Monday, August 8, 2016
posted by Kate
Earlier this summer Beth took a trip to LA to discover Dwell on Design and we are very excited to share some of the highlights from her trip. The pictures she posted while she was there were just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what she saw and experienced. Dwell on Design – if you are not familiar – is a design conference with a modern mindset organized by Dwell Magazine, one of our favorite design publications.
Beth was in design heaven, surrounded by inspiration and creativity, honing her design skills in kitchen design, bath design and sustainability by attending lectures and classes, visiting exhibits on the latest design trends and “LYFT-ing” her way thru 2 days of contemporary home tours.
While attending a seminar on design trends, Beth spotted one of our projects featured in the presentation. What a surprise! No one knew it was our project but Beth knew and that was enough excitement. Here is the project they featured, one many of you will sur?ely recognize and love!
After spending two days touring contemporary California homes, Beth was asked by one of her Lyft drivers what she was going to take back to her own design business. One noticeable result is an affirmation to stay true to her desire to design for function and simplicity but with an artistic eye and a desired connection between people and nature.
One of the most insightful moments of Beth’s trip happened during a late afternoon lecture by California architect David Hertz. He shared highlights from his recent book, “The Restorative Home, Ecological Houses by David Hertz”. In David’s own words – “I’ve always had a social and ecological concern. The honest expression of materials and structure, a response to climate and a blurring of the boundary between indoors and outdoors are important to me.” According to his books introduction by Michael Webb, David’s projects, “seek to move the client beyond the merely sustainable to the restorative”. David expands the meaning of restorative “a restorative building is one that gives back more than it takes. It generates more fresh air, nurtures vegetation, harvests energy and captures more water than the building consumes in its lifetime.”
Beth left his seminar ready to rethink existing methods and design solutions yet remain true to her social and ecological leanings. What a refreshing, revitalizing and affirming lecture! Rethinking the use of materials to problem solve for our housing needs, both functionally and aesthetically, can, in turn, create nurturing spaces; spaces that connect us to one another, our environment and our innate needs. For us, design is about feeling and people, making the most from what we have or need. It’s a simplistic design, one that is not carried away for the sake of design or trend, but instead nurtures the human spirit while simultaneously igniting creativity, beauty and human connection.
When we asked Beth what are her biggest takeaways from the trip, she brimmed with excitement and flooded us with ideas! Use simplified and hardworking materials in creative ways – wood, metal, concrete; expand spaces with outdoor connections creating interesting vistas.
Make the most of all surfaces both horizontal and vertical; open and review site lines – is it purposeful and beautiful?; mix finishes; add skylights and transoms.
Use nooks and crannies to create special places to connect within a home; add plants – lots of them, indoors and out.
Create multipurpose spaces, adding moveable walls to diversify space; use operable windows and glass walls; include sculptural interiors & floating vanities.
Vary the heights of floors to create individualized yet open spaces, use fireplaces as artistic sculptures.
Use art to create feelings and lighting not only to direct us but also as art and sculpture. SO MANY IDEAS! We can’t wait to use these ideas in our next project!
When thinking about the outdoor spaces, Beth was reminded to use colorful walls, sculptural plantings, rocks, art sculptures, metal and concrete creating repetition and rhythm and use of pattern in design.
The proper use of vegetation screens and multiple, layered decks can create outdoor rooms, extending the living spaces and connecting the homeowners to nature.
As you can see, Beth is inspired. The trip filled her with design possibilities and she loved having the opportunity to see the results of thoughtful design. “People, problem solving, creating solutions, and being aware of our impact on the environment all while doing it all with an artistic eye is why I love this industry. I hope you are as inspired about your next project as I am. I look forward to us being environmentally creative problem solvers together!”