I have loved this light fixture since I first laid eyes on it five or six years ago; maybe you will too. It has a clean design, makes use of interesting, modern materials and its capability for extension and contraction is practical for small or large spaces that require versatility. —Renee Keller, Associates III
Periwinkle Porte recently had the delightful opportunity to sit down and chat with Maggie Tandysh, one of Associates III Interior Design’s remarkable senior designers, about her approach to and thoughts on interior design. Here’s what she had to say:
Periwinkle Porte: When you first put pencil to paper for a project where do you start?
Maggie Tandysh: I like to start with the master plan, playing with the style, location and architectural aspects that are already in place, finding ways to integrate the outside with the inside of the home and building on these features by repeating or complementing the exterior finishes and identifying areas for the key details to come.
PP: Speaking of details, talk a bit more about this important design component.
MT: Details show care and attention. It comes down to building things in to the design that have a purpose, are well thought out and provide for great use of space. Take bathrooms, for example, which can become tedious and redundant in a home if the details are not carefully attended to. I personally love designing bathrooms. I enjoy selecting tiles that bring interest into the space and choosing fixtures that are unique so they seem more like furniture rather than hardware.
PP: What else about designing interiors do you particularly enjoy?
MT: Now that’s hard to say; I enjoy so much! I enjoy coordinating the pieces – taking the concepts and big picture ideas and making sure to implement them in a way that everything blends seamlessly and works well together.
PP: With this in mind, where do you draw your inspiration from?
MT: I find inspiration in so many places – from the architect’s words, to the client’s wishes, to finding ways of utilizing different team member’s strengths and expertise. A lot of my inspiration comes from being 100% accountable, knowing that the client and team are counting on me. I revel in knocking a client’s socks off and that definitely keeps me going!
PP: Describe your ideal team to work with.
MT: A collaborative team is so important. I love working with a team that is open to ideas, seeks involvement, provides feedback and confirmation, one in which each person – architect, builder, client, designer and subcontractors – has a strong buy in on the project and brings their excitement and enthusiasm to their daily duties.
PP: How do you feel when the final piece is in place and the last installation is done?
MT: So proud and satisfied! Thankful to the team that we pulled it together; I love the sense of completion that comes at the end of a project – the period at the end of the sentence when all the i’s are dotted and t’s have been crossed. I find there are always lessons to be learned, a different way of doing things to keep in mind for the next time. Our projects are always filled with high integrity and high quality, which makes the final moments really special and meaningful.
— Periwinkle Porte
Color psychology has always fascinated me. Mostly because I love color, but also because as an interior designer, I feel color can also impact someone’s quality of life for the better or worse, depending on how it’s used.
Oftentimes, people associate certain colors with a past experience or even something tied to their culture. But other times, certain colors evoke common emotions in people.
Green has always been a favorite color of mine. It’s a color that excites me and makes me happy! Green is also seen as a healthy color. It’s refreshing. And it’s known to encourage communication.
When I saw the use of green at the True Food Kitchen restaurant in Cherry Creek, I couldn’t help but think of color psychology and how the design of the interiors of this restaurant, can impact everyone that steps foot in this fresh and exciting place to eat! They used the color green on a decent portion of their seating. I snapped a picture of a green chair and booth while I was there, mostly because my eye is drawn to the color green! Take a look at the picture below.
I encourage you to look into color psychology if you have never before! There are plenty of books and websites that talk about the many aspects of this topic. I like to look at color from a design standpoint, but it’s also fun to see what your favorite color may say about you.
Autumn in Colorado is one of the state’s most beautiful seasons. Along with colorful foliage, it brings with it brisk mornings, warm afternoons, crunchy leaves underfoot and the ideal hot tea weather. As fall changes the landscape around us we are provided with opportunity to transform our homes to reflect a time of moving inside and prepping for the upcoming festivities that often include get-togethers with families and friends.
To fully place ourselves in the mood for fall, here are a few simple ways to modify interiors for the season:
- With the cooler evenings, invest in a great throw — a knitted blanket, a cashmere wrap — and drape it over your favorite sitting spot.
- Add seasonal colors that evoke or compliment the deep, rich tones of autumn to any room with accent pillows.
- When entertaining, take the opportunity switch up the summertime settings with hardier, fall friendly glass and dishware, napkins, placemats and tablecloths.
- Bring some of the fall harvest inside by creating floral arrangements or table centerpieces using what’s available at your local florist or farmer’s market.
- Convey the season with scent as well as taste by warming hot cider or mulled wine on the stove for delicious, drinkable potpourri.
- Show the change of seasons in your artwork, framed family photos, and candlesticks by replacing the more whimsical, summertime décor with fall influenced photos and accessories.
These are just a handful of ideas to make the shift from summer to fall in your home. Do you have any other favorite ways of designing for the change of season? Let us know!
