Beyond Interior Design awaits excitingly for what 2020 will bring. We've already filled up the beginning of the year, which is a thrilling way to start the new decade. But before we push ahead, we'd like to spend time looking back on 2019 and showcase our work of the 2010s' final year.
This past year, we've had the unique opportunity to work on some amazing projects close to our Uptown office. We completely transformed one unit at the Renaissance at Turtle Creek, which was formally Texas traditional, through-and-through. We also redesigned a space for one of the penthouses at The Katy, taking advantage of its floor-to-ceiling windows and long, continuous space.
Residential building in Dallas has grown exponentially in the past several years, especially as the metroplex gained over 1 million new residents since 2010. Just because people are buying new-builds, though, doesn't mean they're perfect as-is. People still want to set their houses apart, creating spaces that represent them. We had the special opportunity to give a few new builds the interior makeover the new owners needed to feel represented by their home.
Over the past year, we've developed a blooming partnership with Grand Development and Clay Stapp + Co, creating a series of modern spec homes in Inwood Park with a flare of international influence. We're excited about what we've brought to the northwest Dallas neighborhood, and we look forward to our projects in 2020!
Don't be fooled, our jobs as interior designers don't constrain our abilities to transform only interior spaces. We redesigned outdoor areas in 2019, giving clients spaces where they could enjoy the Texas sun in style.
Thanks to all of our clients making this past year possible! We can't wait to get started on all our new projects in 2020.
At Beyond Interior Design, we're extremely passionate about finding new ways to improve the lives of our clients. Something we've recently been consumed with is healthy building, or in our case, healthy designing. In other words, we've been researching new ways to improve the health and overall well-being of our clients through different materials, decor, and design choices. In fact, our head designer, Juliana Oliveira, is undergoing training to receive the Healthy Building Certificate.
Since we've become enthralled in this topic, and we believe it to be highly relevant, we thought it would be wonderful to share our findings with you! If you caught our Biophilia in interior design article, you're already aware of how bringing natural elements into your home can be physically and psychologically beneficial. In this article, we're going to explore how lighting affects our overall health and how one can easily implement lighting solutions in their space.
The more natural light in a space, the better — simple as that. Offering more than just our daily dose of Vitamin D, natural light also has a major impact on our overall psyche. It can improve one's sleep cycle and reduce the risks of eye-strain and mental stress brought on by artificial lighting. Unfortunately, reality doesn't always allow for optimal natural light, whether that be because light wasn't initially considered in the design of the space or another building obstructs the light coming in. Either way, if a particular space lacks natural lighting, it's the designer's responsibility to find out how to best imitate it.
COLOR RENDERING INDEX
While "Color Rendering Index" sounds anything but exciting, it's actually just that! When natural light is absent and artificial lights are needed to brighten up a space, one can use the CRI to gauge how close their light sources are to natural light. Technically, on a scale of 0 to 100, the CRI measures the ability of a light source to reveal the colors of various objects in comparison with a natural light source (aka the sun). In other words, if a source has a CRI of 95, it's only 5% off from producing the same colors as natural light. The ideal source will have a CRI of 85 or higher.
With nearly all light bulbs having a CRI measurement under their "specifications", people can easily and inexpensively improve their health by improving the light in their space — and that's what is so exciting about the CRI! It's simple and the changes can easily be implemented by designers and typical homeowners alike. There is one controversy with high-CRI lights, however. Generally speaking, high-CRI light bulbs consume more energy. LED lights, which are energy-efficient and therefore preferred by sustainable designers, typically have a lower CRI. Thankfully, some innovative lighting companies are changing that, producing LED bulbs with CRIs of 90 and higher.
For ultra-high CRI lighting, check out
Light directly corresponds with our circadian rhythm, which is the natural 24-hour internal clock running in the background of our brains, cycling between sleepiness and alertness. When morning comes and the sun begins to break over the horizon, waking from its evening sleep, our brains begin waking, too. Or at least they should be. There are many reasons why our circadian cycle could become off-sync with nature's cycle, and the use of artificial light is most certainly one of them. Artificial lights (high-CRI or not) affect our circadian cycle because they can be used at any given time. When our bodies experience light at irregular times, such as late at night or extremely early in the morning, the internal clock gets thrown off, affecting sleep patterns and eventually leading to mental and physical stress. Since light visually cues our brains as to what part of the circadian cycle we're in, it also affects the hormones that are produced during a given time. Too much light can lead to certain hormones overproducing, further setting our system off-balance.
To combat the conditions set by artificial lights, companies have introduced light bulbs that adjust to a human's circadian cycle. In fact, there are even some on the market that run on a circadian cycle AND measure high on the CRI.
Lighting directly impacts our minds and bodies, which is why it's crucial we, as designers, do everything we can to ensure the light sources we implement in our clients' homes improve the overall well-being of the individual or family. With that said, you can also improve your health — you don't have to wait for us. All it takes is a different source of light.
In our previous Shop Talk, we highlighted a local, modern decor store, explaining how shops like Kasart are where you find those unique, eye-catching pieces for your interior design. We love our local businesses, but big-box home furnishing stores, like West Elm and CB2, have their benefits, too! In this edition, we'll discuss exactly what those benefits are.
When it's time to replace a large piece of furniture in your home (bed, sofa, dining table), it often means you'll also replace many of the space's supporting pieces – bedding, coffee tables, media stands, dining chairs, etc. This is usually the point where clients come to us, saying "I have to refurnish my place but have no idea what I'm doing. Can you help?" And of course we can! Nothing brings us more joy than helping people with their interior design projects (truly). But for those people who love to DIY or who may not have room for an interior designer in their budget, commercial home furnishing stores can be great places to start when updating one's space.
