Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Interest in Pinterest

Every now and then there is something I get really attached to.  First, it was an addiction to magazines and shelter magazines like High Gloss.  Later it became my ipod...followed by my iphone...and the migration to my husband ipad.  Lately I found another thing that's quite addicting.  Pinterest!

Image from pinterest

The pinterest website

Pinterest is a website featuring an online catalog of awesome images.  It allows you catalog the things you love. People use it to plan their weddings, store potential additions their wardrobe, organize recipes...and for people like me -  inspiration for interior design!
Check out this room design pinned by a pinterest fan.

Before I met shelter mags and Pinterest, I had (and still do) hanging files by room with inspiring images and tear sheets I've collected.  Over time, I developed online files by room that I save pics into from favorite shelter mags and blogs.  And now with Pinterest, I now have an online site to save them off too!

A room by Mary McDonald, one of my fav designers that I can search on, pined by a pinterest friend.

Another room I will "pin" in my file.  Love the contrasting paper in the shelving.

With Pinterest I can store not only images of rooms I love, but can also pin architectural drawings, fabric samples, paint, floorplans, furniture and even design books people have recommended.

 A design book I can pin to my board and remind me to purchase it down the road...

an interesting floorplan from another pinterest fan..

artwork that has tons of potential in the right room...

or fabric for pillows that would make the room pop...

or paint samples of the perfect color...

and piece of furniture I could potentially use for a client.

Best put by this pin, pinterest has ton of potential!

The options are endless.  So take a peek for yourself and setup your pinterest account.  And don't respond to this blog and tell me you are addicted...I warned you!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Class Update: AutoCAD

"As far as I'm concerned, progress peaked with frozen pizza."  Although this quip is aptly spoken by Die Hard 2 main character John McClure of movie fame, it's quite obvious to me that this dude had never taken an AUTOCAD class.  This class was worth the long wait.  Finally a skill that make me much more marketable - time to update my resume!

Why all the fuss about AUTOCAD?  Simply put, AutoCAD is a software tool that allows a designer to create: floor plans, elevations and furniture plans.  Designers, builders and contractors use this ingenious tool to communicate building and design plans. 

Model space is where it all began for us.  It's like having a white (or black in this case) board with all your plans in it. From that board, we created multi level house complete with stairs and wall elevations.  This was just the tip of the AUTOCAD iceberg.

While I was learning commands (like FILLET, MIRROR, VIEWPORTS) we also learned to work in paperspace.  By putting our designs on humongo paper, we were able to view and discuss them during the class.  Alot like manual drafting but quicker and much more attractive thanks to the computer.  I guess you might call it a mix of old school and new school techniques. The outcome is spectacular!

Here are my kitchen and bath elevations, complete with dimensions and notes. And let's not forget the title bar.

Then there is the Furniture Plans (which all designers complete).  With layering in AUTOCAD, we were able to turn off certain elements of our design so that we could evaluate just one certain item.  In this case, it is furniture.  By turning off the dimension on the drawing, you are able to examine exclusively the furniture arrangement.  

Although I learned mainly with a recorded tutorial, I was required to interview a current AUTOCAD user.  So I picked Celine - my friend and co worker at Marco French Studio.  Below is an excerpt of my Q&A with Miss Celine:

Q1: When do you use CAD in the production process (e.g. preliminary design, design development, etc.)?
We use CAD during design development and to finalize a design.  The precision of CAD helps ensure that there will be no mistakes in size or scale.  We use it for furniture layouts as well as window elevations that show the various treatment options, etc.  It also helps once selections have been made - CAD is also essential to designing custom items such as: cabinets, chests, chairs, tables, etc.

Q3: What are the advantages or disadvantages that CAD brings to your practice?
Advantages:  CAD is accurate and you are able to make quick changes to drawings all the while looking professional.
Disadvantages:  You get out of practice with hand-sketching.  But most importantly, everyone has different drawing style, even in CAD,  making it difficult to pick up where someone left off.

