering and sketching and apply those to your client presentation boards in a creative way so you can sell your design proposal." Shannin says. I love how she inspired me to get back to the basics by putting pen to paper and immerse myself into my designs on another level. Here are some of the tips she gave me for sharpening my hand rendering skills that will help you too.

Sannin Williams hand rendering interior design

Tip 1 - Use good quality paper.

Using good quality paper can change the way the final rendering can look. I’ve used several types of marker paper and I discovered the ones I like the most. If I want my hand rendering to have a softer look I use Bienfang Lightweight drawing paper. This paper allows the marker to bleed perfectly for me. If I want a sharper look with defined strokes and marks and no bleeding I use x-press it blending card. Others I use are Canson pro layout marker paper, and Borden& Riley #234 bleedproof paper. I suggest trying a variety of papers until you find the one you like and achieve the look your aiming for. See more of my favorite tools in the link here

Canson marker pro rendering

Tip 2- Use a straight edge when you hand render or draw. 

I always use a triangle that has an inking edge when I draft floor plans or hand render. The purpose is to keep your marker lines straight. I like seeing crisp, straight lines in my illustrations. A crooked line makes me nuts which is why I own several adjustable triangles in different sizes. My favorite is the Staedtler Mars 8” adjustable triangle. I even keep a smaller one in my purse when I travel along with a sketchbook, pen, and pencil. 

Sketches of architectural and design rendering tools

Tip 3 - Use good quality markers. 

I use Copic Sketch markers due to the 380 + colors they offer. I also like Copic Sketch markers because you can refill them and change the tips when they get bad. Buying a $6 marker seems outrageous but I look at it as an investment since I have the ability to refill them when needed. That beats buying a whole new marker like you would with other brands. If you want to start with a set of markers I recommend purchasing any of the Copic Sketch cool, toner, neutral, and warm gray markers first. You can achieve a lot of colors with a range of grays. And don’t be afraid to layer and mix your marker colors to create a new color. 

Markers and Ink rendering

 

Tip 4 - Define your own style of hand rendering. 

There are several architectural illustrators out there that have different hand rendering techniques. I have learned from them all and developed my own rendering style that portrays the look I want to achieve. My style includes a loose and quick mark that is not perfect allowing my final hand rendering to be natural and not forced. It took me months of practice to achieve the style I wanted and I recommend you doing the same. Your style of hand rendering needs to stand out amongst others to get gain attention. 

Hand rendered interior design. Tropical boho style design.
Hand rendered entry design by Shannin Williams
Hand rendering interior architecture and design

To see more of my work visit my website at www.shanninwilliams.com or follow me on instagram @shannin_williams. If you want to practice hand rendering jump on my website and sign up for my mailing list and download your free line drawing or you can see try out my hand rendering course here.

Shannin Williams Interior Designer

Incorporating old finds into your design by Kevin Twitty

Designing with vintage finds and antique heirlooms are a great way to add interest into your home. It is such a treat when you walk into someone's home and see a unique piece of furniture, one of a kind vintage art, or upcycled accessory.

One of my best friends and fellow designer, April Williams, is an expert in hunting down pre-loved finds and bringing new life to them, so I asked her to guest blog about the questions she asks herself before incorporating fabulous finds into her design. Here are the questions April asks when incorporating old finds into your design.

Does it bring you joy?

Do you feel happy or at least have fond memories when you look at or hold the piece?!  You should—if not, get rid of that thing.  There’s no reason to keep it otherwise.  If it’s been passed down in your family and you no longer, or maybe never did, enjoy this “thing” then offer it up to the rest of the family.  If there aren’t any takers, that lets you know it’s surely okay to let it go. 

This piece of gravel art was always hanging in my grandmother's house, made in the 60's by my great-grandmother. I loved it then and even more now. 

 

 

Does it add Character?

If you feel your space is a bit lackluster and boring, try adding a little character.  It’ll make your environment much more inviting and so stagnant, as if you’ve walked into one store and purchased everything at once.  This is a pet peeve of mine in regard to design; your home should not be a collection of items that personalize and enhance, not just fill, the voids. Incorporate you and your history into the design. 

