7Designs+Development Awarded Best of Houzz 2017

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7Designs+Development is excited to announce that we were awarded Best of Houzz 2017 for Customer Service. We are humbled and honored to have received this award. The Best of Houzz is awarded annually in three categories: Design, Customer Service and Photography. Design award winners’ work was the most popular among the more than 40 million monthly users on Houzz. Customer Service honors are based on several factors, including the number and quality of client reviews a professional received in 2016. Architecture and interior design photographers whose images were most popular are recognized with the Photography award. A “Best of Houzz 2017” badge will appear on winners’ profiles, as a sign of their commitment to excellence. These badges help homeowners identify popular and top-rated home professionals in every metro area on Houzz.

Below are a few of the reviews from 7Designs+Development family members that helped us achieve this honor.


Baray and his team did a great job through the entire design process for our Bistro 1636 here in Orange, CA. We are a manufacturer’s Rep group that represent 24 companies that sell equipment, tabletop and supplies to the food service industry from fine dining and QSR to education, hospitality and healthcare.  He converted a hallway and couple of offices to an awesome test kitchen and showroom with an open ceiling and skylights.My personal relationship with Baray goes back over 20 years while at Taco Bell and he continues to be extremely responsive and supportive with new and innovative ideas.  He managed our team here at the Fischer Group from the initial concept thru final design & construction.  He was available the entire time to answer specific questions and modifications as needed.Since opening in June of 2014, we continue to receive rave reviews from our customers about our unique modern but “natural” design utilizing restored wood, fashionable tile and porcelain flooring that is durable for our kitchen yet very appealing.Hosting events for food experts is never easy, but our design was well thought out and looks great.  Thanks Baray.

-Rick C. Winfree//EVP, the Fischer Group



A few moths ago my family took the huge step of renovating their home in Yorba Linda, it had been 10 years since they had done any sort of renovation work on their home. After some extensive research we came across 7designs and contacted them for a full renovation of our home. There was a need to update the home into a more contemporary design, thus after looking at some of the work Mr Karim had completed we sought his services. Through out the process Mr Karim and his team acted in the most professional manner, with regular communication, consulting, and very very reasonable prices we had a wonderful blue print for our house. The designs were exemplary and the level of detail and professionalism was very outstanding. The work was done in timely fashion without delays and it took approximately 6 months to complete an entire house. Mr Karim maintained a very professional, friendly and cooperative persona through it all. Our house when completed was beyond our expectations. Baray brought a vision to life and we couldn’t have expected anything more exemplary. The detail, design and finishing was beyond anything we have come across. We walk into a home that we feel proud of, a house that I constantly walk into with awe. I highly recommend 7 designs to anyone looking to see a vision in reality with the highest levels of professionalism in Southern California. My 5 stars coke from experiencing and working with a fantastic company full of talent and great business ethic.




I have known and worked with Baray for over 16 years. Throughout my experience with him and this design firm whether at Yum Brands, Lennar or presently at Public Storage, I always find Baray a highly qualified design leader with outstanding imagination, sensibility and design solutions. His passion for quality design and out-of-the-box solution is second to none. I always find 7 Designs + Developmenta very professional, cordial and caring group to work with. They are sensitive to client’s budget and pay attention to details.

-Karen Cornier Southard// Public Storage


Our team would love for you to become a part of the JayMarc family and help you in your journey to building or discovering your dream home. Visit our website more information. See more at


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When T.G.I. Friday’s Loses Its Flair

When T.G.I. Friday’s Loses Its Flair
Chain restaurants, which for so long used their decorations to celebrate America’s past, are now focusing on a (clutter-free) future.
T.G.I. Friday’s is losing its flair. In place of the casual-dining restaurant’s traditional, signature look—a little bit Antiques Roadshow, a little bit Hoarders—the chain announced earlier this year that it would be adopting a new, modernized aesthetic: blond wood, clean lines, bright-but-soft lighting. In appearance, decidedly sleek; in vibe, decidedly Upscale Cafeteria.