Q8:  What advice would you give a students, people in my online class,  who are learning AutoCAD and hope to utilize it in the future?
Find an internship where you can use it or just be sure to keep using it as much as possible.  It all comes with practice and unlike some of the things you learn in school, this will be one of the important skills you are expected to have.  In fact, in one of my interviews, I was asked to create a floor plan in AutoCAD and it was timed.  I did very well and someone else got the job, but it just goes to show you that it’s an important skill to have and your employer will expect you to use it.

Thank you, Celine, for your insights into the real workings of CAD!

Overall, I got a real kick out of this class.  The software is fairly intuitive and so it flowed somewhat easily.  (maybe it was all those long hours spent slaving away in my former life as a business consultant at Accenture). Whatever the reason, I knew from the beginning that CAD would be the most valuable class to complete early on in my course work.  So, I finagled schedules so that I could get to it fast.  My advice is that you do the same.  

Despite what Hollywood may tell you in their flicks, technology is the bomb!  Specifically, CAD.  Remember...pizza is good but CAD is better.  Maybe not as good for your tummy but definitely better for your waistline plus CAD keeps you current in the job market.  Stay tuned for Modern Art to follow after a 3 week hiatus from school...

Off to the beach -


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

DIY: Under the influence of wine

Who doesn't love a glass of wine? I know for many it's the perfect thing to go with cheese, steak or even dessert. But what about all those wine corks? Don't even think about tossing them out.  How about using them for something creative?

With some glue and a few cuts wine corks make the perfect placecard holder. From urbanfarmhouse

Glue together they create a bulletin board, trivet or serving tray. From ehow

This is perfect for a new bathroom look or simply say welcome in a whole new way....and earth friendly too! From planetgreen.com

Create your own decorative ball in a variety of size. Maybe even fill a bowl. From Urbanfarmhouse

Use them in vases, bowls and even a lamp to add some texture. From Designbuzz.com

Or add a new look to your cabinets. From Southern Living

Layering them on a table creates a fun look especially when topped by a glass top.  From Design Buzz

Isn't it time you designed your very own chair? From Home Decor Arcade

These wine cork ornaments would be great for a wine tree a Christmas but they would work just perfectly on a gift, as a napkin ring or even as tassel for drapery and linens.  From Garden Web

Or what about creating your initials? Perfect for a wall or a door. From Green is universal.

So next time you are popping open your favorite glass of wine, be sure to save the cork! For more ideas like this, be sure to keep reading my blog or checkout the one I manage with Dwell with Dignity.  Every Monday we feature a DIY blog that will knock your socks off!

Until next time,


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Room of the Month - The Pool

Summer.  The long hot days, the lack of a schedule and the roar of the air conditioner.  School is out for myself and the kids and that can only mean one thing -- pool time!  Nothing compares to the cool dip of our sun-starved bodies into that deep dark body of luscious water.  If you are like me, this is the time of year when you wish that you had your own swimming hole in the backyard.  However, this is something that I have relegated to the daydreams through magazines while I lounge at the subdivision pool.  If you are looking for some inspiration, look no further.  I have been collecting these pics for my client files all year long.

Notice how this strong hedge provides the perfect backdrop for privacy as well as greenery.

Arbors are ideal for creating a backyard living space near the pool.  Staining every few years keeps this piece of backyard grandeur looking pretty.

Uuuummmm...fantastic!  The light reflecting off the pool and into the home gives the entire space a unified look.

A somewhat stark look to it, this double decked porch provides an elegant and pristine feel to poolside living.

Must haves.....Manicured plants such as these cedar trees provide so much flexibility of placement.  Move them around if you like or leave them be -- either way, they pack a decorating punch.

Another example of a manicured greenery nestled into a mostly sterile environment.  Classic.

Although I'm not looking for a summer retreat, this little bungalow provides just the right coziness for me.  Do you think they take renters?

Recently, I ran into a quote from the infamous Dennis Rodman - NBA star, Madonna boy toy and Celebrity Apprentice wanna be.  Believe it or not, it's really quite wonderful : "This life is like a swimming pool. You dive into the water, but you can't see how deep it is."  This is exactly how I feel about my life right now and many of you may too.  But regardless of where life leads you this summer, one thing is certain.  Jump in feet first and take a deep breath -- good things are about to be all around you.  Hope your first dip into summer is spectacular!

Off to get my goggles-