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Six Industry Innovators Share Their Inspirations from the Lunar Landing

When the Apollo 11 came to rest in the lunar Sea of Tranquility on July 20th, 1969 and began transmitting back to Earth grainy black-and-white images of a spider-legged ship, pale figures within shiny helmets, and, a bit later, magisterial photographs of Earth itself against the black void of space, the human race’s conception of itself changed forever. The voyage inspired political realignments and countless scientific breakthroughs; it also inspired the look and feel of a number of cultural masterpieces, from Brian Eno’s 1983 ambient classic Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks to Andrei Tarkovsky’s 1971 stark sci-fi epic Solaris.

Architecture and design took that giant leap for mankind along with Neil Armstrong. In celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the moon landing, we spoke to innovators in the industry about their own lunar inspirations.

Enter the Best of Year Awards by September 20
Perilune by Suzanne Tick for Luum Textiles. Photography courtesy of Luum Textiles.

Suzanne Tick, creative director, Luum Textiles

As a child, the textile designer Suzanne Tick watched the landing from her home in Bloomington, Illinois. “What was riveting to me was the sound of someone on the moon and his buoyancy,” Tick says. “I had this realization that a person can be on the moon while I’m sitting at home and he could also be floating!” Since then, the moon has been an important force in her life. “I’ve lived by the MoMA Moon Charts and they have played a large part in my consciousness. A poignant time in my life was 2009, 2010, and 2011 which coincided with the last three years of my father’s life, my marriage, and my son living with me. For this reason, I wove a triptych of each of these years and sewed them together as a reminder of that shift in my life.” This design became Perilune, a printed polyurethane which was introduced through Luum.

Long Dock Park in Beacon, New York by Gary R. Hilderbrand. Photography by James Ewing.

Gary R. Hilderbrand, FASLA FAAR; principal, Reed Hilderbrand; Peter Louis Hornbeck Professor in Practice, Harvard Graduate School of Design

“Because my Aunt and grandmother had a large color TV, anything momentous like this we watched in their living room,” says Gary Hilderbrand. “All gathered ‘round for the moon landing. It’s singed on my brain.” The landscape architect would go on to transform a brownfield in Beacon, New York, into a waterfront parkland with site-specific work by artist George Trakas and two buildings by ARO. “Apollo amplified my instincts about knowing our place in the world and a sense that we somehow had technological knowledge to improve it,” he says. “Seeing these missions orbiting around the other side of the moon, and then exploring its surface, gave me hope that we could right our own environmental mess and craft a smarter, saner landscape. That way of seeing the Earth descended directly from the Apollo 8 ‘earthrise’ photograph. Who would not be affected by that image?!”

SiriusXM’s New York Headquarters and Broadcast Center by Michael Kostow. Photography by Adrian Wilson.

Michael Kostow, founding principal, Kostow Greenwood Architects

Satellite radio wouldn’t exist without the technological breakthroughs of the Apollo mission, so it made perfect sense to have a space fan design the headquarters for one of its largest players, SiriusXM. “I watched the moon landing as a youngster and even had early aspirations of becoming an astronaut,” says Michael Kostow. “I later wanted to design space vehicles for NASA, would build and fly multi-stage model rockets, and even as an architecture graduate student had an early morning ‘party’ to drink Tang and watch the first launch of the space station with my classmates.” The compact efficiency of the capsules influenced his plan for the satellite broadcasting company: “We wanted to invoke simplicity and timelessness,” he says, “and allow the empty space to be an active player in setting the mood.” Mission accomplished.

Aerial and Half-Moon by Kelly Harris Smith for Skyline Design. Photography courtesy of Skyline Design.

Kelly Harris Smith, designer and creative director, Kelly Harris Smith

“I’ve never been on a rocket ship,” says designer Kelly Harris Smith, “but I have flown on an airplane and to this day I always request a window seat so I can peek out over the landscape.” The designer was born after the moon landing but carries the legacy of an aerial point of view into a collection for Chicago’s Skyline Design of glass panels with systems of micro-patterns within shapes and gradations of color over larger repeats. “It’s rooted in looking at the familiar in a new way,” she says, “which I have to imagine is what all astronauts experience looking back at Earth.”

Draper, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Photography by Mark Flannery.

Elizabeth Lowrey, principal, Elkus Manfredi Architects

“Watching the moon landing, even at such a young age, I was awed by the realization that anything is possible,” says Elizabeth Lowrey—even growing up to design a new home for Draper, a not-for-profit engineering firm that created software for Apollo 11. “I remember, as we stepped into Draper’s lobby, the first thing we saw was a space shuttle model.  Even more thrilling was the opportunity to meet Margaret Hamilton, the pioneering software engineer who had made the moon landing possible!” A glass and steel structure forms the roof of the Draper atrium, which is rung with seven floors of offices and laboratories connected by blue glass vertical and horizontal stairways, green walls, and “the Cloud,” a polished steel polyhedron that is truly out of this world.

On the Water/Palisade Bay, New York City. Photography courtesy of ARO.

