Introducing the IDI Student Council

President, Alicia Smith.

As the current Student Council President, I am enthusiastic to have the privilege of advocating for the student body.

My top priority is cultivating a supportive school environment that prepares students for the real world through educational events focused on professional development. When not at school, I work as a Junior Designer at a small Interior Design firm in Brea. Our work involves small projects to complete new builds and operate a wallpaper store outside our office. It’s fun to see what I learn in class reflected in my work at the office the next day! Outside of interior design, my hobbies include coffee addiction, cooking, Warriors basketball, and planning a trip to Europe and Asia after graduation.

Vice President, Duc Nguyen.

Before beginning his interior design studies at IDI, Duc set his sights on entrepreneurial ventures, hoping to start his own business after earning a Bachelor’s in Business from CSUF in 2014. Upon enrolling at IDI, he recognized the need for a more vibrant student community and joined the student council. His goal was to assist in organizing events that would build a tighter-knit community and inclusivity among all students, regardless of their background or gender.

With an innate desire to make a difference, Duc’s professional career started when he enlisted in the U.S. Army in 2015. He served as a 68W Combat Medic at Fort Bliss in El Paso, TX, along with an overseas deployment to Kuwait and Syria in 2017.

Following a 4-year active duty career, he swapped his Army patrol cap for a Chef’s toque, graduating with honors from ICE Culinary School in Los Angeles in 2021. Duc wrapped up his culinary externship at ICE, working at David Chang’s restaurant Majordōmo in LA, before moving on to the next chapter in his career.

Now, Duc is fully dedicated to his career in commercial interior design, gaining valuable skills as he works towards his dream of establishing his design firm. Outside of school you can find him chillin’ with his dog, trying out new food spots, or at the movies!

Secretary, Ashley Coffey.

Ashley is an award-winning home stager and interior designer who formerly worked as an entertainment publicist before pursuing her second degree in interior architecture at Interior Designers Institute. This year, she was recognized as one of the top 100 most influential stagers by the Real Estate Staging Association (RESA). She also was named Student of the Year by the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) Orange County chapter. Her professional affiliations include RESA, ASID, IIDA (International Interior Design Association), and USGBC (United States Green Building Council). As the current Student Rep to the Board for ASID OC, she aims to connect interior design students in Orange County with each other and with design professionals. She hopes that in her role as secretary on the student council at Interior Designers Institute, she can help foster a stronger sense of community. Ashley is looking forward to helping the students however she can. She would love to see more on- and off-campus events occur during her term.

Treasurer, Bill Quinnan.

After years of balancing his responsibilities as a stay-at-home father of four with his career in freelance writing, Bill decided to explore interior design in 2021, entering IDI’s certificate program that fall. Bill is nearing completion of his associate’s degree in interior design and hopes to continue his bachelor’s degree at IDI. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in Communication from the University of California, San Diego.

As treasurer, Bill’s goal is to keep the financial situation of IDI’s student council current, accurate, and transparent.

Career wise, he is particularly interested in the commercial sector but is open to all possibilities that will utilize his skills and experience, as well as draw on his passions.

Community Outreach Director, Breegan Cummings.

As a dedicated student council member, Breegan’s biggest goal is to support her fellow students and encourage every student’s big or small dreams.

Her entrepreneurial spirit and love for residential design were nurtured from a young age. She has spent years designing, painting, and building various art pieces, turning her passions into tangible creations. She has recently started a business selling the art she creates, further refining her entrepreneurial skills and adding to her diverse portfolio.

These experiences have shaped her desire to open a high-end residential design firm and design furniture for large-scale production after graduation.

Breegan uses her leadership skills and creativity to advocate for her fellow students and prioritize our emerging designers to build their resumes creatively. She will make a lasting impact on the interior design industry in Southern California. She spends her free time working in furniture sales, building furniture, playing the violin, sewing, reading, and painting.


Interior Designers Institute was founded in 1984 and is one of the few Interior Design Schools in California offering an Avocational Certificate Course, Associate of Arts Degree in Interior Design, Bachelor of Arts Degree in Interior Design, and Master of Interior Architecture Degree and is nationally accredited and also accredited by CIDA, Council for Interior Design Accreditation.

Studio N highlights textured materials with lighting at Dubai spa

Dubai-based Studio N has created a lighting scheme to emphasise the natural materials used in the Sensasia Stories Spa designed by interiors studio Roar in the Kempinski Hotel Mall in the UAE.

As the spa has no natural light, Studio N focussed on highlighting the variety of materials used in the space, which includes grey slate, stone, wood and hessian wallpaper.

“We were very conscious of how we illuminated each of the different surfaces and how light could help emphasise the natural characteristics of materials”, the studio told Dezeen.

The central space features illuminated arches

Overall the studio aimed to meet spa lighting guidelines while maintaining a calm and peaceful atmosphere in the space.

