Monday, August 29, 2011

GO BIG _______ (your favorite college football team)!

Since we are on the verge of football season it occurs to me that there are probably many of you in the same situation that I find myself.  I have been a football widow for half of my life!  I can’t really blame my husband, he was clear about his obsession with the game from the very beginning.  And while I too appropriately cheer for my darling Husker’s while they play, I have no desire to take anything off of the field.  Unfortunately, my hubby doesn’t feel the same way.  If it were up to him he would be watching all the games in his Husker red man cave with every school spirited but slightly tacky piece of school licensed furniture out there.  So I thought that it would be beneficial to show how simple it could be to have a beautiful and patriotic schemed room.  These rooms would do their teams proud!

(room photo by Ambi Design Studio)

(room photo from Ambi Design Studio)

(room photo from Ambi Design Studio)

(room photo from Ambi Design Studio)

(room photo from

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Interior Designers (ok and architects) ROCK!

So, today after having experienced Virginia's second largest earthquake in recorded history I am reminded how much WE ROCK!
Well, do I really have to explain myself?  I guess I need to tell you the story of how I experienced the historic event today.  Amanda, my associate designer, and I were heading down to the Washington Design Center today and we were at a stop-light one block away from it when the earthquake hit.  Since the Washington Design Center is surrounded by a hot bed of construction we assumed that a crane was in demolition mode.  However, we realized there was a problem when we turned the corner to go down into the parking garage and a security guard blocked our way, yelling at us to leave, they were evacuating the building.  Then we noticed that there were hundreds, no thousands, of people pouring out of the buildings around us.
Now, you may or may not know that there is a lot more to being an interior designer than decorating.  We study and implement egress, ADA and fire codes (among others) in our interiors.  These skills don't get talked about often because they are not the glamorous part of our job.  But the importance of these talents were exemplified today when I saw all those people swelling into the streets in just seconds after the quake hit.  Clearly the egress plans worked.  It was an amazing site.  And all due to us designers (ok and architects)!  We have incredibly important jobs that affect the way that people experience their surroundings.  Hooray for us!

These are some of my well loved and post-it laden resources.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

If your cashmere scarf gave birth to a tough-as-nails upholstery fabric...

One of the things that I focus on while working on selections for my projects is Eco-friendliness.  A key part of creating an eco-friendly environment is using products that are appropriate for their surroundings.  This creates longevity and minimizes long term waste.
So when one of my favorite clients came to me recently and said that she really, really wanted to use a white fabric on the daybed in her media room I was very, very leary.  This is the daybed that we had discussed weeks earlier as being the crash-pad for her best friend's children who frequently spend the night.  This is also the daybed that we had discussed being used as the morning coffee/newspaper spot and the kick-off-you-shoes and enjoy the spectacular view spot.  I went through all the reasons why this was a terrible idea.  I warned her that she would have to reupholster the piece all the time I told her that it would look awful after the first time that the kids jumped on it with their shoes on.  All these warnings fell on deaf ears.  Now what?!

Well, after gathering my wits I realized that we needed to look for something more hearty than my typical repertoire of sustainable wools, cottons and silks.  Eureka!  I need to look for an indoor-outdoor fabric!  But yuck- could I really find a fabric that would not look out of place in this refined, elegant penthouse?

Yes, the majority of the products out there are just what you would expect- hard feeling and hard looking and totally inappropriate for a room where you want to cuddle up to watch a movie or read a great book.  However, if you haven't shopped the world of indoor-outdoor fabric recently then you should.  There are some fabulous things out there including soft chenilles, velvets and even trims.

We ended up with a Donghia fabric that was created for Sunbrella.  It comes in a number of colors including the warm white that we chose.  It wears like iron and could even be cleaned with bleach if you had an emergency (think red juice boxes and an excited kid...).  But that is NOT the best part.  This fabric may be as tough as nails, but it feels like your favorite cashmere scarf gave birth to an upholstery fabric.  And it is oh, so elegant!

So all you mothers and fathers out there- fear not- there is hope yet.  White need not be a color in our past.  Bring on the juice boxes!

Friday, August 19, 2011

I knew we'd get around to it!

So, it only took 6 months, but I finally found a day to set up the new blog.  You can expect posts about products that have enchanted me, people who impact me and projects I'm working on.  You can check out our website at or find us on facebook.