All original work © Jason W. Wong. Please ask for permission to reproduce any work.

All original work © Jason W. Wong. Please ask for permission to reproduce any work.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Justified and Ancient

I have to say, it's good to feel justified once in a while, like when the world comes around and tells you that you're not crazy. A couple of weeks ago I got the new West Elm fall preview in the mail and the front cover looked awfully familiar--there was my cool dark gray!

It just made me feel that much better about painting my home office a similar (or possibly even the same) shade of gray. I mean, everything just seems to pop against it. Not everyone can live with it, but I felt like I had to lead by example and even after a few months of living on the dark side, I still take a moment each day to admire the drama.

Who's with me? All bound for MuuMuu land!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Winner Takes It All...

Well, nobody picked the combination of Concepts A & B (which is what the clients liked), but you know what? Everyone's a winner at Retrograde!

Lucky commentors Debby, Nadine, Jen D., Kristin, and Carrie all get the prize--free design advice! E-mail your question or dilemma to and we'll go from there.

More soon!

Monday, June 14, 2010

My ever changing moods...

One of my new clients (a really nice couple in the East Bay) have been living in their place for about a year now and really wanted some help with decorating their home. One of the challenges was trying to figure out what their style was. Almost everyone I work with has eclectic tastes--I mean, who wants a period room, right? That can be a little extreme. But one thing I've learned is that there are various degrees and levels of eclecticism. Some people skew towards traditional, others lean toward modernism, etc. You get the point--it's like this wide spectrum of favoring some movements and styles more than others, but still liking a variety of things.

After talking for a bit, they sent me some images of rooms they liked. Right away I noticed a certain balance and symmetry in each photo. But they were still also keen on mixing periods, styles, and finishes. And from our initial consultation, I knew there was a fun (almost subversive) streak to them--I was going to have fun mixing up slipper chairs and Chesterfield sofas with their collection of vintage rock posters as well as a priceless photo of Tenacious D.

The size and layout of their living room didn't leave many options, so after developing a basic furniture plan with their existing pieces (a TV, media console, antique hutch, and a few accessories), I came up with three different combinations of new sofas, chairs, and lamps that could be plugged in and switched around. Each concept reflects that eclecticism that I think my clients are after. Can you guess which one(s) they liked?

Was it Concept A, with the heavy midcentury influence?

Concept B, with a more traditional flair?

Or Concept C, casual contemporary?

Take a guess in the comments section--the first correct guess will get a prize!

And while you take a moment to decide, here's my little '80s musical inspiration for this post. "Ah, the cool before the warm, the calm before the storm..." The lyrics kind of sum up the idea of eclecticism, I think.

Monday, June 7, 2010

I heard you on the wireless back in '52...

It's been a busy month, with tons of projects keeping me from blogging each week as I'd like to. A recent trip up to Napa took me out of commission but also gave me some new perspectives on commercial design and making the most of old or historic structures (one of the key beliefs of Retrograde!)

I'll keep you posted on how some of my residential projects are going (I always love to share ideas with you) but for this week I'm trying to get my official website up--all while slugging away at the dayjob and catching up with my own clients whose projects are at various stages of completion. That's right, I'm finally catching up with the 21st century and getting ye olde webbe page in order. I have to admit, I've felt kind of like a proud old school holdout without one, but now I realize I have to have one in order to let people know more about my rates and services.

The home/landing page below will most likely change, but I like the idea of scattered photos for each category of my website: residential design, commercial design & graphics, purchasing, and staging. Who knows--those categories might change, too. But what do you think about the scattered photos--too much like Domino magazine? (Oh Domino, rest in were such a fun magazine.)