Nuggets of Design Gold

Rug: Jaffe Rug Gallery

It’s said that the journey towards exceptional design takes considerable time and resources. When a client is delighted beyond words it’s all worth it.

It’s more often said that the journey towards mediocre, homogenized design takes considerable time and resources. If a client is mildly pleased or at least not disappointed it was all worth it.

Interior design that stands out in my mind have similar qualities and surprisingly budget isn’t one of them. It has a lot more to do with the attitude and choices of the client and design team. The willingness to take chances to achieve a vision and apply design principles in new and exciting ways creates opportunity. 

Over the course of my career I am often asked my thoughts about what constitutes a successful project and below are some words of wisdom I humbly offer to you in hopes these nuggets will help you make the most out of your design experience and give your design team the freedom to inspire.  

Stop shopping retail

It’s one thing to do research for creative exploration, problem solving and pricing. But there is a whole world of options that you’ll never see on Houzz and Pinterest. To get the most from your design experience let your Interior Designer guide you toward pieces and solutions that create a look that’s all you. Why hire a designer, pay the expense and go through the process just to pick a couch from a retail store? 

Myths concerning timeless design

The more time I spend in the business, the more I see trend cycles repeat themselves. Wood colors, paint colors, textiles, surface treatments, and their various combinations point to a period in time. It’s true that a design can be timeless and still dated. The two are not mutually exclusive. For example, we recently designed a mid-century modern office filled examples of timeless, classic furniture and artwork. Is it a timeless design? I think so. Is it also dated? Yes, it’s MCM, a noted period from the 1940s to the1960s. Worry less about the ‘when’ and more about the ‘why’.

Regardless of the period, a look is eventually going to come back around. Except for avocado green, that’ll never come back right? (Actually, it did, last year in fact)  Wallpapers are making a comeback. Bright bold prints and colors, BACK. Monkeys are appearing on printed fabrics again. I’ve even recently worked with the color mauve.  (And it turned out beautifully!) Everything has a place in a well-designed space if applied thoughtfully.  

Do you really, really want a white kitchen?

Since we are on the topic of timeless design, let’s discuss a trend we have been seeing for some time now: the white kitchen. The kitchen is the room that, in our society, we spend the most time in. Of all the spaces you’ll be designing, don’t let this be the room where you play it safe. There are too many fabulous alternatives that are creative, thoughtful and individual to lock yourself in to an all-white cooking experience. Encourage your designer to show you something that you would not expect. Raise your expectations and open yourself to design that pushes you. This does not mean you have to go with the most ambitious idea, but at least you’ve allowed yourself to explore outside the lines. And you’ll be more comfortable with your design knowing you went there. The path of design is a windy one and you should go for that ride with your designer, knowing that sometimes you come right back to where you started, but sometimes you realize something totally great and completely different in the process.

Read MoreBy Marsha Faulkner

Author: Arbus

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