Portland based Interior Designer

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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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

"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

TREND ALERT: Is open shelving in a kitchen design in or out? by Kevin Twitty

Design is so fluid and everyone has an opinion about what is in and what is out, including myself. For me, I feel like it is very important to read design magazines and watch home design and renovations shows to keep up to date on what my clients are seeing because this is what they being told they need to do in their own homes. 

One of the trends I have been seeing a lot of lately on the renovation shows is doing open shelving for all of the uppers in a kitchen. Is this a good idea? 

Even though this is a cute curated open shelving kitchen, is it practical or just pretty?

Even though this is a cute curated open shelving kitchen, is it practical or just pretty?

My opinion is NO, DON'T DO IT! I honestly feel like this is the worst recent trend, and I would advise my client's against it. 

I feel like the open concept shelving with the perfectly aligned cups and bowls next to fresh potted greenery on top of a curated stack of cookbooks looks fabulous on TV and magazine photos, but it is not practical nor is it realistic for everyday use. I don't know about you, but I value every square inch of my cabinet space and am very glad I can hide as much away as I can.  Another thing to remember with open shelving...more dusting (my least favorite thing to do) and they tend to get cluttered looking very quickly. 

Cluttered open concept kitchen.

Cluttered open concept kitchen.

Can you imagine dusting all of this?

Can you imagine dusting all of this?

Charming or chaotic?

Charming or chaotic?

So why are so many design and remodel shows pushing this trend? Easy, it's cheaper than traditional closed cabinetry and when you are in the business of buying fixer uppers for cheap, remodeling, and selling for a profit, it is simple to see why flippers are doing this to save costs. 

I will say I am not 100% against any open shelves in the cooking area. I think open shelving can be done properly in small doses to create a nice design aesthetic. Here are some great examples of how they have been used in a tasteful way that makes sense. 

The open shelving around the kitchen sink works great in this design. Because the sink is in the corner of the kitchen, the open shelves allow for a less boxed in feel.

The open shelving around the kitchen sink works great in this design. Because the sink is in the corner of the kitchen, the open shelves allow for a less boxed in feel.

This design has used open shelving at the end of the kitchen to leave the space feeling open without sacrificing a lot cabinet space. I like the blend of closed and open shelving here.

This design has used open shelving at the end of the kitchen to leave the space feeling open without sacrificing a lot cabinet space. I like the blend of closed and open shelving here.

The coffee bar/butler's pantry is a prefect place to have open shelving. It is one area that makes absolute sense for this type of design impact.

The coffee bar/butler's pantry is a prefect place to have open shelving. It is one area that makes absolute sense for this type of design impact.

Remember, this is just my personal opinion. If you are gung-ho about putting up a wall of open shelving around your kitchen, by all means, go for it, because the most important thing to remember when designing is you have to be comfortable and happy in your home. 

The ultimate open kitchen! :-)

The ultimate open kitchen! :-)

Accent Wall Ideas by Kevin Twitty

Adding an accent wall can drastically elevate the design style in a space. Because it is just a single wall, it can be the easiest way to direct focus, create depth, and even take an "outside of the box" risk. Check out my favorite five accent wall ideas you can do!

1. Paint

This is by far the simplest and most cost effective. I am a huge fan of using highly saturated colors to create a statement when painting an accent wall. Challenge yourself to a bolder color and if you hate it, it's easy to change!

I love how just the back wall of the staircase being painted creates depth.

I love how just the back wall of the staircase being painted creates depth.

Feeling like a pro, try making a design with your painted accent wall.

Feeling like a pro, try making a design with your painted accent wall.

2. Molding

Putting molding walls got a bad reputation when so many builders decided to put a single piece of molding around the room called a chair rail (literally one of my least favorite things). However, molding on a wall can look super sophisticated. From the traditional picture frame molding to the more contemporary box molding. 

Traditional picture frame molding makes this ball and clawfoot tub feel right at home.

Traditional picture frame molding makes this ball and clawfoot tub feel right at home.

Taking a traditional molding and turning it into something special with this geometric designed wall using molding.

Taking a traditional molding and turning it into something special with this geometric designed wall using molding.

Contemporary box molding give this space a real sense of scale. By painting it, it draws the eye.

Contemporary box molding give this space a real sense of scale. By painting it, it draws the eye.

3. Wallpaper

Yes, wallpaper is still in, in fact, it never left. I have used wallpaper in no less then 100% of my recent projects and with the endless possibilities of patterns and styles wallpaper can work for everyone. It really does make me overly excited. 

Sometimes just one wall is all you need for wallpaper. This creates the perfect layer for this living room.

Sometimes just one wall is all you need for wallpaper. This creates the perfect layer for this living room.

The perfect nursery wallpaper. It's bold and beautiful and it only needed on the feature wall.

The perfect nursery wallpaper. It's bold and beautiful and it only needed on the feature wall.

4. Tile

I love a tile accent wall! I use them frequently in bathrooms, bars, and even in bedrooms and other spaces. There are some really amazing tiles that will wow you and create huge impacts in a home. 

Having fun with a wall of accent tile in a bathroom brings so much style to your home.

Having fun with a wall of accent tile in a bathroom brings so much style to your home.

Wavy wall tile used to create a contemporary feature wall in this home.

Wavy wall tile used to create a contemporary feature wall in this home.

5. Wood

I tend to lean more towards the modern use of wood as an accent wall, but for clients who love that "farmhouse" style, you can also use reclaimed wood. 

Taking traditionally rustic reclaimed wood and flipping it on it's scrip by using in a more tailored pattern.

Taking traditionally rustic reclaimed wood and flipping it on it's scrip by using in a more tailored pattern.

Dimensional wood accent wall. This is my dream.

Dimensional wood accent wall. This is my dream.

Wood used in a more contemporary fashion.

Wood used in a more contemporary fashion.

Walkthrough of a Glamorous Mid Century High-rise by Kevin Twitty

There is a real resurgence of downtown living. People are wanting the ease of walking out of their front door and having everything at their fingertips, which is one of the reason why we moved to Portland, Oregon. To celebrate this shift in lifestyle preferences, I wanted to revisit a project of mine from a few years back.

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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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