Google+ House Revivals: July 2010

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Z is for Purses and other Stylish Accessories

I know.  What do purses have to do with the letter Z, right?  Well, if you ever have a layover at the Salt Lake City Airport you'll see what I mean.  On Concourse D there is this amazing store, full of fabulous eye candy, called Zeta and Company

As you're hurrying for your gate, you'll catch some amazing purses in your peripheral vision.  And you'll just. Have to. STOP.  In your tracks.  It takes forever for the airlines to get everyone boarded, anyway.  You've got time....

Normally, I try to get non-stop flights, but no more.  From now on I'm looking for SLC layovers!  Preferably a long one.  I want to be able to take my time, and soak it all in. 

This boutique has clothing, jewelry,shoes, incredible handmade purses, scarves, you name it.  If it's stunning, and unique, I'm guessing they have it! 

So, next time you fly, insist on a layover in SLC.  Zeta and Company won't disappoint,  I promise!

This post is being linked to Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Y is for Wallpaper and other Yellow Things

In this weeks' alphabet meme, we are on the letter Y.  To think we're almost finished!  It's been such a pleasure to participate in this link party for the last many weeks.  To see more Y posts, visit Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday.

I love the color yellow.  It's warm and friendly and vibrant.  It can whisper...
...and it can shout.

It can stand on it's own, or be used to compliment or support another color.

A lot of people think they don't like yellow, but I wish they would give the color another chance.  And take a good look around them.  Chances are, they're surrounded by yellow.

Photo - Don Johnston / Getty Images, source

They may actually like things that are yellow, but be "soooo over" yellow color trends of past decades that they have dismissed an amazing color based on old experiences.

Yellow is not always an easy color to work with.  It can really overwhelm a space.  I once had a professor who told her interior design students "elephants are gray, and canaries are yellow" was a good rule of thumb when using yellow.


Of course, I had another professor who said "rule. of. thumb.  =   r.o.t."!  What I've taken from that is "go ahead and use yellow, apply good design principles, and remember that 'rules' don't always apply".

Confident artists are not afraid to use yellow.  Van Gogh's Irises is a lovely example good design principles in action, and "rules" thrown out the window. 

Yellow can make a person feel energized.  It can also make a person feel agitated.  Years ago, I painted my dining and living rooms a beautiful gold that looked like parchment paper.  I loved it.  It felt warm and welcoming and energizing.  My husband and teenage son (who have similar temperaments) felt agitated in the space.  Not a good thing.  There is so much more to color than rules or principles.  We can never forget the human factor.  Everyone's brain chemistry is a little different, and good design adapts itself to the people who will be using the space.  In my case, although the room was beautiful, it was a case of bad design because it it did not address the needs of all the users of the space. 

Truly, though, yellow is wonderful.  For some, it is best used in large doses, but for others, just a little bit will do.

 In 'The Yellow Wallpaper', the journal 
writer is haunted by the writhing images
of figures she sees in the yellow wallpaper
in the house where she is "kept" by her
well-meaning husband. image source

There is a fabulous short story, written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, called "The Yellow Wallpaper", in the story, the writer is driven slowly insane by bad yellow wallpaper.  Okay, maybe it was her husband who drove her crazy, but I like to think it was the wallpaper.... You can read the story and decide for yourself, here.  Or listen to a dramatization of the story here.  Or download the audio book here.

Enjoy the color yellow. Use it in a way that makes you  happy.  And do listen to, or read the story 'The Yellow Wallpaper' (I recommend a recording of the book)!

Friday, July 2, 2010

X is for Rendering (with xylene markers)

I love my xylene markers.  This is what I like to use when creating a rendering of a space. I have other markers, with different solvent bases, but xylene is absolutely the best for it's workability.  You can really move it around on your paper, blend it and manipulate your colors.  As an interior designer, my markers are part of my "tool kit".


A new xylene marker usually produces an intensely saturated hue, but you can "recharge" an old marker by opening up your pen and adding more xylene.  This will give you a marker that produces a much lighter version of your original hue, and sometimes that is exactly what you need.

Xylene markers stink.  They can give you a headache.  They can make you feel really sick.  So, never use them unless you're in a well ventilated area.  And just to be safe, I'd stay away from them if I was pregnant.


I usually use rolls of tracing paper (also known as "trash" or "bumwad") for my renderings, though you can get incredible results using Mylar and vellum.

Some people prefer marker paper.  Plotter paper can give you great results, but it absorbs an awful lot of expensive ink.  The rendered elevations, below, we created using marker on plotter paper.  In this instance, plotter paper was the best choice, because it absorbed the ink unevenly helping to create an "adobe" look.


Sometimes you just want to add a hint of color or just some shading to a sketch using your markers, as in this fireplace drawing.

You can also use your xylene markers to draw over a picture of a computer generated model.  This can help give the image a little "soul". 


The rendering below was done from a quick life sketch.  First, the picture was quickly sketched in pencil, later it was placed under a sheet of trash and traced and rendered.

Occasionally you may want the look of a colored pencil rendering, without the time commitment.  Here is where your recharged markers can save you lots of time.  By first giving the paper a light color wash with your xylene marker, you can cut way down on the amount of coloring you do with the pencils.


Whatever your paper, and whether or not you mix your media, xylene markers are an invaluable addition to a designer's toolbox.  Give them a try-- you just might love them (but be sure to open the window)!
artist study in xylene

This post is being linked to Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday.