How Does Your Garden Grow?

March 11th, 2010

I am in love with this home for Australian floral artist Joost Bakker.  Pick up the current issue of Interior Design Magazine – or read it here – because the entire article written on the project is well worth the read.  My favorite feature: there are more than 11,00 terra cotta flower pots “cladding” this home, planted every summer with strawberries!

*photography by earl carter / taverne agency

Posted in Architecture, Building Materials, Inspiration, Landscape Comments Off on How Does Your Garden Grow?

Haik Avanian’s ReKnit Project

March 10th, 2010

I heard a piece on NPR’s All Things Considered recently entitled “Mother, Son Create a New Life For That Old Sweater.”  The story featured the ReKnit Project by graphic designer Haik Avanian.  As with many things I hear about on NPR, I had to learn more.  What I discovered: ReKnit is nothing short of fantastic.

From Haik:

Reknit was launched as a small project to share a resourceful family tradition with the world, and to encourage my mom to partake in her hobby more often. The project is based around the idea of reclaiming yarn from old clothes, and reknitting that yarn into something new and useful.  It’s a really simple form of re-using/re-purposing that can be very fun.

Folks interested in participating in the project send an old sweater and $30 to Haik’s mom, who then unravels the old sweater and knits it into something new.  January’s project was a scarf, February featured fingerless gloves and March’s hat project sold out in a day, from what I heard (they limit orders to 30 per month, because, as Haik says, he only has one mom).  On the ballot for April are a laptop case, a baby jacket, socks, or sweatbands.

Posted in Handcrafted, Inspiration, Lifestyle 2 Comments >

Kirei Board: why we love it

March 8th, 2010

Today I’m working on a design for a shelving unit that spans two steel columns and features one of my favorite materials – Kirei Board.

Kirei Board is a strong, lightweight, durable, environmentally friendly substitute for wood.  Manufactured from reclaimed sorghum straw and bound with a formaldehyde-free adhesive, Kirei Board is a lovely material for furniture, cabinetry, casework and a variety of interior design elements.  Kirei comes in several sizes, ranging from 6 to 30 millimeters in thickness.  I love the pattern and texture it presents, and requires only a simple coat of wax to finish.

The shelving unit that I’m working on will feature Kirei Board slabs bolted to a raw steel framework, which, in turn, will be welded to existing exposed steel columns.  This assembly sits in a double-height space adjacent to a dining area, which is home to a steel table finished with a Kirei Board top.  I’ll be sure to post images of the finished piece!

Posted in Architecture, Building Materials, Furniture, Interiors 2 Comments >

Emerging from February

March 5th, 2010

I realized today that it’s been over a month since my last blog posting.  So much for that overly-ambitious cheapest essay writing service five-postings-per-week schedule.  February always does a job on me, and this has been a particularly long winter.  But the sun is warming up and signs of spring are everywhere.

Fortunately, February was also extremely productive.  I’m happy to announce that we just finished some nice website updates and have spent lots of time sprucing up this very blog.


  • We’ve added a graphic and a link to Colorado Homes & Lifestyles Magazine.  I’m embarking on a collaborative adventure with Colorado Homes, and will be contributing a weekly feature to their lovely blog.  The focus will be on the life of a particular project, allowing readers to follow the design and construction process while learning about materials, green-building strategies, experiences with the new City of Boulder Compatible Development regulations and so much more.  Our first post should happen next week!
  • We’ve recently joined Ellie’s List, a Boulder-based resource for green-minded building and design professionals.  Watch for their national launch on Earth Day 2010.
  • We’ve added a Twitter feed to the sidebar of our blog – please follow @krDESIGNco!
  • And finally, since my postings often rely heavily on associated visuals, we’ve increased the size of our image format.

Many thanks to my fabulous friends Susan and Laura at Q Digital Studio for all their work on my website and blog – these are some very talented ladies and so fun to work with!

