Children's day carp streamers

Children's day Carp Streamers header

Happy Children’s Day! Saori, one of our design team members, has initiated the celebration of Children’s day at Six Walls Interior Design. It’s a wonderful holiday celebrating children’s happiness and personalities. On that note, before diving into the magic of Children’s day, we would like to invite you to support a very special Make-A-Wish campaign! Six Walls is a long time supporter of Make-A-Wish, and right now you can get double the impact from a donation. Click here to find out more!

Six Walls Team member Saori

Saori, member of our Kitchen and Bath team

The month of May is a special month that reminds me of Japan, the origin of my culture and the basis of what I do as an interior designer. Children’s day started as a celebration for boys, but in 1948 the government changed it to include both boys and girls. It is also a day when we appreciate mothers, and their significant role in the children’s growth.

Koinobori bring fortune to the children

The typical decoration for Children’s day is the Koinobori, which are cloth streamers in the shape of Koi fish (also known as carp). They fly from poles all around Japan from April to early May, bringing good fortune to the children. Koinobori symbolizes the courage and strength of Koi fish that challenge themselves to swim upstream. According to a Chinese myth, a carp can eventually become a dragon that flies to the sky if it can make it against powerful currents and waterfalls.

The number and color of Koinobori represent the members of the family. Typically, a black one represents the father, while a red or pink one is the mother. The oldest son gets a blue one, and other colors are added for each sibling. Lastly, there is a special Koinobori that features 5 colorful streamers to attract divine protection from misfortune.

My father always took charge of setting up the Koinobori outside our house, in addition to decorating the interior with a Samurai helmet and seasonal ornaments. A Samurai helmet or doll is believed to help keep the children protected from accidents and diseases.

Family celebrations

As a child, I remember May 5th as one of the most exciting days of the year. Our family tradition is to eat my mother’s handmade Chirashi Sushi. It’s a bowl with a variety of ingredients including fish, egg, seaweed, and Japanese basil over vinegar-flavored rice. For dessert, we have Kashiwa mochi, a Japanese rice cake filled with sweet red bean paste wrapped in a Kashiwa (oak) leaf. My younger brother and I loved eating it! The Kashiwa leaves are special, because they do not fall off during winter. They stay on the branch until the new leaves sprout, representing the prosperity of the descendants.

Children's day foods

Left: Bara-Chirashi, Right: Kashiwa Moshi

Children’s Day is an important day for all of us to remember that each child is unique and precious. It’s such a perfect day to deepen family bonds by caring for each other’s happiness, health, and safety.

Inspiration from Children’s day

Children’s Day inspires me to be more considerate of the true value of things around us that shape our lives in meaningful ways. I believe that every design choice has a direct impact on the quality of our life, and that my background gives me a broad and sometimes different perspective of design solutions. I want my designs to deliver thoughtful and respectful outcomes to our company and clients.

My interest in art and design was sparked when I was a child. I loved to draw, and I still do. I find it very rewarding, at the same time relaxing and invigorating. These are a couple of my drawings:

Colored pencil drawing of parrot

 

Colored pencil drawing of chair

Happy Children’s Day from all of us at Six Walls!

 

 

Image sources and credits:

Koinobori header

Bara-Chirashi bowl

Six Walls Lifestyle Background for Virtual Business

Looking for a way to take your virtual meetings to the next level?  Download your favorite Six Walls lifestyle image for use on remote conferencing platforms like Zoom.

Like many of you, we find ourselves more often on conference calls needing a beautiful backdrop image, without the hassle of having to tidy up daily life that is happening behind us. Thus, we are sharing with you the following lovely living spaces that are part of our portfolio of completed work. Feel free to download these images and use them as a backdrop on any of your conference calls, as we are happy to share these beautiful spaces with you.

Please enjoy this complimentary design gift from our entire Six Walls team. We hope they bring a bright light & warmth of our work into your home and daily life!

Six Walls Lifestyle Background for Virtual Business

From a brand new project, soon to be featured on our page!

Six Walls Lifestyle Background for Virtual Business

From a brand new project, soon to be featured on our page!

Six Walls Lifestyle Background for Virtual Business

The stunning East Coast Traditional Remodel kitchen still makes us stop in our tracks.

Six Walls Lifestyle Background for Virtual Business

One of the model houses from the Summerwell development.

Six Walls Lifestyle Background for Virtual Business

The kitchen from the Sleek and inviting modern luxury home is one of our favorites.

