Tuesday, January 19, 2010

establishing a mood

I've spent a lot of my life trying to distance emotions from aesthetics, only to discover recently that they can't really be separated. Successful rooms are ones that elicit "feelings"--I really cringe writing that sentence--so cheesy--but I'm absolutely convinced that it's true, so I might as well say, er, write it out loud :)
One of the interiors that I'm getting ready to help design belongs to a couple who have been married for over 15 years and have had 4 previous homes. However, despite having some nice furniture and functional floor plans, they've never really enjoyed any of the homes. While talking with the wife, I suddenly realized that the easiest way to assess what they really want to get out of their home was to ask how certain elements--colors, furniture, etc.-- made them feel, and how they wanted other rooms to make them feel. At first I felt a little uncomfortable, but it was kind of a revelation to both of us. She actually knew a lot more about her tastes than she though initially, and I have a much clearer vision of how I'm going to go about helping them with their home.

Without really knowing it, all of the pictures in my personal inspiration file for our home have a very similar feel to them, and although they're quite different in some respects, all have a similar effect on me.To describe the collective interiors themselves (some of them are pictured here) I would use the words: warm, a little gritty and industrial, sturdy, vintage, old, slightly whimsical, and imperfect.
But I would also say that these qualities make me feel at ease, loosely ordered, contemplative, and creative.
In books, magazines, and homes that I help with, I love energetic color and playful accent pieces, but in my own home I want the overall feeling to be calm, unfussy, and laid back. And I've found that warm light grays, ivories, whites, aquas, and earthy greens as color choices, and natural textures like rough hewn wood, slubby linen, and light cotton complete the feeling.

(Images: 1: torie jayne via pinkwallpaper, 2: anthropolgie, 3: unknown, 4: country living, 5: Marie Claire Maison, 6: Apartment Therapy:NY Sue & Jared's artist loft, 7: mine, 8: Elle Decor, Darryl Carter's Virginia Farmhouse)


  1. Great set of pics, i love your no 7, I adore bird cages! Have a sweet day!


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