Thursday, March 24, 2011

Hanging Art

I get a lot of questions about hanging art. To be honest, we never learn how to hang art in school. It's just something you have to figure out and use the element and principles of design to get right. Proportion, scale, repetition, and balance are good ones to remember. I found an article in Elle Decor that I thought might be helpful. Let me know what you think.

Hanging Basics

• Use picture-hanging hooks, rather than heavy nails or screws. Although they may seem dainty, they are very secure. “It’s all based on shear weight,” says Kassel. “The picture hooks go into the wall on an angle, like a cat’s claw—it’s a whole different set of physics.”
• Buy the right type of hook for your artwork’s weight. “There are basically three types,” says Kassel. “A one-nail picture hook holds things that are 30 pounds or lighter. A two-nail picture hook holds pieces that are about 50 pounds. A three-nail picture hook holds pieces that are about 75 to 100 pounds.
• Use two picture hooks per artwork. Not only does this provide added security but it helps art remain level over time, compared to items hung from a single point.
• When possible, install two D-rings, rather than a wire, on the backs of frames, to hang from the picture hooks. “Then it’s stationary, and not swinging on a wire,” says Kassel. “There’s no pendulum effect involved.”
• Use a level and ruler to ensure that both the picture hooks and D-rings are aligned when installed.

Stylish Arrangements 

• Recruit a helper who can hold pieces against the wall before you begin hammering in the picture hooks. “Then you can take a step back to see what the space is going to look like with the piece there,” says Kassel. “You get a sense of the proportions and colors, and see it against all the other design elements.”
• When hanging a single piece on a wall, the center of the picture should be about 60 inches off the ground, which places it at eye level.
• When hanging a pair of works, one above the other, treat them as one large picture (whether they’re the same or different sizes). Find the center point between them, and use the same 60-inch rule.
• For spacing between art on the same wall, “Generally, we’ll use two inches between larger pictures,” says Kassel. “If they’re all smaller family photos, we might use an inch and a half between them.” That goes for the spacing above, below, and on either side of each frame.
• When arranging multiple pieces, don’t just think in terms of a grid. “What’s really becoming popular are salon installations—a group of often disparate images or frames,” clustered together, says Kassel, who notes that such installations often stretch from wall to wall and floor to ceiling. “There’s no right or wrong way to do it,” he says. “We just start in the middle and work our way out. It’s something you feel proportionally, or you can decide based on whether Aunt Rose should be next to Uncle Jim.”

Monday, March 14, 2011


images via elle decor and met home

I think that the master bedroom is the first place to start when redesigning/decorating a house. It's the first place you wake up to in the morning and hopefully where you spend a good amount of time at night winding down. Some people associate peaceful bedrooms with neutral, muted colors and others find peace in texture and color.  The first four images are by one of my favorite designers Vicente Wolf. Check out his blog if you haven't already. The last two are Kelly Wearstler. She's incredibly talented and brave in her color/pattern/texture choices. I would love to stay in all of these bedrooms. 

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Sometimes being an interior designer is a lot like being superman.

A designer really needs to be able to look into the future in a lot of ways. When I meet with my clients I try and think about meeting two different people. The one who is telling me what they want as we sit and discuss ideas- aka the "young client" and that same client if we had time to take them to every showroom, every flea market around the world, every museum, castle, architectural monument and had the time to teach them all about fibers, fabrics, furniture construction and lighting- aka the "educated client". Some clients are very educated to begin with and some are very, very young!

As interior designers, it's not our job to meet just the "young" client's needs. A good designer will satisfy what you asked for and give you so much more. All the things that you couldn't put into words.  We also must look into the future to see what the client's life will be like in 5, 10, or even 20 years, all while still pleasing the "young" client (who may have a difficult time understanding your solutions) but designing for the "educated" client. It's not an easy job!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Maybe I could build that....

