Futura Interiors

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Better Late than Never by Ashlie Mauldin


Happy late Pi Day! Apparently my numbers were off. -wink wink- Anyway, in light of the holiday falling on the prior, March 14, 2012 – March representing the “3” and the fourteenth representing the “14” in Pi – 3.14; The significance of the number rests in the number’s inability to be expressed in exact fraction format, therefore, Pi resides in decimal form, never to end and never to repeat. Oh, and there are no combinations of integers in any form of equations that render 3.14 (Pi) as the value. I think this is pretty sweet! Thank you 19th Century mathematicians!

So here are a few awesome Pinterest pins that I have stumbled upon inspired by Pi Day:



Pie nails for Pi Day

This was ME

Maybe if YOU missed it as well, then you can enjoy this, possibly have a slice of Pi for the occasion!


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.






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.