Saturday, May 9, 2009

Experiences in Design

This evening, on Facebook, I took a few fun quizzes – mostly regarding topics which made me draw upon memories of previous experiences or some favorite things. It was amazing, how in the process of my deep concentration, the reality of the memories, including the sensory recollection, was - well - so “real”.

Interior design, while being a discipline of function and form, is also all about experiences and emotions. Why do most people decide to change their interiors? Some want the change because they are natural trendsetters, love the latest, and just have to have it. Some initiate change because they desire to create a more usable space. Others change their interiors because things have served their time and have been well-loved or need some tweaking. In the end, most of what seems to be “need-driven”, is also based upon emotion and that emotion is created by an experience.

What were some of my Facebook questions? One question related to the toys I most remembered, growing up. I shared how my Barbie brought back a surge of memories, where my paternal grandmother and her sister, both excellent seamstresses, made most of my Barbie’s clothes. She was dressed in finery, enviable to that of any couturier. I can picture “Gommie” and Aunt Jessie, sitting on the screened porch, on the divan, (similar to a sofa bed), whipping away at fabric with needle and thread. The white wicker creaked whenever someone got up or sat down. As a fan stirred the breezes, there would be either a pitcher of fresh lemonade or iced tea with beads of sweat dripping down the sides. The linen slipcovers were vibrant but tasteful florals, also made by one of them . . . I can’t remember who. A gardenia bush was usually in full bloom, and the blossoms perfumed the air as the fan pulled in their fragrance with each whir of the blades. I can feel my eyelids become heavy, as I remember being lulled into nap mode, either by the peaceful activity, or the summer heat.

img_classicporcheslg_13A porch, similar to my Grandmother's (Country Home Magazine)

While it may seem I’ve been pulled off track, I believe good interior design is about the experiences we hold dear. How effortless it was for me to recall those summertime activities, because the scenery was so pleasant and my grandmother made sure that her cozy home, while well-appointed, was also as welcoming as the lap in which I loved to crawl. I may miss her, this Mother’s Day, but I’ll still see her, with my Aunt, (on that screened porch), and the experience will be as real as yesterday.

My adage is, “Experience the best about design!”, as I believe everyone, in some form or fashion, should be able to do. What has been your best design-related experience?

1 comment:

Norbridge Antiques said...

In my struggle to have a perfect urban garden, when I heard a well-known Toronto landscape designer say "design is everything", I realized the background, the large elements, and the hardscape architectural details are everything. The plants and flowers are just the accessories that fill the spaces. Working with that thought, I have almost achieved what I was looking for in a well-designed four-season urban garden in the north.