Reupholstered tufted sofa before and after

My style is more eclectic than most, so it’s no surprise that I wanted a classic tufted velvet sofa.  I knew I wanted a camelback sofa, so I searched high and low, then found an old inverted camelback (even better!) for only $250! As you can see in the before picture, it needed some love, so I found upholstery services in the area that would allow me to customize it to my desire.   Better yet, a dear friend got me a sweet discount on some high durability faux velvet. I ordered the fabric and some new spindle legs, and watched my dream come to life. This show stopper added so much character to my home. 

Is it unique?

If it’s just a random, on-trend item, consider finding something more special that will stand the test of time—think classic.  Trends come and go and come again, so if you like the idea of what you’re considering purchasing, maybe look for a vintage or antique one instead.  The hunt is one of my favorite parts of finding special décor.  Take time to drop into a few estate sales or a trip to a flea market; you never know what you may find!  Even Etsy or Ebay will do, just look for something that strikes you—the item should evoke emotion.

Wall decor can be that unexpected touch in a room. I like using old frames in lieu of new.

Wall decor can be that unexpected touch in a room. I like using old frames in lieu of new.

Does it have a story? 

Maybe it’s an heirloom or something you bought at a garage sale, but you got to hear about its life before you owned it and the story intrigued you.  If so, it will likely be a great conversational item that company will enjoy learning about, too. 

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I have wanted one of these tables for several years now, but was certainly not willing to pay the hefty price.  However, I stopped at an estate sale on my way out of town (like I had room to be hauling extra stuff around) a few weekends ago, and scored HUGE.  Do you hear me, huge?!  These bad boys are way out of my price range, but this particular day, I found one originally marked $300, it had been slashed to $150, but everything was an additional 50% off so I grabbed it and didn’t think twice about spending a mere $75 bucks when the one you see above would run you $2,800 on 1st Dibs. The lady that had owned it was a world traveler and brought it home from Pakistan. I loved the story behind this table, and, not to mention, it is unique, has character, and brings me joy!

Is it functional?

Always consider the functionality of the item.  Will it serve a purpose or will is simply be beautiful and fill an empty space?  Will it have an immediate home when you take it into your house?  Will you actually use and enjoy it?  These are few things to consider when debating adding to the place you love and spend your quality time.

Upcycled mason jars used as flower vases

And lastly, upcycling can be as simple as using an item differently than its original intended use, like the old Mason jar as a vase above. Not to mention, flowers always add a special touch to any room. 

April Wiliams, RID, NCIDQ

About the author: April is a Registered Interior Designer in the great State of Texas, mother to a volleyball loving, soccer playing, country dancing teenager, and she dabbles in wire wrapping jewelry in her spare time.  She’s got a thing for giving old stuff new life!  Follow her on IG at aprilchiree83 for more design, upcycling, and DIYs.

"Local" Artists on my Radar by Kevin Twitty

“Abstraction allows man to see with his mind what he cannot see physically with his eyes....Abstract art enables the artist to perceive beyond the tangible, to extract the infinite out of the finite. It is the emancipation of the mind. It is an exploration into unknown areas.” ― Arshile Gorky

I have always had a love for abstract art. I feel like it can completely bring a design together by tearing down the normal expectations of what art should be. Sometimes it is a beautifully seamless canvas that ties in all of the colors from the designed surroundings and other times it is the contrast in the room. 

Since starting my design business and moving to an artsy city like Portland, Oregon, I have been keeping an eye out on local artists from around the country. I loving having a resource to go to in order to infuse some personal pieces into my client's homes which will afford their homes to have a more personal touch with a commissioned work of art. 

Here are some fantastic artists I have been following recently that are giving me so much life! I have even had the joy to work with a few of them and the ones I haven't, keep an eye out for me using in future projects.