As the Sensasia Stories Spa is located in a busy mall, the lighting designers wanted the entrance space and reception area to act as a calm area of transition from retail to spa environment.

Concealed low-power and high-lumen LED lights were used to create a soothing environment, with under-counter lighting used for soft, ambient light in the the reception.

The central space features illuminated arches

The 270-square-metre spa contains eight treatment rooms, along with an ice fountain, herb saunas, steam rooms, and pool, that are arranged around a central courtyard.

In this central space interiors studio Roar and Studio N created a large arched structure that contains illuminated arches. “We used linear grazers to pick out the texture of stone walls,” said Studio N.

Concealed low-power lights are used in treatment rooms

Strip lights were integrated into the pool’s stairs and, in other areas, smaller lights and decorative light fixtures were used to create illuminated accent walls.

A recessed gobo projector was used to replicate the movement of water, which the studio said was “a subtle reference to the natural world”.

The studio used recessed wide-beam pinhole downlights to provide general lighting to the space in a minimal style.

The lighting of each area of the spa can be controlled via a DALI lighting control system which allows lighting to be changed between lighting scenes. Treatment rooms can be changed between ‘mood lighting’, ‘treatment’ and ‘cleaning scenes’.

Studio N used LED lights throughout the spa

Studio N is shortlisted in the architectural lighting design category at the Dezeen awards 2022 alongside Liftshutz Davidson Sandiland and Leo Villareal’s Illuminated River installation and a theatre venue clad in luminous tiles in China, by Brandston Partnership.

The photography is by The Oculis Project.


Interior Designers Institute was founded in 1984 and is one of the few Interior Design Schools in California offering an Avocational Certificate Course, Associate of Arts Degree in Interior Design, Bachelor of Arts Degree in Interior Design, and Master of Interior Architecture Degree and is nationally accredited and also accredited by CIDA, Council for Interior Design Accreditation.

Keith Haring: Art Is for Everybody through Oct 08, 2023

The Broad presents the first-ever museum exhibition in Los Angeles of Keith Haring’s expansive body of work and features over 120 artworks and archival materials. Known for his use of vibrant color, energetic linework and iconic characters like the barking dog and the radiant baby, Haring’s work continues to dissolve barriers between art and life and spread joy, all while being rooted in the creative spirit and mission of his subway drawings and renowned public murals: art is for everybody. Curated by Broad curator and exhibition manager Sarah Loyer, the exhibition explores both Haring’s artistic practice and life, with much of the source material for the exhibition coming from his personal journals.  

Divided into ten galleries in total, the expansive exhibition features the breadth of mediums Haring worked within, including video, sculpture, drawing, painting, and graphic works, as well as representations from the artist’s enormous output of public projects, from the subway drawings to his public murals. Works presented span from the late-1970s when he was a student at the School of Visual Arts in New York up until 1988, just two years before the artist died from AIDS-related illness at the age of 31. Haring’s participation in nuclear disarmament and anti-Apartheid movements are featured prominently in the show, as well as works that take on complex issues that remain crucial today from environmentalism, capitalism, and the proliferation of new technologies to religion, sexuality, and race. In the last gallery, significant works from the late 1980s are accompanied by framed posters illustrating the artist’s activism within the HIV/AIDS crisis.

Major works held in The Broad collection such as Untitled, 1984 and Red Room, 1988 are on view in addition to key loans from many institutional and private collections, including art, ephemera and documentation provided by the Keith Haring Foundation in New York, established by the artist in 1989. The show features immersive elements, such as a gallery lit by blacklight soundtracked by playlists created by the artist himself. Additionally, the Shop at The Broad has been transformed, taking inspiration from Haring’s artistic retail space The Pop Shop, which first opened in 1986 in the SoHo neighborhood of New York.

The BROAD team’s must-see Haring picks ? ? ?

We asked Visitor Experience team members to share their favorite works in Keith Haring: Art Is for Everybody. Through the coming days we will be sharing their selections.

“My favorite Keith Haring piece is Tree of Life. The tree seems to be trembling from the positive power it holds. It’s an inspiring take on life, on friendship, and on hope. I also love the secret message on the back of the piece dedicating it to his friend Maria. It feels so special and relatable to all of us who have lost someone we love.”

—Kei Riggins, Visitor Experience Team Member There’s still time to see this work—and find your own fave—through October 8!

Image: Visitor Experience team member Kei Riggins in front of Keith Haring, Tree of Life, 1985. Acrylic on canvas tarpaulin with metal grommets. Private collection. © Keith Haring Foundation


Interior Designers Institute was founded in 1984 and is one of the few Interior Design Schools in California offering an Avocational Certificate Course, Associate of Arts Degree in Interior Design, Bachelor of Arts Degree in Interior Design, and Master of Interior Architecture Degree and is nationally accredited and also accredited by CIDA, Council for Interior Design Accreditation.

