What's New? Joshua's Top Picks!

Happy New Year! It is hard to believe 2018 is over and 2019 is here already! Where did the time go? In the past year, we completed over 80 e-design projects while also sharing some of our favorite 2018 e-design projects via our Instagram and Facebook page. We are very excited about some changes that already happened and coming soon for 2019!

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Introducing Joshua’s Top Picks

We decided to replace our Shop The Look with all new Joshua’s Top Picks. In the past year, we’ve come across so many different pieces for our online interior design clients all the over the U.S.A., Canada, and Greece to find just the right items for their needs. We saw so many beautiful pieces that we think would look fantastic in some of your own spaces and thought you would appreciate seeing some of these select put together in a format that creates a cohesive design expression.

We started with one of our all time favorite styles, California Casual, focusing on three different rooms; a living room, dining room, and bedroom. You’ll learn a bit on why we selected those items and how it works with the design. Take a look at these three different Joshua’s Top Picks by clicking on the image to lead you to these page below.

California Casual Living Room

California Casual Living Room

California Casual Dining Room

California Casual Dining Room

California Casual Bedroom

California Casual Bedroom

We will add more when we can! We will let you know when we add new Joshua’s Top Picks via the social media. What would you like to see us to add to Joshua’s Top Picks for you?

Joshua's Top Picks for Dorm

Are you entering college this fall, or have children entering university or college, then first of all, congratulations! It is an exciting time to start planning a new life away from home.  That also means trying to make a home out of a utilitarian and typically drab dorm room.

Looking back to my college days, there were some things that I wish that I have considered before I moved into my dorm and lived with a roommate. My top recommendation, which I mentioned in other blogs, is to make design decisions and purchases that can transition with you during your life and can be reused.  This can ultimately save you money as you go from dorm to an apartment or home. I didn't do that myself in my college days and it could have saved me money. Let's avoid that mistake I made and let me help you to get your money's worth for the rest of your college years and possibly beyond.
 

Dorm inspiration by  PBTeen . 

Dorm inspiration by PBTeen

I created three style boards with clickable shopping lists of three top styles popular with young adults: Bohemian, Industrial Chic, and Modern Eclectic. Fortunately, these styles can also be budget-friendly. All of the designs include three different functional aspects of a dorm room such as a small living area, a bed, and a desk.

Before you or your children start to shop or decorate - please check with your particular college for dorm policies to find out what is allowed or not and make sure there is space for some of these pieces.

In general, most dorm beds are a bit bigger than standard twin size and called Twin XL so please double check the size before you go out and buy and bed sets. I personally have seen parents become upset when they showed up in the room to learn they purchased the wrong size bedding for their kid. That is something we don't want to deal with.

Bohemian

Boho Dorm copy.jpg

Bohemian(known as Boho) is known for being earthy, high spirit, calm, fun, and colorful. It lends itself to create a comfortable and relaxing environment; a great place for having friends over and a meditative space for studying. If your school allows, you could add plants to your dorm to improve the quality of life and indoor environment. I selected a fun color accent chair to add a personal touch to your dorm and then mixed with different colors, materials, and textures shown on the style board above. If you're not a fan of the pink- no worries, there are different color options from the vendor. This dorm should have fun bold or lighter colors wall arts to balance the dorm look but also get you inspired. This participlar style is known as being very affordable and something we can enjoy it for years. 

Shopping List

Industrial Chic

Industrial Dorm copy.jpg

Industrial Chic is perfect for anyone that doesn't want a lot of color and appreciates a more masculine tone. Industrial doesn't mean that everything must be either rustic or a metallic look. It can be cozy and homey too. I created this design to be simple but functional for your needs. I mixed the materials to work with this style but still create a comfortable environment just for you. It would be ok to add a couple more colors or plants to the design to match your personality since the current design palette is neutral and would work well with  most colors. An art gallery style wall would also look nice in this kind of space.

Shopping List

Modern Eclectic

Modern Eclectic Dorm copy.jpg

This particular style, modern eclectic is ideal for anyone that loves pieces from various different styles while still being cohesive. For instance, I love this emerald green chair so much, so you could have that chair and mix it with different patterns, materials, and colors to make it a unique space just for you. Life is short, let's make the dorm fun and stylish! That's why I selected that chair with the wall art set of Lunar prints plus faux cowhide rug to make a stylish statement for your dorm design. 

Shopping List

I hope you find these different dorm designs inspiring and get you excited about decorating your own dorm to make it a home just for you. I wish you the best of luck in your college career and future aspirations. 

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links and by clicking on them incur no additional cost to you.  JJones Design Co. will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking on the link. Please understand that JJones Design Co. has experience with all of these vendors, and recommends them because they provide excellent customer service and quality products.  We do not base our designs off of vendors that provide affiliate link commissions.  Do not feel obligated to spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals for your design.

What is Drop-On Rendering?

In the past year, from time to time I've noticed several interior designers sharing their work on social media and using a type of rendering which is really unique and different compared to what I typically use and see most designers use. I became curious about this type of rendering and after reading up on it, learned it's called drop-on rendering. You probably wondering what is it or what is the difference compared to other types of renderings. We will discuss about it on this blog.

