A Walk Through the Custom Wall Art Design Process With 1767

When our business first started, we offered mainly seasonal collections of ready-to-ship wall art pieces made using reclaimed lath wood from Nashville’s urban decay. We still offer those same evergreen pieces, such as our Huntleigh and Knox in different colorways, plus some newer collections that we release seasonally. Something that we love even more than designing and creating our own pieces, however, is working with you guys to create your own one-of-a-kind commissions.

Even if you’re already aware that we offer custom commissioned wall art pieces, you might not know exactly how the commission design process works. It’s something that we’re very proud of both for how much it’s evolved over the years and for how personal it is to us and our clients; by really getting to know you guys as people and learning about your dreams for these pieces, we’re able to create art together that is truly an instant heirloom.

Here’s an overview of our process and what you can expect if you commission a custom wall art piece from 1767.

  1. You’ll fill out a form. Don’t worry — this is the only boring, administrative part of the otherwise fun process. We have a form on our website that sort of gets the ball rolling and puts you in touch with our owner and lead designer, Patrick.

  2. You’ll “meet” us, either in person or online. If you’re local to Nashville, we’ll set up a time to meet with you at our studio and showroom, or occasionally at a local coffee shop or cafe. If you’re not local, we’ll set up a Google hangout where we can talk face-to-face as best as possible. During this first meeting, we’ll talk about your ideas for your piece, specifically the size, where it will live in your / someone else’s home, your budget, etc. Then we’ll get to the fun stuff: your design goals, color schemes that you love, patterns and other inspiration that we can work from.

  3. We’ll get to work. Before we ever start building your piece, we’ll create a 3D rendering of what the piece will look like and send it over to you for approval. This will include the unique-to-you pattern of the piece, as well as any colors or metals that you want included. If you have any adjustments or edits, we can talk about these at this time to really get it to look exactly how you want it to.

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4. We’ll really get to work. Once the design is approved, our skilled artisans will set to work building your piece in our Nashville studio. We still only use reclaimed lath wood from in and around Nashville, as well as hard-wearing metals like copper and brass.

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5. We’ll deliver the piece to you. If you live out of the Nashville area, we’ll ship your piece to you in a sturdy box so that it arrives safe and sound. We’ll include all of the hardware and instructions that you’ll need to hang it in your home. If you’re in the Nashville area, you can either pick your piece up at our Nashville showroom or arrange to have us install it in your home for a bit more. We always aim to follow the commission process from start to finish, building relationships with our customers and making sure that each part of the transaction is enjoyable and fulfilling.

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Are you interested in starting a custom wall art commission with 1767? Email us! hello@1767designs, or fill out the form on our website.

A Commissioned Art Piece for TJ's Nashville Home

As our business has grown and changed over the years, we’ve found ourselves moving a bit away from selling in-stock wall art pieces and more toward selling commissioned lathwork pieces that we design from start to finish with the client. Our latest commission was a large-scale Southwestern patterned piece for TJ Osborne, a client of ours here in Nashville. We loved getting to work on this piece with TJ because the size of the piece was large enough to really make a statement in his home and allow for some serious creativity from both parties.

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We knew that TJ was planning on hanging this piece in his stairwell, so it would be the main thing guests would see when coming or going from floor to floor. The piece hangs vertically, which is somewhat unique for us, and it features three central diamonds in a neutral black and white color scheme. We used charred wood to create the darker portions of the design, and we added hammered brass in slim sections to add a bit of texture and shine.

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When we design these pieces with our clients, we schedule a design consultation online where we discuss exactly what the client is looking for, including everything from the budget for the piece to the size and the design. This can be as detailed or as open-ended as you like; while some clients go into their design consultation with an exact pattern and color scheme in mind, others tell us a general vibe or color palette and let us design something for them. We also love doing these types of custom projects because it allows us to really build a piece that fits the exact specifications of your home, so the finished product looks like it was meant to live in that space.

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If you’re interested in getting started on a commissioned piece of your own, you can fill out the contact form on our website or email us at hello@1767designs.com.

How-To Guide: Plan a Design Getaway

If you follow us on Instagram, then you’ve likely heard us mention our occasional “design getaways.” When we’re not over our heads in work and we’re fortunate enough to be able to skip town for a bit, we like to plan trips that are centered around reigniting our passion for design, inspiring some creativity and helping us to feel inspired by other designers, builders and artists.

We recently went on a two-week trip to Japan to admire their clean, modern architecture, a designy cabin in Chattanooga to check out the way they let the outdoors in, and a few back-and-forths between Nashville and NYC to hit some museums and stroll through the streets. If you’re looking to plan this type of design-focused excursion of your own, here are some of our favorite destinations.

