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Interior Design Visual Presentation | 5th Edition

I have agreed to complete a new edition of the book Interior Design Visual Presentation —this will be the 5th edition. Finding myself beginning work on this project is a bit of a jolt.

I started work on the 1st edition almost 20 years ago. Time flies, as they say, and when that original edition was published Revit and SketchUp software did not exist, nobody had a phone that was also a camera and 3-d printers were not a thing (not for regular people anyway). Now all of those previously non-existent things will be included in the new edition.

Honestly, I am always frightened to work on a new edition —it can seem very overwhelming. The motivation to do the work is usually a sense that the last edition has some “stuff” that needs “fixing” or at least serious updating. That is the case with this new edition, as I will be including new examples of both hand drawings/renderings and digital images and updating the many things that have changed since I completed the last edition in 2011.

The first part of this work will be to sort of attack the last edition and determine what needs to be eliminated and what needs to be revised. Usually at the same time I start to dig around to see what design firms are doing that is new and to see what seems to be happening both stylistically and technically with presentations. In a way this part is fun and easy because I am interested in what is going on out there and I am happy to be able to fix things that need fixing. Once I get my head around what needs to go and what has changed then the real work begins —more about that later!



Residential Interior Design | New Edition

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I’m happy to say that the third edition of Residential Interior Design: a Guide to Planning Spaces will be published late this spring (’16) by Wiley. I am currently at work on page proofs and the index (my least favorite task). The image above is a sneak preview of the cover design.

This edition includes updated code information (IRC 2015), statistical updates, and some improved graphics as well as expanded information on remodeling,

Planners: yes!

Okay, this may seem like a ridiculous thing to sit down and write about but it is important.

As a person that is not exactly organized by nature, its clear to me that a good planner is a very useful tool. I’ve tried all types and had mixed results but have finally found one that I like and can use consistently.

What I am saying is: my only hope for staying on top of things is to keep a planner going and to sort of enjoy the process.

A good planner can help with organization but for some people planners go well beyond that to become a hobby or creative outlet; they use the planner for all types of organization, record keeping and sort of embellish it. Artists and designers create journals that are sometimes combined with planners but I cannot quite make that work.

For me, the planner should be simple and have a good monthly overview page as well as larger spaces for each day. This way I can use the larger, daily spaces for ideas, as a sort of journal and for refer to the monthly view page for appointments. I like a neutral cover and simple page design. And, my planner must be small enough to fit in a bag or purse (say 5 by 9/10 inches) so I can bring it everywhere.


My current planner does all of the above and for a reasonable cost ($20). It is made by Shinola, a company I am happy to support. (sadly it appears they no longer have the 2016 version available –its called a Runwell Planner). Last year I tried to make my own planner by using an online calendar and scaling it down to fit in a moleskin. This years Shinola version shares the what I like about moleskin notebooks (elastic band and page marker) with  great calendar and monthly note pages.


My daughter likes a bigger planner that is more like a notebook and she uses it to keep on top of everything; she also does some major embellishing. Her current planner is by Erin Condren (Life Planner).


Some of the students I work with have created their own planners by hacking calendar pages found online and combining them with blank or lined pages for notes. One student has come up with a pretty spectacular version using this process this semester.


Ken Kellogg | Kendrick Bangs Kellogg | The High Desert House

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Here is an informative NY Times article about Kendrick Bangs Kellogg with a focus on  the High Desert House, in Joshua Tree.

Having lived in San Diego, CA, I long admired the work Kellogg did in the area. Years ago, I  was also lucky to be involved with a local lecture and tour of some of his projects.  It was wonderful to be able experience his work in person, particularly the relationships of the  interior, exterior and site on a range of projects.


Interior Design

IMG_4387What to call it? Maybe Interior Architecture? Sometimes, maybe, if you are actually doing that. Or, perhaps if it is a description of an academic program housed within an architecture school.

For me Interior Design continues to be the best way to describe this area of design.

Interior Design continues to be the best term to describe work done on projects that range from large scale commercial interiors that include significant space planning, materials, finish and furniture selections, to projects that focus on FF&E as well as residential design projects.

In selecting titles for books I have written I have always been intent on including “Interior Design” in the title. I have been asked to consider titles that might be seen as more general with less of a focus on the word “Interior” so that the books might be seen as more palatable to architects and other design professionals. But, I’m pretty happy to carry the banner and to keep pushing the profession forward in any way that I can.

Interior Design

July in the midwest; its warm, things are growing and I’m busy.

IMG_4081 2I’m deeply involved in a revision of the book Residential Interior Design (3rd edition); a book revision is both more and less complicated than one might think as follows:

Uncomplicated = the structure is set unless something doesn’t work.

Complicated = there is a protocol to using old art/images and new. And, coding all the things for the new book that can get a little weird and ummm –complicated. Also, it takes forever to fiddle around with little mistakes in artwork and then I fall down a rabbit hole of getting too picky and I just want to sit and do Illustrator all day long (and listen to music, which is easier than writing for me).

Revisions are great because its good to get a chance for a “do over” on any project and that is what I find most appealing as there are always things that don’t quite work out (and there they are in print for all the world to see).

So, its good to fix them up, sort of like tidying up.

Also, its great to be able to update facts and figures as they do change rather dramatically from year to year. For example, in the edition I am revising I wrote that LED luminaires are not commonly used in residences –which was correct when I wrote it –but not so much now. Digging around with researching items for each chapter updates me with current information for teaching –so I gain quite a lot in this process.

In other news, a cat seems to have adopted our family but wants to live outside so I have attached a collar with a bell to the beast in the hope that he does not wipe out all of the song birds we have in our yard.

Before work on the book become so intense I was doing a fair amount of reading including Dead Wake by Erik Larson (about the Lusitania), Pioneer Girl (the original manuscript of Laura Ingalls Wilder edited by Pamela Smith Hill with some fascinating footnotes), Some Luck by Jane Smiley (part of a trilogy that I want to keep reading). Anne Tyler’s new book A Spool of Blue Thread (which sent me back to read Back When We Were Grownups).

And, like a bunch of other people I am reading The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo (can’t tell if I agree with her approach but its interesting in light of my working on a book on the design of homes).