bring on the blues!

This year’s color to decorate with is indigo!  Everywhere I turn I see blue, from fashion to interior design.  Although the pantone color of the year is radiant orchid, we are still seeing blue as the number 1 decorating color.  

Blue clothing from Black House White Market website.

Blue evokes feelings of calm and freshness, and represents strength and dependability. Think of the sky and ocean. The beauty of blue is the elemental color’s amazing versatility.
A high-energy shade of blue, like sapphire, can add a bold punch of energy to a room, while a light sky blue on the walls can make a space feel tranquil. Darker shades like navy can offer drama, while paler shades can make small spaces feel larger. The effect depends on the tone of blue.
Since blue is associated with calmness, it works well in a bathroom, bedroom or kitchen, all rooms where one goes to relax. Different shades of light blue can be used for ceilings to mimic the sky, making a room feel larger.

Bring these beautiful colors into your home with a few accessories.  Using accessories to update your look is easy and affordable.

1. Modernist Vases
2. Mid-Century Inspired Soapstone Sculpture
3. Decorative Throw Pillow
4. Dinner Plates
5. Decorative Pillow
6. Original Artwork
7. Lamp Shade

our trip to kbis

(the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show)

We arrived in Las Vegas the day before KBIS officially kicked off so we took a little road trip to the Hoover Dam.  Did you know the Hoover Dam was completed 2 years ahead of schedule. If only all kitchen and bath jobs could be that way!  The dam was breathtaking–we were lucky enough to be able to walk across the Mike O’Callaghan–Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, which is where the real view was:

View of the Hoover Dam & Lake Mead from the Mike O’Callaghan–Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge.

Part of KBIS was attending “The Party” and “The Bash” both of which were held at the beautiful Wynn/Encore Hotel.  These hotels are fabulous, see for yourself:

XS Nightclub

 The show was simply amazing.  Upon entering you are greeted by the legendary red carpet…

The Red Carpet at KBIS 2014- Las Vegas

All of the ideas and concepts of the show were so fascinating, these are the things that inspired me the most:

We’ve all heard of recycled glass terazzo, but this product particularly caught my eye because each individual product has its own Glass Source Story:

“The world’s largest art glass manufacturer patented a production process referred to as continuous ribbon, and what we know as stained glass. It connotes colorful ribbon candy and the rainbow of colors they produce is equally astounding. Rejects or over-runs of the glass give Millefiori its full bouquet.”

So each pattern comes from a different source, some are made of recycled goblets, skyy vodka bottles, and oyster shells.  We have already ordered a full set of samples and are thrilled to get them!  Click here to read more about this product.

There were a lot of sinks with built-in cutting boards and strainers.

This cabinet pull out is like a lot of other custom made pull outs except its made of glass and sleek metals which give it a modern feel.

 As expected, Lucite was a huge hit again–but this time transitioned into towel bars, bathroom stools and shelving.  We did see more tinted lucite than usual.  We love it!

I love this flowy light fixture!
Where normally you would have a false faced drawer this drawer has the center cut out to allow for piping under your bathroom sink.  No space wasted! 
Metal drawer panels juxtaposed with wood face framing was unexpected, but it works.
What an easy way to make a statement!  This is an interesting alternative to paint or wallpaper, put this over your wall and paint it any color you want.

When we got back from Vegas, our shop hand and blogger, Gus Broussard hung this shelf above my new drawing space.  I love it.  Thanks Gus!

Printing Houses
    At Ourso Designs, we like to stay abreast of new trends in the design and construction communities. I recently heard of the WikiHouse project, a new attempt at customizable, affordable, portable housing. WikiHouse’s stated goal is to “allow anyone to design, download, and ‘print’ CNC-milled houses and components, which can be assembled with minimal formal skill or training.” The part of this that interests me is the “printed” part: they are taking computer generated designs for houses, and “printing” the pieces of the house, using a CNC machine (essentially a saw guided by a computer that cuts designs out of flat surfaces of wood) to cut the components (walls, frames, even the joining pieces – no nails/screws required) and then anyone can put the pieces together on their own. 
 You can see the panels that will be put together to form the house.


The shell of a room

    So you could design your house yourself, limited only, presumably, by the size of the CNC machine and the size of  your plywood sheets, take your design and materials to someone who owns and operates a CNC mill, and put your house together by hand in true DIY fashion. I have been a longtime lurker of the Tiny House Blog, and this WikiHouse project reminded me of my long time urge to build a house that is DIY and affordable.
    A house I would love to build, from Tumbleweed Houses
    Will individually designed, fully modular, computer-cut houses become the norm? I don’t know, but the possibility is there. I could see students at colleges making their own dorms each year as an introductory class, learning computer skills, light construction skills, wood shop skills,and design skills all in one course. It could certainly help them appreciate their first home away from their parents. Custom computerized housing could also become a new niche for designers to fill – a designer could offer to design, customize, decorate and furnish a new addition to a house or backyard (a little man cave or personal office getaway comes to mind). I would be interested to learn exactly how much it would cost to get a house from computer to constructed. The possibility of a new career, a sort of fusion of designer/drafter/miller/decorator, is interesting: a designer could buy a CNC machine (maybe a portable one!) and take care of every step of construction for a client.

    We are coming into a new era of production; it is a very exciting time to be in the design field. There are CNC mills that cut wood, like what WikiHouse is using, but there are also plasma cutters that can cut through metal, and CNC lathes that can shape metal parts. There could come a time when 3d printers and CNC machines can print themselves, so other than the cost of materials, the day could come when everyone who wants these tools will have easy and affordable access to them.

    The WikiHouse project reminds me of 3d printing (printing machines that melt plastic and build a computer generated design out of thin air). Aida Avila, a friend of the company, recently purchased a 3d printer and is designing prototype lamps and purses. I will do a blog on her project, and on 3d printing in general, in the future.