Luxe Belle: Luxury Student Housing Comes to Columbus

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Luxe Belle: Luxury Student Housing Comes to Columbus

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Vivid. Inviting. Eclectic. Luxurious. These are not words typically associated with student housing. But, then again, nothing about Luxe Belle is typical.

From the beginning, we knew that we wanted to create a student housing experience unlike any other. Working closely with our client, builder developer Preferred Living, we began our design using their brand aesthetic as a starting point. Specializing in multifamily housing for young professionals, the Preferred Living brand draws inspiration from the craftsmanship of the past, the atmosphere and amenities of luxury boutique hotels, and most importantly, the needs and lifestyles of their tenants. As the tenants of this building would be a bit younger than Preferred’s typical customer, we needed to design a space that felt more contemporary and offered amenities perfectly suited for a student’s needs.

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The future inhabitants of Luxe Belle would be students of The Ohio State University, ranging in age from eighteen to their mid-twenties (millennials and generation z students). This generation is known for being content creators, never without their cellphones and always looking for an Insta-worthy pic. They spend time outside their rooms, looking to build a community and these group gatherings make for prime opportunities to post to social media. With most college level work requiring an internet connection, they need high speed WiFi and plenty of outlets.  Their style is a combination of vintage inspired and fashion forward pieces.

With all of this in mind, we got to work. We sought to create a design forward, colorful space with a youthful vibe and plenty of distinct areas for studying, entertainment, and socializing.

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Today’s colleges and universities create common spaces that are living-learning environments. We decided to take that idea and run with it, by making the clubhouse a multi-use space: ideal for learning, dining, gaming, and more. We wanted Luxe Belle to be a place where students could create their own, unique community. To that end, in addition to a lounge area, we included several arcade games, multiple seating areas, and a popcorn machine in our design. Plus, with multiple TV screens, we imagined that the space could be used for viewing parties and game nights. The clubhouse also features a gym and tanning booth; we really covered every base!

For the studious tenant, we created a 24-hour Starbucks coffee bar and plenty of areas for studying. Custom booth seating creates comfortable space for group projects, and high top tables are ideal for partner-studying. Students who prefer to study solo can take advantage of the study bar we built in the clubhouse common area. In an effort to debunk the myth that study halls need to be sterile and bleak, we filled these areas with pops of color, fun textures, and a beautiful mural featuring the Columbus skyline and local landmarks. (Talk about Insta-worthy!)

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For post-studying, relaxed hang outs, we designed a lounge that shares a wall with a brand new Taco Bell, the building’s name sake. With its steamer trunk, cognac colored couch, and teal chairs, this room is a calming call back to vintage design with a contemporary edge.

Another favorite detail in the clubhouse’s design is the foyer’s reception area. From the glass decanter light fixture above the custom built front desk, to the hand made, peacock blue cabinetry behind it, the building’s entry way is full of vintage inspired details that elevate the space while maintaining a youthful flair.

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Interested in working with us to design your one of a kind multifamily or student housing project? Call us at 614-444-3743!



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Clubhouse Feature: Berkley House

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Clubhouse Feature: Berkley House

We’re no stranger to new build projects however, when our builder developer client, Preferred Living, asked us to work on Berkley House, they also wanted us to help establish their brand’s look: stylish and relaxing environments with an emphasis on living well. As their newest property, Berkley House needed to attract and retain their ideal customer. Preferred Living’s commitment to their brand has set them apart from the competitive apartment and condo market so we wanted to make sure that from the first step inside Berkley House’s clubhouse, potential tenants would know exactly what to expect from living in a Preferred Living property, namely a life well lived.

Our firm was involved from day one of the project, including the design of the construction plans, space planning, material selection, lighting, design of custom architectural elements, and of course, bringing Preferred Living’s brand to life. We were asked to include a theater space, business center, work- out facilities, and lounge. But most importantly, we were to design a space that reflected their brand.

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With young professionals in mind as Preferred’s ideal tenant, our team went to work designing a space that was hip and inviting with natural woods, vibrant wallpaper, modern furniture, and custom-designed components geared to feel like you were staying in a posh, boutique hotel. We paired strong architectural elements with muted grays, timeless oriental rugs, and velvety fabrics to create an environment full of character while remaining clean and modern.