In that, Fridays’ is going to be looking a lot like … Applebee’s, which recently announced a similar update to its front-of-the-house situation. And Chili’s. And Ruby Tuesday. And Olive Garden. And also like fast-food chains, which are, like their up-market competitors, embracing the strategically pared-down style that you might call “high meh-dern”: McDonald’s recently unveiled a series of new “design concepts” for its stores, all of them replacing the chain’s signature primary-colored formica with, yep … blond wood, clean lines, and bright-but-soft lighting. Burger King has been giving its restaurants similar facelifts. So has Wendy’s. And Arby’s. And KFC. And Taco Bell.

Friday’s was meant “to make people feel that they were going to someone’s apartment for a cocktail party.”
The chains are taking a cue, it seems, from the popularity—which is also to say, from their perspective, the threat—of Chipotle and Panera and Shake Shack and their fellow establishments: fast-casual spots whose designs tend to de-emphasize design itself. Whether they seat their guests upon pleather banquettes or faux-industrial stools, these newly popular restaurants feature very little in the way of wall art or table art or strategic whimsy. And the casual dining segment, tired of losing market share to them, is now following their lead.

The result is a kind of permeative mono-aesthetic—blond wood, clean lines, bright-but-soft lighting—that is designed, always, to “appeal to Millennials,” and that is inflected not just by Chipotle’s faux industrialism, but also by the design logic of Silicon Valley and Marie Kondo and minimalism. Strategically de-cluttered, devoid of flair—devoid, indeed, of any decor that might distinguish them from their fellow establishments—chain restaurants are melding, visually, into one tentacular beast. They are, en masse, going normcore.
The walls of a Los Angeles Friday’s in 2013 (Excellent Notion via Collectors Weekly)
For Fridays, the new look is taking the brand back to its roots. The chain, founded in 1965, didn’t start as a full-service restaurant: It started as one of New York’s City’s first singles bars. The ‘60s marked the start of the sexual revolution in the U.S.; bars, though, in the early ‘60s, still tended to be frequented mostly by men or by couples who were already on dates. Enter Alan Stillman, a 28-year-old perfume salesman who knew that his Upper East Side neighborhood was populated by models and flight attendants and who wanted to find a way—a dignified way—to meet them. So he bought an old building on 63rd Street and 1st Avenue, and decorated it with Tiffany-style stained glass, candy stripes, framed photos, and knickknacks—anything, basically, that would make the place feel homey and welcoming. (He also included on the menu drinks like “Harvey Wallbangers” and daiquiris—concoctions meant to appeal in particular to women who might not otherwise like the taste of alcohol.) “The principle involved,” Stillman would later explain, “was to make people feel that they were going to someone’s apartment for a cocktail party.”
The bar, which Stillman named Thank God It’s Friday!, was a hit. And its concept quickly spread. The second Friday’s opened in Memphis in May of 1970, six months after Shelby County, TN, first allowed restaurants to sell “liquor by the drink.” The new outpost, Collectors Weekly notes in a fantastic essay about the current fate of the chain’s wall memorabilia, “became a hotspot for the Memphis counterculture,” known for “for its boozy adventures, drug experimentation, and sexual subversion—including an underground queer scene.”

But the new Friday’s imitated the original in its old-school decor: It, too, featured leaded lamps and candy stripes, and cluttered its walls with memorabilia. This new Friday’s was, one newspaper declared, “a place with so much atmosphere you have to push it aside to get in.”

The Friday’s brand (and aesthetic) soon inspired imitators: Ruby Tuesday opened in 1972 in Knoxville, near the University of Tennessee campus. So did Houlihan’s in Kansas City; and Spaghetti Warehouse in Dallas; and Steak and Ale; and Bennigan’s. Bars, in less than a decade, had become equal-opportunity establishments for single people—so much so that by the early ‘70s, according to Stanford University research, some 20 to 25 percent of American couples had met at a bar.

In an age defined by anxieties about physical resources, minimalism is a moral as much as it is an aesthetic.
As Friday’s expanded across the country, it evolved into the concept that is familiar today: a family-friendly restaurant that the family in question might frequent after a trip to the mall. The couples who met at a Friday’s or imitator-Friday’s remained loyal to those establishments; the restaurants changed as their patrons did. What didn’t change, though, was their embrace of Alan Stillman’s “welcoming clutter” concept—which continued to be a defining feature of Friday’s and its many imitators. In 2003, The New York Times reported, Applebee’s was budgeting roughly $25,000 to spend on antiques for each of its new restaurants—and Ruby Tuesday was budgeting up to $50,000.

