Joey's Design Articles
                                         Family Living Room Upholstery

     For a family of six, and potentially up to ten people with additional friends and family in this space, the sectional in Photo 2 is the most efficient option for the space.   The layout
allows the maximum potential for fitting in ten people in this area.  Other options such as a long sofa and two loveseats would only allow seven to eight at a maximum, and that
would be with cramped seating.  The sectional is ideal in that it allows for an easy distribution of space per person.  Three major drawbacks results from the use of the sectional.  
The first drawback is that convenient side tables cannot fit into the space because of the connected continuation of the sectional at the corners.  Only the large coffee table is
available for setting down drinks, and entails everyone sitting on the sectional to reach forward to set down or pick up drinks, remote, etc from the coffee table.  
             The second drawback to the sectional is that the U-shaped connected continuation of the layout only allows two entry points into the sectional area.  
To sit on the sectional, people must walk towards the windows and around the ends of the sectional, and entry into the right side of the sectional requires an extensively inefficient
walk around the entire sectional to the other side of the room in order to be seated.
     The last drawback to the sectional is that visually it takes up the entire space.  The sectional allows the most efficient use of the space for ten people, but it also results in being
the major visual feature of the living room.  The brown leather chosen for the sectional needs to be toned down and softened with plenty of fabric pillows spread throughout the
sectional, especially at the corners, with one or two fabric throws neatly hung off the back of the sectional to break up the expanse of brown leather and to lay on one’s lap while
seated on the sectional.
     Also, the colors chosen for the accents and the space can downplay
the potentially overwhelming brown leather of the sectional.  In the corners
of the back side of the room, two round swivel chairs in Photo 3 sit for reading and additional seating.   Using swivel chairs is ideal for this space because it allows
the seated user easy maneuverability and accessibility to all areas of the room.  
The chairs can also be moved to the open ends of the sectional if additional seating there is required, and the swiveling mechanism allows the seated user easy access to most
parts of the sectional.  The two chairs covered in a bright red or lively orange color would brighten the corners of the room, while bringing focus to the corners and complementing the
brown leather.  
     Other accents such as red and orange pillows and throws on the sectional,
as well as warm-colored artwork on the walls and window treatments, would also help to blend the brown leather sectional into the space.  Also, the choice of the warm red and
orange color for the chairs, accents and artwork would be appropriate for a well-used family living room full of kids.  The color is fun and lively, reflecting the natural exuberance of the
kids and family, while also pleasantly complementing the brown leather sectional.
     In accommodating an energetic family and friends, storage will be crucial
for comfortable living.  The coffee table contains multiple drawers on all sides.  Remotes, books, glasses and other miscellaneous items can be handily stored
for easy access.  In addition, shelf space under the drawers can hold additional
flat items such as board games or odd-shaped items such as CD’s, books,
electronic games, etc in storage baskets.  In Photo 1, the Ashby Storage Ottoman,
is a dual-featured upholstery piece.   The ottoman can serve as an easy and
attractive storage for the eight year old’s toys, blankets, DVD’s, CD’s, etc.
     The upholstered ottoman can also be used as additional seating, as well as
an additional coffee table or side table if moved to the open end of the sectional and
a flat-surface tray is laid upon the soft upholstered ottoman surface.  Covering the ottoman in a coordinating red or orange fabric will also help to break up the expanse of brown
leather on the back end of the sectional, and if the ottoman is used on the open front end of the sectional, will also help to break up the brown leather on that end.
     The placement of the sectional is ideal for the amount of seating required,
the size of the room, and for the most efficient traffic flow.  The overall
rectangular shape of the sectional fits snugly into the rectangular 16’ x 22’ space,
while still allowing enough space around the perimeter of the sectional
for ample traffic flow.  The back of the sectional could also e moved up against
the back wall.  The chairs would need to be moved up against the windows,
and would hamper the clean lines of the window treatments.  The current floor plan allows for access around all angles of the sectional.  So, if someone wants to walk
a drink, snacks, etc to a person seated on the back end of the sectional, they need only to walk efficiently behind the sectional and give it to the seated person, versus walking all the
way around the front entrance point of the sectional.  Also, traffic flow can be split from the front and back sides of the sectional, whereas the sectional up against the back wall would
only allow traffic to flow on the front end of the sectional.
     The quality construction of these upholstery pieces ensures long-lasting durability for this active family.  The frame is constructed of a combination of durable plywood and kiln-
dried hardwood in a tenon joint, reinforced with screws, glue and staples.  Sinuous springs comfortably hold up the cushions, constructed of dense polyester foam and covered in a
softer polyester filling and batting.  The brown leather is highly protected and durable, making it easy to wipe up spills and brush off crumbs, as well as easy to maintain.  The
manufacturer, Thomasville Home Furnishing, holds an extensive warranty on the frames, springs, cushion, swivel mechanism, leather, fabric, and also reinforces the quality
construction of their furniture.  From all the selections researched, these choices by Thomasville Home Furnishings are the ideal upholstery for this particular space and exuberant
                                                     Asymmetrical Balance