This is an example of drop-on rendering.

This is an example of drop-on rendering.

Some of you guys have been following me since the early days. I discussed in an older, and one of my most read, blogs about 2D Rendering vs. 3D Rendering which described the differences between these two different types of renderings. They are the 2 most commonly used in the industry, so I'm really excited to share with you about this new one. See the image above? That is what drop-on rendering can look like. You take a really good picture of your space then you edit it in Photoshop to add items to improve the spaces look. It's kind of like a marriage between a 2D and 3D Rendering.  Let me show you what it looked like before the editing.

Original picture before Photoshop edits.

Original picture before Photoshop edits.

Sometimes I get really busy with lots of e-design projects with many having the same deadline. I decided to get smarter with my work without hurting the quality of my design and or the final presentation for our client. I sometimes ask my clients for good pictures of their spaces so I can do drop-on renderings to save time.  That does make a big difference for me but more importantly, it looks professional and is great for the client to envision the space before the makeover. Here are a few more examples of my other recent e-design projects that included drop-on renderings.

Modern coastal style office drop-on rendering

Modern coastal style office drop-on rendering

Before drop-on rendering

Before drop-on rendering

This rendering was my first drop-on rendering work for the client. All I did was just add the wallpaper, window treatment, chair, task lamp, laptop, and accessories for the built-in shelves. Does it help you to see how you could style your built-in shelves with this type of rendering?

Outdoor living space drop-on rendering

Outdoor living space drop-on rendering

Before drop-on rendering

Before drop-on rendering

See the outdoor living space photo?  This space didn't need much work, so I added the outdoor pillows, fire, nest lounge chairs and side table to this picture. The rendering is simple but still helps the client to envision the space better. 

Desert Rustic style foyer drop-on rendering

Desert Rustic style foyer drop-on rendering

Before drop-on rendering

Before drop-on rendering

This one was a very simple e-design project request. The client only wanted to see how their new console table, candles, and basket look like for their foyer before they purchased it. I only added three items to this photo to help the client to see it to make the decision and provide guidance.

After doing a several drop-on rendering works - I really pleased to see how much it really help our clients to envision their spaces better. From now, I would encourage my clients to take a few good pictures of their spaces so I can do drop-on rendering works for their spaces. If quality pictures at the right angles aren't doable, then I go back to the tried and true 2D and 3D renderings.

I would love to hear your thoughts on these drop on renderings.

Our Favorite Winter E-Design Projects

Where did the time go? Springtime is almost here! I've lost track of time already. In the last three months, I've been working on a bunch of different kinds of e-design projects with amazing people from all over the US, Canada, and Greece. I'd like to share some of my favorite with you.

Playroom E-Design

Playroom E-Design

Playroom E-Design

Playroom E-Design

This client wanted a nice playroom that can also work for adults. I suggested the client think about long-term design solutions so the playroom would continue to be functional as the children aged. They could turn the playroom into a family room or teenager hangout lounge and use some of the same furniture. I also recommended a wallpaper to create an accent wall for this TV wall so it would look more stylish for the adult's taste.

Boy Bedroom E-Design

Boy Bedroom E-Design

I work with a client that needed my help to redesign her guest room into a bedroom for her son. He loves sports and is a huge fan of the Atlanta Falcons and wanted me to include it in his bedroom design. Spacially, it was a bit challenging to design because there are two doors and large closets which made it almost impossible to fit a bunk bed into this bedroom.  After a lot of searching, I found the perfect bunk bed that fits the space without blocking access to any doors. Regardless of the challenge, it was fun to work on this project since I don't work with this type of project very often. 

Loft Living & Dining Areas E-Design

Loft Living & Dining Areas E-Design

Loft Living & Dining Area Other Side E-Design

Loft Living & Dining Area Other Side E-Design

I was really excited to work on this unique e-design project because I'm a huge fan of high rise lofts with exposed ceilings, visible plumbing/venting, and it had an amazing view of Chicago. The challenging aspect of this project was that the client was considering removing the fireplace to make the space feel bigger.  It didn't really take up much space and I was concerned that they would lose a bit of home value if they removed it. Secondly, how to fit all the living and dining furniture into a medium sized area between the windows and kitchen. The client wanted to keep some of their furniture and include the speakers around the space. We managed it to make it work for the family of four without making it look too cluttered. I'm really pleased with the way it turned out.   As was the client!

Modern Boho Office E-Design

Modern Boho Office E-Design

When I was assigned to this project - I got really excited because the client wanted a modern boho style home office/guest room and this is currently one of my favorite styles to work with. I was pleased how the project turned out and it was a dream to work with the client because we were always on the same page with the direction I wanted to go. It was a bit challenging to find a sleeper sofa that would fit in this space since it is is very small and I couldn't block access to the doors when the bed is pulled. This is one of my all the time e-design project favorites. 

