Though they inspire romance, dining rooms gets very little use. For some people, the dining room represents an old-fashioned ideal, harkening back to an era of fancy dinner parties where aspic jiggled on fine china and women wore pearls.Read More
One of the most impactful features of a room can be window treatments. The most classically appealing of these is drapery. Whether fully operating or stationary, drapery adds pleasing vertical lines while providing additional expression to the design through textiles.
To help demystify these treatments, here are the factors I keep in mind as I design drapery for my projects.Read More
Much like business dress, the design in an office suite should elicit confidence from clients. This makes the typical default one that in the world of fashion is the equivalent of a two piece grey suit: a classic choice, but one that needs a little help from a necktie, jewelry, or a great pair of shoes.Read More
Cradled in the rugged, wind-swept mountains of Boone, North Carolina, the facility provides jobs that have not been available in many American towns for decades. We took some time to watch and learn from the master craftspeople.Read More
Whether your are an accomplished gastronomer or someone who catches meals on the fly, a kitchen that functions smoothly and pleases the senses is probably at the top of your design wish list. What design tactics should you follow - beyond the ‘work triangle’?Read More
Over two decades of working in the design industry, I've learned a few lessons to better navigate the rise and fall of trends.Read More
There is something about the mantle that inspires us to be expressive and creative. For centuries the hearth has represented the essence of comfort and security, keeping the cold at bay even as it draws friends and family together in a shared experience.Read More
Upholstery is the most hard working furniture in the home, providing enduring comfort and establishing the personality of the room through its stylings and fabric. No one wants to regret this choice either on delivery day because the fabric doesn't compliment the room or a couple of years down the line because the sofa hasn't held up to wear and tear.Read More
When you strip away the frills, my design expertise essentially revolves around recognizing and solving problems. Large rooms are usually considered ideal, but they also require smart space planning to assure comfort and functionality.Read More
After almost two decades in design, I have become an expert at intelligent space planning, but as the owner of a modest home, the tricks I've learned for making the most of tight spaces are particularly close to my heart.Read More
One of my personal favorite traditions this time of year is shopping downtown. Perhaps it was ingrained in me as a child, this love of the holiday bustle, following along as my family tucked into the little stores along our main street, their arms growing fuller with bags as lunchtime approached.Read More
From the start, it was my goal to buck the trend of less choices by providing more. Rather than offer greige groupings that one sees everywhere, I want my upholstery to allow patrons to get creative as they select the perfect details for their space.Read More
This beautifully curated collection of vintage hand craft clothing shows the creativity of an emergent generation of free thinkers in San Fransisco's Haight Ashbury district and New York City's Greenwich Village during the 1970s.Read More
Paul Miller named Hot Talent in Home & Design Magazine!Read More
Perhaps one of my greatest passions is visual composition. In our Loudoun Row project we employed rugs, art, lighting, and accent furnishings to add drama and warmth. In the dining room of this historic house, a custom American-made rug softens the acoustics and provides tonal contrast to the pumpkin pine flooring. The center hall is grounded by a steel and marble accent table with explosive lines. Cheekily we placed an over-scaled hourglass just outside the powder room. A found abstract painting from a regional artist in the front entry provides a bold organic graphic and a spectrum of tones to evoke the comforting energy the client gets from the color orange. We heightened the drama of the dark grey mantle with a pair of limed oak pedestals and dynamic orange and clear glass vessels. - PM
On our trip to the High Point furniture show this year, the MakeNest team focused on education and research, visiting our favorite sustainable makers in between a number of seminars covering everything from the lifecycle of trends to the latest perspectives on color theory. We rounded out our trip with a visit to the venerable Bernice Bienenstock Furniture Library, where the history and craft of furniture and design is reverenced with near monkish devotion. Here we highlight a few of the big takeaways from our journey and discovery.
There are a number of lifestyles for which mass customization in home furnishings can help solve problems and create opportunities. For the millennial setting up their first apartment and the baby boomer down-sizing from a larger home, modular furnishings can make hard-to-furnish spaces into peaceful oases of organization. In commercial applications, modular units make office planning flexible and efficient.
Upon meeting a new resource this market, we are now in the beginning stages of collaborating with an Ohio-based maker who can create modular collections that MakeNest will design in-house, based on our aesthetic style and what we know is appealing to our clients. The technology that our maker has developed makes optimal use of each sustainably-harvested unit of hardwood, all but eliminating waste and driving down costs to make custom an option for a greater number of clients.
