The Fig House Stained Glass Design; Judson Studios

If you follow me on ANY social media you have seen a lot of stained glass on my feed – mostly from Judson Studio and The Fig House project. Hell if you’ve breathed near me in the last year you were likely to hear about The Fig House. And Charlie. Hopefully y’all aren’t sick of hearing about this project, it was just huge and there were/are so many design components to it, so its taking a while to document them all. I wrote about Judson Studios a month ago, but now its time to document what we actually did with them.

Lets bring you back to the beginning (and read this post if you haven’t). When I first signed on for Fig I said ‘Stained Glass’ immediately. I had been wanting to do a project with custom stained glass so bad and this seemed like the perfect one.

So let me guide you through the project (and yes, there is a whole video at the end):

stained glass

First we met with Tim Carey, an artist, at Judson Studio and talked about general art direction. I said I wanted something geometric, modern, saturated colors and large-scale. He said that they hadn’t done that before (mainly because it’s not what clients want) and he was psyched to get started.

So he sent through this first sketch with some initial ideas:

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It was so fun to see the potential. We really liked it but it didn’t quite feel modern enough. It felt too fluid for a new build, not quite geometric enough.
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And Tim totally agreed. So easy to work with. So he went back with our notes and came up with this pattern. A common motif throughout the Fig House were octogons, so he took more inspiration from that and started the process again:

stained glass

He sent this through and we flipped out, in a good way:

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Yes yes yes yes yes. The thick verticals and horizontals were the window frame.  It was a 12′ window I believe so it had to have mullions help supporting it. Yes, I say fancy words like ‘mullions’ now. Hopefully I’m correct in the usage …

Next he printed it out, all life-size which was sooo fun to see.

stained glass

He took a first pass at color and sent us through this:

stained glass

Sorry, its fuzzy. I think it was just a screenshot of his computer. We liked it but it wasn’t quite the colors that we were working with.  So we went in and played with the color combo for hours.

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Introducing Pure Photo – large scale photography

Much like pressed juices and kale, large-scale photography is having a bit of a moment right now (read Victoria’s post about it). It was bound to come back around after the decade of the gallery wall. I’m not dogging a gallery wall, I mean, I have like 5 of them. BUT, there is something to be said for just one massive, striking piece. Often this is dauntingly expensive (both the art and the framing) but in a lot of ways it’s not that much more than a gallery wall (if you are starting fresh, anyway).

I met Ryan Phillips when he and photographer, Mike Kelley, shot The Fig House. He owns a company called Pure Photo which curates beautiful photographers/photography and sells to everyone from large hotels, to individual residential projects. Fine art photography can be kinda tricky for me (strangely I love commercial photography probably because I was trained as a stylist for them) I think because they can go ‘hotel’ really easily, but some of these are so striking and incredible that I’d LOVE to own them.

Here is a roundup of some of my favorites. Picture these all big and huge, folks, because they can print real large.

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1. Hampton Dunes | 2. The Ocean | 3. Fairground | 4. Funny Pages | 5. Parkhaus II |6. Yellow Plane | 7. Blue Stone Orvieto Church | 8. Santa Monica Pier | 9. Grasmere Calm | 10. South Beach Ariel | 11. Tokyo

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1. Travel 8 | 2. Conservatory | 3. Rush Hour | 4. Farmland | 5. Les Conpines, Meditation | 6. National Museum in Canberra 7. Snow Globe |8. Yellow Dress | 9. Midnight Sun Serenity at Skagafjörður | 10. Element 04 | 11. White Sands – New Mexico

Mike Kelley was the photographer that shot The Fig House and he’s pretty awesome. One of his best/most intense photographs in his portfolio is this photo below:

mike kelley

Basically what he did was photograph a days worth of planes taking off from LAX and rendered them together to create this image. I think its totally striking. The photograph actually went viral and he got a ton of press about it, which you can read about here. His vision was to photograph only planes leaving LAX, going to 6 different continents, ferrying people around the world showing the importance/magic of aviation and what it does to our world.

He took 370 photos, using 75 of them in this one shot. I’m not one that typically loves tech-y kinda photos but I think this is pretty incredible, such a conversation piece and the artistic determination behind the photography is totally inspiring. He was there all day, got a crazy bad sunburn to capture something that he felt passionately about.

Here are some of his other beautiful photographs:

Mike Kelley

When perusing their site I wondered what kind of fine art photography most people I know are most attracted to and I figured I’d do a poll. So my question to you is – if money was no object, which style/type of photography below would you want in your home (think large-scale 4′x 6′ on your wall):

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1 | 2 | 34 | 5 | 6

Click on the number you wan to enter the poll.

Or if you would want one of the ones above that I chose, leave that in the comments. I’m very, very curious … Meanwhile check out Pure Photo and Mike Kelley’s other work here.

