Top 3 Reno Project Challenges - How A Designer Can Help


You might think that it would be budget or money.


Think again.

According to studies conducted by Houzz, most struggle with nonbudget issues.

Here are the top 3 most common challenges that homeowners face when working on a renovation:

1. Finding Products, Materials and Accessories

This is the biggest challenge of them all. It might be due to budget or geographic constraints, but, many simply don't know where to start.

Some will scour the Internet on their own. A large number have either already tried to source on their products — and failed — or, some found some pieces they like - but have no clue how to incorporate them into a cohesive space.

How can a designer help? Create mood or concept boards, floor plans and renderings showing you how the items you love will fit. Maybe they merge with existing pieces.

Designers may add a few new items you've never thought of, making the concept look fantastic. Which makes it easy to say yes and sign on the dotted line.

It can be as simple as comparing different products side by side and deciding which you prefer.

2. Defining Your Design style

Styles evolve and change. Both personally and within the industry.

For those who prefer sticking to trends, there can be a fear of commitment lest something should change or lose favor after the purchase. Some do not like being placed into a box that says, "This is my style." Help yourself along by scrolling through Houzz or Pinterest to gather ideas of what you like. This will save you time and headaches.

You may struggle to say what your style is. A "Discovery Questionaire" can help you discover what bothers you about your space and more importantly what it that you 'want' in your ideal space.

Renderings of the proposed space make it easier to visualize and make decisions. There is a cost, but the investment is worth the money you will save from making a poor selection.

3. Making Design Decisions With A Spouse

Finding common ground might just be the trickiest of the three — some of us can be strong in our opinions and unwilling to compromise.

Given the investment that you are making in your home, you want to love the results and feel comfortable, so it does merit consideration. Designers can act as aneutral third-party and, hopefully, a trusted advisor, so are prepared to step in to handle potentially explosive situations.

By the decision-making stage, a designer should have a good grasp of what you like and how you need things to function. While one partner might love and need that exotic hardwood floor, a designer can explain that your beloved 100-pound dog's nails would quickly mar the finish and suggest a better alternative. Product knowledge can make all the difference when making decisions.

A designer can ease your mind about each of these areas. You'll be that much closer to a successful project with a happy ending.

And, realizing your dream home.

Art In Motion: The Story Behind Mobiles

Alexander Calder mobile at the Hemmens Auditorium (Photo by   The Elginite  ).

Alexander Calder mobile at the Hemmens Auditorium (Photo by The Elginite).

Most people are familiar with baby mobiles. Fewer know them as an interior decorating accessory. And even fewer know them as a fine-art form. What are mobiles? Who invented them? To start, mobiles are a type of suspended sculpture based on balance and characterized by the ability to move. They range in size from a few inches to more than 100 feet and can cost anywhere from $10 to almost $26 million.

Guest post by Marco Mahler - written for Houzz.

Click below to open-up full length article with fabulous photos of this floating art form.


Dress Your Work Space For Success - Creating That First Impression

Setting yourself apart from the competition means developing the personal touch to your business. So how can you use your space to sell yourself effectively?

Everyone has an office. Some use the kitchen table, some devote a spare bedroom to the task, and still others who work for an employer have their workstations or offices planned professionally. Just as you go out to a meeting wearing your best, your office should also make the best impression with clients. And just as importantly, make an impression with you!

Is the image that greets your clients a favourable reflection of you? Most of us want to appear successful, implying that thousands of other people have trusted us with their business. Remember, you are in the business of selling trust, confidence, security and peace of mind.

How objective are you about your work space? Ask yourself “How do others see my space?” Try taking photos of your business location, from your clients’ point of view, through the entrances and other spaces that they may see. A picture says a thousand words and this will allow you to see your space the way others do.

First, you need to establish what your objectives are. Second, determine the impact you want to make. Third, establish your goals.
Ask yourself: Do I need to develop relationships quickly? Do I need to develop credibility? Do I need to establish an image?

Now that you’ve been brutally honest with yourself, it’s time to take action.

Here are 10 tips that can enhance your workspace to increased profitability:

1. Location, location, location - of your desk that is.

Furniture layouts can create barriers, some can be more embracing and inclusive, and others create power positions to control the scene. How do you want your client to feel? What do you want to accomplish?

2. Objects in your office speak volumes about who you are.

They can tell the client who you are quickly. You can project your personality and philosophy through photographs, books and knick knacks. What do you want them to know about you?

