Saturday, February 27, 2010

To cathedral or not to Cathedral, that is the question! By interior designer, Amanda Burdge

As a designer I have a tendency to have bloated thoughts in reality. I live in a fantasy world of rather large ideas and notions of how the world should be and look. Contemplating each move with utmost concentration as if playing a game of chess I aspire to change all the ugly in the world and make it into something captivating and pleasing to the eye. Now my thoughts in judgment can be mischievous. Without you knowing I may come from behind to the right, make you turn left, and hit you over the head with my mojo bat, like the magic designer I am. Without you ever realizing, I sprinkle you with designer fairy dust (full of doe eyed excitement) and with enchanted dexterity you react as if it were your idea all along! Truly spellbinding.This is an excerpt from a post I did last July, Being the fairest of them all.

Im currently working on a wonderful new construction project in Kentucky.
We are still in the planning stages of the home and after seeing the first set
of preliminary drawings from the architect I knew we would have to revisit a few things to accommodate the furniture. (Architects always forget this little detail.) After discussing some
ideas and ways to improve the space the architect went back
to the drawing board and came up with a fabulous new fireplace and seating area.

Along with his new plan he included a rough rendering of the new room with
beams. The homeowner was completely against a cathedral ceiling because
she wanted one like this:

After showing her husband the rendering from the architect he loved the idea
of a cathedral ceiling. Uneasy about this new direction she called me.
I went into action! I twisted out a triple lutz and turned into the bewitching,
and enchanting designer I am. With my doe eyed excitement I LOVED the
idea of the wood beamed cathedral ceiling and here was my chance to
hypnotize and captivate! After 15 minutes on the phone I pulled out all
the stops. I charmed, I delighted I DROVE it home. No question about
how I feel about adding this element back into the space! Delighted that
the option was back on the table I swung hard with my designer mojo bat
of MAGIC! With a twinkle in my eye, charisma in my voice and crazy in the
head I cajoled every which way to Sunday. Remember I live in a fantasy
world of rather large ideas and notions of how the world should be and look
and my job is to convince everyone else to purchase tickets.

Im not sure if my Designer Magic Talisman worked. I do tend to have
bloated thoughts in reality and not everyone rides the same train of
imagination. But I am a force to be reckoned with, I can also be
quite annoying, I mean charismatic. On Monday I shall find out if I
allured her into the idea! What are your thoughts? Cathedral or
beam and ceiling?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Karim Rashid by Amanda Burdge, Nashville Interior Designer

Karim Rashid is one of the most innovative designers of our time. He has conquered over 3000 designs and has an astonishing 300 awards! Working in over 35 countries his award winning designs include democratic objects such as the ubiquitous Garbo waste can and Oh Chair for Umbra, interiors such as the Morimoto restaurant, Philadelphia and Semiramis hotel, Athens and exhibitions for Deutsche Bank and Audi. Karim has collaborated with clients to create democratic design for Method and Dirt Devil, furniture for Artemide and Magis, brand identity for Citibank and Hyundai, high tech products for LaCie and Samsung, and luxury goods for Veuve Clicquot and Swarovski, to name a few. Karim's work is featured in 20 permanent collections and he exhibits art in galleries world wide. Karim is a perennial winner of the Red Dot award, Chicago Athenaeum Good Design award, I.D. Magazine Annual Design Review, IDSA Industrial Design Excellence award. You can read more on this prolific designer from his website,

I had the honor and the privilege (keep in mind it doesn't take much to get me excited) to meet Mr Rashid in October while at Highpoint Market. I was familiar with his work, however completely unaware of ALL his accomplishments. His laid back Q & A was extremely engaging, not to mention his uber cool attire. (he mentioned traveling an astonishing 300 days a year, he NEVER checks luggage, and only travels with one suit!) Listening to all his ideas on how his team came to build a cell phone, or design a vacuum, or develop a chair was very inspiring. Never a dull moment Mr Rashid is not only a "creative", but very articulate and well traveled; his ideas fascinated me. (I thought my 50 something year old mother was going to pass out from boredom. She just wanted to know where the food was, and if they had ANY booze) I truly believe she thought he was an alien. But she's a left brain and couldn't possibly understand. Here are a few of my favorite things he has designed.

