January 29, 2014

The Personal Design Process & A Little Scandinavian Simplicity

I love what I do because while I have my own personal style, every day, I get to help other people figure out how their personal style will translate in their homes.  I live vicariously through others.  There are times when someone might ask me something like, “What would you do in this room?” before I’ve gotten the chance to know them & to interview and to work with them…  and I honestly don’t have a good answer for him or her…  Because what I’d do for my own home would be very different from what I’d do for them and my answer most likely wouldn’t apply to them.  Although I’ve had many clients whose styles contain elements of my own, I’ve never met once whose style is exactly like mine… or exactly like another client’s for that matter.
{A Scandinavian dining room with an edgier vibe…  image via arkpad.com.br}
It would of course be much easier for me if everyone came in wanting the same thing…  but I’m not sure I’d be excited every day like I am.  Working in this industry has taught me appreciate so many different styles.   There are still things I see now that I might not like but I’ve realized that as I get older, my mind seems to open more and more.
{IMage via joannagoddard.blogspot.com}
To me, there are no “amazing” (ie highly personal & unique) generic solutions.  I approach every project in a similar way- I have a process I follow- but the decisions and the choices are always specific to the homeowner and the home itself.  Each person’s “finished” home looks a certain way based upon that house.  For example, my “1920s farmhouse” (don’t have one for real) my real house and my “condo in the city” (don’t have that one either! 😉 would all look very distinctly “me,” but they’d also all feel very different due to their settings and the materials and things I’d bring in that would feel authentic with those settings. Yes, there would be natural elements in each of them, maybe a similar palette and artwork, maybe some of the same family pieces and fabrics…  but they’d be decorated appropriately for what they were: farmhouse, “house,” and condo in the city.
{Image via Remodelista}
The projects that are often the most challenging (and rewarding!!) are those in which people’s personal styles may be based upon a style that is very different from the architecture of their actual homes or when they love two very different looks and we somehow want to fully satisfy them (without watering down!!) by creating a combination of both like this one.  The challenge comes in bringing the feeling of what they love into their home but not literally translating the look.
{image via foxontherun.tumblr.com}
We’re finishing up the design for a project right now that needs to do just that.  Our client has spent time in Scandinavia and fell for the simplicity, the respect for light and the use of beautiful wood he saw there.  He appreciates a neutral palette yet he also loves color.  He’s drawn to modern furnishings yet his home itself is more traditional.  He’s also a very talented photographer…
{Love this massive photograph here and would love to do something like this..  by petitepassport.com}
…so we definitely want to include his work in the home in big ways.  I’d also like to bring in some patina through interesting collections…
{Milk Magazine}
Our client has a strong love for books…
{Marthastewart.com}
…he wants things simple…
{image via callmehats.tumblr.com}
…but happy and fresh:
{unknown source on pinterest}
We’re going to need lots of natural layers and a mix of materials to create the warmth I want in the house…
{image via viciouslycyd.tumblr.com}
…And of course some COLOR:
{image via findingshibusa.com}
I’m off to work for the day but hope you enjoyed this little peek into my design-style reasoning process!  And I’d love to know: what are the major characteristics of your design style??
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