Posts filed under ‘Inspiration’

Beauty of Experience Design

Before deciding to write this blog post, I started making comments on my Twitter feed and my Facebook page about my love of intelligent experience design. According to Wikipedia, experience design is the practice of designing products, processes, services, events, and environments with a focus placed on the quality of the user experience and culturally relevant solutions, with less emphasis placed on increasing and improving functionality of the design.

Um…. What?
OK, yes, it’s true… what they said. I’m focusing more on the “environments” part of that definition. To me, experience design is a well-thought out space that communicates the meaning of an event, time or place through visuals and typography that creates an impact on the viewer. For my fellow Nashvillians, think of Bicentennial Mall. Every time I visit this park, my stomach does flips. If you’ve never been, let me lay it out for you…

map used by National Folk Festival

In celebration of the 200th anniversary of Tennessee’s statehood, the city of Nashville fashioned a commemorative park to honor all of the achievements, people of significance and  historical facts about this state. This park is very long and narrow. Starting on the south side of the park closest to the city lies a beautiful, detailed map of the state which rests in the shadows of the State Capitol building.

The designer used patterns, texture and colors to detail the differences between the waterways and highways, the counties and the cities, etc. To commemorate the history of the state, a series of small stands exhibit more details of the city including its topography, rivers, settlement, etc. Traveling under the railway bridge pavilion is a water installation showcasing each one of Tennessee’s major rivers. During warm weather, these fountains will shoot straight up. The falling water lands on the surrounding concrete creating the sound of rushing water.

Walking on the west side of the park (my favorite side), on the left of the walkway are large marble towers spaced evenly down the length of the park representing a decade in the state’s history starting with 1786.

On the right, are quotes and descriptions of what was happening in Tennessee during that time. Some particular parts of this wall (which is only about 4′ high) are at the year 1786 when Tennessee became a state. The initial installation at the wall was a drinking fountain and the words, “Drink to Statehood” are blasted in the marble surrounding it. Since the flood in Nashville in May 2010, this fountain had to be removed due to damaged water pipes.

Continuing down the wall, soon after passing the year 1846, the wall cracks and marks Tennessee’s separation from the Union during the Civil war and the divide of the North and South.

The copy at the separation point mentions Tennessee as being the last state to secede from the Union. In 1866, Tennessee was then the first state to rejoin the Union, so the wall mends the break and continues on down to 1986. Along the way, it discusses how the Tennessee Volunteers, Oprah, the involvement in World War II, and many other quotes and facts about the state.

At this point, the visitor reaches the gem of the park, the Carillon Ring. A carillon is a set of bells in a tower which is played by using a keyboard or automatic mechanism similar to a piano (thank you Webster). These bells symbolize the music of Music City. At their feet lay the names of the great musician who were born in Nashville.

This is the northern most point of the park. If you turn and continue south along the other side of the park, you’ll see how the state is divided into three sections: East Tennessee, Middle Tennessee and West Tennessee. While walking down this sidewalk, you will pass the names of every county in the state surrounded by the state’s tri-star emblem.

…. So why the detail about Bicentennial Mall?
Recently, a new experience design park was opened which I am dying to visit: the 9/11 Memorial Park. Without going into too much detail about the factual significance behind this park, just understand that I think it is the most heart-felt, inspiring, beautiful way the city of New York could commemorate the victims of that day. Both waterfalls lay in the footprint of the original Twin Towers and are surrounded by beautiful shrubbery. To understand more about the meaning behind the park, read this from the designer himself.

Now that I’ve shared two of my favorite experience design environments, I’m curious. Is there a space near you that’s similar to these two incredible locations? Please comment below and share.


September 28, 2011 at 4:42 pm Leave a comment

The “Green” Wedding

I’m sure many of my loyal readers remember WAY back when I posted about the Pantone Spring Color Forecast for 2010. I’m sure you also remember how I said I was going to use my color “theme” palettes to create some new invitations, and so far, I’ve only posted about one. Well today, you will get to see another one! I’ve been working extremely hard to increase my invitation portfolio while still working with the brides who have already hired me. Since I started 4th Leaf Design Studio, my brain has been on turbo-charge with so many different ideas. It seems as though most brides are still looking for the pocketfold style of invitations. While the classic layouts are beautiful, I really enjoy playing with paper to create a totally different look. My wedding invitations are a more modern take on the pocket fold. Today, you get to see another!

