My favorite “flavor” in design is probably best described by “The New Traditional” ... European sensibilities with a fresh twist. Take a peek at a few of my favorite inspirations
After numerous attempts of trying to become a Costco girl...It is confirmed that I am not. I have tried and simply I realize that when I am on stimulation overload, I don’t perform (well). In my day, a trip to the store needs to be effective. I go to the grocery store to get...food. I go to the dry-cleaners to get...drycleaning...I go to the butcher to get...meat and you guessed it, when I go to I LIKE PIE...I get pie! And boy do I ever (ah yes, I get the salad, a savory and you guessed it, a cold bottled coke!)
I realized after failed attempts I simply buy too much, or I fall victim to programs, memberships, empty promises that don’t make me feel warm and fuzzy. “How I feel” is very important to me... “Where I spend” is important to me. Name brands are only important to me if the boutique experience is positive, the expertise on the product/topic is clear, and the details are considerate.
When I was younger, I prided myself on multi-tasking and truth be told the one stop super-shop outfitted with a dry-cleaners, a bank and pharmacy was so awesome. I am simply not “there” anymore. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the boutique experience.
I LIKE PIE is amazing. The owner (whom I have befriended) is so direct in her brand delivery. She set out to treat people to a taste of good ole American tradition and what a success. Whenever I am having a business luncheon or craving a sweet-treat; this is where I stop. Her decor is wonderful, her staff is fun and I have never been disappointed. http://www.ilikepiebakeshop.com/
Boutique owners are so expressive in how they dress their store-fronts. Wondering and weaving in and out of boutiques is so pleasurable. The discovery of the product, how the product is merchandised and the design execution is part of my enjoyment. There is no standard formula or schematic to be found anywhere.
If your cafe, bistro, eatery or pub looks like this … I am in! I already feel relaxed and confident that the food is fresh and thoughtful. With the glow of a calm, ambient atmosphere, I am now ready to focus on your craft … By paying attention to important design details, I know these owners are not focused on rushing me out but simply keeping me in.
Where everybody knows your name!
Or reminds you to not forget your bags (that is me) My experience at Trader Joes is the same everytime (never out of what I want, TJ never disappoints me with pricing, the staff is so hard-working, energetic and eager). I don’t view shopping at Trader Joe's as another task, just another nice daily experience.
Community well-being is necessary for all; support your local business owners, take some time to discover, and you might find you make a few new friends along the way.
I am always so charged after Winter Market; I love to shop, I love to touch and feel the amazing textiles, I love to see all of the incredible color arrangements in accessories, art, area rugs and wallcoverings. This year is such an incredible year to find "your" STYLE. TRUE Style (by the way) is to love your things; the way you look and feel in them, including a beautiful room; Not always necessarily what is trending.
POPS of SUNSHINE (Optimism, Cheerful, Energetic, Positive)
Yellow is a color that I find is loved or unloved; it has little in-between. For me yellow is a perfect way to add “Shizam” in an outdoor setting or placed on an antique furniture piece that has a sense of STYLE all on it’s own. For many, yellow is a base to build from as shown in the image on the right... All beautiful in their own right...All defining a wonderful sense of STYLE.
PANTONE SAYS “GREENERY!” (Calmness, Relaxation, Vitality, Renewal)
I have heard this one scares some of you...Don’t worry too much, this color has tremendous mileage and is rather earthy, organic and has a sense of “clean-living” for those that want to stay current but not “wash” their walls in the high-spirited color...( personally I love the color, but choose to use it sparingly).
Img 1: The green sofa is a perfect way to bring current and yet timeless color into your room; It is an anchor with style. Img 2. The green pillows are perfectly paired with blues and pinks in an eclectic setting. Img 3. This room is perfection in my opinion; Designer Laurel Bern neutralized this grass-root with coral and heirloom furnishings ... Img. 4.. Clearly this color sings to the hip, young at heart. This fun (black and white infused) entry way opens it’s heart perfectly to “greenery” and depicts a clear sense of STYLE.
VIOLET VERBENA (Royalty, Romance, Creativity Harmony)
Misty lilac, lavender & variations of violet were all over Winter Market.
Img 1: I am dying! The lavender chinoiserie is so subtle, elegant and tasteful. Img 2. Note the simple usage of lavender in the textiles, glassware and flowers; Such an appealing color application. Img 3. DYNAMIC VIOLET...This room screams I LOVE PURPLE!