3. Showcase your accomplishments; clients are impressed by that.

Get noticed and be memorable to clients. Tell them that you are an active player in your profession, community and your life. Tell them that this is the energy and commitment that you’ll bring to their business.

4. Lease your ideal office furniture .

Plan your office right the first time. Get what you need and want for that dynamic first impression. Then, lease it for a low monthly payment that is tax deductible.

5. Stop being a pack rat, personally or corporately.

A messy space is considered untrustworthy. It is common to hoard things like paper and files (yes, even in this digital age). However, it costs you credibility. Don’t you want your clients to know that you are in control of your own situation, and worthy of their business?

6. Think vertically and horizontally.

A room has height, width and depth. Maximize all available space and have it serve a function. Your office should greet you, store objects and motivate you.

7. Use your office as a motivational tool.

What are your business and personal goals? Plan the elements of your space so that they remind you of your commitment to your goals and inevitable success.

8. Stimulate all your senses. Sight, sound, taste, touch and smell.

The more senses you stimulate the more invigorating, productive and memorable the space. Flowers, the aroma of coffee, a Persian carpet on the floor. Each sense that you enhance makes you memorable.

9. Colour.

The impact of colour and its psychology is quite well known. Some colours like blue are calming, yellow evokes a bright and cheerful feeling, red is vital and dramatic, green is fresh and environmentally conscious. What colour is your parachute?

10. Respect client confidentiality.

Keep papers and your computer screen private; don’t reveal too much information. Also, keep other client files locked, and away from view.

Michelangelo as an Interior Designer. Laurentian Library, Reading Room, Florence, Italy – A Review


I’ve just finished a 36 lecture DVD series on The Genius of Michelangelo (2007) by Professor William E. Wallace.  The knowledge was invigorating and had me see Michelangelo in a whole new light.

Michelangelo was a man who, no matter what task presented him, he made each object a product of genius.

A quick historical review ...

At the same time that Michelangelo was working on the Medici Chapel in 1524, Michelangelo was asked by Pope Clement VII to design a library at San Lorenzo, Florence.

Clement's wanted to provide a proper location to preserve the great Medici collection of books and manuscripts.  The library he constructed was situated on the third floor, on top of another part of a cloister that was already in place.


I know who Michelangelo was – but ....

Being of Italian descent, I’ve lived in Italy and have studied many of Michelangelo’s works.  Michelangelo WAS the best of the best that Italy had to offer.

I’ve thought of him as an artist, sculptor and architect but never as an applied Interior Designer.  What has been so obvious and so much in front of me, somehow escaped me.

Within the Laurentian Library interior, he designed the interior and ‘all’ of it’s interior fittings.



Interior of Laurentian Library ...

 I love libraries. To me they represent the world’s bountiful knowledge.  They are sanctuaries of order and quiet, where the physicality of the written word in the form of books, prevails through time and culture.

Today, most of the world’s knowledge is found on the internet, and libraries have now become more community hubs were people meet, accesses the internet and attend speaking events.

The Laurentian Library Reading Room’s layout is simple with two blocks of seats separated by a center aisle with the backs of each serving as desks for the benches behind them. The desks are lit by the evenly spaced windows along the wall. The windows are framed by pilasters, forming a system of bays which articulate the layout of the ceiling and floor.

 The centre isle with a isle way that would lead to a grander room of more antiquated knowledge, unfortunately, was never built.

It’s current flooring consists of an elaborate wood inlay motif.  Beneath it lies the original terra cotta floor panels.

Michelangelo considered a building’s furniture to be an integral  part of its design. The regularly spaced reading desks reiterate the room’s simple geometry.

Desk - Reading - Storage Units

It is the carved walnut desks that attract my attention.  The units are at once a comfortable seat, reading stand and a storage facility for the books underneath.  Each of the books under the desk are identified on tablets at the front exposed side of the desk.  The desk units provide an efficient and private study environment for scholars to study their manuscripts in a magnificent environment.

 The desks are spaced two to a bay, and the measured rhythm of repeating bays creates a harmonious space conducive to quiet reading and study.

The books were chained to the reading seats to prevent stealing which was considered a necessary practice against theft. The reading seats each displayed a list of the books that could be found at each location. The desks were specifically designed by Michelangelo to fit the room and add to its Mannerist style.