The fabulous Jenna Hall, a legend in international furniture design circles, places Art Deco style on the trend forecast. Just before the advent of what we generally identify as mid-century design, there was an entirely unique period inspired by advances in furniture production. Mechanized technologies for adhering veneer led to supple waterfall fronts on dressers and sideboards. Exotic and contrasting hues of wood veneers defined the proportions of doors and drawer fronts. Then-new developments in plastics allowed designers to produce drawer pull styles that had never existed before.
As with all appropriations of an established aesthetic, the new trend will be interpretive and not a carbon copy. As a designer, I can imagine how the satin glow of Art Deco finishes would offer a welcome contrast to the cerused woods of recent years - and how those same cerused finishes would compliment the fluid curve of Art Deco's waterfall fronts. Thinking of the options opened up by 3-D printing, I see designers customizing hardware in ways that will bridge the divide between mass production and the consumer's desire for bespoke details.
At the Pratt & Lambert presentation, four highly-conceptual palettes - each based on a distinctive perspective - revealed dozens of new colors that will play a role in design in the coming seasons. We studied a palette called Enigma, which embraces the power of deep and muted tones to convey mystery and even melancholy romanticism. Through a collection named Intrinsic, we explored the use of saturated hues with strong dark neutrals to capture the immediacy and vivacity of nature. In eight peaceful hues that take their cues from clay and minerals, the Purpose palette studies the use of gentle tones to produce a contemplative space for revery and self-exploration. Driven by a point of view that celebrates innovation and altered realities, Pratt and Lambert's Convergence palette is a poem of pleasing demi-saturation and complimentary colors.
From my own perspective, and judging by the textiles that have been most inspiring to me recently, I feel that design is veering away from isolated pop colors and into complex blends of hues that exchange energy while creating more layered environments. Pattern-makers are creating modernized florals and geometrics that provide a variety of tones all in one field. From a design era that has embraced white space with a singular energy color, we will see a return to the vibrant multiple hues one finds in traditional printed goods. This shift plays to the idea of environment as expressive and dimensional rather than austerely curated and Instagram-ready.
A new era in design is emerging, one in which the styles of the past are remastered, color looms large and diverse, and technology is bent to offer more options to a greater number of niche markets. We're excited to be debuting designs we're developing with the many makers that contribute to our Nestology collection. More inspirations are coming soon from MakeNest, so keep in touch to follow our design journey. - PM
For our Snowshoe Condo project, two chairs in vibrant blue from our Nestology collection are as refreshing as sparkling pools of water. A colorful rug from Company C offers up a contemporary spin on a classic tapestry motif, while a collection of found art pieces over the sofa gives this vacation home the personality of a much lived in and cared for everyday oasis. The coffee table in soapstone on reclaimed fir wood is a study in natural contrasts. We worked with one of our commercial furniture makers to add a dining table made from reclaimed barn wood and used graphic pillows from Arnge to give the fabric story a little more edge. This project took us through some beautiful stretches of heartland through West Virginia, so we threw in a few images from the road trip to help illustrate this design journey. Enjoy! - PM
How does graphic design, architecture, and interior design strengthen a brand and lay the foundation for business growth? And how did Dolly Parton and Andy Warhol help me find the right balance in a local hair salon design?
In collaboration with architect Leesa Mayfield and graphic designer Emily Christiansen, I set out to answer these questions at this year's Shenandoah University Business Symposium. The overarching symposium topic was Your Business Legacy.
One of the uniting themes between interior design and marketing is that both aim to express the point of view of a business. In our break out session, Emily spoke about her use of positioning statements to help develop a marketing strategy for her clients. This was an eye-opener for me, because it helped to highlight the intentions in design that I have always called 'telling the story'.
Howe Hall Astro Lounge
We were approached by Shenandoah University to transform a careworn space into a sleek and inspiring area where students could participate in professional mixer simulations to develop networking skills. Every square foot of real estate on campus is vital, so the space would also need to function 24/7 as a study area. From the talk:
We wanted to work with the brutalist vintage of the building and play to the popularity of mid-century design.
The salon had earned a good reputation as much because of a warm and inviting vibe as it had for providing quality services. With a gorgeous historic building on Main Street, we wanted to connect to our local roots, while doing so in a way that spoke to the dapper style of the principal owner, my husband, Ed McKee.
That was where the Dolly Parton-Andy Warhol Venn diagram came into play.
Read a transcript of the MakeNest portion of the talk here.