One of the best features stores like West Elm and CB2 have is their room or style photos. Because these stores sell everything from sofas to hanging mirrors, nearly all of the items featured in their photos are purchasable from their shop. These photos act as advertisements, showing people how great their space could look if they purchase the accompanying pieces, but they can also be helpful tools for those who want guidance in keeping design continuity in their space.
Another benefit of stores like CB2 and West Elm is they offer a diverse range of neutral styles, allowing them to appeal to a majority of modern design lovers. Are you one for minimalist luxe? Or perhaps mid-century is your cup of tea. Either way, the commercial modern furnishing store will have your style.
Need help finding your style, read our Four Styles of Modern Design blog!
Don't feel limited to just these shops. There are a handful of stores you can explore to find out which one best matches your budget and style.
And, in the end, if you feel stuck, an interior designer will always be there for you, so don't hesitate to reach out!
A STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE TO AN INTERIOR DESIGN PROJECT
The interior design world has always been mysterious. That rings true for clients and other designers. For years, professionals kept their processes secret from competitors. In the age of social media, blogs, vlogs, and podcasts, a wealth of knowledge has been shared amongst the design community. However, this content comes from industry-known sources, not from ones the everyday home or business owner regularly sees. Which means the most common question from new interior design clients is still, "So, what's the process?"
The truth is, not all designers will approach a project the same or have a clear, laid out plan. Therefore, we can't speak for the entire industry. We can, however, share the steps Beyond Interior Design works through so you can gain a general understanding of the interior design process.
CONSULTATION The first step to any project is the consultation. At this appointment, the designer walks through the space (if accessible) and creates a baseline scope of what the clients would like to accomplish. This is also the first opportunity the designer can provide valuable information specific to the project.
CONTRACT After the consultation, if the project seems like a good fit, both parties sign a contract. A fee or retainer is usually collected at this time.
TRADES DAY Now that the designer has onboarded the client, it's go time! The design team heads back to the project site to obtain measurements, capture before photos, and finalize any other criteria. The team also schedules tradesmen to come out and propose very rough estimates of cost and doability (for example, if raising the ceiling was in your scope list, the designer would schedule roofers to come and determine if that's even possible.)
DESIGN AND DOCUMENTATION This stage is where the magic happens! The designer now has everything they need to do what they do best — design. While creating the floor plan and renderings, the designer also sources goods (furnishings and materials) and services during this stage. Once the drawings have been executed, estimates can be procured.
PRESENTATION The design comes to life in the presentation stage. Here, the designer reveals their concept to the client, providing 3D renderings, samples of materials, and cost estimation.
ORDERING AND BUDGET REVIEW Once the design team gets the go-ahead, it's time to purchase the furnishings and decor. A responsible designer will keep an eye on the budget so they can notify clients if anything changes drastically (i.e. price or availability of items and how that affects budget).
CONSTRUCTION AND RENOVATION This stage can occur simultaneously with the ordering and will also undergo budget review throughout the progression of the renovation/construction. (Simple renovations like wallpapering and painting occur during this stage, as any changes to a room's surfaces must occur prior to installation.)
INSTALLATION After completion of construction, it's time for Installation Day! This is when all the purchased goods are brought into the house and placed according to the design concept. Additionally, the designer will often bring styling items that the client can purchase if they like the aesthetic the decor creates. It may help some clients to view Installation Day as the final design day. Unless changes are made, the only other step is to close out the project. Basically, the installation is the climax of the process.
DEFICIENCIES The designer and client will walk through the new space once the installation is complete. The client will identify any deficiencies, and the design team will resolve them as soon as possible.
PROJECT CLOSURE The last step in the design process is the project closure meeting. Here, the designer and client will meet one last time to receive their project binder and final invoices. Afterward, the only thing left for the client to do is to enjoy their newly designed modern space!
Our process may seem simple, but we can't stress this enough — it's definitely not. Starting from the design stage and intensifying during project management, we're immersed in a complex game of Tetris, and every little piece has to fit together perfectly. Mess one up and it takes several more moves to get back on track. That's why the process exists in the first place, to help organize all the moving parts and keep us working efficiently for our clients. It truly does take a dedicated professional and their team to execute an effective design process, and we strive for that every day.
WANT TO LEARN HOW TO BUDGET FOR YOUR INTERIOR DESIGN PROJECT?
The first modernist homes began popping up in the early 1900s. These sleek, unornamented designs completely broke from the traditional, neoclassical style that dominated the landscape. It took decades— almost a century, in fact — for the modern design concept to be adopted on a broader scale. Now (at varying degrees), cities over the United States have seen a surge of modernist residences pop-up. What once was rare, bold, and avant-garde is now becoming common and almost cookie-cutter.
Which is leaving home-buyers wondering, "How do I make my modern home different from the rest?"
And what a valid question! We, designers who thrive in the modernist and mid-century space, love this wide-spread adoption, but we also believe homes should be unique to the owners who live in them. Hence, why we were so excited to be brought on to project Lontos.
When the young, Dallas couple purchased their first home, they couldn't have been happier with the exterior aesthetic. They knew, however, the townhome had been built for the masses — not for them. The new homeowners wanted to make the house their own, keeping the modern-style flowing throughout their space. They started researching interior designers, and that's when they found us.
To give the couple a home unique to them, we designed each room to have a bold, eye-catching element. For the living space, we painted a black accent wall, which contrasted against the surrounding white walls and warm furnishings. Each bedroom received a textured accent wall: one with wood-inspired, herringbone wallpaper and the other with diagonal coffering.
In the end, we turned their modern home into the modern home of their dreams. And while one wouldn't know it from the outside, the townhouse has been completely personalized to the ones who dwell there.
LIKE THIS DESIGN? SEE ALL THE PHOTOS HERE!