At Ballard Designs we are dedicated to bringing our customers the most updated information on design. In mid-September, our design team attended House Beautiful’s Color Institute Seminar at the Atlanta Decorative Arts Center. The keynote speakers were Stephen Drucker, Editor in Chief of House Beautiful; Eric Cohler, famous New York Interior Designer; and Suzanne Kasler, Interior Designer extraordinaire from Atlanta.
The seminar was filled with wonderful tidbits of information on color trends and the personal observations and preferences of the speakers. Stephen Drucker presented an expose of House Beautiful from its inception to the present day. He took us through the decades showing how design has transformed and evolved over the past century. It is interesting to note that some truly classical designs are just as fresh today as they were in 1920.
Eric Cohler, a New York based designer was very engaging and informative. He is considered one of the leading designers in the country. His theory on color is the “layering effect”. He loves to use texture and works wonders with neutrals. His blending of contemporary and traditional elements appears effortless. He touched on the use of eco-friendly paints, mainly low or no VOC paints. He is also a fan of using natural fibers for upholstery, rugs and draperies. This is a trend in the industry and is in keeping with Ballard’s tradition of loving natural textures. Eric’s favorite personal color – blue. His own bedroom ceiling is painted in a blue hue. He loves using natural colors and textures when designing. His objective is to integrate the interior with the exterior.
Suzanne Kasler, a talented and well-known interior designer from Atlanta was also a wealth of knowledge and is one of today’s leading designers. She loves to mix light and scale to achieve a sense of sophisticated comfort. One of her favorite tones to use is taupe. She feels it is a great backdrop and grounds a room allowing her to fill the room with pops of color. She also loves to use warm white tones as a backdrop to bring out the architectural elements of the furnishings. Somehow the neutral tones keep everything in balance. She also discussed the use of dark colors, explaining her favorite use is to paint a ceiling a dark color when the room is small. It gives the illusion of higher ceilings and creates the impression that the space is larger than its actual size – just the opposite of what most people would think. Suzanne is working with Ballard on our March 2010 Catalog, and we are very excited to have her fantastic sense of style grace our pages.
All in all it was a great seminar filled with ideas that we can pass along to our customers. It also keeps us current, so we can focus on the fashionable trends in the design industry.