I think that in the near future, we will have to have a "Meet the Bloggers" post where we try to add some personality and familiarity to us, as we push along this exciting business. For now, I will say that I (Kevin) have the ability to see many things as parts, and not necessarily as whole objects. I don't usually look at a design or product without trying to figure out what it is made up of, and how those parts fit together. It probably stems from a little bit of arrogance, thinking that somehow I am equally as good of a craftsman as the person who originally made it. That is of course wrong, and I am nowhere as good as the original craftsman. But it doesn't keep me from trying. You may have seen a couple of things that Whitney and I have tried to make for our little boy, (Crib, Dresser, Chair, etc). I must give credit where credit is due. I did not design all of these things. I saw things that were very well designed and tried my best to recreate the looks. As many people know, that is where the fun begins, because projects evolve as they progress. The latest, (fun and frustrating) project was to recreate a bassinet for future "chitlin's."

As you can see in the post below, The bassinet is really four parts.

A welded steel base
A bent wood form
A bent wire frame with handles, and
A fabric insert.

First, I had to build the form, to bend the 10 layers of veneer (Sheets of thin wood) over.

*Here you can see the form, an elaborate rounded box, hollow, with supporting wood throughout. I covered it with a blanket to try to eliminate imperfections.

Next, after painstakingly gluing all 10 sheets of wood, (8 sheets of inexpensive, sandwiched between two real nice pieces of Walnut), the fun part starts. The wooden form, and the flat sandwich of veneer sheets, are all placed in a large vacuum bag, which is hooked up to a large vacuum pump. (Found at a local wood working shop where you pay by the hour to use their equipment).

*Below is the bag pulled tight, with paper over everything to keep the glue squeeze-out from ruining the bag.

*The bag sits overnight, allowing the glue to dry.
*In the morning, (after lots of prayers and finger crossing....) the bag is removed and the 10 flat sheets have now been bent over the form. First time success is awesome, and very cost effective. Veneer is not cheap.

process is not without a small casualty. I guess that hundreds of pounds of pressure is too much for MDF and some thin sheet wood. The form is busted, (but just the bottom)

*The bent Plywood is trimmed and cut to size, as my helper looks on.

* The welding process begins.  I had never welded before, so the whole thing was a great learning experience.

Bending, heating, and cutting metal is much more approachable than you think. Don't let it intimidate you... Oh, and get real good help, like I did. Thanks Greg.

WIth the base finished, the wood is dry fit on top. Pretty good. A mock-up of how to bend the handles is below the base.

*Things are starting to shape up

* Handles bent and fitted, base mounted to wood. Everything is lining up nicely.

Next is the part that makes or breaks the project. The fabric. I actually have as much or more sewing experience as I do wood working. It was also a task, but a fun one. I think that we are there. 

*Thanks for following along. This will eventually be put to use somewhere, and has been a great experience to learn some new things. We will continue to do document as best we can, as we create our own home, other peoples spaces, and whatever else comes our way.

All the best,

Match Interiors

Monday, March 7, 2011

Stay tuned...

Kevin is going to post on his bassinet project soon!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Another teen makeover

This sweet girl went from tomboy to Taylor Swift in just one quick year so we needed a fresh new look. We worked with a small budget and turned things around really quickly. We used the same bed just painted it, and moved furniture from other parts of the house that worked better. The after photo's still don't have the art, mirrors or lamps in yet but it gives an idea of what painting furniture and walls can do for a cheap room makeover.

Before photo:

After gray paint went on the walls, a carpet remnant was put on the floor, the bed got new paint and white linens, and white furniture got brought in other house furniture. The fact that I didn't fix the bed skirt for the picture is still driving me crazy.

I always like to leave flowers and a candle when I finish a job.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Do you remember this room?

image via elle decor

I presented my concept yesterday afternoon to my young client and her mom and it was just what she wanted. It feels so nice to go in with a strong idea and then get so much positive feedback (a lot of time you MUST have a rendering for the client to ever except a bold or "different" design concept). I did have a rough sketch and that helped. We are doing that exact paint color, pre-dawn sky from BM. I got the floor plan approved by both mother and daughter. So next is paint and ordering FF&E. Just incase anyone is curious, I have spent 9 hours so far on the project. I still like to keep track even though I have moved over to a flat fee. It's good to make sure your time is matching your fee.

 Here's what else I found for the room. Most everything I found from either Ikea, West Elm, or Urban Outfitters.

We meet for the next three weeks and our timeline is to have it finished by the beginning of April. I'll keep all of you updated on our progress and/or hiccups along the way. Wish us luck!