Design is not making beauty; beauty emerges from selection, affinities, integration, love. — Louis Kahn
I’ve just interviewed a great Bay Area designer (watch for the interview in an upcoming post), and something she said really resonated with me. I’m paraphrasing here, but the gist is that a room’s décor has the ability to affect the way we feel. Isn’t that profound and so true?!
The urge for good design is the same as the urge to go on living. — Harry Bertoia
Check out these awesome rooms. It’s the mix of colors, the textures, the scale and the rightness of the product mix that makes these spaces extraordinary. Getting it all right literally creates a mind-altering space. To hell with drugs, just give me a well-designed room! I mean, wow. (Is that a double rainbow? Woooaahhh!)
A big space calls for multiple seating areas and large-scale furniture:
Love how the designer opted for low decor that doesn’t block the amazing views — and that actually serves to create a picture frame of sorts out of the window:
Sophisticated and timeless without being boring:
The use of neutrals in this space leaves me giddy. I would be so, so, so productive at that desk. And in that chair. And over there, on that sofa.
Have you ever seen indoor-outdoor done so right? The materials and the architecture here are breathtaking. Doesn’t it feel good??
Stop it. This room is so relaxing, I just fell asleep. See how decor can make you feel a certain way?
This concept — that furniture and décor affects mood — definitely drives my own design projects. I always start a project by considering how the room will be used and, by default, how the homeowner wants to feel when they’re using the room: awake and happy in a kitchen, calm and relaxed in a bedroom (except for those of you on the 50 Shades of Grey bandwagon — seriously, would someone write a well-written titillating book already?!), and so on.
Also Read: Matt’s Musings: Design is My Drug
Next, I select furniture. I start with the largest items, move on to smaller pieces and finally, I layer on decorative items. For instance, I tend to start with the sofa in a living room and work from there. This methodology helps me keep scale and color scheme in mind; if I’ve opted for an oversized sofa, I’m going to need appropriately large side tables, lamps, coffee tables, etc. And, I could literally write a book on the importance of texture and color.
I was recently asked where I seek design inspiration; where I go to stay current on the latest trends. The short answer is: everywhere! I’m fortunate to be totally immersed in the design world and so am constantly surrounded by, and soaking up, all things design.
A more practical answer is that there are a handful of design books I love and that I find myself flipping through time and time again for inspiration. Here are a few of my favorites:
At Home: A Style for Today with Things from the Past
Suzanne, author of At Home, A Style for Today with Things from the Past, is a good friend and mentor. Her book is for those of you who love The Establishment — a super traditional style. It’s an excellent source for guidance around adding antiques into your design mix and for an overview on finish detail for custom upholstered pieces. It’s a lovely book and even if you didn’t spend the weekend antiquing in the Hamptons, you’ll enjoy it.
And so, Glossers, I leave you with this advice: consider how you want to feel in your space before you do anything else.
Happy decorating, my friends!
bluGloss Chief Designer
Does your home decor leave you feeling blah? Visit us www.bluGloss.comwhere mood altering curated product and mind blowing designer guidance await you.