The wall articulation depends on, and is coordinated with the furnishings:  the pilasters rise from a stringcourse that runs along at the level of the reading desks.  In this way, the furniture is a necessary part and support for the wall decoration. They are well coordinated with the desks themselves.

In the reading, room, building, furniture, and books – that is, architecture, decoration, and function are all seamlessly integrated.

What’s Happening Now With The Manuscripts?

Presently, the ancient manuscripts are stored in a vault downstairs and the space serves a tourist attraction for those who appreciate architecture and design.

Reader passes can only be issued to scholars who can prove they are conducting scientific research requiring access to manuscripts or rare books.  The Manuscripts are now digitized and available for viewing on-line.

Seeing Michelangelo With Renewed Appreciation

When next in Florence I will surely visit this Library once more.  I will sit, read and learn from the master – rediscovering another layer of this genius.  (I can’t wait.)


Acknowledgments and Useful Websites:

Photos are sourced and the property of the following websites:,+Italy

Disclaimer: The views expressed on Spaces Custom Interiors Blog are solely those of the blog post author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the persons or organizations with which the author has described or is associated. 

Black & Gold Office - James Bond 007 Style!


Sexy Meeting Rooms

Sexy and investments are not two words normally found in the same sentence.  These rooms look more like James Bond 007's bachelor pad than investment firm.

i29 Architects created a meeting & lounge areas for All Capital Investment Group,  that are prestigious and opulent without being pretentious or stuffy.

The meeting rooms are black and gold, whilst the lounge areas are simpler in various tones of greys, black and white.

Clever Design

The captivating features of the meeting rooms are the shapely elliptical gold features that are inset into the black wall unit and furniture accents.

The egg-shape motif is also inset into the black office furniture and pattern of the carpet.  The space is punctuated with large half moon pendant black light fixtures with a gold interior.  

The room's success with the black and gold wall unit is dependant upon the counterposition of the white walls, ceiling and full width window wall.  Also, aided by the light grey carpet oval cut into the dark grey strié carpet. Texture is further enhanced with the linear vertical striping go the painted black rift cut oak.

Upon first viewing, the meeting rooms looks sultry and powerful.  But, upon further review I feel that the use of black can become morose and depressing.  Especially during the long grey winter with lack of natural sunshine. A lot would depend on lighting.

These rooms are appropriate for short meetings versus a long-term work environment. 

Scientifically Speaking

William Lidwell, PhD, who is an acquaintance of mine and has a video lecture series called How Colors Affect You: What Science Reveals, gave his thoughts on this office: 

"There is no intrinsic problem with predominantly black interiors, assuming proper lighting, etc. However, when black is matched with high-contrast colors like red or yellow, you start to run into threat combinations that are hardwired in the brain—i.e., the kinds of color combinations you typically find in poisonous snakes, insects, and plants that we have evolved to identify as potential threats. The result can be an environment that produces stress and fatigue at a subconscious level, and correspondingly impairs performance. And I think your comment about short meetings versus a long-term work environment is dead on—darker environments generally result in lower productivity and emotional wellbeing vs lighter environments. So, to the extent that productivity and happiness are factors, you would not want to spend a lot of time in that office."

It's always gratifying to have my professional opinion validated.

Black - Tips & Tricks

Although black can dramatic in its appeal, there are a few things to keep in mind when choosing black:

  • Black can be depressing to live and work in.  An all black room is difficult to live and work in. It must be counter balanced with a bright colour or white.  Mix-up your walls.
  • Black sucks all the light in a room.  Install dimmer switches so that you can control lighting levels to suit your needs.
  • Black ceilings - NO!  Painting a ceiling black will make it look lower and can be very claustrophobic.  Even if it's a very high ceiling.  (See William Lidwell's comments above.)
  • Black shows dirt. Dust and dirt will show up on black as a white haze. And scuff marks dull streaks. Dust and clean regularly.
  • Black paint quality and coats.  To achieve hide and coverage, tint primer black.  Or… your black walls may require 3 to 4 coats of paint to get proper saturation, make sure you buy a good quality paint such as Benjamin Moore's Aura, which allows you to paint fewer coats. And, remember, painting can be labour intensive. 
  • Black high gloss - beware of glare.  Shiny black gloss produces glare and have high reflectivity.  You may notice it acts like a mirror and start reflecting the light fixtures above.
  • Black matte is the best. The glossier the paint, the more imperfections show. This is true for paint of all colors, but imperfections are especially noticeable on a black surface.