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The reception area features a custom designed front desk that signals to tenants and guests that they are entering a space elevated by even the smallest details. The geometric design of the desk’s molding is a nod to modern art while the tawny wood of the desk reflects the clubhouse’s rustic setting.

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From the reception area, guests and tenants walk towards a center corridor featuring custom corbels, accent chandeliers, lush velvet fabrics, and a pressed tin ceiling that divides the two halves of the clubhouse.

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The cerused wood floor that guides tenants from the reception space to the heart of the clubhouse features an alternating pattern that subliminally divides the clubhouse into distinct living and working zones.

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A duo of custom made billiards tables sits in the center of the lounge area, abutted by a tufted, toffee colored banquette and vintage inspired light fixtures on one side, and an upscale arcade area on the other. This space is the perfect place to unwind and revel.

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Directly opposite from the lounge is a bar featuring locally sourced marble, modern bar stools, and a coffee station.

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This space flows effortlessly into a sitting area distinguished by a stone fireplace and luxurious couches. Directly behind this warm and inviting sitting area is a business center equipped with multiple marble meeting tables and computer work stations.

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Sustainable design was considered when choosing the wood floors, corbels, beams and mantel. These elements were created with reclaimed wood from other buildings. We collaborated with our Amish craftsmen to create unique and sustainably sourced wood features. Local artisans were also chosen to implement our vision for an industrial-chic metal and glass wall used to divide the game room from the common room.

We enjoy pushing the design envelope and with Berkley House, the result is a visually stunning, multi-purpose space that is enjoyed by residents every day and truly encourages them to live well.

 

 

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Sponsor Profile: Trinity Financial

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Sponsor Profile: Trinity Financial

We’re throwing a prohibition style party with a purpose on November 9th to raise money for a new Asia’s Hope home! Our friends at Trinity Financial donated at the highest sponsor level to help us put the event together! Today, we’re telling you all about them!

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Why We're Building an Asia's Hope Home in Thailand!

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Why We're Building an Asia's Hope Home in Thailand!

Crimson is embarking on its most ambitious project yet! We’re taking our philanthropy to a grand, global scale and inviting you all to join us on this new, international project! Today we’re interviewing Cheryl about Asia’s Hope, what this project means to her, and why we’ve decided to throw the party of the year!

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How did you get involved with Asia’s Hope?

Cheryl: I first heard about Asia’s Hope through family friends. We learned about the good work they’re doing and got curious about how we could participate. We decided we wanted to contribute to their cause so we started by supporting a home in India, donating $2,000 per month. Then, this past year we took a trip to visit the home in India, just to see how Asia’s Hope operates on site and to see how the kids were doing. We were absolutely blown away. It’s so clear that these kids are able to have real childhoods, go to school, and some even go to college- an opportunity they may not have had otherwise. We decided we wanted to give back in an even bigger way.

You could have just donated more to Asia’s Hope, but instead you’ve decided to build a whole new home! Why is that?

Well adopting and adoption is really deeply important to our family. Luis is adopted, we adopted our daughter Mia, and many of my siblings have adopted children. If I could I would adopt twenty kids and give them a home and a family but, unfortunately, I can’t. We were presented with a unique opportunity when Asia’s Hope floated the idea that we could get involved with building a new home. We had just celebrated 15 years as a business and thought, “What better way to celebrate 15 years of building meaningful homes and spaces than by building our most impactful, meaningful space, yet?” In building this house we’re going to be able to design aspects of the home, for example we’ll be picking out all the bedding and some of the paint colors. We design joyful spaces everyday but this space will have a positive impact on the lives of twenty kids who will go on to great things for their community too. This house will create change throughout their entire community while also giving them a place to feel safe and loved. What could be better than that?

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What sets Asia’s Hope apart, in your mind?

We love Asia’s Hope’s model because they don’t build orphanages, which are more transitional by nature. They build family style homes. The kids that are brought into these homes have been abandoned, orphaned, or their families can’t take care of them. When they move into the new house we’re helping to build, they’ll be coming home. They’ll be given caretakers, friends that become an extended family, education, food, clothing, love, and support in a place that is permanent and grounding rather than transitional. Plus, they’ll get to stay within their own culture and be raised by people who speak their language and understand where they come from. We thought that was very important too. A lot of the kids that go through the Asia’s Hope program end up going to college and then coming back to their home towns and villages to make a difference. They really create generational change.

