Sunday, March 6, 2016

Bridging the Balance of Interiors and Lifestyle

In the last few years, there has been a certain trend in interiors where embellishments have been kept to a minimum.  A cleaner, more modern approach.  Some say it makes for a calming quality and the practicality of less maintenance makes for an important purpose.  

I think there are many underlying reasons for this aesthetic to have gained so much popularity.  Some are the ones I mentioned above, but I think it goes far beyond the surface, as beautiful design should always push deeper, with more meaning and intention.  

Soft, elegant design details made for a beautiful bath escape for our clients.

The world has transitioned from a period of excess, in many ways.  Interior design has been affected by this, as well.  The elaborately bloated pieces of furniture with the "more is more" attitude are fewer and further between.  More editing and less layering in accents.  Living lighter and a less encumbered lifestyle.  There's a fineness to the small details, when embellishment is allowed.  A more meaningful experience is provided rather than feeling compelled to own a lot of "stuff" to showcase a certain station in life, especially if the accrual doesn't reflect the pure spirit of good design or its owner.

Image:  Captured by Wanda S. Horton on a recent project sourcing trip.  A stunning finish on a desk.

I believe; however, as with any design direction, there can be extremes . . . just as in the way we live with or without the perceptions and expectations of how our world should be defined.  During the aftermath of any catastrophic event, be it financial, health-oriented, family-focused, or anything which can put our personal world on it's ear, there is a tendency to pull back, to refocus, to let go. Sometimes, though, we can even place ourselves in a mindset of paying penance for having let ourselves go off our "diets".  The kind of fear thought of including an occasional treat which might send us back to the extra weight we just lost, so there is a denial of savoring some extra frosting, as it were.  So much so, this disciplined approach can rob of us our spontaneous joie de vivre.

Image:  Kravet Fabrics - Barbara Barry Collection

As an interior designer, I strive to honor my clients' aesthetics and their requests.  In fact, I want to be absolutely certain we spend a great deal of time in the discovery phase of their projects, to be sure they aren't feeling compelled to follow what they think is a must-have, in terms of the "latest and greatest" because, in the end, it won't be so great if it's not authentic to who they are.  There's a fine balance which takes time and careful thought, just as in any important decision - no matter what some outside party might be pushing on the latest shows or pages of the internet.

Image:  Kravet Fabric - Barbara Barry Collection
Personally, I'm glad to see a return to well-executed details and embellishments, as I'm not a big fan of austere interiors and well, living.  I can work in just about any aesthetic but if "To thine own self be true"applies to working with my ideal clients, (and it should), my cup of tea will be someone who wants a story to be told in their homes and not a pretentious gorgeous book filled with blank pages.

The dining room may be formal, in appearance, but the comfort and ease for gathering was key for this project.

Of course, I do believe there should be a few pages remaining, as our life stories are always being re-written, edited, re-balanced and added to.  Totally by design.

All my best!

1 comment:

FrenchGardenHouse said...

This is such a thoughtful post, Wanda. I agree, adding high quality decorative objects, trims and fabrics to a home is a beautiful way to express the personality and style of the homeowner. Your interior designs always bridge the gap between the impersonal "austere" and the overstuffed "too much" interiors. Home is where we retreat, where we can showcase our own style and personality, if it is without any personal touches it ends up looking like a bleak lobby.