ORANGE CRUSH! (Creative, Playful, Exotic, Deepened)
This playful color was everywhere on our shopping spree ... So fun, playful and captured EVERYONE’S attention (more so than “greenery” in my opinion). Curating spaces with POPS of orange is a perfect way to add a fresh vibe to your current palette...The balance of warm and cool hues is timeless; Notice how beautiful it is with variations of blues.
Are you a lush for your pet? I know I am! My sister once said, "You are so Type-A, I know you you will never have any children". Well, 4 kids AND 3 pets later, I am NOT so Type-A anymore. I have been converted. While I love things neat and in their place, I have succumbed to the notion I could never be happy as a Type-A individual WITH kids and pets. I do HOWEVER know that we can improve our lifestyle by clever decisions; feeding the Type-A inside all of us. If you are planning a new construction or renovation project and are a pet-lover, Why Not? It really doesn't cost that much more in the scheme of things and everyone (or everything) is happy.
Pets are Love-bugs! Nothing on this planet could love you more then your pet. Why not do something special for them? Their enhanced lifestyle is simply YOUR enhanced lifestyle. Take a look my collection of inspirations; sure to be put in play for my personal lifestlyle. My pet-loving client's will eat this up for their homes & offices (how many pets are going to work these days? I can't count them all!)
If you are a cat owner, you know how critical this is. A cat's comfort leads to human-comfort ... Image 1 I love the first image and applaud this kitty's parents for being so clever. Image 2 The kitty "hole" allows this pretty kitty access to their cat box in the laundry room. Image 3 The kitty hammock is a favorite and it appears they have bird-watching privileges Image 4 as does the free-mounted kitty shelves. I do have to say; kitty on the bottom might need to watch the LB's ... his shelf tends to be at a slant.
Image 1 Under-sink dog bowls positioned so you are not stepping on them in small spaces. Image 2 Under-stair doggy bedroom storage (bingo!), Image 3 Appropriately elevated pet wash for ease of cleaning. Image 4 MY FAVORITE, a DIY doggy pool. Put the plastic underground, a few decorative stones and WAH-LAH, the doggy Four Seasons.
Image 1 Spoiled Bull Dog! I think his Dad is a Fireman! Image 2 Everyhome needs gates to keep control. Image 3 A personalized shower for pups. Image 4 Another favorite; Doggy stalls with a common area
Pet Ergonomics & Universal Living
Yes, it is a real thing. Tall dogs digest food better with elevated bowls, kittys by nature have their favored way to scratch (vertical OR horizontal; generally not both). The vertical scratch pads save upholstery in groves. The green scaled sofa is . . . (well just very hip for this kitty) and the steps help aging dogs exit and enter their wash area without their owner having to lift them and of course, soak themselves.
Hug your pet today.
Not a week has gone by where I haven't reminded my staff that the Granny Florals are coming! I am a flower child of course ... When I say flower child, I refer to the Waverly explosion of large cabbage roses, paired with the mini floral, gingham plaid and awning stripe (the standard formula right?).
1988 was my jam! I was blessed to enter this industry at such a young age. Surrounded by vibrant flowers, color and all things pretty, I simply assumed it would always be that way.
While the decades marched on, we have played with very contemporary to easy traditional design applying very little color and pattern. I am a designer so naturally I love it all, BUT yearned for the very traditional and happy elements that were occuring when I came into the industry.
These are just a hint of my Granny Floral Finds. Here's to never being afraid to say "Grandma's House".
Grandma by the way, was once very hip with beautiful heirloom things. You will bring her much joy in sharing your appreciation for them.... Trust me, I know by personal experience.
Designer's innately attack stress and worry by creating. We are so blessed to be able to set our lack of surety aside and make something splendid.
When things are out of my hands, I look to beauty and it suddenly calms me. Memorial Weekend reminds me that "Team Race for the White House" needs a little prompt of what unification is all about.
Perhaps a Patriotic color palette is just what our Capital needs?
I had so much fun at our Marketing & Strategy Meeting with my team this week! ... Our 2 Interns blessed us with their savvy ideas and formulated surprise questions for their future assignments ... It is so refreshing to work with young minds. It really keeps me in touch with the up & coming from trending social media platforms to what the youth are attracted to in design. I am compelled to share some of the Q & A "shot" at me this week .... We played 20 questions and here are 3 of my favorite.
Q: How Do You Start The Design Process?
A: Every designer has a different launch point. Sometimes it is a small object, or walking through the home and listening to the bones of the house or simply pairing a time reference. If it is an Art's and Crafts Home, a designer might immediately think "Stickley". For me, I think GOWN! If this room were a gown, what would it look like? I LOVE a beautiful dress. While I can easily say I love fashion (we all do!), I love a COUTURE gown (very fine and the best of materials). Putting on a beautiful dress is transcending; it is very emotional like design. While you feel incredible in a beautiful dress, you should also feel incredible in your space. Design IS emotional . . .
