Tag Archives: Interior Design

Is Gray Passe?

living room furniture interior designer portland

Trends in the last few years have all pointed to black, white, gray, and neutral.  However, the pendulum is swinging!  We are finally starting to see pops of unique color sneaking into some of our residential remodels.  This year saw the rise of blushes for furniture and accent pieces. Next year is moving towards a warmer spectrum. We’re seeing darker finished cabinets, big bold wooden furniture, and inviting spaces.

Grey isn’t going to be passé anytime soon but if everything you own is grey,  your space is going to look dated and will need accenting. You’ll want to warm up that cool neutral you’ve been living in for 2020. Check out these examples of how you can make grey less ‘blah’ and more ‘ah’ by pairing gray with an accent color. More importantly contact Allison Smith Design today for the design makeover you’ve been waiting for.

-Allison

Schedule your appointment: 503-827-5750

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allison@allisonsmithdesign.com

Rodeo Connection – Beijing’s First Western Bar

Completed in December 2018, this modern saloon in Beijing, China is situated on the 26th floor of a rippling tower designed by Giorgio Armani’s Armani/Casa.  Rodeo Connection features sweeping city views, a bucking mechanical bull made from an authentic American cattle hide, a retail space selling unique American-made items, and antique accessories that bring the historical American West culture to life.

The story of how this space came together includes a collaboration between Portland, OR based team, Allison Smith Design, and Beijing based developer, Andy Fan.  Beyond the design of the space itself, Allison was also responsible for designing custom furniture and procuring authentic Western accessories from the United States.

Allison Smith was selected for this project due to the success of the Jackson Hole, China resort community that she designed in 2007.  More on this by Foreign Policy, The Atlantic, and China’s Top Design Magazine. When asked to design an American Western-themed restaurant/bar, it was an easy decision for Allison.  Traveling back to Beijing for a new project felt nostalgic and fresh all at once.

The bones of this building create a perimeter that is all curves clad in glass.  The biggest challenge was creating defined spaces that both incorporate the curves and create a backdrop for the Western theme.

Allison knew she needed to find the perfect accessories to make Rodeo Connection feel like a bona fide cowboy experience. In exploring the numerous antique shops of Oregon, she collected Charles Russell & Frederic Remington replications, classic cowboy apparel, and taxidermy representative of Western-American wildlife.

As part of the high-end, luxurious building designed by Giorgio Armani, Rodeo Connection offers patrons a place to have a unique experience of the Wild West of America in an opulent environment.  Serving decadent American-inspired cuisine and craft beer, Rodeo Connection is the first of its kind in China with plans to expand to other large cities within the country.

 

More photos of this exciting space can be found in our Gallery. Let us know what you think!

~ASD Team

STOP BUYING BAD SOFAS/SECTIONALS RIGHT NOW

How many of us have fallen into the trap of purchasing a bad sofa?  We’ve been there and we know how much it negatively effects the functionality of your home.  Where do you want to crash after a long day? What furniture does your family use the most?  See what we’re getting at here? Your family sofa should be treated with as much care as people use with picking out a new mattress. Read on to learn why investing in a custom, trade sofa is the best option for your home, family, and wallet!

Air BnB furnished by Allison Smith Design–Made to withstand the many occupants this home will see.

Okay, so maybe you know that your current sofa situation isn’t ideal but you haven’t found the “perfect” one. Here’s where we come in. Spend less time searching for the perfect sofa, let us curate one for you!  Not only do you get to choose from many sofa styles, you also get to choose from a plethora of different grades of fabric, leather and furniture finishes.

The vendors we use have a very specific fabrication method to ensure a long-lasting, high-quality product.  Whether you have energetic children that take their energy out on the furniture or pets you can’t keep OFF the furniture… have no fear—This furniture ENDURES.

Leather samples from the Allison Smith Design sample library.

The fabrication method we prefer to specify is called an 8-way hand tied coil spring suspension system.  What the heck is that?  High-grade twine is hand-tied in 8 different directions across the entire base area of the sofa.  Aside from the costs of high-quality materials, this fabrication method is what makes these sofas an investment.  The combination of hand-craft and high-quality materials produces a piece of furniture that perfectly distributes weight—creating hardly any stress on the frame.  Voila!  A piece of furniture that stands the test of time.

