Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Sample Board Online looks at William Morris Design

Furniture, wallpaper and textile designer Morris was also among other things a writer and socialist. He was one of the leaders of the Arts and Crafts Movement in 19th century Britain. The movement promoted a return to handcrafted simple design and naturalistic forms. Flowers and other plants were drawn in an uncomplicated style with rhythmical sensual qualities. William used vegetable dyes rather the popular chemical dyes.

Morris design motif’s included:

You may ask how we ended up on the subject of Morris. I was watching a TV show which mentioned the Fabian society of which William was a member. So I started to visualise his wonderful detailed flowing designs. In many ways he was ahead of his time. I believe he would have welcomed the views of the environmental movement. The development of the Art and Craft Movement was a reaction to the industrial revolution.

Some of the colours Morris used
Naturalistic colours
Often in muted tones
Light yellow

There were positives and negatives in The Art and Craft Movement
Like all things there were positives and negatives to this move away from factory produced items. Mass production had for the first time in history made it easier for ordinary people to have what only those with in the higher classes had been able to afford. Morris and others were concerned about the loss of craftsmanship.

‘Anyone wanting to produce dyed textiles with any artistic quality in them must forego the modern and commercial methods in favour of those that are at least as old as Pliny, who speaks of them as old in his time’  William Morris
However a similar situation arose as we have today were custom made pieces become too expensive for most people. As designers it is helpful as the great designers of the past (like Morris) to have a wider view on things. This can be a challenge in the busy world of design. I prefer more contemporary styles in pattern and furniture. But I have over the years come to appreciate and marvel at these wonderful designs.  

William Morris designs are still produced today and have influenced the Art Nouveau and other styles. If he was alive today I am sure he would embrace the green, eco friendly and sustainable design mantra.   

There are many websites with information on William Morris one of the best is the Morris and Co site  

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Sample Board Online Welcomes Adicolor

What a dreadful thing to happen to Haiti they have enough problems without this earthquake. We sponsored a child called Joseph in Haiti for a number of years. When he was old enough we decided to support other work in other countries. We made this change because we knew the people involved in the work and we were happy to find most of the money we give finds it way to the people in need.

My husband heard the other day that some aid organisations are giving very little to those who need aid. Administration cost is enormous. But at least they do get some help.I hope Joseph and his family are OK. Some times all we can do besides give is pray.

Welcome Adicolor

Theodora Marcioni the director of Adicolor in Australia is available to answer any questions on her range of beautiful decorative finishes. The company also offers workshops on application techniques as well as on site consultation services.

The first range we will look at is the Venyse decorative coating. The examples presented here are from that range. In this order DT01, DT02, DT21, DT05, DT07

Traditional Methods

Adicolor has over 40 years experience using over 2000 year old handed down traditional methods and the highest quality raw materials. Designed and manufactured in Italy and distributed to over 20 countries Adicolour has over 1000 colours available. Some finishes only need one coat.

Vast range of finishes
There is a vast range of finishes available including the Desire range this is the most widely used designer finish. Vele is a siloxane based glaze with gold and silver reflects. Sogni Sk is a modern, elegant and translucent based finish that is durable and suitable for high traffic areas. Velie Velluti is highly refined water based decorative finish.

Venyse has a look similar to classic Venetian plaster. Old Fashion an exclusive finish designed to replicate the attractive effects of true old world charm and Travertinus is the reborn ancient Roman travertine marble range. 

Adicolor is Environmentally Friendly

· Low VOV

· Non toxic

· Water soluble

· Virtually odorless

The wonderful benefits of Adicolor products make them very environmentally friendly. The products have a Sincert eco certification and are individually labeled with VOV content on packaging. Adicolor products are available Australia wide.

“Content comes first... yet excellent design can catch people's eyes and impress the contents on their memory.” Hideki Nakajima.

Before I go I can't wait to show one of my favorite Adicolor finishes Luxury Silver (see above). It is from the Design range ( we will show Desire range in another blog) not from the Vensye range. I think it is just brilliant and I am sure would work well with contemporary design. You can see why it is one of the most popular finishes. What do you think?

Monday, January 25, 2010

Music and Design at Sample Board Online

In the mid 1980’s I had a flash of revelation about how design can have the same impact on us as music can and came up with my little saying ‘Design is to the eye what music is to the ear’. This like all revelations is not new. I think it was Isaac Newton who actually related the notes in music to colours. I found this out later. I thought I had come up with a brilliant new thought. We can only dream.

'Design is to the eye what music is to the ear'  

I suddenly remembered the old book were Isaac Newton’s theory is discussed. You know what it’s like to have something in the back of your mind and you struggle to bring it to full remeberance. May be you don’t have these sort of lapses but that’s what happens to me. The book was written in 1969 by Faber Birren. It is a small book called ‘Principles of Color’ and it outlines and reviews past traditions and theories on colour.
Colour and Musical notes
Newton allied seven notes on the music scale with seven colours. Red with the note C, orange  with D, yellow E,  green with F, blue with G, indigo with A and violet with B. What an amazing theory. Love colour and music. I am not a musician and can only play cords on a keyboard. But I have had some wonderful times playing creating my own sound.    