SOUNDWAVE FLO by Karim Rashid

Felt sound absorption panel by OFFECCT

Flo is designed to be used as lightweight sound absorbers in the upper frequency range (500 Hz and above). These panels help reduce disturbing reflections of environmental sounds such as voices, telephones etc.
KANDOR chair
"Sincere", "honest simplicity" and "research into purity of form" are, says Karim Rashid, at the basis of Kandor's design. This swivel chair is perfect for a modern workspace, but also for a young, colorful home environment.

Rashid Poly Chair

The Poly chair as in “polycarbonate”, the material from which the chair is entirely made, through a process of injection moulding with a particularly large and powerful press.Three different prototypes were created during the planning stage with the aim of obtaining the maximum level of comfort for the seat and a perfect degree of inclination for the chair back: together with virtual testing of the chair’s mechanical resistance in order to satisfy resistance criteria for CATAS certification.Poly has a young, original, geometric design. Both chair and back are made of different surfaces that intersect and yet the chair as a whole does not appear angular. It looks inviting and comfortable and this aesthetic impression is confirmed by the comfort of the seat.Poly can be stacked and is also suitable for external and contract use. It comes in a variety of colours and finishes: transparent, semi-transparent pink, semi-transparent lime and black and white shiny versions.

VOLCOINO: When is a piggy bank not a piggy bank? When it's designed by Karim Rashid. Volcoino is designer Karim Rashid's interpretation of a piggy bank for those of us who like sculpural forms instead of literal representation of a piggy bank.

The Dirt Devil KONE™ is a cordless hand held vacuum cleaner unlike any you've seen. Dirt Devil had famed product designer Karim Rashid create an elegant, sculptural form that can be left on display - on your table, shelf, or counter. The cone shape means that the vac is always stored in its base, so your hand vac will always be charged and always ready.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Sid Dickens Memory Blocks available in Brentwood TN

Our Sid Dickens tiles will officially be here Wednesday April 12th!

Sid Dickens Memory Blocks are hand-crafted, collectible pieces of art that gain in value when tiles get retired. They provide a contemporary style of decorating that is affordable, fun, and easy to use. With motifs ranging from Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, and Rococo, images from the Middle East, Babylon to London and Paris, art and music, mystic symbols, the Tarot, botanical patterns and board games-it isn't difficult to find a design that works for you.

Sydney Dickens resides in Vancouver, where him and a team of artists make their 6.5"x8" plaster tiles. We recently teamed up with Sid Dickens to expand our product line at AB HOME, and we are very excited to bring them aboard.

Sid Dickens Memory Blocks are best displayed in wall-mounted groupings. The size of the groupings is unlimited. No framing or installation costs are required. Only the simplest measurements are necessary. Each Memory Block back has been finished with an angled aperture. All you need to do is position a small tack, screw or nail in the wall and hang the tile. No additional supports, braces or mounts are necessary. Any individual can hang them.

Our first shipment of tiles will be arriving the first of March. All tiles retail for $78 each, but can go as high as $500 once retired. We are very excited about all the feedback we have already received and we are thrilled about being the only retailer in the Brentwood, Franklin area to carry them! If you want to know if there is a retailer near you click here and enter in your info. If you want more info about us, don't forget to visit our Facebook fanpage!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

How to get inspired by expert Nashville designer, Amanda Burdge

Here lately, my life has felt like a bit of a circus, and for good reason. You see I'm a designer, a creative, with a big "D" on my chest. Inventive and innovative, add in a little crazy, and you have yourself a bonafide DESIGNER. See label for full list of ingredients:

Modified cleverness, unbleached canny, gifted, enriched imagination, experimental, pasteurized originality, expressive, microbial resourcefulness, radical, advanced hydrogenated vision and a whole lot of crazy. Yellow #5, Red # 3 and Blue # 7

Warning! If allergies are of concern, may also contain: unconventional, off the wall, offbeat, and unorthodox genius. With a side of short attention span.