Posted in Studio News 2 Comments >

Dreaming of Gardens

January 15th, 2010


I’d like to end the week with photos of a particular project that has me dreaming of spring and building my garden.  I’ve been collecting inspiring imagery as I begin to design some garden space on the property that my husband and I own in the foothills outside of Boulder.  We have two acres, most of it sloping, and though we have a very sunny site we sit at 6,500 feet, which is limiting when it comes to plant palettes.  We also have an abundance of wildlife to contend with.

I’ve been working on concepts that are architectural yet xeric, an extension of the language of our house, and am sold on creating a series of terraced gardens combined with steel planters and large slab stone…somehow.  I also want to build a vegetable garden, a small fruit orchard, and fields of lavender…oh – and maybe some grape vines.

The January/February issue of Garden Design features a project by Suzanne Biaggi and Patrick Pickard entitled “Future Feast in the Garden of Flow / Accumulation,” part of a larger installation at the Late Show Gardens.  Enjoy!





Posted in Inspiration, Landscape, Lifestyle 1 Comment >

Ten Best Boston-Area Buildings of the Decade

January 13th, 2010

Congratulations to my mentor David Hacin and his team at Hacin + Associates!  H+A’s FP3 project was named to the Boston Herald’s ‘Ten best Boston-area buildings of the decade’.


FP3 includes two fully-renovated 19th century warehouse buildings, a new adjacent infill building and a terraced 3-story rooftop addition, which add 76 luxury lofts, three restaurants and a  lobby/gallery to the Fort Point arts district of Boston.





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Trendsetters | Influencers | Connectors

January 12th, 2010

I enjoyed this piece from Andrea Baxter at Bratface Marketing so much that I’m re-posting it here in it’s entirety.  Originally posted on Design*Sponge 12 January 2010 as part of their Biz Ladies series.


As a businesswoman, more importantly, an entrepreneur, I have come to learn that there are 3 very important people you must surround yourself with in order to help your business grow and make it successful: trendsetters, influencer’s and connectors.

Why? Because these are the people who are going to believe in you, believe in what you are doing and will want to help you grow your business as ferociously as you do.

Unfortunately, this wasn’t something I learned yesterday. Or even 3 years back when I started my first business, the Smart Cookies. I learned this from my parents believe it or not. I watched how they connected with the people around them, how others influenced them both personally and professionally and how they nurtured those relationships to help them get to where they are today. Of course, not without offering the same in return. No, my parents are not celebrities, people in the media or savvy politicians. They are just your average people who have made a difference to others around them, have done the right things all their life and succeeded in doing so. I admired that and I certainly took it to heart as I got older and because a businesswoman.

Throughout my career, I have been able to connect with some amazing people who have helped me get to where I am today (professionally speaking). Now that I am busy running 2 businesses, Smart Cookies and Bratface Marketing, I have come to learn how important these people are to me, my business and how key they are to my success in this fickle world.

In simple terms, here is how I define the difference between all three. You can agree with me or not, but mark my word, you will agree with at least some of what I have to say and I guarantee that you will be able to have 1 if not all 3 of these people in your life to some capacity.

Trendsetters – you probably have heard this term commonly used in the fashion industry. A ‘fashion trendsetter’ can be used to describe Patricia Field, Sarah Jessica Parker and Lady Gaga, but when it comes to business, trendsetters are the ones you want to watch out for, listen carefully to, ‘follow’ if you are an avid Twitter user and trust when it comes to their instincts. These people are the ones who are always on the cutting edge of business, politics, and social media – you name it. They can often be risky and stray from the ‘norm’ (but really, what is classified as normal anymore these days?) but will often take the most risks because they believe in something, and believe in what they are doing and more importantly, don’t care as much about other people’s opinions. Talk about standing by your convictions! Others don’t sway these people easily because they are truly authentic and are not afraid to fail (although, they rarely do). You have to get on the bandwagon early with these folks if you want to be cutting edge and be a part of the trend.