Lana Nguyen

Originally from Kiev, Ukrane, she now travels around the United States drawing inspiration from her fascination with nature. Her current works us the medium of Alcohol ink on Yupo. The movement makes me want to get up and dance! She is currently in Phoenix, AZ and has had a studio in Austin, TX. [Get to know Lana more]

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Lana working on a commissioned piece for a project

Lana working on a commissioned piece for a project

Paulette Insall

A southern gal living in Portland, Oregon, Paulette is a a contemporary abstract painter expressing her visual language through pure color and an expert eye. She creates one-of-a-kind original works and commissions.  [Get to know Paulette more]

Paulette Insall

Paulette Insall

Current original work of art "Joyous Beginnings"

Current original work of art "Joyous Beginnings"

Lisa Jensen

Lisa is a stay at home mom in Portland OR who found her voice in art. She is drawn to calming and relaxing landscapes and reimagines them in a modern way. There is a true freshness to her work and I am in love. Exciting news for Lisa is that she is going to be a new WEST ELM artist starting August 2018. [Get to know Lisa more]

Lisa Jensen

Lisa Jensen

Collection of works bu Lisa Jensen

Collection of works bu Lisa Jensen

Jose Trujillo

Jose is a self-taught artist originally from Guadalajara, Mexico, now living in Tucson, Arizona. Heavily influenced by impressionist artist. He blurs reality with saturated colors, movement, and uses his artists sight to take liberties on out view of the world around us. [Get to know Jose more]

Josa Trujillo

Josa Trujillo

Couple under and umbrella

Couple under and umbrella

Kyra Kendall

Base in Toronto, Kyra does all affordable original works of art and commissions. She has made a name for herself with her superb water color skills which trail outside of the lines in the most beautiful way. My cousin has one of her pieces and it it one of my favorite things. [Get to know Kyra more]

Kyra Kendall

Kyra Kendall

Rainbow of Lips

Rainbow of Lips

Original Portrait

Original Portrait

Head over Heels for Hide Rug! by Kevin Twitty

Animals play a huge role in interiors spaces. For hundreds of years, hides have been used inside the home from trophies on the wall to hides on chairs. They are perfect for adding natural texture, pattern, and a feisty spice to a room. My favorite way hides have been modernized for today's designs is in the rugs. Here is how you can utilize hide rugs in an updated way!

Metallic Hides

This metallic rug does wonders by reflecting the light flooding in from the windows. I love the dimension.

This metallic rug does wonders by reflecting the light flooding in from the windows. I love the dimension.

Elevation of style is what this metallic hide rug does in this luxurious closet design.

Elevation of style is what this metallic hide rug does in this luxurious closet design.

Patched Together

A client's upstairs landing featuring an all neutral patched together hide rug.

A client's upstairs landing featuring an all neutral patched together hide rug.

Linear designed patched hide rug. Very structured look.

Linear designed patched hide rug. Very structured look.

Dipped in Color

Hides can even work outside... I mean, hows do live outside :-)

Hides can even work outside... I mean, hows do live outside :-)

Light pink dyed hide rug in a kids room. Super durable!

Light pink dyed hide rug in a kids room. Super durable!

Patched Natural and Dipped in Color Blend

Design possibilities are endless with colorfully dyed and patched hides.

Design possibilities are endless with colorfully dyed and patched hides.

How fantastic are these natural colored hide rugs with navy dyed pieces patched in featuring updated designs!

How fantastic are these natural colored hide rugs with navy dyed pieces patched in featuring updated designs!

Animal Print 

How hide rug printed like a zebra.

How hide rug printed like a zebra.

Run free tiger cow...run free.

Run free tiger cow...run free.

Banded

Just a touch of animal in a room can be understated with a simple banding around a sisal rug.

Just a touch of animal in a room can be understated with a simple banding around a sisal rug.

Even more understated hide banded sisal rug because it is tone-on-tone.

Even more understated hide banded sisal rug because it is tone-on-tone.

Outdoor Patio Design: Summer in the Hamptons by Kevin Twitty

The weather is so beautiful this time of year and it has inspired me to get summer ready! Over the next few weeks I am going to share with you some of my favorite outdoor patio designs that you can get right now to spruce up your space. Today I am keeping it classic with my "Sumer in the Hamptons" inspired color pallet.

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Using a Mood Board for an Office Makeover by Kevin Twitty

In the designs I create, my goal is to always bring to life a feeling that reflects the client's personal style. To help me convey this feeling to clients, I make mood boards. I have found it to be the easiest way to visually show my clients how everything in the design is going to talk to one another.

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Potty Mouth by Kevin Twitty

As I was enjoying coffee with a client of mine, we both started laughing about the realization that we talk about toilets entirely too much! Since branching out on my own, the number of remodels and new builds  I have been working on has skyrocketed and with that comes a lot of decisions on the perfect throne for their bathrooms. 

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