How-To Guide: How 1767 Communicates

One of the things that we get asked about most is how our business operates on a day-to-day basis. Some of you may know that we have a team that works out of our workshop and design studio just outside of Nashville, and while it’s a small group of employees compared to many businesses, this is the largest our company has ever been, and that certainly comes with some inevitable growing pains.

What we’ve found is that increasing the communication between teams and individuals is the best way to increase productivity and make things run more smoothly. Here are some of the platforms and general ideas that we use to communicate within our business, in hopes that it can give you some insight into how we make things happen (and maybe even help you to learn from our mistakes).

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  • Slack. We love Slack. Everyone loves Slack. You probably already use it and love it, too, but if you don’t, we highly suggest getting it. It makes it super easy to communicate all day long in an non-intrusive way, and it gets problems resolved quickly and easily. Think of it like a modern equivalent of AOL Instant Messenger, but with a whole lot more bells and whistles.

  • Monday. This project management program helps us to stay on track with everyone across different teams, so it’s a great way to process orders, make custom pieces and get everything shipped out without missing a beat. You can also color-code everything to your liking and create your own boards that work specifically for you and your needs.

  • Weekly check-ins. It’s become almost a running joke in today’s society that everyone hates receiving phone calls, but even in this age of text messaging, G-chatting and e-mailing, we can’t find anything that works better than a good old-fashioned phone call when you need to catch up at the beginning of the week. We’ve found that if things consistently seem to get off track or people between teams don’t interact much throughout the week, it’s best to jump on a call on Monday morning to plan things out and stay in communication.

  • Design consultations. Since we’ve shifted to doing more and more custom, commissioned pieces, we’ve found that it’s invaluable to meet with clients in either online or in-person design consultations to really hash things out. Some things can be done over email, but true to our business ethos, talking face-to-face (or even virtually) will always be our most productive way to really understand another person’s ideas.

  • Google docs. Whether we’re sharing best practices within the business, assembling instructions for how to complete everyday tasks or onboarding new team members, we always use Google docs to ensure that everyone can reference the same information and make edits across the board. We think that Google docs is an invaluable tool in terms of being able to quickly reference documents or collaborate on projects.

  • Instagram grid planners. Instagram is an valuable, creative tool for our business, and while some people may think of it as a necessary evil, we like to have fun utilizing Instagram to showcase our work (and hopefully reach as many people as possible). Since the ever-changing algorithms can be difficult to navigate, we use an app called Preview to plan out our grid in advance to keep things looking consistent, reduce headaches for our social media team and hopefully increase our chances of showing up in people’s feeds.

Have a question about 1767 as a business, or want to get started on a design consultation of your own? Email us! Hello@1767designs.com

Our Favorite Things: 1767 Year-End Round-Up

While we usually round up our favorite things that we saw on the internet that month in our Favorite Things series, we thought that this month, it would be fun to round up our favorite projects that we did this year.

2018 was a big one for us: there was lots of “outside-our-comfort-zone”-ing, lots of learning as we go, lots of jumping head-first into new territories with our projects, and we couldn’t be prouder of the work we did this year. It was a year of saying yes to projects that we may have shied away from in the past for one reason or another, and we’re so happy to say that each one was completed thanks to our incredible team.

From large-scale commercial builds to custom pieces for intimate residential projects, here are a few of our favorite projects from 2018.

Rian’s Custom Floating Bar

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This one was one of our most popular projects on Instagram, and we have to say, it was one of our favorites to make, too. The floating shelf was designed to act as a modern bar, with a steel frame, reclaimed wood sourced from Layman Drug Co., a music production studio in Nashville housed in what was once a pharmacy back in the 1890s, and mirrored elements for some visual interest.

Consider the Wldflwrs’ Shop Displays

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We were honored to be asked to build the custom display cases for fellow Nashville-based makers Consider the Wldflwrs’ new storefront, and it was definitely one of our largest and most time intensive projects of the year. We love the way the steel in-wall display cases look with their handmade jewelry inside, and the way the central cash wrap acts as the focal point of the space.