Happy monday, folks. My god its going to be a long week. xx

online poll by Opinion Stage

Materials Girl #4; Wild, Strong and Earthy

Welcome to another ‘Material Girl’ post.

This chick… she be wild. You know in Dirty Dancing when whats her name (‘Baby’, I’ll presume) screams “You’re Wild!” after Patrick Swayze’s character breaks his car window with an exterior light post thing on the way to the water/lift scene? Yea. Wild like that. By the way after a lot of time, effort, thought, and serious analysis I’ve determined that Dirty Dancing is indeed my favorite movie (I’m serious). Between the story, production design, casting, entertainment value, acting and hip thrusting, it’s just really, really good and I can and have watched it over 20 times. Footloose and The Notebook were strong contenders but I actually think that Dirty Dancing beats them out on a couple of categories.

Anyway, the girl that we were ‘designing for’ in this materials board, Nicki, is a bit fiery, but with some restraint – like Patrick Swayze’s hip thrusts.

materials board

She is a creative TV executive, in charge of many men, confident in the way she controls them, while holding a little bit back. They like her because she doesn’t have to prove it all and lets her actions and past speak for her. Design-wise she can handle some pattern, but grounds it with earthy-ness. She can handle some color but grounds it with neutrals. She loves to layer textures, and always adds a bit of metallic.

The more I stare at this (I created/shot it like 6 weeks ago so its been a while since I stared at it) the more I actually really want to be this chick. To use red and pattern so confidently, and combine it with softness and earthy-ness, is indeed very enticing.

Resources:

1. Red & gold wallpaper | 2. Blue palm wallpaper | 3. Blue fabric | 4. Tile |  5. Wooden tray – vintage | 6. Stones | 7. Red & white striped fabric | 8. Blue leather | 9. White leather | 10. Grasscloth wallpaper | 11. Leather remnant | 12. Paint swatches | 13 Brass cabinet knob | 14. Stone

Material Girls #1, #2, and #3.

Photos shot and styled by me, with the help of Emily Lyn for gathering resources. Thanks, Emily! (Lyn, not me:))

Pet (cat) Friendly Design Tips

Pet Friendly Design Tips As many of you know I’m a cat and dog person. Before we got cats our only reservation was that they are kinda a lot of responsibility as you have to, you know, make sure they are cared for while you travel, come home at night to feed them, etc. This actually hasn’t proven to be too annoying because you love them enough that it doesn’t matter. But what has been annoying is the damage that they’ve done to our furniture and the mess they create in the house … and I’m not even a neat freak. They puke everywhere, spill their cat food, if we aren’t on top of the litter it wreaks up the whole house, Bearcat has a sneezing issue which we see damage from all over the house (and it is REALLY hard to clean up), etc. Obviously our love of the goes far beyond smells and stains, but it’s still kinda a bummer. So when I partnered up with Arm and Hammer Clump and Seal litter to redo the cattery I figured I’d pull together some tips for y’all as well. This is mainly for the cat owners out there, but there are some good just general tips for dogs (and kids actually). Here goes.

Consider your upholstery fabrics:

You may have noticed that I use velvet A LOT. Do you think I just really love it? Sure, but it’s also because we cat owners can’t have linen furniture. It’s a fact i’ve accepted years ago. Cats, in particular, like to claw, so skip anything with an open weave like linen. As an alternative, ultra suede, leather (although they’ve ruined one leather armed chair that they can sit on) and velvet are harder for cats to get their claws into; and commercial-grade fabrics, nylon, and polyester repel stains more easily.

Cat Fabrics

I redid our new sofa in white sunbrella (don’t worry, you’ll get a whole post on that later) and so far it has held up, but if you are nervous then get velvet or ultrasuede. Ultrasuede isn’t my most favorite fabric in the world but it is indestructible and so pet (and kid) friendly. If you are going down that route and you have a choice get the ultrasuede that has the least amount texture or modeling. One of the things I hate about it is that it leaves your exact butt mark when you stand up and the texture can be strangely busy. But when you have pets, and cats in particular, they will most likely do this to linen or anything that is woven:

Cat Upholstery

So annoying. So get yourself velvet, performance velvet (this is kinda a combo of velvet and ultrasuede and it looks pretty good and most big box stores have it as an option these days), Sunbrella or leather. Vinyl certainly works too, but pretty hard to incorporate well into a room (although I did it here and it looked good).

Streamline pet accessories:

I’m not saying get OCD about matching your cat toys to your color palette but I’m also not saying that it’s a bad idea. You want to minimize their attention and make them look more streamlined so they aren’t really noticed. There are actually some pretty awesome options out there these days. Like so:

Cat Accessories

Leaning Console Scratch Post | Cube Scratch Post

You know i’m in to wicker so these things actually work really well in my house.