Black - exiting - yes!

But -  manage the location and the quantity.  

Black is fickle.  What's dramatic and wonderful on a whim, might be depressing in truth.

Design to enhance your personal power and your happiness.


Acknowledgments and Useful Websites:

Disclaimer: The views expressed on Spaces Custom Interiors Blog are solely those of the blog post author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the persons or organizations with which the author has described or is associated. 

When To Mount a TV Over a Fireplace

Gas Burning Fireplace Exterior Wall Of Condo -  Designed and Built by Spaces Custom Interiors

People love the idea of mounting a TV over a fireplace. Sometimes it's the only option in a room whose walls are consumed by windows and doorways, or sometimes it's a simple matter of preference: it just looks cool. Either way, putting an electronic device over what amounts to an oven is certainly not ideal. It's not necessarily the end of the world either, as long as you keep the following caveats in mind.

Electronics generate heat

Not exactly a revelation, but a TV's innards create plenty of heat on their own, so exposing them to additional heat for long periods of time is not a great idea. Translation: if you love roaring fires and like to keep your fireplace busy through the fall and winter months, think twice about hanging that expensive piece of electronics over the hearth. Exposure to heat can raise the TV's operating temperature beyond normal limits, which can damage sensitive electronics and, ultimately, shorten the set's life. You also run the risk of voiding the manufacturer's warranty. Some TV manufacturers even specifically recommend against above-fireplace mounting.

Of course, if you rarely use the fireplace or it's a properly installed gas-burning unit, you probably won't have much to worry about. And if you're unsure, it never hurts to consult a professional.

Fireplace At Sunset  - Designed and Built by Spaces Custom Interiors

Fireplaces generate soot

Wood-burning fireplaces create soot, so make sure it is operating properly and your chimney isn't gunked up with creosote before mounting a TV above the mantle. A build-up of tar-like creosote can restrict the flow of smoke and soot up the chimney, causing it to leak into the room and deposit residue on (and in) a nearby TV. Worse, such build-ups are a fire hazard.

Avoiding the front row syndrome

Watching a TV above a fireplace can be like sitting in the first row of a concert hall or movie theater. The action is right there, but you have to crane your neck to watch the show. Trust us - this is not the way you want to watch TV, and it can lead to long-term neck pain. Ideally, the center of the screen should be roughly in line with your eyes when you're sitting down. Fortunately, there's a simple workaround: make sure the bracket used to secure the TV to the wall has tilting capability so the screen can be angled for comfortable viewing. A variety of TV mounts are available from several companies, including models that pull out from the wall, swivel left and right and even drop down in the case of one model designed specifically for above-fireplace mounting.

There's another benefit to being able to adjust the screen: You can compensate for viewing-angle limitations if your TV is an LCD model (most are these days). If your seated viewing position is too far "off axis" - that is, away from the center of the screen - images can appear washed out.

Bottom line

Mounting a TV on the wall can be a tricky proposition that is usually best left in the hands of a professional - especially when a fireplace is part of the equation.

For a complete view of this condominium project and the fireplace location check out Nest In The Sky - Condo - Lifestyle Change on my website.

To learn more about custom installation, consult a CEDIA (Custom Electronic Design & Instllation Association) professional.

(With references from CEDIA blog.See for more details.)

Disclaimer: The views expressed on Spaces Custom Interiors Blog are solely those of the blog post author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the persons or organizations with which the author has described or is associated.

Part 2 - And The Community Is The Vehicle: Dolores’ Adventures With Social Media


Published on Thursday, 10 October 2013 17:31
Written by Dolores Pian

My family is important. My friends are important. You are important. Let’s bump into each other often. Let’s call this “propinquity”.

I was a skeptic when it comes to social media. But, as the creator of an interior design firm called Spaces Custom Interiors which specializes in “sensuous spaces” I wanted to find like-minded people who would embrace the concept for residential, commercial and specialty environments.

Throughout my business career, I’ve found that my best friendships and clients have come from bumping into them through a common cause or through enjoyable activities. So I know that relationships matter. I have extensive experience building great volunteer, professional and community committees. Creating a viable tribe and an army to accomplish a focused objective is a wonderful thing.

So building a following on the web seemed to be a natural extension of what I do in my physical life. In other words, building a virtual tribe that reflects my physical community. It’s all about relationships. Relationships matter. The relationship is the message. And the relationship is the vehicle.