Adam Yarinsky, FAIA LEED AP, principal, Architecture Research Office

“I was seven, I remember watching the feed of the moonwalk,” says ARO co-founder Adam Yarinksy. “And if you were a kid that was into building models, you had the plastic model kit that was black and white with USA in red on the side. I built a model of the Saturn V and the lunar and command and service modules. The purposefulness of the vehicle had a kind of directness when you compare it to technology today. The control panels were just rows and rows of switches that all looked the same. There was a kind of Dieter Rams quality to it.” But it was politics, not aesthetics, that really inspired Yarinsky’s work with ARO, including this vision of the upper harbor of New York and New Jersey which proposes archipelago and wetlands to mitigate rising sea levels and storm surges. “The finite nature of the planet we’re on reinforces the notion that architecture is part of this web of relationships,” he says. “The best architecture tries to modify and transform, but it’s not an autonomous thing. It’s linked. That sense of connection is the legacy.”

Continue reading Six Industry Innovators Share Their Inspirations from the Lunar Landing

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Six Industry Innovators Share Their Inspirations from the Lunar Landing

When the Apollo 11 came to rest in the lunar Sea of Tranquility on July 20th, 1969 and began transmitting back to Earth grainy black-and-white images of a spider-legged ship, pale figures within shiny helmets, and, a bit later, magisterial photographs of Earth itself against the black void of space, the human race’s conception of itself changed forever. The voyage inspired political realignments and countless scientific breakthroughs; it also inspired the look and feel of a number of cultural masterpieces, from Brian Eno’s 1983 ambient classic Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks to Andrei Tarkovsky’s 1971 stark sci-fi epic Solaris.

Architecture and design took that giant leap for mankind along with Neil Armstrong. In celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the moon landing, we spoke to innovators in the industry about their own lunar inspirations.

Enter the Best of Year Awards by September 20
Perilune by Suzanne Tick for Luum Textiles. Photography courtesy of Luum Textiles.

Suzanne Tick, creative director, Luum Textiles

As a child, the textile designer Suzanne Tick watched the landing from her home in Bloomington, Illinois. “What was riveting to me was the sound of someone on the moon and his buoyancy,” Tick says. “I had this realization that a person can be on the moon while I’m sitting at home and he could also be floating!” Since then, the moon has been an important force in her life. “I’ve lived by the MoMA Moon Charts and they have played a large part in my consciousness. A poignant time in my life was 2009, 2010, and 2011 which coincided with the last three years of my father’s life, my marriage, and my son living with me. For this reason, I wove a triptych of each of these years and sewed them together as a reminder of that shift in my life.” This design became Perilune, a printed polyurethane which was introduced through Luum.

Long Dock Park in Beacon, New York by Gary R. Hilderbrand. Photography by James Ewing.

Gary R. Hilderbrand, FASLA FAAR; principal, Reed Hilderbrand; Peter Louis Hornbeck Professor in Practice, Harvard Graduate School of Design

“Because my Aunt and grandmother had a large color TV, anything momentous like this we watched in their living room,” says Gary Hilderbrand. “All gathered ‘round for the moon landing. It’s singed on my brain.” The landscape architect would go on to transform a brownfield in Beacon, New York, into a waterfront parkland with site-specific work by artist George Trakas and two buildings by ARO. “Apollo amplified my instincts about knowing our place in the world and a sense that we somehow had technological knowledge to improve it,” he says. “Seeing these missions orbiting around the other side of the moon, and then exploring its surface, gave me hope that we could right our own environmental mess and craft a smarter, saner landscape. That way of seeing the Earth descended directly from the Apollo 8 ‘earthrise’ photograph. Who would not be affected by that image?!”

SiriusXM’s New York Headquarters and Broadcast Center by Michael Kostow. Photography by Adrian Wilson.

Michael Kostow, founding principal, Kostow Greenwood Architects

Satellite radio wouldn’t exist without the technological breakthroughs of the Apollo mission, so it made perfect sense to have a space fan design the headquarters for one of its largest players, SiriusXM. “I watched the moon landing as a youngster and even had early aspirations of becoming an astronaut,” says Michael Kostow. “I later wanted to design space vehicles for NASA, would build and fly multi-stage model rockets, and even as an architecture graduate student had an early morning ‘party’ to drink Tang and watch the first launch of the space station with my classmates.” The compact efficiency of the capsules influenced his plan for the satellite broadcasting company: “We wanted to invoke simplicity and timelessness,” he says, “and allow the empty space to be an active player in setting the mood.” Mission accomplished.

Aerial and Half-Moon by Kelly Harris Smith for Skyline Design. Photography courtesy of Skyline Design.

Kelly Harris Smith, designer and creative director, Kelly Harris Smith

“I’ve never been on a rocket ship,” says designer Kelly Harris Smith, “but I have flown on an airplane and to this day I always request a window seat so I can peek out over the landscape.” The designer was born after the moon landing but carries the legacy of an aerial point of view into a collection for Chicago’s Skyline Design of glass panels with systems of micro-patterns within shapes and gradations of color over larger repeats. “It’s rooted in looking at the familiar in a new way,” she says, “which I have to imagine is what all astronauts experience looking back at Earth.”

Draper, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Photography by Mark Flannery.