  • New York. It’s obvious, but for good reason; a trip to NYC is convenient from just about anywhere in the country because it’s so easy to hop a flight, and with so much going on any given weekend, it’s great for an impromptu getaway.
    Our favorite design spots: MOMA, the Chelsea Hotel, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Guggenheim

  • Nashville. If you’ve never been to our home city, you’re overdue for a visit. While Nashville is more well-known for its music scene than its design scene, there are more than a few beautiful buildings that we’re happy to admire on a daily basis.
    Our favorite design spots: Nashville Public Library, The Parthenon, Ryman Auditorium

  • Los Angeles. For us, mid-century modern architecture is always a favorite, and there’s no shortage of great mid-century buildings and homes in and around Los Angeles. Take a drive to check out one or a few of the iconic Case Study homes, make the trek to one of the city’s beautifully designed museums or just stroll the streets to admire the way the orange trees cast shadows on the Spanish-style homes in one of the residential neighborhoods.
    Our favorite design spots: The Getty, Case Study Homes, Eames House, Griffith Observatory

  • Pittsburgh. It’s a smaller city, but Pittsburgh is one of our favorite design destinations for a more low-key weekend away. The downtown area is filled with historic buildings designed by world class architects, and if you’re willing to make a short drive outside the city, you can even take a tour of Frank Lloyd Wright’s iconic Fallingwater.
    Our favorite design spots: City View building (designed by IM Pei), The Pennsylvanian, Fallingwater

  • Tokyo. We recently took our first trip to Japan, and we were completely enthralled by the city’s architecture and attention to detail in every aspect of its design. The city is a huge metropolis with something new to discover around every corner, but even more so if you’re interested in Japanese architecture and design.
    Our favorite design spots: Truck Furniture studio, Nara Park, St. Mary’s Cathedral, Imperial Hotel

Our Favorite Things: February 2019

If January seemed to drag, February was here and gone almost before we even knew it. It was a short but productive month, and while we haven’t been promoting any large projects lately, sometimes it feels good to work slow and steady to keep things on track. That’s one of the things we’ve learned about running a business over the past few years: it’s just as important to stay focused during slower seasons as it is during the hectic, jam-packed periods.

Here are our favorite, most inspiring things that we saw online and IRL this February.

Image of Rian Dawson’s monochromatic bedroom featuring our custom pieces.

Image of Rian Dawson’s monochromatic bedroom featuring our custom pieces.

  • Your photos. If you follow us on Instagram (and we hope you do!), then you may have noticed that we’ve started sharing our favorite customer photos on our Instagram stories. Not only does this help us to show our appreciation for your business, but we hope that it also inspires you guys and shows you how to style our pieces in your own homes.

  • Freestyle Friday. In other Instagram news: did you guys see our #1767FreestyleFriday announcement? Every Friday, we’ll be posting a one-off piece designed and created by one of our artisans in the shop. It will be available to purchase for 24 hours, so if you see something that you like, shoot us a DM to purchase one of these one-of-a-kind designs.

  • Monochrome walls. We’re always looking for new design trends for our interior projects, and lately we’ve been interested in monochrome painted walls. We’re talking walls to trim to ceiling — the more dramatic, the better. What do you guys think about this moody look?

  • Bespoke furniture details. As we continue to move more and more into the custom furniture world, we’re starting to research bespoke furniture with details that are unique specifically to that piece. You might have seen our recent post about the custom leather bench we created in collaboration with Joey from Lockeland Leatherworks, featuring milled harness leather sourced from Wickett & Craig Tannery and reinforced French seams for lots of texture and visual interest. We’re also hoping to explore more unique details and intricate designs, so if you have an idea for a piece of one-of-a-kind furniture for your home or business, shoot us an email!

  • Sunday dinners. Lately, we’ve been having friends over on Sunday evenings for low-key dinners to relax and recharge before the week begins. It’s a great way to connect with the people we love, slow down and get ready for a productive week. Do you have any favorite recipes or rituals that help you wind down on a long Sunday?

  • New design books. We love a good coffee table book, especially when it’s one that features beautiful interiors and tips for creating a space that’s all your own. Lately, we’ve been admiring Abode: Thoughtful Living with Less, from the owners of San Francisco’s General Store, and At Home in Joshua Tree: A Field Guide to Desert Living by Sara and Rich Combs, owners of the Joshua Tree House.

A Custom Leather Bench for KT in Collaboration With Lockeland Leatherworks

One of the best parts of our Nashville shop and showroom is that it’s large enough to share with our friends and fellow makers. Our friends at Lockeland Leatherworks share a space at the shop, which allows us to do the occasional custom project featuring our wood or metal and their gorgeous leatherwork.

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Recently, we created a custom bench for KT, a client of ours in the Gulch neighborhood in Nashville. KT is a regular client who we’ve gotten to know pretty well over the years, so we had a good idea about what he was looking for.

For the seat cushion, Joey from Lockeland Leatherworks created a leather cover with some gorgeous stitched details. He sourced the leather from Wickett & Craig Tannery in Pennsylvania, and he decided on their vegetable-tanned Milled Harness Leather because of its buttery, supple feel (Joey’s words, not ours — he’s the leather guy, after all). The cushion features reinforced French seams and contrast stitching to keep it sturdy and ensure that it lasts through years of use, as well as to add some beauty and obvious craftsmanship when you get up close.