Interior Design Trends on Their Way Out in 2024


If you have a quote poster hanging in your room, be warned, its days are numbered. We asked, and you answered: what interior design trends are on their way out in 2024? The results are in! From boucle everything, to subway tiles, modern farmhouses, and oversized kitchen islands, these are the 20 trends we’re kicking to the curb in 2024.

All-White (Boring) Kitchens

All-white kitchens are a thing of the past and it’s time to celebrate a creative kitchen with more texture and colour. If you’ve been following kitchen trends during 2023, you’ve noticed less white colour schemes and more depth in hues, textures, and materials. While we’re on the topic of introducing colour to your kitchen, the Pantone colour of the year for 2024 is apricot crush which pairs perfectly with neutrals and represents nourishment for the mind, body, and soul. We can’t imagine a better room for this colour.

Open Concept is Closed for Business

With families spending more time at home since the pandemic, the desire for separate rooms has grown. People are craving their personal space and open-concept layouts don’t allow for that type of privacy. Also, who wants to see a messy kitchen when you’re unwinding in your living room? Out of sight and out of mind is an interior trend we can get behind.

The Brass is Always Greener

Trends are cyclical and knowing what to invest in and what to avoid for your home can be confusing, especially when there’s a budget to stick to. Popular opinion would say brass fixtures are too reminiscent of the ’70s and ’80s but design experts are saying not so fast. Brass fixtures are coming back in evolved shapes and sizes that look nothing like their ancestors. We think your instincts are always in style, so never underestimate your taste and what suits your space and lifestyle.

Reduce, Reuse, and Restore

In with the new and out with the old is on its own way out. With inflation and sustainability top of mind for people, it seems wasteful to tear something out just because it’s older. What’s on trend is finding beauty in something no matter what the trend forecasters are saying.

This Train is Going, Going, Gone

Experts are predicting kitchens will continue to be designed around a statement backsplash, but subway tiles are leaving the station. While the classic subway tile emotes a clean look, keep your eyes peeled for unique stonework that makes the most social room in the house that much more appealing in 2024.

Gray Days are Numbered

Gray tones have dominated interiors for the past decade. What was once a sophisticated and elegant color scheme now feels drab, lifeless, and draining. Since we’ve all been spending more time at home, warm neutrals are heating up interiors such as beige, rust, and amber. If you’re not ready to say good day to gray, consider textured gray accents as a compromise.

Open Shelving Equals Open Book

If you can’t stand the look of clutter, you probably can’t wait to see this trend fade away. Open shelving has been a huge kitchen design trend and you have Pinterest to thank for that. Although open shelving is a way to showcase personality, it’s also a way to attract dust and showcase your messy side if you’re not careful.

Shiplap Has Sailed

Classic shiplap became stylish during the farmhouse craze (more on that later) and popular opinion is saying it’s more shabby than chic. Experts caution ruling it out entirely as there are contemporary and fresh ways to apply this look especially if it serves a purpose in your home or adds a layer of interest in a monochromatic colour scheme.

Lofts Have Left the Building

Lofts sound cool in theory, but when you’re in one and can’t find a private spot for some peace and quiet, you’ll wish you never heard they existed. Similar to open concept layouts, lofts lack privacy and can be loud and echoe-y. While they are the epitome of cool and sophisticated city life, they have many drawbacks when it comes to functionality. Yes, the tall ceilings and sunlight photograph well, but lofts often lack storage space and with those tall ceilings, heating a large space can be challenging and expensive.

You Can Quote Us

Inspirational quotes can always have a place in your heart but leave your home out of it. Quotes as framed art had a huge following over the last decade, but it has overstayed its welcome and should have left the party with the shabby chic trends of the past.

Don’t Go Chasing Waterfall Counters

With the trend of sustainability on the rise, people don’t see the need for waterfall counters and are opting for leaving the sides of their cabinetry exposed. This is a wise choice if you’re designing on a budget or want to showcase millwork. On the flipside, waterfall counters can serve a functional purpose if the cabinetry is exposed to water on a regular basis, think bathroom vanities close to a bathtub.

Exposé on Brick

Showcasing exposed brick as an element of design can add texture to a room or outdoor space that may otherwise lack character and charm. We’re seeing less paint applied to brick and more celebrating its rich texture.

Painting Over Wood

While we’re on the topic of celebrating materials in all their natural glory, painting over wood should also be avoided at all costs. People are opting for less artificial looks and a more natural aesthetic. Building off of house and home 2023 trends, cultivating natural materials in the home is one way to connect to the outdoors and has relaxing benefits on our nervous systems. If you work from home and find it hard to wind down, consider drawing on nature as inspiration for decorating your home.

Cooling Off the White Hot Trend

As with all-white kitchens, all-white everything in home interiors can take the exit ramp off the style pages. Not only does it lack personality and charm, it fails when put to the test of functionality in the real world.

