Saturday night I watched Home by Novogratz, but then I woke up early Sunday morning and headed out with my family to a remote lodge in Northern Minnesota for a much needed vacation. I thought it would be relaxing to get away from it all, the internet, tv, the design world. I wasn't even half way to St. Cloud when I started feeling my first pangs of withdrawal. By the time we pulled into Brainerd, I was having full on DTs (design tremens).
I looked around at the rustic vacation lodge built in 1946 by owners Fran and Ray Schwartz. I recalled the images from Episode 7 where Bob and Cortney worked with NBA superstar Paul Pierce to turn an underused storage room in his old high school into a retreat for the student athletes. And then I realized that I, too, was at a retreat. Design was all around me. I could see Bob and Cortney everywhere I looked. In fact, the similarities between Episode 7 and Fran and Ray's vacation lodge were striking. Gradually, my shakes subsided.
Just look at those top two photos from Home by Novogratz and compare them to my vacation photos below to see what I'm talking about. First, Bob and Cortney covered some unsightly metal gates with large scale photos that depicted images of kids at play. When we see them, we think of the kids down the block, on the other side of the planet, and the kids within us. We are reminded of the responsibility we have to all of them. Fran and Ray also hung pictures of people at play.
These guys. Truly inspiring. Second, Bob and Cortney chose to lay parquet floors, a great choice for their durability and resemblance to a basketball court. Fran and Ray also chose a classic, hard-wearing floor option.
Wall to walleye carpet. (Note to Bob and Cortney: if you ever want to incorporate this flooring into one of your projects, the source is ABCarp & Home.) Third, the Novogratzes went big and bold with lighting to warm up the space and draw the eye down from the glaring fluorescent overheads. Fran and Ray chose lighting that is not only chic but functional.
Because you can fish with it. Fourth, Bob and Cortney created a work out zone in the space so that the student athletes can stay at the top of their game. Fran and Ray, too, incorporated state of the art equipment for games.
Can you see the similarities? Trying unfocusing your eyes and drinking another margarita. See it now? Yes, that's it. Design is all around you!
Thanks, Cortney and Bob. And thanks, Fran and Ray. I can't believe you guys never met.
(Top 2 images: Yuri Hasegawa/Carol Leggett PR
bottom 4 images: Katie Steuernagle)