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For our part, we created a hand-welded, powder-coated steel frame that would provide a sturdy base for the bench. We added some visual interest with the slatted bottom, but we kept the whole thing fairly minimal to really let the leather cushion shine. We love the end result — it’s equal parts modern and classic, it blends high style with long-wearing function and, best of all, it’s a perfect example of what we can accomplish when we collaborate with the other skilled artisans in our shop.

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Are you interested in commissioning a custom piece of furniture (or something else) from 1767? Let’s hear your ideas! Email us at hello@1767designs.com.

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

Architect Spotlight: George Nelson

If you’ve been following along with our Architect Spotlight series, then you know that each month, we like to feature an inspiring architect and showcase some of their most famous works. As a business, we’ve been focusing more on custom furniture design lately, so we decided to take a look at one of our favorite furniture designers from the American Modernism movement, George Nelson.

The Bubble Lamp; Photo via    Eve Wilson for The Design Files

The Bubble Lamp; Photo via Eve Wilson for The Design Files

George Nelson didn’t set out to be an architect; as the story goes, he ran into the architecture building to get out of the rain while attending Yale University in 1924, and he was so inspired by the works inside that he decided to switch his major. We’re particularly drawn to stories like that because we don’t come from a traditional woodworking background, either — sometimes things just fall into place (with a lot of hard work, that is).

Soon after graduating, Nelson won an architecture prize and was awarded a year to study abroad and study architecture in Rome. While in Europe, he began writing for Pencil Points magazine, interviewing bigger names in the modernist movement and becoming a more well-known name himself. After returning to the US, Nelson became editor of Architecture Forum, constantly working to promote the idea that designers should try to better the world by making things that followed the rules of nature. While he wasn’t actually designing much at this point, we love how those years he spent really thinking about design and how it should function influenced his most famous works decades later.

Nelson began working as Director of Design for the Herman Miller furniture company in 1947, even though he had no experience whatsoever designing furniture (another reason we respect him so much: he made things happen and figured them out as he went along). Nelson was known for his ideas about useful, functional design, and he quickly injected those ideas into his designs for Herman Miller, producing iconic pieces and hiring some of our personal favorite designers like Ray and Charles Eames and Harry Bertoia to work for the company. Later, he went on to form his own George Nelson Associates, Inc., which continued to pioneer modernist design until the early 1980s.

The Sling Sofa; Photo via    1st Dibs

The Sling Sofa; Photo via 1st Dibs

So, what are some George Nelson designs that you may know? We’re particularly fond of the 1946 Slat Bench, which is still being produced today through the Herman Miller company; the 1947 Bubble Lamp is an icon of natural, modernist design that can still be purchased through Modernica; and the 1955 Coconut Chair, which embodies Nelson’s natural-yet-modern style and is still available through the Herman Miller company. Most in-line with our style, however, is the incredible Sling Sofa — with its low profile, leather upholstery and steel frame, this one is definitely a huge inspiration for 1767.

For more Architecture Spotlights, check out the full series on the 1767 blog. Want to create a custom piece of furniture based on a favorite vintage style? We’d love to collaborate! Shoot us an email at hello@1767designs.com to get started.

Our Favorite Things: January 2019

New year, new links! We’ve been taking major steps to increase productivity throughout our business this year, as well as to keep creativity flowing and to take time to step away when we need it. We’re hoping to take big steps in 2019, and we’re looking for inspiration wherever we can find it.

If you have similar goals in place for your own business (or just life in general), then we hope you can benefit from some of our favorite things that we found around the web this month.

  • Instagram grid apps. Have you ever tried using an app to plan out your Instagram grid in advance rather than posting on the fly? If you’re in a creative business, this is a great way to save time, get things looking cohesive and minimize time wasted on your phone. We recently started using an app called Preview and so far, we’re loving it.

  • Marie Kondo. Okay, so we’re definitely not the first to recommend Marie Kondo, her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, or her new Netflix show, Tidying Up. It actually seems like just about everyone is talking about Marie’s KonMari method lately, but if you’re late to the tidying game, it could be just what you need to get organized and refresh your space (and your life) in the new year.

  • This Whistler A-Frame. We’ve been lusting after A-frame cabins for a few years now, and there’s just something about this time of year that especially makes us want to pack a bag for a remote weekend away. We recently came across this Alpine Modern home tour featuring a family-friendly A-frame in Vancouver, Canada, and we haven’t stopped thinking about it since. If you want some serious travel inspiration (or even inspiration for a whole lifestyle change), make sure to check it out.

  • Design + build projects. If you follow us on Instagram, then you might have seen our announcement about expanding our design + build capabilities. We recently got our general contractor’s license and added an in-house interior design team, which means that we’ll be taking on more full-scale design + build projects, starting with Nashville florist Amelia’s Flowers new brick and mortar space.

  • Appointed planners. The start of a new year always makes us want to start a brand new planner. Even with so many calendar apps online, there’s just something about writing things down, which is why we love Appointed’s beautiful and functional planners so much. The only downside is that they sell out fast, so we’d suggest snapping one up.