Futura Interiors

The World of Design at Your Fingertips

Archive for February, 2012

Color Schemes Inspired by Nature by Ashlie Mauldin

You could be walking by, gazing at, or coming into physical contact with color scheme inspiration on a daily basis. Here are a few examples of how nature can inspire design color collaborations:

Photograph by Ashlie Mauldin

Photograph by Ashlie Mauldin

Photograph by Grace Leigh


Photograph by Ashlie Mauldin

Keep an eye out for your next nature inspired palette!


The Language of Color – Part II – Design by Ashlie Mauldin

Prior, we discussed colors and how each one speaks to another, cultures and team work communication; Now let’s take a look at how to utilize colors within your design to send a specific message.

Designing with red:

Red is the color of passion and has been known to stimulate blood pressure and heart rate. As well, red sparks conversation and encourages hunger. What better place to send the message of conversation and hunger, than at the dinner table. Chairs are a great way of implementing red into a dining room.


Designing with orange: 

When working with orange decor, keep in mind that it is a very vibrant and cheerful color. It is the ideal color for a children’s room or an area that is high energy and full of personality.


Designing with yellow:

Yellow represents a cheerful attitude, happiness, and optimism. Yellow will always bring these qualities to a room, however, when used at a high amount, it can actually promote the opposite and encourage lack of motivation and caution. The kitchen is a wonderful place for the color yellow.


Designing with green: 

When working with the color green, be aware that green sends the message of life, nature, and money. A great place to use green is in a bathroom or an office.


Designing with blue:

Blue is known to physically calm the nerves, lower the blood pressure and slow the heart rate. The bedroom or a spa like area that desires the message of relaxation would be the ideal space to incorporate the color blue when designing.


Designing with purple:

Purple represents luxury and royalty, therefor, it is the perfect color for a master bedroom. Purple can also be used anywhere you desire a less casual feel.


Designing with black:

Hints of black within a room can create a more stable and conservative image, or balance out a more upbeat design.


Designing with white:

The color white, also known as the absence of color or every color reflected, sends the message of cleanliness and purity. It is a great way to create a blank canvas of FF&E allowing every other element of the design in color to stand out.


As shown above, colors are always a great way to customize designs and send specific messages. Enjoy your new relationship with color and the endless possibilities found within.





The Language of Color – Part I By Ashlie Mauldin


When it comes to Interior Design, color is the single most important factor among FF&A (Furniture, Fixtures and Accessories). Through color, you have the ability to communicate in the absence of words. However, like every other language, you need to be completely aware of what it is that you are attempting to convey. In addition, a solid understanding of the language that you are utilizing is a necessity. Given that the topic of this discussion is the language of color, let’s elaborate on colors; both individually and how they contrast, clash, and complement one another to provoke reaction and emotion. Keep in mind, that just as we have designated languages and cultures, so do the colors speak in a personal way to each ethnicity.


Color Symbolism is a huge factor that needs to be considered by the designer when working with clients of foreign ethnic cultures. Through Color Symbolism, we explore the use of color to coincide with traditional, cultural, and religious mentalities. All of which are extremely influential and sensitive within the everyday lives of these clients and can very easily effect a job in a negative or positive  form. Since the goal is always to please the client in every way, here are some color oriented cultural tips to be aware of in the innovation of your design when dealing with the two most utilized colors: Black and White



In the United States we see this color closely associated with the language of weddings, purity and virtue; however, within the Eastern Hemisphere, white speaks of loss, mourning and death. As you can see, the two interpretations differ greatly. An American client will more than likely walk into a white themed space and feel at peace and enlightened by the same design that would send the message of sadness, frustration and pain to an Easterner client. Awareness of these factors will eliminate the designer’s misunderstanding of  the color white and the language that it speaks to each ethnic culture.

 Funeral Scene for Leonardo DiCaprio’s character Jay Gatsby at Waverley Cemetery.



Here in the U.S., black is known to speak the language of funerals, evil, rebellion and formality. Black is seen as dark and sends messages of sadness and depression. For the Eastern Hemisphere (China), black is known to speak the language of young boys and a color rather customized to their young male population, symbolizing trust and a high ranking. As you can see, the languages of the color black and the color white are almost completely apposing among the cultures. As a designer, if the cultural languages of the color are transposed, there is a risk of offending one, the other, or both the American and Chinese clientele.