Exit Through the Barn Door

Barn doors look great on a farm but in an urban residence it looks out of place. The biggest 2024 design trend we’re seeing is geographically appropriate designs. Like shabby chic and the modern farmhouse, barn doors should go back to where they came from and stay there…the farm.

Back to Black

If Goldilocks was an interior designer, what colour scheme would be juuuust right? Along with monochromatic white and gray, monochromatic black colour schemes are fading out. Since the dreary days of the pandemic, people want less oppressive interiors and are increasingly drawn to airy, bright, and carefree colours. Black, white, and gray are great neutrals but we’re seeing their place in the home take on more of an accent role as opposed to the focal point.

Sent to Pasture

The people have spoken: the modern farmhouse has been sent out to pasture with framed quotes, shiplap, and barn doors in tow. The modern farmhouse look has had its place in the sun for years now, but its place should be on a farm or at least on the outskirts of urban areas. Designers are opting for designs that suit and are relevant to their locations. However, if you’re in love with the modern farmhouse look but don’t have a farm, don’t stress. There are plenty of ways to adapt this look to suit your home, wherever it may be.

Minimalism Schminimalism

Home decor trends in 2023 have seen a seismic shift away from minimalism. Simple all-white interiors, grays and black colour schemes have been slowly overtaken by a variety of colours to liven up spaces. Even Marie Kondo has given up on bringing herself joy with a neat and tidy home and embraced a carefree attitude towards interiors. Predictions for interior design trends in 2024 are geared towards relaxation meaning people are adopting a carefree attitude towards how they adorn their homes.

No Kitchen is an Island

Huge kitchen islands are great for a chef’s kitchen but not everyone needs that amount of prep space. In the spirit of less is more, people are realizing that that amount of counter space can be costly to install and time consuming to clean. Whereas the kitchen island was the focal point of the room, going into 2024, kitchen design trends are seeing natural stonework as a backsplash take center stage in the kitchen.

Boucle Today, Gone Tomorrow

The purposefully pilled fabric made a big splash as people everywhere were drawn to its comfortable texture. It was a new and exciting look that added new dimensions to the living room. It still has a place in our hearts but it doesn’t have to adorn every couch and chair in a house. It’s lovely as a stand-alone but we don’t need to boucle all day, every day.


Interior Designers Institute was founded in 1984 and is one of the few Interior Design Schools in California offering an Avocational Certificate Course, Associate of Arts Degree in Interior Design, Bachelor of Arts Degree in Interior Design, and Master of Interior Architecture Degree and is nationally accredited and also accredited by CIDA, Council for Interior Design Accreditation.

Did the ‘Barbie’ movie really cause a run on pink paint? Let’s get the full picture.

By  Rachel Treisman.

Margot Robbie stars in the live-action Barbie movie, whose production reportedly required jaw-dropping amounts of pink paint. Warner Bros. Entertainment

As any Barbie fan knows, life in plastic is fantastic — and also very pink.

So much so, in fact, that the makers of the highly anticipated live-action movie say they wiped out a company’s entire global supply of one shade of it.

“The world ran out of pink,” production designer Sarah Greenwood told Architectural Digest early last week.

She said construction of the expansive, rosy-hued Barbieland — at Warner Bros. Studios in Leavesden, England — had caused an international run on the fluorescent shade of Rosco paint.

And it’s now painting a fuller picture of Greenwood’s comments.

Lauren Proud, Rosco’s vice president of global marketing, told the Los Angeles Times on Friday that “they used as much paint as we had” — but that it was in short supply to begin with during the movie’s production in 2022.

The company was still dealing with pandemic-related supply chain issues and recovering from the 2021 Texas freeze that damaged crucial raw materials, she said.

The freeze affected millions of gallons of stockpile, as well as the equipment needed to replenish it, Henry Cowen, national sales manager for Rosco’s Live Entertainment division, said in a 2022 interview with the Guild of Scenic Artists.

Even so, Proud, the company vice president, said Rosco did its best to deliver.

“There was this shortage, and then we gave them everything we could — I don’t know they can claim credit,” Proud said, before acknowledging: “They did clean us out on paint.”

Hear Dua Lipa’s ‘Dance the Night’ from the new Barbie movie

And there’s no question about where it all went.

The main movie trailer reveals a larger-than-life version of Barbie’s iconic three-story Dreamhouse (complete with a walk-in closet and kidney-shaped pool with a swirly slide), her Corvette convertible and a utopian beach town of cul-de-sacs and storefronts — all bright pink.

Director Greta Gerwig aimed for “authentic artificiality” on all aspects of the set, telling Architectural Digest that “maintaining the ‘kid-ness’ was paramount.”

“I wanted the pinks to be very bright, and everything to be almost too much,” she said.

Viewers will soon be able to see for themselves, when the movie — which is marketed to Barbie lovers and haters alike — hits theaters on July 21.