Influencers – these people are who I find to be some of the most important. I have been influenced my many people in my life from parents, grandparents, former employers to good friends. They inspire me and they can often inspire you to do the things you are scared of in life. Taking the leap of faith to quit your high paying job and start your own company; taking a year off to travel and experience the world while leaving behind your security. Whatever it is, influencers will be some of the most amazing people (and best storytellers) you will surround yourself with and if you really want to succeed in life or business, they are the ones that will take you to the next level. If you need a little push in the right direction, start making a list of the best people who can influence you to make that move.

Connectors – from a business perspective, these people will literally rock your world. Ok, well they did for me anyway! This is one lesson I learned fairly early on in life: the people, who are good at connecting you with people you should know, are the people you should befriend and get to know really well. Don’t be afraid to get out there and introduce yourself. Doesn’t matter if you know them or not. One of the best ways you can succeed in business and connect yourself with others is to put yourself out there. Plain and simple. It’s very important in business because as you grow and succeed (whether it be as an entrepreneur or not) these are the people who will connect you with other influencers or people they believe will help you get to that next level. They are the ones who believe in you and have confidence in introducing you to others. One important note I want to mention is to make sure you connect with people who are worth connecting with. Don’t waste your time meeting people just for the sake of meeting people and getting out there. You want to make an effort in finding the right people who have your best interest at heart and will have some sort of a positive influence to your bottom line.

Posted in Inspiration, Women in Business Comments Off on Trendsetters | Influencers | Connectors

2010: Where to Begin?

January 11th, 2010

I imagine that we’re all happy to have said farewell to 2009 for a whole host of reasons.  The New Year is in full swing for me, and I’m feeling energized by the variety of projects, ideas, and opportunities that have coincided with the arrival of 2010.

I even like how the number  2 0 1 0 looks in comparison to 2 0 0 9 .

I have a long list of topics – materials, photos, trends, projects, miscellaneous design-related musings – that will become future blog postings…the list is already so long that I’m not really sure where to begin.

So for today, I’ll simply share an image that I recently saw on Michelle Kaufmann’s Blog (one of my favorites).  This New Year’s card by Lee Friedman seems to sum things up perfectly…good thing I already drink a lot of coffee.  Here’s to 2010.


Posted in Inspiration, Lifestyle 1 Comment >

Handmade for the Holidays

December 17th, 2009

I always start off the holiday season with the best of intentions when it comes to making gifts for my loved ones.  Some earrings, a necklace or two, a few hand-knit scarves, no problem.  Until I look up and realize that Christmas is in a week and I haven’t even started on my gifts yet.  Out of necessity, I begin to modify my plans, simplify things, and look for items that allow that special handcrafted feel without requiring a week of very late nights to get everything done.

I suspect that I’m not alone in being overly ambitions, and felt a surge of joy when reading my favorite knitting blog today.  The Purl Bee has a posting titled “The Opulent Eleventh Hour Scarf.”  Rejoice!  Bulky yarn and big needles save the day.


Onto jewelry.  Carlentini Designs, owned by my good friend Catherine Pistone-Cooper, offers beautiful jewelry – still very much handmade, just not by me!  She works in semi-precious stones and hand-forged silver, and she takes custom orders.


And there is always the lovely customized vintage wood-type stationary made by Alli Bozeman of BirdDog Press…perfect for just about anyone.



And for something funky and unusual, I think these steel wire hangers for Tillandsias (a.k.a. “airplants”) are quite delightful, and in combination with a few airplants would make a gift I know that I (for one) would love.


Posted in Handcrafted, Lifestyle 1 Comment >

Mixed Media in Santa Fe

December 15th, 2009

The work of mixed media artist Pascal Pierme has been inspiring me for years.   He lives in one of my favorite places on earth – Santa Fe, New Mexico – and his unique approach to sculpting with wood and metal resonates with my fundamental interest in color, texture and composition.




I am fortunate enough to have one of Pascal’s wall pieces in my own home.  While the Pascal is a great conversation piece, it is also the perfect compliment to the finishes, palette and furnishings of the space.


photo by Ben Tremper

Posted in Handcrafted, Home Accessories, Inspiration Comments Off on Mixed Media in Santa Fe