How does this compare to competitors?  Many competitors tend to use a webbing method of manufacturing and while this does, in fact, make a piece of furniture more affordable, webbing will sag quicker and will not stand up to heavy use by family, pets, etc.  When you understand this concept, it’s hard to pay for the same low-quality piece of furniture over and over.  Try investing in the right sofa and it will pay for itself in the long run.

We often specify trade leather sofa/sectionals for our commercial projects. (Gateway Apartments)

Other features we love about trade sofas:  Cushion quality and thoughtful material finishes.  Cushion engineering can be JUST AS IMPORTANT as a good sofa structure.  Again, many competitors just use a standard foam cushion and call it a day.  This is fine if you’re looking to have to replace cushions periodically—Just another lesson in ‘you get what you pay for.’

What do we mean by material finish?  Some of the vendors we work with offer a “Crypton” option—meaning that the beautiful and expensive fabric we encourage you to invest in becomes essentially bullet proof to crazy stains.  That’s right, everyone, enjoy your glass of red wine on your beautiful sofa without fear.

We hope we’ve been able to shed some light on why sofas from trade resources are superior to what’s coming from the chain/big-box houses.  Feel free to reach out to us if you have questions! If you’re ready to make the smart investment for your home, we’re ready to assist you!

-ASD Team

Eastmoreland Bungalow

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Set in an early-twentieth century neighborhood in SE Portland filled with lush greenery, this Eastmoreland home was past due for some loving updates.  You may have seen our previous basement renovations of this home not too long ago.  Well we can officially say the rest of the home is finished!  Allison knew she had to stick to period friendly elements to match the neighborhood–nothing too modern that would be dated in a few years.  The ultimate goal was to maintain the home’s authenticity while still giving it a functional update.

When Allison hopped onto this project, she immediately identified issues with the existing floor plan.  There were unnecessary exterior doors and space being taken up by previous unprofessional planning with home renovations.  In order to open the kitchen up and give it the space it deserved, she planned to take out the existing exterior door and close off the doorway into the now office.  A new exterior door was placed near the master suite at the end of the hallway leading into the backyard.

 

  

One of the biggest requests of our clients was to fix the lack of privacy for each of the older daughters who desperately needed their own bedrooms, as well as to make each bedroom more functional. (None of them had closets!)  To remedy these problems, Allison designed a new bedroom space in the basement for one of the girls and reworked the upper level for the other where they were both initially sharing a room.  This also solved the problem of the girls and father having previously been made to share one bathroom.  Allison implemented a new joint bathroom/laundry room in the basement that the oldest could use as her personal bathroom.

Of course a renovation project this big came with it’s challenges.  Initial design plans included adding a third bathroom to the upper level of the home so that everyone would technically have their own bathrooms.  Unfortunately the city shut down those ideas which forced Allison to maximize the existing space she was already working with.

The most drastic changes are clearly seen in the kitchen and the bathroom on the main floor so these are naturally Allison’s favorite two rooms of the finished product.  Allison’s design inspiration for the kitchen came from vintage tin ceiling tiles.  She found the subtle, yet beautiful tile used in the kitchen back splash and knew she had to use it for this project.

Our team is incredibly proud of this project and we thoroughly enjoy showing off these before and after shots.  Feel free to ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’ as much as we have.

 

-ASD Team

 

Multi-Family Rec Center Reveal: Puget Park!

ASD recently finished a rec center for new multi-family housing in Washington state.  We’ve had the pleasure of working with this client previously and so were involved in the design process from the beginning!  Allison selected the exterior and interior materials, finishes, and layouts for this project as well as the furniture and décor.

 

 

We wanted to create an open and welcoming environment as this space is the first that the families will see upon entry.  Right when a client walks in they view the welcoming fireplace area with a large sofa just waiting for those rainy days.  The tall chimney is on full view as it reaches high into the vaulted ceiling.

 

 

With different ceiling heights we didn’t want the magnitude of the vault to be lost and so selected a darker paint color for contrast.  This helps the eye to differentiate the ceiling heights.

 

 

As always with a thorough and personal touch we’ve added small details and are pretty much in love with the unique nature of this ball made of keys!

 

 

The Rec Center also includes a daily coffee cart and a small kitchenette seating area.  This area allowed us to utilize open shelving, a thinner counter slab, and a small wine refrigerator.  Trying techniques to broaden our knowledge base for future client’s spaces!

 

 

Included in this Rec Center is also an outdoor pool area, an indoor gym, and a smaller basketball court.

 

 

Let us know if anything particularly stands out to you!

-ASD Crew

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