How Deep is Your Window?

Posted 11 July 2016 at 8:42 AM | Comments (0)

One of my favorite architectural details is something you may have never even thought about: the depth of a window. When it is deep, it captures light. Pay attention to it. Even as the sun is moving away from that room, making it dimmer and dimmer inside, the light will reflect upon the deep frame and make it glow. Suddenly you realize you have architecture there.

It is one of the many ways that form and function work together in a home—the idea that what is useful can also be beautiful.

Here is a random photo of a window with barely any depth at all. Obviously, the window itself brings light into the home, but it is not contributing to the architecture in any way (the windows in our new house are just like this):

Residential Window With No Depth

And then there are these windows. Even without trim, and even in the midst of a total room overhaul, you can see how the light around them adds luminosity:

Residential Windows With Depth But No Trim

This window is not quite as deep (I’m guessing four inches?), and it has a sill, but you can see how it is framed in light:

Residential Window With Depth and Sill but No Trim

This one does have trim, and the light has the same impact:

Residential Window With Depth and Trim

And this one has a wood jamb and still the light is beautiful:

Residential Window With Depth and Natural Wood Jamb

We will lose a few inches in our already small bedroom when we deepen the windows, but I know the change will be worth it. My husband is on board, too—not as much for the visual impact, but for the extra space for thick insulation. Form and function. Win-win.

*All photos are from a random Web search.

1976 House Remodel

Posted 15 April 2013 at 4:22 PM | Comments (0)

I’ve mentioned before that I’m perpetually on the lookout for design ideas for my parents’ outdated 1970s home.

I come across a lot of ideas, but none of them have struck me quite like this one. It was also built in 1976 and is also in the Pacific Northwest, and this whole remodel would just work.

The company responsible for this remodel, NW Renovations & Design Co., is based in Portland. They’re going on my watchlist.

Pacific Northwest 1976 House Remodel Front Door

Pacific Northwest 1976 House Remodel Kitchen

Pacific Northwest 1976 House Remodel Kitchen

Pacific Northwest 1976 House Remodel Bathroom

Pacific Northwest 1976 House Remodel Bathroom

Pacific Northwest 1976 House Remodel Living Room

Pacific Northwest 1976 House Remodel Living Room

Laid-Back Texas Modernism in Austin Hillside House

Posted 24 January 2013 at 9:32 PM | Comments (2)

I have never been a big fan of homes swathed in yellow-based, beigey neutrals. If color had a smell, I have always imagined that yellowy-beiges would probably smell like old, like mothballs. When flipping through magazines, I actually scrunch up my nose at those houses.

So it’s anyone’s guess why this home appeals to me so much.

Austin Hillside House, Texas Modernism by Lake | Flato Architects: Exterior

Austin Hillside House, Texas Modernism by Lake | Flato Architects: Living/Dining Room

Austin Hillside House, Texas Modernism by Lake | Flato Architects: Living Room

Austin Hillside House, Texas Modernism by Lake | Flato Architects: Kitchen

Austin Hillside House, Texas Modernism by Lake | Flato Architects: Master Suite

Austin Hillside House, Texas Modernism by Lake | Flato Architects: Lower Level Exterior

My attraction to modernism and light must be influencing my feelings about this house, causing the yellow tones in the wood to smell less like mothballs and more like butter. Because I want this house. I do. I want it about one-quarter of the current size and with a bright color somewhere, or everywhere, but I want it.

*Images from Architectural Digest.

A Mediterranean Journey Concert Poster

Posted 23 January 2013 at 8:42 PM | Comments (4)

A friend asked me to design an e-mail inviting her friends and colleagues to a personal concert. When she said that the concert was Mediterranean-themed, ranging from Greek folk tunes to gypsy music, I knew immediately that I wanted the image to draw inspiration from Picasso’s vibrant 1952 painting, Mediterranean Landscape:

Mediterranean Landscape by Pablo Picasso 1952

So here’s my design, rendered entirely in Photoshop:

Mediterranean Concert Poster Design by Mojan Sami, Inspired by Picasso

I knew the design had to be bold and colorful—after all, it was only going to be sent via e-mail—but I also wanted it to infuse it with a sort of storybook romance, transporting the viewer to a different time and place. We’re all really happy with how it turned out.