Elizabeth Lowrey, principal, Elkus Manfredi Architects

“Watching the moon landing, even at such a young age, I was awed by the realization that anything is possible,” says Elizabeth Lowrey—even growing up to design a new home for Draper, a not-for-profit engineering firm that created software for Apollo 11. “I remember, as we stepped into Draper’s lobby, the first thing we saw was a space shuttle model.  Even more thrilling was the opportunity to meet Margaret Hamilton, the pioneering software engineer who had made the moon landing possible!” A glass and steel structure forms the roof of the Draper atrium, which is rung with seven floors of offices and laboratories connected by blue glass vertical and horizontal stairways, green walls, and “the Cloud,” a polished steel polyhedron that is truly out of this world.

On the Water/Palisade Bay, New York City. Photography courtesy of ARO.

Adam Yarinsky, FAIA LEED AP, principal, Architecture Research Office

“I was seven, I remember watching the feed of the moonwalk,” says ARO co-founder Adam Yarinksy. “And if you were a kid that was into building models, you had the plastic model kit that was black and white with USA in red on the side. I built a model of the Saturn V and the lunar and command and service modules. The purposefulness of the vehicle had a kind of directness when you compare it to technology today. The control panels were just rows and rows of switches that all looked the same. There was a kind of Dieter Rams quality to it.” But it was politics, not aesthetics, that really inspired Yarinsky’s work with ARO, including this vision of the upper harbor of New York and New Jersey which proposes archipelago and wetlands to mitigate rising sea levels and storm surges. “The finite nature of the planet we’re on reinforces the notion that architecture is part of this web of relationships,” he says. “The best architecture tries to modify and transform, but it’s not an autonomous thing. It’s linked. That sense of connection is the legacy.”

Continue reading Six Industry Innovators Share Their Inspirations from the Lunar Landing

7 Towering Designs By César Pelli, Who Died Friday At 92

July 22, 2019

Dees Stribling, Bisnow National Want to get a jump-start on upcoming deals? Meet the major players at one of our upcoming national events! Renowned architect César Pelli died Friday at 92. Pelli grew up in Argentina and came to the United States in the 1950s for graduate studies, working for a decade for architect Eero Saarinen in Michigan and then for firms on the West Coast. In 1977, he founded his own firm, currently known as Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, and also became dean of the Yale School of Architecture, a post he held until 1984.

Continue reading 7 Towering Designs By César Pelli, Who Died Friday At 92

Here’s the nonprofit bringing good design to Columbus’ disadvantaged neighborhoods

Neighborhood Design Center is partnering with the city in revitalization efforts for Linden and the Hilltop.

As Columbus considers how to elevate its neighborhoods thoughtfully, it has a secret weapon you may not know about—the Neighborhood Design Center. The center’s job is to revitalize urban settings through creative planning and it has been quietly doing so since 1982.

In the beginning, the nonprofit center offered small business owners solutions for their storefronts and other store design aspects. Now, it has recently extended its scope to focus on entire communities and what they may need—everything from physical improvements to stabilizing housing, connecting residents with employment and efforts to support the success of neighborhood students.

Partnering with organizations has allowed the center to operate on a larger scale. Even though the areas the center touches have widened, there always has been a commitment to hearing what residents want and need, and translating them. For example, from March 17 to April 18, the center, in partnership with the city of Columbus Department of Neighborhoods, the United Way and Ohio State University, met with Linden residents more than 200 times to listen, assess needs and come up with an extensive revitalization plan called One Linden. The plan has a reach of 2.6 square miles and 18,000 residents. “We truly want to make the community feel that they have a voice to tell their stories and what they want,” says Isabela Gould, the center’s executive director. The One Linden plan offers “10 Big Ideas” that the director of the Department of Neighborhoods, Carla Williams-Scott, says the city plans to implement.

The work has grown the Neighborhood Design Center’s operations. “We went from two full-time people and four student interns to five full-time people and six interns,” says Gould. “That has allowed us to operate with greater capacity and at a greater scale overall. And I think, more importantly, in moving forward, it allows us to connect even more and increase our potential for partnerships and for truly making a stronger impact in the neighborhoods in the long term.”

The team includes architects, city planners, landscape architects and interior designers. Interns make up nearly half of the staff at any given time, and more than 30 students have had the opportunity to intern with the organization. “We’re also in the process of expanding our relationship with other colleges,” says Gould, such as OSU’s College of Social Work and Fisher College of Business.

As the city and the partners decide how to implement the One Linden plan, they are working on a new plan for the Hilltop. Each neighborhood is different, says Williams-Scott, so each plan needs to be tailored to the specific needs of that community. The Hilltop plan is scheduled for completion by the end of the year.

“At first I was concerned because I had never worked with [the center]. If I haven’t worked with you and I don’t know what I’m going into, you kind of walk in almost like tiptoeing,” says Williams-Scott. “But they’ve really helped us in terms of creativity and how we do our outreach in the communities and their knowledge of the planning process.”

In addition to neighborhood plans, the center’s Neighborhood Commercial Revitalization program, funded by city grant money, offers aesthetic improvements to ground-level commercial storefronts and commercial interiors of eligible businesses in certain corridors on Cleveland Avenue, East Main Street, Parsons Avenue, in Franklinton, the Hilltop and the King-Lincoln District. It has also transformed vacant land through its Parcels to Places program and revitalizes public spaces through art installations. “We want to really see projects come to reality, not stay just in a paper format,” says Gould. “We make it possible for them to be able to dream big.”

