The 8th FLOR Series: Greg Colando & Chip DeGrace

Talk to just about any employee here at FLOR and they’ll all tell you that there is a definite family vibe in our offices.  We are still small enough that everyone is into everyone else’s business (in a good way) and we have fun doing what we do.  We are all motivated by a shared vision and goal for the company and a true belief that what we’re doing has the power to change the way people live (for the better).

This collaborative, entrepreneurial spirit starts at the top, with the two men who have most shaped this company:  our president, Greg Colando, and creative leader, Chip DeGrace.  Both have worked in this industry for 20+ years and both are extremely passionate about FLOR.

We recently sat down with both of them, as part of our 8th FLOR Series, to get their thoughts on FLOR and its future.  Here is a (relatively) uncensored look behind the business and creative visionaries of FLOR.

Oh, and it’s important to note – we did not stage or influence the Odd Couple-inspired dialogue and exchanges you’re about to witness (the banter and sentence finishing serves as evidence that these two are indeed close friends and long-time colleagues).

The 8th FLOR Series presents, Greg Colando and Chip DeGrace:

 

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Behind the Scenes: 2011 Fall Catalog Shoot

The new Fall FLOR catalog is in homes today.  Here are some snapshots behind the scenes of this season’s catalog shoot.

Sometimes all it takes to create a totally unique look is a change of perspective.  Here, our designers used three hues of House Pet and simply slid every other square off-center to create a brick pattern.  The end result is dramatic yet really easy to achieve.

From a higher vantage point it becomes easier to see the shift.  Download this rug map to create a brick pattern of your own.

Final catalog shot:

Our designers started with this cool configuration of the runner on the back cover featuring our new style, Reverb

… but, the we love the final shot just as much.  Both include ½-cut tiles to create a unique checkerboard or interlocking sort of design.  Plus, the color combination is a knock-out.

Final catalog shot:

The bright green painting was the focal point of this room, so our designers chose to play off that piece to create this multi-colored patchwork rug in Toy Poodle.  It serves as this season’s page 2-3 editorial feature, and helps to illustrate simple FLOR math:  square + dot = rug.

… last-minute primping of the model before the final shot for the page 2-3 editorial spread.

Final catalog shot:

We just love the cool and serene blend of blues in this rug, which uses House Pet to add some texture and pizzazz to the room.

Final catalog shot:

To create the magic you see in the catalog each season truly takes a village.  Our team does everything from producing the props (yummy baked cupcakes)…

… to critiquing each shot for composition and lighting, making sure it is just right…

… to entertaining the talent between takes (with kids, that can be a handful!).

Final Catalog Shots:

Sign-up to get your copy of our catalog or shop our new Fall Collection.

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Brown Paper packages Tied Up With String…

Anyone singing yet?

Lately I’ve been thinking about pretty packaging and branding.  I recently ran out of the clear gift wrap I had been using to wrap my invitation sets for my business and started thinking about new ways to package up the pretties that I offer to my clients.  I think I have found something that will work will with my need to both protect my wares en-route and provide a pleasant, tactile experience for my clients.  Of course, I HAD to share some of the pretty inspiration I found along the way with you…

Maps-as-wrapping-paper isn’t really that groundbreaking, but what really drew me to this lovely photo (aside from the beautiful, candy colors of the map itself) was the thin, little string layered over the soft band of paper.

(found via: Just Be Splendid’s Tumbler and not credited further)

I truly love the simple aesthetic of these packaging options explored by SimpleSong:

Oh Hello Friend has pulled together some beautiful elements for her packaging and branding.  I was particularly drawn in by the use of several different textures.

One of my most favorite packaging stories is told by a good friend of mine, photographer, Kat at Persimmon Images.  She even sends along chocolate in her packages to her clients!!

Cultivating all of this inspiration was a great way for me to work through what I need and what I want for my packaging.  So I went ahead and ordered some yellow bakers twine from Whisker Graphics

…some glassine envelopes, like these featured over at Polka Dot Prints, which will be perfect for protecting the piles of paper products I send to my clients…

…paired with some yellow Washi Tape, located at Cute Tape

…as well as these ‘hand made’ seals, also found over at Cute Tape.

I can’t wait for it all to come so I can start packaging things up with my new system, and of course, share the pretty with you all ;)

Are you enamored by pretty packaging?

Miller House and Garden

The Miller House and Garden located in Columbus, Indiana is an important midcentury modern gem. Designed by Eero Saarinen in 1957 for J. Irwin Miller and his family,  the home features interiors designed by Alexander Girard and landscaping by Daniel Kiley. The Miller family donated the home and grounds to the Indianapolis Museum of Art in 2009. After undergoing a complete restoration, it opened to the public as part of the permanent collection of the museum in May. The glass and steel structure with slate panels is exemplary of modernist architecture of the period. The home has a grid of skylights which illuminate Girard’s vibrant color palette, in the living rooms conversation pit.

The original master plan for the interiors by Alexander Girard are on display, including fabric swatches and sketches. The original drawings of the landscape architecture, floor plans and interiors for the property are also on view. Saarnin’s own tulip chairs are in the dining area, with a custom marble and terrazzo table of his design.

“Commissioned by industrialist and philanthropist J. Irwin Miller and his wife Xenia Simons Miller in 1953, Miller House expands upon an architectural tradition developed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe—epitomizing the international Modernist aesthetic—with an open and flowing layout, flat roof and stone and glass walls”. Indianapolis Museum of Art

In 2000, the Miller House became the first National Historic Landmark to receive its designation while one of its designers, Dan Kiley, was still living and while still occupied by its original owners. Miller House and Garden is owned and cared for by the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Tours at Miller House and Garden are made possible through the Columbus Area Visitors Center. Learn more on how to reserve a tour.

To learn more about the Miller House & Garden visit the Indianapolis Museum of Art.
Images provided by the Indianapolis Museum of Art, via Architectural Record.

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Wiki House

Have you heard of Wiki House? It’s absolutely fabulous.
From designing a house to an ancillary building this concept could revolutionize the D-I-Y craze. WikiHouse is an Open Community Construction Set. It’s a set of parts. Think of Lego’s or an erector set. You customize the solution, and create a design that meets your personal programmatic needs. Building plans are downloaded free. This group of collaborative designers who have developed the system, have made great design accessible and affordable to all. It empowers each one of us to build with our own hands, with or without knowledge of traditional construction methods. It certainly is applicable on my property. Imagine the possibilities in countries where homes and community buildings are not affordable. Flat pack homes arrive and community members can join together, as in the days of a barn raising, to personally impact and improve their environment without specialized skills or power tools. Very cool.  Watch a video of the prototype being built here.

So, are you ready to get started?
Download houses and components which are created and shared by an open community of designers from around the world. Individual parts can be combined or adapted using the free program Google Sketchup.

Click ‘Make this House’ from within Google Sketchup and WikiHouse generates a complete set of milling drawings from your model, which can be used by a CNC cutter to fabricate the house parts.

(more…)

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