IMAGES ABOVE Pasadena Showcase 2016. I love this model and her gown. The gown is so delicate even the image itself looks very vintage. This is where my inspiration began for the room. Pairing the timeline of this years 1918 Pasadena Showcase House of The Arts was a perfect marriage of Vintage to Vogue. Utilizing a Historical Palette with Pantone's (2) colors of the year (A version of Pink & Blue). While the design itself is timeless, it also has contemporary elements keeping design fresh and unique.
IMAGES ABOVE Philharmonic House of Design 2015. Blessed by a room with no purpose! Last year we took a room adjacent to the tennis courts and dreamed up a delicate space that only women could occupy, perfectly coined "The Ladies Tennis Lounge". With the idea that this room was designed to not only "refresh" after a vigorous tennis match. It was also a perfect room to rest and collect your thoughts and perhaps even add the Tennis Instructor to the VIP list for a little "Hanky Panky" ... This gown is SO devilish! (Like the unfolding story of this room).
IMAGES ABOVE The master suite I designed was created with the intent of exuding feminity. The billowing gown to the left reminds me of the drapes with the linen and natural wrinkle. The Ralph Lauren wall paint is soft and calming like the gown itself ... The Made Goods resin coral mirror shares the same form and movement as the skirt ... I can't help myself but to go crazy for this look!
Q: If you could have only one piece of furniture; what would it be?
A: A magical comfy, velvet sofa .. I love the feel of velvet against my skin. It has to be cushy and big so I can manage ALL my business on it ...
Q: What designer do you feel (aside from yourself) shines through your designs?
A: As designers we often refer to the Dynamo's of design. I am actually going to name (3) (This is conservative because I refer to several so often) . On specific projects I will channel specific designers and may use their imagery in design presentations aiding the Client in understanding a finished product, special technique or simply a well-executed roomscape.
I thought of Mario immediately when designing our dining room at the Pasadena Showcase House this year. He has an amazing ability to revive old traditional aesthetics into a fresh and breathtaking space.
I am probably the biggest fan there is. I love her diversity! From contemporary to traditional she can arrange it all. I have all of her books -Signed :)
Simply so gifted (in many ways) .... She has a tasteful eye in placing beautiful things. I identify with this, and refer to her works with my Clients. Reminding them that "it starts with beautiful things to make a beautiful space" ...
It is so much fun to share with you. Comment away, if you have specific topics you would like me to touch on, feel free to include.
What is IMPACT design?
We commonly reference impact design @ Kelly Ferm, Inc. Impact design by definition is the core belief that design can be used to create positive, environmental and/or economic change; Essentially designing a better world visually and functionally.
The beauty of working with a qualified design team is that the process of design explores the layers of design before a design is actually implemented. For example diving into the psychological understanding of the spacial needs, the natural and synthetic light value, response to color and implementing function is so critical with Impact Design. Impact design doesn't solely reference commercial spaces; it references simply how we productively use a space, how it looks and makes us feel... Designers don't just talk about it, we carefully assemble the puzzle to understand EVERY project & EACH client needs. Moral of the story ... while there is Science in design there is also the creative implementation and interpretation, making it solely your own.
IMAGE 1. Our recent installation of a corporate office embraces collaborative teamwork & an open floorplan where teams share, move around throughout the day and do not feel limited to one desk space. The mobile lockers or small cubbies are designed to be pushed around if you opt to use another desk space (by the way, sharing desks in today's open office format is very cool and common place) ... All of your desk goodies roll with you. The color is fun, exciting and stimulates forward thinking in a growing company and certainly attracts young talent. IMAGE 2. A defined study and tech space promotes a productive work area for young minds. By personalizing space, these boys know their work space and excel with organization (they don't know this yet, but they do). This design promotes task-focus. Cleverly displaying their personal "artistic" accomplishments is a wonderful way to encourage doing their best work ... (Narcissism does start very young these days) :) IMAGE 3. Simple function in a small space. I have a hunch this bathroom is off of a pool or outdoor water-play area. The stack-able W & D make the washing and drying of towels easy, the large open shower allows for a quick rinse of sand or chlorine while keeping the space open and spacious. The floating sink not only aides with barrier free requirements (American Disability Act), but continues the theme of open and airy. IMAGE 4. A wonderfully clever problem solver ... the dividing drapery! So sensible... by installing a tasteful drapery, privacy has been created. Softness and a space definition is now in play and this room aides in several functions.