Six Walls Lifestyle Background for Virtual Business

This Rustic modern mountain home will set you on mountain time in an instant…

Six Walls Lifestyle Background for Virtual Business

From a brand new project, soon to be featured on our page!

 

Instructions

1. Select then download your favorite Six Walls background image. (Right-click and select “Save image as”, then save to your preferred location)

2. Open your Zoom desktop app (or download the program if you don’t already have it installed).

3. Start your own meeting, then enable video.

4. Once your meeting has started, select the “Menu” arrow next to your video icon.

5. Select “Choose Virtual Background” – this will open the “Settings > Virtual Background” window.

6. Select the plus (+) sign to add your chosen image.

7. Navigate to your selected image and upload it. Once uploaded it should default to your new background image.

8. Close the Settings window. Your new Six Walls background image should be all set! ENJOY.

At Six Walls we thrive on keeping current on emerging trends for the most lived in spaces of the home; the kitchen and the bathroom. Visiting the KBIS  (Kitchen & Bath Industry Show), North America’s largest trade show dedicated to all aspects of kitchen and bath design, is one of the highlights of our design year. Owned by the not-for-profit trade association National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA), it showcases the latest industry products, trends and technologies, including smart home and outdoor living products.

What we saw

Standout themes from this year’s show were connectivity, color, and mixed metal finishes. It seemed like every vendor found a way to integrate connectivity in a way that makes everyday tasks more convenient and streamlined. Check out the Kohler Konnect Smart Home, which is available as a control pad in the bath or kitchen and as an app on your smart phone.

Image of Kohler smart technology

Kohler Konnect

It works with Alexa and Google and allows you to control mirrors, toilets, bathtubs and showering experiences all through your voice and is customizable to your preferences. Kohler Konnect reaches the kitchen as well with several faucets and water filters available with the feature. Connectivity like this not only elevates everyday experiences in one’s own home, it opens up a huge opportunity for living in place if restricted by age, disability or injury. The AI component also learns from the users’ behavior, and can recommend settings to reduce energy consumption and decrease power while away from home. 

Brace yourself for the high impact of COLOR! So many opportunities for customization with color, no longer restricted to just cabinetry and countertops, colorful choices are now abundant in appliances! Take a look at the image at the top of this post, showing a bold Saffron yellow on the appliances from True Residential, a luxury home refrigeration brand with commercial DNA. Or feast your eyes on the color explosion below from Dacor, offering a range that can match almost any color for your kitchen appliances!

Dacor’s new Pink Appliance color!

Mixing metal has been a coming trend for a while, but now it has really hit big time. Take a look at the new Collezione Metalli by italian manufacturer Bertazzoni, which offers combinations of different metals for knobs and appliance.

The new Collezione Metalli offers decorative details finished in real metals to enhance your Heritage Series range, hood, dishwasher or refrigerator from the control knobs to the finials on the door handles.

Some other fun and functional designs that caught our eyes…

Unique in the market, the Spoke Door Knob by Emtek made its debut at KBIS

Colorful hand basins in unique patterns add to any bathroom design.

 

Best of KBIS

There is also a Best of KBIS award, that highlights innovative products at the show, sometimes shown even before market release! Judged by renowned industry professionals, the goal is to reward designs that combine beauty, convenience and ease in innovative ways, across different categories. We will be presenting the winners in future blog posts, together with our ideas on how to integrate some of the latest trends into your projects. For now, we’ll just tease you with the grand winner, the Kintsu Bath Collection by Brizo. Tranquil contours reflect elegant Scandinavian minimalism, while natural materials and broken geometries channel Japanese wabi-sabi philosophy in this thoroughly luxurious range, which can be tailored with different materials and finishes.

Kintsu Collection by BRIZO

Finally, we couldn’t resist showing you Plum, the winner of the kitchen category. It’s a truly unique wine dispenser, which automatically identifies the vintage, varietal, region, winery and wine of the inserted bottles. Two silent cooling chambers are automatically set to the perfect serving temperature for each varietal. We have one on display in the studio! We’ll invite you come by for a demo and a glass—at happy hour of course & after the coronavirus COVID-19 has passed…

Plum, a unique wine dispenser

 

Six Walls NKBA connections

On our team, both Jennifer Kowalski and Diane Troutman are honored to hold board positions with the local chapter of NKBA, providing them unique training opportunities and insights through solid vendor relationships and industry partners. This benefits our clients in so many ways; from finding the best fit for a client’s need or introducing the hottest “must have” in the industry! We’re excited to bring you more from this fantastic show in future blog posts, please stand by for updates!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Between client meetings, material selections, drawings, and the many other tasks us designers juggle daily, we also like to make time for a Market trip as often as possible! “Markets” are interior design trade shows that showcase furniture, artwork, accessories, and lighting.