This invitation is inspired my by “Earth Friendly” color palette, and the invitation itself is environmentally friendly, too.

The inspiration board is full of ideas using outdoor elements: feathers, twigs, wood-grain, etc. It’s a beautiful expression of how you can create amazing scenes on a small budget.

The invitation I created for this board uses a recycled cardstock, white cotton paper and twine to create the pocketfold and to hold everything together. The final product is beautiful, functional and, trust me, the string does not fall out for anything! I absolutely love this design layout and cannot wait to try it again with a fancier ribbon, lace or some other formal string for a more formal soiree.

February 19, 2010 at 3:55 pm 3 comments


February marks the launch date for a couple local things in the wedding world : StudioWed Nash opened their new location in Edgehill and the 615wed will soon announce a competition for brides-to-be! In the larger wedding world, yesterday was the launch date for the new Nonpareil online magazine!

This magazine is a great resource for anyone and everyone whether your business is about weddings or if you’re a bride trying to figure out those details that will help distinguish your event from most other weddings you’ve attended! This issue is packed with great DIY ideas, budget-friendly centerpieces, handmade keepsakes, and many many more fabulous ideas and tips. Personally, I loved the section on the Beautiful Boxes. These ideas are great for favors, and really helps carry your theme and look throughout your day.

I loved reading about Crafting Your Perfect Accessory, but I’m still waiting to take a sewing class. This girl is not that comfortable with needle and thread just yet. Another section of the magazine I’m sure anyone would appreciate is the Big Impact on a Little Budget. This speaks all about centerpieces and tablescapes, and idea shown is for less than $45! They touch on many different color palettes, themes, styles and layouts.

Be sure to continue to check out Nonpareil Magazine for more great tips and ideas.

February 2, 2010 at 3:23 pm 1 comment

Help Haiti

If you’re anything like me, you’re empathetic to the citizens of Haiti as well as any of their friends and families worried about their loved ones. The Red Cross has become more technologically savvy and are accepting donations via text messaging! I trust the Red Cross. Many of my friends work for them, so I know any donation will be appreciated and used appropriately.

All you have to do is send a text message saying “Haiti” to 90999 to donate $10 to the American Red Cross (the cost will be added to your cell phone bill). It’s as easy as that

January 14, 2010 at 6:09 pm Leave a comment

PANTONE Spring Color Forecast

Most people are well aware of the PANTONE Spring Color Forecast for 2010 where PANTONE has named Turquoise the color of 2010. I get so excited every year to see their new forecasts. They are always so inspiring and really help to predict upcoming trends. This forecast inspires everything from fashion to home interior decor to jewelry and, with all of that, also inspires upcoming wedding color trends. While the Home & Interior color trends are much more in-depth than the pdf in the link above, you’ll see how the color families all relate.

If you’re a computer user and are well aware of your PANTONE Matching System (PMS) color books in your design software, you’ll see that none of these color numbers in the linked pdf match your colors. These colors listed are the PMS fabric colors. Here are your computer equivalents:

Now these colors all look like a jumbled up mess. How will they ever relate to a solid color scheme for a wedding? Continue reading and see a few color combinations I have put together using only these colors shown plus black and gray. In addition to these combos, I have added corresponding names and suggested typefaces that would make for an all-inclusive feel for an event. Let me know your thoughts! Which combination would you choose for your wedding?

December 28, 2009 at 7:00 pm 6 comments

Designer Spotlight :: REBECCA WARD

Ever see something and think, “Now why didn’t I think of that?” Rebecca Ward’s tape installations are one of those things for me. It’s so beautiful, creative and fun! Something I definitely wish I had thought of while taking some of my 3D art classes! …all you need is tape!

it’s so beautiful!

November 18, 2009 at 9:42 pm Leave a comment

Holiday Inspiration

Most people when they think of holiday wedding details, they tend to think Christmas: reds, burgandy, hunter greens, holly, berries, poinsettias, etc. I’ve always loved the “out-of-the-box” ideas, myself. I love it when someone brings in a winter theme of silvers and blues into their holiday festivities.

… but what about browns, gold and ivory?

I just love this image from Design*Sponge for a tablescape at a holiday wedding.
You could easily do several different color combinations with this DIY project:
traditional reds & greens

silver & gold (we all know the song)

or go out of the box with some regal purples and gold jewelry

necklace and earrings from ETSY

November 17, 2009 at 5:06 pm Leave a comment

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