SUBTLE DIFFERENCES IN IMPACT DESIGN
IMPACT can be subtle or bold ... (Remember that part; don't associate IMPACT with bold only).IMAGE 1 I use a KELLY green door to draw you in as a bold IMPACT strategy. The door catches your eye to enter this newly trending well-known Pub IMAGE 2 This image is very IMPACTFUL the curation of art, the decorative mantle and the accessories look as if they have been carefully selected over the years to fit the electic nature of the homeowner... I am sure this homeowner is very interesting (the psychology of IMPACT design is very real; the true IMPAACT is that the space allowed me to make a judgement on the homeowner whom I don't even know.) IMAGE 3 Impact design subtly introduces greens with natural elements; implying an organic and casual lifestyle. IMAGE 4 I used Cole and Sons wallcovering for my "ZEN DIVA" office. The wallcovering is SO powerful I decided to install it on only one focal wall for maximum IMPACT .... Years later, I still love it!
WHEN THERE IS NO IMPACT, IMPACT DESIGNERS DECLINE
Can I hire your firm to pick paint colors only?
No! No way, it is not effective. Picking paint colors as your ONLY assignment for a client is like being asked to pick an outfit for "an event". If you called me and asked me to pick an outfit out, I would ask "What is the event? What is the dress code? Who will be there? What time is it? Where is the location? ... and so on. The same is true in design. How will you use the space? What furnishings will you use? Do you have alot of natural sunlight? What textiles, art and accessories? Too many adjoined decisions need to made in harmony, one decision out of order can be one VERY wrong decision .... Think IMPACT design. What IMPACT will I have on this space with change? What IMPACT will my designer make with the proper information provided ... Chances are ... TREMENDOUS IMPACT.
The idea of IMPACT design in today's world is simply that you are a designing for difference. Whether you go it yourself or hire a designer; think about IMPACT design. What IMPACT goals do you have? What are your objectives? What life enhancing decisions should you make? What image are you trying to create? ... And remember, in ALL cases, it should be aesthetically beautiful. In my world ... #onlyprettythings
Kitchen renovation is a HOT topic this year. I am loving the incredible inspirations happening in kitchens and YES, so much revolves around color.
Lacanche French ranges are a wonderful compliment to kitchens big and small. While the "Super-sized" kitchen is on the down-low, the investment in quality ranges and appliances continues to be a standard. Whether it is Lacanche, La Cornue or alike, there are so many wonderful colors to play with. While the range IS the color in the space, the surrounding materials can be neutral and understated .... Allowing for the emphasis of this wonderful investment be the attention-getter in the design. Brass and gold is on a rise as well .... Bronze fixtures are taking a back-seat encouraging us to experiment with a splash of glam ... I love it!
CLEVER STORAGE AND GADGETS
IMAGE 1 A bakers dream; when creating easy access to baking ingredients, the kitchen becomes so friendly for the chef. IMAGE 2 I was never a huge fan of digging and reaching. The plate drawer is so handy and ergonomically friendly; bending is minimal and everything becomes equally visual. Another handy treatment for those common potluck nights. IMAGE 3 A cutting board with a trash shoot is wonderful! No more spills on to the floor or dripping down the front of the cabinets ... Every kitchen should have this! IMAGE 4 I love this concept for the empty-nester or family on the go. Why run a traditional dishwasher through when it isn't even half way full? Again no reaching or bending and a great way to ensure your dishes are disinfected properly. A great secondary sink function as well.
OVER-SCALED TO PERFECTION
My love for design reminds me that there are NO rules in design. These wonderfully designed kitchens more then support this notion. Not only is lighting ample, rather your fixture becomes your kitchen's personality. Try playing with scale and something whimsy this next run, I think you will love it!
METALLIC, HIGH-GLOSS and DELICIOUS COLOR
There is no specific color trending in kitchens today. For designer's and the open minded consumer, color and finish are expressive. High gloss, high sheen is so FUN and dreamy to work with. Metallic back-splashs and colorful paints can take any simple kitchen to a new level of high-style and simply extraordinary. Don't be afraid to color ... It clearly tells a story of you who you are.
Can't wait for you to share your newly renovated kitchen!
The "trending" question - What is hot in new construction and home renovation these days? I have a full list of responses, but feel most passionate about the need for "tasteful" universal design (the term coined by Ronald L. Mace) meaning developing spaces usable for broad movement whether your aging, disabled or conflicted by health issues.