— Amy DePierre
In February, Associates III was invited to speak about the interior design profession at KIPP’s Denver Collegiate High School Career Night. Debbie and I volunteered to attend. The 109 national, open-enrollment public schools known as KIPP (Knowledge Is Power Program) assist kids living in disadvantaged communities by leading them to a successful college career and life. With 87% of its students hailing from low-income families, it’s remarkable to observe that over 90% of KIPP middle school students graduate high school, and more than 80% of their alumni enroll in college. Students, teachers, and parents pledge a Commitment of Excellence with the motto, “Work hard. Be nice.” Love it! Classes are scheduled from 7:25am to 5pm, and all students are required attend class in the summer. KIPP relentlessly tracks the results of their efforts, which prove quite impressive: 96% of KIPP classes outperform their districts and 100% of KIPP senior classes outperform their district-wide average SAT and ACT test scores.
During career night, we had about 7 minutes between the two of us to talk about Associates III to a rotating class of students. Naturally, the entire set of dazzling facts I had prepared flew out of my head before I opened my mouth. Instead of sharing how employment in interior design is expected to grow 19% from 2008 to 2018, faster than the average of all other occupations (National Bureau of Labor Statistics), I scrambled to compact my past, my college career, and my job description into 3.5 minutes. It didn’t sound far from “Thought I’d be an engineer… but found myself sensitive to interior environments…decided interior design…college…green design is good…internship…talk with clients…write specs…school is valuable…stay in it.” Apart from teaching me programs like AutoCAD and how to effectively space plan and think like a designer, school was a great experience that simply rounded me out.
Recently, I was listening to a debate on NPR where the topic was “Too Many Kids Go to College”. One of the debaters for the notion argued that not everyone strives to be a lawyer or doctor and, therefore, they should not have to pay college loans; in addition, specialized trades like carpentry will suffer if everyone chooses college. For me, college wasn’t just a pathway to a career, but an opportunity to acquaint myself with the different topics of the world (microeconomics, history of textiles, animal biology, to name but a few) that I would never have had the patience or time to discover on my own. You might consider college a starter kit to exploring the world! In the end, it was wonderful to see how KIPP pushes their students toward college and opens their minds and hearts to the many wonderful opportunities out there… I hope a little of my rambling helped.
— Agatha Strompolos
During my childhood, my mom denied me of two things I envied: white bread and cable. Henceforth, whenever my family stopped at a hotel on one of many of our family road trips, I begged to watch music videos on MTV. Even throughout high school I’d try and film my own music videos. Unlike sitcoms or films, to me, music videos didn’t have to make any sense; they just had to communicate a vision. In this post, I pair music videos with rooms and designs that convey similar elements.
Spider Webs by No Doubt
The great contrast between Gwen Stefani’s anarchical punk style and this ornate, traditional room evokes the spirit of the Sex Pistols’ album cover for God Save the Queen. This idea of “Royal Punk” is now more familiar, but still very fun.
Weapon of Choice by Fatboy Slim
The dated, eighties capitalist glamour décor of this hotel and the “squareness” of Christpher Walkin and his tie make such an odd but humorous combination. The staid color combination of mauve, teal, brass, forest green, and blush pink are re-worked in the room below.
Headlights by Sean Lennon
The combination of dusk and neon go together beautifully in this video. Also, the use of symmetry creates psychedelic but eye catching effects.
— Agatha Strompolos
On a drive home from work one night I overheard an interview on CPR with Lucy Worsey, the author of If Walls Could Talk.
Her British accent immediately caught my ear and I naturally turned up the volume to hear more of its quirky intonation. Lucy turned out to be a scream….extremely funny with a dry bent that complimented her subject matter: the origins and purpose of rooms. Her unique and witty approach gave life to what could have been dry history coming from a historian and curator, and I was soon vividly envisioning homes of the past.
I learned some new things….bedrooms haven’t always been the private sanctuary we have made them to be today, a need for warmth and security meant they were most often communal. And heard some not so new things… closets were originally created as a place to “closet away” your books or treasures while you kept the few outfits of clothing you owned in your bedchamber. Did you know the coat hanger was invented sometime between 1869 and 1906, and by a man? That surprised me.
Design is often created out of necessity or circumstances, as in the discovery of fire or the invention of the wheel. And this is still true today. Of course we have more time on our hands than the average worker-bee used to in medieval times, we have more leisure time to daydream and invent our spaces. The world of Interior Design has evolved. We’ve increased the size of our homes, we’ve added more room types over time, designed furniture that accommodate the larger size of our rooms as well as the shape of its occupants. We’ve stretched our creative minds over and over in decorating them to be an expression of who we are.
As Lucy pointed out in her delightful English accent, some of these things are coming full circle and, once again, necessity is the mother of invention: our homes are contracting in size as our lifestyle is changing. We’re craving more community with our family and neighbors, a simpler environment is the new trend, and our homes are beginning to reflect those needs and values.
— Debbie Hindman