History Lesson: Wishbone Chair

Wishbone Chair

 “The Wishbone Chair is perhaps Wegner’s most celebrated work. A light, attractive and comfortable dining chair with the characteristic Y-shaped back. The chair is a triumph of craftsmanship with a simple design and clean lines. Despite the chair’s straightforward appearance it takes more than 100 steps to make one. Amongst other things, the hand-woven seat consists of more than 120 meters of paper cord. Hans J. Wegner designed the Wishbone chair for Carl Hansen & Søn in 1949 and it has been in continuous production since 1950″

Watch the making of the wishbone chair:

Click here to watch video.

Here are a few pictures with the wishbone chair being utilized:

Bathroom Mirrors: How to Treat the Your Vanity Wall

How to Treat Your Vanity Wall

    Like Kitchen Design, Bathroom Design has changed dramatically in recent decades.  Bathrooms, especially Master Bathrooms, have become far more than the simple, utilitarian room they once were. They have evolved from the simple, white tiled, sanitized spaces into personal retreats and at-home spas.  And like everything you might design in your house, designing a good bathroom requires planning, good information, and careful thought.

    The wall located behind the sink or vanity can really be the focal point of a bathroom, however, it is often overlooked.  Here are a few tips and ideas regarding mirrors in the bathroom:

Using Antique Mirrors

     Using antique mirrors can create a unique feature within a bathroom and brings a sense of depth design wise. Using ornate mirrors is balanced out with modern details.
Better Homes & Gardens
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Creating Some Separation

    Adding a tower between two mirrors gives the illusion of separate space.  It also offers up more storage.  Taking the tower up to the ceiling can make the room look larger.
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Using Mirror Tiles

    Mirror tiles are gorgeous but tricky to use.  If used improperly they look dated.  Make sure to bring in traditional/elegant details when using the mirrors. Using these elements will soften up the look of the mirrors.
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Reflectivity & Transparency Work Together

    Who doesn’t love a room flooded with light?  These bathrooms are fabulous.  Stationing your vanity and mirrors in front of a window means that there will be other details that need to be well thought out and addressed before hand.  Some of the concerns would be privacy, plumbing walls (and concealing that from the exterior view), mounting and weight of mirrors, loss of potential storage areas, window coverings, etc.  
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Double the Light and the Look

    Mounting lights on mirrors is definitely trending.  We love this look for many reasons, one being that it almost doubles the amount of light in the room.  Wall-mounted sconces, with the combination of an overhead light, such as a can-light, is the best way to light a bathroom. You get flattering light.  Another article on lighting is coming soon.
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Use Something Back-lit

    Back-lit mirrors are most often used in modern or transitional spaces but bring nice ambient light into the room.  The key to a successful lighting design is to design in layers.  Most of these types of lights double as medicine cabinets for storage.
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Rest it on a Picture Ledge for Versatility

    This is an interesting option for those who easily tire of their decor and would like the option of easily changing things around.  You can rest mirrors on the ledge with the combination of other framed pictures, decor items such as plants and vases, or necessities such as toiletries.
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Make it All About the Shape

    Making your mirror a focal point is another fun option.  Just be careful that you let the eye rest at some point.  What we tell clients at Ourso Designs is that when you are designing a room you want to minimize your statement pieces and maximize your “background” pieces.  Without doing this you will either end up with a room that is dull or a room that is so distracting that nothing stands out.
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Hang it from the Ceiling

     Mounting a mirror from a ceiling really creates a vintage/industrial look….it almost reminds us of old timey toilets.
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Go Wall-to-Wall to Make the Room Feel Larger

     Nothing makes a room feel larger than a wall mounted mirror. Having a large mirror of this size really makes your vanity space versatile.  It doesn’t limit you to standing in front of the sink to do your make-up.  A mirror of this size could be a great option for a family with multiple kids of a close age (especially teenage girls!).
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Wrap the Mirror Around the Room