The decorations that covered the walls of the burgeoning bar-and-grill eateries offered not just a distinctively quirky “atmosphere”; they also distinguished the casual-dining restaurants from their formica-festooned counterparts in the fast-food segment. The clutter served, in its way, to make families feel good about their meals out together. It also served as a collective conversation piece, tchotchke by tchotchke: Each little relic, whether it was a guitar or a movie poster or an old street sign, was a cue for questions and discussions about the American past the item represented. Applebee’s in particular (current full name: “Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill and Bar”) emphasized the storytelling aspect of its clutter, with outposts often focusing at least some of their decorations on the accomplishments of local athletes, firefighters, community leaders, and other “Hometown Heroes.”

But it was T.G.I. Friday’s, of course, that would come to be most readily associated with Flair.

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Friday’s new 10,000-square-foot restaurant, in Corpus Christi, TX  (T.G.I. Friday’s)

Perhaps the chain is now de-cluttering-ing, as has been speculated, because of itsOffice Space-shaming. (Or maybe because of similar treatment it got from The Simpsons—remember Uncle Moe’s Family Feedbag?) For the most part, though, Fridays’ updates are simply architectural reactions to a cultural shift—one that finds, on the one hand, people forging new relationships between public spaces and private. “It’s a response to what customers are looking for,” the chain’s CMO, Brian Gies, explained to AdWeek of the transformation, after the launch of Fridays’ flagship Corpus Christi store. Gies added that the need for “fluid social zones” was one of the core ideas driving the new, de-cluttered concept. And so was, he suggested, the need for dining space that can double as workspace. “In addition to capturing the after-work or weekend crowd,” AdWeek noted, “Fridays’ hopes to be seen as a viable lunch destination, a place for an office meeting or a home base for work-at-home types who are tired of actually working at home.” Starbucks, basically, but with mudslides and Tuscan spinach dip.

The redesigns are also responding to a culture that is renegotiating its relationship with “stuff” as a concept. More and more young people are renting homes rather than buying them; many of them simply intuit, in a way their parents cannot, the life-changing magic of tidying up. In an age defined by anxieties about the limitations of the planet’s physical resources, minimalism is a moral as much as it is an aesthetic; the “clutter” that defined so much of Friday’s traditional look, in that sense, can now whiff of self-indulgence and lazy excess.

In a recent essay for The Verge, Kyle Chayka coined the term “airspace” as a design concept—a unified global aesthetic, he argued, that exists as a kind of existential assurance that no place is very different from another. The style is the kind of thing you are very likely to see in an AirBnB ad (hence the name): It involves Eames chairs and throw rugs and reclaimed wood and West Elm cactus planters, and evokes, in general, an air of effortless, globalized comfort. Airspace allows the wealthy to move from place to place around the world without a meaningful change in their aesthetic environment. It is, Chayka argues, the product of technological advancements. “As algorithms shape which content we consume on our feeds,” he wrote in a follow-up essay for The Guardian, “we all learn to desire the same things, which often happens to involve austere interiors, reclaimed wood, and Edison bulbs, like a metastasized real-life version of Kinfolkmagazine or Monocle.”

And so: What began at the dawn of the sexual revolution is now transforming at the dawn of the digital one. Here is “airspace,” applied to commercial space. T.G.I. Friday’s recently rebranded as “Fridays”; even its name has been subjected to the whims of minimalism. And its new look, whether manifested in Corpus Christi or Des Moines or Alexandria, evokes Silicon Valley—whose corporate spaces, in general, are defined by their airiness, and their emptiness, and their engineering of “serendipitous” social interactions. The house-fronts of chain restaurants are in that way another kind of front: They are yet one more way that a small stretch of California is changing how the world sees itself. You don’t need flair on the walls, after all, when you have a screen on your table.


