Design Solutions

Submitted by Annette M. Callari, Allied ASID; Chair Holder, Color Marketing Group

PedrossScouting out innovative new design products is something I love to do, not only to keep my own design library fresh and current, but to share with other designers and YOU.  To-the-trade publications are one way to read up on hot new products, and that has always been a great resource.  But professional designers take it further.  ASID designers are required to earn continuing education credits every year, in order to maintain their standing in the American Society of Interior Designers.  That mandate is important because design is an ever-changing landscape.  You can NEVER know everything that’s out there, but dedicating time to learning and researching new products is a great way to stay current.

I have another resource available to me, and that is attending floor covering trade shows.  Sometimes I am an invited guest speaker for education days, but mostly, I get to cruise the shows as a designer/writer on the search for innovative products— products to use in my own designs and (thanks to WFCA), to share with you.  That’s how I discovered Pedross USA.

Think of the myriad of floor coverings available in the marketplace:  hardwoods, laminates, luxury vinyl planks and tiles, cork, bamboo—and the list goes on.  The success of any design lies in the details.  Finding matching trim pieces, base moldings, and nosings for stairs, has always been a huge challenge.  Here’s a good example:  I received an e-mail from a design specification firm in Las Vegas working on a set of model homes.  They had chosen a beautiful weathered-wood plank luxury vinyl floor for the entire downstairs of four carriage style homes (three levels), but couldn’t find finish pieces to trim the stairs.  The entire design hinged on these beautiful, aged wood-look planks, but the designers were at a stalemate not knowing how to finish the staircases. They were considering switching the flooring material to hardwood, which would put them over budget and result in a very unhappy builder client.

The solution was to order made-to-match stair treads and nosings, which ended up matching the floors perfectly.  Finally, there is a company that recognized a huge gap in the floor accessory market and filled it.  They manufacture a complete range of flooring profiles, stair treads, risers, transitions, and moldings in cork, bamboo, LVT or wood.  Did that register?  A full range of flooring solutions!  It’s big news and I’m happy to share it.  One more thing:  they are masters at digital printing.  They can create customized moldings in leather looks, animal prints, 3-D designs, or whatever you dream up.  They even created a 3-D coffee-bean impression molding for a chain of coffee shops. You can see their gallery of products at www.pedrossusa.com.

Pedross originated in Italy (those Italians are pretty ingenious, capishe?) and their North American HQ is in Arkansas.  For a distributor or flooring professional that carries the line, feel free to contact Pedross directly (toll free) at 855-306-4611.  (Note:  Retailers carrying this line include Alliance Flooring, Carpet One and select Abbey dealers.)  If you go back to Pedross’ Italian roots, this company is 54 years old and operates in 49 countries.  That’s a pretty good resume and, I have to say it, one remarkable discovery.

For more information on flooring visit the World Floor Covering Association’s Consumer Carpet & Flooring Guide.

Christmasizing Your Home

Submitted by Annette M. Callari, Allied ASID; Chair Holder, Color Marketing Group

Christmas_designI made up the word, Christmasizing, it’s true, but you knew what it meant right away, didn’t you?  We love the holidays, and it seems we are transforming our homes into winter wonderlands earlier and earlier each year.  We had barely cleared the turkey platter from the dining room table this year when my married daughter began streaming garland down her banisters.  So in the spirit of this wonderful season, here are some quick-pick ideas to add the
”festive” to your festivities….

Colors of the season are no longer just red and green.  The seasonal colors for Christmas 2011 include silver, pastel blue, cobalt blue, deep purple and gold.  All are on-trend for this year’s holiday palette. Sparkle is hot, so sprinkle it generously throughout your decorating.  Tiny twinkling white lights on your mantle, crystal-laden branches in elegant tall vases, mirrored trays with flickering candles, all add enchanting sparkle.

ChampagneDo you have an entry accent table or credenza in your foyer?  Drape it in silver or gold yard goods (you can buy it by the yard at any fabric store).  Add champagne flutes interspersed with flickering votive candles, and you have a stunning “welcome” awaiting your holiday visitors.  Fill the glasses before they arrive and get the party started at the front door!

Floating ornaments always delight guests (and, no, I haven’t been hitting the spiked eggnog as I’m writing).  Dress the chandelier in your entry or over the dining room table to become a holiday focal point.  I love to buy different crystal ornaments and hang them on fine-gauge fishing line from the arms of the light fixture.  They appear to be floating and the prismatic effect radiates sparkle throughout the room.  If you are a very generous hostess, you can give them away at the end of the evening as a holiday memento for your guests.  I did just that, and my dinner guests absolutely loved the unexpected gift.

I am shocked at what florists and craft stores charge for Christmas centerpieces.  You really can create your own and save about $100.  Floral design has evolved to become less static and rigid.  Clear vases in different sizes and shapes lend themselves to creativity.  Cluster three or five in varying heights (always group in odd numbers) and add fresh flowers.  Mixing it up will add interest:  white and red roses, sprigs of pine and wispy baby’s breath–all mix to create an ethereal arrangement at a fraction of the cost a florist would charge.  And experimenting is half the fun!

Have you discovered the oversized-Christmas ball ornaments available at the big box stores?  These colorful ornaments are 12” in diameter and come six to a package.  If you have a covered front porch, you can attach each one to decorative ribbon and tack them at various heights.  This same idea would work great for a patio cover as well.

CandlesIndoors, there are some easy (and economical) ways to usher in the season.  A holiday welcome mat in bright colors sets the stage at your front door.  Candy-colored accent pillows on a sofa, flameless candlesticks on every windowsill, a colorful room-sized area rug in the colors of Christmas—all of these ideas bring joyful spirit to your rooms.

As you Christmasize your home, be attentive to sense appeal.  Taste, touch, smell, sight and sound complete the sense appeal package.  Steep your interiors in sensory-rich touches, mix well with friends and family, then step back and enjoy this recipe for magic.

Best wishes to all…..

Annette