    Wrapping a mirror around a room can be extremely effective in making the room feel larger but also reflecting and bouncing light around.  Be careful when designing with mirrors in this sense as it easy to make the room look dated with too many mirrors and off finishes.  
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Book-match a Stone as a Statement

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Using More than One Style of Mirror

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Throw Everyone Off by Skipping the Mirror

     Recently there is a trend to skip the mirror in a powder room.  Rather than cover a window, people are focusing the design of the bathroom around the window.  Replacing a window completely with a mirror looks beautiful in the daytime but can tend to look like a black hole at night (as windows so often do without treatments on them).
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Ourso Designs wins House & Home Magazine 2014 Competition!

Ourso Designs wins House & Home Magazine Kitchen Category & Kitchen/Combination Category Awards!  We are so pleased to have our projects be selected in a local competition that truly highlights Baton Rouge’s finest residential works.

To see more photos of this project please click here.
Richard Ourso, CKD, CAPS collaborates with Michelle Livings, BID, AKBD from Kitchen to Bath Concepts

We want to send a huge congratulations out to all the other winners in the competition!

  • Michelle Livings, AKBD, BID from Kitchen to Bath Concepts
  • Karen Giffel Interior Design, LLC
  • Rod Miller at R & D Design
  • Mark Matthews, AIA
  • Siegen 7 Developments, LLC
  • Lionel F. Bailey, AIA Architect
  • Supreme Construction
  • Baton Rouge Custom Cabinets
  • Daher Designs
  • Vickie Mire, CKD, CAPS
  • Lynnie Minogue
  • Frank McArdle at Big River Construction
  • Anne Charpentier at Distinctive Design & Interiors
  • Eddie Peter at Toujay’s Construction
  • Matt Bezard
  • Angelo’s Lawn-Scape of Louisiana, Inc.
  • Becky Walker at The Design Studio
  • Larayn Guidroz at Swags Studio
  • Dona Faulkinberry at Dona Designs
  • Angela Poirrier at Acadian House Kitchen & Bath

Picking a Sink? Use our Pros & Cons guide to help you narrow down which sink is best for you!

How to choose the right kitchen sink

    Kitchen sinks are by far the most used fixture in the kitchen. Consider how many times a day you use your kitchen sink compared to the number of times you use your stove or microwave. Considering the evolution of the kitchen into the multi-functional hub of activity in the home, sinks have had to evolve as well. The result is a wide array of choices including everything from materials to bowl configuration. This means that a lot more thought needs to go into choosing the right kitchen sink, in terms of design and functionality, for your home.

    First, you need to be aware of all the choices and options that are now available to you. Sinks have come a long way over the years and they are no longer considered just a wash basin.

    Next, you need to have a good understanding of what your needs and preferences are and whether you’re simply replacing an existing sink or doing a complete kitchen remodel.

Combining these two areas of information will help you find matches that will provide a new sink you will be satisfied with.

Stainless Steel

    “By far the most popular material for kitchen sinks, stainless steel sinks are heat and stain resistant and are available in a variety of types, styles and sizes. I recommend going for a brushed or satin finish rather than a mirror finish — water marks and scratches will be less noticeable. Also, look for sinks that have sound-absorbing pads on the bottom. Consumer Reports recently tested stainless steel sinks and found that these pads, rather than sound-absorbing spray or a thicker gauge of steel, performed best in reducing the noise commonly associated with stainless steel sinks.”

Pros:

  • Durability – A stainless steel sink should remain attractive for many years. The steel surface will not become marred or chipped from impacts and it does not suffer damage from exposure to heat and cold. Stainless steel should not rust, stain or tarnish.   
  • Affordability – When you compare stainless steel to other materials, it is usually more affordable. While prices will vary depending on the size and configuration of a sink, stainless steel is usually one of the least expensive sink options.
  • Easily Maintained – The stainless steel surface is easy to clean. In addition, stainless steel does not require special cleaning processes to keep it beautiful. The stainless steel surface does not harbor bacteria.
  • Versatile – Stainless steel fits the decor and style of virtually any kitchen. In addition, it’s possible to shape stainless steel into a customized space. Stainless steel also comes in a variety of finishes to fit different kitchen styles.