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19 Tips From Successful Pros on How to Run an Interior Design Business

There’s no defined road map when starting your own business in any industry, but add in the variables that come with a creative profession like an interior design business and there’s perhaps even more to learn: From hiring the right people (or knowing when to let go of the wrong ones) to honing brand identity, the path to growing a successful business can often be one riddled with trial by error. Yet, as Stevie McFadden, founder of Flourish Spaces in Richmond, Virginia, explains, “There’s no sense in reinventing the wheel”—plus, a lot can be learned by example. We asked a selection of seasoned design pros for their best tips on everything from billing to client strategy when taking the leap of faith and going out on your own.

On accounting

“Being in business for 35 years, I believe that the most important part of starting your own interior design firm is to make sure that you have a great support team behind you. The design industry is a very specific industry when it comes to fees and commissions and so I would recommend that from the beginning you should bring on board an attorney and an accountant who has knowledge of the design industry. I would also recommend hiring a bookkeeper to handle the paperwork as it can be a very tedious process which you do not want to devote your time to when you should and could be out shopping for your clients.” —Ellie Cullman, cofounder, Cullman & Kravis

“First things first are a business license and tax ID within your state: This one is obvious. I started day one with a design management software, professional invoicing structure, and outside accounting firm in place. My templates were set up, consistent and branded. I held on a bit too long managing my own sales tax reporting and P&L statements. In hindsight, I wish I had passed off those responsibilities much sooner. In fact, I should have incorporated those tasks into my day-one outside accounting services. You don’t realize how much it means to have consistent reporting from the beginning until you find yourself tracing back years later, patching together growth patterns tracked in several different systems.” —Drew McGukin, founder, Drew McGukin Interiors

“Billing in the design industry is still something I struggle with. It’s one of the few professions that there simply isn’t a standard formula. The biggest thing is to know your worth and don’t waiver on that. As designers, our brains rarely shut down and that is valuable to the client in the work we provide them. Transparency in billing upfront is key. Early on I would place orders without payment in good faith because I wanted to just get things moving. I learned that is not the way to conduct a successful business. You end up robbing Peter to pay Paul, and [this] creates chaos when it comes to orders. Be upfront with your clients. You are not a bank; you are a small business that is providing a service, and products that should be paid for in a timely manner.” —Shaun Smith, founder, Shaun Smith Home

On branding

“I did not officially announce my company as live until I had a firm, final logo design and collateral materials (business cards, notepads, presentation folders, etc). It was very important that I was “dressed for success.” Today, the website means something different. Your Instagram feed is your new website and your actual website is your new portal. The first tip is most important: Get paid fast and make it easy. Figure out what your strategy is around credit card or ACH payments and offer that convenience. Tip two is equally important: Share what you do, but only show what’s awesome. I had a “Coming Soon” splash page with Drew McGukin Interiors logo for my entire first year. I was adamant about only showing professional imagery. I needed time to produce the work. Same goes for Instagram nowadays. Elevate your images to something professional or don’t post in your feed. Build your brand via Stories or other media, then tag back to a professionalized IG grid even if it’s meager in the beginning. And, no goofy headshots. Be direct, elegant, and professional.” —Drew McGukin, founder, Drew McGukin Interiors

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On creating a vision

“The first thing you have to do when starting a design firm is to really define what your goals and motivation for doing so are. A clear vision is so important. The goals that will define your business and brand should be long term goals. You (hopefully) are not starting a business that will only last two or three years, so set goals way beyond that for yourself. I have always lived by the ‘if you reach a goal, it’s time to set two more’ mentality.” —Shaun Smith, founder, Shaun Smith Home

On managing growth

“When managing growth in my business, for me the key is to assess, adjust, and adapt as quickly as possible. If you ignore it, chaos ensues. The key that has kept me (for the most part) from firing employees, but has also helped when hiring, is setting expectations from the beginning. You have to make each team member accountable. This has taken me a lot of practice, but when I delegate something to someone, I give them a completion date, and remind them I am letting it go and won’t check on it until it’s completed on that date. Of course, mistakes are made; however, it’s part of letting go and growing your business.” —Shaun Smith, founder, Shaun Smith Home

“As to employees, our philosophy is that each person should feel ownership of the projects that they are working on and not feel as if they are being dictated to. Here at Cullman & Kravis we work as teams and each team member is heavily involved in the evolution of the project, from scheming to preparation of proposals to placing and following up on orders.” —Ellie Cullman, cofounder, Cullman & Kravis

On client strategy and relations

“Think about what your approach, philosophy, and your niche is going to be so you know how to sell your services and how you’re going to pick your clients. It’s very easy to say yes to every project and every client in the beginning, but the reality is things you say yes to may be syphoning your time and energy from the projects you really want to do and ones that will help build your portfolio.” —Stevie McFadden, founder, Flourish Spaces