Mojo’s Tacos Franklin Restaurant

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We’re big fans of both tacos and beautifully designed spaces, and this project combined both. We worked with Powell Architects to create wood installations for a 40-foot bar, a 12-foot back bar and the custom Mojo’s Tacos signage out front, and it ended up being one of our most colorful and unique projects of the year.

Some Drifters’ Bus

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This one was also super popular on our Instagram, and we totally get why. The process was a little non-traditional: while we didn’t actually build out the space, we helped Some Drifters to design the wooden floor installations and smart, compact tables for their schoolbus-turned-tiny-home.

The Cumulus Collection

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Our latest wall art collection was the first one designed by one of our team members, which made it even more special to create. The Cumulus Collection launched this fall, and it was a labor of love inspired by the trees, sky and water surrounding our Tennessee workshop.

The Fox Bar & Cocktail Club

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The Fox was a major milestone for us because it was our first full-scale design-and-build project. We designed the entire space and built it out alongside the bar’s owners (and our good friends), and while it technically opened late last year, we’re still counting this as one of our favorite projects of 2018.

A Schoolbus-Turned-Tiny-Home for Some Drifters

Every once in a while, we get approached to do a project that’s so cool, we just want to share it everywhere. The school bus we did for Some Drifters is one of those projects.

Married couple Jeff and Britt approached us to design some beautiful and functional elements for their school bus, which would soon become a tiny home for the couple to live and travel in. Tired of the fast pace and closed quarters of their life in Brooklyn, they decided to pack up and head out on the road, originally toward southeast Utah. Britt is a co-owner of the bohemian bridal company Daughters of Simone, and Jeff had hopes of turning the school bus project into what could eventually become a career. “The bus project was conceived on the road, on a cross country camping motorcycle trip a couple years back. It was a solution to a problem, to find a way to be able to explore, spend most of our time in the outdoors, but still stay connected and able to live our regular lives,” Jeff said.

Jeff didn’t want us to build out the school bus like a typical home remodel, but rather design portions of the bus that needed a little extra attention to detail. We designed the patterned flooring and interior layout, as well as some compact dining tables for inside the bus. On the outside, we designed the patterned wood facade that would be the first thing you’d notice when the bus pulls up (and kind of the main thing that removes it from its former school bus glory), as well as one of the coolest elements of the project: an extendable, fold-out patio that would allow the couple to sit on their “porch” when the bus isn’t in motion.

“When designing the bus, I really tried to give it everything I have, and in that search for the special, I found 1767. I just found Patrick's style to be so captivating. Artistic, sophisticated yet rustic... a novel approach with a total craftsmanship to his method. When you saw his work you could tell someone really cared and was passionate about the work. Once I saw his designs, my head just started sparking with inspiration and I just wanted to sorta inject his artistry into the bus. So, I reached out and asked him to design as much of the wood inlays as possible. Patrick ended up designing all the flip-up tables, the floor, the outside "woodie" panels, the deck floor and even gave me some helpful general design input on the interior that I went with, like doing the whole front driver area in wood.”

-Jeff, Some Drifters

We didn’t do the actual build for this project, so it was really fun and inspiring to collaborate and design these elements for Jeff and Britt to bring to life themselves. This is definitely a project that you just have to see to really understand, so have fun taking a little virtual tour through the photos below.

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All photos by Kate Dearman.

All photos by Kate Dearman.

Fall / Winter '18 Preview: The Cumulus Collection

While 1767 started as a one-man operation in its earliest days, it’s long been a team effort (ever since… well, ever since we were able to hire a team). Tim, a longtime artisan on our design-and-build team, came up with a few really great designs for some one-of-a-kind pieces that we created over the summer, and we loved them so much that we told him to run with them. The result is the Cumulus Collection, a cohesive line of wooden wall art that blends our signature angles and lines with rounded, flowing shapes like we’ve never experimented with before.