Interior Designers Institute was founded in 1984 and is one of the few Interior Design Schools in California offering an Avocational Certificate Course, Associate of Arts Degree in Interior Design, Bachelor of Arts Degree in Interior Design, and Master of Interior Architecture Degree and is nationally accredited and also accredited by CIDA, Council for Interior Design Accreditation.

A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Tipsy Elves HQ

An Outrageous Fashion Revolution Requires an Incredible Workspace.

How Tipsy Elves is Creating Inclusivity, Opportunity, and Fun for its Team.

Based out of Wells Fargo Plaza, Tipsy Elves has been the source of the world’s most outrageous party clothing since 2012. What initially started as a business providing ugly Christmas sweaters has grown into a party-fashion revolution.

That revolution is driven by a desire to create more inclusivity, social connection, and fun between people. “Tipsy Elves is on a mission to make the world a more fun, positive place. Our idea is that our products allow our customers to have these experiences that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to have,” explains Brand Marketing Director Richard Goff. “Our products are more eye-catching, bold, and out-of-the-box to equip our customers with that ability to connect more socially.”

“Our office is a little bit like our lab in the sense that we’re coming up with these crazy ideas collaboratively as a team. Having a space that supports that is really important.” Richard Goff, Brand Marketing Director, Tipsy Elves.

While the brand’s reindeer pullovers and Santa onesies found immediate traction in the burgeoning e-commerce market, a notable appearance on Shark Tank helped propel the business to new heights of popularity. Soon, they were breaking into more holidays with patriotic red, white, and blue jumpsuits for the Fourth of July, neon ski suits, and more. They were also filling up the Tipsy workshop.

Goff recounts that things began to get crowded: “The space we were in before hit capacity on the number of people we could have together all at once. We had a lot of overlap on spaces like meeting rooms and a big wonky list of sign-up sheets for meeting spaces and things.”

Ready to grow and determined to find a new space, Tipsy Elves looked for a new home last year. The new space would house marketing, content production, product development, and more all under one roof. To support all these departments, the space would have to be sectioned out enough to photograph new outfits for social media campaigns and open enough for design and strategy teams to collaborate on exciting new products.

“Our office is a little bit like our lab in the sense that we’re coming up with these crazy ideas collaboratively as a team,’ explains Goff. “Having a space that supports that is really important.”

The distinctive smoked glass and granite tower offers 360-degree views of downtown, San Diego Bay and Coronado Island.

Goff credits Wells Fargo Plaza’s large, flexible floor plans for supporting their creative “lab” environment: “Being in Wells Fargo Plaza gives us the flexibility to have meeting spaces to collaborate, and just the physical layout of the office kind of gives us territories to work with photography and production and design, and so it’s super important to have a space that allows us that flexibility and utility.”

Just as importantly, it’s also given them room to have more fun. Goff enthuses that “Tipsy Elves is fun. We’re all about fun. It’s our mission here. We make products that are fun.

Our team atmosphere is fun. So I think that is a theme that comes up a lot both in our brand values, our products, and then just the space that we work out of.” The clothing brand has made the office space their own in their outrageous signature fashion. From a life-sized tipsy-elf mascot in the lobby to confetti wallpaper and Christmas tree-green workstations, the space is perpetually ready for work and play — often both at the same time.

As a San Diego-based start-up, the location and unique features of Wells Fargo Plaza have also delivered unparalleled convenience to the Tipsy Elves team. Team members appreciate how the downtown location and included parking allow them to zip in to work and out to appointments when needed. Other amenities are more unique. “There’s this delicious sandwich place on the third floor,” shares Goff, “Plaza Deli. They know my name. They know my order.”

Onsite features like the deli allow team members to grab a bite on a busy day and still enjoy lunch in the outdoor dining areas or spacious shared workspaces. For bigger team celebrations and offsite lunches, restaurants in nearby Little Italy and the Gaslamp Quarter provide ambiance and unique flavors within walking distance.


Interior Designers Institute was founded in 1984 and is one of the few Interior Design Schools in California offering an Avocational Certificate Course, Associate of Arts Degree in Interior Design, Bachelor of Arts Degree in Interior Design, and Master of Interior Architecture Degree and is nationally accredited and also accredited by CIDA, Council for Interior Design Accreditation.

Industrial Design Students Go Junkyard Diving

Rima Sabina Aouf.

Students from Swiss design school ÉCAL have worked with Philippe Malouin to make furniture from metal objects salvaged from the scrapheap in a project called Junkyard Diving.

ÉCAL‘s Bachelor Industrial Design students created the furniture and household items during a four-day workshop run by Malouin and based on his own salvaging practice, which saw the designer create 68 works from junk steel in a month for the Breeder Gallery in 2021.

The students exhibited the works in the Junkyard Diving exhibition, part of the sustainably themed Swiss group show Urgent Legacy at the House of Switzerland during Milan design week in April.

A barbecue by Christophe Ascençao is among the works created by ÉCAL students in Philippe Malouin’s Junkyard Diving workshop

In a reversal of the usual design process, function would follow form. Ideally, they would use no additional external materials.