“Be responsive. I rarely let an email sit for more than five hours if I can help it—unless it comes in late at night. I think that sense of urgency is a key to my success, really. People ask me that all the time and I just say, ‘Answer the telephone.’ Not that people call anymore, but back in the day you could always get me on the phone. I wasn’t afraid of it. That’s the key: responsiveness. I have to give credit to Bunny Williams and John Rosselli. I’ve had the chance to work for some real pros and absorbed how they did things and modeling myself after them.” —Miles Redd, cofounder, Redd Kaihoi

“It is important to make sure that you prepare the necessary paperwork for your clients. Once a client decides on a purchase, we prepare a very detailed proposal for them with information in regards to the vendor, style, color, etc. A proposal should also request a deposit. The deposit would be based on what the vendor requires to put the order in process or the timing of when you will need to pay the vendor.” —Ellie Cullman, cofounder, Cullman & Kravis

“The biggest tip [which] has landed me more clients, closed more deals, and cemented long-standing relationships: Send a handwritten thank-you note. I started my company with branded stationary that we use to this day. Two of my first five clients selected me over more established designers because I sent a handwritten thank-you note immediately after our first meeting. I am still working with both of those clients nine years later—multiple homes, multiple large projects, and many referrals. If I had to recap my goals for kicking off business in a sentence or two, I’d say that I was hyper-focused on presenting a professional look, attitude, and overall impression. I wanted every piece of paper and email to exude an elevated sense of style and professionalism in the same way I pushed my finished design work to resonate as measured, thoughtful, distinctive, and above average. In the beginning, I had myself to sell and presented as polished, poised, and professional across all channels. Whenever in doubt, I reverted to the more conservative choice because elegance is closely aligned to restraint and I ultimately desired a wealthy, sophisticated clientele. I live by two childhood mantras from my wonderful mom: ‘Surround yourself with successful people,’ and ‘It’s okay to stand out, but don’t stick out like a sore thumb.'” —Drew McGukin, founder, Drew McGukin Interiors

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On outsourcing operations

“You need to learn about all parts of running the business, but quickly decide what to outsource. I spent the first two years doing my own bookkeeping and it’s my idea of the third ring of hell, but I did it long enough to really understand the different levers of my business, so now that I have outsourced it to a bookkeeper, I can look very quickly at the health of my business and if something doesn’t look right. The same for purchasing and expediting. Do everything in a business long enough to learn it, but no longer than necessary. Outsource the stuff that are not your strong suits. Try to get the business to the point where you’re focusing your energy on only what you can uniquely do.

There’s no sense in reinventing the wheel. So many people have done this before. I have found other designers to be a bit opaque in terms of sharing how things get done, but that’s not true across the board. Find people who have a different target market and learn from their experience; but I also looked for businesses that were in the same space, but maybe a year ahead of me in terms of growth. Keep yourself open to learning from other industries. I have a friend who is starting a PR firm and I learned a lot of things [from her] that I could apply to my design business. Cast a wide net, be curious, and adapt to what works for your market and your clients.” —Stevie McFadden, founder, Flourish Spaces

On transparency in billing

“I think so many decorators are very vague about how they work; I’m not. I’m incredibly specific, and it’s not particularly complicated, and I’m very transparent. Decorators have gotten into trouble over the years because they’re not [transparent]. It’s easier to be transparent with your markups. You have to keep your clients happy, but you have to keep your vendors happy. Being responsive and sympathetic to their needs is important, and you have to walk a tightrope because you’re trying to get the best that you can from the people who are helping you but understand their limitations and get the best you can for your clients.

I tell the client what

cost, where we’re getting them from, and the markup. There are certain stores that will offer designers 30 percent or 20 percent or no discount at all, and I’m very specific about everything and letting everyone know exactly what we are getting. I speak in net prices all the time. When I’m in a shop, all the time people will look at you and just talk in net pricing. Decorators work very hard and they’re entitled to the money they make for what they’re doing. It’s certainly not private equity.” —Miles Redd, cofounder, Redd Kaihoi

On starting a business and managing growth

“Part is luck and part is instinct. I am a big believer in finding great people and giving them a long leash and letting them do it. I have tried to do that. Albert Hadley always used to whisper in my ear, ‘Stay small.’ I think there’s so much truth in that. For the most part I have stayed somewhat small. Being direct and being decisive and quickly knowing the answer to solutions helps. I always think of Anna Wintour: She knows she’s incredibly decisive—and so am I, for the most part. It helps in business.” —Miles Redd, cofounder, Redd Kaihoi

“The one thing that was a surprise for me was understanding there’s a difference between being a designer and being an operator of a business. You can be really talented at what you do, but having a really great understanding of the process of business—and this is not the sexy part of design—but how you’re going to manage clients, projects, and vendors. Thinking about pricing in advance and how you’re going to handle things. If you can give some thought in advance to the function of the business, it will help you be more efficient which helps you free up your energy, time, and creative juices to still do what you love to do. If you’re not careful, those administrative things can really suck you into the weeds, and when that happens, I find my creative juices are the first to go.” —Stevie McFadden, founder, Flourish Spaces

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“It’s interesting what’s happening to our design world. Honestly, there are way too many people out there wanting to be designers and there just aren’t enough clients. If anyone asks what they need to start their own design firm, I’d say they aren’t ready to start their own design firm! They should spend at least five years learning the ropes about real design and decorating with actual clients with fully developed schemes and not just buying pretty things online.” —Frank De Biasi, founder, Frank de Biasi Interiors

On managing staff

“It’s important to find good people that you trust and who care about the brand. I try to recognize, fairly compensate, be inclusive, and stress how much of it is a team effort and how it’s not just me. It’s everyone. To err is human and to forgive is divine, and not that people make mistakes all the time, but it does happen. I try to see where the mistake happens, and it’s usually in a breakdown in communication, so I try to have as many channels of communication as possible. It’s really tough this day in age.