     Asymmetrical balance contrasts symmetrical balance in that the sides are
not identical in its shapes or colors.  However, the overall effect of any asymmetrically balanced interior appears balanced because of several design factors.  
One of these factors is that visual balance is achieved by a smaller area of a strong color next to a larger area of a weaker color.  In this photo, there are strongly
advancing colors of chocolate brown walls on the right side of the room, mocha wood flooring, darkly polished bed frame, and coordinating chocolate dressers
and accessories.  This richly powerful color is perfectly proportional to the amount of visible creamy white ceiling surface, white flokati rug, crisp white bed sheets,
beige leather bed, creamy walls and matching accessories.  The appropriate proportions of light and dark colors result in a well-balanced interior.

     The design element of rhythm also creates a dynamic movement in this asymmetrically balanced room.  The constant contrasts of light and dark in interesting
proportions and textures keeps the eyes pleasantly roving towards the next exciting discovery in this well-designed and balanced interior.  Although the fireplace
is off-balance and the room itself is asymmetrical by leading into another room, by using the perfect play of light and dark in the use of lighting, colors and
shapes, this asymmetrically balanced interior is excitingly well-designed.
                                                    Which design softwares are most in demand by employers?

      Grab your heads!  There is a mind-boggling array of different design softwares available on the market.  If you’ve attended
design school and thought you’d learned the right softwares to land you a great job, sorry to say that you’ll be unpleasantly
surprised.  Just like cell phones and computer technology, the newer design softwares quickly change the landscape of in-
demand softwares by employers.  For example, recent graduates have found their professors teaching Autocad and MicroStation,
and in the next breath warning them of the increasing popularity of other 3D softwares.  To top it off, design softwares are
expensive, starting at $ 1000 for basic programs that are limited in capability. Needless to say, deciding which softwares to invest
time and money into can be frustrating and confusing.   

The Smart Strategy
      I don’t want to sink thousands of dollars into buying a software, then after securing a job, find the software I’d invested so
heavily into is unnecessary and sits idly in my computer.  That would be one expensive paperweight!  So, to avoid this expensive
mistake, a good strategy is to invest the minimal amount of money into approximately 3-4 of the currently hottest softwares.  I’ll then
practice those particular softwares with the free included tutorials reaching a sufficient level of experience.  Then I’d invest later in
the more advanced versions after I’ve landed a design job, fine-tuning my experience with the hiring company’s preferred software.  
      It’s a safe bet that spending the time and effort learning Revit Architecture, Google SketchUp, Chief Architect, and AutoCad LT
will give you the necessary edge in your job search, help you land interviews and hopefully a fabulous new design job.

Learning New Softwares
      Mastering these softwares within the confines of the “free and least expensive” version will give you a good background to build
upon, and allow you to truthfully proclaim your experience with these softwares on your resume.  Once hired, you can more astutely
decide which softwares to purchase and master the more advanced versions with all the bells and whistles.  Don’t be daunted by
learning new softwares.  Just play around at first with the pretty buttons drawing lines, then walls, then an entire interior/house.  If
you’re already adept with other softwares, you’d be surprised how similar some features will be in the new ones.  Most of the
softwares also have an established community forum, where other newbies post questions and answers on using the software.  
With the use of tutorials offered by the software companies, you’ll be an expert on the desired softwares in no time!  For more
advanced help, Chief Architect offers private training sessions for purchase that will quickly bring you to the more advanced levels
of the softwares.  