Group picture

Group picture! From left to right it’s Victoria, Ciara and Bekah

Here at Six Walls, we pride ourselves in being a full-service design firm, meaning we can assist with any design project big or small, whether it is a simple paint consultation or a new home build from the ground up. We like to be a part of the design process from start to finish to provide the best complete outcome for our clients! This requires that we are up to date on all the trends in the industry. Many vendors we love working with have very limited showroom space around the country, so we take the time to visit them at these interior design Markets to gain a better understanding of how the products will work for our clients as well as view their newest collections to stay ahead of the game. Recently Victoria (VB), Bekah (BP), and I (CW) had the exciting opportunity to attend the 2020 Las Vegas Winter Market. We are excited to share some of our feedback from the experience.

What are some new trends you saw at Market?

VB: Not sure it was NEW but I saw a lot of continued design emphasis on comfortable upholstery, most with mid-century flair. Sofas and sectionals still with all rectilinear lines, some lower height backs, others with higher backs / deep seats for reclining and movie watching. BIG trend was for intriguing accent chairs for a space. Not so much the traditional conservative club chair—but a lots of variety: great looking metal and wood frames, sausage roll styles, high-medium-low backs, rounded encompassing shapes of chairs, SWIVEL!

BP: I noticed a more entertainment focused mindset. There were sofas that allowed for more socialization in an open concept space and bar carts/bar accessories in almost every showroom we went into. Another trend I saw was a lot of the furniture and accessories we saw embraced bringing nature indoors. There were reclaimed wood tables, petrified wood side tables and wall décor and using earth tones for upholstery/accents.

CW: Some of the trends that I saw repeatedly at Market were cane, reeded glass, terrazzo, and boucle, and warm tones. All of which lend themselves to the Mid Century Modern design style, which we saw was still a prominent trend overall.

What was your favorite trend?

 

VB: Loved the presence nearly everywhere of beautiful lighting—glass bases with reactive glazes, also same for accessories. Glass with organic shapes and flowing rich colors were everywhere.

BP: I loved the mix of metals, textures and materials. Before, items were strictly silver or gold and now items are encompassing both and are not fitting a standard 1 finish.

CW: My favorite trend was the warm tones that were replacing the extremely cool tones we have seen trending over the last few years. It was extremely refreshing to walk into a space and feel warm and welcomed. I can see this trend becoming extremely popular in the PNW!

What surprised you most at Market?

VB: Surprised and happy for the trend away from rough recycled wood on case goods. While variations in finish / color of woods is still big, the desks, dressers, tables look less rustic and more polished yet still casual. Great hardware. Those fabulous small DRINKS TABLES were everywhere. Such cool accents, and really do add to a space’s visual and textured interest. Every combination of glass / metals / rock / concrete that you can imagine.

BP: I was surprised by the move away from the modern, minimalistic style to more texture and heavily detailed/decorated items. There was a lot of nods from the 40s, 70s and 80s, but in a new way that reflects the now. The upholstery fabrics I noticed the most were boucle fabrics and velvet fabrics with the bold colors of pink, emerald, orange, yellow.

CW: The color! We are seeing more and more color come back into design. For a while it was all very monochromatic, which is still a beautiful palette. However, I loved seeing the bold and subdued colors coming back without reservation.

What was the highlight of your Market experience?

VB: Without a doubt—working through those 3 days viewing thousands of things with my colleagues, Bekah and Ciara. It was exhilarating / inspiring / exhausting and an incredibly fun experience. We have already incorporated found pieces into our current projects!

BP: I really enjoyed being able to sit in furniture items that I’ve seen online. It also was fun to be able to see things in person and be able to spec items for clients. Both Victoria and I were able to sell items to clients just from our market experience and photos.

CW: The highlight for me was experiencing each vendor’s collection in person. So often we are sourcing from a computer screen or a 2D image in a catalog. At market, you have the opportunity to truly experience the products as the clients will be in their homes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m sure it comes as no surprise that Fall is one of my favorite times of the year. Try finding a designer that doesn’t love the colors of Fall! Over the years I’ve become enamored by an alternate version of fall. The fall that incorporates the deep rich greens of the eucalyptus, the crisp whites of the Luminas pumpkins and the dusty blues of the Cinderella pumpkin. Perhaps it’s my Bay Area roots that I’m tapping into where these colors are so prevalent this time of year. I have found that these colors represent my fall, and I love the way they translate into design.  