We’re doing a project on Block Island, and it’s a hard place to get to. There’s one ferry a year it feels like. We just had some box springs and mattresses, and looking at the height of headboards, the headboards could only be 14 inches tall and the mattresses were 30 inches tall. The client ordered them and sent an email to an assistant and didn’t cc me, and I swear if I had seen it, I would have caught it. To the annoyance of some I’m asking, ‘Please put me on all the emails, because I would rather just see what’s happening.’ Now there’s text, DM on IG, phone, email…please just keep it to email because it’s a format where you can document and follow up. If it’s a text, it disappears. Things happen, and it’s best to find a solution for the problem and move forward rather than wallow in the problem itself.” —Miles Redd, cofounder, Redd Kaihoi

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10 Modern-Rustic Weekend Houses in the Country

Hot summers in the city get old pretty fast, so having a weekend house in the country is a luxury. But that doesn’t mean that luxury can’t be rustic. Here are 10 residences that are stunning in their get-away-from-it-all simplicity.

Enter the Best of Year Awards by September 20

1. Hilltop Aerie by Aidlin Darling Design Provides Respite in Northern California

Two San Francisco denizens working in finance and tech came to Aidlin Darling Design with a straightforward proposition. Create a simple, efficient house, restrained in cost and scale, for their empty hillside site in Glen Ellen, about an hour north of the city. The couple’s only imperative? A single-story plan. Since Barry Mehew and David Rice were familiar with tending to aging relatives, they knew to avoid the hazards staircases present (their main residence, a four-story Victorian in the city, has plenty). Although they envisioned this new house as a weekend getaway for now, they anticipate eventually spending most of their time there, and downsizing to a pied-à-terre back in the city. Read more about this project

2. Jan Henrik Jensen Designs Unconventional Round House in Denmark

In the Danish shelter magazine that Finn and Janni Holm subscribe to, architect Jan Henrik Jansenwas pictured sitting in front of a house that he had constructed with his own hands. “We just rang him and asked him to do one for us,” Janni Holm says. “That’s where our adventure started.” The Holms had decided to build a new home on a lot and a simple wooden farmhouse was what they had in mind. What they got was entirely different, thanks to Jansen’s standard procedure: always conceiving more than one solution for a project. He first showed the Holms a design that corresponded exactly to their farmhouse brief. Then he surprised them with plans for a radically different idea: a round house. Read more about this project

3. SPG Architects Transforms Lilian Swann Saarinen’s Former Cape Cod Residence

Modernist royalty, by marriage, Lilian Swann Saarinen had met her husband, Eero, when she was studying sculpture at the Cranbrook Academy of Art, headed by his father, Eliel. After the younger Saarinens’ divorce in 1953, she moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts, with their two children and asked former Eero Saarinen and Associates architect Olav Hammarstrom to expand a fisherman’s cottage in the Cape Cod town of Wellfleet for use as a low-budget family getaway. “On the Cape, a lot of architects built on a dime and a prayer,” SPG Architects principal Eric Gartner explains. Considerably more painstaking was his own task: updating the Hammarstrom design for repeat clients, one in financial services and the other a sculptor. Read more about this project

4. The Success of Andreas Martin Löf’s House Near Stockholm Lies in Being Playful and Taking Risks

“Everybody was against it,” Andreas Martin-Löf says, looking at the offending infinity pool outside his weekend house in the Stockholm archipelago. “My friends thought it was nouveau riche. They wondered why I couldn’t just go down to the jetty for a swim, like everyone else.” Traditionally, Swedes favor rustic summer retreats, and Martin-Löf concedes that he usually dislikes “luxury” architecture both personally and in his work at Andreas Martin-Löf Architects. Yet he was intrigued by the possibility of the infinity pool as a mirror for the property’s pine trees and expansive water views. “The pool is a crucial part of the success of the house,” he continues. “You have to be a bit playful and take a few risks.” Read more about this project

Read more: 15 Incredible Pools from Around the World

5. Michigan Lake House by Desai Chia Architecture: 2016 Best of Year Winner for Country House

A real-estate entrepreneur clipped and saved a newspaper story about Arjun Desai and Katherine Chia’s glassy weekend pavilion that won a Best of Year Award in 2013. The entrepreneur was intrigued by the way the house practically floated above its spectacular surroundings, a bucolic estate in rural New York—because he had just bought 60 acres on a remote peninsula jutting into Lake Michigan. Arguably even more extraordinary than the New York site, this one sits between a cherry orchard and a bluff plunging 120 feet down to the water. Read more about this project

