moving on to 2016: a look at design trends to ditch

As an interior designer who loves a good remodel, I’ve seen a lot of dated design trends meet their end.  Eventually, I’ll come across one that is embraced, like in the case of a Mid-Century Modern Ranch we restored, resurrected, and modernized classic Mid-Century design elements, right down to the crinoline, triple pleated draperies.  More often, however, it’s a matter of a client having a very strong aversion to what is going on in their home.

Here are some trends that I would not be opposed to saying farewell to:

Text as Décor.  We’ve all seen it.  The inspirational ‘family’ or ‘love’ or ‘EAT’ written on the wall in a scroll-y font that is meant to personalize a space.  In this age of constant stimulation and engagement,  I’m voting for more serene, visually peaceful environments.  And I love design elements that don’t state the obvious.  A collage of family photos is much more personal than a literal statement.  Careful color selection is more likely to make me want to dine than a verb.

The Chevron.  It’s such a bold and overused pattern. Herringbone and Parquet, are are similar, but timeless and much more subtle.  Chevron is very hard edged, graphic, and noisy. It’s like a visual alarm.


Faux Finish and Faux Looks.  Having worked as a faux finisher in Tucson while going to design school, it’s ironic that I now think it’s passé.  But in our region, it’s often dated and overstated.  Also, having seen enough sponged walls to last me awhile, reminiscent of the original DIY movement, I’m going to advise to DIY a solid, solitary, lovely coat of paint instead.  Digital imaging has made it possible for anything to look like any other thing, but I’m still fond of materials that aren’t trying to be something else.   I do, however, love faux fur to add warmth and texture without having to lose the life of a critter.  Here’s an example of a faux finished kitchen:

Microwave Hood.  Having a microwave dangle above the cooktop is heavy and somewhat ominous. Microwave design has advanced to include more options than just on the countertop version or above the hood.  Consider a microwave drawer or housing it in an unused upper cabinet that has close proximity to the fridge.


Tiled / Grouted Countertops.  I’ve had a tiled countertop in a kitchen.  The grout lines are a nightmare to keep clean, surface was uneven and tippy, and it looked drab, dated.  I don’t recommend tile countertops with grout lines unless you’re really set on no other option.  Some tile manufacturers are offering very large format porcelain tiles that are nearly slab sized, like from Oregon Tile & Marble.  Using a run of large formatted tile instead of marble eliminates having to seal the stone or worry about the stone.  Large format tile can be used to create a beautifully clean, modern, and seamless aesthetic when tied into the backsplash well.

Here’s hoping you have a fresh layer of snow, an optimistic outlook, and an inspiring New Year.

Thanks for reading,


Update on Scolatti Girls’ Home Addition and Remodel

The holidays are here and things are moving at breakneck speed on this charitable addition and remodel project, thanks to the hard work of JM Moran & Company Construction and the generous help from our subcontractors.  Framing has all been done, aided by a crew of family friends that came up from Arizona who contributed more stylized accents including a groin vault in a hallway and other details.  Anatoly Levchenko has roughed in all of the plumbing, generously working after hours.  Alex at Anchor Electric spent several days laying out the lighting and switching plan we’ve thoughtfully arrived at. Windows and doors were installed, donated by Boyce Lumber. Matt from Fire and Ice is spray foaming insulation today and tomorrow, so we’ll be ready for that inspection in the next few days.  We’ve come up with a fantastic kitchen design with appliances donated from Fred’s Appliance and with the help of ABC /FOX Montana, Kalee’s work family.  Talented Logan at Boyce Lumber and I finalized the kitchen plan and cabinets are on order, also donated by Boyce.  Tyler, from JM Moran & Company Construction and I are ordering interior doors and all door hardware today.  Will and Chad, owners of Independent Roofing , are ready to put the roof and siding on shortly.

Here are a few pictures of the progress.

Future Kitchen, framed and renderings:

philips 2.0

Entry, opening up into the living / hangout zone:

philips 2.2
philips 2.1

From the open concept hangout zone / kitchen area looking through to the bedrooms and bathroom:


And, exterior view:


I am still incredibly impressed with the generosity of the members of the Missoula building industry and I am so proud to be able to work alongside REALLY GOOD people who I am honored to consider my friends.  This project has humbled me and also proven to me what community can accomplish.  It’s been a lesson for me to keep running forward, make good decisions, and not get bogged down in details or perfect presentation drawings.  It’s moving so fast because of compassion and love, and I’ve had to hustle to stay a step ahead with immediate decisions, for sure!

Thanks for reading and Happy Holidays.