#GimmeThatDesign Installment 4

Have you ever been inside of Amazon's Seattle Sphere's? When I was there last year parts were under construction so I didn’t visit, but now I’m kinda of regretting it. However, this portion: Willmott's Ghost restaurant and bar, designed by Price Erickson - was not yet open. I absolutely love how elegant this restaurant looks. Don’t you just want to cozy up in those wrap around booths? Now I need to go back to Seattle just to eat in this lovely space!

Scroll down to see how you can get a similar look for your breakfast nook or dining space in your home!

Design by Price Erickson, Architecture by Heliotrope Architects. You can see more images and read more about the project in this article by Dezeen.


#GimmeThatDesign Installment 3

In this week’s installment, I’m showing you how you can get this great minimalist kitchen. I found this image on Pinterest, and it’s one of those that don’t link back to the article about the image - so unfortunately I don’t know the designer or any other information about it. If you do - please let me know!

design 3.jpg

Wednesday Round-Up: Go-To Pendants

I love a good, simple pendant. I think pendants are great over breakfast tables, kitchen islands, and powder rooms (the cedar and moss below is what I sourced for Midnight Midcentury. shhhh) And the west elm pendant shown here? It’s in my living room!

pendants for any room in the home

#GimmeThatDesign Installment 2

Thanks for coming back. I’m thrilled that you are enjoying this new series: #GimmeThatDesign. If you are new around here this is meant to be fun and educational. In this series, I will use an image of a beautiful space that I love and I will source furniture and materials to give you that design for yourself.

Today’s installment features this beautiful vignette of Hotel Odeon in Copenhagen designed by Co.Designstudio in collaboration with textile designer Barbara Bendix Becker as seen in this article on Design Milk.

design 2.jpg

Wednesday Round -Up: Soft Statement Chairs

Just popping in really quickly to show you some statement lounge seating that I’m currently loving. These all have that that fat, soft look to them. Which one is your favorite?

statement chairs, modern, designed, style, soft, furniture, interior design

It's all about the Algorithm

I understand many people’s frustration with instagram, I’ve been there. But if you are an architect or interior designer, there are certain things you should be doing to engage and increase your following as well as get your business out there. As I’ve been slowly growing my following and upping my instagram game over the past few years, I’ve learned a few tips that I’d love to share in hopes that any other great architects and interior designers out there don’t give up hope from instagram.

Make sure your grid is not haphazard

You’ve seen all those beautifully curated grids and wondered how those people are so good at getting the perfect content put together in such an elegant way. I’m here to let you know that many of those brands have someone else managing their accounts. If you have the dough to swing that - do it. But if like me, you don’t, don’t worry. One thing I have found that is helpful is laying out your grid in diamonds. What I mean is that every other image should be similar in aesthetic and color tones. Here is mine as an example - which is by no means perfect, but illustrates what I’m talking about. This idea of curated visual cohesiveness may seem obvious as we are in a visual industry, but don’t think that it happens so easily for every instagram account out there that looks great. It takes planning, collecting great images, and time.


Plan your posts with a planning tool

There are many instagram planning tools on the market, but I use Planoly. It has a free version, which I used for a little while before switching to the paid annual subscription. I try to plan out at least two weeks worth of posts. Sometimes I have the images planned and don’t add the caption until a day or two before - or if I’m slacking, the morning of. But this tool is critical to my ability to post good content daily that my audience wants to see. I like to use it as a research tool to peruse the design and architecture blogs for inspiration. Then when I see something I love, I add it to my planoly and worry about curating the grid later - that’s the great thing about it, you can constantly move around the images and update the captions up until the moment that it’s posted. Planoly also lets you categorize and save your hashtags and even has a scheduling feature if you don’t physically like posting.

Stock photos can be your friend

If you are just getting started out and don’t have a ton of your own work to show - use stock images! I had no idea half of the people I follow were using stock images to fluff up their grids and I’ve only recently started doing this. I still aim to have inspiration images and my own images more often than not - but sometimes it calls for a really beautiful stock image. It’s ok. As long as the images you use are on brand and you write a good caption, put them in there. I recommend using Unsplash which is free and you can choose whether or not you credit the photographer - it’s not required! Plus, the images are so so good.


