Making of the Make Room

by Alden Miller | December 12, 2016 | Make Room - A West Coast Throwback, Projects + Press

This summer, Alden Miller Interiors was selected as a feature design firm at the American Craft Council show at Fort Mason, San Francisco. If you know me, you know that events like this are something that I love. Understanding how things are made and seeing what creations people come up with is really exciting for me. I even wrote a about this same show a few years back, see People Want to Make Things. This year, the team and I would be designing a vignette inspired by crafts and how to implement them into interior spaces.

The theme for the show was “Four Directions” and our room was “West”. Our interpretation of west was obvious. West was California, the sun and the sea. West was home. Immediately, inspiration began to flow.

We dove into the project, beginning with outlining the furniture plan for the room, and thinking about how people were going to interact with the space. As I always say, interior design is not just for looks. It was important that people felt comfortable stepping into the room and really experiencing it.

Once we had the furniture plan finalized, we began searching for images and materials to support our ideas. The team and I brainstormed countless ways to pay homage to our home state, but after stumbling across a Jim Thompson fabric that seemed to perfectly capture the West Coast, the decision was made. This room would be designed as tangible version of a California sunset. Corduroy, 1970’s inspired wood siding, and a vibrant, moody pallet would give this space that relaxed yet elevated feel we envisioned.

We began contacting vendors, starting with companies we knew would be as excited to be apart of the show as we were; companies that held a similar design philosophy and aesthetic–comfortable quality. The responses we got back were enthusiastic and eager to contribute. Thanks to their generous donations and loans, we were able to feature fantastic pieces that reinforced the California theme.

And then the real work started. Aside from the beautiful pieces that we borrowed, this room was actually made by our own hands. A built in bench with vertical wood siding wrapping half the walls, designed to mimic the feel of retro decking. It wasn’t until we began building it that we realized how much time our creation would actually take. After days of staining wood, sewing pillows, and getting slightly dizzy from using too much spay adhesive, our room was finally ready to be installed at Fort Mason. It was hard work, but a lot of fun.

The event was a blast. We loved mingling with the other talented designers, artists and craftspeople, and being part of an event that celebrates the importance and value of quality, original works.