Color Wheel


In addition to ethnic cultural differences, when dealing with the language of color, it is very important to understand how each color speaks to one another, their collaborated communication, and the absence of “words” between designated colors. All of which, through research and the utilization of the Color Wheel, we have the luxury of classification referenced below.



Harmonizing colors:

Colors that appear adjacent to one another on the color wheel. These colors communicate extremely well in most cases, however, when implemented too closely, there becomes an overload of communication causing one to wash out the apposing. An example of harmonization is the conversation among the colors red and orange.

Kaleen Leathers, Inc. – Coral Reef Collection – Clownfish (left) Starfish (right)

(Photo by Ashlie Mauldin)

Contrasting colors:

Colors that appear separated by additional colors on the color wheel. These colors come from different segments within the color wheel and the further away one is from the other, the higher the contrast will be. Examples of contrasting colors are red (from the warm half of the color wheel) and blue/green (from the cool half of the color wheel). When contrasting colors are utilized carefully and with much thought, they can speak much louder of the desired statement through enhanced visibility.

Beautiful blue and green office accessories displayed to contrast over:

Carnegie – Xorel – Pop Emboss 6647 – Color:728

 (Photo by Ashlie Mauldin)

Complementary colors:

These are colors that appear on the opposite sides of the color wheel, each consisting of one half of a pair of contrasting colors. An illustration of Complementary colors would be blue paired with yellow or the collaboration of  green and purple. The term “Complementary”, not to be confused with “Complimentary”, is in reference to the colors completing the contrast affect when paired together, not one complimenting the other, however, in the Interior Design industry, this method can be utilized for a more modern and upbeat design, if carefully implemented In theory, works well when other colors are utilized to separate the two.


Colors speak from a solo point of view as well. Here are the emotional, psychological and sometimes physiological effects that each is known for in the United States culture. This is explored through Color Psychology:

Black: The color that speaks of authority and power and can represent intelligence. Black is also, as discussed above, a color of mourning.

White: The color that conveys cleanliness and purity, weddings, the absence of color, and the visible expression of all colors combined as light.

Brown: This color speaks the language of reliability, stability, friendship and organics, however, in India it is associated with mourning.

Gray: The color that speaks of solidity, conservatism, loss of direction and sometimes depression.

Red: This is the color that rants of energy;  red is known to grab attention, even raise the heart rate and is also worn by Chinese Brides and stimulates desire and hunger.

OrangeThe most flamboyantly loud colorassociated with organic products, warmth, and energy.

YellowThe color closely communicates of the sun, optimism, sometimes fear and uncertainty when used at a high- level.

 Green: The color that speaks on behalf of nature and money, envy, good luck and generosity.

 Blue: A color known to encourage calm nerves and relaxation, dependability, wisdom and loyalty.

PurpleThis color that screams royalty, wealth, prosperity and sophistication.

Now that you understand the language of colors and the different ways that they communicate with cultures, as well as, utilize their individual languages to send strong messages and guidance to the human brain; remain tuned for the second half of this discussion where ways to implement this knowledge into your design will be exemplified.






Accessorize Your Life! By Ashlie Mauldin

Imagine a blank sheet of paper; now imagine a few marks of color or design either self-created or that capture your passions on the paper. Which is more appealing to the eye? If you said that the sheet of paper displaying your type of creativity, then you are more than likely passionate about designs and all types of accessories that provide design personality. Those who remain neutral or desire the blank canvas, most often have no concern yet may not be aware of just how much these things play a role in your lives. Given that all types of accessories are mandatory in life, let’s discuss the ways we can utilize them to our advantage.

Foremost, let’s transfer the blank canvas theory over to Fashion. We need to view our clothing as just that, a blank canvas waiting to be decorated. The next time you opt for the “little black dress”, as we all know will forever remain a constant in the fashion world; or the plain black button up, make sure to decorate that canvas. This can be done  with a colorful scarf, which I believe can be worn any time of the season, however, for most it is appropriate due to current cold weather. The great thing about scarves is that there are a number of different ways that they can be worn. Taking advantage of this versatility will not only redefine the dress, but assist in the transformation of a daily wardrobe to night on the town attire.