Since I was a wee girl I have always sang. One of my first memories is singing with my Dad. We are a family of singers. When we lived in Germany we would all pile into the big blue kapatan car. As we travelled along with the roof skylight open and all the windows down we sang at the top of our lungs. We thought we were the Von Trapp Family Singers. I have a great passion for singing, music and design.

Mix of old and new   
There is a wonderful trend of mixing old styles with contemporary interior design. We have only to think of the wonderful reinvention of the Louis XVI chair in plastic by Philippe Stark called the ghost chair to find an example of this trend.
This is one of the reasons why we have included lamps from The Antique and Vintage Lamp Co in the Sample Board Online library of products. It will allow designers to have the advantage of including on unexpected lamp design in a scheme.    

The Antique and Vintage Lamp Co
The antique lamp shop offers a brilliant range of antique and vintage lamps. The styles include Chinese, English, French, Japanese, 18th Century, 19th century and 20th Century lamps.

Maurice Robertson the principle has been involved with antique porcelain and pottery for a period of 45 years. This includes 25 years as international specialist dealer, formerly known as "The Antique Porcelain Gallery", valuer to The Australian Incentive to the Arts Scheme and regular lecturers. His long experience with antique ceramics and glass includes dealing with museums and the supply of pieces of national interest to the Prime Minister's Department.

The company offers a certificate of authenticity with each of the individually designed lamps, providing a full description, circa date and unconditional guarantee.

Sourcing Service
The company offers an invaluable service to designer, decorators, both home and professional, The Antique and Vintage Table Lamp Co will source lamps to your requirements. After 45 years of dealing, they have access to a worldwide network of specialist resources, and while they can not  make guarantees in the unpredictable world of quality antiques, they certainly have a high success rate.

Just contact the company providing details of your desired lamp. Photographs are always helpful, both of the piece or style if possible and the room in which it will reside. Maurice will get back to you as promptly as he can and discuss your request.

Between the extensive range offered, the sourcing capability and in house, custom made, lampshade service, The Antique and Vintage Lamp Co will make your search for the perfect lamp easier.

“No design can exist in isolation. It is always related, sometimes in very complex ways, to an entire constellation of influencing situations and attitudes. What we call a good design is one which achieves integrity – that is, unity or wholeness – in balanced relation to its environment. The reason good design is hard to come by is that its creation demands a high degree of emotional and intellectual maturity in the designer, and such people are not found too often.”
George Nelson.
You will find a number of lamps from The Antique and Vintage Lamp Co on the Sample Board Online site. If you visit you can choose a lamp and try it out on a board, have some creative fun and then buy the lamp most suited to the room you are creating. 

Friday, January 22, 2010

The SBO free design tool thanks

The SBO free design tool will be a valuable resource for Australian interior designers, interior decorators, architects, students and the DIY designer. I would like to thank everyone who has helped me as I have made my first steps to market the brilliant eco friendly Sample Board Online design tool. My first challenge was to start a blog and to twitter my next challenge to encourage suppliers of quality interior products to come on board. Look who has joined us already.

Thanks Cairns Marble

Thanks to Carolyn of Cairns Marble for being the first Aussie supplier to come on board. Cairns Marble a family run business with over 20 years experience in processing natural stone including marble, granite, and limestone. All the products they supply are placed through a stringent quality control process. They believe quality control does not only relate to the stone quality but also the ability to cut correctly and within tolerances of size and thickness.

Cairns Marble is an eco friendly choice

Cairns Marble Australia’s product range is expanding every day, and the company is continuously striving to improve and enhance their range of natural products. Cairns Marble Australia Pty Ltd is excited about their exquisite marble products, including Bianca Mist and Opal Pearl which offer unique translucent qualities, allowing natural light to filter through the stone up to a thickness of approximately 50mm.It can be said

'It takes the world’s oldest continent to make the best marble’

Ten beautiful Cairns’ marbles in colours ranging from black, pink, beige, blue, gold, pearl white and green are presented in the Sample Board Online product library ready for designers to select for their sample boards. Carolyn laughingly told me they export marble to Italy. That’s some recommendation.

In the next blog I will introduce you to Adicolor Sample Board Online's first paint supplier

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Designers find more time with Sample Board Online

To finish my first week of blogging I thought it would be a good idea to explain the Sample Board Online concept. I will also included a video in my next blog to show you how SBO works. Before I do that I thought it would be helpful to explain to those readers who may not be familiar with the terms exactly what we mean by sample boards and mood boards.

