Thursday, May 5, 2011

Kay on Non-Conformity. Architecture. German Village

When Cheryl assigned the task to blog about what inspires us, I thought it was going to be a daunting task. Most of us are inspired by so many things on a daily basis - how do you pick just one? For me, it is nature, my children, a particularly well-thought-out line of prose or verse, a multitude of colors, art in all of its forms, and even Cheryl herself, who leads by example. But then, I went past one of my favorite houses while walking to work - the white painted brick one. It stands out proudly amidst a sea of red brick in German Village. I love the non-conformity of it, and that's when the little rebel inside of me clapped and said, "That's what you're going to write about"! Non-conformity. Architecture. German Village.

I lived in New Albany for over 2 decades, so I witnessed its transformation from quirky little 2-stoplight town with the grain mill and Dairy Creme, to an upscale city with cookie-cutter homes and brick Georgian architectural conformity. No I.M. Pei or Frank Lloyd Wright welcomed there! Then I moved to German Village. There's lots of brick here, too, but individuality reigns.

not your usual lawn ornament - love it!

reminds me so much of Europe

love this bright orange porch swing!

The diversity of the people who inhabit this unique part of Columbus is allowed to shine through in their homes. How much more personal than that can you get? I'm always inspired by those living an authentic life and not one that mirrors their neighbors. Non-conformity allows you to live without restrictions while simultaneously respecting the uniqueness of those who dwell and work around you. What actually gives German Village its sense of community is the fact that so many of its residents dare to live creatively.

For me, the companion to non-conformity is imperfection, a concept lovingly embraced by the ancient Japanese art of wabi-sabi. It shows us that authentic living is found in seeing the beauty of imperfection while acknowledging the value of worn, yet timeless pieces - of truly seeing just how exquisite ordinary items can be. I think this concept also translates well into architecture and German Village is a shining example. With its well worn brick streets and historical homes of every architectural style, German Village embraces its imperfections.

Non-conformity and wabi-sabi inspire me to live true to myself and

German Village is a great place in which to do it.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Thank you, Columbus Underground

If you live in Columbus and have never been to the Columbus Underground website, then I am wondering what rock you're living under. This is my 'go to' website any time I want to know what is happening at the moment or in the future; it's a great community resource (3 million hits a month!). Columbus Alive has described Walker Evans, the founder, as an up and comer and a person to watch. Walker is that and so much more- part cheerleader, part sleuth, part savvy businessman; his Columbus Underground provides a forum for local businesses, is the place to look for the 'local buzz', and is always up on the latest new dining and shopping entries. We recently had the honor ourselves to be featured on Columbus Underground - Read full article.

Last week Walker, wife (and Columbus Underground photographer), Anne, and their 2 adorable (and I mean adorable) kids visited 'Crimson.' I love what Walker and Anne have done for Columbus and their support of local businesses. Their outpouring of support is just another reason why I am so happy we decided to stay in downtown Columbus. I love the collaboration of the many business owners and the energizing vibe here in the Gay street corridor, and I'm so excited for summer in downtown, Columbus.

What inspires Luis?

Hello World! I'm next in line in Crimson Design's "what inspires you" marathon. I can think of many things that can send me into inspiration mode, but I've spun the wheel in my brain and have landed on a heavy hitter.

Travel. Oui, that's right.
It runs in my veins and has become a non-negotiable activity in my lifetime. Call me crazy but I love to be in a foreign country where I don't speak the language or where I don't know anyone. It's great to be taken out of your little comfort zone and be catapulted into the unknown. I guess that's why I love travel so much. It exposes you for who you really are...the good, the get it.

Travel would not be the same without everything that comes with it. In other words, sensory overload is to be expected. This is what truly inspires me, the colors, the smells, the noises.

Whether you're exploring the ornate gold of the Topkapi Palace, or the crazy open-air meat(fresh or almost fresh) market in West Africa, or entering the Ralph Lauren store in St. Germain, Paris, you're bound to have an experience of a lifetime.

It is my hope that even as you read this you become inspired! Inspired to go explore. My advice? Don't stop till you drop! There's a world out there! Take time to pop in somewhere and say "hello".

-Luis Stauffer

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Thank you, Alive

A big thank you to Jackie Mantey and Jodi Miller from "The Alive" for visiting us at the new "Crimson." We have had a fantastic first month since our opening and have enjoyed some local press on the new space. I am so excited to bring you more in the next few weeks as we have lots of exciting things in the mix.

My new obsession is this green color!

Brian Coovert is the talent behind these floral creations, who personally gives me such inspiration. I can't tell you how much joy I get when I walk through the front door of our new space and see all of these beautiful flowers. How can your work environment get any better when you are surrounded by the beauty and aroma of fresh flowers.

We would love to have you visit us on your next trip downtown Columbus. We are tucked away in the quaint alley of Pearl street.

To read the full article visit The Alive

Article written by Jackie Mantey and photos by Jodi Miller

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Inspirational Print

It's hard to narrow down what inspires me on a daily basis. There are so many amazing products, furniture, finishes and people out there today that are so fun and creative - I really can't pick just one! I keep a folder on my computer where I save inspirational images of spaces and 'things' I can turn to when I get that dreaded un-inspired feeling no designer ever wants to endure.

Looking through my file, I notice a common thread tucked away in sometimes very subtle ways in many of the images - zebra print.

I wouldn't consider myself a lover of wild animal prints, however, for whatever reason, when done in the right way, I LOVE zebra lately... I'm a sucker for a great zebra rug!

Here are a few of my favorite zebra accented spaces.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

What Inspires Me (Stephanie)?

As a designer I get to see lots of beautiful things every of the perks of this career! From beautiful fabrics and wallpapers to amazing furniture and accessories...and really so much more. It is these beautiful things that I get to see on a day to day basis that truly inspire me as a designer.

What I want to share with all of you are the most recent things I've seen in new spring fabric/wallpaper collections and product shows...all of which are currently hanging above my desk on my inspiration board. It's a great place for me to look when I need a little creative

pick-me-up. And, for all you animal lovers out there, well you're in luck! The current theme of my inspiration board is all about animals!

Here are just a few of the amazing animal finds I've come across recently...

Osborne and Little

Grand Tour Collection

Best In Show


Keep it classic with black and white,

Elegant with the metallic tone on tone, or...

Mix it up with the blue and purple color way!

Great for adding personality and impact to any space of a dog lover!

Porta Romana Lighting

Giraffe Lamp
This stunning giraffe lamp will immediately give character to any space. Add an interesting piece like this to your foyer or living room and instantly create conversation.

Stray Dog Designs

Bird Stool/Accent Table These darling pieces can act as a stool or table! Nestle one beside a favorite chair to hold your cup of tea and book. Or, tuck one (or even two) under a console table to add interest in an unused space and pull out and use as seating when entertaining.

Dachshund Oil & Vinegar and Salt and Pepper

Dachshund inspired kitchen and table accessories with fun and functionality built right in! The playfulness of these pieces will be sure to make anyone smile :)


For those of you who would like to see what inspires a designer feel free to stop in to Crimson Design Group and check out my inspiration board!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

What inspires Crimson Design

I have been blessed to work with an amazing team here at, Crimson Design Group. Everyday I count my blessings and the honor that I have to be surrounded with such peers and friends. I would love to have all of you get to know them better and find out what they are passionate about. I have asked all of the team members of Crimson Design to write and share what inspires them. This week we will be featuring each of them. Please stay tuned and find out more about what happens in our office everyday as we are working on so many fun projects.