In addition to clothing whether man or woman, we may be unaware that as humans who live and breathe design and accessories on a daily basis, each are utilized and experienced regularly in our lives. From the painting hanging on the wall above  the pillows displayed on the sofas in the waiting room of our Doctor’s office soothing our nerves, to the way the booths are upholstered at that favorite restaurant stimulating our appetite; we are surrounded by colors, designs and shapes that affect our moods and emotions subconsciously. For those of us possessing a passion for fashion or interior design, these details may be noticed on a higher level or take more of an immense affect on our every day lives.


Prior, we referenced the blank sheet of paper and plain black dress, let us now place ourselves in a room with plain white walls; how do we feel? Is this the moment when we realize that we have great appreciation for those photographs that hang in our place of work that accent the painted walls surrounding provoking creativity?  For those of us that work outside, each and every leaf on each and every tree, as well as every cloud in the sky and the way the sun shines through them are all nature’s accessories once more influencing our souls.


Again, though a room is furnished, does not mean it is no longer a blank canvas post furnishing. Just as I would recommend the utilization of a bracelet or watch resembling the scarf to tie in the attire as a whole; the same applies when designing or decorating a room. We reference accessories like pillows, lamps, pictures, mirrors, curtains, wallpaper, wall coverings, rugs and more to provide the finishing touches of the space. The accessories must be chosen very carefully and with much thought; as they can make or break a design as well customize a room for everyday use and special events.


Some tips from livingroomdecoratingideas.com:


“The easiest way to narrow your selection and choose the perfect pillow is to consider the elements of design – texture, shape and color.”

Wakiki Royal – Futura Interiors


“Rugs and carpets can change the look of your entire living room. Whether your whole room is covered by a carpet or just a corner of your room the central portion of your room by a rug, the entire look of the room is enhanced. Carpets and Rugs have always played an indispensable role in giving our homes perfect make overs.”


 Pictures and Paintings

“Pictures and paintings add a point of interest to any room or wall space, and give you the opportunity to express your personality and taste – whilst giving your home its own stamp of individuality.”



“Lamps and Lamp Shades are great decorative accents in your living room. Lamps are a great way to enliven and brighten up your space. Lamps can be floor lamps or table lamps. In addition to being attractive, lamps are portable which allow you to rearrange your space at will until you find the right arrangement. Floor lamps are just perfect beside a reclining chair or a couch or for simply brightening up a dark corner in your living room.”



“Living room is generally the biggest room in a home with large windows. Moreover there are very less and bulky things covering the wall. Therefore the need of living room curtains from the decoration point of view is must. You can take the full advantage of fabric as it will be very beautifully shown.”



“Living room shelves are common today. When you have a house, then you would want to have a very good place and a living room to make things look better. You would also want to install various things and when you do that, you would realize that you have done the best thing in life.” “Decorate your living room with style by adding decorative wall shelves.”


Just as the black dress would stand alone as a black dress, so would this living room with the white couch and end tables, however, when accessories are embraced in both aspects of life, it makes things that much more marvelous.




http://www.livingroomdecoratingideas.com/modern-accessories-for-living-room/ http://www.color-wheel-pro.com/color-meaning.html http://www.tipjunkie.com/how-to-wear-a-scarf/ http://thesmartstylist.com/womens-accessories/spring-must-have-bangles.php

Go GREEN with The Six R’s! By Ashlie Mauldin


In today’s world, we should all remain extremely considerate of our environment. After all, it plays the role of taking care of us, for the most part. The sun shines down on us all, providing warmth, the water allows hydration, and the plants originate to provide oxygen as the clouds work to conceal the heat and provide a beautiful illustration for all to see. I cannot even convey to you, just how many times the sky alone has inspired me. I do not know about you, but I sure would like to conserve its beauty for as long as possible.

Luckily, we have been provided with a rather popular Guide, utilized by the design, architectural, and construction industries’, however, applicable to all walks of life. The guide referred to as “The Six R’s”, consists of six words beginning with the letter “R”; self-explanatory? Yes, but each letter hosts a guiding word pointing the consumer in the direction of verdant design and ways to implement flourishing behavior.  In my opinion, The Six R’s were brilliantly originated and customized to the mind frame of humans and the way that we live our lives.