“It’s all about picking,” Malouin told Dezeen. “It’s going to junkyards and not being scared. Working with steel, people think it’s really daunting and scary.” “I just wanted them to be instinctive and not think too much in front of a computer and just let the function and the materials dictate what they were creating.”

All of the works, including Frederik Buchmann and Charlotte Dubois’s green armchair, are made from junk metal He also wanted the students to think in terms of creating a replicable industrial design.

“Instead of doing gallery pieces like I’ve done, which were all one-offs and constructed that way, I wanted them to try and do this exercise as an industrial design exercise and look at the waste streams and modify them in order to make a new product,” said Malouin.

One of the most creative interventions in the exhibition is a deep blue barbecue, created by Christophe Ascençao from two aluminium train connectors with a grill attached to the top. Malouin says these types of train components are frequently discontinued, making them a good waste stream source for products.

There is also a lounge chair by Frederik Buchmann and Charlotte Dubois, made from an old towel radiator from a bathroom. The metal bars are painted green and draped across a wooden base to make a reclined seat.

“You would never understand it or see the radiator unless I told you it was there, which was also the point of the exercise,” said Malouin.

Perhaps most unrecognisable as a piece of steel waste is a blue tote-style “bag” or basket by Charlotte Dubois. It is made from a ventilation duct, with black trimming applied at the edges and string strung between two holes to shape the object through tension.

One of the most surprising works is a blue “bag” by Charlotte Dubois, made from a ventilation duct.

The exhibition also included a virtual reality experience called Potential Objects: Junkyard Diving Reboot, which recreated the activities of the workshop. Developed by another ÉCAL student, Alex Nguyen, it allowed visitors to the show to walk through a junkyard and select objects to cut and weld together, just as the student designers had done.

ÉCAL is short for the Ecole cantonale d’art de Lausanne, although the school is better known by its acronym. Malouin said that he had found the experience of teaching there an “inspiring” one that also reminded him of the importance of accessibility in design education.

He said that while tuition fees in his UK home had risen to the extent that only the rich can afford to go to design school, ÉCAL had remained a “meritocracy”, and that was visible in the calibre of the students’ work.

Malouin’s interest in metal junkyards has also just seen him launch a book, Steel Works, which documents the process he went through for his Breeder gallery show of the same name.

The London-based Canadian designer’s previous work includes the Industrial Office set of experimental workplace furniture and a set of tables and benches with bases that reference whiskey barrels.

The photography is by Marvin Merkel.


Interior Designers Institute was founded in 1984 and is one of the few Interior Design Schools in California offering an Avocational Certificate Course, Associate of Arts Degree in Interior Design, Bachelor of Arts Degree in Interior Design, and Master of Interior Architecture Degree and is nationally accredited and also accredited by CIDA, Council for Interior Design Accreditation.

Buckingham Palace, The Interiors

By Ashley Hicks.

Interior designer and artist Ashley Hicks presents his photographs and description of the interior design of Buckingham Palace, home of Britain’s royal family since 1837. An important representation of Regency, Victorian, and Edwardian styles, the palace is the work of such noted architects as John Nash and Sir Aston Webb.

Architect John Nash
Architect Sir Aston Webb | Source:

Hicks records the formal spaces with vibrancy, capturing the magnificent rooms furnished with treasures from the Royal Collection.

Starting at the Grand Staircase, Hicks leads us through the state rooms, which include the White Drawing Room and the Blue Drawing Room that both overlook the palace gardens; the Ballroom, which is the setting for twenty investiture ceremonies each year; and the Throne Room, used by Queen Victoria for spectacular costume balls in the 1840s.

The long, skylit Picture Gallery is hung with important works of art from the Royal Collection by Rembrandt van Rijn, Peter Paul Rubens, Nicolas Poussin, Anthony van Dyck, Johannes Vermeer, and Canaletto, among others. Decorative furnishings from George IV’s exotic Brighton Pavilion lend a fanciful turn to many of the rooms.

Ashley Hicks is a British author, architect, interior and furniture designer, and photographer. He is the son of Lady Pamela Hicks and the legendary decorator David Hicks.


Pictures noted above and Information Source:


Interior Designers Institute was founded in 1984 and is one of the few Interior Design Schools in California offering an Avocational Certificate Course, Associate of Arts Degree in Interior Design, Bachelor of Arts Degree in Interior Design, and Master of Interior Architecture Degree and is nationally accredited and also accredited by CIDA, Council for Interior Design Accreditation.

The 7 Pieces of Furniture (& Surprising Book) Real Estate Experts Swear by for Boosting a Home’s Value

By Candace Davison.