Key reasons to focus on the following softwares:
      1) Revit Architecture:
              - Up-and-coming software that is increasingly in demand by
              architectural firms and interior design firms that work
              with architectural firms.  Predicted to become necessary for commercial design firms.
              - Faster to produce full sets of construction docs with minimal effort.  
              The newest BIM (Building Information Modeling) capability integrates all components of the design process to eliminate
mistakes and reduce time.  Automatic features automatically adjusts any changes to all of the plans without having to manually
change each plan, as would be needed in AutoCad.  For example, if you change a wall height on one  plan, the other plans are
automatically adjusted to that same wall height.  Sections and elevations don’t need to be brought up line by line as drawn in
AutoCad.  Instead, you just insert the elevation or section symbol and your drawing is automatically created.          
              - Highlights potential errors.  For example, wall with a window that’s too low will produce an error message letting you
know the potential problem.        
              - Amazingly realistic 3-D rendering capability created by parametric modeling helps clients visualize the proposed
              - Current downside is the lack of casework/furniture/object “symbols" compared to Autocad because it is such a new
software.  However, Autodesk (their company) is working to remedy this with a larger library of symbols.
              - Simplified project management.
              - Firms that focus on primarily smaller projects may find this software
              too powerful.
              - Revit Architecture Student version:
                      - if you are a student or still have your student email address,
                      you can access all the Autodesk applications for free for up to a year.
              - Revit Architect Trial Version: Free
                      - 30 days
                      - Can’t save drawings
      2) AutoCad LT:
              - Although somewhat phasing out in use, still widely used
              by some firms who will require experience in their new hires.
              - Firms that focus on primarily smaller projects will most probably use this software over Revit.  Detailing and custom work
is simpler to document than in Revit.
              - Can email drawings to architects, so will be able to do more commercial work.
              - AutoCad Student version:
                      - if you are a student or still have your student email address,
                      you can access all the Autodesk applications for free for up to a year.
              - Revit Architect Trial Version: Free
                      - 30 days
                      - Can’t save drawings
      3) Chief Architect:  
              - Becoming more popular, especially in Kitchen and Bath focused firms.          
              - Extensive visual presentation views possible for clients.  
              - Easy to use because it’s more intuitive than other softwares and is a drag and drop program.
              - Just recently (November/2009) has been approved by NKBA
              (National Kitchen and Bath Association) for the CKD/CBD certification exam (Certified Kitchen Design/Certified Bath
Design).  So if you’re planning on focusing in the Kitchen and Bath field and would like to be respected as a professional Kitchen
and Bath Designer, you’ll want to invest in this software.  
              - Chief’s technology is improving constantly, and becoming forefront
              in popularity because of it’s ease of use, quality rendering presentation and exporting capabilities into AutoCad.  The
exporting capabilities are especially important when working with those architectural firms who don’t use Revit.  
              - New “Chief Architect Interiors” version is specifically for interior
              designers, but if you create detailed construction documents, you’ll need the Chief Architect Lite or Full versions.
              - Currently cannot import cabinet libraries and pricing.
              - Chief Architect Trial Version: Free
                      - 30 days
                      - Can’t print drawings
              - Chief Architect Student version: $ 189.00
                      -1 year license
              - Chief Architect Lite: $ 1495.00
              - Chief Architect Interiors: $ 1495.00

      4) Google SketchUp:  
              - Amazing photorealistic 3D rendering capabilities.  
              - Since the basic version is free, popular and easy to use, more and more firms are including it in their arsenal of required
softwares for potential                         employees.  So this would be good to download and learn.
              - AutoCad importing/exporting capabilities available in the Pro 7 version.
              - SketchUp: Free
              More advanced Pro 7 version available for $ 495.00
Tutorials / Community Forums:
- AutoCad and Revit:  
              free and small fee
      - Local community colleges offer inexpensive classes for learning softwares
- Chief Architect:
              free and small fee

Final Tips:
When purchasing student versions of the softwares, be aware that your printed drafts will have a border label stating something
like “produced by autodesk educational product.”  If you’re not a student and can’t access the lower cost/free year versions, I’d clear
my schedule, download the 30-day versions one month at a time, and just sink some quality time practicing the softwares.  With
some patience and the tutorials, you’ll quickly learn the basics.  Additional softwares that would be helpful to include in your
resume are InDesign and Photoshop that bring presentations together.  Any additional questions or comments, feel free to contact
me at  Good luck!

Contributed by Joey Kim, Allied ASID [Kitchen-Bath-Interior Designer / Realtor / Enthusiastic Traveler / Artist]  

Joey is an avid traveler, which allows meeting fascinating new people, seeing gorgeous new places and sampling yummy new
foods.  She has 10 years experience in Kitchen, Bath and Interior Design and is fluent in Korean, Spanish & French.  Also, Student
Member NKBA and Student at London Metropolitan University pursuing BA in Interior Design