6. Minimalist Gem by Atelier Carvalho Arujo Masters a Tricky Site in Portugal 

Modernist-minded designers often mine bodies of water for inspiration. Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater—perhaps the greatest house of the 20th century—wouldn’t exist without the stream that runs, dramatically, below it. Following in this storied tradition, Atelier Carvalho Araújo used water as both guide and counterpoint in designing a house in Vieira do Minho, Portugal. The site is a steep slope overlooking the Caniçada Valley, about 20 miles northeast of Braga. A stream meanders down the site, connecting ponds at the top and bottom of the hillside, both now corralled into freeform pools.“Architecture must have the gift of awakening sensations, emotions,” principal José Manuel Carvalho Araújo says. “The only thing I don’t want to evoke is indifference.” Read more about this project

7. Nathanael Dorent and Lily Jencks Conceive Stone-Clad House Near the Estate of Her Father, Charles

When it comes to delivering the unexpected, Nathanael Dorent and Lily Jencks, respectively 33 and 35 years old, have already developed a reputation. The pair transformed a tiny tile showroom in London with an installation of porcelain planks, playing cleverly with geometry in just four shades of gray to achieve a dazzling op art effect—a tour de force that landed right on the cover of Interior Design. Now, with a weekend house in Scotland, Nathanael Dorent Architecture and Lily Jencks Studio have defied expectation in very different ways. Read more about this project

8. Nani Marquina’s Costa Brava Retreat Is a Collector’s Paradise

Nani Marquina has a thing for straw hand brooms. The textile designer and Nanimarquinafounder owns more than two-dozen such specimens, sourced from locales as far flung as Thailand, Pakistan, and Ibiza. Her collecting passion also extends to woven baskets, beaded necklaces, teapots, seeds, dried gourds, soap, succulents, and sand (stored in fish bowls), all of which garnish the Esclanyà, Spain, getaway she shares with her husband, photographer Albert Font. The 1970s dwelling has a whitewashed simplicity that renders it a perfect backdrop for the couple’s assorted ephemera. “The most important thing is not the container, but the contents,” Marquina says. Read more about his project

9. Architect Mathias Klotz Creates a Pair of Cottages on a Remote Island in Chile

For Chileans—especially those who live in the frenetic capital, Santiago—a second home is an essential refuge, an escape to the serene beauty of the natural landscape. Architect Mathias Klotz, principal of his eponymous firm, has designed many such houses, characteristically with a clean-lined modernism that nods to one of his heroes, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. For his own family’s retreat on a largely undeveloped coastal island, he used archetypal forms that evoke both past and present. Constrained by the remote location and tricky logistics, the result is a timeless design that blends into the pristine setting. Read more about this project

10. Mork Ulnes Architects and Office of Charles de Lisle Create a Minimalist Guesthouse in Sonoma

Casper Mork-Ulnes was born in Norway, moved to Italy at age 2, and came to San Francisco at 16. He also lived in Scotland and studied architecture at California College of the Arts and Columbia University before establishing Mork Ulnes Architects back in San Francisco. That’s an unusually lengthy introduction, granted, to an unusual small project in the Sonoma Valley town of Glen Ellen. Mork-Ulnes had remodeled the property’s original house for its previous owners. The new ones, a family of five, brought him back for a guesthouse. At 840 square feet, it comprises three volumes, each of which contains a bedroom and a bathroom. They’re arranged in a stepped configuration, sharing party walls and a canted roof but no internal corridor. Read more about this project

Read more: 10 Bright and Modern Beach Houses

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Explore the Best of Outdoor Living

Welcome to the debut edition of Interior Design HOMES Best of Outdoor Living. With the help of our partner, the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA), we take a deep dive into four key components—Inside Out, Weekender, Poolside, and Top Picks. Explore the issue below.

Inside Out
By the Numbers
Weekender
Poolside
Top Picks
Best of K&B

A special thanks to our partner:

NKBA

Continue reading Explore the Best of Outdoor Living

Jacqueline Humphries’s Eye-Catching New Installation Redeems Black-Light Art

“Jacqueline Humphries” at the Dan Flavin Art Institute in Bridge­hampton, New York. Photography by Jason Mandella/Courtesy of Jacqueline Humphries and Greene Naftali New York.

“Black-light art is a cliché. I like to think I could redeem it somehow, make it fresh again,” Jacqueline Humphries says of her work. Her latest output is indeed ingenious, as well as eye-catching. Fittingly on view at the Dan Flavin Art Institute in Bridge­hampton, New York, until May 2020, the 10 pieces in the self-titled exhibition mix resin with black-light-fluorescing pigments, yielding a glowing, ultra-saturated result. Some were produced via 3-D printing techniques and carry traces of their sources, like the green driftwood floating on the purple ground of Painting.

Enter the Best of Year Awards by September 20
“Jacqueline Humphries” at the Dan Flavin Art Institute in Bridge­hampton, New York. Photography by Jason Mandella/Courtesy of Jacqueline Humphries and Greene Naftali New York.
“Jacqueline Humphries” at the Dan Flavin Art Institute in Bridge­hampton, New York. Photography by Jason Mandella/Courtesy of Jacqueline Humphries and Greene Naftali New York.
“Jacqueline Humphries” at the Dan Flavin Art Institute in Bridge­hampton, New York. Photography by Jason Mandella/Courtesy of Jacqueline Humphries and Greene Naftali New York.