Sure, I dabbled a little with Facebook, opened a Twitter account, but never saw the potential as a business development vehicle. And what are my observations and experiences from my reading and day to day use of social media? Physical distance is still a powerful predictor of contact, interaction, friendship and influence. Initiating, building relationships and keeping in touch is the very essence of propinquity. Social media makes it easier to “bump” into each other often virtually.

Twitter for example has been the start of some great personal and business relationships with people and suppliers that I might never have bumped into during my rich, hectic life. Now I blog, tweet and Facebook to my hearts content. I’m not everywhere, but, I am social.

And, I’m enjoying being social.

So what does that have to do with Spaces Custom Interiors? Everything! The designs that I create and the Clients that work with me are relationship oriented. The better our relationship, the better our collaboration.

And, the better our collaboration, the more sensuous and fulfilling the design. Which makes my clients and me very happy.

Dolores founded SPACES interior design firm in 1992. Since then, she’s focused on creating warm, welcoming spaces, awash with rich colour and texture, for both residential and corporate clients. She has worked on a variety of corporate projects, places of worship, hospitals… at one point, she even designed a jail.

t: @SpacesDolores w:

Part 1 - Propinquity - The Relationship IS The Message

My 1st long awaited web article that compliments the previous poem published on my August 21st blog post. (It was a lot of work but now the I have the satisfaction of having it published.)

Propinquity - The Relationship IS The Message

published on Mercado News website.

My adventures in the land of Social Media.

Part 2 tomorrow. 

Txs to mentor Rod Ponce, owner of BHIve and Vicki Guitierrez, editor.  <> 

Feedback appreciated.

Happy Reading!





Propinquity - The Relationship IS The Message

Published on Wednesday, 09 October 2013 15:03 Written by Dolores Pian

Propinquity describes various types of relationships in 4 main categories:

  1. Industry/Occupational Propinquity – where similar people working in the same field or job tend to be attracted to one another.
  2. Residential Propinquity – where people living in the same area or within neighborhoods of each other tend to come together.
  3. Acquaintance Propinquity – a form of proximity in existence when friends tend to have a special bond of interpersonal attraction.

And... in today’s world we have:

  1. Virtual Propinquity – Online interactions that facilitate instant and close interactions with people despite a lack of physical presence. People who are connected through various social media and internet applications.

Wanting to turn me into a social media evangelist a friend gave me a reading list comprised of: Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business – Updated Edition (2012) by Erik Qualman; and Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust (2010) by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith. Rising to the challenge, I took on the assignment with great fervor and started reading one book after the other.

After completing my mandatory reading, I explored the concept of propinquity and found how I could relate this back to how social media can be used in business. Propinquity is an old Middle English word that describes a state of being close to someone or something. My research revealed two books that relate very well to social media: The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Friedman (2007); and Six Pixels of Separation : Everyone is Connected : Connect Your Business to Everyone (2010) by Mitch Joel.


Social media has taken on new and unsuspecting uses to allow us to convey information, inform one another and be close for whatever reason is required.
All of this on-line communication has made this a transparent world, which has it’s benefits and liabilities. Qualman maintains this is a self policing world, where the community keeps a watchful eye on one another; making sure that no one gets too out of line. The communication taking place on social media shouldn’t be considered as meaningless banter or snipping, but should be viewed by businesses as a gold mine of useful information on product glitches, customer service or for developing and refining new and existing products.

In business as in life, I’ve learned that people don’t complain, they just go away. If people complain on a social media platform, then the problem can be addressed and hopefully resolved to everyone’s satisfaction. When you're open to hearing complaints directly then at least you know what’s happening out there in the world-wide-web.

Trust Agents:

Brogan and Smith state quite simply that social media is an online communication tool which is an easy and inexpensive way to connect with people – either to build new relationships or, ideally, to further develop those you’ve established offline.
Your presence needs to be guided by integrity, honesty and purpose, leading towards establishing a level of trust. All successful relationships online (and off) are about trust.
Think of every new blog you’re visiting, or online group you’re entering as a party where you don’t know anyone. Introduce yourself, listen, and look for opportunities to build real connections. Be human first. The business will follow.
You need to make it easy for like-minded tribe members to pick-up your ideas and carry them in their online travels. Make an idea easy to share (repost, retweet, etc.)
Communicate with your tribe regularly. Pick a format and be consistent.

When I complimented both @ChrisBrogan and @Julien regarding their book, Chris Brogan actually tweeted me back! Practicing what he preaches.

