Top Airbnb Design

Top Airbnb Designs Around the World

By: Rick Hess/Mae Case, DISD

Traveling in this day and age is not what it used to be, and that’s a great thing. Hotels, motels and bed and breakfasts now have to compete with Airbnbs for business, as many travelers are opting for a unique lodging experience when planning vacations. With a wide variety of options at their fingertips, travelers can choose to stay in anything from a cozy 200-square-foot studio to a gigantic castle. Some Airbnb locations are so memorable that spending the day indoors may be just as (if not more) exciting than exploring the city it’s located in. With Spring Break around the corner, we combed through some of the top Airbnb designs that are sure to ignite your wanderlust. – Read More –


Interior Design Trends 2017

By: Rick Hess/Mae Case, DISD


It’s hard to believe that another year has gone by since our last Interior Design Trends post. For 2016, we predicted that interior design trends would focus inward, moving away from technology-centered rooms and finding a real connection with nature. These ideas will spill into 2017 with trends like escapism and natural palettes, providing creative outlets to help inhabitants disconnect and unplug from reality. Additionally, we are going to see an emphasis on functionality by maximizing a space to suit the needs of multiple types of users with furniture, color and innovative ideas in lighting. – Read More –

Creative Gift Ideas

Creative Gift Ideas – 2016

By: Rick Hess/Mae Case, DISD

If you’re looking to impress friends and family this holiday season with gifts that are truly unique, we’ve got you covered. This time of year can often become stressful, and being on the lookout for the perfect, memorable gift only adds unnecessary frustration. To put your mind at ease, we took the guesswork out of the equation and curated a list of fun and unique gifts for creative individuals, and for anyone else in your life who appreciates great design. – Read More –


Building Your Interior Design Portfolio

By: Rick Hess/Mae Case, DISD

In the design world, a breathtaking portfolio is everything. You have just a few moments to leave a lasting, show-stopping impression with the design firm of your dreams. The work you share, along with how you decide to present it, has to be fresh, unique and memorable. Whether you are looking to land a great interior design or architecture job or just spice up your current portfolio, we have you covered. Design Institute of San Diego explores the do’s and don’ts of building your interior design portfolio to propel your career forward. From using typography in your favor to taking advantage of digital tools and outlets, here are some of our top tips to get you started. – Read More –

Innovative Cities Final

Innovative Cities

By: Rick Hess, DISD

Are you traveling as spring makes its way around the corner? Or have you ever wondered what city you should put on your bucket list?  If so, we at Design Institute have come up with five innovative cities within the United States for you to visit.  If you appreciate well designed cities as much as we do, then take a dive as we explore what makes these special destinations so unique. – Read More –

Sustainable Design

Sustainable Design

By: Rick Hess, DISD

Our resources are precious and as more information becomes available regarding the need to preserve these resources, sustainable design continues to be an important consideration within the interior design and architectural industries.  Homes and buildings are being designed in a smarter and more creative way with the ultimate goal of creating the smallest possible impact on our environment. Design Institute of San Diego  reviewed some recent sustainable design projects to showcase some of the incredible technology that is being utilized today. – Read More –

Holiday Gift Ideas

Holiday Gift Ideas for Designers: Students’ Choice

By: Rick Hess/Mae Case, DISD

Creative types are often the hardest people to shop for. Already known for their discerning taste, trying to impress the design lover in your life can be quite the challenge. To put your mind at ease, we took the guesswork out of the equation by asking Design Institute of San Diego’s interior design students what they’d like to have wrapped up for them this holiday season.  We’ve comprised a list of unique gifts for creative individuals, and for anyone else that appreciates great design. – Read More –

Home of an Art Collector 3

Interior Design: The Home of an Art Collector

By: Rick Hess/Mae Case DISD

It’s often said that life imitates art. This is probably most literal for the avid art collector, someone who enjoys displaying valuable art pieces in their living space. Designing the home of an art collector is no different than designing for any residence in that to be successful, striking a balance between creativity and functionality is key. In any well-designed space, the placement of art pieces within a home is deliberate. For instance, when it comes to valuable paintings, placing them away from vents, fireplaces, wet walls and radiators is something to consider in order to preserve the work. Lighting is also important when displaying paintings in a home – allowing direct sunlight is something you’d want to avoid to prevent fading and drying out.

Of course, there are many other factors to consider for an art collector’s home, making it a great idea to consult a professional interior designer to ensure that your artistic pieces will be displayed optimally. Design Institute of San Diego explores several stand-out examples of homes that find the perfect balance of showcasing priceless works of art and creating livable spaces for their unique owners. – Read More –

Restaurant Design -

Restaurant Design

By: Rick Hess/Mae Case, DISD

Dining out is a centuries-old social ritual that has evolved with the times, but has yet to lose its appeal. The experience of treating yourself to a meal prepared expertly by someone else, amongst the company of your family or friends, in a space designed purely for your comfort and enjoyment is hard to match. Whether you’re seeking a dimly-lit establishment or a night out with friends in a loud bar, there is a restaurant out there that offers the dining experience you’re craving.

Designing a successful restaurant concept is similar to building a well-oiled machine. It’s a space with reciprocal parts that should be constructed purposefully in order to run like clockwork. The kitchen (known as the Back of House) and the retail space/dining area (known as the Front of House), are influenced by each other and must work closely together to support a successful operation. Moreover, the décor of the space should entertain the diners and provide a memorable experience that entices them to return. Design Institute of San Diego explores several local eateries that have made a name for themselves thanks to their delicious cuisine and impeccable interior designs, several of which have been nominated for Orchid Awards in the San Diego Architectural Foundation’s 2015 Orchids & Onions. – Read More –

Indoor/Outdoor Living Spaces | DISD Interior Design Blog | Design Institute of San Diego

Indoor / Outdoor Living Spaces

By: Rick Hess/Mae Case, DISD

Being one with nature is a notion human beings have embraced for ages. Having a respectful relationship with it has been a necessity for our survival and our evolution. So it’s not surprising that in a time when society is becoming more globally aware of the benefits sustainability and “going green,” we are noticing a growing trend in blurring the line between indoor and outdoor living. Floor to ceiling glass windows and sliding doors that welcome an abundance of natural light, indoor courtyards, and rooms that open right onto backyard decks are popular ways of inviting the calming effects and simple beauty of the outdoors into one’s living space. These examples show indoor/outdoor living spaces that truly bring the outside in, illustrating that interior design goes beyond just four walls. – Read More –