Modern Boho Master Bedroom E-Design

Modern Boho Master Bedroom E-Design

The modern boho office client was so thrilled with the result they re-hired me to design their master bedroom. This was a complete design since the client only had a matress to start and no furniture at all! I made the suggestion to do a blue accent wall, a unique open latticework bed and a fabric billowy chandelier to be the statement pieces for the design. The client loved the furniture and went forward with this design plan for their master bedroom project. 

Modern Glam Living Room E-Design

Modern Glam Living Room E-Design

This client had just moved into a beautiful new house and needed my help to figure out which furniture layout for the living room space and update the look. They were debating between a layout of two sofas facing each other or having a large sectional and which of the two would make the most sense for this space. I created two different floor plans with both furniture layouts to show. We decided two sofas facing each other would work best for this space because it created more open space and flow in the room. 

Eclectic Home Office E-Design

Eclectic Home Office E-Design

This client had just moved into her new apartment and got a new job that required her to work from home.  She needed my help with the home office layout and furniture. It was challenging work on this project because this client wanted a large table that would work with her current table lifter. When she gets tired of sitting all day she needed the option of standing and working. The space wasn't large enough to fit everything that she wanted for this project. I had to look around for right storage/filing cabinets solution that would fit her chair between the table and window wall. I managed to make it work for her needs so she would be able to work in and feel comfortable with the new work environment. 

I hope you've enjoyed seeing some our latest work this past season!  I have some really cool e-design projects in the pipeline so stay tuned for that early summer. :)

If you're feeling inspired and need my help for your own projects - you can get started here

Our Trip to Victoria, BC

The view of the Fairmont Empress Hotel

The view of the Fairmont Empress Hotel

It has been a while since Jeffry and I had a real vacation - we have been working lots of hours lately.  We realized that it was time for us to take a breather and decided to go to Victoria, B.C. for five days. It's been years since we went there last and we did a triple celebration for both our March birthdays and our upcoming 10 year anniversary together.  Technically our anniversary will be in May, but we know that our schedules won't permit us to get away then.

Harbour Air Seaplanes from Vancouver to Victoria.

Harbour Air Seaplanes from Vancouver to Victoria.

We decided to try a seaplane flight to Victoria from Vancouver.  It was our first time doing it and one of my bucket list items. We flew with Harbour Air Seaplane. It was a quick and easy trip; only a 30 minutes flight. Initially, we imagined it might feel like being on a speedboat since it's on water - nope! It was a lot smoother than we expected, with a really easy landing. If given the opportunity, I highly recommend you to do so during nice weather so you can enjoy the amazing view from a flight so low to the ground compared to a jet engine plane.

Fairmont Empress Hotel

Fairmont Empress Hotel

We checked in one of our favorite hotels, The Fairmont Empress which is an iconic hotel in downtown Victoria. We had a really wonderful experience with this hotel since they always provide excellent guest service. Another reason why I love this hotel is the architecture of this hotel, especially the interior blending both Victorian and Georgian elements, which is something we don't see much of it on the west coast. Recently, they went though a major renovation to upgrade the look.  It looks really fresh and they managed to keep the character while modernizing to make it look like modern Victorian.  I only wish they would have kept the ivy exterior, as it lent such charm to the exterior; though I understand the maintenance and upkeep reasons why they removed it.

Downtown Victoria

Downtown Victoria

We went walking around beautiful downtown Victoria. We love Victoria for the beautiful and historic buildings with lots of little hidden gems and alleys. Most are in good to great condition with colorful storefonts and historical charm. The Chinatown section of downtown has especially improved in the care to the buildings and area and we noticed the addition of a lot of new stores and restaurants to the area.  While some are of the chain variety, it's encouraging to see that most of the businesses in the historical core are still independent.

British Columbia Parilament Building, Victoria

British Columbia Parilament Building, Victoria

Victoria is the capital of British Columbia and every time we've visited in the past, the beautiful British Columbia Parliament Building had been closed to the public. This time they were open. Yay! It was so gorgeous building to tour around and learned some tidbits of info about the Canadian and BC government we were unaware of. We also popped into the public gallery to watch the legislature in action during a Ministery of Transportation Commitee meeting and debate.  

Butchart Gardens, Victoria B.C.

Butchart Gardens, Victoria B.C.

Of course, we went to one of most famous gardens in the world, Butchart Gardens. Sadly, we were there just before the blooming season so there were only a few spot blooms providing little pops of colour to enjoy. It was fine with us because it's still a gorgeous landscape and being the off-season, there weren't the hordes of tourists which can detract from enjoying the simple splendour and serenity of the place.  I think there were only 20 people in the entire grounds while we were there.  Perfect!  I highly recommend you to check this beautiful garden out when you go to Victoria.

Victoria Afternoon Tea at The Empress

Victoria Afternoon Tea at The Empress

Another item to check off my bucket list was experiencing a proper afternoon high tea. The Empress is known especially for their high tea and it didn't disappoint. We received the traditional tiered stand with personal notes to say "Happy Birthday" and "Happy Anniversary" from our sweet and thoughtful server Marlene...who we learned later has been working at the hotel nearly 50 years!!!  The tea and food were amazingly delicious, especially the signature scones and their homemade strawberry lavender jam!  If they had been selling it I would have scooped it right up! We will definitely come back again next time we are in town.