The World Is Flat:

Today’s world of commerce is interconnected and boundaries are becoming irrelevant. Since global competition is here to stay we need to stop seeing each other as competition, but rather see what each country has to offer as a specialty and how we can use that specialty to our maximum advantage in accomplishing our business objectives

Six Pixels of Separation:

Joel helps you discover that with all the information that we generate, “you” are now the media and in control of managing your “personal brand” so that it is your most powerful ally not your enemy, this means paying close attention to the information that is presented about you on the world wide web
Focus on building a community and not just traffic. Traffic may get attention but it doesn’t necessarily equal trust.
Community and trust building requires that you give abundantly of yourself via content and genuine personal interest. Help others and build relationships. The business will follow. A good rule of thumb is for every four updates or posts that you create in your online social circles (outside of your dedicated blog), you can self-promote once.

Since my immersion in the social web, I can now see that by giving my time and attention to social media, I reap enhanced visibility for my company, hence attracting more like minded people and acquiring more business while doing the work that I love.

It takes more than social media to build a business. All this research into virtual propinquity has provided eye-opening possibilities.

And my exploration into the media itself is far from over.

It has extended my reach and visibility with a voice to share myself. It’s also introduced me to some amazing people. Time will tell if all this effort will turn into business.

My conclusion: The media is the vehicle and the relationship IS STILL the message. Am I social media evangelist? Let’s just say I endorse it, but am no evangelist.


Dolores founded SPACES interior design firm in 1992. Since then, she’s focused on creating warm, welcoming spaces, awash with rich colour and texture, for both residential and corporate clients. She has worked on a variety of corporate projects, places of worship, hospitals… at one point, she even designed a jail.

t: @SpacesDolores

Rainbows: Part III - The Culture Of The Rainbow

Part II Introduced us to the many scientific discoviries as a result of studying the rainbow.

3. Culture – How do we express culture through rainbows? And why is it important?

While science has explained why and how we see the rainbow, our souls have sought to understand and explain it’s mystery and find a place in our lives.

Rainbows are seen in every culture through every era in many forms: mythology, art, literature, film, music, flags, fashion, logos, current events .... and even gaming. The list goes on and on.


Here are just are a few cultural examples grounded in mythology and displayed in many forms of art and literature:

  • Greece: The rainbow is a path made by the messenger IRIS between heaven and the sea, so that the goddess cold replenish the rain-clouds with water from the sea.
  • Chinese: The rainbow was a slit in the sky sealed by goddess NuWa. In the Chinese myth, the goddess NuWa once mended the broken sky with seven coloured stones... which we’ve come to know as the seven colours of the rainbow.
  • India: Hindus believe, the rainbow is the bow of Rama, the incarnation of Vishnu. And represents the seven charkas of the body. from the first charka (red) to the seventh charka (violet).
  • Christian & Jewish religions: The rainbow is a covenant with God. Where God promised Noah that life on Earth would never again be destroyed by a flood, visually depicted in a painting by Joseph Anton Koch "Noah's Thank Offering".
  • Ireland: The the leprechaun's secret hiding place for his pot-o-gold lies at the end of the rainbow.
  • Today’s modern world: Rainbows are used as a guide to eating healthy fruits and vegetables.


As a branding exercise the Rainbow Flag made famous in the 70’s by the USA’s gay, lesbian, bisexual & transgender community, strategically designed to reflect the diversity of the community. Proud of their sexual orientation and gender identity. A new era of hope and social change.

Film & Music

In American entertainment music, song writers have used the concept of the rainbow in many of their films:

  • “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” from the Wizard Of Oz – seen as a symbol of hope, where dreams come true. Dorothy’s Aunt Em tells her to find a place where she won’t get into any trouble. And, Dorothy wonders if there is such a place.

  • Sesame Street – Kermit the Frog sings his famous “Rainbow Connection”, a connection between people and their dreams.

Architecture & Interior Design

Even interior architecture has seen the rainbow’s influence. The Rainbow Room is one of New York City’s most famous dining and party rooms located in the Rockefeller Plaza. The name chosen was to be “distinctive” and “not sound like an ordinary Eighth Avenue food joint.” It was inspired by the installation of new technology – an RCA color organ “that automatically converts music into changing colors in harmony with the moods expressed by the music.” This interior architectural space is now historically designated.