Distributed by: Old-fashioned ingenuity and passion, Super Market INC .

Serve with a side of Curiosity, attention and fascination. Mix well, drain but do not rinse.

Voila the perfect designer

As a designer I gain inspiration from the wildest things. Some intentional, some accidental. Probably more accidental than anything. With a premeditated vision I head in one direction and by the end of the day Im headed down I-40 when I should have been on I-10. But that is ok. I have found that the best ideas have come when chaos erupted and serendipity set in. Why else would we do it? It's moments like these that keep us on our toes, and keep the excitement alive. We thrive on it. We get bored easily so when the unexpected occurs it is our moment to sink or swim, (hope you brought your floaties!)

Curiosity, fascination, innovation=genius

I often get the question. How did you come up with this? What was your inspiration? Dare I say a jelly donut, a bag of Dorito's and a beer? Well probably not that crazy...( gotta look more interesting than that, but keep in mind it is in our ingredients!) But inspiration can strike at any moment! If you feel that you are not a creative person you need to broaden your horizons. We are all creative in our own way. For instance, if you tend to be more left brain you will see things more analytical, logical and straight. To us this is symmetrical. If you are right brain we tend to see this as design MAGIC! But no favoritism here. (if you're right brain looking for a designer-call me! haha)

So how do you find inspiration in ordinary things to make them extraordinary?

1) Determine what it is you are wanting to accomplish. A room redo or a house redo?
2) Flip through magazines that cater to the room or rooms you are wanting to work on. Try to collect at least 3-5 tear sheets.
3) Look through your tear sheets. Is there a pattern? Possibly a repeating color, wood stain, chair style, etc.
4) What do you want your new room to be? How will you use it?
5) Once you have an overall direction inspiration can come from anything. A coffee cup, an antique, perhaps a jelly donut?

As children we are encouraged to be free and creative. As adults we are morphed into a label that we feel we must stick to. You may not carry all the ingredients to be a true designer, but open yourself to curiosity, maybe a little crazy, and you will be amazed at the results it will yield! Here are some ways I get inspired:

This is an excellent source for inspiration. It is fun, colorful and with several color schemes to work with
you won't feel constricted to pick just one. It fancy's the child within us and brings out a sense of humor. Who could't use more of that?

Colorful and imaginative these decorative glass eggs spark amusement, hilarity and lightheartedness. Great for inspiration these enjoyable sculptures could whisper all sorts of ideas in my head.

For those who are a bit more serious this lamp has a beautiful pallet of earth tones, with an unexpected rim of thistle. With beautiful beiges, and browns this could develop an entire backdrop for a bedroom, library, family room, or even a dining room.

What would life be without a little arts and crafts? One of my truest passions, I am always drawn to the quirky eccentrics of clever art. I love things that make me smile and make a space truly unique. And what better to help you on your journey than a cunning piece that starts you off on the right trunk, I mean foot!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

2010 Color Trend Report by design expert Amanda Burdge of AB HOME

I received an email this morning regarding the NEW 2010 trends for color. Funny I painted my powder room a deep eggplant four years ago and the male counterpart in my life said it was AWFUL. What does he know? It is one of 2010's strongest colors according to Lee, and Victoria. Which means Im currently in fashion!

Im loving the moody hues and Im already seeing a very strong trend in turquoise. I just recently did an interior for a client in turquoise, brown and green. I can't help but wonder. Did I choose these because I was ahead of the curve, or did I subconsciously choose them as the trend was transpiring? Id like to think I was ahead of the curve. But Im sure I saw it emerging in my fashion catalogs and started selecting without even REALIZING.

Here are the trends, Maria (from colour me happy) Id really like your input on this. What do you think my snazzy little Colour Expert!?

