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Practice safe design…

Hold It store windowThis is the time of year that I think of as my teaching season (I am honored to be able to teach design classes with the Genesis 3 Design Group). It has me thinking quite a bit about what makes good design, and how to teach others how to be better designers. I stumbled across this window display at HoldIt, a fantastic modern furniture store in Mission Valley, and I just love the sentiment! Practice safe design: use a concept. I think I might need to borrow that as the title for my next class!

Sweeps of Texture


Pittosporum, Westringia and Santolina

Pittosporum, Westringia and Santolina

Both soothing and cohesive. These simple sweeps of soft shrubs really compliment the angular nature of the sandstone retaining walls.  Awesome!!!

Playful Driveway

IMG_5588I was driving through a new development in the North county and ran across this playful driveway. I don’t know if I love it . My thoughts.

What is attractive to me:

It is bold. 3 different color concrete pours in a rectilinear pattern that is both clean and complicated.

The pattern integrates into the path to the front door.  Integration is good.

Dymondia, the drought tolerant ground cover darling of the contemporary landscape.

Where it falls short for me:

Maintenance. How can we make a driveway complicated for the sake of complication. (see photo)

Aesthetic dis-agreement. It feels like a modern detail thrust into a traditional design.

Forced. Although the path is integrated into a ‘pattern’ the ‘pattern’ seems to fall apart after the walkway to the front door.

Some other thoughts:

I am always excited about new ideas, techniques and applications in design, and this was something I had not seen in this particular application before. Good or bad it was definitely statement.

I’d love to know what you all think.







Updated Spanish steps - CopyIt’s no secret I am obsessed with tile. Honestly though with all the options out there, how could I not be? These hand painted tiles from Fireclay tile can be specified with whatever color combination you would like. Which is a great way to bring a more modern twist to the classical theme of painted tiles and brick. I also love the look of alternating brick on every other step riser creating these punctuated bands of color against the classic white stucco. Buen trabajo! - Copy