> See more from the July 2019 issue of Interior Design

Continue reading Jacqueline Humphries’s Eye-Catching New Installation Redeems Black-Light Art

Clé Tile Transforms Warehouse Into a Showroom & Teaching Guild

Giardino all’Italiana. Photography by Mattia Balsamini/courtesy of Fornace Brioni.

Summer can be a time of renewal, and that’s doubly true for Deborah Osburn. The Clé Tilefounder has transformed a warehouse in San Rafael, California, into a soaring 12,000-square-foot headquarters combining a showroom and teaching guild. At the same time, she became the exclusive U.S. distributor of Fornace Brioni, a century-old terra-cotta tile producer. Its new collection, Giardino all’Italiana, by creative director Cristina Celestino, was inspired by the manicured lawns and sculpted hedgerows of formal Italian gardens. Marbled non-vitreous tiles, in dusty shades of clay and mud, mix with solid-color variants, the mainly unglazed shapes striking a balance between linear and curvi­linear.

Enter the Best of Year Awards by September 20
Deborah Osburn. Photography by Laurie Frankel.
Giardino all’Italiana. Photography by Mattia Balsamini/courtesy of Fornace Brioni.

> See more from the July 2019 issue of Interior Design

Continue reading Clé Tile Transforms Warehouse Into a Showroom & Teaching Guild

Apure Architectural Lighting’s MINUS LED Series Reaches New Design Heights

Light is an invaluable tool for designers, unrivaled in its ability to alter the mood of a room in an instant. It dictates our daily rituals—when we rise, work, and rest. A subtle glow not only adds warmth and dimension to a space, it makes that space functional. But lighting also poses a unique architectural challenge since most fixtures require complex installations, which can absorb ceiling height. Finally, designers have a long-awaited solution.

Apure Architectural Lighting, a company known for its innovative portfolio since opening its doors in 2013, is disrupting the market with its latest collection—the patented MINUS series. For the first time, an LED downlight exists with the capacity to recess in less than one inch (<25mm). It’s nearly imperceptible, giving way to seamless modern spaces awash in light.

The MINUS LED is available in two forms: the MINUS ONE, which has a round finish, the MINUS TWO, which has a square louver designed by PORSCHE DESIGN STUDIO, and the MINUS THREE, a semi-recessed square finish designed specifically for artwork walls. Designers will take comfort in knowing all MINUS LEDs include proprietary precision optics, ensuring light only is delivered where it’s needed in a space.

Apure Architectural Lighting’s LED MINUS Series is nearly invisible in a room. Photography courtesy of Apure Architectural Lighting. 

 

Apure Architectural Lighting developed the series to create more space, literally. Each recessed light is held in place with a unique installation bracket, and enables architects and designers to work with their ceiling height, which otherwise may have been comprised for other lighting fixtures’ housings. The MINUS and its installation method also help reduce hefty costs often associated with full-fledged lighting installations.

“The MINUS is a unique product in that it requires less than 1 inch of recess depth. This is particularly helpful in new construction applications, where clients generally have to drop ceilings to accommodate recessed lighting,” says Philipp Petzold, VP of Apure Architectural Lighting and son of CEO Uli Petzold. “With the MINUS series, a drop ceiling is required to be no more than 1 inch without compromising performance.” MINUS lights are extremely versatile and can be installed under AC ducts, in showers, marine settings, and in nearly any material including drywall, millwork, stone, and metal ceilings.

The MINUS Series can be installed right behind drywall without an additional housing. Photography courtesy of Apure Architectural Lighting.

LEDs in the series emulate the softness of natural light and reduce glare, partly due to the incorporation of proprietary lenses installed in each fixture, equipping designers with an ideal option for airy, contemporary projects. The reduction of glare is especially welcome in all lighting applications, residential and commercial, as it enables the ceiling to remain out of focus, emphasizing the interior elements and architecture.

The initial idea for the MINUS series partly stemmed from Apure Architectural Lighting’s in-house illumination planning studio, which works closely with clients and teams on each project. Apure Architectural Lighting’s hands-on, intuitive approach enables the company to better understand challenges today’s designers face. “After working on so many projects in which clients had to compromise further by dropping their ceilings to an unsuitable level (or forego recessed lighting all together), we realized the industry needed a new solution,” says Petzold.

The MINUS Series, which marks a breakthrough in lighting technology, emits a subtle, soft glow. Photography courtesy of Apure Architectural Lighting.

Apure Architectural Lighting began developing the MINUS Series in 2016, with the goal of creating a high-performing light fixture that could be recessed in almost any application. In 2019, it’s safe to say: mission accomplished.

The MINUS series is offered with a 2700K, 3000K, or 4000K CCT with a Color Rendering Index of (CRI) 90+. It is fully dimmable, and proprietary microchip technology boasts a lifetime of 50,000 hours (LM80). Lumen output from source is 1140 and 4 fixtures can be powered by a single power supply. The MINUS is ETL listed, CE listed, Insulation Contract (IC) rated, wet-location rated, airtight, and IP66 rated by request.

Continue reading Apure Architectural Lighting’s MINUS LED Series Reaches New Design Heights

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