*Names and details have been changed.

Jack White Poster

Posted 22 January 2013 at 1:39 PM | Comments (3)

I just bought this Jack White concert poster from one of my favorite designer/illustrators, Tom Whalen.

Tom Whalen's Jack White Jackson, TN Concert Poster

To some, it may be odd buying a concert poster for a show I didn’t even attend, but I am so smitten with this design. I would regret it if I couldn’t look at it every day.

So now this Jack White poster is part of my collection of unframed art back in the U.S., all accented with light blue hues, waiting to be hung in some unknown home of the future, anxious to inspire my creative work every day.

Pretty “New Mom” Portraits

Posted 2 September 2012 at 8:01 PM | Comments (1)

We don’t have plans to have more children (boo), but if there was ever a chance I might get pregnant again, I’d love to have a maternity portrait taken like this:

Soft Maternity Portrait, Pregnant Silhouette in Front of Window

And a mom-and-baby portrait like this (I love the light and the bare skin plus strong eyes):

Gwen Stefani and Baby, Sweet Mom and Newborn Portrait

Unfortunately I can’t credit the source of these photos, because somehow they got lost in the mix (boo times two), but I hope they inspire some of you moms-to-be!

For the Love of Pink

Posted 3 August 2012 at 8:30 PM | Comments (0)

Vogue April 2012 Pretty in Pink Photo by Tim Walker

Photographed by Tim Walker for Vogue.

Barcode Villa

Posted 20 April 2012 at 10:35 AM | Comments (0)

I post a lot of traditional and eclectic interiors, but the truth is, when it comes to exterior architecture, I love it ultramodern. Big, glass walls, concrete slabs, metal siding—oh, my heart skips a beat!

Like with this Munich house, built by Dutch architecture studio MVRDV and designed to evoke a barcode. Love. It.

Barcode Villa Designed by MVRDV, an Ultramodern House in Munich

The Balancing Barn

Posted 15 April 2012 at 6:31 PM | Comments (2)

Oooh, someday I’d like to rent out The Balancing Barn for a family holiday! It’s located in Suffolk, England and can sleep up to eight people. Also, it’s awesome. As indicated by the photos below.

Living Architecture's The Balancing Barn in Suffolk, England, United Kingdom

Living Architecture's The Balancing Barn in Suffolk, England, United Kingdom

Living Architecture's The Balancing Barn in Suffolk, England, United Kingdom

Living Architecture's The Balancing Barn in Suffolk, England, United Kingdom

Living Architecture's The Balancing Barn in Suffolk, England, United Kingdom

Living Architecture's The Balancing Barn in Suffolk, England, United Kingdom

“The barn takes the shape of its brothers nearby, but it wants to be slightly more sublime; it wants to give more space for nature by floating, and by the fact that we covered it in a material that reflects its surroundings more.” —Architect Winy Maas

Bird Art

Posted 21 December 2011 at 8:18 PM | Comments (0)

I’ve been over the bird trend for, oh, three, maybe four years now. Bird fabrics, bird wallpaper, bird salt shakers, bird decals, birdcages—it never seems to stop! Why?! Why don’t you fly away already??!

Well… except that was my attitude yesterday. Today, I’m reading Howard Norman’s exceptional novel, The Bird Artist, and it’s not only giving me a new appreciation for birds, it’s kind of making me obsessed with them.

Unfortunately I’m not about to become a bird artist myself, sitting in nature for hours at a time, sketching falcons, ospreys, and sandpipers. I’m much too—hm, how shall I say this—lazy. I’d rather let someone else be the bird artist and me, well, I’ll just give them my money.

Any one of these talented artists will do.

Original Bird Art Prints for Sale at Etsy.com

Bird prints for sale at Etsy.com, clockwise from top left:

Kingfisher Kitchen from alfredstark
Night Tree, Crescent Moon, Black Birds, and Farm Fields from TheBluebirdGallery
Great Horned Owl from annasee
Superb Fairy Wren from bridgetfarmerprints
Primary Birds from locole
Osprey at Cape May from berkeleySU