Sunday, March 9, 2008

Candice Olson Live in DC- Funny & Brilliant

This past Friday I had a chance to hear Candice Olson give a very funny and insightful talk about her approach to design, the inner workings of Divine Design, and her collection of classic upholstery available at the Charles Ray showroom. I've always admired Candice for her incredible sketches, her emphasis on focal points in a room and her talent for lighting. Now I have to add to the list her very funny sense of humor. Here are a few examples I'd like to share - keeping in mind that reading them isn't quite the same as hearing them.

"Our show is a WE endeavor. Let me tell you, making a 42 year old pregnant woman look good is a we project."

"On our site we give all the sources for every product used. A fan of the show from Chicago sent me a picture of a room that she completely duplicated. I think I'm going to have to send her an invoice."

"We are shooting 5 shows at any given time. It's hard to keep track of which outfit I wore. At one point I wondered, Do I have to get pregnant again for continuity?"

"The bulk of $140,000 for a kitchen addition went for the shell of the room, the electrical, the plumbing, etc., not for the fun stuff. I mean, has anybody every commented on your plumbing?" A gentleman in the front raised his hand. Candice responded, "Well...that might be the subject for another show."

Here she is patiently signing autographs at the Charles Ray showroom at the Washington Design Center. (This is the best shot I have - my camera was behaving very badly)


Candice instantly connected with the audience primarily comprised of designers when she talked about the challenges that clients can present - especially when they are dead set on incorporating a sentimental piece into a room's design. Below is the infamous gold spray painted piano that the client's three generations of family members had learned to play piano on. Refinishing it wasn't an option so Candice said she had to channel her "inner Liberace" for design inspiration. I think her dramatic (and brave) choice of black walls is brilliant. She said, "we worked with the gold - through the plaques and the gold linen on the Martin chairs." Candice also mentioned that she tends to use large dining chairs so they can double as occasional chairs.



Image above an example of one of her many successful basement rennovations.

This bathroom renovation illustrates her careful attention to lighting.
One of her amazing sketches. The realized room below.

Before - room with no focal point

After - Fireplace with 7' long glass panels back painted in gray & framed with polished aluminum

Images via Home magazine, designer Candice Olson, photography by Brandon Barre
Some additonal tips that Candice shared during the Q & A session after her presentation:
- Favorite white - Cloud White by Benjamin Moore
- Favorite type of light - 50 watt halogen with a gimbal ring, to allow for angling the light. Likes how halogen renders colors true.
- Her lighting plans are based on what the lights will be illuminating. For recessed lighting she focuses on where the light will be going and doesn't worry about having them evenly placed in the ceiling. She feels that you will read where the illumination/light is not where the recessed fixtures are located.
- Typically, when it's possible, she'll locate recessed lighting 14" away from the wall.
- The right lighting raking down a drapery can make $3 cotton look like expensive fabric.
- Layers of lighting sources (Overhead lighting, lamps, accent lighting on artwork, even track fixtures for budget jobs) create intimacy in a room and in small spaces can push the walls out.
- Upholster twin mattresses, stack them to form a day bed and for later use as a guest bed.

- Smallest and largest budget for Divine Design: $2,500 and $140,000

  Candice Olson Favorite Design Challenges

15 comments:

Pigtown-Design said...

WOW! What a great post! I've always liked her show because she seems like a real person and is quirky and funny.

LondonCalling said...

I think she has true talent. We joked recently she is almost the only person on television we would give over the renovation to and know we would be happy with the results.

Kwana said...

Thanks for the great tips and I love the room with the piano!

Be the change..... said...

I'm sorry I missed her here in DC! I didn't know she was coming! Hers is the only show I can stand on HGTV!!

Anne HH said...

You've done a great job with this post. Next time you hear that someone in the design world is coming to DC (like my personal favorite, Sarah Richardson), please let your readers know. I would have loved to attend last week to hear Candice Olson. THANKS!!

Alkemie said...

I can't believe this is my first time to your site! I'm a HUGE fan of Candace Olson. She's a true talent and I watch and record all of her shows. I think she's a genius with lighting and you've done such a great write up and post about meeting her and her tips. Thank you SO much for sharing! I like how she's fun and quirky.

Karen

j u s t i m a g i n e said...

Wonderful post....I don't know the show or the designer......but I know what I like and I like what I see......particularly love the black and white rooms in the first photo.....magic !!

Patricia Gray said...

Thanks for the great recap of Candice's design talk. It is always inspiring know what goes into the making of a great design.

SUNSET said...

hi! i would like to know what do yo do to imagine the spaces, what is the first thing for designing.
and how do you draw the perspectives.
i like a lot your designs!

Linda Merrill said...

Thanks so much for recapping Candace's talk. I agree - she's hugely talented and she did offer great tips!

AntiquesNut said...

I'm at home watching candice's show and pulled up this blog on the computer. I really enjoy her show. She seems to have a more upscale view of decor. Many of the TV interior design stars seem to base thier designs on trendy colors and items which will be out of vogue next year. I wondered why no one on TV uses antiques in thier decor. Is it too difficult and/or time consuming to find the right items? Her taste (Candice) seems to support an inclusion of antique items. Does she use vintage and antique elements in her own home? Mention of her views on antiques somwhere, sometime in an episode would be interesting. I just went to Europe on a quest for antique items and I realize that finding the right item is a matter of luck and hard searching. I went with the tour group EuropeAntiqueTrip check out thier website if you can. Well, back to the TV to watch the rest of her show!

niartist said...

Great post - I know I'm late commenting on it - but just found it accidentally! I love her renderings, they're so detailed. She leaves absolutely nothing out. They're amazing!

BBP said...

More of Candice Olson's fab designs that I have had the pleasure of photographing can be found on my website: http://www.brandonbarre.com

Enjoy!

BrandonBarré

Bery said...

Candice is my favorite designer... I love everything she does! I would love her designing my home.

About ten years ago, before I even discovered Candice or HGTV, I used to watch this little show that I loved on a cable channel called Casa Club and guess who was the host? Sarah Richardson!!!

I had completely forgotten about her and when I saw her designs on this post I loved them as much as I loved Candice's but her name didn't ring a bell until I went to her website and saw her face!!! Wow! What a surprise!

Thanks for the post! I dare to say that Sara Richardson was my inspiration and the reason I fell in love with interior design.

Bery said...

Candice is my favorite designer... I love everything she does! I would love her designing my home.

About ten years ago, before I even discovered Candice or HGTV, I used to watch this little show that I loved on a cable channel called Casa Club and guess who was the host? Sarah Richardson!!!

I had completely forgotten about her and when I saw her designs on this post I loved them as much as I loved Candice's but her name didn't ring a bell until I went to her website and saw her face!!! Wow! What a surprise!

Thanks for the post! I dare to say that Sara Richardson was my inspiration and the reason I fell in love with interior design.

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