Don’t Forget to Look Up!

When you’re in an inside space, and you do, you’re going to notice there’s a vast ceiling plane up there that most people never consider when they decorate their San Diego home design imageroom. I could probably walk into 90% of the homes in America (maybe more) and find all the ceilings in the home painted flat white. Why??? The ceiling is the fifth wall of your room, and in some rooms that wall is huge. It’s begging for your attention!

 

There are so many ways to make an impact on this fifth wall. Here are a few options you might consider to re-energize an existing space or re-imagine an entire room.Ceiling beams interior decoration image

 

I’ve always loved a good coffered ceiling like this one we installed in a home in San Diego, CA. It turned 800+ square feet of flat ceiling into a great design detail that you absolutely notice.

 

elizabeth gordonIf you have a Mediterranean, farmhouse or industrial style home, beams are a great option to bring instant age and character to the space. The dark, hand hewn beams we installed in this family room continue to tell the story of the Mediterranean architectural style of this home. Change that out to a light finish, rough sawn beam, and you’ve put yourself into an old factory turned loft.fireside

 

I love this space by Elizabeth Gordon. She’s used wallpaper and a great mirror to make the ceiling the focal point of this room. Not every client is looking for something outside the box, but wow, when clients allow their designer’s to let loose their creative juices, you get some really stunning results!

 

The Interior EdgeThis creative ceiling treatment by Fireside Design Build, Inc. begs you to engage your imagination. I see a river when I look up, you may see something different – maybe a wood footbridge spanning a gorge in some remote area of the globe. We did a similar treatment on a hallway ceiling of Valencia United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall to evoke the feeling of following along a path.

 

artistic designs for living

This bedroom by The Interior Edge is really quite narrow, but using silver leaf on the ceiling adds a level of reflectivity that makes the space feel more expansive, not to mention luxurious.

 

Paint is a simple way to bring attention to that fifth wall with no added expense. Pink paint doesn’t cost any more than white paint, and you’ve got to paint that ceiling anyway…

In this outdoor room designed by RJohnston Interiors, tongue and groove ceiling planks adds both an outdoor feel and a lot RJohnston-26of warmth to this space. Vaulted ceilings and gables add to the interest as the wood decking changes direction across the ceiling plane.

cynthia mason

To create an outdoor adventure theme to this boy’s bedroom, Cynthia Mason Interiors used fabric, wood, buttons and lacing along with a good dose of imagination.

 

I  hope I’ve inspired you to think about your ceilings the next time you’re looking for a way to update or redecorate your space. Ceiling planes, unbroken by doors and windows, are often the largest wall in your room and present a huge opportunity for great design. If you’re looking for a way to make your ceilings an integrated part of your décor, but don’t know how, give RJohnston Interiors a call at: 661-678-0034. We’d be happy to help you out!

 

sample of design detox styleIt’s the new year and with a new year comes new year’s resolutions.  Maybe it’s time to finally get your home updated, or at least tackle one space in your home.  But what, you ask, are the changes to make that won’t look dated next year?  The good news is, that while interiors follow the lead of the fashion industry at what seems like an ever quickening pace, great design transcends time.   Here is what the experts have to say about what’s hot for 2016 that won’t immediately be out in 2017.  Who are those experts you ask?  Top design professionals and product designers who make their living knowing what trends are in, and what is sure to be a losing proposition.

Design Detox.  This trend moves us away from the growing emphasis on being connected at all times (to our phone, our iPad, our computer, Facebook, Instagram…) to a quiet simplicity amidst the noise.  Think of using warm and calming colors such as Sherman Williams color of the year Alabaster (SW 7008), Benjamin Moore’s color of the year Simply White (BM OC 117) or the Valspar Comfort Zone palette.  If you happen to have tons of intricate molding in your space, painting it all out a warm and quiet color creates a unified and calming space.  Pantone’s colors of the year, Rose Quartz (a pastel pink) and Serenity (blue) back this new trend of quieter, warmer colors.  Pantone chose these new hues as “a more unilateral approach to color.”  A commentary on the current societal movements toward gender equality and fluidity.  Think about incorporating these colors in great wallpapers or accent pieces.

warm metals design styleWarm Metals.  OK this is interesting.  I always say design is personal.  I tell my clients, if you love it – go with it.  It’s your house and you want to love the things that surround you.  Some of my esteemed colleagues say this is totally on trend for 2016, and great use can be made of warm metals, particularly in the kitchen and bath, when paired with raw, natural materials like marble and wood.  The other side of the house says Rosy metals are out.  That they made such a splash in 2015, they will always be identified with that year.  Here’s my advice.  If you really love the rosy metals like copper and rose gold, invest in a quality piece.  Quality stands the test of time.  Moderately priced pieces run the risk of hues that can go garish and look cheap.  Brass and gold tones are definitely hot for 2016.

What’s out?  What you don’t like or doesn’t work for your lifestyle!  If you like to be on trend, generally speaking you’ll know what’s out by what’s available everywhere at every price point.

Top Design Trends for 2016 – Part 2: We will be continuing this topic in the next couple weeks with additional trends and design ideas for 2016. Be sure to check back.

What to do when you can’t figure it out for yourself or are afraid of investing in the wrong piece?  Call an interior designer who has the knowledge, skill and experience to make it happen!  RJohnston Interiors specializes in helping our clients create rooms they find hard to leave.  Spaces that suit their unique aesthetic and lifestyle.

Email us at info@rjohnstoninteriordesign.com or give us a call at 661-678-0034.