Beacon Hill Park

Beacon Hill Park

While we were in town, several people recommended we check out Beacon Hill Park. We went walking around the park - we were blown away by how beautiful this park really is, reminding us a bit of New York City's Central Park. We enjoyed walking around and watching the ducks and peacocks that stroll around the park. Let me tell you, this place is a duck metropolis; I have never seen so many ducks in one place in my life before. 

The view of San Juan Islands

The view of San Juan Islands

Sadly, our five days vacation in Victoria ended so quick. We flew back to Vancouver via seaplane. Good thing we rode it during the beautiful day which allowed us to get to see more what is down there. We enjoyed the sightseeing of beautiful islands between Vancouver Island to the mainland. That reminds us why we love Pacific Northwest region. Fantastic vacation...but now back to reality. 

Update Your Rental to Drive Increased Rates

The tourist season is still a few months away but it's a great time to start thinking about updating your vacation rental property. It is good time to explore your options to update it to better attract tourists to maximize your revenue generating potential from your property.

Entry area inspiration by  William Sonoma Home

Entry area inspiration by William Sonoma Home

The most important part of attracting people to rent your vacation home is the first impression. When most people today are using the web and room sharing websites like Airbnb to find a place to rent, people do judge a book by the cover. The web has opened up a wealth of rental opportunities and expanded marketplace but there is also lots of competition now for the renters' dollar. 

I totally get that you might have some emotional connection with your vacation rental property from seasons spent there in the past, but renters would think otherwise. If you want to have a successful vacation rental property business - you have to be honest with yourself by asking this question yourself - is your vacation rental home in great shape? If not, then you need to seriously consider an update. Let's not get ourselves overwhelmed with what to improve the property - let focus on one room at a time.

Living room inspiration by  Serena & Lily

Living room inspiration by Serena & Lily

The living room is where most people typically spend their time in to relax, have a conversation or watch a movie together. In general, the living room should be simple but a comfortable space for anyone. As for the living room design, stay away from themes because it tends to come across cheesy and probably will turn off many potential renters. You want a stylish living room with designer touches. As for which style - think about the reason that people are coming to your area.  People often travel to experience what an area is known for.  I said to stay away from themes, but that doesn't mean not doing a New England beach cottage vibe if your property is on Cape Cod, MA.  People are traveling to your area to experience what is authentically local.  Look at other popular vacation rental properties in your area and see what kind of style that attracts people. Use that style in your own way to make it stand out from your competitors. It will help you get more people to rent your property out.

Dining room inspiration by   Anthropologie

Dining room inspiration by  Anthropologie

Lots of people prefer to cook from their vacation rental to save money or just as a way to bond with family and friends. It is important to think about updating both the kitchen and dining area. If renting out a full home, often a large family group of friends will rent it out to enjoy cooking meals together so you want to make sure your kitchen has a larger counter or island for more prep stations. Here is my designer tip: you want a timeless kitchen design by making it lighter and airy and avoid using dark colors. A kitchen update can be a big investment. Keep in mind that in current times the kitchen is the most important room of the home for both social gatherings and preparing meals. Just like if you were to sell the house, you will see a return on this investment when you rent it out. 

For the dining area - you want to keep it simple so it would be easier for anyone to clean up after meals. The dining room design should be understated elegance and comfortable since that is where people will take their meals, have a conversation or play a board game together.

I understand it can be challenging to figure out how many dining chairs are good enough for the dining area. Here is my tip - for the first bedroom start with four seats then add two more chairs for each additional bedroom. You're welcome! ;-)

Master bedroom inspiration by  West Elm

Master bedroom inspiration by West Elm

For the bedroom, obviously a comfortable bed with a quality mattress is a must, but think about making a bedroom a special space; a retreat within a retreat. Some people might want to use your property for a romantic getaway trip as a couple or have an experience like they're staying at a luxury villa. You want to consider investing in decent bedroom furniture to improve the guest experience. And think about making sure the bathrooms are updated as well. Bathrooms are often the second most important rooms after a kitchen and will net a return on your investment as well.


The bottom line - when people have a wonderful experience renting out your vacation home - they are more likely to tell their relatives, friends, neighbors, and co-workers about it and give you a positive review. That would be great for your vacation rental property business as it allows you to increase your rental rate.  If you're inspired to update your vacation rental home and need design help - you can get started here.

Our Favorite Autumn E-design Projects

Where has the time gone to? It felt like autumn was only last month! It is my all-time favorite season and wish it would last a little longer so I could enjoy a bit more. However, I have worked on several fun e-design projects with my clients across the US and Canada via both here and Decorist. Let's talk about some of my favorite e-design projects that I have worked on in the past three months.

Contemporary Living Room

Contemporary Living Room

Contemporary Living Room

The client just purchased their house in the Bay Area and did some major renovation work on the entire house to make it like new again. The renovation parts were completed and the client was ready to decorate their house to make it a home for the family. The client wanted to have a neutral and masculine tone that is contemporary for the living room but also a wow-factor space for anyone when they enter the house. I selected an off-white sofa and chairs with darker colored frames and tables to work with the style they desired for. I managed to add wall arts, design elements and a cowhide rug to make the living room an interesting and luxurious look without becoming boring with too much of neutral colors. This is one of my favorite e-design projects because of their design style that I enjoy working with and I'm very pleased with the way it turned out.