Cons:

  • Noisy – Because the stainless steel material is so thin, you may notice increased noise as you use the sink from objects bumping up against the sink surfaces. Higher quality stainless steel may have an additional coating over the stainless steel to eliminate some of the vibrations that can cause noise.  
  • Scratching – With continued use, you may notice fine scratches appear in a stainless steel sink. Although these scratches should not mar the surface in an extreme way, you will probably notice them. Also, if you regularly allow drops of water to sit on the stainless steel surface, these droplets may cause small imperfections in the surface of the steel over time. The simple solution to avoid this is to always dry the stainless steel surface after using the sink.
  • Color – If you have your heart set on a bold color for your kitchen sink, stainless steel probably won’t deliver. While stainless steel comes in a variety of finishes, the overall appearance will always have a silver finish.

Composite Granite

    “Composite granite sinks are my go-to sink, both for my clients and my own kitchen. They are good-looking, durable and don’t show water marks or scratches the way stainless steel sinks do. They come in a variety of neutral hues, but I prefer the darker grays, browns and black because they camouflage food filth the best. This is my own sink pictured here, and I must confess, I don’t clean it nearly as often as I probably should because it never looks dirty. Although these sinks are durable, they can crack if mishandled — I’ve heard stories of sinks being damaged during shipping. Always inspect your composite sink thoroughly before installation to make sure it suffered no trauma during transit.”

Pros

  • Durability. Quality composite granite sinks are formed under high pressure, making them nonporous, hygienic, and resistant to heat, stains, scratches, and chips. Plus, unlike natural granite, a composite granite sink surface won’t require sealing.
  • Variety. You’ll find a wide range of styles, sizes, shapes, finishes, and color options to complement your countertops. White, black, and brown remain the most popular color choices.
  • Consistency. An authentic granite stone sink features the natural variations of stone throughout the material. A composite granite sink, however, features uniform color throughout the material.
  • Cost. A composite granite sink generally costs less than a natural granite sink.

 Cons

  • Durability. Harsh chemicals can damage a composite granite sink, so follow the manufacturer’s suggestions for cleaning the surface as well as products to avoid pouring into the sink. Some composite granite sinks can be damaged by heat, resulting in blemishes from melting resins, and the material does scratch. Check the manufacturer warranty and select a product designed for high heat-resistance.
  • Hardness. While some sink materials are more forgiving, composite granite is hard enough to break glassware when dropped onto the surface.
  • Color uniformity. If you want the authentic look of granite, a composite granite sink is uniform in pattern and color and doesn’t feature variations like natural granite.
  • Costs. Quality composite granite sinks are more costly than sink materials such as stainless steel and porcelain.


 

Fireclay

“Manufactured from clay fired at an extremely high temperature, fireclay sinks are highly resistant to scratches, staining and chipping. Cleanup is easy — just dish soap on a sponge, or use a mild abrasive cleanser for tougher marks. These are the sinks I recommend for anyone who wants a white kitchen sink.” 

Pros

  • Durable, glossy finish
  • low maintenance

Cons 

  • Limited sizes and colors
  • The sink can chip.
  • Hard on dishes
  • An imported item that’s not standard can slow down your job while you’re waiting for it to come in from overseas.


Cast iron

“Clad in a tough enamel finish, this is another highly durable sink I recommend for white sink fans. It comes in other colors, too, but I’d suggest avoiding faddish colors for items that you want to keep around for a long time, such as your kitchen sink. Keep in mind that cast iron sinks are heavy, so make sure your cabinets are structurally sound and you provide adequate support for the sink.”

Pros 

  • Has a substantial, traditional look
  • comes in many colors and styles
  • retains heat – good for hand-washing dishes
  • white is affordable. 