What it is, who it is, and why the trade is so integral to the world of architecture and design

When flipping through interior design and architecture magazines it is easy to simplify a design down to a single firm- or even worse- a single designer. This is however never, ever, the truth. Design is a culmination of a multitude of practices ranging from carpenters to installers and all the important trades people in-between. One of our favorite things about being designers based out of Los Angeles is the quality of work produced by the trades’ people we are fortunate enough to work with.

The term “Trade” is often thrown around without much thought or care- most homeowners and business owners only know loosely what defines the trade as ‘The Trade’. In the Los Angles county alone there are thousands of trades people working within the architectural and design platform.Trades people are the workhorses of our industry- they are the ones who take our vision as designers, our scribbled out napkin style ideas of details and connections, and turn them into beautiful works of art. As much as we love coming up with one off details for a cabinetry piece—we are perfectly happy handing it off to someone with the actual skill set to pull it off. However—this is where designers often make a grave mistake—just because you don’t know how to do it, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t understand how it is done on some level.


Custom designed railing by RJI. Built and installed by Swaim Metal INC. It was quite a beast to install, but smiles all around. Thanks Swaim Metal INC for seeing our design into reality!

Design is all about the details— one of our favorite slogans because it couldn’t be more on point.  Read more!

Life in Southern California is split between the interiors of our homes and the exterior. Blessed with sunshine and blue skies, warm days and cool breezes, our homes becoming living breathing entities of our lives. As you look up into the hills of LA each night or down from the airplane window as you land at LAX, take a moment to see the lights coming from all the homes and stop to take it all in. Los Angeles appreciates great architecture, great design, and great environments—but there is one element in design that we often forget about—electric lighting and lighting design. Lighting design is apart of our everyday movements and it is crucial to curating great design. 


Custom designed railing by RJI. Built and installed by Swaim Metal INC. It was quite a beast to install, but smiles all around. Thanks Swaim Metal INC for seeing our design into reality!

Lighting Lesson #3: Principles of Good Lighting Design

Play of Brilliants

It is exactly what you’re thinking— Read more!

Life in Southern California is split between the interiors of our homes and the exterior. Blessed with sunshine and blue skies, warm days and cool breezes, our homes becoming living breathing entities of our lives. As you look up into the hills of LA each night or down from the airplane window as you land at LAX, take a moment to see the lights coming from all the homes and stop to take it all in. Los Angeles appreciates great architecture, great design, and great environments—but there is one element in design that we often forget about—electric lighting and lighting design. Lighting design is apart of our everyday movements and it is crucial to curating great design.

Lighting Lesson #2: Principles of Good Lighting Design

Focal Glow

Focal Glow refers to accent lighting. This level of lighting is used deliberately to convey information by visually accentuating significant areas and allowing the insignificant areas to recede into the background. Read more!

Life in Southern California is split between the interiors of our homes and the exterior. Blessed with sunshine and blue skies, warm days and cool breezes, our homes becoming living breathing entities of our lives. As you look up into the hills of LA each night or down from the airplane window as you land at LAX, take a moment to see the lights coming from all the homes and stop to take it all in. Los Angeles appreciates great architecture, great design, and great environments—but there is one element in design that we often forget about—electric lighting and lighting design. Lighting design is apart of our everyday movements and it is crucial to curating great design.

Lighting Lesson #1: Principles of Good Lighting Design

Ambient Lighting

Ambient lighting is your overall lighting, it’s the lighting level that creates the general mood of the interior, be it bright and open or dark and moody, think ambiance. The purpose of architecture and design is to form an experience, a particular feeling or mood that guides us through a space and transforms the user.

Read more!

“my wallpaper is killing me,

one of us must go”

– Oscar Wilde 

We all have our ideas of what is out dated, out of style, and should perhaps never be brought back again… but if there is anything we have learned from the fashion world, nothing ever truly goes out of style. Almost everyone has memories of floral, pastel, and out of date wallpaper hanging in their grandparents… and dare I say, parents house. However, if you have been out shopping lately, or even just opened a magazine, then you know; what’s old has been made new again! In the glamour of Beverly Hills, Malibu or the Hollywood Hills trending fashion is a must, why should our homes be any different? It is time to bring wallpaper back into luxurious living!

A Brief History:

“Wall-paper” enters the English language in 1827, having begun in the Middle Ages with a much different purpose. Apart from technological concerns were aesthetic ones; wallpaper fashion moved from its earliest religious emphasis towards a constantly shifting taste for flowers, repeating geometric patterns, political and artistic scenes and even, at the end of the eighteenth century, to panoramic and landscape wallpapers. The 90s saw the advent of the feature wall in strong bold colors but today it is all about the glamour, luxury and style made simple by wallpaper.

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designers-july-1961-playboy-582x363The Los Angeles County has played host to some of the most influential architects and furniture designers in the history of design. Architects and builders like Ray and Charles Eames as well as A. Quincy Jones flocked to Southern California for many reasons, but one in particular always stands out in their designs—the ability to make a strong connection between good modern design and nature. Mid Century Modern capitalized on the countries growing confidence after WWII, new building materials, and a changing design aesthetic. LA has always been host to the greatest fashions and design trends so it is no wonder that the hills are filled with famous pieces of Mid Century Modern design.

Begging in the 1930’s through the 60’s with a handful of designers coming out of the International and Bauhaus movements – including the works of Gropius, Le Corbusier and Mies Van Der Rohe— Mid Century modern design has truly made a come back in the last few years. Architects like Frank Lloyd Wright and Eichler became famous in the United States for their ability to bring modern design to post-war America. Today, furniture collectors and designers are snatching up these classic pieces of sleek wooden furniture and mixing them in with other genres to create eclectic and timeless designs.

Read more!