24 November 2015

Designing my workspace

Today I am looking for ideas to style my workspace.

I have a home office that is currently full of boxes and very untidy. My plan is to make it into a beautiful study where it will be a pleasure to work, make art, and even do my accounting! : )

Following a friend's advice, I've decided to treat myself as a client and to give myself a proper consultation... It might sound a bit strange but I think I'll get the job done better this way!

So here is my step by step plan.
1. Define client profile
2. Define client's needs
3. Look for visual references
4. Create a moodboard and choose palette
5. Design space
6. Furnish room
7. Decorate and style

Over the next few months I'll update the blog as I progress towards my dream study (hopefully it won't take too long!).
Anyway. So far I have reached step 3.

Step 1.
Woman, 33 years old.
Job: Interior designer and Illustrator who works from home.
Relevant hobbies: sketching, jewellery making
Notes: tends to be untidy, has lots of art supplies and boxes of old cards

Step 2.
A tidy organized workspace.
Desk with space for laptop, lamp and space to draw
Bookcase with books and space for filing
Space for art work and art supplies, jewellery kit, photocamera, printer.
If possible fit in sofa bed or daybed.

Step 3.
I have been keeping an eye out for inspiration in magazines and online. Here is a peek of all the inspiring photos I'm gathering in a Pinterest folder to start getting a feel of my dream study.

SFgirlbybay via Pinterest

In my next post about my study I'll define the palette and create a moodboard.

So far I have a loose idea of the colour palette: black, white and pink. This choice is based on my personal taste and on a few items I have in my study that I want to keep. My bright pink laptop-stand, a black paint brush holder I received as a gift from a friend, my white desk and bookcase.

If you are also redecorating and styling your workspace you might like to read these articles:
Creating a girly and glam workspace on Stylemepretty

PS: I'll be working on a workspace 'for him' after I've finished my study!

PPS: remember how I like spotting cool design blogs! Well looking for photos for my sudio I found this lovely blog called SFgirlbybay. Worth a visit!

note: Photo credits and links under each photo. All photos via Pinterest.

17 November 2015

10 things to do before Christmas

With the Interior design course exam nearing I need a to do list for Christmas to make sure I get everything done. Here goes:

1. Buy or make and then send Christmas cards
This year I am printing out some cards with my illustrations on them. I love greetings cards, both hand made and bought. I really like these cards by 'Printstitchandpaste' on etsy. And it's always nice when people send a family photo with a festive message.

2. Make an advent calendar
I'm hoping to be able to make mine this year and have been looking for inspiration on Pinterest. (Hopefully I'll be able to update with a post about my diy!)

3. Make a traditional English Christmas cake
Do you have a trusted recipe passed down from your grandma? Or maybe you love searching the net for the perfect new twist to a classic cake. Why not do a bit of both. Last year we used this video by Tickly Mouth which is really easy to follow. Then we used my muickm's recipe book for the icing (click here for a similar recipe). It reached universal approval.
(for more recipes by Tickly Mouth see their youtube channel,or follow them on Facebook)

4. Buy or make Christmas presents
Well, everyone has a different way of getting this job done. You can buy from the internet (Amazon for books and dvds, Etsy for handmade or custom gifts, for a start). Go down the high street and pop into your favourite shops. Make everyone something special like a painting, a woolly hat, biscuits or homemade jam (see these ideas on howtobuildit.org).
For children it's good to get one special present and a few stocking fillers, because then there are a lot more things to unwrap, and that's the best part. So add a new toothbrush, socks, pencils or crayons.

5. Buy or find a Christmas CD, or prepare a playlist on the tablet
I love Christmas Carols (here is a link if you need to spruce up your lyrics!) and christmassy rock songs (read this article on Rolling stone for some ideas!) that you can have on in the background while your decorating the tree...

6. Decorate the Christmas tree and style your home
Choose a day and set aside some time to decorate in style. Invite your family or friends round, put on some music and have a cup of tea and buscuits while they all join in. Everyone has a different way of decorating a Christmas tree. You can pick a colour scheme, or you can use all the decorations you have and have gathered over the years and make something colourful. You choose. The only rule is have fun!

7. Organize Christmas parties or dinners with friends and colleagues
Take time out of your busy schedule to plan a few gatherings with special friends and your colleagues. Even just a drink before dinner during the first few days of December can be a nice way to say Merry Christmas to people who are special to you.

8. Plan big Christmas lunch (who's bringing what, who's house this time)
This part takes major planning... but not on my part! I am spoiled since the senior ladies in my family do most of the work! My mother-in-law cooks an amazing feast, my mum adds wonderful trimmings (you can find her recipes in her blog 'Cappuccino and brioche'!) and my brother's mother-in-law makes wonderful Italian dolci. But if you are the one doing the planning this article on www.netmums.com seems pretty helful!.

9. Wrap the Christmas presents
I read in a magazine that a great place to wrap your presents is on your ironing board because it's the right height so you're not straining your back. Try it if you have a lot of parcels to wrap... Make sure you have enough wrapping paper and string and add a little tag for the name. You can make your own out of cardboard and a piece of string, buy pretty ones on the internet or shop, or even download printable tags.

pintable tags, image via Pinterest

10. Take some time to think about love
Christmas is a time to focus on joy and love and to be grateful for what we have, to fill our hearts with love towards our friends, family and neighbours. Whether you go to church, have a gathering with friends, go for a walk with your partner, sit quietly meditating, now is the time to let the light into our hearts and allow it to fill us with warmth.

note: credits to images and links are under each photo.

10 November 2015

Interior design and my first renderings

Two years ago I started a masters program at a local school to specialise in designing interiors. Now I'm preparing my final project for the exam in December.
Each student has to redesign a fictitious appartment which needs renovating according to the needs of imaginary clients.
I have been given an imaginary couple as my clients. They are in their forties.
Our teacher spelled out their interests and hobbies. She's a university professor and loves cooking. He has a travel agency and collects artwork.

I have designed the appartment. The clients wanted a master bedroom with on suite bathroom and wellness area. A guest room/study/gym (!). A guest bathroom. A kitchen, dining area and lounge (which in my project are one open space). Lots of space for their books. Their art collection dotted around the house.

Now all I have left to do are the 3D renderings (in Italian they call these 'i render'). These are the perspective drawings of the various rooms created using a 3D model to which you add materials, colours and lighting to create an image which resembles a photograph of what the house will look like.

Renderings take a long time to make and require a lot of expertise if they are to be of high quality. There are professionals who specialise solely in making renderings for other designers. However there are some special computer programs that enable you to make quick renderings, very useful to give your client several options and to make changes along the way. These type of 3d images are used especially in the retail business, for example in shops that sell furniture, kitchens and bathrooms.

A rendering is very useful to give your client a feel of a space. Together with plans, sketches and moodboards you should be able to imagine exactly what the designer is dreaming up.

Over the next few weeks I'll post a few renderings of the appartment. Here is the one I made last night of the 'bagno giorno', the guest bathroom. I use to make renderings when I did my internship in an architects studio, but they had often been set up by other designers and I just had to add bits and bobs, change the colours or materials. This is the first time I do one completely on my own, from the design itself to the 3d model, from the lighting to the materials, so I'm quite proud of myself!

il bagno giorno - rendering