With aging baby-boomers on the rise, the Gen Xer's are taking on our share of complexities in today's living. Young children are still at home, millennials are "finding their way" often paired with college expenses and now we have the worries of our aging parents. The financial impact comes from both ends for Gen X. If you are savvy about building or renovation strategies in your initial plan, you are enhancing your lifestyle and financial investments by a VERY high-percentage. The most exciting thing about universal design is it can be aesthetically pleasing with the ability to adapt in the future. Universal design is also very marketable to new home-buyers, think about your project as a future investment.
A few tips for universal design practices:
Single Story Homes:
A single story home is always a wonderful choice if your property allows. Wide hallways and ease of access for wheelchairs & walkers into bedrooms, bathrooms and secondary spaces are necessary and also aesthetically it feels spacious & airy. Wide hallways are a wonderful format for a FINE ART collection or display of wonderful objects. Large openings into
rooms are welcoming and allows for broader view points throughout your home. With each room tastefully decorated, you can enjoy each space while sitting in another room.
Elevators & Main Level Master Suites:
If you are renovating or building a two-story home, I highly recommend an elevator and a minimum of (1) master suite on the main level. The word elevator sounds intimidating, however in your building process if adapted into the design and building costs, it is a more reasonable event then future retrofits or a possible need for relocation. Elevators can be small in nature and blend with home interior surroundings.
No curbs in any of the showers. Yes, this seems simple, but if you forget this step in your initial design, you are faced with a large expense for modification during the building process.
A qualified designer or architect will draw and note the plans accordingly, allowing for ease of access into the shower. Plan for reinforced walls for grab bars. If you aren't quite ready for the look of grab bars (and by the way, a grab bar in every shower is smart; we all have moments that we can use alittle extra support). Request the builder to plan for sturdy walls for a future installation. Include a built-in seat for sitting down and a hand-shower.
Guest House (or Mother's In-Law quarters)
If you are blessed with a family that has open discussion about the future and "who will take care of Mom & Dad", you might ask if "Mom & Dad" are very willing to pitch in for a separate guest house or private quarters. Remember, Baby-Boomers are VERY independent people! Their extraordinary independence helped shape us "over-doting" Gen Xer's. You may find that their contribution could help meet all of your building goals. In addition, a separate quarters can be wonderfully useful for our displaced millennials as well.
You can actually refer to the "tiny-house brand" for building. This design fully embodies independence and separation. Note the small garage; our baby-boomer parents won't be ready to turn in the keys for a VERY long time.
All of these life-style changes can feel so overwhelming. With planning, organization and a great design team, universal design paired with beauty is a wonderful solution. After all, it is ONLY family :)
High contrast black & whites paired with pink ... Dreamy. The Taper Circle dining table is the icing on the cake with this collection.Read More
I am so excited to share our new website and collection of online “mini” boutiques. My continued “social-mantra” being a “Passionate designer, engaged mother, grateful wife on a quest for anything beautiful” are not simply conjured up words but my truest nature in purest form. My quest for finding anything beautiful has been in over-drive the last several weeks as we have shopped, curated, touched, tested and verified so many beautiful pieces.
Today’s launch … 707 Circle Lane’s collection of online mini-boutiques has been nothing but exhilarating to curate. Visualize walking down Rodeo Dr. popping into your favorite boutique/s that have a certain flare and design-style about them, you simply can’t help but to shop. My goal for the “Fashion Designer inspired” boutiques is to not only help one establish their style, but to minimize search time in a “sea” of exhausting searches. Being a person on the go, I look to the quick, easy and effective approach. Each collection has a specific fashion guru in mind in how I arranged them; From Sophisticated Traditional, to Hollywood Glam, to the Young at Heart …. There is something for everyone.
The objects & furnishings delicately placed in each boutique are from collections that we work with every day. I know their quality, I trust their brand and know when our shopping guests receive their shipment, they will love the product! Best of all, for those that need to see, touch and feel, our Brick & Mortar boutique in Claremont, CA., floors many of the collections so our guests can get to know the brand.
Live chat options with our “actual” Interior Designers will allow our guests to present questions answered by professionals that know the product and simply love to design. (Our “chatty designers” will of course be working our boutique hours, I do need them to rest at night …
“Hear Us Roar”… While inspired by so many amazing business women, Tory Burch has been a “go-to” mentor to me for years. As I have built my brand Kelly Ferm, Inc. and 707 Circle Lane with newly developed collections currently underway, Tory has inspired me with not only her keen eye, but her bold business sense … A true risk taker. Enjoy some of my favorite images above that Tory has curated inspiring our Estate of Grace collection in our online boutique. So much fun shopping for traditional items, with Asian influences and as ALWAYS with Tory; tasteful color palettes.