For his first collection, Tim said that he was inspired by nature, first and foremost. When drawing inspiration, he would admire the sky on his drive to the 1767 studio each morning, think of the plants and trees he encountered on walks in the forest, and even call to mind the patterns he saw on insects, many of which looked like subliminal faces.

“This line is my interpretation of the sky as the giant hero, the giver of nature; and nature can’t help but thank it by mimicking similar patterns to show respect,” Tim said.

While the Cumulus Collection won’t be released until late fall, we wanted to give you all a sneak peek here. We couldn’t be prouder or more excited to release this line, especially since it’s been such a labor of love for one of our team members.

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Our Favorite Fall Things in Nashville

Each season, we like to put together a little travel guide of our favorite things in and around Nashville. There are so many visitors coming into town for a weekend stay, transplants putting down roots (much like we did five years ago), and road-trippers passing through on some type of journey throughout the South.

Nashville is a place that feels very different from season to season, so if you’ve been here in the summer, it might feel like a totally different place than when you come in the fall or winter. Here are a few of our favorite spots to visit when the weather cools down.

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  • Natchez Trace Bridge. One of the most scenic spots in the Nashville area (and the country) is the Natchez Trace bridge, a double-arched bridge over Natchez Trace Parkway in Williamson County. We like to go out there when the leaves are changing colors because it offers some pretty incredible views of the Tennessee wilderness from the bridge’s center — and if you’re interested in design, there’s a lot of inspiration behind the bridge’s construction.

  • Pilgrimage Music & Culture Festival. This is a fairly new music festival, but it draws huge names from Nashville and beyond. This year’s fest takes place September 22 & September 23, with headliners like Jack White, Lionel Richie, Hozier, Counting Crows, Chris Sapleton and Dave Matthews.

  • Seasonal cocktails at The Fox. Have we mentioned how much we love The Fox Bar & Cocktail Club? All jokes aside, the bar that we designed in East Nashville recently unveiled their list of fall and winter cocktails, and that thing is no joke.

  • Old Hickory Village. Some people (ahem — investors) are saying that Old Hickory could become the “new East Nashville.” We don’t know about all that, but we do think it’s a pretty special in its own right. This area just outside of the city is the home of the 1767 studio, and if you haven’t explored it yet, we’d recommend getting out there this fall to check out the lake, the historic homes and, of course, our home base.

  • Nashville Flea Market. We’re always talking about how much we love the flea market at the Nashville Fairgrounds, but anyone who knows the flea will tell you that fall is the best time to go. Nashville gets hot in the summertime, so once the weather cools down, it’s much more comfortable to wander the grounds and shop for treasures.

  • Chattanooga. Okay, not much of a Nashville activity, but if you’ve lived in Nashville for a while and you’re looking for a seriously easy (and inspiring) fall road trip, we’d suggest hitting the road for Chattanooga. We recently made the trek and stayed with Treetop Hideaways, but we also loved The Dwell Hotel, Collective Clothing and the beautiful Hunter Museum of American Art.

Architect Spotlight: Joseph Eichler

If you follow along with our blog, you know that we've been diving deep into the history of modern architecture and the architects who have influenced it. This month, we're looking at Joseph Eichler, one of the most influential names in the mid-century modern movement and, most interestingly, tract housing. 

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Eichler wasn't really an architect at all, but rather a real estate developer. Throughout the early 20th century, he was a major advocate of bringing the modern architecture that was popular in corporate buildings and larger, pricier custom homes to the general public through his company Eichler Homes.

Eichler Homes built more than 11,000 homes in Northern and Southern California between 1949 and 1966, and eventually these homes became known simply as "Eichlers". These homes were built in large developments of multiple identical units, but we love them because unlike similar developments, Eichler found a way to inject major modern style and design elements influenced by architects like Frank Lloyd Wright. By hiring architects and instructing them to create these affordable homes with the mid-century modern elements that Eichler appreciated, he created an entirely new type of tract housing.