Expert Insight: Colour Themes and Trends for 2010

First up are the thoughts from Lee Eiseman, Pantone Colour Institute.
1. Molecular
Includes a purpled wine, a very deep green, a navy black and a coffee brown
2. Byzantine
Includes metallics, shimmery gold, rich reds, vibrant blues and purples.
3. Deconstructing – Reconstructing:
Includes ochre, brown and black are accented with topiary greens and lipstick red.
4. Multiple Identity:
Includes blues, irises and browns along with pink, browns, and roses.

Here are the thoughts of Victoria Redshaw, from Trend Forecasters, Scarlet Opus. For more ideas, visit their excellent blog:
1. TURQUOISE: 2010 is a big year for blue and a strong shade of turquoise sets a summery tone that is sure to give an upbeat vibe. Turquoise is very versatile and looks amazing with all sorts of unexpected colours such as Red, Hot Pink, Coral, Chocolate, Malachite Green, Mellow Yellow and Grey!
2. INDIGO: The blue renaissance continues with a deep Indigo. It’s the new Black! It plays a crucial part in moving the whole ‘tribal’ trend forward and gives a sophisticated African aesthetic.
3. MELLOW YELLOW: Get in the mood with Mimosa! It’s time to rethink Yellow and team it with some trendy partners like Grey or Indigo. Yes it gives us a sun-shiney vibe but it can also create very sophisticated room schemes, is unisex and projects colour-confidence without being ‘in your face’!
4. COPPER: Metallics move away from Yellow-Gold towards warmer Copper tones. Expect to also see Bronze and Rose-tinted Golds…and Blackened Gold!
5. GREEN: From Moss to Malachite, Kelly to Chlorophyll…greens are used in 2010 as a literal expression of Green issues being so high profile. Look out for sharp Lime accents popping up in unexpected places!
6. RED: A bold block of rich red delivers sumptuous glamour to dark room schemes and is also a fantastic peppy accent colour for existing neutral or black & white rooms.
7. PUTTY: 2010 is a year dominated by femininity in design…curvaceous furniture shapes, soft handle fabrics and nude tones including shades of putty, intimate pinks and soft blush peach.
8. GREY: This new neutral is here to stay! Use shades of Grey in the same way as you would cream, beige or white as it works with just about every colour you can think of.
9. CORAL: Striking Coral shades alongside Pink jewel tones and rich Maroons provide an exotic vibe…but Coral can also play a starring role in neutral room schemes that have a calm, beachy aesthetic. It looks great next to the pebble Grey shade!
10. WHITE: It’s the future!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Much ado about NOTHING by Amanda Burdge Nashville Interior design

Nothing was founded in 2009 by Michael Jansen and Bas Korsten, one of the most awarded creative teams in Europe.

Nothing is not an advertising agency, not a design agency, not a product innovation agency, not a brand experience, or a research agency. Nothing is whatever the client’s opportunities needs it to be. Thats why the term “commercial creativity” ie all ideas that help brands grow. It is essentially, Nothing.

Nothing is an Amsterdam-based, independent entrepreneurial agency that delivers innovation and commercial creativity for local and international clients out of a cardboard box. Literally. The Nothing office, built entirely of cardboard, was designed by internationally recognized designers Alrik Koudenburg ( and Joost van Bleiswijk. Yes ENTIRELY from cardboard!

Using the same method of construction as his No Screw No Glue project, van Bleiswijk created the interior using over 500 square metres of reinforced cardboard. The 1500 separate pieces were slotted together using NO GLUE or FIXINGS.

Michael Jansen says:
“Nothing is about the power of ideas, about how a single idea can transform nothing into something. Using a cheap throw-away material to build a unique and memorable work space, seemed a good way to materialize this thought.”

Nothing’s goal is simple: turn consumers into brand advocates by any means to hand. This approach sees Jansen and Korsten creating meaningful brand experiences ranging from product innovation and store design, to employee training programmes and, yes, even TV campaigns.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

If $$ were no object for VD day!

On Being by Marabeth Quinn $3000

Wine inventory system from frontgate $3995

Butterfly bench by Horchow $4700

Judith Leiber evening bag $5995

Stefano Ricci Cuff Links $9030

Cartier Watch $33,875.00

Magico's ultimate speaker system $354,000

Happy Valentines day!