Contemporary Family Room

Contemporary Family Room

Contemporary Family Room

Same client that I worked with for the living room above, rehired me to work on their family room with a similar style. This space is unique because it has some challenging architectural elements with the fireplace and layout. It was my first time to work with a media sofa since this family wanted to able to enjoy watch television together and get comfortable by have an extra deep sofa. I selected the fun patterned rug to add some character to the room. I also added poufs with unique looking textures since working with neutrals requires other elements to make the space interesting to the senses. I'm pleased with how everything looks together with all the pieces that the client and I selected together. This is one of my all the time favorite e-design projects.

Modern Farmhouse Kitchen

Modern Farmhouse Kitchen

Modern Farmhouse Kitchen

This kitchen e-design project was with one of our loyal clients that we have worked together with on a few e-design projects before. This time, the client wanted to update their kitchen look since it was too dark for them and wanted to make it light, bright, and airy. We changed the room by repainting the cabinets, replacing all knobs and pulls, installed a new island, new barstools, sink, and granite counter tops. We kept the appliances, light fixtures, and backsplash since they're still in excellent condition and would work great with new changes. I decided that this kitchen need some fun colors so I selected blue tone barstools to work best with this style but also make it more inviting.  It is rewarding to see how simple changes can make huge difference for a space. This is one of our favorite kitchen e-design projects so far.

Arizona Living Room

Arizona Living Room

Arizona Living Room

The client moved into their house in Arizona few years ago and hadn't done anything to change their home until recently. The client purchased the sectional sofa on their own but wanted to improve the overall look of the living room with a design that worked with their sofa. The client also wanted to make the space much lighter and more airy as well. I managed to select right pieces that would look great with the overall design. I selected a faded vintage rug and patterned pillows to make break up the neutrality in the room and make a statement of this space without ruining the look. We are pleased with the way it turned out. This is one of our favorite styles to work with but we don't get to work on this specific style with rustic elements often but glad the opportunity came by and made the client very happy. That is why it is one our favorite e-design projects.

Arizona Master Bedroom

Arizona Master Bedroom

Arizona Master Bedroom

I was rehired by the same client that I worked with on the Arizona living room e-design project above to work on their master bedroom project. I enjoyed working with the client because they didn't want the stereotypical American Southwest earth tones.  The client wanted a similar style as the living room but wanted a pop of color to make this space a bit more fun. We selected rustic wood furniture that would work great with this specific style and choose turquoise as the pop - a nod to the Southwest.  We also had to replace the tiles to rustic hardwood flooring to improve the look and provide some warmth and textural contrast to other areas of the home.

Now I am looking forward to continue work with clients on various e-design projects throughout this winter. Will share with you about that in this early spring 2018 so stay tuned.

Sippin' Lemonade in the Summertime

Over the last two months, I have worked with some of our e-design clients to improve their outdoor spacesgetting ready for summer time via Decorist and private projects. After doing several outdoor space e-design projects recently, I want to share with you guys some of our favorite outdoor designs.

Bohemian Style Backyard Patio

Bohemian Style Backyard Patio

Bohemian Style Backyard Patio

This client recently purchased a home and wanted to have a Bohemian style backyard that would include numerous lanterns hanging from the trees with fun colors around the patio furniture. We managed to put the design together to meet the client's dream and would fit in their budget. Love it when our clients want us to design something so different and unique for their space.

Hampton Inspired Backyard Patio

Hampton Inspired Backyard Patio

Hampton Inspired Backyard Patio

The client just moved in the house and wanted to have a Hamptons feeling backyard. They had fixed budget for this patio project but we managed to find right kind of patio furniture that would fit in the budget. Low budget project still can provide stylish look only if you find right pieces to put the design together. I dig this beautiful bricks flooring that works fabulous with Hampton style patio furniture!

Vacation Lake House Screened-In Porch

Vacation Lake House Screened-In Porch

Vacation Lake House Screened-In Porch

Vacation Lake House Screened-In Porch Part II

Vacation Lake House Screened-In Porch Part II

A repeat client recently built a screened-in porch attached to their vacation home but wanted to continue with their Chesapeake Bay style from the inside of vacation home to the porch which we worked together in the past. We managed to mix coastal colors with wood to create a stylish and fun space but would work great with current design to extend the inside design to the outside.

Blue and Airy Backyard Deck

Blue and Airy Backyard Deck

Blue and Airy Backyard Deck

This client I worked with wanted to create a stylish backyard deck but comfortable and also able to entertain their guests while enjoy the warm weather. They had hard time to find the right patio dining table that would work with the corner built-in benches but we managed to find the perfect fit table that would work best for their needs. We added a lounge space between the built-in benches and glass siding doors to create more seats for their guests.