Whether you’re thinking about putting your home on the market or launching your own house-flipping business a la HGTV’s Christina Haack and Tarek El Moussa, one thing’s for sure: The way you present your home to potential buyers matters. Nobody knows that better than real estate agents and home stagers, who see firsthand what makes people’s eyes light up…and what makes potential buyers race out the door faster than you can say “potential sinkhole and poltergeist problems.” That’s why we turned to them to uncover which items they rely on again and again for making a home look its best. You might want to copy their recs even if you aren’t planning on selling anytime soon.

But first, a couple pro tips if you are trying to stage your home: (1) Declutter as much as possible—even if that means moving things into storage until the house is sold. (2) If you’re staging an empty space and are trying to stick to a budget, focus on staging just the master bedroom and living room. “Those are the spaces people pay the most attention to—especially if it’s an open concept kitchen and living room—because it’s where they spend the most time,” says Kristina Kuba, real estate agent at KVA Group at Keller Williams Realty in Tampa, FL. Zeroing in on those two spaces, along with a few outdoor flourishes, can have a big impact in how quickly people start making offers on your home. Here’s what to consider before that “For Sale” sign goes up.



Layered welcome mats—one larger, patterned option under a pick with a little more personality—has been a trend for a while, and it’s one of the cheapest ways to make a great first impression, according to House Candy Home Staging founder Ashley Tapley. (She should know—it was one of a few budget-friendly tweaks she made to help a formerly-stuck-in-the-‘70s mobile home sell its third day on the market.)



Another easy way to boost curb appeal? Swapping out the porch lights, Tapley told Staging Studio. It’s “one of the cheapest and easiest updates you can do when selling,” she says. When shopping, look for a style that’s one-fifth the height and width of the doorway, so you get the scale just right.



Smaller rugs can be easier to haul from one space to the next—not to mention they’re cheaper—but they can also throw off the scale of the room, making it seem dinkier than it is. Your rug should be large enough that the front legs of the sofa and any chairs in the living room fit under it.


When it comes to staging living rooms, a rug and a sofa are a must, as well as a coffee table and a floor lamp (gotta have that ambient lighting). Sofas can be big-ticket items, but they don’t have to be—you just have to know how to make yours pop. Darker floors are popular lately, so Kuba tends to choose a lighter sofa to provide contrast and balance things out. She opts for something light gray or cream-colored. (On that front, IKEA’s Ektorp couch is particularly popular among stagers, since it has a transitional style that works well in a variety of aesthetics—and, as a result, it appeals to a wider range of buyers.)



At $20, Ikea’s Gladom tray table is a stager’s best-kept secret. It can work as a side table, paired on either side of a bed as mod nightstands, or situated side by side in front of the sofa as a makeshift coffee table.



Kuba has found that people’s eyes light up more when they see a tufted headboard over more rustic, wooden styles. Oh, and they’re an easy way to make a statement in the room without needing a bunch of art or other décor. And if you really want to create a more high-end vibe, opt for the largest mattress that won’t overwhelm the room—typically a queen—and raise it up. Beds with a little more height tend to be perceived as more luxurious, Kuba says.



You may have noticed a certain book on just about every console or coffee table in recent home listings—and there’s a reason behind it. Tom Ford by Tom Ford is a designer staple. New York-based designer and stager Leia T. Ward of LTW Designs often keeps a copy on hand when styling spaces, since she’s found it fits with a range of aesthetics and can help add height to items on a table. (Not to mention it’s chockfull of style inspo.)



If you have the means (or the spare furniture) to outfit a spare bedroom, ditch the guest room vibe. “Most people can visualize where the bed will go,” Kuba says, so it’s not necessarily worth the effort. What is worth it? Creating a home office. “That’s one COVID-related trend; people aren’t buying to please others, they’re buying more for themselves, based on what’s most conducive to their lifestyles.”


Interior Designers Institute was founded in 1984 and is one of the few Interior Design Schools in California offering an Avocational Certificate Course, Associate of Arts Degree in Interior Design, Bachelor of Arts Degree in Interior Design, and Master of Interior Architecture Degree and is nationally accredited and also accredited by CIDA, Council for Interior Design Accreditation.

To Experience the Future of Retail, You’ll Want to Go to the Store

By Viral Shah, frog, part of Capgemini Invent.

Over the past three years, most of us have done a lot more shopping online, so it’s easy to forget that while ecommerce is still growing, most retail commerce still happens in stores. In Q3 2022, ecommerce accounted for less than 15% of all retail sales. That means brick-and-mortar is still going strong, and not just because consumers are eager to get out of the house again.

Shoppers now view stores as places to check out items before buying, to get purchasing advice, to have relaxing or exciting experiences, to meet like-minded people and to put their sustainability principles into practice. Retailers can meet these expectations by providing the experiences their customers want. Here are six ways we see retailers innovating the in-store experience to keep up.

1. Create a showroom experience with expertise.
Most customers prefer to see a product in person before they make a buying decision, especially if the product is expensive, technical, or has multiple options. Forrester and Shopify found that more than half (54.5%) of holiday 2022 shoppers planned to visit brick-and-mortar stores for this reason. A positive experience in the store can lead to a purchase during the visit or online after the visit, while an underwhelming experience represents a missed opportunity.

