Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Freedom To Create Fine Interiors

My husband and I have a standing joke about his perception of things.  When I ask him what he thinks of something, even if he likes it . . . and I mean, REALLY likes it . . . he still uses the expression, “I think it’s fine.”  For someone, like me, who is much more descriptive about my level of enthusiasm, he might as well be saying, “It’s mundane, ordinary, okay, or passable.”  Sigh! 

When I use the word, ‘fine’ in reference to interior design, it takes on a whole new meaning.  It’s about the originality, the quality, and the process. Being in this industry, for almost thirty years, I very much appreciate the inspiration and execution behind pulling off an original design concept and to see it evolve into form.  It’s like watching a beautiful butterfly emerge from it’s cocoon.  Others may not have the vision for what’s about to hatch, but the miracle first hidden from view can be quite stunning!


I often think of the times I’ve done work in show houses or for charitable events.  I’m able to chose how to invest my time and product in the most creative of ways, a bit more carte blanche, as it were, for what the circumstances allow.  It’s where I often receive the comment, “I never would have thought of that but it’s beautiful and it works!”  Don’t you think that’s one of the reasons people are attracted to design?  They love being delighted by the element of creativity?

My favorite projects, (while still acknowledging the client is in the driver’s seat), are when I’m allowed the freedom of the creative process.  In the business that I’m in, I work with other creative types, too.  Photographers, decorative artists, graphic designers, workrooms, etc., will all tell you, when they try to work in more controlling circumstances, their output feels more stifled and ordinary. 

ICBW - OTT Event 1

Last year, about this time, I was in the midst of creating a couples table for an event.  The process was the same as if I had been designing a room.  From the furnishings source to the decorative painter, there were a total of eight individuals who had a part in making the intangible come to reality.  It all began as a vision in my head, and I translated it to a cursory design board so the other folks could share the vision, too.  And by the way, I’m a big fan of the design team concept!


If you read the fine print, in the bottom right corner of the design board, (above), you’ll see the set-up time was tightly scheduled.  I had to have my creative ducks in a row, well before everything landed at the venue.  It took much of the entire day, with some last minute tweaking before closing time.


With the exception of the vintage china, the crystal, and the flatware, everything for this setting was a custom creation and was hand-crafted.


The mirrored mats evoked the wow factor!  My decorative artist has a special process.  (The secret’s in the source!)  The hand-sewn, linen table square was also hand-painted and crystals were applied.  People couldn’t believe it when they saw it.  They thought we just embellished an already printed cloth.

Misc 001 

The floral designer brought out various containers and we discussed the available seasonal flowers.  I wanted to float tea lights, in wisps of ribbons, and to keep the flowers airy, as well.


He really listened and the end results were amazing!

IMG_3332 IMG_2340

So many little details . . . and so much joy!


If you’ve been reading my blog, for a while, you may recognize these photos from another post.  I still love looking back over the project and thought I would share it, once more, with a reminder of a few important observations:

  • Great design is timeless and can and should be enjoyed for more than a fleeting moment.
  • You’ll get the most beautiful results when you allow creative people a little more room to spread their wings.
  • Interior design is more than an overnight process.
  • Interior design involves time and a financial investment.  (And the two do intertwine.)
  • Quality always shines through.
  • A vision can only be fully shared when the project has been completed.  The real picture will then come into focus.
  • If your designer is happy, chances are you will be, too!  Let them do what they do best and your results will be rewarding.  (My clients always say, when they see me smiling, they know to expect the best!)

What questions or comments do you have about the process of design?  I’m happy to share!

It’s all “fine”! - Wanda


Mr. Goodwill Hunting said...


You did an excellent job with these tablescapes. Notwithstanding you did a great job on all of your styling.

Mr. Goodwill Hunting

pillowthrowdecor said...

That table setting is amazing! I would have loved to see a closeup on that tablecloth. Very thoughtful summery of observations too! Cheers Christine