Archive for October, 2009

Unique products on FURFIN

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

I love finding new, original, unique products.  Found a great online resource http://www.furfin.com/ that showcases these types of products.  The site is a visual treat to look through.  Here area a few that are going into the “must use this someday” file.

Daniel Ogassian’s concrete tiles are wonderful.  I love the look of these.  I had to say “wow” when I saw this.
Jelinek Cork mosaics are great repurposed product.
Verner Panton’s light fixtures have great lines.  These still have the look.
I love EnviroGLAS’s new EnviroMODE product which recycles porcelain bath fixtures.  What a great way to get these out of the landfill!
I love modularArts whenever I see one of their ads.  This is one I have had the pleasure of using and never get tired of it.
The Tramp Lamps are just too funny.

Relief: Daniel Ogassian, a designer from California, merges old-world craftmanship with digital design to create a truly unique collection of concrete tiles. Through the use of CNC technology, his studio of veteran designers create concrete tiles that reveal perfect curves and decisive edges. With its unlimited creativity and zero tolerance fabrication, this technology enables Daniel Ogassian’s trademark designs to be scaled to accommodate any project. His studio is known for working with designers to create custom installations.

http://www.furfin.com/in/daniel-ogassian.html

Classic: Verner Panton’s Scandinavian contemporaries thought his light fixtures were too en vogue to possess a timeless quality because he made use of unconventional materials, shapes and colors. Ironically, today he is considered one of the most influential furniture and lighting designers of the twentieth century with his designs still gracing the covers of design magazines. Conveying an elegant spirit all their own, his unique light fixtures are perfectly scaled to complement almost any style.

http://www.furfin.com/in/verpan.html

Repurposed: Cork Mosaics is a new and exciting cork flooring concept from Jelinek Cork that repurposes recycled wine corks to create beautiful eco-friendly floors. Created by cutting wine corks into circular discs and then gluing them to a “special” paper backing, Cork Mosaics use the same “glue then grout” installation method as traditional ceramic tile mosaics. Because they are anti-microbial and comfortable underfoot, they are quite appropriate for use in wet areas. These mosaics can be left in their natural cork color or stained.

http://www.furfin.com/in/jelinek-cork.html

Recycled: EnviroGLAS, the company that first introduced us to recycled glass terrazzo, has developed yet another extraordinary product called EnviroMODE. This new terrazzo surface utilizes crushed porcelain from recycled tubs, sinks and toilets in place of traditional marble chips. Not only are EnviroMODE surfaces incredibly durable and easy to maintain but they are also elegantly sustainable. With hundreds of resin colors available, the white porcelain looks spectacular against earth-toned neutral or vivid bold colored resins.

http://www.furfin.com/in/enviromode.html

Sexy: Changing the landscape of flat wall surfaces around the globe, modularArts is a super sexy sculptural wall surfacing material made exclusively from cementitious mineral composites. Mineral composites have long been favored by architects and designers for their lightweight, fire resistant and sustainable properties and it is so exciting to see them now being used in vertical applications. The true ingenuity of modularArts lies in the design of its panels that, through simple repetition, create incredible monolithic reliefs.

http://www.furfin.com/in/modulararts.html

Luscious: Tramp Lamps is the creation of Kelly Kerrigan, an artist from Nashville, who repurposes vintage lingerie into luscious luminaries filled full of sensual curves. Much of her time is spent scouring second-hand shops looking for vintage corsets, bustiers, bras and pantaloons of a bygone era. From her studio, she transforms her second-hand finds into ladies of light by stiffening the garments and then attaching decorative ribbons, flowers and feathers. Each sultry lamp comes with a distinct name and personality all her own.

http://www.furfin.com/in/tramp-lamps.html

Suzanne Dummer Stafford, IIDA LEED-AP
Elemental Design, LLC http://www.elemental-design.com/

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Dedicated to improving quality of life for everyone with functional interior design.

We are ready to work magic to solve your built interior environment problems!

Halloween pirate gift exchange

Friday, October 23rd, 2009

A pirate gift exchange is loads of fun to play at a Halloween party. Ask guest to bring a wrapped or unwrapped present up to the dollar amount you choose ($10 is good). Gifts could be Halloween, themed or toys for kids’ game. For adults, you can add gag or white elephant (funny or weird) gifts. Gift tip – buy for next year at the after holiday sales for great bargains. The host should have extra gifts ready for guests that forget to bring their gift.

Have guests draw numbers out of a treasure chest or cauldron. Guest #1 selects and opens a gift, showing to everyone ala Vanna. Guest #2 can pick out another gift or steal a gift. If a gift is stolen, that person gets another gift by picking a new gift or stealing. Typically you probably want a rule that you can’t steal the same gift more than one time per turn. You can also limit the number of steals per gift to shorten the length of the game if necessary.