How do you think this will impact you and your family? Do you think this will impact your business?

For one, I think this will help our kids feel connected to the global community. We’re going to be able to visit the home in years to come and I think bringing our children with us will give them an appreciation for the importance of service and giving back. People look at adoption, or at this kind of work, as “rescuing” a child when in reality, you can also get so much out of supporting children in need. Seeing their joy and watching them grow is incredibly rewarding. It really feeds the soul. In terms of our business, I can only see this being a beneficial step. We’ve always had philanthropy as a cornerstone of our business model but this just takes us to that next level. For our employees, this gives them a chance to be part of something larger than themselves and at the same time our clients will know that a percentage of their fees will be allocated towards improving and supporting the lives of 20 amazing kids in Thailand who are going to, undoubtedly, change the world.

Why kids in Thailand? Why not kids in the Columbus or Central Ohio community?

Well we actually do support a lot of organizations that support children here in Columbus and Central Ohio! We support iBelieve, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Columbus School for Girls, and we designed a Creative Incubator space for free for the Waterson Catholic School and donated $10,000 to their program. We still believe, and always will believe, in supporting kids in our community and will continue to donate to those organizations. But we decided we also wanted to help kids on a global scale. Asia’s Hope is a local organization, based here in Columbus. They’ve created jobs within their organization locally while still making a difference across the world!

So why kick off this project with a party?

To be honest, we barely need an excuse to throw a party here. Luis and I are both all about creating incredible experiences and having a great time. This is just an amazing opportunity to have a great time with our clients, vendors, and friends (essentially everyone who has helped bring us to this point in our business) while raising money for a good cause!

What can people expect at this party?

Well it’s a prohibition, speak easy style party. The location will be announced the day before to ticket holders, so be sure to purchase tickets if you want to come! We’ll have great music from Hoo Doo Soul band, amazing food, open bar, plus a bourbon tasting room in the back where guests can buy tickets to taste high end bourbons. All the money from those tickets will go directly to Asia’s Hope! They can also look forward to an auction; we’ll be “auctioning” off pieces of the Asia’s Hope House as a way to raise the $150,000 we need to build it! People will be dressed to the nines and having a great time!

Interested in attending our benefit and/or supporting this project?

Buy tickets and donate at Crimson Gives Back!



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The Life of a Design Project: The Design Concept

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The Life of a Design Project: The Design Concept

Have you ever wondered what it's like to hire an interior designer? Or have you worked with a designer before, but wondered what goes on behind the scenes? We're taking you behind the scenes in our new blog series, The Life of a Design Project! In this four part series, follow along as we take you from the Design Concept phase of a residential project, all the way to Install Day!

For the project we'll be following in this series, the clients are remodeling their basement, furnishing multiple rooms in their home, remodeling their powder room, and putting in new window treatments throughout the home. They also have a great room with a unique design challenge: the room is open and airy with walls that are, floor to ceiling, 20 feet tall and completely bare. 

In this month's installment, we'll show you all that goes into the first step of any interior design project, developing and presenting the Design Concept. 


The first step in any design concept? The designer reviews the notes that our business development coordinator and our Design Director made during initial conversations with the client. From these notes the designer learns what the clients needs are, what their lifestyle is like, if they favor furniture based on function over aesthetic (or vice versa), and what their design tastes are as well. Do they want a Glam look? Modern or Midcentury? Contemporary or Traditional? The notes help the designer pin point exactly where they should be taking the design! 

The Research Phase

Based on these notes, the designer will begin researching. They'll go on a Pinterest and/or Houzz deep dive and pin inspiration images. They'll also go to publications' (such as Architectural Digest) websites, for further inspiration.  If the client has their own Pinterest or Houzz page, the designer will incorporate images from those pages into their concept, as well. 