Use hashtags that your ideal clients follow. I’d recommend starting here as well as looking at the people you want engage with and seeing what hashtags they are gravitating toward. You are allowed a maximum of 30 hashtags per post. There is much debate about whether it’s best to put the hashtags in the comments or on the caption. I do it on the caption, I’ve heard both options argued - bottom line is to use good hashtags and don’t overthink it as that can hold you up from performing in the first place!

Enjoy what you are putting out there

If you don’t enjoy it and you feel down on yourself, your audience will realize it. Even though I post every day, I do it because I want to. As long as you are consistent, you can do 3-4 times a week. Just make sure to stay engaged with your followers and your community and you should see your following grow.

If any designers or architects are getting their work from instagram - I’d love to hear from you! Shoot me an email at Taryn (at) bcstudiola.com. Thanks!

#GimmeThatDesign, Installment 1

Welcome to the first of a new series. #GimmeThatDesign is meant to be fun and educational. In this series, I will use an image of a beautiful space that I love and I will source furniture and materials to give you that design for yourself.

I would love to hear from you. If you have a design that you would like featured in the series, send the image along with the designer and photographer, as well as where you found the design to Taryn (at) bcstudiola.com

Get the look from Fabrio Fantolin designed apartments in Turin, Italy as featured in this article on Dezeen.

photo by Giorgio Possenti and styling by Tom Design

photo by Giorgio Possenti and styling by Tom Design

Gimmee that Design Interior Design

Starting a Design Project

When you are educated in a particular topic, it’s easy to forget that not everyone else in the world knows what you are talking about. I’m guilty of using architectural jargon when talking to clients. It can be difficult to remember that what I’m paid to do for a living is because I am highly educated and skilled in areas of space, design, and building. I’m learning more and more when working with new clients who might have never engaged in a building project before to break down exactly how this collaborative process will unfold.

In light of this revelation, I’m going to be bringing you updates from one of my current projects over the next few months to better illustrate the different phases of design and what it is like to work with a designer or architect. I’ll be using a current remodel project which I’ve just named Midnight Midcentury. (More on the importance of project naming in a future story)

Photo by Courtney Paige Ray

Photo by Courtney Paige Ray

Today’s topic: How the project begins

Step one is an initial meeting with your potential designer or architect. I described this in detail a few weeks ago, check it out here.

After your initial meeting, if both you and the Design Professional want to move forward with working together, the designer will prepare a proposal with scope of work and contract for you to review and sign. I do this all online with Dubsado so no in-person signatures or delivery of contracts is required. This makes for a seamless start! If you sign a contract with your Design Professional, they will invoice you for a retainer or deposit and once that is paid, the project gets started!

Concept is Crucial

If you don’t have a concept, you don’t have a project. This beginning phase can look a little different depending on the type of project. If yours is a new-build or a commercial project, it will likely involve more steps such as a feasibility study and permit research. If it’s interior design with no architecture, it may involve less. Since I’m taking you through the process on Midnight Midcentury which is a remodel with interior design, that’s the type of project I’ll be discussing here.

Data Collection

The first thing I do once a contract is signed is to set up a site visit where I will take photos and measurements of the space to be designed. This step goes a long way. After that initial meeting is over, I immediately draw up floorplans of the space and utilize the photos frequently to refer back to the existing and surround spaces. In the case of Midnight Midcentury, I’m redesigning the front entry rooms of the home which have pocket doors closed off to the rest of the house, a hallway that attaches to the other living space, and big sliding doors that visually connect it to the newly re-designed backyard. I was also told that the curtains in the dining room had to stay as well as one piece of art.

At this initial site meeting I will also gauge the client’s desires for the space and go over their Pinterest board to determine a style direction.

Concept Imagery + Space Planning

Now that I have gathered all the information, it’s time to sit in front of my computer and pull together imagery that will help my client more specifically determine the visual concept we will develop for their space. These are the concept mood boards that I put together for this project.

At the same time, I am drawing up space plan options. These are crucial to begin to determine size and location of furniture, fixtures, and equipment. Here are the three planning options that were presented to the client.

floorplan 1.jpg
floorplan 2.jpg
floorplan 3.jpg

Meeting Time!

I try to ensure that all my presentations happen face to face - whether that is an in person meeting or a video conference - it’s critical for me to be the one walking the client through the boards so they understand the concepts, the reason why something is sized or placed where it is, as well as the the clear difference in the various schemes.

