Scout Sustainable Design has officially launched here in San Francisco! And as its principal and lead interior designer I’m excited to be posting the progress of one of Scout’s first projects here on Sus-out.com. I hope to post more projects like this with some back story to give an idea of the process of a project and how materials are selected and design decisions are made along the way.
This client needed to create a space in her apartment dedicated to her business activities. She had the luxury of a dining room that was under-utilized so that’s where we started.
This room needed to accommodate a desk, filing, a library of reference material, and have lots of wall space for pinning up drawings, samples, photographs, and images.
The end user of this space is a designer and wanted her office to be fun and vivid, yet she also needed a somewhat neutral backdrop in order to work on color and material palettes for her clients. Being a rental, she doesn’t have the option of altering the structure or even permanently mounting anything on the walls so all of the design solutions have to be free-standing and removable.
The client had some cute and casual dining furniture that we customized and re-used. This glass table top got a bold two-tone buffalo plaid graphic painted on the back and became a sleek executive desk. Portions of the graphic were left transparent to keep it feeling light but the red theme is reinforced with a cotton rag rug below.
Some vintage character was brought in with café-style curtains made with a red and green vintage rayon from Urban Burp. We kept the color concentrated in the furniture and textiles with sassy graphics so that the walls could be a neutral without feeling like a compromise. On the walls is Benjamin Moore’s ben - low odor, low VOC - interior latex paint in flat Mocha Cream 995. It’s neutral and it’s gray, but has a bit of pink in it that really feels rich with all the red.
For pin-up space, we are looking into a natural cork product that comes 48” wide rolls and a dozen colors. This will be mounted on a FSC-certified plywood backing board (as opposed to applying it directly to the plaster wall) and with some custom metal J-hooks we’ll simply hang our tack board from the existing picture rail. The cork will help with acoustics in the room too.
I’ll be meeting with one of my carpenter friends to come up with a custom shelving unit for under that window. My priority is to create a two- or three-piece unit out of salvaged or remnant lumber. Breaking it into modules will let us make use of smaller pieces of wood and make it a more versatile piece of furniture should the client ever relocate. Look for that in future posts!
I love the look of raw plywood. It just seems to take all the edge off any design that is threatening to take itself too seriously! We’ll be using this look as part of the tackboard construction. I also love this idea of a limitless tacakable wall (see image below), but in my client’s case there is an arched opening into the kitchen on the would-be tack wall. Carpeting the whole wall with cork would be best on a wall like the one shown here where all edges terminate into an inside corner. We nixed full wall treatment in favor of a self-supporting idea – more to come on that one…