What is a Sample Board?

The first question some people may ask is what is a sample board? Sample boards are created by designers and presented to a client to give the general feeling of the overall interior design project. The board will have the design materials, furnishings and finishes proposed for the project. Actual design materials (samples) as well as room layouts are generally used in an effort to create the overall feel that will be achieved by the eventual design. Another term ‘story boards’ is used in design circles.

What is a ‘mood board’?
Some designers, decorators and architects create mood boards. They use these boards to convey the overall look and feel of a project, putting together images and objects which inspire creativity and innovation. Mood boards are also very useful at the early stages of a project as a guide tool to show to clients for approval before proceeding further. Sample Board Online provides a 'moods' tab in the SBO application. Here you will find various categories with mood images to help create a look and feel and sell your concept with more confidence.

What exactly is Sample Board Online?
Sample Board Online aka SBO presents a new and innovative way for all creatives to create and present your ideas and vision to your client by using our Online interactive sample board tool that enables you to organise samples, moods and backgrounds by the use of a drag a drop function.

As interior designers by trade we've struggled to find a tool that would help and assist us in a way this website is designed to do. It will eliminate those initial fears of not having the time to source new and funky products as well as guide you to present in a professional manner.

Designers often lack the time to do professional hot graph presentations. Most projects have become extremely cost driven. Our hope and dream is for designers to have more time in the actual design and presentation techniques of the job or project

No more driving around to endless suppliers looking for samples, no more out of stock items, no more technical information required to complete your budget or schedule.

Sample Board Online is the designers One Shop Stop
SBO could easy become a designer’s one stop shop where you as the designer can play and be creative whilst giving your client a relevant design with correct supplier information. The advantage of Sample Board Online:

No more time wasting driving around
More time for actual design
Eco friendly
Cost effective

Isn’t that just what creative people want? An online tool to enable you to play while you Work. Don’t be shy to send us feedback, constructive criticism, ideas or suppliers you want us to approach.

We want you to feel SBO is your site and we want all involved to make it an all round awesome experience for designers, decorators, architects and students.

Have a try and some FUN! At

Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.’ Helen Keller

Sample Board Online is FREE

Any one can join Sample Board Online™ and unleash their creative potential. All you have to do is create an account and you can immediately start designing.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Replica designer furniture is everywhere the question is this a good or bad

There was an article in The Sydney Morning Herald by Lisa Pryor on the 26th December which started me thinking.

My husband gets worried when I make statements starting with I was just thinking. He thinks this could cost us some money. But most times there is no need to worry.I just like to follow a thought or an idea through, ponder. Now back to the article

In the article Lisa talks about replica designs being everywhere. She quotes the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s 2007 paper on the subject of the economic impact of counterfeiting and piracy. They state:

‘With respect to luxury items, counterfeiters are producing a broader range of products, some of which are marketed as high-quality 'replicas'.’

In Australia there are few laws to protect furniture designers. Some think as most of the designs are copies of overseas designers the Government isn't really interested in protecting designers.

I find myself in a dilemma. I have always had the philosophy; good design should be within the reach of everyone. It should not be available to only those who can afford it.

My husband and I have always loved classic modern design. In the early 80’s the wonderful designs of Le Corbusier, Marcel Breuer, Eileen Gray and Charles Rennie MacIntosh to name a few were simply beyond our reach. We settled for simple Scandinavian style furniture.

It does make me laugh when some young people who know nothing of the history of design think many of the replicas are contemporary designs. They are so surprised when I tell them the year a piece was originally created.

It could be argued as Lisa does the designers of these pieces were themselves advocates of mass production. However it does seem a shame people like Charles Rennie MacIntosh died in poverty. His furniture is now worth thousands and his designs have been copied as well as been a source of inspiration. I do wonder what others think. I would welcome your comments.

‘Space and light and order those are the things men need just as much as they need bread and a place to sleep’ Le Corbusier

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Interior Designers Can Save Lives?

While conducting some research last year on what; I can’t remember I found a brilliant list of how interior designers save lives. Don’t you love the serendipities of life? I find they happen a lot when surfing the web. It can be a challenge to resist the urge to get lost. I do try to discipline myself to stay on target. However there are just some days when I get lost in web space discovering so many things I can hardly keep up. Just love it.

Interior designers can save lives?

The concise comprehensive list of points on how interior designers can save lives complied by Interior Design Legislative Coalition of Pennsylvania (IDICPA) reminds us there are a number of ways interior designers can:

     · Save lives

     · Reduce consumer cost

     · Promote energy efficiency

     · Pursue environmental responsibility

     · Increase productivity and well being

Most people have a completely different view of interior design. Many see interior design as a luxury of no particular importance. Lists like this one produced by the IDICPA highlight this is not so. For example the first one mentioned is fire prevention.