Bright and Fun Basement Patio

Bright and Fun Basement Patio

Bright and Fun Basement Patio

Same client I worked with for Blue and Airy Backyard Deck (shown above) but wanted to have completely different style for their basement patio for their guests when they come over. They wanted to have low maintenance patio in concrete but didn't want a tired looking space. I suggested this client to add wood deck tiles on the floor and then add lots of plants around the patio to make concrete less visible but improve the look.

However, it was lots of fun working on these outdoor e-design projects with different needs and styles. Feel inspired? Need help with your outdoor space makeover? We can help you with that by clicking here.

Catching up with Joshua

In the past month, we've become busy with numerous e-design projects which left me almost no time to do the blog. Last Memorial's Day weekend, I took a day off from work just to recharge myself and got out of the city to enjoy the nature by driving up to Whistler, B.C. which is around an hour and half north from Vancouver. While we were on day road trip to Whistler, we made a stop at one of my favorite places to escape reality - Sea to Sky Gondola. Here is the picture so you can see why I love this place so much. Beautiful huh?

Sea to Sky Gondola View

Sea to Sky Gondola View

A lot of my life, personal and work in the past month has been about the outdoors. I have done numerous outdoor living space e-design projects for clients across the USA. That got me inspired to start to think about giving our tiny balcony right next to my home office a makeover to make it more inviting and something beautiful to look at while at work. When I have some free time and will work on our balcony project and will post the picture of it on our Instagram page.

In our next blog, I will discuss about some of our recent outdoor living space e-design projects. Stay tuned! :)

Designing Your Child's Bedroom

In our last blog, we discussed about the gender neutral nursery. Now we focus on decorating on children bedrooms when they graduate from the crib lifestyle.

It can be challenging to think about how much should you invest in your child's room and how often would you change/update the look over time as your child gets older. That question made me think about how often parents are willing to allow their children to change/update their room looks. I have done a design survey on my own time. The result? The average number of time people change/update their bedroom from the age they no longer sleep in the crib to age 18 is two to three times. Most of them kept their furniture but rearranged the bedroom, changed the colors/themes, and some purchased new furniture to replace or add to their rooms while growing up. That gives us the better idea of how often parents would update their children's bedrooms.

Before you start planning for your child's bedroom project - please make sure know what colors your child love because sometime some colors that you are in love with can be exact opposite for your child. For example, my parents loved red and decorated my bedroom with lots of red when I was child and I hated red to death and tried to stay away from my bedroom as much as possible. Trust me, you don't want that to happen to your child too! :)

For starters, select good quality furniture that can last so that your investment would benefit for long time from early childhood to adulthood. I understand that some high quality furniture is not always affordable but think about it - if you buy cheap furniture then it would fall apart within 1-3 years from now then you would have to replace it occasionally until your child become an adult. It would become very expensive than compared to good quality furniture. Consider this as good investment for your child bedroom project.

Once you select right furniture then you can start think about what theme, colors, bedding, and accessories that would look great for your child's bedroom. It can be either simple or wildly fun to get your child excited and spend more time in their room.

I created both girl and boy bedrooms styleboards to show you how right furniture would make the difference with your child's bedroom design plan from early childhood to teenager. Here is an example of how can girl bedroom design evolve over time.

Now, here is an example of how can boy bedroom design evolve over time.

Now you see how both bedrooms design evolve over times with same furniture with different styles, colors, patterns, themes, and child's interests. Some furniture can be added to your child bedroom later only if you don't have budget for it or don't need it at this moment. As your child gets older, you can change the wall colors, replace drapes, change the bedding or rug to give your child's bedroom an update and stylish look.

Hope this blog helps you to get better idea of what to spend on your child's bedroom and how to do it right for long term without becoming too expensive by changing the room look often while your child growing up.

If you need help with your child's bedroom's project. You can start here.

Gender Neutral Nursery

Are you planning to start a family soon? It is a great time to start planning the nursery room for your baby. And if you're planning to have more than one child, or you are keeping the gender a surprise until birth, you might want to do a gender neutral nursery room.

Ideally nursery room location would be in the bedroom right next to the master bedroom. Every parent would prefer to be close to their newborn for safety reasons and able to check on them occasionally. Once your first born child gets little older, you would want to move your first child to different bedroom and reuse the nursery room for your second born child.

Once you move your first child to different bedroom, you wouldn't have to spend too much on redecorate the nursery room since it would have everything what you need but can make some minor changes to make it special for each of your child such as different bedding, pillows, add few new items that you needed but didn't have it on your first born child, or even change the wall arts. It would save you lots of money on re-purposing the nursery room for each of your child. However, most parents tend to reuse the crib, changing table/dresser, and rocking chair for each child but often spend more money on redecorate the entire nursery room which only last for a couple years. That's why gender neutral nursery room works best only if you want to save money and able to make the space special for each of your child regardless what gender your child is.