Master the unattractive and smelly litter box:

Its totally normal and yet TOTALLY CRAZY to keep a box of poop in our homes at all times. Most litter boxes aren’t something we want to display prominently in our homes – but you do have some options out there. We turned the tiny hall closet in our house into their litter box room so thank god we don’t have to look at it, but if you don’t have that option, look for something a little more attractive, or a litter boxes that double as furniture (good for small spaces but if you have a big house then just get one that is simple and white or wood).

ModernLitterBox

Modern Litter Box 2

MidCentry Modern Litter Box | ModCat LitterBox | Modern Brown Litter Box

Probably the least awesome things about cats (I hate to be so negative about these furry little cuddly animals) is the litter box smell. Well I can now say that if we change the box once a week we actually don’t have this problem anymore due to Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal. When they first approached me about the cattery redo I didn’t really care about the litter to be honest – I just wanted to makeover an animal shelter. But then when we bought the litter to make sure that it was, you know, indeed good and we were very happy to report that it works and it really destroys the smell. Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal, I never predicted I’d gush about cat litter so much but yes, it works.  It guarantees a seven-day odor-free home. Since the litter easily clumps together, it also minimizes litter dust, so it doesn’t get all over your house. There is still some dust, but so much less mess.

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Click through to read the rest of the tips and see the video.  (more…)

Introducing Judson Studios Stained Glass

Stained glass is kale (the vegetable a la 2014) – when its good its surprisingly delicious, but otherwise it’s not really my deal/style. It gets a bad rap because it’s often associated with churches, religious art or by the beach kitschy stuff. But in theory it’s just pretty glass colors that let light through – and ain’t nothing wrong with that.

When I first got my hands on the Fig House project I immediately wanted to do some stained glass. As a designer it’s always such a fun challenge to take an art form that is typically considered not terribly modern and see how it can be used in a way that is totally fresh and conversation worthy. As soon as I had muttered the words ‘stained glass’ Steve, the owner of Fig, told me that one of his best friends was/is a stained glass artist at Judson Studios – a stained glass studio not even a mile from The Fig House. Lucky us, indeed. So I went for a visit that day and was BLOWN away by how awesome the studio was.

Stained glass

Stained Glass


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It’s a 100-year-old building that has been in the Judson Studio family for generations. It is old, beautiful and totally inspiring. It makes me want to quit my job, go back to school, learn some skills and apply for a job here.

Stained glass

They have antique glass that is pretty much priceless and totally unsourceable now (unless you buy from Austria).

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I mean the space itself is just so weird in a good way .. look at those windows up there!!!!

stained glass

stained glass

stained glass

It’s been through five generations of Judson’s and stuff like that really tickles my sentimental bone. The artists make everything in-house and their skills are insane. It’s such a long, laborious, artistic, skilled, beautiful process.

stained glass

They have rows and rows of sheets of antique glass that they pull from, plus these little swatch cards of glass in front of windows that we designed from. The whole place is just visually inspiring. Above is the artist welding our ‘came’ together (and yeah… you know we used brass came which they thought was crazy, but of course it’s just incredibly beautiful).

Stained glass

They have walls and walls of colors to choose from – its like an instragrammers/bloggers dream space.

stained glass

stained glass

That room up there has all the antique glass that is one of a kind and just so incredibly beautiful.

Typically they do a lot of religious stained glass work – they do churches all over the world, and it’s totally impressive but yeah, just not really right for a residential project. But the thing about stained glass is that it’s just pretty colored glass, that can be in any color, any pattern, any shape – so why is it normally relegated to just religious or commercial projects?  You see it all the time in more mission style homes, too, but normally not in the colors that I would have chosen.

Stained glass

What is going on here above you ask? Well, here’s the deal – for churches or any more figural work where there are people involved they actually pose in the shapes of the people, then take a photo then draw/paint on glass … the whole process is insane. So yes, you can actually have a stained glass portrait of yourself.

Typically the clients they have ask for stained glass art like s0 …

Stained glass

But naturally we shook it up.

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But what was so exciting when I worked with them is the endless options – I worked directly with Tim Carey (who is incredibly talented and fun to work with) and we designed The Fig House windows which is still the most beautiful element of the space.

Stained Glass

That handsome man up there, Tim, is our artist and he is AMAZING. He looks very serious there, but he was so easy to work with, had so many creative ideas and was just so passionate about our project.

I know that many of you might have seen The Fig House stained glass and I will be doing a post about the whole process (we took the after photos yesterday) but for now here is a sneak peek:

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Here’s my challenge for y’all – rethink stained glass. I tried to make it appropriate for our house and it just didn’t feel right and I wasn’t ready for the investment, but if I build a house or buy an older house you know I’ll be getting Judson to custom make some stained glass for me. I mean, just think about it as a room divider in a loft … ridiculous.

 

Photo Credit: Tessa Neustadt