Fire Prevention

If fires are not caught immediately once they start in interior spaces they can spread rapidly. It is estimated within the first 45 seconds deadly noxious gasses are produced. Designers are trained to use products or have products treated to comply with fire codes. Last year I had some Indian saris’ treated with a fire-retardant by Peter Lynn of Qualifire in Port Adelaide before we could use them in an art café space. This is only of the many ways interior designers save lives. 

If you want to view the complete list the website is

Sometimes as designers it can be of value to revisit and consider some of things mentioned on the list. It can also be refreshing to think about the importance of our work. I am so happy to be involved in such a complex and ever changing field of endeavour. There is no time for boredom. The great English critic, essayist, and reformer John Ruskin said:

'The highest reward for man's toil is not what he gets for it, but what he becomes by it.'

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Design and Ecological Foot Print

Where I’m at

Now that I have sat down to write I find I am at a lost for words. That’s amazing for talkative Irish women! As I drifted off to sleep last night I had so many thoughts tumbling through my head. Ideas of what I could talk about on my blog. They all seemed wonderful at the time. I must place the notebook and pen back on the bedside table to be sure I do not lose these wonderful ideas I want to share. I really do want to give value to the readers who decide to follow the Sample Board Online In Australia blog.

Forgive me as I stumble along learning the ropes

It is an exciting venture to do something totally outside your comfort zone. There is so much I don’t know. I suppose I need to learn how to talk the lingo. To all those who already know the lingo and are web, blog and twitter wise please forgive my stumbling along in this new world.

I do love blogging already.

The green template I have selected is influenced by the green message I would like to promote (this is not to say I will only talk about green products). Also the fact that the colour green is restful on the eyes influenced my selection and it also harmonises with the green in the Sample Board Online logo. But most important of all of course is the link to my Irish heritage.

Hopefully useful Info

One of the main reasons I became involved in Sample Board Online was the fact that it is an eco friendly solution for designers. It is a challenge for designers to walk the eco friendly path in design. I really do want to try and do my bit. There are many great products and sites promoting the green solution. I aim to try and give you some links and info on the subject in this blog.

You may be interested in this site Personal Foot Print Calculator found at . It real does start with us as individuals so I thought this could be a good place to start. I find it useful to gage how I’m going in the green sense. This calculator is an aid to that.

Quote of The Day

‘You must be the change you wish to see in the world.’ Mahatma Gandhi

Looking forward

In my next blog I will look at interior design and saving lives

Ending thoughts

I thought it best to divide the blog into parts. I know there are times when I am able to spend time reading blogs and websites at other times I have time only for a quick read to see if there is anything of interest and useful to me at the time.

If you haven't already visited our site I do invite you to pay us a visit at we would value you comments.

Bye For Now
Rosena Sample Board Online In Australia

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

First Dive Into Blogging

This is my first act toward achieving one of my New Year resolutions for 2010. The goal is to overcome my fear of blogging. So here goes my first dive into blogging. I know the fear is irrational, what am I afraid of? Not knowing what to write? or how to write? Maybe I will post something which later on could be embarrassing. Maybe what I write will be of no interest to others. On the other hand I do like to talk and I absolutely love to encourage others. If I stay positive what can go wrong?

There is also ulterior motive to writing this blog; to promote Sample Board Online. I think it only honest to state my main purpose up front. However I do intend to offer information and details on products I have found. I also intend to give insights and the results of research I have conducted and gems of wisdom I have encountered along the way.

I work as an interior design tutor and consultant. I find the challenge of tutoring and staying up to date with the design world wonderfully invigorating. It can sometimes be overwhelming making the Sample Board Online concept a helpful tool to overcome this. This blog will also be used as a means to do just that.

During the past year I have spent time researching and writing interior design tutorials. When I was writing about how to present design ideas I encouraged the students to create electronic sample boards. It was with great delight I discovered Sample Board Online (SBO).SBO is an online design tool linking designers to suppliers. Interior designers, decorators and architects can register online. Then they can free of charge create sample boards using products from the SBO library. The users can then save the sample board and send this to clients.

In future posts I will be introducing some of the suppliers featured on the Sample Board Online website. We aim to provide suppliers of quality interior design products with a platform to promote their products and to provide designers with a quick, easy, eco friendly and cost effective design tool.

I am looking for suppliers for the Australian market and we invite designers to visit the website have a play then tell us what you think. Ros the owner of Sample Board Online wants designers to think of SBO as their site and to tell us what they want.

I recently read ‘A single conversation with a wise person is worth a month’s study of books’. I like this old Chinese proverb even though reading is one of my favorite pass times. I think blogging, emailing and twitting; the new way to converse. I have been fortunate to have encountered a number of wise, generous and courageous people during my life. In the short time I have been following blogs and twits I have found this to be so. As my Irish father would say ‘It sure looks good’

Posted By Rosena Sample Board Online In Australia