Cons 

  • Durable, but prone to chipping,
  • Very heavy – make sure your counter top can support it. 
  • Do-it-yourselfers should get help buying, transporting and installing this type of sink.
  • Unforgiving for dishes
  • Colors and contoured shapes can be pricey

Copper

“In the market for something different? Copper sinks are big on charm and also happen to be rust-resistant and antimicrobial, making them a great choice for the kitchen. Just be sure to select a high-quality copper sink that is at least 99 percent pure copper — a small amount of zinc may be added for strength. Avoid harsh chemicals with these beauties and instead clean up with a mild soap and water, according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.” 

Pros

  • Copper sinks are the most popular for their aesthetic beauty. They exude a distinctive style that is sure to make your kitchen or bathroom appear more upbeat and fresh. Often, a copper sink is created from a single sheet, hammered and exposed to water and air to form patina. This gives a deep and enriched hue to the copper, which is fancied by hordes of customers. In case you prefer the original copper color, you can simply get it coated to preserve that color
  • Copper metal has a bevy of essential antimicrobial properties, which makes it an enviable choice for kitchen sinks. In traditional sink materials, harmful bacteria can survive for weeks, causing significant hazards to human health. However, in copper sinks, bacteria tend to die within a couple of hours. They are particularly for people who soak vegetables or wash dishes regularly in their sink, which is pretty much everyone. 
  • One of the best features about copper sinks is that they are available in a variety of styles, offering ample choice for people to pick one they like. As per your taste, you can choose copper sinks with a smooth finish or a hammered out one. And if you prefer uniqueness, there are copper sinks with artistic designs. However, sinks with an array of different copper tones are also available
  • Another advantage of copper sinks is that they do not corrode or rust over extensive usage or with time. The anti-rusting property of copper makes it an ideal choice for any sink.

Cons

  • One of the major problems with copper sinks is that their reactivity is very high which causes the metal to darken over time. Copper sinks easily stain as well. Furthermore, the patina of the copper sink can become damaged due to acidic liquids such as orange or lemon juice, and even toothpaste. A hot utensil or abrasive cleaners can also cause damage to the smooth or hammered finish of copper sinks.
  • The lower-gauge models can easily warp and dent, needing a repair or replacement in a short time span, which can be expensive.
  • Maintaining copper sinks is also laborious and time-consuming. After every use, you have to dry the sink with a towel to prevent water spots from developing. Frequent cleaning with water and basic or gentle soap is also essential to keep the finish intact. You have to periodically wax and shower the copper sink to retain its shine and appeal.
  • Copper sinks are more expensive than traditional sinks such as stainless steel, porcelain, or ceramic ones.

History Lesson: Platner Lounge Chair

Platner Lounge Chair

Warren Platner (June 18, 1919 – April 17, 2006) was an American architect and interior designer.

“Platner was a part of Eero Saarinen’s office from 1960 to 1965, participating in the designs for the Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C., the Repertory Theatre at Lincoln Center and several dormitories at Yale University.

Working in the firms of Eero Saarinen and Kevin Roche in the early and mid-1960s, Platner unveiled his seminal collection of chairs, ottomans and tables in 1966. Produced by Knoll International, with the aid of a grant from the Graham Foundation, each piece rested on a sculptural base of nickel-plated steel rods resembling a ‘shiny sheaf of wheat’, according to the Knoll catalogue.

Production was complicated. The sculptural bases were made of hundreds of rods, and for some chairs, required more than 1,000 welds. An intricate cylindrical mesh steel base, creating a unique architectural play between the interior and exterior space, supported the upholstered seat.

The collection has been in continuous production since its introduction, highlighting the ever-growing interest by collectors of mid-century modern design. (Knoll has brought back the previously discontinued large ‘Easy’ chair and ottoman, but the loveseat remains discontinued.)

Platner outlined the definition of a ‘classic’ as being, ‘something that every time you look at it, you accept it as it is and you see no way of improving it’.”