The first of the acronyms is: RETHINK. This is where the manufacturer is encouraged to ask, “Do we make too many products?” The company must utilize this term by evaluating the amount of production that is occurring within their projects. Is it an accurate amount? If not, the originator must reevaluate their production techniques and do what is needed to cut the production down to a reasonable eco-conscious rate.

From the consumer aspect, this is where we must ask ourselves, “Is the amount of merchandise we are purchasing or the materials that we are using an over mass utilization?” For an example, the amount of fuel utilized to run my compact vehicle, as opposed to the amount needed for proper operation of an SUV. By choosing to drive the smaller car, I am “rethinking” the best solution for our living conditions.

Safe for you, your home, and the environment cleaning products by Shaklee Corporation


The second of the acronyms is: REFUSE. This word is depicted to guide the designer to avoid using any materials that are not a necessity and or are harmful to the ecosystem. The business must go ecological by boycotting any material, process, functionality, or substance that is not eco-friendly. A technique for this is again, inquire, “What materials are we using?”, “Do we need these materials?” and “Are they absolutely necessary for this project?” Post answers, you will be able to examine possible alternatives and take a more eco- considerate approach for your business.

As a consumer, I approach the “Refuse” technique by avoiding the purchase or utilization of any material or product that is harmful to our climate. For example, let’s opt to use organic cleaning materials that are free from toxins aiding in the pollution of the air. This decision is the perfect consumer illustration of “Refuse”.

Water timer, monitors the amount of time you run water


Furthering the guidelines, the third of the acronyms is: REDUCE. The “Reduce” aspect of The Six R’s is where the company, producer, or originator is remains conscious to, well; reduce the amount of material or energy that is used at a given time. A good example of this would be solar panels used to eliminate the use of electricity and utilize the sun as a natural source of energy. This is one way that architects or designers can utilize Sustainable Design while developing the structure and functionality of a space.

For the consumer, it is as simple as making sure to turn the light off when leaving a room or when the electricity is not needed at the time, or, what I enjoy doing at times is to ride my bike instead of driving my car to nearby locations. The City of Long Beach, CA. being the first in Sothern California to provide safe bike lanes for bike riders to travel in is the prime example of respecting the environs and supporting The Six R’s. The lanes were implemented about a year ago, this March and studies show that since then, there has been a 10% increase in bike traffic on Broadway and Third Street, bringing the count to 474 bicyclists from the 429 prior count.

Contemporary light fixture made of used airplane windows


For the fourth of The Six R’s we have: REUSE. This R is more than likely the most utilized of them all and is closely associated with “RECYCLE”, the fifth R. In the auto world, simply reusing a product, item or material for the same need as the original use, such as retreading a tire, is the sure way of participating in reuse.

As a consumer, using the sustainable shopping bags repeatedly, the same bag each time you shop is a good example. Plastic, the most common use for grocery bags, has been deemed extremely harmful to the environment. You are aiding in the prevention of plastic as well as the conservation of trees by avoiding the alternate avenue, standard grocery bags, which for the most part to assist, stores have a charge for.

Pendant light fixtures made of corrugated paper


As I mentioned above, RECYCLE is the fifth of The Six R’s. Recycle refers to the processing of waste (raw materials) into new products. A designer taking a metal vent from an air-conditioning system and revising it into a light fixture for room décor, is a fun and accurate example. As a consumer, recycling bottles after the use of them, or recycling paper is a great way, as well all know to “Save a tree.”

Clock repair services


Lastly of The Six R’s, reminds us to REPAIR. What is meant by this is to avoid throwing out broken, disabled, or malfunctioning materials or products. Instead, take the means and steps necessary to repair the product and avoid wasting good materials. In addition, doing so assures that over purchasing of materials or products is not occurring. For a company, when a mass producing machine breaks down, as opposed to the purchase of a new replacement, go green and attempt at the repair of the machine, prior to any unnecessary purchase of new equipment occurs.

A good consumer example of this is when a vintage clock breaks down, instead of discarding it and adding to the waste of materials, repair the item and add to the conservation of the climate.

If we as designers, architects, contractors and consumers begin or continue to apply The Six R’s to our business and lives, we can all work together to conserve the ambiance and keep that beautiful sky that we love so very much, beautiful. Let us remain environmentally-friendly and keep the earth smiling back at us.