Design is in the Details

Details are so very important in design. I like the below use of a bridle joint with the iron tie so much more than if a simple butt or miter was used. Although it would depend on style and application, but all else being equal , the added detail adds much character.

Bridle Joint wood corner

All  designs can benefit form even the smallest added detail. As in the case above, I can see a great Arbor with just this joint detail setting it apart from the rest.

My Designer Lounge Chair was a Washing Machine

We all had our share of unreliable washers we had to put down, but what if we could re-use and have some fun doing it? (Some call it fun, yes! ) Here is one way someone more creative, and less lazy, than I  came up with a fun design solution by taking that heap of junk and turning it into a lounge chair! Yes, a mad-max type lounge chair but what a conversation piece! A bit shy about your new creation? Than tuck away in the laundry to spend the last minutes of the wash cycle in comfort.

Lounge chair made from a washing machine
Washing Machine Lounge Chair


So get to it! If your washing machine still works, break it (accidentally) or find a friend, neighbor looking to ditch his and click the below to get the full cycle by cycle directions!

Washing Machine Lounge Chair Instructions!

Commercial Interior Design

ceiling soffit design

Commercial Interior Design is a favorite ‘niche’ of mine. It is both challenging, in terms of codes one has to adhere to, as well as creatively satisfying as the designs can be ‘grander’ in scale and ‘bolder’ vs a typical residential project. One can push the envelope in terms of design concepts and materials all with the goal to strike a balance between function and form. From retail to restaurant to your office or lobby, commercial design takes large scale thinking with attention to detail and an understanding of how people function in and perceive their environment. Of course each space will have a different end result, as a retail space will be driven to enhance sales, while and spa will be designed for comfort and relaxation.

But the fun in a commercial setting is meeting the sites intended function, customer flow and so forth. Each project has it’s own criteria and challenges, and it is why I enjoy working towards a unifying design solution on each individual project.  A lot of programming needs to be addressed prior to any design ‘fun’ that can be had. Also the number of occupants / stakeholders increases having a strong impact on the end design. But just such a challenging environment gets the creative and technical juices flowing, because in the end, while creating a great looking atmosphere to engage and excite your staff and clients one still has to work with ADA and conform to all local/state and national codes which ensures public safety.

Office 3D Design Sketch


A space mixing retail and office design, as in the office space pictured below, is especially challenging. For not only is one concerned with work flow and work-space but is adding customer flow and presentation to the mix. Couple that with the limited square footage available at ones disposition and it may take some creativity to develop a well rounded and functional design. But pushing those limits can be even more fun and rewarding than the challenges it presents. Design is a mix of technical and creative talents, both of which play off each other to create a perfect space.

Commercial Interior Design

To make your space the absolute best it can become, engage your designer and work closely, making a  list of the way your personnel operates, the client demographic and other such details to help the designer with proper programming. The most important aspect of a successful design, any design, is an open line of communication. If there is one thing to keep in mind is that a well informed designer and an open and responsive client make for the best outcome for the space or project involved. Nothing is created in a vacuum, and if it was, it would not be very useful to those that require a specific function.

But most importantly, have fun! As the future space will be your home away from home or your clients first impression, so make it a good one!


Please contact rgkDESIGNS for a free consultation. Or read more at our Commercial Interior Design page.


Use of Color in Design…


Using the right color in an interior setting is harder than at first it may seem. Aside from any specific response one is looking to achieve in a specific Interior design project, selecting your colors will be based on one’s preferences, tastes, life experiences as well as based on a rooms or public/ commercial area’s function.  Although picking your favorite colors will be your the first choice, I believe in first getting your interiors intended function clearly spelled out and how you want your occupants to feel/act in that given space. Than see if your favorite colors will work to achieve the desired feel to your space or if there is a better option to evoke your desired response.

The Classic Colors Fan Deck

Color selections for one’s home interior must suite the occupants rather than some ‘palate’ of the year, as one may live with the scheme for a while. In a commercial setting, the right color can have the intended outcome of driving the customer to a purchase, or creating the right atmosphere for a productive or creative workplace. If not planned and chosen carefully the ‘wrong’ colors can fight against intended outcomes for any given area and it’s intended purpose. So with so much at stake it is sometimes vital to spend some time researching a colors effect on human behavior before choosing the perfect color scheme. I will eventually write some quick fun facts about color psychology and how each color elicits feelings/moods even actions in  a future blog post, for now one can find many sites which can be of help by searching the net.

In addition to choosing the right colors, it is imperative the lightning is taken into consideration or the final outcome may be very surprising, and sometimes not in a good way.  It is very important to select paint colors under the intended  light source, both natural and artificial, to gauge how it effects the hue, specially given different times of the day, and how the different light sources/levels may change that hue. See below the difference of the same color swatch under different lighting. On the left is daylight on the right is a fluorescent bulb.

lights effect on color
Sample color chip under different lighting can appear very different.

Clearly the above shows the importance of lights’ impact on a color. When you are choosing your paint colors than, please remember lights’ effect in addition to your personal preferences  as different rooms/spaces may require different hues and lighting to achieve the required response for each environments unique use.

paint color sample can

In the end the most important thing about color selection is to make it fun, and please collaborate / bounce off ideas with others if you need a second opinion. Definitely try a sample hue on a wall for a 24 hour cycle, specially if it’s a new and experimental color for you, to see how it lives throughout the test period and if it is truly something you will enjoy. If one is still apprehensive, consult a professional for advice, specially on commercial projects where time and access to a site is limited.

Kitchen Design


Ralph Klich

Working in Chicago I see many clients having trouble deciding on a clear design direction when tackling a Kitchen Design project. So I wanted to share what I think is one of the key ingredients during a Kitchen remodel or renovation. Since a Kitchen has many options including layout, colors and cabinet styles to name a few, how can one start simply yet effectively? The proper way to approach the (or any) problem would involve setting a clear goal. It may be more storage, better flow or addressing the original kitchen problems and short comings. Setting a goal will drive the design and keep superfluous actions to a minimum (hopefully).

Once we have chosen the goal we want to build around it, choosing cabinetry/accessories/layout to help achieve that goal. Try not to stray, use styles and color to enhance rather than change the end result. Choosing gaudy cabinetry which eats up your storage with too many decorative elements like corbels, pillars etc which eat up space unnecessarily, specially in small kitchens and may be overkill for the space.

Choose colors to help awaken your spirit and make it enjoyable to spend time in your  Kitchen. Choosing the wrong color may have a big adverse effect down the road and lead to added expense of re-painting the space. If possible, use software programs or apps to help visualize your kitchen design prior to build-out to see if the styles, layout and colors work as you intended. Throw some of your color choices on a wall and see how you feel about them in a few days.

Design Plans

Keep on target and focused on the functional aspect of the Kitchen Design. This will pay for itself later by a well organized and ergonomic space you will enjoy cooking, entertaining and spending time in.

And of course if this is not your cup of tea, please hire a professional who can help visualize, design, bid and oversee the install / construction process of your new Kitchen to help ease the possible headaches involved. If in the Chicago area, or anywhere else in the world for that matter, you can always call upon rgkDESIGNS for a free kitchen consultation.

Happy Kitchen planning!