I have had this activity at Halloween, Christmas, New Year’s Eve and Easter parties and is always great fun. The more stealing of gifts, the more laughs. I have played with as few as 3 (usually no exchanges but ok for toddlers to just pick a gift) and up to 60 (lengthy with periods of great excitement). The optimum number of players seems to be about 15-20.

Toddlers and younger children might not appreciate the stealing of gifts as much unless the “pirate” stealing concept is discussed. If a child gets a gift that isn’t appropriate for them (girl’s gift for a boy, etc) the host might offer to exchange with some of the extra gifts.

Another fun party game is a Witch’s Brew Treasure Hunt. A web search lists many sources of information for this.

Internet Education

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

I always love self and business improvement books and events.  I am always looking for a new bit of information to improve myself and my business.  I recently saw a post on the Design Success University ezine about the League of Extraordinary Minds.  My curiosity was peaked so thought I would take a look.  Last night I listened to the free intro interview with Tony Robbins.  I got some GREAT tips which I hadn’t read anywhere else (and I read a lot of books on this).  I can’t wait to listen to / read the other free information I downloaded.  I suspect there will some great information in there.  I definitely recommend you check this out.  I love getting great information for free!  The internet is a wonderful place for continuing education!

https://schefren.infusionsoft.com/go/affr/a11045/

Suzanne Dummer Stafford, IIDA LEED-AP
Elemental Design, LLC http://www.elemental-design.com/

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Dedicated to improving quality of life for everyone with functional interior design.

We are ready to work magic to solve your built interior environment problems!

Talent

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

Talent.  Everyone wants to be talented.  Business owners want to retain talent.  Elemental Design, LLC feels interior design should create an inviting workspace that should help the business with talent retention .  But what is talent really?  What are you willing to do to be known as talented in your field?

“The future of your company is directly tied to the quality of talent you can attract and keep,” as written in Below C-Level Strategy by John Spence, a manifesto / whitepage.  The article discussed the Five C’s of Talent: Competence, Character, Collaboration, Communication, Commitment.  This is the best discussion on the topic of talent retention that I have found lately.  In our current cultural climate, core character of individuals is key to long term business success.  The description of the manifesto doesn’t mention talent, but it is worth a read.
http://changethis.com/62.03.BelowC-Level

Suzanne Dummer Stafford, IIDA LEED-AP
Elemental Design, LLC http://www.elemental-design.com/

Follow us http://www.twitter.com/elementaldzign

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Dedicated to improving quality of life for everyone with functional interior design.

We are ready to work magic to solve your built interior environment problems!

Contrast

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

ontrast is one of my favorite elements.  I always enjoy visuals that incorporate high contrast as a focal point.

Light Wave Laser creates laser cut items like lamps, screens and custom items.  Materials are wood, acrylic, paper or stencils.

http://lightwavelaser.com/

Another online site I have used is stencils from The Stencil Library.  They have an amazing library of unusual stencils available.  Lots of design ideas just from looking through their library.  I have utilized some of their Art Nouveau designs for a t shirt silk screen project and for a bedroom accent wall design a Baroque wide pattern design.  I sometimes go through their library for inspiration.

http://www.stencil-library.com/

Suzanne Dummer Stafford, IIDA LEED-AP
Elemental Design, LLC http://www.elemental-design.com/

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Dedicated to improving quality of life for everyone with functional interior design.

We are ready to work magic to solve your built interior environment problems!

New way to brainstorm

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

Everyone could use more space for writing ideas when brainstorming.  The standard 4′x8′ wall mounted whiteboard is often not quite where you need it when the urge to write or draw strikes.  IdeaPaint is the solution for commercial offices, schools and homes.  This product was introduced at NEOCON 2008 which I actually had the privilege of attending.  A whirlwind few days, that’s for sure.  But soooo much product and inspiration.  Check out NEOCON next June if you haven’t been.

I see so much potential for this whiteboard dry-erase wall paint.  Unlimited writing in conference rooms, extra note space in your office, just to name a few.  I think this improves the visual aesthetic of the room by removing the not quite so attractive board mounted to the wall.  With IdeaPaint, your writing surface is integrated into the design of the room.  Think writing space wall to wall above the chair rail line in your conference room, easily accessible daily restaurant menus that won’t fall off the easel.  What ideas strike your fancy?

http://www.ideapaint.com/

http://www.neocon.com/

Suzanne Dummer Stafford, IIDA LEED-AP

Elemental Design, LLC

Follow us http://www.twitter.com/elementaldzign

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Dedicated to improving quality of life for everyone with functional interior design.

We are ready to work magic to solve your built interior environment problems!

Wallcovering Inspirations

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

Tired of wallcovering that looks like paint?  Tired of wallcoverings that all look the same?  Here is something for you.