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Most of Eichler's homes are known for a few key factors. Many of them are constructed with flat, gabled roofs and low lines that line up with the horizon. There are few (and sometimes no) windows on the front facades, but large, floor-to-ceiling windows throughout the interiors. These homes were private from the street and open and full of light inside, while the public rooms were spacious with few walls and the private areas, such as the bedrooms and baths, were smaller and cozier. 

Today, Eichler's homes are synonymous with Californian architecture, and many people even refer to his style as "California contemporary". While Eichler sourced local elements such as redwood in Northern California, he also sourced materials that he loved from overseas, such as the mahogany he used on many of his homes’ walls.

all images via      Dwell

all images via Dwell

Our Favorite Things: August 2018

August came and went in a hot, humid blur, and with it came lots of growth and changes for our company. We're still working away at getting our showroom set up for its re-opening, finishing up lots of custom wall art projects and right in the middle of one of our biggest interior design jobs to date. 

If you're equally busy and looking for some things to keep you inspired and on track, here are some songs, shows and sites we loved this August. 

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  • Japan planning. We're hitting the road for Japan this fall, and we couldn't be more excited to check out the gorgeous architecture, incredible restaurants and everything else that Japan has to offer. If you've been before and have suggestions, leave them in the comments! 
  • Creepy crime shows. We watched the Staircase and Sharp Objects this month, and both were great ways to unwind after a long day. Seriously creepy (and addicting!) 
  • This incredible Faroe Islands building. As soon as we saw this town hall building in the Faroe Islands, we were so inspired by the way it uses its natural surroundings as part of the architecture. The building was designed by Ósbjørn Jacobsen and is designed to look like it's floating right into the landscape. 
  • New Nashville hangouts. There's always a lot of action in the Nashville restaurant scene, and this summer we've seen quite a few new favorites pop up around town. We're particularly loving Folk and Wilburn Street Tavern in East Nashville. 
  • Music to work to. We're big fans of playing music (loud) to keep the whole shop motivated. This month we were loving the new Death Cab for Cutie and Childish Gambino.

Check out what else keeps us inspired on our Instagram and our Pinterest

How-To Series: Update Your Home's Exterior

We've been helping a lot of people lately who are buying homes with major potential, but that don't have much curb appeal going on currently. From '50s ranch homes that don't have that big, mid-century modern style to cozy bungalows that have seen better days on the exterior, these homes are charming, but just kind of... boring. 

There's no reason that you can't add some upgrades to a home's exterior even on a smaller budget; all it takes are a few smart touches to upgrade the facade without a full face lift. Here are a few of the budget-friendly renovations we've been making to the exteriors of homes we've worked on recently. 

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  • A fresh coat of paint. It's the most obvious exterior job, but a fresh coat of paint makes a world of difference when it comes to updating brick, wood or even vinyl siding. We're always huge fans of matte black to make a house feel modern and unexpected, but stark white paint is also a great way to bring a cool, timeless charm to your home. 
  • Tiered flower beds. We recently built some wooden, tiered flower beds along the entire front of our home, and it's made the facade feel more complete and interesting. Instead of filling yours with the classic landscaping flowers, we love adding cacti, tropical plants (if you live in a warmer climate), bonsai trees or even tall sunflowers. 
  • A statement wooden wall. If you're looking to add mid-century flair or a California vibe no matter where you live, you might add a slatted wooden wall against the front door or along the porch. This element adds some contrast against the material of your home, and it even adds shade if your porch gets a bit too sunny in the afternoon. 
  • New, modern windows. This one is definitely a bit pricier, but if you have the budget for it, replacing the windows with larger, more modern windows is a great way to add style and natural light (always important!) to your home. Many people replace the existing windows with a newer version of the same size, but while you're doing all that, why not go for something bigger and better? 
  • Swap out the light fixtures and finishes. Barely any budget for exterior renovations? Even just switching things like the exterior light fixtures, doors and railings can make a huge impact. We recently built some custom outdoor light fixtures for our friends The Fox Bar and Cocktail Club, and it made a huge difference in that initial curb appeal. 
     

Interested in making some updates to your home's exterior? What a coincidence — so are we! Hit us up: hello@1767designs.com.