Client Feedback is Critical

After this meeting, I generally have some pretty good feedback and an idea of how to move forward, but I also send the pdf to the client and ask them to give me written feedback. This is important to give them additional time to review the details of what has been presented as well as show it to their spouse or partner if they weren’t able to be at the meeting. Then, the client will send back the pdf within a set amount of time, marking out things they don’t like and circling things they love. This feedback loop is critical for my next step which is taking the desires from the concept phase into the design development phase.

Stay tuned as I walk you through that process next week!

Guest Post: Five Principles of Workplace Design

Hi there! I am so pleased to be guest blogging for my talented friend, Taryn. 

I am Jessica Rose, my company Rose Studio Interiors, specializes in commercial & hospitality interior design. I work primarily with startups and small businesses to add function, style and infuse work spaces with branding and culture. 

I’d love to share with you five design principles that I have found to be essential to a successful work place design project: 

@haleproductionstudios, Rose Studio Interiors Offices

@haleproductionstudios, Rose Studio Interiors Offices

Form Follows Function

Programming is a standard part of design & architecture for any project, but it’s especially important when it comes to work place design. I use a series of questionnaires and surveys to find out what each person’s role is within the company I am designing for, and what they need to do their best work. 

LWP Group Real Estate Offices

LWP Group Real Estate Offices

The needs of each individual are then cross referenced with the adjacencies they require (who needs to sit to next to who) and this helps determine the final layout of furniture and walls. At this stage, I work with my favorite commercial furniture vendors to find the quality furniture line that is just right for a particular client. Even companies who do similar work have their own specific needs, and finding just the right layouts and furniture pieces for them is a large part of what I do as an interior designer. 

@nufolk, YWAM Open Work Area

@nufolk, YWAM Open Work Area

Creativity Rules

With the mix of generations in the current work force, a standardized design and layout are not very effective. Getting creative and asking my clients to step out of their comfort zone is key in having a project that they can get excited about, which allows them to be more invested.

LWP Group Real Estate Offices Lounge

LWP Group Real Estate Offices Lounge

Each project is unique, and making sure there are plenty of creative ideas, colors, artwork and experiences within a fully functioning work space is one of my favorite, essential parts of the design process.

Branding: Quiet but Powerful

My number one pet peeve in work place design is when a company’s logo is just slapped on a wall somewhere and called ‘branding.’ I believe in subtle branding that tells a story through installations of color, texture and artwork.

@nufolk, YWAM Blue Wall

@nufolk, YWAM Blue Wall

Infusing a space with design elements containing colors, artwork and symbols that are a meaningful part of a company’s history is a much more effective way of branding, and is the mark of a thoughtful and well designed space. 

Choices, Choices, Choices

The open office concept is often the norm for start up clients, but isn’t always the best working situation for heads down work or a positive working environment for introverts. I’ve found that having a variety of work areas helps to give individual freedom and encourages employees to take initiative and find the best work area for the task at hand.

@nufolk, YWAM Lounge Work Area

@nufolk, YWAM Lounge Work Area

Combining private office space, meeting rooms, benching style desks as well as lounge work spaces help to provide different types of work surfaces for different types of work. Providing choices is something I always guide clients towards, surveying the wants and needs of their employees is a great way to facilitate this. 

Company Culture Above All Else 

As a commercial designer, it is my job to help companies find their voice when it comes to design. I love to help people work better and feel happier while they are pursuing their dreams. The work place should reflect that.

@nufolk, YWAM Conference Room

@nufolk, YWAM Conference Room

I always ask clients at the beginning of the project, ‘How do you want to feel when you walk into your space?’ and then, ‘How do you want other people to feel when they walk into your space?’ These questions help to inform to overall design of the space as they allow clients to think about the look and feel of their work place from all perspectives and make informed choices. 

@haleproductionstudios, Hale Productions New Loft Offices

@haleproductionstudios, Hale Productions New Loft Offices

As a commercial interior designer, it’s my pleasure to work with a team of architects, engineers, contractors and other traders to turn ideas and concepts into a fully realized project where a team can do their best work.

Jessica Rose is the Principal and Owner of Rose Studio Interiors, a design company in Southern California that specializes in design for startups and small businesses. Jessica works closely with companies to design for startups and small businesses to design unique and functional spaces where people can feel their absolute best.