Design Dilemma: Good Advice from the Experts
The great thing about design is that it’s so subjective. Everyone has his or her own ideas about what makes a great space and often the ideas conflict. Below, we offer some sound design advice we feel rises above the usual trend of the moment. Feel free to use whatever feels right!
S. Rodhe Hill, a designer living in the St. Louis area says: “I think the best way to amp up the drama in a room (no matter what your personal style is) is to try to incorporate larger scaled items — mirrors, art, lighting, etc. I also like to try to use things out of their intended context whenever I can, like using a bench for an entertainment center or using outdoor furniture inside.”
Above check out two rooms in Hill’s home. Both are punctuated with pops of color, dramatic art, and an eclectic mix of furniture from different eras.
Tommy Chambers: “Live at or, even better, below your means…it will give you an ease and grace to your day to day life that material things can never do. One of my very first clients told me that for every penny he spent he saved a penny. That’s why it took 4 years to complete the project…we only had so much each year to spend on decorating….but I believe and live by that thinking whole heartedly.”
You can see his aesthetic at work below in interiors that feel comfy and casual at the same time that they feel posh and polished. And there’s the real definition of ease and grace.
Alexandra and Eliot Angle: “ It is worth it to save to buy a few truly good pieces, rather than clutter your home with replaceable mediocrity.”
Below, you can see their principle at work in the clean, uncluttered interiors of their Los Feliz, California, home. Even though it’s spare, it still feels cozy.
And here is a view of the entry way:
And a bedroom shot:
Evan Harrison: “1) Don’t rush into anything (unless it’s a deal of a lifetime) you’ll probably regret it in a few months 2) Whenever you have friends traveling abroad give them some idea of what you’re looking for and a budget, then cross your fingers. 3) Don’t follow trends; buy what you love because eventually it will be in style at some point of your life.”
Below, Harrison’s pad reflects his interest in world cultures and travel. There are no trends going on here, just loads of personality.
Susan MacTavish Best: “Create a home that you love coming back to at the end of the day. It is, after all, your home. You should feel entirely yourself in it.”
And who wouldn’t love to come home to this warm and welcoming interior below? There’s nothing precious here, just warm throws, fuzzy rugs, art, books, and to make it all complete, Fido.
And here’s some more good advice:
- Robert Harbour: Ignore “That’s not normal”.
- Levi Dugat:” I feel that the most essential purpose of interior design/decoration is to make the people spending time within a space feel present. Make decisions with that goal in mind. Your home isn’t meant to be a design museum, it’s meant to be lived in.”
- Sarah Lafferty: ” The best interior design advice I’ve ever heard comes from William Morris, the British designer/libertarian socialist behind the English arts and crafts movement. He said, way back in the 1880’s, ‘Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.’ I think it’s genius as a rule because there’s absolutely no one it’s not relevant to. It’s so simple, so true, and also magically timeless. Consider it every time an object is about to pass your threshold and you’ll find you let a lot less stuff in the door.”
Images: courtesy apartmenttherapy.com