Welcome to RumbleDrum: the Blog!


What Makes a Designer Tick – by Joe Mathis

RumbledDrum’s goal is to create a space to share what’s on our minds in regards to creativity, guest experiences, events and other design projects. Our space will showcase ideas from leaders in our industry, as well as designers we admire.


When Todd and I first became friends, his work as an architect intrigued me. I am one of those people that admires buildings and design; however, Todd’s eye for detail goes to a whole new level. I told someone that I used to think I was a detailed person, but I think I was wrong. Todd also has the unique ability to see the big picture first.  His big picture thinking has brought great things to our company.


Finding creative designers inspires me. It is fun to me to try and imagine what someone was hoping for or thinking of when they created their latest work. I’ve spent my life wandering through museums, clothing stores and thumbing through magazines trying to get inside the mind of the artist. I suppose that is why the recent surge of personal blogs, videos and television shows where you can see designers working and hearing their thoughts are especially appealing to me.


One of my recent addictions is the AD tours of celebrity homes called Open Door. Architectural Digest goes on a home-owner guided tour and creates these short videos that eventually make their way to YouTube. One of my favorites is “Inside Shay Mitchell’s Mediterranean-Inspired Home | Open Door | Architectural Digest”




Ms. Mitchell’s interior designer friend, Chad Wood, tells about why they chose certain elements and unique finds to make this house a home. I would encourage you to watch it, but you may end up joining my addiction of watching the entire series.

More is More

A few years ago, Todd and I were in Palm Beach, Florida looking at venues for a client. One of the site visits included staying at The Colony Hotel. I’ve stayed in a lot of hotels over the years, but there was something about this small, older hotel that quickly caught my attention. The style is classic Palm Beach with vibrant pinks and greens. As our host was giving a tour, she identified the interior designer as Carleton Varney. I recognized the name as the successor of the Dorothy Draper Company. Outside of a few magazine articles, I didn’t know much about him. I started reading everything I could find. I would use words and phrases like “over the top” and “wow” and “bold and dramatic” to describe his work.


While visiting Palm Beach, Todd picked up the concept of “maximalist.” It’s the idea of design (especially interior design) being the opposite of “minimalist.” Maximalist design typically uses bright and bold colors. An aesthetic of excess is another way it’s been described.  Maximalism is certainly not a new term or style. Maximalism can be found through the ages in music, literature and art. More is more another way I’ve heard people talk about the concept of maximalism.


When Todd heard this word “maximalism,” he immediately commented that our Christmas decorating style certainly fit this description. Since then, I have become a fan of maximalism, trying to learn as much as I can.  I’ve come to love the style more than I realized was possible.


Dorothy Draper was a pioneer in the interior design world (usually identified as the first interior design company). Carleton Varney bought her company in 1964. He had designed the interiors of The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, and so much more.


We designed our office Christmas tree in the spirit of maximalism. With orange, hot pink and red, we covered the tree with large ornaments, included pieces of luggage in the tree and lots of bright ribbon. Christmas is the perfect time to embrace maximalism and go with the phrase “more is more!”