As with any form of design, trends flow through every season. Color is one of the most noticeable of these many changes time witnesses each year. This month, we’ve noticed the color plum making a prominent appearance. This rich purple is inviting and charming, as it can compliment all styles of interior design. In modern spaces, we see it making bold accents against stark whites; while in more traditional spaces, plum can warm up a room through an accent chair and throw pillow. Deep purple tones are associated with royalty and exclusivity because of its original rarity and expensive nature. This rich purple color was discovered before Roman times through the use of harvesting and treating of a sea snail known as a mollusk. This tedious task provided very little dye, making the color very difficult and expensive to produce. Thus, deep purple tones were seen only amongst the noble. This recognition has spread throughout various cultures over the centuries, and stayed with us as a sign of wealth and good fortune. Maybe we’re looking to it now as a blissful escape from the economic times we’re faced with. Regardless of the reasoning, plum is a beautiful color with an intriguing history that can liven up any space.
Crate & Barrel’s “Tux Leather Chair” in Notting Hill: Amethyst
Tiles are the perfect way to bring plum into a bathroom or kitchen.
“Dark Heather” Glass Tile from Ann Sacks
If you want to create your own styles using the color of the month, we suggest Innovation’s Luxe Suede in Madeira.
In today’s economy, even furniture stores are accommodating the bargain wise shopper. While finding a good deal once involved a hunt of sorts, it is now much easier with useful tools provided by the store itself. Online, we can find specific sections dedicated to these good finds that are updated regularly. For Crate & Barrel, there is a section titled “Best Buys” which gives a list of their products that are priced surprisingly low. At Pottery Barn’s website, a similar idea is titled “Affordable Designs,” highlighting incredible deals. With these helpful lists online, anyone can find a way to design a desirable space without leaving their budget.
To give an example of the bargains available, we have selected some of our favorites. In Crate & Barrel’s “Best Buys” we found the Vendome II Bed, which prices at $899.00 for a Queen.
In Pottery Barn’s “Affordable Designs” we love the Chloe Coffee Table at the amazing price of $349.00. It’s style will hold itself next to pricier items, while balancing out anyone’s budget.
Pre-Fabricated home are becoming more prominent as simplicity becomes more appreciated. Pre-Fab Homes, for short, are growing in popularity for a number of reasons including sustainability, timely construction, and affordability. Swedish architect Claesson Koivisto Rune created The Plus House project consists of a pre-fabricated house that requires only 20 days or preparation in the factory, and an incredibly short on-site building period of also 20 days. The aesthetics of this house are surprisingly pleasing, with an open floor plan and plenty of natural light. These houses are surprisingly inexpensive. This being said, the demand for such pre-fabricated houses has the potential to grow in today’s economy. Arkitekthus, a development company in Sweden, offers 12 models of these homes, and has begun work on over 60 houses in the area.
Universal design, by definition, is design that creates an environment anyone can enjoy, regardless of any disability. It is custom for each individual, and rids the inconveniences that a person may have previously faced with standard design. The idea behind universal design is that design can go further than the aesthetics of a space. If the individual’s needs are taken into consideration further than just color, material, and layout, it is possible to better the quality of that person’s life. Visual difficulties are met with distinguishing colors and textures, while mobility difficulties are met with accessibility throughout the home customized to each individual. A home should make the owner completely comfortable, and it certainly should not propose any obstacles for them. Taking every aspect of the owner’s capabilities and lifestyle into account allows a designer to create a space that broadens their independence. Courses for Universal Design are beginning to be introduced into the educational world, as it is becoming more of a demand with each year. Learning Universal Design goes beyond codes and regulations within a region, as it is meant to create a livable space without having to sacrifice aesthetics. No one should feel out of place in their own home.
Privacy is generally a high-priority for home owners. A contemporary home in the Sunset Park neighborhood of Santa Monica has tested these ideals, as the owners have opted to trade a backyard in for a community oriented front yard. The architects placed the L-shaped home in the back corner of the lot, ridding the property of a private backyard, but adding a large front yard on the corner lot that the entire neighborhood can enjoy. A small garden placed behind the house is the only private outdoor space this home offers. The house’s open floor plan is visually exposed to the community, with large windows and wide decks directly facing the corner. The outer windows and doors are clear glass, while the interior doors are frosted to add some privacy to the rooms within the house. The great room, kitchen, and dining room are fully visible from the outside. While many people are stunned by the owner’s comfort with exposing so much of their home to the people around them, it has reminded the neighborhood of how we can still utilize the space in front of our homes. These days, it is rare to see a family enjoying their time on a front porch or deck, as most people prefer the privacy of their backyard. This family in Sunset Park proves their neighbors shy, as the owners have expressed how happy they are in their open home.