Phantom As An Obsession

So you can see how nature’s gift of the rainbow, has shaped our minds, hearts and soul from the beginning of time.

And, why this phantom is a small obsession with me. I could never exhaust its inspiration. I look for every opportunity I can to employ all seven colours of the rainbow in some form or fashion in one of my interior projects. Sometimes boldly but often times more subtly – whispering its magic.

As the song says:

Somewhere over the rainbow
Skies are blue,
And the dreams that you dare to dream
Really do come true.
(Over The Rainbow, The Wizard of Oz movie song sung by Judy Garland 1939d)

7 Chakras Of The Body

7 Chakras Of The Body

"Noah's Thank Offering" (c.1803) by Joseph Anton Koch

"Noah's Thank Offering" (c.1803) by Joseph Anton Koch

Irish Leprechaun's Pot-O-Gold at the end of the Rainbow.

Irish Leprechaun's Pot-O-Gold at the end of the Rainbow.

Sesame Street "The Rainbow Connection"&nbsp;

Sesame Street "The Rainbow Connection" 

Rainbow Room, Rockefeller Plaza in New York City USA.

Rainbow Room, Rockefeller Plaza in New York City USA.

Thank-you to all the photographers who have made this 3rd and final posting more lively with great illustrations and photos. For photo credits please click on the photo.  This will take you directly to the website from where the photo originated.

Disclaimer:   The views expressed on Spaces Custom Interiors Blog are solely those of the blog post author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the persons or organizations with which the author has described or is associated. 

Thanks to Wikipedia for supplying some of  the research and many of the images.


Rainbows - Part II - The History Of The Rainbow

Part I introduced us to rainbow and the science behind the phenomenon.

2. History - What has science discovered by studying the rainbow?

The observations and calculations of the rainbow have lead to important theories of light and vision. (we take these things for granted)

Here are a just a few high-lights:

  • Aristotle was the first to observe the geometric relationships of the sun, the observer and the rainbow.
  • Throughout the centuries many attempts we made to offer a scientific explaination but Aristotle's observations ruled in the Western world.
  • 13th century, Roger Bacon discovered that a person had to be 42 degrees in front of the rainbow in order to see it.
  • Early 17th century - Descartes found that the primary bow was caused by a single internal reflection inside the raindrop and that could be caused by two internal reflections.
  • 17th century Sir Isaac Newton saw that droplets act as a prism. And that the sun’s white light was composed of 7 colours, where a glass prism could separate into the full spectrum of colours.
  • 19th century, Thomas Young discovered that our eyes have 3 cone receptors that see red, green and blue. And that the eye mixes these colours according to the wavelengths of light.
  • Also in the 19th century, George Airy, developed the mathematical model to calculate all of the colours of the rainbow, their strength and proportion.
  • A few decades later, the theory of light scattering and physically describing the rainbow was developed by Gustave Mie.
  • It is only well into the mid 20th century that computers helped us use all this information and apply it to other scientific discoveries such as computer graphics, lighting and cancer research.

Next-up: 3. Culture – How do we express culture through rainbows? And why is it important?

An illustration of Aristotle's rainbow theory. Clouds on a hemisphere resting on the circle of the horizon reflect sunlight to the observer where the angle is equal (to some constant angle). 

An illustration of Aristotle's rainbow theory. Clouds on a hemisphere resting on the circle of the horizon reflect sunlight to the observer where the angle is equal (to some constant angle). 

Rene Descartes' sketch of how primary and secondary rainbows are formed.&nbsp;

Rene Descartes' sketch of how primary and secondary rainbows are formed. 

Roger Bacon's optic studies - White light separates into different colours on entering the raindrop to dispersion, causing red light to be refracted less than blue light.

Roger Bacon's optic studies - White light separates into different colours on entering the raindrop to dispersion, causing red light to be refracted less than blue light.

Roger Bacon - A triangular prism, dispersing light; waves shown to illustrate the differing wavelengths of light.&nbsp;

Roger Bacon - A triangular prism, dispersing light; waves shown to illustrate the differing wavelengths of light. 

Thank-you to all the photographers who have made this humble 2nd posting more lively with great illustrations and photos. For photo credits please click on the photo.  This will take you directly to the website from where the photo originated.

Disclaimer:   The views expressed on Spaces Custom Interiors Blog are solely those of the blog post author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the persons or organizations with which the author has described or is associated.

Thanks to Wikipedia for supplying some of

the research and many of the images.