Large scale, bold wallcoverings are sometimes difficult to find.  I wanted to share a great new wallcovering company I ran across recently called Flavor Paper.   They have offices in New Orleans and Brooklyn.  I think I found it when researching web sites and local graphic designers.  Some of these stock designs are retro, some modern contemporary and the custom capabilities have a lot of potential.   I like the idea for use as accent pieces in commercial spaces.  Depending on colorway choice, even the bold patterns could appear muted when installed.
http://www.flavorleague.com/

This is my favorite design called Flower of Love.  I had to add this one to my Love It file to use somewhere.  I even printed it out to poste on my inspiration wall.
http://www.flavorleague.com/wallpaper/flower-of-love?colorway=espresso

Here is the cut sheet showing a good view of the scale of the repeat on page 2.
http://www.flavorleague.com/pdfs/flower-of-love.pdf

I always enjoy seeing how things are made.  Coolhunting just so happens to have made a great video that shows exactly how these wonderful large scale, silk screened wallcoverings are created.
http://www.coolhunting.com/archives/2009/03/flavor_paper.php

My favorite wallcovering Flower of Love just happens to be showcased on a steamy video by Lenny Kravitz.  The designers for his video must have thought it was great too!  Here is the link to Lenny Kravitz video Dancin’ Til Dawn shot in Paris, France.
http://www.flavorleague.com/installations/lenny-kravitz-video

Enjoy! Suzanne Dummer Stafford, IIDA LEED-AP
Elemental Design, LLC http://www.elemental-design.com/

Follow us http://www.twitter.com/elementaldzign

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Dedicated to improving quality of life for everyone with functional interior design.

We are ready to work magic to solve your built interior environment problems!

Workplace Evolution and LinkedIn Marketing

Friday, October 9th, 2009

Yesterday I had a great day attended two wonderful seminars.

The lunch program for IIDA was a discussion by Lynn Utter, president and COO of Knoll.  She had great discussion topics to discuss regarding how the workplace is evolving.  I am so glad I got to attend.  It also makes me feel good that the things I have been thinking about and working on were the things she was discussing.  It was also nice to see everybody there too.

In the afternoon I attended a great free webinar “LinkedIn Power User Strategies Webinar Series” by Nate Kievman.  It was an action packed with great information that you can utilize immediately.  The new social media platforms are great ways to meet others but sometimes difficult to navagate on your own.  I find it more informative to listen to a discussion rather than just read a book if possible.                                          http://www.linkedintomarketing.com/blog/category/events

I decided to get his ebook LinkedIntoMarketing.  I have just started looking through it but the book and videos will great investment for my business.                             http://www.linkedintomarketing.com/

Suzanne Dummer Stafford, IIDA LEED-AP
Elemental Design, LLC http://www.elemental-design.com/

Follow us http://www.twitter.com/elementaldzign

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Dedicated to improving quality of life for everyone with functional interior design.

We are ready to work magic to solve your built interior environment problems!

Time Management

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

I recently joined Mind Tools http://www.mindtools.com and have been enjoying the recorded interviews.  I have been very excited to find the large amount of continuing education recordings available.  A recording I enjoyed yesterday on Mind Tools site was The Myth of Multitasking by Dave Crenshaw also found at his site 

http://www.davecrenshaw.com/myth-of-multitasking-doing-it-all-gets-nothing-done.php

In a nutshell, this is really switching between tasks and actually takes longer if the tasks require concentration.  This really seems to be true for me.  I have been working on organizing my tasks with a variety of tools lately and will endeavor to work more in this manner.   The only way to be more efficient is to shorten little things.   The switching between tasks time would add up considerably after time.  What is your billable rate per minute?  Is the task worth your effort?

I need to learn to use the technology and not let the technology use me.  I have been spending a lot of time lately listening to voice mails.  I ran across a tip for having voice mails converted to email.  It seems it would be much quicker to scan an email on my blackberry 8330 than listen to a long email.  I went with gotvoice because I have sprint and the call forwarding fees were too much.  Worth a look for free trial.

http://www.youmail.com

http://www.gotvoice.com/

Suzanne Dummer Stafford, IIDA LEED-AP

Elemental Design, LLC

Follow us http://www.twitter.com/elementaldzign

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Dedicated to improving quality of life for everyone with functional interior design.

We are ready to work magic to solve your built interior environment problems!

Kindle possibilities

Friday, October 2nd, 2009

I am just setting up my new Kindle2.  I think this will be a great new device.  In addition to the pleasure reading, I am excited about the business possibilities.  By using the free email converter function, I will be able to send pdf business files to the Kindle.  If I am on the road, I could have files emailed to the Kindle also for fairly nominal fees.  Readability seems to be good, much better than my blackberry.  Lots of new technology to organize and sync, but then that is the technology that allows virtual office capabilities.

Suzanne Dummer Stafford, IIDA LEED-AP

Elemental Design, LLC

Follow us http://www.twitter.com/elementaldzign

Become a fan http://www.facebook.com/Elemental.Design.LLC

Dedicated to improving quality of life for everyone with functional interior design.

We are ready to work magic to solve your built interior environment problems!