Monday, February 29, 2016

Interview with Red Door DesignWorks

Arlington, Massachusetts based Red Door DesignWorks is one of my partners. They provide a2n2 original art for their clients, including commissions.  Now that Spring is here, I asked designers, Andrea Canty and Allison Tilly Carswell a few questions about freshening up your work or living space. 

What makes Red Door DesignWorks different from other interior design companies?

Our collaboration with one another, and in turn, our collaboration with our clients. For 80% of our jobs, we are working in real time, on location, with our clients. It creates a flexible, dynamic and fun experience. We're often told people get a kick out of watching us work.

photo courtesy of  (photographer Shelley Zatsky)

What tips can you give people wanting to “freshen up” a work or living space on a budget?

Our first recommendation is always to rethink how you are using what you already own. We call this Room Redesign. We like to move around furnishings and art before recommending a new paint color--which is typically the first thing people do when they are looking to "freshen up." Waiting to select paint is wise, because you may end up changing rugs, artwork and other items in your rooms. You want your paint to complement everything. Our clients really appreciate this approach; it often saves them thousands of dollars.

Is it possible to change just one thing and still give the entire space a new feel? 
What would be some examples?

 Yes! Finding that perfect piece of art is probably top of the list. It can transform a room's color palette, vibe and scale. After art, installing properly sized furniture is very important. For example, if you have a sofa that is either too large OR too small in a space, it will affect your sense of how large your room is. Another thing that is quick and easy is creating a gallery wall or an accent wall with paint or wallpaper. It is important to be selective about where you install these, but it can have a big impact.

How do you balance design trends and staying true to your customer’s essence? 
Is there a way to incorporate a bit of both?

We are known for our modern eclectic style. What this means, basically, is that we like to blend all styles and keep the end result looking chic and of the moment. Some of the most effective pieces are not on trend at all. Rather, they are truly reflective of our clients' personalities and family life. 

What recommendations do you have when it comes to buying art?

We like to keep it local. We like to help people understand that great art is available all around, and you don't need to spend a fortune to get it. We appreciate makers like you, who have great style and quality and make products financially accessible. It's also vital when acquiring art, to know clearly what size you are looking for. If is difficult to envision what a piece of a certain size would look like, we encourage people to tape it off on their wall using masking tape. 

You two are very craftsy.  How does your appreciation for art play a role in your design projects?

Thank you! It helps us bring an open mind to the potential for a job. Really being able to imagine what COULD be enables us to provide clients with options and creative approaches to their spaces.  

At times you select artwork for clients.  Do you have any examples of clients who were hesitant at first about the original art you wanted to include in their space, only to fall in love with it later?

One of our guiding principles is to establish clear communication and a trusting relationship with our clients. First and foremost we are listeners. Secondly, we are facilitators of the client's vision and interests. Directed in this way, we consider the process collaborative and there are typically no surprises when we are working with clients. 

If you live in the Boston area and are interested in learning more about Red Door DesignWorks, contact 617 733 2336

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Enjoy the New Spring 2016 Collection from a2n2

I have to admit I love winter.  Though I realize winter has not made her final exit-there still may be more to come-this has felt a bit underwhelming, especially after last year!  However, the brighter skies and louder birdsong of late has been wooing me.  My most recent paintings have been reflecting my current crush on Spring.  Pastel colors and sweet scenes appear throughout the latest works.  They can soften and cheer up any space.  Many of them would look wonderful in a child's bedroom, playroom or nursery.  Enjoy this little video: Spring 2016 Hope, if nothing else, it puts you in a springtime mood!