In the past year, I have helped two clients to design the gender neutral nursery rooms. You can get an idea of how it looks like and able to reuse it for your next child and beyond. Here is the example of our works:

You can see what things both gender neutral nursery rooms have in common from these style boards. Neutral color furniture (white, black, and natural wood) that would work with any other colors and you can change a color and it still would look good with those furniture. Wall colors would stay neutral such as light gray, cream, off white, or beige but it would be ok to have an accent wall with completely different color and you can more easily change the accent wall color for each child if you like. It is also ok to have neutral colors with some pops of colors as well that are easily replaceable with little fuss or cost. It is common thoughts for some people that neutral colors mean boring but it is not always true for many cases. It can be a fun and cozy space for your baby with a bit of sophistication for the parents. :)

You probably are wondering what about designing the bedroom for first child and beyond once you move them to different bedroom(s). We will discuss about this matter in our next blog. :)

 

2D Rendering vs 3D Rendering

Many of you guys probably have seen a lot of our 2D rendering boards and some of 3D rendering images post on both Facebook and Instagram. I want to discuss with you about behind the e-design works.

A little over three years ago, just before I started my e-design business, I had to teach myself how to do 3D renderings of my interior design work so I can show the clients what their space would look like when the makeover is completed. In my college days, my school didn't teach us how to do 3D rendering because it was brand new and wasn't available in my school at that time. Over time I learned a few programs that perform 3D layouts and renderings to do photo-realistic pictures of the space to give people a more realistic idea of what their space could look like after makeover/remodel; it's like the designer's version of CG in movies. I still am in awe that even though I am not a tech savvy person but managed to learn how to do it on my own without taking any classes or have a mentor.

After a little over a year of being in e-design business, I decided to join some online design platforms to learn more about e-design industry and expand our client base. They required all designers, including myself, to do 2D rendering boards (it is often called style board, concept board, or look board) via Photoshop. At the beginning, it was a bit challenging for me since I was used to doing 3D renderings. I had to teach myself and master Photoshop in order to create a room with furniture and accessories.

Now, after doing lots of 2D and 3D rendering works for our clients, I have some observations about the pros and cons about each type of rendering:

2D Rendering - It includes real life images from vendors to display the furniture and accessories but the background often gets chopped off and put on the board. It can be challenging to include some items on the board due to poor image quality or the picture I want to copy sets the furniture piece at awkward position for my need. In my experience, sometime 2D rendering can be confusing for some people due to awkward positioning and doesn't offer photo-realistic image to envision the space. 2D rendering is very popular though for e-design industry today since it is much more affordable compared to 3D rendering. Here is an example of what 2D rendering looks like:

2D Rendering of Dining Room

2D Rendering of Dining Room

3D Rendering - It offers a photo-realistic image of your space. It will help you to understand the space better by showing you exactly where to put items. It can be challenging because some items not available in the 3D library or they may be difficult to build. This means the designer may have to use a 3D model that is not exactly the same as the item selected.  Because of the detail and skill involved in creating the model, it takes much more time compared to a 2D rendering. Here is an example of what a 3D rendering image:

3D Rendering of Dining Room

3D Rendering of Dining Room

In my own opinion, 2D rendering is ideal for anyone that can envision the space or understand the design plan well. 2D rendering is not always helpful for someone who struggles to envision the space but 3D renderings will definitely help anyone to envision the space and able to understand the design plan better.

 

Get to know Joshua Jones...

It is hard to believe that it has been three years since I started our online interior design business. Many things happened since then and went though lot of changes with our e-design business including types of services, websites and a new business name. It was quite experience for me to learn and understand e-design industry. It is what it has kept me busy those years now. I realize that I haven’t really shared much of myself to you and my clients since the day one. It is time for you to get know me better! :)

I was born and raised in southern California but lived in Oregon and Seattle, Washington before returned to southern California and then now living in Vancouver, B.C. in Canada. You can call me a West Coast guy, haha! There are some interesting things about myself.

I was growing up wanting to be an architect so I would design skyscrapers, shopping malls, or any large buildings. Until I am in my late teenager years and I realize that requires lots of skills in math which I seriously lack in. I had to end my dream career and decided to major in business and urban planning when I attended to Western Oregon University. Before I start my second years in college, I moved in my apartment with my two roommates which didn’t let me to decorate our living room but I ended up decorating my bedroom. I got lots of compliments from my college buddies about my room look and suggested me that I should be an interior designer. Funny thing, my mom was an interior designer too! She did lots of interior design projects for many high end homes in southern California and never thought I would pick that up. I changed my major to interior design and transferred to Art Institute of Seattle to study this field. I received my Bachelor of Fine Art degree in 2008 but by the time I graduated, the economy went south. It made it challenge for me to find any entry level interior design job since all interior design and architecture firms in Seattle were laying off its employees and few of them went out of business. I had to do some freelance interior design works time to time and did an internship at upscale furniture showroom in Seattle Design Center. Then economy got better and these firms are hiring those days. I tried again and I faced other challenges to land an interior design career due to discrimination against my Deafness. That was the first thing they were very concerned about without giving me the chance to prove them that I can do the job. You have probably noticed by this point that my English is not great.  I grew up in the States and learned English but for me, English is still a second language.  Many people don’t realize the ASL (American Sign Lanquage) is really very different than English with grammar, so conceptually I often put my thoughts together in ASL grammar and it may sound weird.  Many studies show that English is one of the most difficult languages to learn for non native speaker because and for me that is true when I write English.  I could have had this all proofread and corrected, to make perfect English for my reading audience, but I want to be authentic and that this is my voice “speaking”; good grammar or not. 

