Tania Frampton: Inspiration for fan designscan come from anything—something you’ve seen in a magazine or on a piece of furniture, how you like the blend of a certain metal with a certain wood or even an appliance. One of our new fans, Mavrik, has a leather and nailhead look. That’s something I’ve seen in furniture, and we just ran with it. Something catches your eye, and you see how that can be used as part of a design—a blade or a color. It’s spotting something that will catch [customers’] eyes and be something different for the market.
On a personal level, I appreciate several different styles, so I try to use that in my designs because the end customer is varied so much between ultra-contemporary and French Country. Fanimation tries to carry a wide variety. We aim to appeal to a lot of styles and don’t allow ourselves to stick with any one particular thing.
With designing a fan, you [need] to keep certain things in mind: motor dimensions, how many blades, basic structural things. But we try not to limit ourselves to the normal para-meters of the traditional ceiling fan. So, when we draw out an idea, we try not to think whether it is necessarily possible; we design what we think would be a unique piece of art for your ceiling. Then we work out the details of how to make it happen and function to its fullest.
One of the biggest challenges is trying to see it from the end-user’s perspective. You don’t want something too overly trendy because it’s got to have staying power, yet you want to offer something they’re not going to see everywhere they go. It has to be unique enough but not so over-the-top that it’s not going to appeal to the masses.
At Fanimation, we try to be the trend instead of following it. Our design team attends trade shows, and we even pay attention to what’s going on in fashion. But it’s taking a leap and trying to go out there and do something unique. One instance would be our wet location products. Most wet location fans were pretty basic, plain white. We tried to do decorative versions, and I see other companies doing that now.
With my interior design background, a lot of my [training] has been about seeing something, starting with a blank canvas and trying to help people visualize what the end result can be. And I think, especially with ceiling fans, a lot of people don’t realize the impact they can have. Studying on the interior design side gave me an appreciation for what [these products] can do to the feel of a room.