The research phase is crucial to the design process. Here at Crimson we pride ourselves on having an incredibly talented and versatile team, and while we do our utmost to pair designers with projects that best suit their own personal taste, occasionally a designer will be assigned to a project that challenges them. For example, if a designer's own tastes skew to the Traditional but their client has a taste for Mid-Century Modern design, the research phase will help the designer set the correct tone for the rest of the project. 

For this particular project, the clients defined their personal style as being clean and sophisticated, while still maintaining a homey feel. Their Lead Designer, Jessica, began the research phase with those key words in mind: clean, sophisticated, and homey. She took her time collecting inspiration photos and when she noticed that her photos were beginning to sync up exactly with those that the client had pinned on her own Pinterest board, she knew she had a firm handle on what direction to take the design. 

Jessica hard at work drafting layouts in AutoCAD, doing research, and building a design presentation!

Developing the Design Concept

After the Research Phase of a design project, the designer can begin developing the project's design concept! The design concept ultimately defines which textures, colors, and patterns that will inform the overall design of the project. 

For this project, Jessica began by pulling fabrics, paint swatches, finishes, and wall paper samples. As the clients hadn't indicated which colors they preferred or disliked, Jessica decided to develop two full design concepts for the largest room (the great room) and to complete one strong design concept for the second largest room (the basement). 

Design concepts for this series's project!

Space Planning and AutoCAD

After the design concepts have been completed, the designers will begin the space planning and AutoCAD phase of the project. (AutoCAD is a computer-aided design and drafting software application.)

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Using blueprints of the home, Jessica input the dimensions of each room into the AutoCAD software in order to build a 2-D model of each room. Within each room's 2-D model, Jessica  then began dropping in scale models of furniture items. Using standard dimensions of everything from coffee tables to sofas, Jessica was able to plan where furniture items would be placed in such a way that each room's functionality and flow would be optimized.

Putting the furniture layout into AutoCAD at this phase allows the client to give feedback about their preferences during the presentation, and can also inform the shape and size of furniture selected by the design team in the next phase. It can also help to make the design concepts feel more real and immediate. For example, seeing the wallpaper that their designer has selected next to a rendering of the room in which it will be placed brings the design concept to life!

In our next edition of this series, you'll get to see the rendering of the amazing changes Jessica made to the Great Room's giant wall, below!

Building the Preliminary Budget

After the space planning and AutoCAD is complete, the Lead Designer is able to determine what a client's needs for furniture, lighting, wall coverings, and fabrics will be. Keeping in mind the budget that the client gave them in their first meeting, the Lead Designer will work from room to room listing everything that the client will need and put numbers to each item. Usually starting in a mid-range,just to get the conversation going, this preliminary budget will help the client decide where they want to allocate more money (eg. for a durable sofa) and where they want to conserve (eg. for less expensive light fixtures). This budget will also help the client think about things they didn't realize they needed or about things they don't actually need to spend money on! For example, in this project, they may have thought they needed new light fixtures but Jessica decided to keep their preexisting crystal chandeliers. 

Building the Presentation

Once the AutoCAD, preliminary budget, and design concepts are complete, the designer will build a digital and print presentation, in InDesign. These pages will usually include inspiration photos and AutoCAD layouts. These pages can be brought home and reviewed by clients after the meeting is over!

Jessica and Stephanie set up for a design concept presentation!

Presenting the Concept

The final step of the Design Concept Stage is to present the concept to the client! The Lead Designer, along with any assistants, set out the design concept pages, layout all fabrics, finishes, and wall covering samples, and pin items to the presentation board! We'll also layout snacks and refreshments for our clients in preparation for their visit. 

During the meeting, the client will either approve the design concept or ask for alterations. They'll also approve the space planning and budgets! Their feedback on all of these factors will influence the rest of the design and ordering process. 

Join us for the next edition of this series in which we'll take you behind the scenes for the next phase of the project! Interested in working with us on your project? Send us an email at hello@crimsondesigngroup.com! 

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Back to School Design How Tos: Designing Your Dorm!

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Back to School Design How Tos: Designing Your Dorm!

It’s college move in week, all across America! Students will be moving into their first dorms and for some, this will be the first time living away from home. This week we share some of our tips for designing a dorm. From storage to lighting, we’ve got you covered.

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