   

The colors are perfect for a kitchen or bath, the palette is soft and sophisticated, which ultimately creates a timeless design that is beautiful for all seasons for years to come!

There are a number of influences on my work as a designer, and a significant one is the beauty of our Natural World. Who doesn’t love the deep rich colors and visual textures we find everyday around our homes, gardens, parks… even walking down a sidewalk… everywhere in our lives. I recently spent another wickedly fun vacation in Yellowstone National Park. I was in constant awe of the beauty that presented itself every day. It is what draws me back year after year.

Just before a thunder, lightning, gully-washer rain storm, the sky was filled with ominous clouds in deep purple grey, with the open skies a lighter, brighter blue grey, all just above the enormous valleys with sharp outlines of pine trees, lush deep greens, and hills golden from summer’s long sunny days.

Along a meandering stream, were rich olive and golden green cattails and a herd of bison. The giant bulls, with their charcoal and deepest brown shaggy coats, bellowing at the females for their attention. I am not sure if the “bison ladies” appreciated all that I was taking in, but I was so moved by the colors, textures, variations…that I had to tell you my story.

My traveling partner, other than “my guy” is “my boy” Bobby–my four year old golden retriever. We were all Happy Campers! Incorporating the colors and textures of nature are an easy and natural thing to do in our homes. We are blessed in the Pacific Northwest to live in an area of such great beauty. Using rock, granite, marble, quartz and countless colors and hues of tiles…richly colored wood floors, complimentary colored tones of paint on walls…it is all ours to live with!

Here are some examples of how my inspiration from the wild could translate into color schemes and designs.

This bathroom was designed by my colleague, Emily Doden, as part of this project.

 

More images from this Modern NW Cabin Getaway designed by my colleague Emily Doden can be found here.

Victoria

 

 

 

We are thrilled to invite you to our Latest and Greatest Project Presentation event, where we would like to share the best of what we’ve been working on during the year!

 

Join us in the Six Walls Design Studio on

September 12th between 4-8 pm

 

Dawn has prepared a real treat for us, with a reveal of the new Six Walls Van, and each of our designers showing off projects they have been working on during the year. And as if that would not be enough, you’ll be treated to the best ever home made BBQ (at least in our books), as well as refreshing drinks! Please RSVP before end of business on Thursday, Sept 7th!

 

For more information and to RSVP, please follow this link to the invitation

 

Congratulations Madeline!

Our intern Madeline is officially done with her classes at Bellevue College! She is now taking on the design assistant role here at Six Walls and moving to a part-time, regular employee with us and we couldn’t be more happy about that!

To celebrate, Dawn treated the entire team to a frozen youghurt on a hot day!

Six Walls team Celebrates Madeline

Each year during the summertime, our office is showered with a bounty of Walla Walla sweet onions from Dawn’s visiting relatives. Everyone from the designer staff to the mail man is sure to go home with a few! They are typically enormous, sweet, and delicious and challenge our design team and staff to imagine every possible use. This is our favorite recipe this year:

CUCUMBER WATERMELON SALAD

6 cups seeded cubed watermelon

4 cups peeled seeded cucumber

1/2 cup diced sweet onion

1 t. Salt

1 T. Sugar

1/2 cup white wine or balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup feta cheese

Place the watermelon, cucumber, and onion in a large bowl. Toss gently with salt and sugar. Drizzle with vinegar and toss. Let this chill then drain some liquid. Add feta about an hour before serving.

Makes 10 servings.

Summer design ideas for the patio

Of course, developing this bright and vibrant salad got us thinking about how these colors could be turned into a fresh and inviting patio look.  The organic tones of our ingredients and kitchen tools would make for a fun splash of color in a pulled together backyard scene.

Thank you Madeline for pulling together this material and for taking that gorgeous picture of the salad!

Collection of patio design items inspired by the melon salad recipe on top of page

Spring has gone by so fast, and we’ve been very busy designing and delivering new projects. In the background, we’ve also been working on refreshing the Six Walls logo and web page, and today we’re proud to reveal the results.

We are so excited about revealing our updated logo and launching our new website with lots of pictures from recent projects! The team is also super inspired to start blogging, to bring you news from our events and operations, as well as share what inspires us in our design work.

Want an easy way to stay in touch? Just hit the subscribe button and you’ll be the first to know whenever we have something we want to share!