Refined Filth

Think inside the box this time: How many products do you think can be made out of a card board box?  Typically, a box’s lifecycle begins when someone has to ship something. They make a box, fill it up, and send it on its way. Once it is received and disposed of, what happens next? Did you know that items like a laptop stand, a desk lamp, a phone case or even a clock can be transformed out of a simple cardboard box? There are so many items that are deemed as “one time use” but can be transformed into other products; we just need to come up with new and creative ways to do so!

The difficult part is finding practical ways to showcase these concepts in a more appealing way. Expanding the mind to discover ways to reduce waste can be easy but how does one know the worth of the water before the well is dry? One theory is to bring luxury to the art of trash – bring deco to eco!  As designers, we are the creators of change and we design to inspire ourselves and others. Natural resources are a perfect place to gather fresh inspiration, and if we stay conscious of the consequences of not taking care of our environment, they will be there for us throughout time.

Many companies around the world have discovered ways to bring ethics to aesthetics. It has finally started to make an impression on mass markets across the globe and this is just the beginning! Product_PAge-Sheet_462x272Tencel+Plus™ Lyocell Fibers from Eucalyptus is a prime example of luxury, comfort, and sustainability. The eucalyptus trees come from forests as opposed to farms which require certain levels of pesticides. Eucalyptus trees are known for their quick growth and grow back to full size within just 5 to 8 years. An added benefit is that the actual production process requires 100 times less water than more traditional products like cotton. The use of Eucalyptus trees as a reliable and sustainable fiber source shows us how it is possible to really make a difference by thinking creatively.

The story of Eucalyptus products and Tencel+Plus™ is just one example of how creative thinking can solve almost any problem. Anyone can tell you their own story of what is best for the environment but the truth is, we really need to keep mindful of what resources we are using. Think about what will be disposed of the product after it is used, and how long it will be there.

A Chinese Proverb once said, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The next best time is now.” Let’s think about tomorrow today, together.


New Release: Ikat Origami

Imagine you’re in Santa Fe, New Mexico gazing out across the desert dunes. What do you see – a lot of sand or something else? What seems like a desolate and obscure place on the surface is really a complex and wild corner of our world. The combination of mountains and canyons; oases and sand dunes, and the hidden wildlife folds into itself like a paper crane that creates a hidden world bursting with color, pattern, and life.

Our latest printed collection was curated based on the imagery and feelings that are generated by the Southwest. Ikat Origami is an updated version of the typical Ikat style, combined with a
layer of intricacy not found in most Ikat patterns.

Reminiscent of desert rock formations like plateaus and canyons, the pattern of Ikat Origami undulates across a large repeat creating somewhat of a kaleidoscopic or mirrored effect. Because there are about 15 shades within the pattern, Ikat Origami appears to be a mirage of colors, each one melting into the next.Ikat_Origami-1_72dpi

This collection is perfectly at home in a rustic setting surrounded with mixed wood grains, chunky and textural upholsteries, and tribal patterns. Because of its sophisticated appearance, Ikat Origami is also well suited for any modern, contemporary settings that can use the extra pop of color and energy that this collection provides.

Be on the look-out for more bohemian and indigenously influenced patterns and styles as we move towards the end of the year. These designs are evolving into a more mature nature as they are being utilized more often in upscale boutique and chain hotels.


Creating a Color Story

What comes first – the pattern or the color? Creating a color story or pallet for a room can be the easiest or most difficult thing about putting together a design. Sometimes we find a pattern that works perfectly but needs a color tweak. Other times the hunt for the perfect pattern that incorporates a carefully selected medley of
colors can be a long and frustrating task!

There is a plethora of ways to begin your own color story. Depending on the type of person you are and how you like to work, there could even be more than one approach that suits you. Try spending some time in places you wouldn’t ordinarily go. Pay attention to the details around you – how do the different elements of everyday life work together to make their own natural color scheme? What can be re-arranged to make something new?

If you are a hands-on type of person, a more tactile approach may work best. Play with color chips, paints and markers, and natural items like flowers, leaves, and stones to discover your own unique story. Slowly but surely, the items you collect stop being everyday objects and simply become pieces of color in your pallet. Keep a notebook or journal with these items or snapshots of them and save for future inspiration even if you can’t use it right away. You never
know when you could use something

For the more tech-savvy among us, creating a color scheme may be as simple as playing around with the color picker in your design software. This certainly gives you infinite selections and you can get your exact color right to the detail, but how do you find a starting point? It can be overwhelming when there are too many options. Having even one color in mind can get you started with finding complimentary hues.


Set Design Free™

The legendary Bruce Lee once said, “There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.”

Have you ever felt that way before? If you have experimented with something that you felt was beyond your personal limitations, you probably have. As part of the learning process, we should let ourselves feel a little discomfort every now and then. The unknown can be a scary place but you have to keep going!

In order to Set Design Free™, you must first set yourself free from failure by letting your imagination run wild. Entertain the possibilities that you would normally stray away from and you will be amazed at the creativity that flows out of you! Assess your objective without restricting it to any past associations, allowing a full range of creativity to explode into a masterpiece of passion and zeal.

Setting Design Free can also happen in small ways such as being artsy with your cappuccino in the morning or finding a vintage chair to add character to a rather modern setting. This can make a world of difference to anyone trying to find something a little more inspiring than the day-to-day. Every day try to do something to Set Design Free™ – whether for yourself or someone else. Change the perception of what we see as the ‘norm’ and see what kind of response you get. Follow the words of Bruce Lee and go beyond your personal plateaus! There is a new horizon of design and freedom waiting for all of us once we Set Design Free™!