Showing posts from 2011

A Personal Note from Lee Brown

Yeah Hah!

Hi everyone,

This is a personal note from me. I know I am very opinionated when it comes to design, but that's ok, designers are very passionate people and have strong beliefs in their ideas.

I am writing now to say I hope you jolly well appreciate all the hard work I have done over the last six months redesigning the website network and upgrading all the systems so that we can provide you faster and easier to read information about interior design and decorating.

Because of this, in between earthquakes, snows storms and general fear of the future, Chris and I have managed to get our goal achieved. This goal was to bring into the fore front of the internet and make it easier for our readers to move about the network of websites. During this marathon my kids have forgotten who their mother is! So over the next two weeks - which is school holidays here, I am going to take a well earned break and spend some time with them.

I apologize in advance because I…

Get Rid of It and Breathe

Get Rid of It and Breathe

I have to confess, I am a bit of a hoarder, I love memories and relate things I own to the experiences I have had. But there comes a point in ones life when you have had so many experiences and have collected so much stuff, that there is just no more room for new experiences. Times that by five and you can imagine how much stuff my family has in our home. No room to breathe and I am constantly looking for homes for all the things that live on the floor, or are stacked in piles.

It recently got to a point when I decided that enough is enough, (I think it may have been when the entire contents of the house were thrown on the floor in the earthquakes we have had and I had to tidy it all up). I have my head to store memories, I don't need things I will never use again, things I have never unpacked out of boxes after moving three times. If I haven't used it in 10 years, is it really important? 

So I have started the major declutter job. Room by room I am g…

Key Points for Working in a Successful Design Team

I am working on a design job at the moment that is quite different to what I am used to. I am used to being in charge and telling people what to do, making decisions and being responsible for those decisions. With this job, I am not in charge and I am having to make decisions as a team player. It is a reminder to me about the importance of quantifying your design decisions. You always need to be able to state your case as to why you decide on a product, finish or layout. The other team members need to be able to see where your design reasoning is coming from. Let's face it, in this industry, we all have our own little picture in our head of what we think the finished product should look like and I bet those pictures are all totally different.

Being able to justify your decisions based on your concept and the look you are trying to achieve is vital. Communication plays a big part, and I must admit, for me I am finding it a bit confusing as I feel like it takes twice as long to make…

Communication in Design

Communication in Design

Those of you who have participated in the interior decorating ecourse by, will know me well and that I always preach about getting the design brief right before you start a design project.

I am so sanctimonious about it and yet in the past two weeks, I have let my standards slip (due to exhaustion post earthquake and three busy children), and I have jumped in and completed three projects after never meeting the client, not having a full brief and rushing through the job, just to get it out of the way. I am appalled at my attitude and the results were to be expected.

The first project I had a one line sentence as a brief, "please do a color scheme for this office, the chairs are red and the task chairs are black." Great simple enough, color scheme done, clients love it, only to find out that the head office already had a standard color scheme that was to be used in all it's offices. Poor communication, redo the scheme to their co…

Choosing Colors For Children's Bedrooms

Choosing Colors For Children's Bedrooms

Choosing colors should be fun, an enjoyable experience, until you have to do it for your children. Children now are allowed to have a mind of their own and their own opinion, and boy do they have a lot of opinions. Unfortunately they change their mind like the wind and are the worst clients ever!

So how do you handle choosing colors for children's bedrooms?

Here is how I am about to handle my daughter's bedroom. We are about to have her room repainted due to the earthquake damage, so I said, foolishly, go and pick a paint color that you like, knowing that it is a 2 minute job for me. Well, she fell asleep on the paint fandeck with three colors sticking out of it. Lime green, ice blue and a cream with an orange tint. Having the skills and experience I do with color, I instantly dismissed all three as she has hot pink curtains and candy striped blinds with pink and mint green. Then the painter arrives for me to give him the paint colors…

We are all safe in Christchurch after the earthquake

Finally I can get online and contact everyone. I am sure you have seen the news and the devastation that has hit Christchurch with the aftershock on Tuesday. Aftershock? Boy it was worse that the earthquake of September 4th 2010. I can describe it as if you are a cork in the middle of the ocean and getting thrown around. The house was like a tiny lilo that was rocking on an unstable ground. Everything was thrown to the ground and smashed, furniture was tipped up, pictures on the wall literally jumped of the walls. The gold fish were lucky to have any water left in their tank.

We were lucky, our house is still standing, we have had no power and water, but we have all our family alive and accounted for. There are still so many people missing. It is a very bizarre experience as I sit here using a mobile connection to contact you, some people are homeless, some are digging holes in the garden to use as toilets, others are queuing up for fresh water at the local schools. The entire centra…

What is Art?

What is Art?
I guess the answer to that question is almost anything these days. Modern art can be "interesting" to say the least. In fact, I often wonder about the minds of some contemporary artists and what planet they were on when the concepted their idea, but perhaps I am a little conservative as I had been taught that art was something with a frame, throw in a bit of sculpture and there you go.
Not today, art covers anything creative, so I guess I am now what I always wanted to be - an artist. How cool, do I now get to be free to say anything I want, wear weird clothes, have wild mood swings and put big price tags on my work? I don't think so. Food for thought, it might me energising to let loose and play the wild artist once and a while. I am digressing.

Art or the arts includes dance, music, drama, comedy, writing, anything that has the slightest bit of creativity to it. That must mean we can draw a definite line between members of the art world and the rest, our …

The Designer's Worst Nightmare - Being Comfortable

I was very polite in the title of this blog post, what I really meant to say was the designer's worst nightmare is being lazy!

It is so easy to find a color that works with everything, so you use it on almost every project. You find a furniture supplier that you get on well with and the provide you with great service, then you never look any further. You have a favorite artist that you use to source artwork for your clients, they keep churning out the same concept but just in a new colorway every few months. You have a favorite light fitting because it is energy efficient and thats your token gesture to green design. You choose the carpet that the last sales rep in your office showed you because it is still on your desk from his last visit as you were too lazy to put it into the sample room. Do you get the general idea?

Clients go to designers to get something to suit their needs, they want it to be individual and know that you have put your heart and soul into it. They want to ma…