Source: www.theatlantic.com



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5 Emerging Trends That Will Shape the Future of Architecture

What will the future of architecture look like? We might not be colonizing Mars or living on leafy, man-made space stations any time soon, but some exciting recent architectural trends are giving plenty of reasons to get excited about the future of built environments right here on Earth.

by Lidija Grozdanic

Over the last two decades, the construction industry has been subject to dramatic changes, paving the way for a future in which traditional spatial concepts are longer valid. Now, compost is being used for building materials, crowdfunding and collaborative design have become increasingly popular approaches to architectural projects, there is a focus on the importance of green infrastructure and energy efficiency, and the line between private and public space is becoming increasingly blurred. These new approaches are foreshadowing the ways in which our urban environment will evolve over the next few decades. Here’s a rundown of the new trends that have already started to affect the way we build:

#1 – No More ‘Public vs. Private’ Space

An increasing number of buildings not only address the needs of its users by function but also aim to incorporate public and commercial amenities. Architects are becoming aware of the need for creating inclusive spaces that share the same palpable values as their neighborhoods and the general public.

With the emergence of new technologies, it has become possible to design large developments as micro-cities that offer a range of diverse services (think Google, Facebook and Linkedin headquarters). Private buildings often include recycling and composting facilities and other public domain functions.

Excess energy that has been generated by private residences, offices and other buildings is now often fed into the public power grid. As Adriana Seserin writes in her article “The Publicly Private And The Privately Public”, “The dichotomy of public vs. private is limping in its ability to describe the complexity of today’s society.”

#2 – Design Will Become More Collaborative

Architecture as we know it is likely to disappear and, in the future, the role of architects may be very different to how we recognize it today. Specialists in, for example, environmental science and social anthropology will become active team members in design studios, working on complex projects that require knowledge in different fields.

It is reasonable to expect that the emergence of specialists from various fields will eliminate many of the job profiles currently existing in the construction industry. “Small ‘design-led’ practices will face increasingly stiff competition from multidisciplinary giants and must become more business savvy in order to survive in the future,” claims a 2011 RIBA report.

The rule of starchitects is likely to come to an end, as both private and public clients are starting to expect much more than iconic spaces and structures. Interaction, inclusiveness, easy maintenance and energy efficiency are getting priority over extravagance for extravagance’s sake.

#3 – Internet of Things Becomes Internet of Spaces

The “sharing economy” (or, “collaborative consumption”) has had the greatest impact on the housing and real estate market. Peer-to-peer online platforms like AirBnB, as well as shared workspaces and driverless cars are paving the way towards a future in which infrastructure is the dominant aspect of the built environment.

Regarding residential architecture, the concepts of interconnectivity and smart design will redefine the way living spaces are created. Transformable spaces that adapt to the homeowner’s age, economic status and personal preference are well on their way to becoming mainstream.

#4 – Buildings Will Be Funded by the Many

The concept of  is radically changing the way projects are financed. Since it was first introduced, Kickstarter has funneled more than $66 million into a varied number of projects, from food through movies to technology. Architectural projects, including Lowline and the BD Bacata Tower, have also made use of crowdfunding to advance their plans.

Certain areas of the construction industry – standardized designs and prototype housing, chain stores and retail office buildings, and schools – could see more competitive bidding in getting their plans funded, while more complex structures requiring unique designs such as stadiums, power plants, bridges, museums and medical buildings are less likely to be built through an open-bid approach.

#5 – Going Tall, Small and Temporary

Breaking the pattern of the urban sprawl we’ve seen over the last century, the new trend of building super-tall structures will make cities grow upwards rather than outwards. These tall buildings combine living, playing, shopping and working in one area and are made possible thanks to the advances in material technology, like electronic glass panels. As developments in technology change the size of our gadgets, so too may these developments also affect the size of our living spaces.

This change would be made through modular design, which has increasingly been used in different building typologies. Additionally, many architects are now recognizing that the shorter a building’s lifespan is, the more sustainable it can be. Therefore, ‘prefab’ houses that are easily replaced could be the future of architecture.


The recent phenomenon of technology altering the physical world and permeating every aspect of our daily lives is symptomatic of a larger social and cultural shift. The way buildings are financed, designed, built, used and removed continuously changes architectural discourse and introduces an entirely new vocabulary into the construction industry. We are excited to see how it will all pan out in the coming years.

What do you think the future of architecture will look like?

Source: Archipeneur