At the point, I expressed to my other half my frustration about unable to land an interior design career that I love doing. He suggested me to start my online interior design business. At that time, I never heard of anyone doing online interior design service and thought it was brilliant idea. That is how everything started! Three years later, this whole e-design industry is booming and made it more accessible for anyone that need help from professional interior designer from anywhere and get it done via online. That made me happy that I am able to help people to make their dream spaces to come true even we haven’t met in person.

 

 

What is the difference between interior design and e-design?

Numerous of people have been asking me this question, “what is the difference between interior design and e-design?” Excellent question! Let me explain you about the difference between interior design and e-design.

Photo by Naphat_Jorjee/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by Naphat_Jorjee/iStock / Getty Images

Interior Design

I am sure most of you already know what interior designers actually do – a designer comes over to your place for a consultation including evaluating your space, measuring it, and providing you a presentation of their design proposal for your space. Once you approve their design proposal, you either go furniture/accessories shopping with your interior designer or have your interior designer do all the work for you. Interior designers usually charge you by the hour. The average number of hours of work for a typical residential space is 10 to 20 hours depending on the project scale. Some interior designers do charge a flat rate or by a percentage of your total project budget.

E-design

Let’s talk about e-design – it is an online interior design service that allows you to work with any interior designer you wish across the country.  With online interior design services you typically pay a flat rate fee per room and is usually upfront. After establishing contact with your e-designer (we call it online interior designer) you typically go through an initial consultation where you would have to take pictures of your space, draw the floor plan and provide measurements and inspiration pictures. Once your e-designer receives this information they need to process your project. You usually receive either a concept board or first look board (styleboard) to show you how your e-designer interpreted your style and needs. Once you approve the concept board or first look board you work with your e-designer to select furniture or accessories via online accessible vendors. Once you approve the final design plan for your space, you receive the final design package which includes a shopping list, furniture layout, 3D renderings (optional), style board, and project instructions. You then complete the design of your space on your time using the design and resources provided.

What are the pros and cons between interior design and e-design?

Traditional interior design is a little more financially risky than compared to e-design. You could experience some costly mistake with your project that requires additional time from your designer and therefore costing more money since you are paying by the hour.   On the bright side, an interior designer would able to see any space issues and take care of it for you and interior designers typically take care of everything for you. For a price.

E-design is ideal for anyone that wants to be in charge with the project with the provided interior design guidance provided by an e-designer. E-designers usually have limited knowledge of your space since they can’t be there in person and depend on you for the information about the room; pictures, and room measurements. If you measure your space wrong, it would affect entire project since some furniture could end up being too big or too small for your space. Some e-designers can pick up on the fact that a measurement doesn’t seem right and ask for clarification so it doesn’t impact the design.  It is extremely important to communicate about your style and needs since the e-designer hasn’t meet you in person and is incapable of reading your mind from online. The advantages are that e-designers usually manage to get your project done within your budget. You can work with any designer you want anywhere in the country or world!  If you are not happy with either your e-designer or design plan for your project, you won’t lose much money since you’re only paying that flat rate fee with limited additional charges. You could either change the design plan or find different e-designer for less compared to a traditional interior designer. It could save you lots of headaches.  

I hope this blog helps you understand the difference between interior design and e-design. If you have any questions, feel free to ask right away.

Introduction

Never heard of e-design or virtual interior design? It’s a relatively new concept in the interior design industry that allows for digital design services nationwide. The idea is to allow you to be in charge of your project with the benefit of having guidance from a professional designer to accomplish your goal for your project on time and budget. We do this by performing our services online digitally instead of in person. Let’s say you need help to fix up your living room but not sure which furniture would fit or look great for this space. An e-designer will guide you to select right kind of furniture that would work for this space and fit in your budget. You’ll use the design and then go out and actually accomplish the work yourself; thereby allowing you to save significant money and have full control of your space.

JJones Design Co. is an e-design firm which offers interior design services for anyone from rental homes to commercial business owners. What makes us different than other e-design firms? We are one of a few e-design firms that will give you a beautiful design from both national vendors as well as stores local to you. Many e-design firms align themselves with a few vendors only. You’re not getting the best design that way; you’re getting a design that is easiest for the designer and that makes them the most profit. We pride ourselves on the value of our designs; staying within your budget but providing the best quality products. Lastly, one thing that really makes JJones Design Co. stand out compared to other e-design firms is that included in all of our design packages are 3D digital renderings (photorealistic) to help you to envision how your space will look when. It is important to have these renderings to help truly get a sense of what the room will look like. This ensures that the design is going to be right for you, before you start work, and helps you or a contractor know what the end result goal is for your remodel. This can save a lot of money on costly mistakes or potential changes before you start the project. That is one reason why e-design is much less risky than in-person interior designer and ultimately provides you with a space you are happy with.

If you want to learn more about our e-design services, please ask right away.