Retailers can capitalize on customers’ desire to see products in person by turning physical stores into showroom experiences that offer expert guidance from employees on choosing and configuring products. One major phone and computer manufacturer delivers perhaps the best example of this type of showroom experience, with experts on hand to guide customers through purchases and tech issues. A flat-pack furniture retailer’s maze-like store layout shows customers how their products work in different settings and gives them the chance to touch and try out items.

2. Offer a playground for immersive experimentation.
Trying out new products and discovering new ways to use familiar ones can help customers build loyalty to a brand. In-store experimentation experiences are opportunities to entertain, energize and inspire customers while connecting emotionally with them. This is especially important for connecting with Gen Z customers, two-thirds of whom like to shop in-store when they’re looking for new products.

A sporting goods retail chain has three specialized locations that are almost literal playgrounds, each with an indoor track and field, climbing wall, batting cage and other spaces where athletes and weekend warriors can learn about and try out new equipment. One of the leading cosmetics and personal care retailers, meanwhile, describes its stores as “beauty’s playground,” where customers can discover exclusive independent brands, get beauty treatments and attend classes on skincare and other beauty routines. These kinds of experiences can strengthen customers’ emotional connection to the brand.

3. Welcome your brand community in a clubhouse space.
For retailers that have a community of customers centered on their brand, creating in-store community spaces can increase traffic, strengthen customer loyalty and attract new customers who are seeking communities aligned with their interests. These spaces can be permanent in-store features or they can be pop-ups in stores and in other locations where customers spend time.

For example, an electric truck maker’s main location features a maker space, library, courtyard and store. Customers can learn about the brand’s vehicles, but they can also connect over other shared “green” interests like camping, gardening and adventure travel. Customers are encouraged to bring friends, which can help grow the brand’s fan base organically.

4. Set up space for customers to relax.
While some consumers crave a connection to a large and active community, others seek out spaces where they’re welcomed with a calming experience. Retailers with products that align with wellness and hospitality are in an especially good position to create an in-store “oasis” where customers can de-stress and enjoy the ambiance. When these consumers feel catered to, it creates more loyalty.

Luxury retailers are an especially good fit for the oasis experience. For example, one upscale home goods retailer’s innovative guesthouse in New York City is designed to “erase the chaos of the outside world” for restaurant and overnight guests. The brand also opened a combination showroom and restaurant in San Francisco in early 2022, and recently purchased a Napa Valley resort, possibly to expand on their showroom-as-oasis-experience strategy.

5. Provide space for customers to create.
70% of consumers say “it’s important for brands to provide them with personalized experiences,” and letting customers customize their own products in-store can be an exciting way to do that. An added benefit of adding “studio space” to a store is the potential for more user-generated content (UGC) about the brand. One study found that UGC has 8.7X as much impact as content by influencers and 6.6X more impact than branded content.

One digital beauty brand built its Los Angeles flagship store with customer creativity and content generation in mind. Architectural Digest notes that the interior décor is “ready-made for an Instagram close-up,” including plenty of open floor space for post-makeover group selfies. Even the mirrors are lit for optimal selfie results. A leading sports apparel brand goes a creative step further with a space inside its New York innovation flagship location. There, customers are invited to customize existing shoe models or design their own shoes for production and purchase.

6. Build a “garden” for product repair or recycling.
Giving customers sustainable in-store options for repairing and recycling products nurtures loyalty. An Economist/World Wildlife Fund survey found that 65% of consumers believe brands are as responsible as governments for promoting positive social change. One way to do that is to create a space for product renewal and reclamation. A major electronics retailer has become a destination for customers who want to recycle old televisions, phones, ink cartridges, appliances and other items. By offering gift cards for recyclable trade-ins, the chain drives in-store traffic and builds sustainability credibility with consumers.

Creating New Value with In-Store Experiences

Each of the approaches discussed above leverages store space to offer customers an experience they can’t get online, which can encourage them to keep coming back. These experiences aren’t mutually exclusive, either. For example, an upscale department store chain shows how it’s possible to blend an oasis, a garden and a showroom by offering spa services, tailoring and in-store stylist services. Every retailer can develop a unique in-store experience based on what its customers want, what the retail space can accommodate and what will showcase products and services in the best way to cultivate loyalty and encourage revenue growth.

Viral Shah is VP and Head of Strategy at frog San Francisco, part of Capgemini Invent. Shah focuses on helping clients define and achieve their business objectives while pioneering innovative products and services for their customers.


Interior Designers Institute was founded in 1984 and is one of the few Interior Design Schools in California offering an Avocational Certificate Course, Associate of Arts Degree in Interior Design, Bachelor of Arts Degree in Interior Design, and Master of Interior Architecture Degree and is nationally accredited and also accredited by CIDA, Council for Interior Design Accreditation.